DETROIT: Mexico and a Movie

30 May

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On any given evening you can find something interesting to do in Detroit. Kris read somewhere the movie My Week With Marilyn was showing at the Cass City Cinema at the Burton Theater; cool venue, fun topic, why not? The 140 seat theater is housed in the former Burton International School on Cass Ave. The old auditorium has been renovated into a legitimate movie theater equipped with the latest technology. Showing both Hollywood movies and independent films tickets cost only $5.00. Owner Joel Landy purchased the building in 2009, he owns many properties in the area and thought a movie theater would be a nice addition to the neighborhood.

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The attractive brick building is easy to find; parking is convenient, they have their own fenced in lot adjacent to the structure. We were the first to arrive for the evening showing;  with no other movie-goers to follow, we got out of the car and walked toward a sign with an arrow directing us to the entrance. We trailed from one sign to the next and then the next, where was everybody? Did we have the right time? Alone, we reached the door; once inside we encountered more signs and arrows directing us up the stairs.We came across this wonderful display of vintage projectors; that and the smell of freshly popped popcorn assured us we were on the right track. At the top of the stairs was a small concession stand to the right, ah ha! the source of the popcorn, the left wall displayed posters of upcoming movies.  We purchased our tickets along with a bag of still warm popcorn and proceeded into the theater. The space is small, intimate and cozy; heavy curtains hang in the doorway dividing the lobby from the auditorium. The decor is definitely vintage; dark wood, antique light fixtures, velour seats. More people started to arrive; a mix of regulars and newbies, we all took our seats as the trailers were projected onto the screen. By the time the movie began I was comfy in my seat and surroundings, there’s something really cool about seeing a movie here. It’s like a private screening, your focus is entirely on the story being played out before you, drawing you in. My Week With Marilyn is based on the making of the movie The Prince and the Showgirl filmed in 1956 in England. I thought Michelle Williams did an outstanding job capturing the essence of Marilyn Monroe. We both found the movie quite enjoyable, can’t wait to come back.

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For dinner we drove over to Southwest Detroit, there are just so many restaurants there I don’t know if we’ll ever be able to try them all; it will be fun trying! A little deeper into that section of the city is El Nacimiento on West Vernor.  The dining area is spacious, the decor traditional Mexican. We sat in a booth along the window overlooking all of the activity outdoors. Our server arrived quickly with water and menus, multiple page menus, this wasn’t going to be easy….everything looked delicious. Moments later a big basket of warm chips arrived with a platter that held three different salsas, sliced radishes and lime wedges. We munched on chips sampling each salsa as we perused the menu, when in doubt order one of everything…….well, almost everything. We had a Botana, llomo tostada, chorizo taco, cheese enchilada and chicken flauta, it was all soooo good! There were lots of freshly sliced avocado, jalapeno, ripe tomato, onion and finely shredded lettuce garnishing each, well seasoned, each meat had its own distinct flavor. We could have easily fed at least one other person! 

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After leaving El Nacimiento we drove around a bit; over on Sprigwells St we noticed Sheilas Bakery was still open. Another thing we like about Southwest, things stay open late; where else can you find an open bakery at 8:30pm on a Sunday night? Sheilas is awesome; when you come in the door there is a series of large refrigerators with glass doors displaying a huge selection of beautiful sheet cakes. Sheilas is known for her cakes, especially the Tres Leches. The next section of the bakery is mainly traditional Mexican baked goods, we try something new each visit. This time we selected a flaky type rolled pastry filled with cream cheese and passion fruit, some kind of triangle shaped baked cheese thing, and I couldn’t resist a piece of yellow cake with the pink frosting and sprinkles. Too full to eat on the spot we took it home to enjoy later…….and enjoy we did! The cheese triangle kind of reminded us of a less sweet cheesecake, though equally delicious. The rolled pastry was light and crisp, the filling very tasty. The cake was exactly how good cake should be; moist and tender, the frosting creamy and delectable.  The bakery also sells these amazing looking little desserts that appear to be a flower suspended in gelatin, next time we’re getting one of those. It turned out to be a wonderful evening of new tastes and adventures, I can’t wait till next weekend!

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