Contributed by Sarah Carlson, Savor Southwest
Vince’s Ristorante Italiano
Vince’s has been serving up fresh, homemade traditional Italian food for over 50 years. A staple of the neighborhood, walking into Vince’s is like visiting your Italian grandparents. Paintings of Italy adorn the walls, while music from opera to Frank Sinatra fills the air. The atmosphere is formal, without being overly stuffy. As soon as you enter, you’re greeted by their attentive staff, and know you’ll be well taken care of.
Given their extensive menu, I had a hard time making a decision. Fortunately I had freshly made garlic bread to help me decide. I finally settled on the chicken piccata, which is thinly pounded breaded chicken in a lemon sauce with mushrooms and capers. The chicken piccata, along with all their dinners, includes salad, bread and butter, and your choice of pasta, baked potato, french fries or green beans. Since they are known for their homemade pastas and sauces, I knew I had to have that as my side. To wash it all down, I enjoyed some of their Italian beer selection, and at $4.50 each, you may as well have two.
As I was finishing up, the server told me that next time I must try the pizza. You don’t have to tell me twice – see you again soon, Vince’s!
A great place for a date, a business meeting, a special dinner, or just because, Vince’s is open for dine-in or carry-out Tue. – Fri. 11AM – 5PM, Sat. 2PM – 11PM, Sun. 2PM – 10PM, closed Mondays | Cash/Debit/Credit | 1341 Springwells | 313-842-4857
Chris Engel’s Florist and Greenhouse
A fixture in the community since 1883, Chris Engel’s Florist and Greenhouse has years of knowledge and experience to make your occasion or event truly special. I spoke with two brothers, Patrick and Frank, who run the shop. Having done flowers for events as large as the auto show, and as personal as a loved one’s funeral, they will work with you to find the best arrangements for your needs and budget.
I didn’t know what type of arrangement I wanted, and I’m glad I didn’t because I couldn’t have imagined a more beautiful bouquet. “Patrick’s the creative one,” Frank says while Patrick’s in back arranging for me what he calls the Patricio. While they do offer online ordering, they said calling or stopping by often yields better results in terms of getting exactly what you want.
Chris Engel’s is located on Woodmere next to Woodmere Cemetery, but they can also be found at Eastern Market when the weather warms up. Also keep them in mind for Mother’s Day, and Mexican Mother’s Day, a holiday well-known within the Mexican immigrant community of Southwest Detroit. Want to save a little money, or have a special vase you’d like to use? Bring it in when ordering for a discount.
Chris Engel’s is prepared for last-minute Valentine’s Day orders, as well. They will be open until 7PM on Wednesday and Thursday, February 12 and 13.
Regular business hours are 7 days a week, 10AM – 5PM | Cash/Credit/Debit | 1238 Woodmere St. | 313-THE-GIFT (313-843-4438)
At 9 years old, Sheila’s Bakery is relatively young, but has become such a part of the community that it’s hard to imagine Springwells Village without thinking about Sheila’s. Since I pass by on my way into work, I think about Sheila’s every day, and sometimes I even give in to my cravings and stop for a pastry. My favorite is a simple sugar doughnut, but they have dozens to choose from, including guava empanadas, churros, croissants, and bread with jalapenos and cream cheese.
Sheila’s also has specialty items for many holidays. Recently for Three Kings Day they had rosca de reyes cakes, which has a doll baked into part of the cake. Whoever finds the doll has to host next year’s Three Kings Day party. For Valentine’s Day, Sheila’s will have heart-shaped cookies as well as cupcakes with heart decorations.
For a birthday or other special occasion, Sheila’s also prepares cakes. If you have a kid, or are a kid at heart, there are pop star decorations such as One Direction and Hannah Montana. Have you ever had tres leches cake? It’s cake made with three types of milk – evaporated, condensed, and heavy cream – usually topped with fruit, chocolate, and a very light frosting. Vanilla is the traditional flavor, but Sheila’s also has strawberry, cappuccino, and rompope, an egg-nog type drink. If you’re trying for the first time, grab a slice. If you’ve had it before, then you know you’ll want a whole cake. And at $20 a cake, you can afford to.
Open Mon. – Sat., 6AM – 9PM, Sun. 7AM – 9PM | Cash/Credit & Debit ($5 minimum)/EBT | 2142 Springwells | 313-841-8480