Vinsetta Garage has been a fairly busy hangout since it converted from one of the oldest auto shops in the Midwest to one of metro Detroit’s most popular restaurants. Originally opened in 1919 on Woodward Avenue, the Royal Oak location closed to cars and re-opened to hungry patrons in 2012. The restaurant has done steady business since…in fact the average wait time for dinner is 2+ hours, at least based on the numerous attempts my husband and I have made for dinner. Despite the positive reviews, we’ve said no thanks to the wait.
On a frigid recent Saturday, we made a spontaneous decision to try Vinsetta Garage for a late lunch. We were pleasantly happy to wait a mere 10 minutes for our table. The owners (also owners of Union Woodshop in Clarkston) kept the ambiance and shell of the auto shop. Big garage doors, cement floors, exposed brick and windows, and vintage auto-related decor salute the building’s history. The owners even kept the gas pumps, converting them to electric charging stations.
The restaurant has a decent craft beer menu, which appealed to my husband (I was still on painkillers for my broken wrist so didn’t
pay much attention to the options). The food menu varies from brick oven pizza to burgers to pasta bowls. There is also a gluten-free menu. Justin enjoyed a burger on a pretzel bun, while I ordered The Ann Bowl, a delicious signature bowl with pasta and vegetables. The shiitake bacon was so yummy! My dish was large enough that I took some home.
I enjoyed the experience, including company, food and service. The challenges/downside are the usual long wait time during evenings and the lack of parking (during busy times you could easily be parking and walking blocks away). I would definitely return for another for another lunch meal soon.