Weekly Roundup: Let’s Pretend You’re Literate Edition


Yes, the above window-sticker statement is for real — it’s at the River’s Edge Gallery in Wyandotte, MI. Maybe the illiteracy is part of the art. I’m not sophisticated enough to know. It’s down the street from a place where I had one of the worst meals of my life this past Monday night. I’d have rather had one of St. Agatha School’s infamous soy-burgers. For the record, the so-called ‘filet’ at R.P. McMurphy’s in Wyandotte is inedible. Putting aside the stupid Tipsy-McStagger-esque aspect of naming a restaurant after a Ken Kesey character, the food was enough to make me pull a Chief Bromden with the dinner table just so I could escape the building without paying.

Alright, give me a minute to calm down about this and we’ll cover all the great things that your going to want to read for you’re amusement this week.

The Lexus LC500 impressed both me and Bark quite a bit; you can get his take on TTAC and mine at R&T.

Also at R&T, I suggested that the “summer beater” might be a better idea than the “winter beater”.

I gave TTAC readers the 30k report on my trustworthy Accord coo-pay and waxed nostalgic about cost-no-object vehicles with wonderful, if insufficiently documented, features.

And, of course, we got Matt Farah and Sam Smith to chime in on the first-ever BarkCast, available for your listening pleasure right here on this site.

Come back next week; I’ll be telling the whole story of my California motocross misadventure at R&T and possibly giving a review of the facelifted Ford Focus sedan at TTAC. In the meantime, stay out of Wyandotte, MI; their steaks are well done and their grammar isn’t.

29 Replies to “Weekly Roundup: Let’s Pretend You’re Literate Edition”

  1. AvatarSuto

    Way ahead of you Jack. My summer beater is a 92 Miata that the previous owner turbo’d with questionable parts. Every panel is faded a different shade of red. Holes in the top patched “fixed” with tent patches. Still more reliable than a co-workers new Audi.

  2. AvatarKen

    Same here. I did the winter beater route once and then said screw it. Owned a new G37 6MT coupe (I bought an RWD coupe, when I would have been fine in the AWD sedan because…. I’m an enthusiast damnit!). That winter a 1998 Jeep GC was the beater. I actually really liked it, it was the first SUV I owned and 1st automatic I ever had. I realized that type of vehicle made a lot more sense for me (stop and go commute, hauling mountain bikes and kayaks). But man, that Jeep was like a crazy ex-girlfriend. Lots of drama. Awesome little rig when it was working, but you never knew when it would go crazy and drop its coolant after parking.

    Eventually I sold the G, as it was a garage queen with no miles (motorcycle most of the good days, Jeep in the winter) and actually tried to drive the Jeep full time. Even worse idea. A motorcycle as your backup for a winter beater doesn’t work. Road the bike to work for a week -in February – fixed the Jeep for the last time and then sold it that weekend.

    A new Xterra does DD, winter, and family duties. A used Saab convertible is the “beater” / toy now.

  3. AvatarBark M

    It’s somewhat remarkable that Jack and I wrote essentially the same opinion of the LC500, completely independently from one another.

  4. AvatarRyan

    I find this hilarious, as I actually live a few minutes from there. RP’s is shit. There are not many “decent” resturants down here. Most of the time we’re either headed to downtown, Royal Oak, and occasionally Dearborn.

    I would tell you that I hope you enjoyed your time in Wyandotte, but there isn’t much to do unless you’re prowling for drunk Emo girls on a Friday night. If that’s the case, I can point you in the right direction.

    The Barkcast was great, and I hope it turns into a regular thing. I can tell you that not being let into Canada is far worse than not being let back into America, so count your blessings.

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      I’m a big fan of drunk emo girls, but I wouldn’t eat at RP’s again even if it would result in Ellen Page blowing me in the antiquated men’s room.

      • AvatarDeadWeight

        WTF dude.

        Why didn’t you ask bball , me, free, etc., where you, Bark, et al., should eat while in the D-Metro area?


      • Avatarjz78817

        expecting haute cuisine anywhere Downriver was your first mistake. very (very) blue collar in those parts. If I wasn’t so adept at being a jerk online I’d have reached out last weekend.

        and Ellen Page bats for the home team, last I heard.

  5. AvatarKevin Jaeger

    When I’m in Wyandotte I’ve found quite acceptable beer and passable pub food at the Sports Brew pub, and decent Italian food at Gregorio’s.

    I don’t think you’ll find any actual fine dining in Wyandotte, but I’ve never been disappointed at those two. I have relatives who live in the Downriver area so I’m often in the area.

    • AvatarRyan


      Portofono isn’t horrible. Gregorio’s is pretty good too. That was my spot to woo impressionable girls in my late teens.

      I’ve never had anything to eat at Sport’s, it’s usually The Oak Cafe. Good bar food and probably the best beer selection around.

