A shortlist of some notable Ann Arbor eateries
Published: October 27, 2010
Afternoon Delight 251 E. Liberty, Ann Arbor; 734-665-7513; afternoondelightcafe.com; $: Open every day until only 3 p.m., Afternoon Delight serves from the bright pinks and aquamarines of its tablescape a variety of creative breakfast and lunch plates to an often — particularly on Sundays — out-the-door crowd. Catering service available.
Anthony's Gourmet Pizza 2520 Packard, Ann Arbor; 734-971-3555; anthonysgourmet.com; $$: Anthony's has a reputation for being the closest thing to Chicago-style stuffed deep dish in Ann Arbor. Also offers Sicilian deep dish and Anthony's own gourmet spin on deep dish (with a vegetarian option and "chicken delight").
Aut Bar 315 Braun Court, Ann Arbor; 734-994-3677; autbar.com; $$: Gay-friendly restaurant and a bar. Serves a popular weekend brunch, Saturday brunch (11 a.m.- 2 p.m.) and Sunday brunch (10 a.m.- 3 p.m.). Open at 4 p.m. on the weekdays. In warmer months, access to a quiet courtyard. The Aut Bar caters to the LGBT community and their friends, families and allies.
Amadeus Cafe & Patisserie 122 E. Washington, Ann Arbor; 734-665-8767; amadeusrestaurant.com; $$: Amadeus is a unique restaurant designed after the old-world cafes of Vienna. A variety of traditional dishes from Central Europe are offered, as well as desserts and a unique list of wines and beers. Enjoy candlelit dinners and live classical music on the weekends. Family owned and operated for 20 years. Closed Mondays.
Arbor Brewing Company 114 E. Washington, Ann Arbor; 734-213-1393; arborbrewing.com; $: This brewpub's drinkable house brews complement a menu of "upscale pub food." The award-winning spot hosts regular beer tastings for the serious fans, but it's also accessible for those wanting to try beer that brims with flavor. Open 11:30 a.m.-2 a.m. Monday-Saturday, noon-midnight on Sundays.
Ashley's Restaurant and Pub 338 S. State St., Ann Arbor; 734-996-9191; ashleys.com; $$: Upscale but casual, Ashley's has dozens and dozens of beers on tap, a massive menu of bottled beer, and scores of single-malt scotches and small-batch bourbons. Better still, the kitchen stays open late. Open 11:30 a.m.-2 a.m. Monday through Saturday, noon-midnight on Sundays.
B.D.'s Mongolian Barbeque 200 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-913-0999; $: This place gives new meaning to the term "open kitchen." In the center of the dining room is a massive grill, staffed by "Natural Born Grillers," whipping up an endless array of meat, vegetables and spices. Don't complain about the food, or the size of the portion. Not because the chef is wielding a large oak stick, but because you are responsible for choosing raw meat and accompaniments from the buffet. If you're unsure of good combos, the staff has some suggestions. Very high energy on the weekends.
Bell's Diner 2167 W. Stadium, Ann Arbor; 734-995-0226; $: Unless you look close, you might just think Bell's is a normal American diner. And, in many respects, it is — especially for breakfast. But its kitchen also excels at producing the Korean items on the menu, give you a choice of bacon or bulgogi. Now that's unusual.
Black Pearl 302 S. Main St.; 734-222-0400; blackpearlonmail.com; $$$: A seafood and martini bar that aims for "comfortable and cool," well-suited for socializing and entertaining. Opens every day at 5 p.m. Becomes a lounge after 9 p.m.
Blue Nile 221 E. Washington St., Ann Arbor, 734-998-4746; bluenilemi.com; $$: Family-owned and operated, this western outpost of the Blue Nile Ethiopian dining mini-chain offers an unusual experience. Diners are handed piping-hot washcloths for their hands, and then the food, which is sponged up with bits of bread called injera. And the food, which can include meats but can also be veggie-only, is slow-cooked, healthful and delicious. Since it's all-you-can-eat, nobody will walk away hungry.
Blue Tractor 207 E. Washington St.; 734-222-4095; bluetractor.net; $$: Menu aims for a down-home feel, but the beers are contemporary craft. Quirky interior. Very good word-of-mouth.
Brown Jug 1204 S. University Dr., Ann Arbor; 734-761-3355; brownjug-annarbor.com; $: In the heart of U-M's campus, Brown Jug has been in business since 1938. Its walls snuggle you up in Wolverine history and football memorabilia. Catch the game, drink and munch with dignity: Greek sausage and calamari show up among nachos and cheese sticks on the appetizer list.
Cafe Felix 204 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-662-8650; cafefelix.com; $$: Ann Arbor's Café Felix is practically poetic. The tradition of a European café holds true to form. There is a prime wine assortment as well as coffee drinks and delicious food. Every finishing touch within the butter-colored walls is indeed, as the French say, "au point."
Cafe Zola 112 W. Washington, Ann Arbor; 734-769-2020; cafezola.com; $$$: With tasteful art for sale on the brick walls, large picture windows fronting the colorful pedestrian traffic on Washington Street, and, in season, a sizable outdoor patio, Café Zola is one of the more comfortable restaurants in Ann Arbor. Mains have included spaghetti and meatballs marinara, lamb chops a la Turque, flat-iron steak with garlicky chimichurri sauce from the Pampas, and ahi tuna in a sesame-seed crust with wasabi butter, sugar snap peas, and that crunchy coconut rice. The wine list, a thoughtful if somewhat pricey one, contains a handful of relatively obscure bottles in the high 20s to the middle 30s before it disappears into the stratosphere.
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