Gold Cash Gold,
Gold Cash Gold,
It’s 3 PM on a late summer Friday and the dining room at Gold Cash Gold has emptied. The staff, winding down from lunch service, begins the first steps of readying for dinner. Behind the bar, one member spoons pork fat from a mason jar filled with bourbon, the base of the restaurant’s pickle juice Bloody Mary. Another straightens chairs. Downstairs, all the while, the prep kitchen hums.
Tucked beneath the dining room’s reclaimed wood floors, a team of four sets to work breaking down chickens to be brined, fried, and served alongside cornbread and pepper gravy. The dish is a fixture on the menu, perhaps the restaurant’s most talked-about item since it opened last winter in Detroit’s Corktown. With the shell of the Michigan Central Station just blocks away, Gold Cash Gold — along with the handful of other young businesses that have settled in the neighborhood in recent years — is a symbol of the city’s much talked-about creative and cultural rebirth. Named to commemorate its building’s pawn shop past, it also epitomizes the area’s proud blend of new and old.
Between tasks, the team take breaks to prepare for the evening staff meal. It comes together — at least to the non-chefs in attendance — seemingly in a flash: tortillas are warmed, sauces are gathered, plates are stacked on a table next to the open kitchen upstairs. The staff congregates at 5, assembling plates amid a flurry of friendly conversation before dispersing back throughout the restaurant. The chefs eat at the kitchen counter. On a quieter night they might sit, but for now they stand, trading stories between bites in the brief moments before it’s back to work.
Chef Josh Stockton oversees an inventive menu offering fresh, seasonal, locally-sourced fare. It’s what he calls “farmstead fine food,” and it’s what drives discerning diners, local and otherwise, to its tables night after night. The team assembling the staff meal echo their praises: “The menu’s as good as it gets. You might find food you’re more comfortable with here in Detroit, but as far as ingredients and sourcing go, we’re serving the best food in the city.”
The Chef’s Table, located beside the open kitchen, is available to guests who prefer to be close to the culinary action. During the day, the room fills with light; at night, it’s a cozy, tucked-away corner, lit by a brass chandelier. Today, it’s where the staff gathers for tacos before dinner service begins.
At Gold Cash Gold, the staff meal menu changes depending on the day. Two recurring staples, however, are pasta night and Taco Tuesday. This evening, Taco Tuesday happens a few days early, with braised pork shoulder, grilled pineapple, refried black beans, and rice. “Tacos are everyone’s favorite staff meal,” say the chefs. Though the spread changes — and sometimes, they admit, is comprised only of bread and “whatever we can find to smear on it,” the meal is a ritual rife with meaning. Says sous chef Reid Shipman, “Everyone contributes. It brings us all together.”
Braised pork tacos with grilled pineapple, refried black beans, rice, and roasted tomatillo salsa
Josh Stockton — Chef / Owner
Reid Shipman — Sous Chef
Adam Verville — Sous Chef
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