      @ Jack. I haven’t been to RP’s since they booted us on St. Patrick’s day a few years ago. Apparently, you had to eat there in order to get a booth. They somehow overlooked that there are at least a dozen bars within walking distance and that their place was empty.

      Downriver is an interesting place to say the least.

      • Avatarjz78817

        I don’t mind it. I can turn a wrench with most of ’em, and I despise the continual shitting on skilled trades and some days I feel like I’d rather just throw the polos and Dockers into the incinerator and go back to being a mechanic. I’ve got a number of acquaintances in Lincoln Park and Melvindale who are good folks.

        But it’s just the wrong place if you want high-end restaurants. The nice thing is you don’t have to go very far for variety; you can’t fart sideways in Dearborn or Dearborn Heights without it drifting towards a good Middle-Eastern restaurant. Hamtramck has some really good Polish food. And there are so many transplants in the Plymouth/Northville/Novi/Farmington area that you can find a huge variety. And nevermind the Woodward corridor in Oakland County.

        • AvatarKevin Jaeger

          I doubt Jack was looking for a high end dining experience at a tavern like McMurphy’s, but even a simple tavern should be able to serve an edible filet.

          As for those winter beaters – some people take the idea too far and buy truly disposable junkers. The idea should be that you spare your expensive, powerful RWD car that is not well suited to winter anyway and use a mechanically solid but cosmetically compromised cheaper car like a Corolla, Civic or Subaru. In slippery conditions you don’t want high torque engines or wide tires anyway.

  6. AvatarRonnie Schreiber

    At the NAIAS on Tuesday, there was a pretty blonde photographer working off of a checklist of cars she had to photograph. She had lots of ink and was showing it off. She had a big tat across her shoulder blades that read, ” Always Your Mine”.

      • AvatarVolandoBajo

        I would guess that what you would mine would depend at least in part on how deep you drilled and how wide of an area you covered while doing exploration. Assuming you weren’t afraid of risking your equipment…

        I remember several years ago that a rumor started that when some people went to tat parlors for oriental characters expressing complex phrases, that if they didn’t look like they spoke the language, they were likely to end up with the oriental characters for sh*thead or @sshole tattoed on in indelible ink.

  7. AvatarArk-med

    “Have you ever left skin on an open-end wrench chilled down to what feels like 10 degrees Kelvin?”
    I have _absolutely_ no idea what “ten degrees Kelvin” feels like.

    • Avatarjz78817

      I used to work in a test lab, and we had walk-in/drive-in chambers which could reach -60C. We only ever tested things down to -50C, and walking in there was interesting. you can feel your nose hairs freeze instantly. If 223K is that cold, 10K is damn cold.

  8. AvatarArk-med

    Years ago, I bought a $2500 winter beater stickshift 190E 2.6, so I could ‘store’ my $3500 Mustang GT conv though the mild Central Texas winter. At least, that’s how I rationalized a flippant purchase to an ever–patient spouse. Heat wouldn’t work, come cooler weather. An internet search yielded that it had an auxiliary electric water pump that allows coolant to circulate through the core with the engine off (but still warm), which malfunctions. But if you severed the electric connection to said pump, you’d have heating restored while the engine ran; so I did.

    Said car ran very well until a couple of years later, when an inattentive driver rear–ended me, totaling it, yielding a $3500 payout.

  9. AvatarHogie roll

    Well tres builds ford pick ups in Louisville now, he’s probably up on the latest in detroit dining.

    I’m convinced that the c6 zo6 and c7 should be completely rust proof. The C4 has a steel frame but lots of it is surrounded on 3 sides by SMC. My dads C3 rusted a lot.

    Rubber is another matter. I spent my highschool years bouncing around in an ’84 C4 corvette with bad shocks and bushings. I never knew any better until I had a track instructor in it that bitched about it. That was after my brother Troy made me replace the shocks because they were shit. Ignorance is bliss I suppose.

    Similarly when I was driving the thunderbird in Texas at the WRL race we did. I had no clue of handled badly. A 400hp rwd car that liked sliding didn’t feel unusual to me coming out of the vette. Turns out everyone else reached the conclusion it was a death machine. Ok I did spin it, but I felt like that only happened if I wasn’t focusing.

    • Avatarjz78817

      one thing downriver does have is some pretty good Mexican joints, thanks partly to being near Mexicantown. right near the Marathon refinery in Melvindale are a few Mexican markets (complete with signs primarily in Spanish) and several good restaurants. Allen Park has some good ones too.

  10. AvatarVolandoBajo

    One of my old watering holes used to be near the VCU campus in Richmond VA…the Texas-Wisconsin Border Cafe, owned by three art school professors who were from those two states. Might still be there.

    As might be expected, they had lots of art, both created and found, hanging in and around the bar.

    One of them was an authentic old hand-painted barber shop sign that read something like:

    Willis Barber Shop
    Two chairs
    No waiting

    And no, that isn’t a typo, that is what the sign said.

    I might have considered a haircut, but I think I would have wanted to skip the shave.


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