Lunch and Dinner in Saline, Michigan...
We are going to be in Michigan for a week during the middle of September. Our home base will be Saline (near Ann Arbor). I am looking for some great restaurants for lunch and dinner. NO Chains, please! Lunch will be for the girls - maybe some great salads, wine, dessert is a must...close to shopping? I remember walking through Ann Arbor which wasn't far. Dinner should be more traditional (steaks, seafood, Italian...great cocktails and wines by the glass would be wonderful!) We're going to have a group of 8 - 10 ppl for dinner.
Any suggetions would be appreciated.
I've had good luck right there in downtown Saline with Mac's Acadian Seafood. Fish is fresh, and they do the Louisiana styles reasonably well, which is rare around here. Lotsa salads, wines, good appetizers. Oysters, if you have an oyster lover. Could work for either lunch or dinner. Saline is a very family-oriented town, and there are more families in there than you would usually find in a restaurant of this type (has tablecloths, fairly upscale)--don't know if that would be good, bad, or indifferent for you. They would certainly be fine with a group of your size.
A pleasant place for coffee, tea, and simple sandwiches in Saline is My Favorite Café on S. Ann Arbor St. The owners are Chinese and know their tea.
Mac's Acadian Seafood Shack
104 E. Michigan Ave, Saline, MI 48176
My Favorite Cafe
107 S Ann Arbor St, Saline, MI 48176
I would second the rec for Mac's. We drive there from Ann Arbor regularly for dinner because the food and service is much more pleasant than most AA restaurants (plus the ease of parking.) Since you mentioned desserts, I have to pitch their "Banana Caramel Delight" which is bananas with a caramel sauce, puff pastry and vanilla ice cream. To die for, big enough to split between 2 people!
I live in Saline and I can honestly say that there are no "great restaurants" here, hardly any good ones for that matter. I dislike Macs and refuse to go there. However, my wife will take her mother there. Yes, their salads, starters, and soups are okay, and Jim M. says the fish are fresh (I won't argue with him there). So if you do go, maybe stick with the fish. Their Canjun/Creole entrees are singularly unimpressive. Wait staff are usually bored, disengaged teenage girls.
Across the street is the Brecon Grille which serves pub-style food and they have a decent selection of beer and wine. Their food is edible.
Signature, located in the old John-Don's place is truly awful. I had one of the worst meals of my life there.
As Jim M. said, My Favorite Cafe is a nice coffee/tea shop. Drowsy Parrot is a decent coffee shop with nice, fattening baked goods.
If you can stand bars, across the street (north) from Mac's is Dan's Downtown Tavern, which features one of the best burgers in the area. Being a bar, the atmosphere is sometimes smokey.
Your best bet, of course, is to drive up to Ann Arbor (7.5 miles to downtown). There are loads of previous posts and threads to search in chowhound.
Although you would be sans wine, my best recommendation for lunch in Saline is My Favorite Cafe (101 S Ann Arbor St, Saline, MI 48176). Just off the main street a few doors, there is great parking, and nice little shops on either side of the restaurant. The owners run the cafe, and ensure quality food and service. There is a great choice of sandwiches, and a surprising variety of desserts. It is worth a stop at least once!