Ann Arbor so far
- Phaedrus Oct 21, 2006 03:29 PM
So it has been a little over a month since I moved here and here my impressions.
Chinese food: The best place so far has been the T.K. Wu's on Liberty next to the DawnTreader book shop. The food is down home, and well prepared and very tasty. Shop is a little too small though. I went to the Paradise on Eisenhower just because it was close to where I was staying. Not horrible stuff designed for the gueilao but nothing to write home about. I went to a cantonese place on Carpenter just north of Packard that was pretty good. Not much energy there though.
Japanese Food: My friend took me to sushi.come. Good sushi but that is about it. I like it a lot. Cherry Blossom was very good, service was a little dodgy. Seoul Garden was very good but I consider it more of a Korean place, although they do have sushi and sashimi and usual stuff. Godaiko was very god but a touch pricey. I went for lunch and came away happy but broke.
Korean: Arirang is a family place that I liked. Very casual and good. Usual in that they try to do everything, usually the people who do the korean BBQ don't bother with the noodles but they have everything.
The Broken Egg: Great breakfast place. Real diner experience and the omelettes are awesome.
Arbor Brewing Co. Great beers, good pub like atmosphere. Food sucked.
Real Seafood Company: Incredible oyster stew. heart attack in a bowl but oh so tasty. Way too overpriced.
Rush Street: Excellent food, great fun atmosphere. Paid about the same for Rush Street as I did for the Real Seafood Company but felt like I got a better experience.
BD's Mongolian BBQ: Packed place but the food was a little above mediocre. Schtick was fun but nothing new. Just a solid concept done a more energetic way. I like Mongolian BBQ so I liked it.
Mediterrano: A caveat, I went with my boss and bunch of co-workers for a working lunch so my impressions may be skewed. In general I liked it. I had a good burger and the others had the generic fares, didn't really stretch the kitchen's imagination.
Sabor Latino: A little hole in the wall next to the Heidelberg on Main. Decent latin American food, half the menu is mexican the other half is a conglomeration of south american food. Its hard to do so many things well.
Pilar's Cafe: On State. A Salvadorean place. great tamales, pretty good facsimile of pupusas. Mind you, I am thankful to have any place in AA that knows what a pupusa is. They also do Horchata, which is really time and labor intensive.
Zingerman's Roadhouse: Had the fried chicken, it was OK, not slap-yo-mama good but not bad for Michigan. Great greens and decent mashed. The rest of the menu looked interesting, looking forward to the cabrito.
The Chinese place on Carpenter and Packard is Great Lakes Seafood, which IMO, is the closest to true Hong Kong Chinese you'll find in the Detroit area. Good fresh steamed fish as well as other classics like salt and pepper spare ribs.
I found their dim sum to be better than the dim sum in Windsor.
Don't let the quiet atmosphere fool you. They have late night hours when all the Hong Kong students at the university go there to eat. In addition, weekend dim sum is quite bustling there.
For breakfast, don't forget about Angelo's near the medical center.
A big second for Angelo's. Get there fairly early or be prepared to stand in line. I liked the Broken Egg too, but Angelo's was our favorite.
Zingerman's Deli, not the roadhouse, is also definitely somplace we will return.
I'd recommend Knight's on Dexter. It's a place for meat and strong drinks. Very Midwestern. Great crowd too (older "blue hairs" go there, but that's part of the charm.)
Zingermann's Deli really is amazing. It is easy to be bitter about their outrageous prices, especially if you're on a grad student's salary but they've got really good stuff there.
I'd also cast a vote for Angelo's. Their famous bread can be a bit gummy, but it's great ambiance, especially on a cold winter day.
I've always been disappointed with Japanese food in Ann Arbor. Consider trying Miki. It's been a few years since I've been, but they were always a cut above other Japanese restaurants.
For Korean, there's a nice place on S. University. Coffee Table? The red building at the end of the strip. It's basic lunch fare, but decent.
And I'd second a vote for Great Lakes Seafood. It's no Toronto Chinatown, but it's also a lot easier to get to!
There's lots of bad food and bad service in Ann Arbor, but there's also lots of places to choose from. Dine with caution.
The South U Korean place used to be called the Coffee Break and still answers to that name, but has gradually taken on the name of Kang's. The Korean places in that area (there are three within a block and a half) benefit from competition--they're lunch counters, basically, but good. Another good one with slightly fancier digs is Bewon, in northeast Ann Arbor on Plymouth near U.S. 23.
Knight's is the old steaks-and-chops Ann Arbor. Weber's is another old standby that can hit the spot when you're in the mood.
If anybody is looking for the "Great Lakes" restaurant that is often recommended here and is having trouble with searches, note that it is actually called Great Lake. I agree with the recommendations in its favor. Yes, if you have a Chinese guide in a city with zillions of Chinese restaurants, you can eat better, but the seafood dishes there are fresh and flavorful.
My only complaint about Angelo's was also the bread. Mine had great texture, but I actually salted it.
I really enjoy Great Lake for dim sum. And it's nice that it's open late.
Also, for a great breakfast, try Northside Grill at the Broadway Bridge. Unless you get there early, there's usually a wait, but it's definitely worth it.
There's a little hole in the wall in the Broadway Plaza next to Cottage Inn Pizza called Broadway Cafe that has a weird menu, there's either cheese steak hoagies or Bi Bim Bop. It's cheap but good. Don't know how the owner makes a living, but it's been there for years. And there's an Indian grocery a few doors down that has pretty good carry-out.