When I started watching Diner’s, Drive In’s, and Dives, one of the first restaurants I saw was a little joint in Ferndale, MI called the Fly Trap. At that point, J and I weren’t even dating and I had no idea that I would one day move to Lansing. Still, the diner looked awesome and I knew if I ever made it to Detroit, I had to find this place.
J and I got up and got going this morning. We figured since we live in Michigan, we have to go to the North American International Auto Show. My parents were going to drive up from Eastern Illinois last weekend and go with us, but the weather kept them home. They weren’t able to make the drive this weekend, so J and I decided to go on our own. One of the things we really want to do is see as much and do as much in Michigan as we can. We always took things in Illinois for granted and there are a lot of major events I’ve never been to. Would you believe I have never been to the Taste of Chicago? Me! A guy who blogs about food has never been to one of the premier food events in the country that takes place in my backyard. We didn’t want to do that in Michigan and the NAIAS is the equivalent to the Taste.
Before heading in to Detroit, we decided to stop and eat first. I have a short list of places I want to eat at in Detroit and the Fly Trap in neighboring Ferndale was one of them.
The Flay Trap is on the corner of Woodward and Breckinridge. There’s a parking lot next to the building, but it’s actually for the gym across the street. There’s a public lot behind the building with metered spots, so parking isn’t really an issue. From the outside, The Fly Trap looks tiny. It’s no illusion. It really is tiny. We showed up just before noon on a Saturday morning and we opened the door, there was another couple waiting for a table. There are only nine tables in the entire restaurant plus a lunch counter. As we stood there, a line started to form behind us with a few people being forced to wait outside. The windchill was hovering around zero degrees and yet, people were standing out in the cold waiting for a table. That must be a sign.
After a ten to fifteen minute wait, a table opened up and J and I took a seat. Along one wall, tables are situation in front of a long bench seat. We took a table for two. There isn’t much privacy in the setup. It’s pretty hard not to hear what’s going on at the table next to you. To make the restaurant look bigger, they put a mirror on the wall. The entire meal, I got to watch myself eat. It was effective in making the place bigger, but weird looking at myself for an hour. The waitresses kind of work on a whoever is available basis. There were three waitresses working the tables and they all took care of every table.
One of the most interesting things at the Fly Trap was what was on the table when we sat down. The salt and pepper shakers on each table are different and they’re all the kitchy collectibles. Our table had a two snowmen skiing. The table next to us had two hamburgers. The other thing you usually find on the table when you sit down is your silverware. Some restaurants will wrap them in a napkin. The Fly Trap is one of those restaurants. The neat thing is that they went “cheap” on the napkins and they’re using bar towels. I looked at that white towel with a blue stripe and chuckled a little bit. It’s funny and effective. Those things are really absorbent.
J ordered the Gingerbread Waffle. She loves gingerbread cookies, so a gingerbread waffle should be delicious….and it totally was. The waffle is served with sauteed apples, dried cherries, and powder sugar with a cup of maple syrup on the side. She said it tasted like a soft, fluffy gingerbread cookie. She loved it. She got a side of bacon to go with her waffle and even that was done perfectly. The bacon was crispy which is the only way J will eat it.
By the time we finished, we were stuffed. We sat for a few minutes waiting on our check. The waitresses were running around trying to keep up. Technically, they each had probably four tables if you count people at the counter, but they were scrambling to get food out and get people out so those waiting outside could get in. Our bill for “blunch” was just over $23. We don’t eat breakfast often, but if all breakfasts were like this one, we would probably make more of an effort. Once again, Guy Fieri pointed us to a great little diner in a place we never would have thought to look. The Fly Trap was fabulous. They call themselves “a finer diner” and I agree. It was a neighborhood diner, but not with typical neighborhood diner food.