Restaurants, Bars, and Street Food
If you're choosing to dine in Ann Arbor the chances of having a good meal are ever in your favor. New restaurants pop up seasonally, providing endless opportunities to taste local fare. The internet is glorious for giving reviews of the food and service, but we're looking to take it one step further. There are places in this town that I have fallen in love with. They make me giddy when I walk through the door because the anticipation for the meal to come is more than my food-loving self can handle. Have you ever had a hot ramen from Slurping Turtle on a cold winter's day, or a salty caramel Blank Slate sundae when the midday sun is relentless? If so, you'll surely understand.
My honest reviews will not just tell you about the food, they will attempt to illustrate the ambience. I will take you behind the scenes to the culinary maestros who put their passion on the plate but spend hours in the heat of the kitchen.
Good Lord those wings
We need to talk about chicken wings. They can go SO right or SO wrong. Depending on the side of the palatable pendulum the chicken wing recipe swings, you’ll have me waiting hours outside of your door or passing by without a second glance. HOMES Brewery, a new spot on Ann Arbor’s west side, has brought me the wings of my dreams, and close enough to my house that this could be disastrous for my take-out budget.
Where to go when your heart craves mole
Tacos are everywhere in Ann Arbor…and the country, really. Delicious tacos are so abundant that I could easily plan an itinerary for a taco bar crawl guaranteed to leave you happy and stuffed to the brim with carnitas. We’ve embraced the authentic street food style and kicked the “Old El Paso” and “Taco Bell” versions to the curb. Call me pretentious, but if you put shredded American cheese and grimy ground beef anywhere near my corn tortilla I’ll slap it right out of your hand.
Argus Farm stop:
the westside's corner store
Farmer’s Markets are town gems. Fresh produce at your fingertips from growers practically in your own backyard. Ann Arbor’s Kerrytown market brings vibrancy to Saturday mornings by drawing the masses to the downtown shops and vendors. Stroll onto the cobblestone streets and suddenly you aren’t a solo traveler…you are part of a vegetable hungry community.
In the warmer months it’s easy to wake with the sun and fill our reusable grocery bags with organic goods. We may even jog to the market. It’s summer and we’re about to eat healthy food, why not kick it up a notch with some hustle? Michigan summers remind us why we live here. Of course, like all things, they don’t last forever.
asian inspired soul food
Tomukun is loved among locals. Writing a testimony to its quality would not be a revelation to Ann Arborites. Smack-dab in the center of downtown, the restaurant is ideal for a date night dinner before a movie at the Michigan Theatre. Odds are if you haven’t already enjoyed a meal there you know someone who has.
The restaurant has split personalities ready to cater to your culinary craving. It took me awhile to comprehend this, but Tomukun is actually the umbrella name for two separate restaurant entities, with two very distinct menu options. On one side, a Korean BBQ equipped with a tabletop grill. Once the a la carte style assortment of meats and vegetable are ordered you take on the task of cooking them to perfection, or if preferred, passing the tongs (and responsibility) to a fellow diner. On the other side lies a noodle bar loaded with a medley of Asian-inspired comfort foods, ranging from Japanese tako-yaki to Vietnamese pho. At the noodle bar is where Tomukun stole my heart.
The Lunchroom Bakery & CAFE:
I first fell in love with The Lunchroom Bakery in a moment of weakness. I was in need of another highly-caffeinated cup of coffee to get me through the afternoon, and the bakery is conveniently located near my office. Even in the bitter cold months, I need to only suck it up for 5 minutes, clench my coat to shield the cold, and scurry across the street then down the hill to reach the entry door. On this particular day I wanted soup, but when I saw the plump blueberry muffin displayed on an antique teacup saucer my intentions changed. Pointing at the dessert, while placing my ordered I slyly added, “And one of those, too.”