Here's where to load up on carbs before the Detroit Marathon

With less than a week to go before the Detroit Marathon kicks off. It's time to enjoy one of the best side benefits of

 

With less than a week to go before the Detroit Marathon kicks off. It's time to enjoy one of the best side benefits of running -- carbo-loading.

Even the most pleasurable of activities must come with a warning: fans of "The Office" know downing a bowl of fettucine alfredo right before the race is NOT the best idea.

But studies have shown that eating a high-carb diet in the few days before a big run can actually boost performance -- if you do it correctly.

With science firmly behind you, here are some places in Detroit to carbo-load before race day Sunday.

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1. Takoi

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The second course of the evening is Som Tum Thai during the Detroit Free Press/Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers Top 10 Ten Takeover at Takoi on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017 in Detroit. (Photo: Elaine Cromie, Special to the Free Press)

Behind the out-of-this-world interior and the layers of funk, spice and fish sauce that characterize the fare, this Thai-inspired Corktown eatery is a carbo-loader's dream. There are always a few interesting noodle dishes on the frequently updated menu as well as the best shrimp fried rice in the city. Any dishes that don't feature noodles or rice are recommended to be eaten with a side of sticky rice, a staple food in northern Thailand. (2520 Michigan; 313-855-2864 and takoidetroit.com)

2. Pie-Sci Pizza

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"Pulled Pjork" pizza from Pie Sci, a carryout pizza joint opening next door to the Woodbridge Pub in Detroit. (July 13, 2016) (Photo: Vanessa Miller, Vanessa Miller)

Why carbo-load with just pasta when you can double down with pasta on your pizza? The inventive pizzas at Pie-Sci include the Mosta-Spicoli, a round or square pie topped with mostaccioli and Italian sausage. For another double whammy, try the Devas-Tater, a red sauce pizza with ground beef and tater tots. (5163 Trumbull; 313-818-0290 and piescipizza.com).

3. El Barzón

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The "Tris di Pasta" -- cavatelli, strozzapreti and cheese ravioli -- from southwest Detroit's El Barzon restaurant, which dishes up both Mexican and Italian fare in equal measure. (Photo: Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Press)

Another restaurant that's famous for the double-down, southwest Detroit's El Barzón dishes up both Mexican and Italian fare in equal measure. You'll start with a complimentary serving of tortilla chips with red and green salsa and can then choose to venture either into the world of enchiladas and tacos or spring for handmade pastas. If you go for the latter, try the Tris di Pasta, which includes a sampling of strozzapreti, cavatelli and a cheese-filled raviolo. (3710 Junction; 313-894-2070 and elbarzonrestaurant.com)

4. Giovanni's Ristorante

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Ravioli di Friuli, house-made ravioli from Giovanni's Restaurant in Detroit. (Photo: KIMBERLY P. MITCHELL, Detroit Free Press)

If you're looking to fill up on pasta at an off-the-beaten-path gem, this 48-year-old Italian joint is about as far off the path as you can imagine — physically, that is. Despite its location in an industrial area near the Ford Rouge plant, famous celebrities — George Clooney, Paul Giamatti, Jack Nicholson and Frank Sinatra included — have dined at this mom-and-pop restaurant through the years. The pastas are still handmade, and the warm garlic bread that accompanies the meal is an added carb bonus. (330 S. Oakwood; 313-841-0122 and giovannisristorante.com)

5. Parks and Rec

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 (Photo: Sylvia Rector, Detroit Free Press)

This breakfast and lunch diner shares a kitchen and head chef with Republic Tavern, both located inside Detroit's historic Grand Army of the Republic building on Cass and Grand River. That translates to a chef-driven rotating menu of elevated breakfast fare, with nearly everything — down to the ketchup — made in-house. There's always a fun take on oatmeal, plus French toast, cinnamon rolls, Dutch babies and corn cakes. If nothing else, you can make a meal by building your own hash browns, choosing from various veggie, cheese and meat toppings. (1942 Grand River; 313-446-8370 and parksandrecdiner.com)

6. Detroit Institute of Bagels

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Bagels from the Detroit Institute of Bagels in Corktown. (Photo: John Gallagher/Detroit Free Pres)

If a full sit-down breakfast isn't your thing, consider the beautiful simplicity of the bagel. The Detroit Institute of Bagels in Corktown boils and bakes its bagels for a firm outer crust and chewy interior. There are always a handful of staple flavors (plain, sesame, everything, etc.) as well as a few "small batch" varieties like rosemary olive oil and jalapeño cheddar. The spreads, too, go beyond the typical with choices like hummus, butternut squash tahini or sriracha lentil spread. (1236 Michigan; 313-444-9342 and detroitinstituteofbagels.com)

