We, The Undercover Divas, want to tell you about our experiences at Greektown, in Detroit. Greektown has evolved over the years. Before the casino came to be, it was standing room only in any of the restaurants, any night of the week. Food was exceptional at them all. It was safe and fun. We would love to hang out there on the weekends. The casino came to town and it became even better.
But unfortunately, the area became a hangout for the troublemakers. So with time the casino addressed the issue by making it very difficult to go anywhere but their parking structure, the hotel, casino, their food areas and back. Unless you were aware, finding your way to Monroe St. (Restaurant Row in Greektown) was a bit confusing, and a long walk through a maze, as the established exits were mostly closed up. Restaurants on Monroe St. lost most of their patrons, and lost some of their “signature” dishes in the process. Parking all but disappeared except for the casino and hotel parking.
Monroe St. is still worth a visit, but we do it during the day. If you like walking around at night, it is mostly bums and lots of cops (some undercover), and the great restaurants are empty. The exceptions are the days of Lions or Tigers ballgames, as the stadiums are just a few blocks away. Detroit fans are the best and they know how to party! If you are going to a Tigers, Lions or Red Wings game, or a follower of these Detroit teams, you will find the place packed with fans both before and after the games, dressed in team jerseys and having a ball.
All the Greek restaurants on Monroe St. are good, but The Undercover Divas, after much research, feel that none are better than Pegasus, with their authentic, freshly prepared Greek favorites. Annod cannot wait to visit Pegasus again, soon. Pegasus used to be lined up outside the restaurant to get a table, lunch or dinner, as were most of the other places. Unfortunately, parking has disappeared for these great restaurants, and they no longer have the crowds. Comps from the casino are not accepted at Pegasus.
The Greektown Hotel is one of the best we have ever been to. It is clean, cheery and the staff is very helpful. We have stayed here many times when we needed a mini vacation. On the plus side, it connects to the Greektown casino, which in our opinion, is the best for gambling in Detroit. But when we get hungry, this is not the place to be. Bistro 555 is overpriced and overspiced. Food is so-so. Unfortunately it is the only restaurant in the hotel.
Recently, we visited a newly-opened Wahlburger’s Restaurant, also located on Monroe St. It is a welcome addition to Greektown. Be sure to check out our recent review.
If you are looking for food, the casino is also not the place to be. The casino can be packed, but we noticed that there were very few people at the Market District. The DIVAS tried their food several times, bad each time. The Market District replaced the casino’s buffet, which was always busy and we found to be quite good.
Security at the casino warned us about walking outside on Monroe St. at night, alone, and they were right. Too many thugs hanging around. We went to Gini’s favorite pizza place across the street (PizzaPapalis) at lunch time, only a few people inside. Now what we do for dinner is hail a cab and go to one of the other two casinos in Detroit for their buffet and usually come back to gamble at Greektown. Those other two casino buffets are both great.
As with any established, large city, one must always be alert. Greektown is in the heart of Downtown Detroit and can be a great place to visit and we love visiting there. Game days are party days, weekends are busy, but always be aware of your surroundings and hang out where there are lots of others having fun. Enjoy Monroe St. during the day and be with others. When the sun goes down, the DIVAS do not believe it is safe. We really like the hotel and the casino at Greektown, but because of the food situation, it gets a lower rating.
Special Attention: Old St. Mary’s Catholic Church (built in 1841) is located in Greektown and is worth a visit. It is known as the “Church of the Grottos” with three located inside and at the back of the church. The church is constructed of red brick in the Romanesque style with Venetian accents. The stained glass, architecture and artwork is breathtaking. It is the third oldest Catholic Church in Detroit and the First German Church. Daily mass at Old St. Mary’s is at 12:15 in the afternoon.