Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Return of the Mable Clark.

Last weekend I retuned home to Detroit to visit with my family for
labor day and catch up with as many friends as possible. Every time
I am able to make it home, I make sure that I am able to make some 
time for Brendan and Cassie as well. Brendan has been my hetero-
life mate since freshman year of high school and Cassie is his long
term lady friend. I had the pleasure of living with them in Brooklyn
back in 2009 and I always cherish the fleeting moments we have 
to check in with each other. 

But that was not the story behind this picture. No, it's something far
more interesting than a meeting of friends. See, back in college, I
discovered this restaurant, Eph's Delicatessen. A deli that made the
most tender cornedbeef that would, without fail, knock you flat every
time you had the privilege of consuming a sandwich adorned with 
the meat. Eph's moved out of Corktown and into primetime. Right
on the southern tip of Campus Martius, just west of Jefferson/ the
spirit of Detroit statue. However, it would soon begin experiencing
business troubles and it would open and close almost at random. The
hours were less than consistent and it would eventually go out of
business completely while I was living in New York. 

A new chapter of this story opens up when Nick Hagen discovers
that the restaurant that opened in its place, Grand Trunk, retained
some of Eph's staff. Namely, the cook and the guy that orders the
raw materials. Grand Trunk would even call out on their menu that
they offered "Eph's Sandwiches" and as luck would have it, the 
Mable Clark (my favorite) was one of the few items to survive the
cut. Once this news was relayed to me, I knew my next trip home 
to Detroit would include a stop at Grand Trunk to rip into my long
lost love, the Mable Clark. 

The day comes when I plan to meet Nick and his lady friend down
town for some delicious corned beef. I arrive to heartache. Because
the Detroit Electronic Music Festival is taking place across the street
at Hart Plaza, Grand Trunk has a "Festival Menu" that does NOT
include my favorite item. I beg and plead with the waitress, but the
thumping techno music makes it hard to talk and I end up settling 
for reuben. I could almost hear my own heart breaking over the 

Never one to stay down, I return home this last weekend, as discussed
earlier and ask Brendan and Cassie if they want to meet at Grand
Trunk for lunch. They accept and I fill with excitement once again.
I put my Eph's t-shirt on, fire up Stella and bomb down I75. I get 
there only to find out the JazzFest is taking place and the dreaded 
"Festival Menu" is in effect. However, this time, I could not be 
deterred. I didn't even look at the menu, when the waitress got there
I brazenly ordered a Mable Clark. When she said that it was not on
the menu, I explained how much I loved Eph's. How I wear the 
t-shirt all over Wisconsin and how I have driven 450 miles one way
twice, just to get a Mable Clark. I asked her if she wanted me to drive
home again disappointed and I got a, "I'll see what I can do". 10 minutes
later, she approached the table with a mountain of irish meat, coleslaw,
thousand island dressing on a kaiser roll. She had delivered me what 
I had craved for 3 years.

I tipped her 100%. 

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