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Newish & Tasty Around Ann Arbor

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Elyssa Jun 11, 2008 09:31 AM

I visit Ann Arbor from DC quite often since my bf currently lives there. I'm coming to town for 2 weeks for a work trip and we are looking to try a few new (at least to us) restaurants in and around Ann Arbor.

We are not looking for anything too expensive or fancy.

We have enjoyed Eve, Pacific Rim, Cafe Habana, Common Grill, Red Rooster (I think that's the name. Great mushroom burger) and Zingerman's/The Roadhouse (more times then I can remember).

We have wanted to check out West End Grill and Cafe Zola (maybe for brunch) for awhile.

I'm also interested in hearing about people's experience at Logan since I think this is new since the last time I was in town.

Any other suggestions of something we have missed? We are open to all types of cuisines as long as the menu isn't mostly made up of fried foods and pork.

Thanks!

  1. rtv Jun 20, 2008 06:40 PM

    try zanzibar!

    1. i
      indivara Jun 19, 2008 10:16 PM

      For asian, try Chia Shang (its on Packard). And I also recomend everyday lunch. I dearly love that place. The tapas at Rush Street are good, not the best.

      And Cafe Zola is excellent for brunch. It is my favorite spot in Ann Arbor for brunch esp. in the spring and summer. Get there early though because it does get incredibly pack on a Sunday. I wasn't too please with my brunch over at Amadeus when I went the first time a few months ago.

      There is Vietnamese in Ypsilanti at a place called Dalat. its family owned and no frills. I believe its on Michigan Ave. There is also Saigon Garden on Forest and South U. which is good but Dalat is more authentic. Oh, Lotus Thai or Marnee Thai have great Thai food. The lunch special over at Marnee Thai is a good portion and price. I haven't been to Kai Garden in some time, but it was very good from what I remember. Silvio's Pizza is great too if you haven't tried it.

      Vinology is a nice place for a glass of wine and something to nibble on.

      Hope this helps...

      1. e
        Elyssa Jun 17, 2008 12:23 PM

        We ended up trying West End Grill on Friday night. We really enjoyed the restaurant. We were able to get a 9pm reservation, which worked out perfect for us.

        First off service--we had an awesome waitress, Jess, who was very friendly and helpful. The only negative was how the menu is set up....the waitress needs to read through each item. The only list the basic items (Scallops, Venison etc) It takes awhile to hear the entire menu and I imagine it must get tiresome for the waitress to read through it a million times a night.

        We ordered a nice half bottle of Rioja, which was pretty affordable.

        For appetizers we got the grilled portobello with goat cheese on polenta and the mushroom struedal. The Portobellos were good, although the polenta was a tad dry. The struedel was nice as well.

        For entrees I got the curry prawns stuffed with crab. This dish was incredible!! Full of flavor with out being overly rich. Big prawns served with fresh asparagus, baby carrots, and wild rice. I loved this dish!

        My bf got the venison with a sweet mango and something else sauce. It wasn't overly sweet, just plain delicious. The serving was very generous as well---2 chops.

        For dessert (and I can't believe we had room for it) we ordered the key lime pie. Nice and tangy and a perfect end to the meal.

        While the meal was certainly pricey, we really enjoyed it and will return in the future. Our table was set off in a corner which made the whole evening rather romantic. It was a little noisy when the restaurant was full, but the little corner where we were sitting helped that out.

        1. e
          Elyssa Jun 11, 2008 01:26 PM

          Any thoughts on Rush Street or Seva?

          Also we have gone to Shalimar for Indian and have enjoyed it in the past. Any other Indian or Asian recommendations---particularly Thai, Chinese, or Vietnamese? Thanks!

          7 Replies
          1. re: Elyssa
            j
            Jim M Jun 11, 2008 03:32 PM

            I went to Rush Street after a show recently with a friend. I thought of it as a scenester's hangout and wasn't expecting much from the food--we just ducked in because it was raining and we were on foot. But I got a plate of fancy sliders that were actually really good, and service was friendly and prompt. I'd go again.

            Seva's yam fries are tasty, but I bet you can do better in D.C. for veggie food.

            OTOH, you could try the Heidelberg on N. Main if you like German food. It's the real deal, and I bet that's harder to find in Washington. Nearby is Sabor Latino--really good Puerto Rican, Dominican, and Venezuelan specials on weekends, reasonable Mexican standards. No booze.

            There's a brand new Indian place called Seajoys in that block, too--try it and let us know what you think!

            1. re: Jim M
              e
              Elyssa Jun 11, 2008 06:52 PM

              Again, thanks so much for your recommendations. I'll make sure to report back on where we go.

              1. re: Elyssa
                momskitchen Jun 12, 2008 05:06 PM

                There's really not much new in Ann Arbor these days....must be the economy. I do like Casey's Tavern but it hasn't been mentioned much here on chowhound. There's the new Thai place Marnee Thai. Haven't been there yet, though. Anyone?

