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An Updated Ypsilanti and a little Ann Arbor

k
katieh Jun 11, 2009 11:44 AM

I felt like updating the lists with my two cents on eating in Ypsilanti, and a few comments on Ann Arbor.

I was born and raised in Ypsilanti and continue to live there so I think I have a pretty good handle on what's good and what's not.

Breakfast- Breakfast in Ypsi is passable at best. I feel the same about breakfast in A2. The handful of out-of the box places that are worth visiting are too damn crowded to ever get into. Yes, I'm talking about Cafe Zola and Angelo's. Frustrating!! The Bomber is a townie fave because they feed you with portions fit for a wildabeast. It's good, normal bacon and eggs type stuff. The actual restaurant is small, small, small and not inviting but I wouldn't be put off by appearances. Much like Ypsilanti itself, you have to get in it in order to relax and appreciate it:) In the same taste vein are all the coney places, as well as a few vomit inducing chains like IHOP. God how I hate IHOP. Try Big Boy's breakfast buffet instead if your palate is so easily sated. I like the Golden Egg on Washtenaw< yummy hippie hash and nice hometown feel.

LUNCH- Good god if Gabriel's cheese steak hoagies don't make me wanna weep just thinking about them. They are hand's down the best in the world!!! If any food is an 'Ypsi' specialty this would be it. Should a traveler ask 'what's the one food I shouldn't miss while passing through?' This would be it. They are that good. Be advised there are like 4 seats in the place so this is a predominantly take-out joint. Plan on picking them up and taking them to a quiet place where you may worship them in private:)

Bill's is an experience in the sense that you are being served in your car. Not like a drive-in where you speak into the box and order,go to Chick-Inn for that, but in the sense that you park your car and wait for them to come out to you. I love the root beer.

The Indian buffet at Temptations on Washtenaw is such a deal and so good. I think it's 7.99 and it goes from 11-2? The Naan alone is worth it. I think it's great for people who haven't tried Indian also because it allows you to try lots of different things you probably would never get off the menu if you just went in for dinner. Their Goat Masala is killer.

Kaya Sushi, surrounded by some wierd club and a dollar store on Ellsworth is one of my faves for lunch and dinner. Everything I've had has been good. Go with 4 or more people and get Korean bbq!

Dalat is great also and has superior Pho to any I've had in Ann Arbor. Good Shrimp rolls too.The Dalat Special Vermicelli is really good.

Pita Pita on Washtenaw. I almost don't even want to tell people because it's my spot but god it's good. The platter for two is the way to go, and I have to say they have THE best Fattoush salad, period.

Dinner- Kaya Sushi again. The casseroles for two are awesome!
Sidetrack and Aubrees are okay. Sidetrack is the higher class menu of the two. The sweet potato fries are awesome and have a great spicy horseradish dipping sauce. (I love that I mention high class and fries in the same sentence:) As for the infamous GQ burger, I don't get the hype. It's good but I didn't wet my pants. Aubrees has good pizza but it can be pricey as far as pizza goes.

Haab's- I worked there for 8 years so I'm biased. The soups are the best thing going as they are made fresh daily and each one is yummy. Nobody has better soup period. Butternut Squash, Seafood Chowder, Chicken Mulligatawny, Gazpacho, Black Bean, White Bean Chicken Chili, all are sublime. Here's a little tidbit of info-Haab's has the same steaks as The Chop House in A2. Bought from Chicago Beef:) So next time you think about dropping $32 for a steak a la carte at The Chop House you may want to rethink and head to Haab's instead.

There's a new place on Washington that is a knock-off Mongolian BBQ. I haven't been there but my mother has and said it was pretty good, essentially identical to other Mongolians and so if you like picking out your food and sauces and spices have at it. Downstairs is a martini bar I have yet to check out.

