Posted by: mikeeatsdetroit | May 22, 2008

Clemente’s Restaurant/Not Sonic Review

Nothing makes a major metropolitan area feel like a hicktown more  than a two hour wait for a hamburger at the brand new fast food joint. For years and years Sonic Drive-ins have been taunting us with images of breakfast burritos, cheesecake bites and multi colored soda concoctions during late night family guy episodes on adult swim. Up until the opening of it’s newest location in Southgate this week, the nearest Sonic was a mere five hour drive just over the Indiana border. As a Metro Detroiter whose fat enough to start a website about food I felt obligated to make the trip downriver for this historic event. A couple of buddies and I loaded into my 2000 Pontiac Grand Prix and made the hour drive through rush hour down to the sonic only to find out there was a 2.5 hour wait.

3 guys in 1 car who weigh over 900lbs combined aren’t going to wait over 2 hours to eat so we decided to find out what else downriver had to offer. 


Clementes Restaurant and Bowling Alley

Has been open since 1933 with a menu consisting of Italian dishes, American fare and specialty pizzas. The three of us decided on the large Chicken Alfredo Pizza and a small Sauerkraut Pizza.

Chicken Alfredo Pizza
As a guy whose diet consists mostly of items off the dollar menu I wasn’t even aware that Chicken Alfredo Pizza exsisted. To be honest I was a bit apprehensive of such a swanky sounding dish served at a bowling alley, no joke one of the best pizzas i’ve ever had. Traditional pizza sauce is replaced with creamy alfredo topped with cheese, bacon, tomatoes and perfectly seasoned chicken, but what put this pie over the top is the airy crust which is slighty crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Sometimes in life you are so bloated that you can’t eat another bite, but the food is so delicious you wish you had another stomach.
Sauerkraut Pizza

As far as I could tell the Sauerkraut pizza was topped with bacon, onions and sauerkraut.My review of the sauerkraut pizza may be a bit unfair considering i’ve never liked sauerkraut. Why would I order a sauerkraut pizza if I don’t like sauerkraut? Novelty maybe? Curiousity? good question, I have no clue. Perhaps if I were in the state of mind where you’re so hungry everything tastes better I may have enjoyed the sauerkraut pizza, but next to the chicken alfredo I lost interest after one slice.


I’ve lived in Metro Detroit for over 20 years and have never traveled anywhere downriver away from Telegraph. I loved how Fort Street was lined with independently operated stores, restaurants, bars etc. Instead of major chains giving off a real feeling of local identity. The wood paneling along with the sweet, sassy old lady waiting on us made me feel like I was invited over to a family gathering at someone’s Italian Grandmother’s house. Also they had placemats like this.

Price-Pies range from $7.50-$15.00

Oh yeah as for Sonic, I have been to the one in Fort Wayne Indiana, if you want a sonic burger you may as well find the nearest hot n now, they taste exactly the same and the wait will be alot shorter. If you want a breakfast burrito, cheesecake bites or a blue drink wait a month.

P.S. thanks to Erik Anderson for suggesting Clemente’s and Brian Young for volunteering his debit card.


2230 Fort Street in Lincoln Park






  1. I’m telling you, me being the downriver rat I’am, you are missing out on A LOT of places to eat down here. Let me know when you wont some more downriver eats.

  2. Listen here Mike Parsons, we may have had a good ol’ time back in the day at Kroger, but I need to draw the line somewhere! That blue Hedgehog is too epic to be associated with second rate over hyped fast food chains that advertise in areas where it’s nowhere to be found!

    On a more relevant rant, you should really check out Kings Pizza. One of the best places for pizza hands down. Get their medium two topper and ask for the coupon to get it for under seven bucks.

  3. This is a very well written review. I’m glad you broke out of your fast-food chain store tendencies and checked this pizza joint out. The pictures look very tasty.

    You should do a review of some of the Mexican restaurants in Southwest Detroit: Armando’s, Xochimilco, Mexican Village and Los Galanes (there’s also a really good taco stand down in Mexican Town that I can’t remember the name of right now …). I’m curious to see which one you would pick as your top choice and why.

    If you’re feeling extra willing to step out of your comfort zone, there’s also a really good Ecuadorian spot down Vernor–Dona Lola’s. It’s a lot of sea food, but they have other stuff as well and it’s BYOB. Very delicious. Maybe we can go there together when I’m in town for the wedding.

    Keep writing, I’m enjoying your blog.

  4. I like sauerkraut and I like pizza, but sauer kraut pizza sounds disgusting. On the other hand, I had never had sauerkraut with barbeque until a few months ago and it was great!
    BTW, how’s the BBQ scene in Detroit?

  5. I don’t think there is much of a BBQ scene here in Detroit, but if there is I’d like to find it.

  6. You went Downriver and didn’t go to Fogel Furniture?!?!

  7. you fail

  8. yeah the reasurant fail but dont blame SONIC THE HEDGEHOG PAL!! sorry I dont want to be mean=(

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