Lunch at Lue Thai Cafe-Dearborn

For a traveler looking for fresh Thai food in a clean, modern setting, look no farther than Lue Thai Cafe on Michigan Avenue in Dearborn. 

One notices quickly, the bright colored walls, the well lit room, and it's small space which make it distinct from other typical eating establishments. 

During a recent lunch, the restaurant was filled to capacity, but the quick, yet attentive staff kept the customers circulating. Still, we never felt rushed as we ate our delicious food. We were pleasantly surprised to be served vegetarian soup and shrimp chips prior to our meal. The soup was a simple cabbage soup with rice noodles, subtle and not too salty. I had one of my favorite Thai dishes-a Thai cabbage salad, Yum Ka Lum Pee. It was moderately portioned, and the flavors were delicately balanced. Jenny had Thai Peanut which was equally tasty. 

We loved the serving dishes-white squares, with rounded edges which made the presentation of the food even more compelling. 

It reminded me of a restaurant one might find in a neighborhood in a larger city, where the food is fresh and tasty, the decor creative, the service efficient and welcoming, but nothing pretentious or fussy about it. 

If your child does not like Thai Food, their kid's menu serves chicken strips or wings as well as other more authentic kid friendly Thai dishes. A teenager or travelling companion who does not like Thai might enjoy the Grilled Chicken Salad or Apple Salad to tide them over until you can get them to the burger place next door!

I found their lunch portions to be filling and satisfying, but as we split dishes, we did not have leftovers. So, if you are expecting humongous portions with leftovers to put in a cooler or hotel fridge for later, you might be let down. The restaurant is a bit small, so if you have young children who like to stretch their legs or have a stroller you might want to come right before or after the lunch/dinner rush. 


Check their website or facebook page for hours and menu/prices, but I found the prices to be reasonable.

A Positive Sign!

A most hearty welcome!


These attractive green and gold signs are a bold welcome to travelers and residents alike. It features Henry Ford's early Quadricycle circa 1896. A Quadricycle is located in the collection at the museum of the Henry Ford and online through their digital collection. Dearborn was almost 100 years old by that time, starting as a farming village along the Rouge River. 

Today, there are not a lot of Quadricycles or farms, but there is still plenty for travelers to do, especially for those that love eating and history!

Besides the obvious destinations of The Henry Ford, The Automotive Hall of Fame,  or the Arab American National Museum one probably wouldn't choose Dearborn as a travel destination. But once there extending your visit for a day or two to check out the small Dearborn Historical Museum, shop at an independent store, walk through a historic neighborhood, play at a park or grab a great meal. 

There are many wonderful independent and franchised restaurants throughout the city. Some  popular family oriented eateries include Buddy's Pizza, La Pita, Panera Cares, Al-Ameer and Noah's Deli. There are so many more for all tastes and budgets, so it is worth checking one out!


The inspiration from this blog came from the Pure Michigan ad campaign. Several years ago I was driving to Florida with my family. We stopped at the Welcome Center where we struck up a conversation with a young couple from Georgia.

"Michigan," the man said, "you have a lot of mountains there don't you?" Even the large rolling hills known as the Porcupine Mountains in Michigan's Upper Peninsula don't compare to the Appalachians that dip down into Georgia. Where could this impressionable young man have gotten the idea that Michigan was so mountainous?

Then the image of a kayaker paddling past the layered multi-colored cliffs and rock formations of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore came to mind. I had seen this image on a billboard many times while traveling north in Michigan-driving past industrial complexes, suburban centers and flat farm lands. Besides the nature loving kayaker in the ads, I also saw other amazing vistas that I did not know even existed in Michigan. I started to wonder, did everyone out of of state picture Michigan as  a mountainous, waterfall covered, mini Grand Canyon-like wonderland? 

Whenever my family enters Michigan from the south up I-75, I try to imagine that Georgia couple expecting to see mountains but finding flat swampy land against giant power lines and billboard after billboard crowding the roadsides. 

I also think of my own family looking for adventure out of state on the "road less travelled" and finding a dumpy hotel or tree-less campground in an area marketed for its beauty or for being culturally rich. 

No, not all of Michigan is mountainous, or a natural wonderland, but if you know where to look, there is natural beauty, quaint towns, city centers with interesting cultural experiences. With this blog I intend to give vacationers an honest account of what they will find in Michigan. From the well-known vacation hot spots to gems off the beaten path

To those, like the Georgia couple, entering Michigan on I-75 from Toledo, don't be deterred by the factories, run down farms with rusted tractors, or brand new subdivisions backing up to the interstate. Keep going! 

About three hours north the urban sprawl will give way to the pines, oaks, birch and poplars of the Huron National Forest and the natural beauty of Northern Michigan. Or head west on I-96 to Lake Michigan coast dotted with quaint tourist towns and gorgeous beaches. 

When you know where to go, Michigan is a beautiful state-honestly. 

Written by Jenny 


April 15th. Ugh, it seems so far away. Yet,  each year we look up on this event with great excitement and anticipation. Though I don't like to wish my days away, if this one day would just come a bit more quickly....

No, I am not talking about tax day. Those history fans in southeastern Michigan know the date circled on our families calendar refers to the opening of Greenfield Village! 

So, what can a budget conscious family do this Spring Break if you are looking for something quiet to do?

One thing we usually are looking forward to doing:

Going to the Environmental Interpretive Center (EIC) at University of Michigan-Dearborn. This nature study area has several short hiking trails through a nature area formerly part of the Henry Ford Estate.  The EIC has a few displays about the local wildlife and the Rouge River Watershed. The brief videos are also informative and interesting. It is free. It is suitable for all youth with supervision. You can see the entire EIC  in less than thirty minutes with an average time span. The displays are very simple and non-flashy, but educational. The staff and students are informative, but you usually have to ask questions. You might want to ask about maple syrup production or the bird migration project.

 The EIC has limited hours, so be sure to check before going to the center itself. 

Treat yourself and sit for a while in the bird observation room. Start by counting the number of birds, then the different species of birds, and then before you know it you will just be marvelling at how relaxed and quiet it is! 

The trails are open from dawn to dusk and there are several loops of no more than a mile in length.