Also, El Torro??? on Golfside. Went there the other day and was pleasantly surprised at the interior and the food. I had marianated pork tacos. Really great flavor! Reminded me of Tacos I had in Cancun. Definitly worth checking out. They have some authentic Mexican offerings like tongue tacos as well as classic 'American' Mexican. No liquor that I saw though. Bummed about no margaritas. But it is located next to a very cool comic book store that I love. La Fiesta is good but no Mararitas there either. La Fuente has them but the food is just decent not mind blowing and overpriced. Taqueria on Michigan Ave in the Ghetto is supposed to be cheap and amazing but I haven't hit it up yet.

I know there are other townie places, and there will be some differing of opinion but I just wanted to post a little more on my town. There are some yummy things to be found here if you know where to look!

  1. j
    Jim M Jun 11, 2009 11:49 AM

    Temptations is closed : ( I agree it was very good for Indian.

    Beezy's in downtown Ypsi has been getting raves for breakfast, but I haven't tried it yet.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Jim M
      k
      katieh Jun 17, 2009 01:44 PM

      My father-in-law just told me Beezy's has a wonderful lunch too! And yes, I came on here today to update the Temptations closing. I'm totally bummed. It was the only place close to get decent Indian.

      1. re: Jim M
        h
        houndgirl Dec 21, 2009 12:27 PM

        Temptations is open again... I went there last week and it was excellent! Had a delicious spicy fried banana pepper appetizer with sweet chutney, a whole tandoori pomfret that was crisped and bronzed with a delicious onion sauce and just enough basmati rice. The little bones were a bugger to deal with but it was so good. Apparently there is new ownership/chef. The service was very attentive and the place was rather elegant looking with real tablecloths, chandeliers and silver table accents. Lovely presentations, too. I look forward to trying the buffet, there was goat listed as one of the specials.

      2. JanPrimus Jun 11, 2009 01:20 PM

        I like taking my kids to Bombers for Breakfast. I like the portion sizes when I have that I just need to stuff myself type of morning. They are far from the best tasting breakfast but I still enjoy my visit.

        As for Gabriel's....Oh god those things are the perfect things to get every few months. I think if I got them every few weeks I would get tired of them but I get them about every 2-3 months and I eat and eat till I am stuffed or run outta money. Well OK I have yet to run out of money....but you get he point. That Chili relish they put on the sammie is absolutely up my alley.

        You stopped for a second to mention Chick-Inn....I have yet to stop by but I have been interested....please expand on this if you can.

        1. r
          Rheta Jun 12, 2009 09:03 AM

          So katieh, tell me about these cheesesteaks at Gabriel's. Have you every had a genuine Philly cheesesteak? Do they take thinly sliced, good quality steak, slap in on the griddle, add cheese and grilled onions and turn that all onto a good quality hoagie roll? If they do I'm there! Where is Gabriel's exactly?

          2 Replies
          1. re: Rheta
            JanPrimus Jun 12, 2009 09:13 AM

            http://www.gabrielshoagies.com/

            http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/ga...

            My opinion is that the Bun, Steak and Cheese are pretty average....but it is all about the pepper relish that brings it all together.

            1. re: JanPrimus
              k
              katieh Jun 17, 2009 01:42 PM

              Agreed, quality of meat is not something I can attest to. It's the total package and there isn't a person in the world who has had one that wouldn't tell you to try it.

          2. h
            houndgirl Jun 12, 2009 12:09 PM

            Thanks for the info! I recently moved to Ypsi and am enjoying exploring what's around there. Agreed, Pita Pita is great. Tried Kabob Express. That was OK. I can't imagine why anyone would want to open up yet another Middle Eastern place on Washtenaw!

            I love Sidetrack's mac & cheese with andouille and I like the atmosphere. Very unpretentious.

            Gabriel's, Chick-Inn are now on the list. I usually would go to Northside in A2 for breakfast, I thought the Golden Egg was just OK.

            Tried Yotsuba for sushi. I've read mixed reviews, but when I was there, everything I ordered was great, just rather pricey. I will definitely give Kaya a try.

            2 Replies
            1. re: houndgirl
              momskitchen Jun 12, 2009 05:41 PM

              I have never been to Chick-Inn but want to go..I hear the pineapple shakes are great. In Ypsi, I love Aubree's pizza. best there is in the Ann Arbor area for sure....

