When it comes to hype, I’m typically a skeptic. Sure, Curt Catallo and Ann Stevenson, owners of the Clarkston Union and the Woodshop, are our local eatery geniuses, but could they possibly do it again? If you’ve heard any of the rumors about their alleged latest and greatest, Vinsetta Garage, I’m sure you’re wondering if it’s too good to be true. I hate to side with the hype, but this time the hype has got it right.
Mike and I took a trip here on a relatively quiet Thursday afternoon in an effort to get a good look at the place without fighting the legendary crowds. In terms of design, it’s pretty much what you’d expect out of Catallo and Stevenson; however, there is a greater sense of ingenuity as the layout pays homage to the buildings roots. Vinsetta Garage has been around since 1919, not as burger/pizza joint, but as an auto repair shop that serviced Detroit’s classic cars right on Woodward Avenue. But when the Vinsetta Garage decided to close it’s doors in 2011, it was bought by the aforementioned creative duo and repurposed as a restaurant. The bones of the original Vinsetta Garage still proudly stand, and when you sit down for dinner, there’s no mistaking it – a lot of cars came through here. But whether the garage is in the business of fixing engines or appetites, it’s spirit remains the same.
Like it’s sister restaurant the Woodshop, Vinsetta Garage offers a menu of American Classics (burgers, sandwiches, pizza, milkshakes, etc.). Never fear for those of us who have a gluten allergy or are vegetarian! This all-American restaurant can do many of it’s popular dishes gluten-free and each burger can be made with a vegetarian option. Here’s what we had:
Mike went for the EV1 Burger with a vegan patty, coal-fired tomatoes, arugula, garlic sprouts, goat cheese, shiitake bacon (fried, salty mushrooms), and roasted garlic and balsamic mayo. He reports that “the vegan patty was gigantic and juicy, the goat cheese mixed with the shiitake bacon and tomatoes was in perfect harmony.” In other words, he thought it was awesome.
I, on the other hand, was amazed by their gluten-free pizza which I had with goat cheese, shiitake bacon, and caramelized onions. Considering my typical experience with gluten-free pizza leaves me feeling like I’m eating the box it came in, this was a pleasant surprise. We toyed with the idea of ordering one of their adult milkshakes, but opted for a dessert of rock n’ rye ice cream with pop rocks (less expensive, more homegrown).
Mike and I have plans to visit Vinsetta Garage again very soon. There’s just too much on the menu to only go there once. Next time you’re cruising down Woodward make for Vinsetta Garage. It is not to be missed.
Visit Vinsetta Garage
27799 Woodward Ave.
Berkley, MI 48072