Brunching in Detroit: Blogger promotes restaurants in city she loves
One of the purposes of worthythings48.com is to promote excellence, so I am always inspired when I see others doing just that, especially my own children. (And what good is having my own website if I can’t brag about my daughter?)
Four years ago, in the fall of 2015, Sarah Luttinen started meeting with friends to share that in-between weekend meal of breakfast/lunch. “Having brunch together is such a nice way to spend time with friends, and a nice way to start your day,” she said.
The group began exploring the diverse restaurant choices of the city of Detroit. And this “hobby”, as she calls it, is how Sarah came up with the idea to promote Detroit’s restaurant landscape on Instagram. Her blog, LoveBrunchDetroit, has garnered more than 3,300 followers. “It’s a nice following, and it’s fun to share with the community I have,” she said.
The 24-year-old decided to name her blog “Love.Brunch.Detroit.” because it conveyed all the aspects she wanted to convey. “I didn’t want to make it about me, but to make it more of a community.”
“Growing up in the suburbs, there was always a stigma that Detroit was dangerous,” she remembers. “Then there started to be this resurrection, and people were putting businesses and money into the city, and people were moving there. There was a buzz about it that I wanted to experience.”
Detroit began emerging as a kind of restaurant Mecca “out of nowhere”, Sarah said. “They were competing with cities known for great restaurants, like New York, and Chicago and L.A. Detroit has great chefs, and entrepreneurs investing in our city because they believe in it. There is this t-shirt that says ‘Detroit hustles harder’. Well, it’s been hustling hard for years, and it’s about time Detroit got its due.”
During this period, Instagram was becoming quite popular. “People were using it to find out where people were eating – taking photographs of their plates. Because I had been brunching with my girlfriends, I thought, this is really fun! Why don’t I show people these awesome places, and get people outside of their bubble and not be afraid to try new things!”
So she decided to publicize the restaurants she loved, those that catered to the brunch crowd. She liked Instagram because of its simplicity.
“I am a student, and I work full time, and I’m a dog mom," she said. "Blogging can become a full time job. Instagram lets me show people these amazing restaurants, while not having a full time blog commitment.”
How does Sarah get ideas for the restaurants she features? “I hear about them from friends. I do my own research.”
Over time, Love.Brunch.Detroit. gained the attention of local chefs and restaurant owners who sometimes ask her to stop by and try their food. Of the many she has visited, she has developed several favorites.
“The Dime Store in Detroit,” she said. “There is always a wait, and it’s worth it! I could go there all the time.”
She also loves Parks & Rec Diner in Detroit. “I call them small but mighty. They pack a big punch. Delicious food -- good wholesome brunches, with interesting twists.”
Outside Detroit, she loves Toasted Oak Grill & Market in Novi. “I appreciate their locally sourced ingredients and rotating menu.” And she also mentions Public House in Ferndale, which she said has a creative menu. “I like that they really care about and are so involved in their community,” she adds.
There are only a few places she has not enjoyed. “I don’t like to talk about the one’s I don’t like. I like keeping the positivity.”
When asked if she is running out of places to try, she shakes her head. “There are so many places!” Her followers enjoy letting her know what’s new. “People love sharing ideas with me. They tell me, if I’m in a certain area, try this place. Or if I like one particular place, then try this one. I appreciate that.”
Blogging about restaurants offers a few perks. “Sometimes advertisers give me a gift card, or a thank you,” she said. “That’s just something nice that comes along with it. But that is not the reason I do it. I enjoy the quality time with friends while enjoying good food.”
She invites anyone who wants a recommendation of where to eat to message her on her blog. “I want to provide that experience for other families and groups of friends,” she said.
Promoting restaurant entrepreneurs in Detroit is something Sarah feels good about. “Most people in the restaurant business are supporting a family, and they enjoy creating good food and valuable experiences for their patrons,” she said. “If I can help someone else be successful, that’s great. I’m a believer in putting good into the universe.”