Detroit’s brand is growing, and it’s now cool to slap “Detroit” on new things in other cities.
Cass Avenue, a snack bar, is named for a street in Detroit rich with musical history. It’s actually where Jack White’s Third Man Records is located.BlogTo
But outside the name, this new eatery doesn’t strike me as very Detroit-y.
Most of all, the menu would not look familiar to those who know and love Motor City fare.
The culinary explanation from their website is as follows:
Located at 150 Eglinton Avenue East in Midtown Toronto, Cass Avenue isCass Avenue website
a bar-restaurant concept from Chef Vittorio Colacitti that takes inspiration from the rhythm of Detroit Rock City. This high-energy snack bar harmonizes fine dining standards with approachable yet unique snacks and share plates.
But from coneys to Detroit-style pizza to tasty Avalon-esque bread (founded near Cass!) to traditional barbecue — the food from Detroit is notably absent.
They also have a “Baller” menu (that name just makes me cringe). That has oysters with pineapple hot sauce, shrimp cocktail, charcuterie, and ribeye steak.
Oysters. Don’t. Live. In. The. Great. Lakes.
There’s that little inconvenience they’re salt water, not freshwater.
It doesn’t have to be all Detroit-related, but much better would have been a “What up doe” appetizer menu. Detroit-style pizza bites with that awesome crust. Mini-coneys. I could go on. But that would mean they actually paid attention to our culture. Or did a Google search.
Cass Avenue is also missing actual drinks from Detroit. They do a “Motown Sour,” which I’ve never heard of around here that’s a bourbon with a drop of red wine.
Where’s the Hummer? The Last Word? Or for a deep cut, the Ambassador Bridge (admittedly that last one of Canadian Club and Faygo Rock and Rye, one made in Windsor and one Detroit, is more of a front porch sipper than a bar order). But appropriate for a place bridging Canada and the United States.
If you’re going to wrap Detroit-esque branding on something, at the very least throw something from our area on the menu and the decor. It doesn’t have to be yet another skyline photo. But for instance, at my friend’s office, there’s a tasteful wall of vintage hubcaps with Detroit car brands.
Looking at this concept from afar, it seems like they listened to a Jack White track and forget the rest of the album.