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Where To Eat In Southeast Michigan and Halal Food at ISNA 2014

Southeast Michigan is a very special place to me. I have fond memories of summers spent with my cousins rotating between my five maternal uncles’ houses. I found my wife there and even moved there for about a year and a half for work. Without any hesitation I can say that area is my second home.

One of the most common questions I get asked is, “what are some good places to eat in Michigan?” Michigan is one of most highest Muslim-populated states in America with most Muslims residing in the southeast part of the state. Muslims come from all over to visit the region for weddings, family gatherings, and events.

The question on where to eat usually is in regards to the city of Dearborn, the most Lebanese concentrated area outside of the actual country of Lebanon. Muslims and non-Muslims alike know all about the famous strip of garlic-sauce and shawarma filled restaurants on Warren Rd east of Southfield Freeway until the Interstate 94.

But Dearborn isn’t all southeast Michigan has to offer. Home to the majority of the state’s businesses and population, the greater “Metro” area is a diverse combination of history, community, and culture.

You know what else southeast Michigan includes? Detroit. As in the infamous gotham of a city that invokes images of rundown streets, poor politics and financial disaster. It’s telling that whenever people tell me they’re visiting the area they say they’re going to “Michigan.” Not Detroit (and even more telling is the same goes for many residents of the suburbs when I ask them where they live, they say Michigan, where as in the Chicago suburbs residents say Chicago, not Illinois).

But for those who really know Detroit know it’s actually the home of a new American renaissance. Suburbanites are moving into redone areas and neighborhoods, tech companies like Twitter have set up office, and a scene of arts, culture, and especially good eats, both old and new, are an integral part of the future of Detroit that’s underway.

That’s why my list of places to eat go beyond just Dearborn. There are great bites to grab all over greater Metro Detroit. And since my concept of Halal is not limited to just meat, this list appeals to all sorts of cuisine: ethnic, local, vegetarian, and more.

So, if you’re planning an upcoming visit, are a local who’s looking for something new, or will be attending the 2014 51st Annual ISNA Convention, here are best bites to eat in southeast, MI for the Muslim Eater. Continue reading

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5 Ways to Upgrade Your Dates

It’s Ramadan! And in addition to fasting, praying, reading Qur’an, and focusing on atonement and self-improvement, this month means dates. Lots and lots of dates.

Dates hold special status for Muslims. The Qur’an mentions Allah provided Mary with dates just after giving birth to Prophet Jesus. The Prophet Muhammad’s life is filled with stories of dates, too, peace be upon him. Not only was it the choice food he broke his fast with, but dates played a notable role in the lives of the people of Madinah, both in everyday cuisine and religious practice.

If you’re Muslim, you know these fruits of the date palm tree, usually dried, show up in your households in the dozens if not hundreds during Ramadan. Eating them straight up to break your fast, as the Prophetic practice was, is a cherished seasonal memory we all have.

But there are ways to enhance your date eating experience. Whether you want to do something special for an upcoming iftar party or just want to try dates in a totally different way, here are some ways to upgrade your dates. Continue reading

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Creekstone Beef Served in Top Restaurants Around America Is Halal

What if I told you that the high-quality beef served top restaurants across America was actually Zabihah Halal meat? Impossible, right?

Well, guess what? It’s actually true. Creekstone Farms, one of the top choices of beef for restaurants across America, just so happens to be a fully Zabihah Halal beef processing company.

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That means you can walk into any restaurant that gets beef from Creekstone, select a dish that is made with that beef, ensure it’s cooked and prepared without cross-contamination with other meats or alcohol, and enjoy some of the best meat in the country.

And what’s more is this is not run-of-the-mill average stuff. These are some of the top rated restaurants in major cities and even across the country.

And it’s all Zabihah Halal. Hand slaughtered Zabihah Halal.

Unbelievable, huh? It is. Which is why I’ve done my research and have laid out how it all works in this article. For those of you who want to read the details, you can scroll down below. But if you just want to just eat this high-end beef, check out this running list, call up one of the restaurants and do a couple checks to verify the dish is prepared Halal, and enjoy. Continue reading