After releasing a 30-second commercial on television and social media, Eminem has opened a new concept restaurant he calls “Mom’s Spaghetti.” Inspiration for the restaurant’s name comes from an unappetizing reference to the 2002 Oscar-winning movie “8 Mile” and its theme song, “Lose Yourself.” In the song, the rapper describes his climb to success and recalls having a nervous, uncooperative stomach after eating his mother’s spaghetti dinner. The restaurant opens two years after the lyrical genius’s partnership with Union Joints to serve helpings of spaghetti to frontline workers in local hospitals.
Mom’s Spaghetti’s carry-out window is located in the heart of downtown Detroit on the city’s most famous street, Woodward Avenue. The shop finds itself conveniently situated among Detroit’s busiest music venues and famous sports stadiums like Little Caesar’s Arena, Comerica Park and Ford Field.
The grand opening took place at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 29; however, eager superfans, “Stans,” were found camping out along several blocks in the early morning. They were treated to the Cass Technical High School marching band’s rendition of “Lose Yourself” in the alley. Booming speakers blasted hip-hop music as well as some of the artist’s most famous songs. Although the artist wasn’t expected to make an appearance, the first 10 dedicated customers in line were served helpings of spaghetti by Eminem himself. He left shortly after, driving by hundreds of his fans in line.
“This has been my dream my whole life. I bawled my eyes out,” says Erin Farrer, a 24-year-old fan who got to meet the star, take a picture with him and get his autograph on her Mom’s Spaghetti container. Seeing her idol and being surrounded by the community Eminem created with his music made the experience magical for everyone involved.
Fans were treated to four appropriately priced items, considering the size of the portion and its overall taste. The options are listed on the restaurant’s website and include Mom’s Spaghetti for $9, Mom’s Spaghetti with Meatballs for $12, the ‘Sghetti Sandwich for $11 and even a vegan spaghetti and meatball option made with black beans, quinoa and sweet peppers for $14. Heaping portions of these meals are served with garlic toast in large Chinese food-style carryout containers. The majority of these options were sold out in the first few hours.
Just reading these menu items is guaranteed to make your mouth water, but how do they taste? Many were shocked at how closely the dishes resembled something their mothers would make. “The noodles are cooked just right, not too al dente and not mushy,” praised Detroit News writer Melody Baetens. She compliments how flavorful the sauce was despite the grungy atmosphere — the hints of basil, parmesan and garlic made the long wait worthwhile. One of the hidden gems of this menu is the ‘Sghetti Sandwich, which some critics consider Mom’s Spaghetti’s “magnum opus.”
Curt Catallo, co-owner of Union Joints, explained the intentions behind Mom’s Spaghetti. The goal was never to make the latest and greatest gourmet spaghetti. Instead, Catallo said, “We wanted to make the best leftover pasta ever, from scratch.” He admits that the recipe for the sauce had to be redone several times because it tasted “too fancy.”
Next to the carryout window, there is a small area to enjoy the food and a merchandise store called “The Trailer.” The miniature bodega shop is trailer park-style with clouded windows covered in bug netting. Its shelves are filled with gas station snacks marked by orange price tags. The atmosphere mimics the “homey” style that Marshall Mathers, Eminem’s biographical character in “8 Mile,” grew up in.
The Trailer contains a variety of Mom’s Spaghetti and Eminem merchandise, including T-shirts, hoodies, hats and pint glasses. Stans willing to pay hefty prices were treated to a rack of clothing and Detroit jerseys worn by Eminem himself. There are also several displays of Eminem memorabilia, such as limited edition bobbleheads, vinyl albums and photos. Much like the spaghetti, a large fraction of the merchandise sold out quickly.
Although many of Eminem’s biggest fans come from his hometown of Detroit, fans around the world have come to enjoy his music. His superhuman ability to spit tongue-twisting rhymes like it’s nobody’s business has earned him the title of “Rap God,” the name of one of Eminem’s own songs.
The rapper has been anything but quiet about his rough childhood without a father figure and divulges about dealing with bullying, harassment and addiction throughout his life. The “Rap God” finds writing songs therapeutic and just hopes that his rhymes can “maybe try to help get some people through tough times.” Eminem’s journey to success motivates many who have struggled with similar upbringings to pursue their dreams.
Some suggest that Mom’s Spaghetti is a subtle signal that the rapper is planning new music. Sure enough, Eminem released a remix version of his 2018 song “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” on Oct. 6. His 2020 album “Music To Be Murdered By” was not received well by the music industry, and fans are holding onto hope that their favorite artist will return with better content. Rumors of an album are in circulation, but he has yet to make an announcement.
Eminem has also announced that he will perform at next February’s Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show in Los Angeles along with other famous rappers, including Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige and Snoop Dogg. For all except Blige, it will be the first time these artists will perform at the Super Bowl. This admired group will mark history as the first rappers to headline a halftime show. Considering hip-hop fans’ excitement thus far, this halftime show will be one to remember.
Eminem tells fans that they have “one shot, one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted” by taking a trip out to Detroit and trying Mom’s Spaghetti’s best leftover pasta known to Stan-kind.