              1. re: momskitchen
                JanPrimus Jun 14, 2009 11:59 PM

                I diverted a trip from Westland to Lansing with a stop in Ypsilanti today to try out the Chick-Inn for some on the road eats. I got the Paul Bunyan Burger, the onion rings and a Peanut Butter Shake. I was somewhat pleased with the burger. I liked the thick cut onion and the general size of the burger for the cost. I just am not all that keen on the special sauce. It tasted like a thousand island derivative of some sort and I had a flash back to Big Mac's (which I do not like at all). Also the meat seemed just a bit to dry for my taste.

                The Onion rings are nothing to get all in a tizzy about. Standard fair onion ring with a crunchier coat that most. I am more of a Scotty Simpson type Onion ring guy. I want more flake in my OR.

                The shake was exactly what I thought it would and should be except for its size. I wanted a 50 ounce shake and when I ordered the large I was hoping for the best. Out of the small, medium and large I would guess that the large was 16 ounces. I am never gonna gain that extra pound at those sizes. I loved the taste but it just went empty too soon for me.

                Overall I would go back if I was in the area but I would not make a special trip from out of town over it.

            2. cholderby Jun 13, 2009 07:15 AM

              Thanks! I'm forwarding your list to the rest of my family. We've been talking about trying Gabriel's for a while and now we will for sure.

              1. c
                Chowbilly Jun 13, 2009 07:56 AM

                Having grown up in the Ypsilanti area I would like this to be my first post. As a kid my dad would take us to the Chick-Inn for the monster of a burger known as the Paul Bunyan burger. We would wash it down with one of the thickest shakes on the planet. My dad's favorite was the banana. Dad would also take us for the best squeeze burgers around town known as Roy's Squeeze In. As a kid I remember this large bald-headed intimidating figure of a man that would always yell at his waitresses while he served up the best burgers known to man. Reminded me of the TV show Alice with Roy as Mel. Roy had several different locations in Ypsi as fires would gut one place and he would open another. You can still visit Roy's on Michigan Ave. for a great squeeze burger minus the founder...served in your car by a car hop on have a seat at the half moon diner counter. Right across from Roy's is Bil's Hot Dog stand. I remember as a kid this mustard yellow and brown shack that served the greatest root beer I ever tasted. Today the root beer is just as good to wash down the chili dogs that never seemed to change. Further down Michigan ave is the famous Gabriel's. One of my favorite stops in the Ypsi area. Great cheese steak hogies with extra rep pepper relish...my fav.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Chowbilly
                  j
                  Jim M Jun 13, 2009 12:19 PM

                  Unusually good Korean restaurant along that strip, too--Hana. It's been there for years. Roy's Squeeze Inn, home of the Squeezeburger, is like something straight out of an Edward Hopper painting. Hard to drop more than four or five dollars there, too.

                  1. re: Chowbilly
                    coney with everything Jun 15, 2009 05:03 AM

                    welcome to Chowhound, Chowbilly!

                  2. Fritter Jun 14, 2009 05:09 AM

                    Is Haab's the place I remember that serves the killer onion rings?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Fritter
                      k
                      katieh Jun 17, 2009 01:46 PM

                      Yes it is! And with all the movies being made downtown I hear it's a great spot for celeb sightings now too. I'm considering stalking Haab's this week in the hopes of seeing Ed Norton:)

                    2. k
                      katieh Jun 17, 2009 01:52 PM

                      A little update. J Neill's Mongolian Grille-finally went there on a Monday around 6. One waitress on and a restaurant full is never a good thing. I would say there are some kinks to iron out. The owner and a bartender were maning the grill which, if you've seen the spatulas they use, was not a good thing. By my second bowl the actual grill guy had showed up and things moved much more efficiently. I feel the same as I did before I ate there; you have to like putting together your own dish and then standing there waiting for them to cook it. Not always my fave but worth a try.

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