Thanksgiving in Ann Arbor report
The day before the holiday, as soon as we arrived, we had breakfast at Angelo's, just as good as we remembered from last time. (We had supper in the dorm dining hall)
Ann Arbor truly does shut down for Thanksgiving. Just for the knowledge bank for future travelers - untested restaurants we noticed open on that day were Damons and Seoul Garden, and also Starbucks. That's about it from what we could tell. Our reservations were for Weber's. We enjoyed the kind of 50's retro feel of the place, and it was jam packed with locals. We didn't have the "party of 4" minimum for the thanksgiving table specialty, so were upstairs in the restaurant with a limited menu.
We had the bluepoint oysters and calamari for apps, and liked them both. the calamari were tender, and the oysters were great.
Instead of salad, I had the butternut squash soup, which was creamy and delicious.
For entrees, I enjoyed the roasted duck with cranberry glaze. It came with plain white rice and pretty much unseasoned slightly steamed green beans, neither of which added anything to the plate at all. BF had one of the steaks, which wasn't great, pretty gristly, and the other of our party had the Thanksgiving plate, which was very ordinary seam table Thanksgiving fare, dry turkey and jellied cranberry sauce in a little cup and all, which was disappointing. We took away a slice of carrot cake, and I didn't have any, but the others liked it very much.
Later in the visit, we enjoyed Zingerman's deli for some awesome (and awesomely expensive) sandwiches, and also totally enjoyed the burgers (and I had a great French Dip) at the Brown Jug.
Webers would be a fun place to try when they weren't in a holiday rush cranking out pre-plated turkey dinners, but this has been true of nearly every place we eat on a major holiday.
Sorry to hear your T-day meal was not memorable. But my heart went pitter-pat at the mention of the Brown Jug. I partook of many a patty melt after late nights at the UGLi.
If you have to do this again next year, try the Lord Fox on Plymouth Rd in Ann Arbor Township. I know a previous reply to your OP warned you off (and I'm not arguing against it), but how much worse could it have been? Some years ago, we went to Weber's for Easter, and the meals all around were truly crappy. And, some years ago we went to the Lord Fox for Thanksgiving and our meals were pretty good. I know that Weber's is capable of better. Maybe they just can't handle holiday fare. Who knows, maybe there is some perverse competition here for the nadir of holiday meals. On the other hand, I'm glad to hear that you scored at Angelo's. It's been a while for me. I'll have to return for another sampling and rerun my evaluation model.
Ann Arbor does shut down for the major holidays. Outside of hotels and some ethnic restaurants there aren't many choices. I been out to both Weber's and The Lord Fox for Thanksgiving (and also for regular dinners). I have enjoyed both. I stay away from hotels. The dinners were very good. It is hard to compare holiday dining to non-holiday dining, there is a big difference. Try them both on a regular night.