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Solo Dining in Ann Arbor and surrounding areas.

  • j
  • jmax Nov 9, 2010 05:24 AM

Coming in to Ann Arbor Wednesday through Sunday from NYC. Staying In Saline at MIL's, but will be spending my time with a RE Agent Thursday and Friday in Northville, Farmington Hills, West Bloomfield, and Novi. Any suggestions for solo dining/early dinner in or around these areas? I would like to go to Zingerman's Roadhouse and The Forest Grill. I'm also a fan of Michael Simons and was thinking of driving into Detroit to check out Roast. I have heard good things about Eve in AA, but the menu doesn't really look that interesting to me. Price, location, or type of cusine - I am open to all. I dine solo alot when I travel - so it isn't an issue, but some restaurants make it more comfortable than others. Are any places known for bar dining or solo dining? Open to any suggestions. Thank you.

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Forest Grill Restaurant
735 Forest Ave Ste 100, Birmingham, MI 48009

Zingerman's Roadhouse
2501 Jackson Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48103

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  1. A few places that are well regarded are the Earle, Blue Nile and Miki's, in Ann Arbor. Don't know any specific names in the burbs you are visiting, but I would suspect that some of the momn pop Indian and Middle Eastern are stronger candidates than more traditional american foods.

    the No.VI (number 6 = NOVI), chop house is supposed to be good, but I've never been

    1. For AA I would point you to http://grangekitchenandbar.com

      I would also suggest heading to Detroit for http://slowsbarbq.com

      Otherwise sir I think you are making decent suggestions. BTW Northville feels more like a home to me that those other towns. Just my two cents.

      1. Roast has a nice bar and is well worth the drive. The Earle also has a large bar area and lots of small tables, with large wine list and appetizer menu. Upstairs bar menu at Grange is different from the dining room, but cheaper and gives a feel for the place.

        A cheaper choice in Ann Arbor that is also a bar: Jolly Pumpkin on Main St. downtown. Veg-leaning menu (although excellent burgers); award-winning Belgian-style ales.

        Nothing against AA's numerous sushi purveyors, but I think coming from NYC you would be disappointed. Korean restaurants, OTOH, are superb. There are four right near the U-M that are all good. For dinner with drinks, you could also do well at Seoul Garden on Boardwalk Dr. Best in the area is New Seoul Garden in Southfield (AFAIK the two are unrelated). Print out detailed directions, or you'll have trouble finding it.

        Middle Eastern is our forte. You can eat solo anywhere, but they'll give you way more than you can eat. In AA: Sheesh on Main St., the tiny Jerusalem Garden. Many places in Dearborn area. Most do not serve alcohol.

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        Jerusalem Garden
        307 S 5th Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

        New Seoul Garden Restaurant
        27566 Northwestern Hwy, Southfield, MI 48034

        Seoul Garden
        3125 Boardwalk St, Ann Arbor, MI 48108

        1 Reply
        1. re: Jim M

          wholeheartedly agree with Jim M's Korean recs in A2 and esp. Jerusalem Garden rec. Jolly Pumpkin is good too, although a little inconsistent service and presentation-wise. Would mention Logan on Washington in A2, if the eve menu isn't as appealing to you.

          Another venerable A2 recommendation is Blimpy Burger on Division - known for burgers and gruff attitude.

          Novi, Farm Hills, Northville all have (a very few) little gems, but you'd be better off going to Roast and Forest Grill as you said in your original post.

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          Jerusalem Garden
          307 S 5th Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

        2. I always recommend that tourists to our fair city visit Zingerman's - the deli for breakfast or lunch and the Roadhouse for cocktails. You'll be happy solo at either place. For bar dining in the Tree Town, I am going to suggest the Side Track in Ypsilanti because I am a huge fan of deep fried pickles. But as Jim said, the best Middle Eastern can be found in Dearborn, which is about 40 miles from here....I like Al Ameer. Hope you enjoy your stay!

          5 Replies
          1. re: momskitchen

            C'mon momskitchen, you always struck me as a fast driver (I vaguely recall a writeup on western MI pubs that impressed me about you). Ain't Dearborn only a 25-26 minutes drive from A2, assuming a HUNGRY person?

            1. re: vtombrown

              Where's the like button on this thing? Agreed on Sidetrack; it's a nice bar with superior hamburgers (rated top 20 in the U.S. once by Esquire mag).

            2. re: momskitchen

              I am a fast driver vtom....how did you know???? LOL However, I have been driving to Dearborn every day from Ann Arbor for 21 years now. (yikes, has it really been 21 years????) It takes me 40 minutes on a good day. I wish it was only 25 minutes....

              It would take a bit longer to get to Al Ameer from Ann Arbor because it is almost to the Detroit city line. But don't let that stop you, it is worth the drive.

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              Ameer
              222 E Market St Ste 33, Indianapolis, IN 46204

              1. re: momskitchen

                Do you find much of a difference between the Al Ameer on the Detroit border vs the Ford Road Garden City location?

                1. re: JanPrimus

                  I have only been to the Garden City location once, and it was good. I have eaten at the original one many times.