7. Mudgie's Deli

heres-where-to-load-up-on-carbs-before-the-detroit-marathon photo 7Buy Photo Mudgie's Deli in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood kicked off "Lobstah Roll Week" on Monday, July 25, 2016.  Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Pressheres-where-to-load-up-on-carbs-before-the-detroit-marathon photo 8Buy Photo A line forms at Mudgie's Deli in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood during the kickoff of "Lobstah Roll Week" Monday, July 25, 2016.  Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Pressheres-where-to-load-up-on-carbs-before-the-detroit-marathon photo 9Buy Photo The lobster is flown in fresh daily from Maine during "Lobstah Roll Week" at Mudgie's Deli in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood, which kicked off Monday, July 25, 2016. The rolls are $19 and come with a side of Better Made crinkle-cut potato chips.  Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Pressheres-where-to-load-up-on-carbs-before-the-detroit-marathon photo 10Buy Photo The lobster is flown in fresh daily from Maine during "Lobstah Roll Week" at Mudgie's Deli in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood, which kicked off Monday, July 25, 2016.  Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Pressheres-where-to-load-up-on-carbs-before-the-detroit-marathon photo 11Buy Photo Proprietor Greg Mudge poses with a pair of lobster rolls during the kickoff of "Lobstah Roll Week" at Mudgie's Deli in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood Monday, July 25, 2016.  Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Pressheres-where-to-load-up-on-carbs-before-the-detroit-marathon photo 12Buy Photo Denis Montilla, 35, of Canton, was the lucky recipient of the first lobster roll of "Lobstah Roll Week" at Mudgie's Deli in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood Monday, July 25, 2016.  Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Pressheres-where-to-load-up-on-carbs-before-the-detroit-marathon photo 13Buy Photo The lobster is flown in fresh daily from Maine during "Lobstah Roll Week" at Mudgie's Deli in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood, which kicked off Monday, July 25, 2016.  Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Pressheres-where-to-load-up-on-carbs-before-the-detroit-marathon photo 14Buy Photo The menu for "Lobstah Roll Week" at Mudgie's Deli in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood, Monday, July 25, 2016.  Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Pressheres-where-to-load-up-on-carbs-before-the-detroit-marathon photo 15Buy Photo Mudgie's Deli in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood kicked kicked off "Lobstah Roll Week" Monday, July 25, 2016.  Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Pressheres-where-to-load-up-on-carbs-before-the-detroit-marathon photo 16Buy Photo Mudgie's Deli in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood kicked kicked off "Lobstah Roll Week" Monday, July 25, 2016.  Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Pressheres-where-to-load-up-on-carbs-before-the-detroit-marathon photo 17Buy Photo Mudgie's Deli in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood kicked kicked off "Lobstah Roll Week" Monday, July 25, 2016.  Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Pressheres-where-to-load-up-on-carbs-before-the-detroit-marathon photo 18Buy Photo David Galaviz takes a picture of his lobster roll during the kickoff of "Lobstah Roll Week" at Mudgie's Deli in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood Monday, July 25, 2016.  Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Pressheres-where-to-load-up-on-carbs-before-the-detroit-marathon photo 19Buy Photo Lobster rolls wait to be delivered to diners during the kickoff of "Lobstah Roll Week" at Mudgie's Deli in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood Monday, July 25, 2016.  Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Pressheres-where-to-load-up-on-carbs-before-the-detroit-marathon photo 20Buy Photo A lobster balloon animal is seen during the kickoff of "Lobstah Roll Week" at Mudgie's Deli in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood Monday, July 25, 2016.  Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Pressheres-where-to-load-up-on-carbs-before-the-detroit-marathon photo 21Buy Photo American Axle employees David Galaviz, left, Al Monich, Joe Tang, and Robert and Kathy Mathis enjoy their lobster rolls during the kickoff of "Lobstah Roll Week" at Mudgie's Deli in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood Monday, July 25, 2016.  Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Pressheres-where-to-load-up-on-carbs-before-the-detroit-marathon photo 22Buy Photo The main dining room at Mudgie's Deli in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood during the kickoff of "Lobstah Roll Week" Monday, July 25, 2016.  Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Pressheres-where-to-load-up-on-carbs-before-the-detroit-marathon photo 23Buy Photo The patio at Mudgie's Deli in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood during the kickoff of "Lobstah Roll Week" Monday, July 25, 2016.  Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Pressheres-where-to-load-up-on-carbs-before-the-detroit-marathon photo 24Buy Photo A large lobster balloon animal is seen during the kickoff of "Lobstah Roll Week" at Mudgie's Deli in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood Monday, July 25, 2016.  Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Pressheres-where-to-load-up-on-carbs-before-the-detroit-marathon photo 25Buy Photo Mudgie's Deli in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood kicked kicked off "Lobstah Roll Week" Monday, July 25, 2016.  Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Pressheres-where-to-load-up-on-carbs-before-the-detroit-marathon photo 26Buy Photo The patio at Mudgie's Deli in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood during the kickoff of "Lobstah Roll Week" Monday, July 25, 2016.  Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Press

Are you the kind of person who values efficiency and finds the hole in bagels to be a waste of space? Then look no further than Mudgie's Deli in Corktown for your fill of sandwiches between good old-fashioned bread. Take your pick from the long list of inventive house creations or build your own from a selection of 15 proteins, 10 breads and plenty of extra toppings. If you prefer some extra carbs on the side, consider a side of potato or macaroni salad. (1300 Porter; 313-961-2000 and mudgiesdeli.com)

8. New Center Eatery

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Chicken tenders and a Belgian waffle at New Center Eatery in Detroit. (Photo: Erin Podolsky)

This cash-only New Center spot has built a loyal following over the past 13 years for its chicken and waffles. In fact, New Center Eatery claims to be the "original chicken and waffles of Detroit," and there are a number of combos to choose from that demonstrate why nobody takes issue with that claim. If you want to keep your savory and sweet separate, there are also more traditional Southern-style breakfast, lunch and dinner options. (3100 W. Grand Blvd.; 313-875-0088 and newcentereatery.net)

 

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