                1. re: momskitchen
                  j
                  Jim M Jun 12, 2008 05:36 PM

                  That's a good idea--try Casey's Tavern. It's an ordinary bar, I guess, but it has consisently solid food, and it's run by people who have made a career of working in restaurants in this town--it's a characteristic Ann Arbor place.

                  Marnee Thai is an offshoot of Lotus Thai on Ann Arbor-Saline Rd. Both are decent, but I bet Washington has better ones.

                  1. re: momskitchen
                    e
                    Elyssa Jun 13, 2008 06:15 AM

                    I wasn't necassarily looking for something brand new, but perhaps new to us.

                    Any thoughts on West End Grill? We were thinking of going there tomorrow (Sat) night for dinner.

                    1. re: Elyssa
                      c
                      charlesbois Jun 13, 2008 07:13 AM

                      There's been a recent thread mentioning West End Grill...but I can't remember which one. But yes, it is VERY good, but it is also VERY hard sometimes to get reservations. Try making them ASAP if you don't already have them.

                      Their steaks are excellent, heck all their stuff is. I particularly love their appetizers, especially the prawn "lollipops." And their wine list and bar are pretty decent too.

                      1. re: charlesbois
                        momskitchen Jun 15, 2008 05:37 PM

                        FWIW: I usually just eat at the bar at W.E.G. and get a seat no problem anytime...

            2. e
              Elyssa Jun 11, 2008 01:23 PM

              Any thoughts on Rush Street or Seva?

              Also we have gone to Shalimar for Indian which I've really enjoyed. Any other Indian or Asian restaurants you would recommend---Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese etc. Thanks!

              1 Reply
              1. re: Elyssa
                c
                charlesbois Jun 11, 2008 01:27 PM

                I cooked for Seva for a couple years. It's pretty good food, but expensive IMO for what you get. They are the "go-to" vegetarian restaurant in Ann Arbor though. Try the yam fries. Also good are the eggs veracruz, the enchiladas calabaza and the north african stew.

                Rush Street used to have GREAT tapas and small plates, but I haven't been there in a while and i believe they changed their menu.

              2. a
                aachow Jun 11, 2008 12:50 PM

                oh you must try lunch @ everyday cook. best food in ann arbor, hands down. they do lunch tues-saturday upstairs at kerrytown shops. local, seasonal, wonderful.

                6 Replies
                1. re: aachow
                  c
                  charlesbois Jun 11, 2008 12:54 PM

                  but hurry, they may close at end of june...

                  1. re: charlesbois
                    t
                    toro Jun 12, 2008 05:24 AM

                    I second everyday lunch, they are not open for dinner and I think they are open tues thru sat. Did recently have an excellent meal at Logan, I would not call it asian fusion, but more new american with asian accents. Great service , entree portion was a bit small, but nice starters and innovative cocktails.

                    1. re: charlesbois
                      k
                      kellycolorado Jun 17, 2008 08:23 AM

                      Oh no- any updates? I just got a recommendation yesterday to try their cooking classes. Might that part stay open???

                      1. re: kellycolorado
                        c
                        charlesbois Jun 17, 2008 11:05 AM

                        Not sure what their plan is...they wrote something in their blog about how their lunch business was the most profitable and they were thinking of continuing in that vein, but selling subscriptions/memberships to it? It was all quite weird. If you are interested in their classes, it might be worth it to call and chat with them. Also, I see on their blog they are having a solstice party, and tickets are only $15, which seems pretty darn reasonable...

                        1. re: charlesbois
                          k
                          kellycolorado Jun 18, 2008 08:19 AM

                          Thanks- I'm not sure when we'll be driving over there so I'll keep on eye on their blogs...

                    2. re: aachow
                      e
                      Elyssa Jun 11, 2008 12:57 PM

                      That's perfect because I will be off from work on Tuesday and will be in Kerrytown. They are not open for dinner though?

                    3. j
                      Jim M Jun 11, 2008 10:07 AM

                      For cheaper Korean, try the new Maru at the corner of William and Thompson. The sign still says Seoul Korner--for some reason, Korean restaurateurs seem reluctant to invest in new signage. Fairly large menu of Korean standards, very nicely done.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Jim M
                        e
                        Elyssa Jun 11, 2008 10:28 AM

                        These are all great recommendations...especially the Korean restaurant. Thanks!

                        And please let me know of more restaurants if you remember them.

                      2. c
                        charlesbois Jun 11, 2008 09:47 AM

                        Try Amadeus on Washington for Eastern European. The service is slow but worth it. They also do a nice brunch.

                        Go to the Earle's happy hour for cheap but good eats. I think Gandy Dancer also has a happy hour where you can eat cheaply in the bar area.

                        Prickly Pear on Main for outdoor seating (both front and back) and riffs on southwest cuisine.

                        hmmm, there are more places I could recommend, but my brain is not engaged...I'll look back at this thread later...

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