On the modest Corktown corner of Howard and Trumbull, next to the Alpha Kappa Alpha Foundations building (don’t try to Google it, nothing comes up)…down the road from construction on some building or another, next to a bright, optimistic detour sign (JEFFERSON CLOSED AT YZERMAN DR. FOLLOW DETOUR), lies Le Petit Zinc. French slang for “local bar” (according to their website, French bars used to coat their bar tops with zinc metal), Le Petit Zinc is a one-room creperie and cafe with an adjacent patio and garden that would make Miss Honey jealous. And much like Matilda, I’ve found a safe, happy place.
Two shades of yellow cover the walls, framing a vibrant mural of some French garden, butting up to the pea green window trim; the windows are guarded by small ceramic roosters and little vases of quietly dying flowers. I’ve been gone for a minute, dealing with an acute neurological condition that threatened my vision and balance. This is my first at-bat since being taken off the DL. And I’m psyched.
A clean sandwich–that’s all I wanted for my return. And guess what I got? The cleanest sandwich.
I ordered the Oeuf du Crudites, which should be French for flawless egg sandwich: hard boiled eggs with tomato, carrots, and a dream of a mayonnaise, all on a crunchy, delicious split baguette, alongside mixed greens dressed in a lovely vinaigrette. That, and several mugs of Great Lakes coffee. Rosamaria ordered the tomato, mozzarella, prosciutto, basil sandwich (without prosciutto). She let me have a bite; perfectly balanced and aromatic. All Petit Zinc’s ingredients are local and organic. That good, down-home Detroit produce…I’m convinced there is little that competes.
Tiny spoons, espresso and coffee, water in fresh glasses and an order of a Nutella/banana crepe with a side of fresh blueberries to share…we sat and talked about my condition (I, periodically, needed to wink from time to time; kills the double vision) and how Rosamaria only orders that sandwich every time (it’s that good). Sarah–also of Too Full, Detroit fame–joined us for a minute; I, in awe of her gorgeous skin and rad hair. My vision would momentarily go bunk and I’d lose my train of thought. They were patient as I gathered my confidence every time and finish my sentences. Rosa had me show Sarah a dramatic, collared, wool sweater I thought was cool; she offered to construct a similar one–and use her new batch of vintage buttons–custom. She’s a magnificent and humble designer.
That sandwich was remarkable–delicious, clean, and fresh. And when bookended by friendship and kindness…go to Le Petit Zinc for it’s wonderful food. Be jealous of me for my friends.
Mon-Sat: 10:00 A.M.-4:00 P.M.
Sunday: 9:00 A.M.-3:00 P.M.
Price Range: $$ (out of $$$$)
Credit/debit card accepted