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“The Bite Tonight” blogger Jewell Dziendziel shines a light on vegetarian dishes

Jewell Dziendziel launched her blog, The Bite Tonight, in 2017, and her podcast, Vegetarian Detroit, in 2020.

IIt’s not uncommon to document culinary adventures and publish them online. But Jewell Dziendziel has found a way to carve out a niche in the crowded food internet with a blog and a podcast.

She began The bite tonight blog in 2017 at the request of a friend. “At first I was just trying to figure out which direction I wanted to go,” says Dziendziel, who works daily as an account specialist in supply chain management. “I was still eating meat when I started The bite tonight and actually focused on unique foods (think rabbit tortellini from Gray Ghost or squid ink pasta from Selden Standard).

About a year after that, she stopped eating meat. “I like to cook at home, and cutting the chicken breast started to gross me out,” Dziendziel says. “I also found myself unwittingly not eating meat. A week passed and I realized that I hadn’t eaten any meat, so I thought it would be a good time to try a vegetarian diet.

In 2020, she started the detroit vegetarian podcast with the idea of ​​doing interviews with Detroit chefs from a vegetarian perspective. She was finishing recording when the pandemic hit. At that time, she felt it was not appropriate to do a podcast promoting restaurants when restaurants were closed and faced an uncertain future. So she started sharing
their stories of how they were navigating the pandemic.

Since then, she has highlighted the perseverance of chefs, restaurateurs and advocates for great food during what is probably the toughest time yet for the industry, from Ederique Goudia, co-owner of Gabriel Hall and co- creator of Taste the Diaspora, and Goudia collaborator Raphael Wright, who opens Neighborhood Grocery to Jefferson Chalmers, Patrice Brown of Eastern Market and Darraugh Collins of the Detroit chapter of Food Rescue US.

Dziendziel says the local food scene has grown “compared to where it was five, three, even a year ago.”

“Detroit is a tight-knit community, and chefs and food entrepreneurs help each other out,” she says. “We’ve seen a lot of that during the pandemic, but even before that you see a lot of chefs collaborating and working together to build what the food scene is today.”

Jewell Dziendziel’s must-have list

Jewell Dziendziel is a fan of Mudgie’s Ivey sandwich – vegetables, spinach spread, sunflower sprouts and Havarti cheese, on multigrain bread.

Takoi

Takoi has always been one of my favorites. It’s an experience – good vibes, a great patio, and great craft cocktails. The food is amazing, simple, with bold flavors and just out of this world. Everything I ate was delicious and we have chef Brad Greenhill to thank. The menu is seasonal, so it constantly changes, but if the thrice-baked sweet potatoes reappear, buy them! Takoi, 2520 Michigan Avenue, Detroit; takoidetroit.com

I’m going

“Curry Udon in Ima Corktown. Chef Mike Ransom simmers his broths for days, and it pays off. The curry broth is so rich and silky. It’s hard to order anything other than that because I crave it so badly and I’m going to end up with a bad case of FOMO. I usually pair it with a crisp cider or fresh saki. Tip: Order extra broth to go with your leftovers because the udon noodles will soak it all up and you’ll be sad. » I am, 2015 Michigan Avenue, Detroit; imanoodles.com

Michigan Pizza and Trumbull

“M&T ​​is one of my favorite places for so many reasons. It’s casual, but the food is elevated. Owners Nate Peck and Kristen Calverley are some of the nicest, most down to earth people and the most amazing ever. Be sure to check out the patio when it’s open. It’s really cool and the best place to spend a nice warm summer night in Corktown enjoying a cold night. My Favorite pizzas are the McLovin’ and the Woodward White (a la Detroit) with a cilantro ranch side. The McLovin’ is M&T’s version of a Big Mac pizza with Beyond Meat, and it’s so good. The Woodward White contains mozzarella, baked ricotta, lemon zest, garlic oil and red pepper flakes.The lemon zest takes this pie to another level! Michigan & Trumbull Pizza, 1441 W. Elizabeth St., Detroit; michigantrumbullpizza.com

Mudgie’s Deli

“The Ivey sandwich is my favorite. Vegetarian spinach spread with dill Havarti cheese, avocado, sunflower sprouts, lettuce, cucumber, red onion, all layered on toasted multigrain bread. It’s delicious, hearty and you feel good eating it. Mudgie’s is a great neighborhood spot, and they have lots of great vegan/vegetarian options. Such a tragedy that the community lost Greg Mudge, but his legacy lives on in every meal prepared at Mudgie’s. Mudgie’s Deli, 1413 Brooklyn St., Detroit; mudgiesdeli.com

Mexican Village Restaurant

“Best cheese enchiladas in town and really good margaritas.” I love Mexican food and the cheese enchiladas are my favorite. I always order these when I’m at other places, but none even come close to the Mexican Village cheese enchiladas. They are super cheesy and delicious every time. It’s my comfort food and the perfect solution when I’m having a bad day. Mexican Village Restaurant, 2600 Bagley St., Detroit; mexicanvillagefood.com


This story is from the June 2022 issue of Hour Detroit. Learn more about our digital edition.