A shortlist of some notable Ann Arbor eateries
Published: October 27, 2010
Jerusalem Garden 307 S. Fifth Ave., Ann Arbor; 734-995-5060; jerusalemgarden.net; $: The brick garden patio is the perfect accompaniment to Jerusalem Garden, which claims the title of Ann Arbor's oldest Middle Eastern restaurant. It covers the basics for less than $5 or $6: falafel with baba ghanouj and hummus options, shawarma, kebabs.
Jolly Pumpkin Cafe and Brewery 311 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-913-2730; $$: While pub-like in atmosphere, the food is a bit more up-to-date. Expect tofu cracklings, French fries flavored with rosemary and truffle salt, and a butcher's snack board of cured meats and more. There is no real entrée menu as such. A small list of daily specials is offered, such as broiled walleye and mushroom risotto. The rest of the list consists of salads, sandwiches and pizza. Children are considered with an entire section of their own. And, of course, there is the beer. Diners not yet familiar with Jolly Pumpkin beers might want to ease into the experience with something slightly tamer, like a North Peak Amber Ale. But hardcore fans will likely find the cask ale to be the liquid they want in their glass. Along with a few Michigan wines and spirits, and a list of non-alcoholic cocktails, there's a drink for everyone. Open 11-2 a.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-midnight Friday-Saturday, 4 p.m.-midnight Sunday.
La Dolce Vita 322 S. Main St.; 734-669-9977; $: Located in the Chop House restaurant. Offering the finest in after-dinner pleasures, including chocolaty cakes, fruity tortes, mousse parfait and more.
Logan 115 W. Washington, Ann Arbor; 734-327-2312; logan-restaurant.com; $$$: The eclectic fare, which emphasizes Asia and the Caribbean, is reflected in the appetizers. For example, Thad brilliantly executes a platter of four crispy Chinese pork dumplings atop cilantro, laced with a subtle, tamarind-infused tomato sauce ($9). Although the portion size will disappoint those hoping to share, the tuna tartare, a small mound of yellowfin folded into a dijon-thyme dressing, is a pleasing delicacy ($12). Other appetizers include broiled mussels and crab cake.
Melange Bistro Wine Bar 314 S. Main St.; 734-222-0202; melangebistro.com; $$: Unique dining experience, casual, sophisticated and relaxed atmosphere in a contemporary, subterranean bistro. Eurasian eclectic cuisine infused with worldly ingredients. Happy hour 4-6 p.m. weekdays. Closed Sundays.
Old Town Tavern 122 W. Liberty, Ann Arbor; 734-662-9291; oldtownaa.com; $$: Old Town has been a tavern since 1867. The brick walls covered in old photos and playbills, the wood floor and tin ceiling radiate its history. The menu is reliable and there's always a Bell's beer on tap. Grab one of the two window tables and people-watch or, if you're part of a big group, pull the tables together in back, under the giant painting of the naked lady.
Palio 347 S. Main St.; 734-930-6156; paliorestaurant.com; $$$: Italian fare in a convivial setting, with the usual pastas, lasagnas and chicken, veal and fish options. High culinary standards.
Pizza Bob's 814 S. State St., Ann Arbor; 734-665-4517; pizzabobs.com; $: It's about $7 for a 10-incher with pepperoni. Kinder still, you can share a 16-incher with same for $6.50 each. Don't want pepperoni? It'd cost the same for any topping, and they range from bacon and meatballs to banana peppers and pineapple. Lunch, dinner, takeout and delivery.
Prickly Pear Southwest Café 328 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-930-0047; pricklypearcafe.com; $$: Unique southwestern dining in a lively decorated and casual atmosphere. From scallop quesadillas to sweet potato enchiladas alongside their sought-after margaritas, it's a well-spent treat on the town.
Real Seafood Company 341 S. Main, Ann Arbor; 888-456-3463; realseafoodco.com; $$$: Comfortable, casual and sporting a great seafood menu, this "unchain" does it all, from fresh pastas to raw bar delicacies.
Red Hawk 316 S. State St., Ann Arbor; 734-994-4004; redhawkannarbor.com; $: The Red Hawk is a nice little place to stop in for a hot sandwich or a glass of uptown brew after scoring at the bookstores on Liberty Street. Their burgers are 7-ounce wonders, available with more than a dozen toppings from the usual to the extraordinary.
Seva 314 E. Liberty, Ann Arbor; 734-662-1111; sevarestaurant.com; $$: A few steps above the street, the raised patio offers diners a bit of respite from the foot, bike and car traffic criss-crossing downtown Ann Arbor. The eclectic dishes change weekly and range the globe (from Ethiopian to Mexican, Indian to Italian), converting traditional meat-based fare into vegetarian or vegan. They also offer a full bar and juice bar, smoothies and cocktails (all juices fresh squeezed, right down to the margarita lime), along with an extensive wine list. But these all-in-house-made offerings come at a moderate price: The most expensive entrée is just under $14. Brunch on Saturdays and Sundays; half-priced wine on Tuesdays.
Sweetwater's Cafe 123 W. Washington St., Ann Arbor, 734-769-2331; 407 N. Fifth Ave., Ann Arbor;734-622-0084; 3393 Plymouth Rd., Ann Arbor; 734-327-6330; $$: Three clean-lined, wood-floored, pricey-baked-good-stocked locations — one in historic Kerrytown, one just a block from Main Street and Liberty, and one at Plymouth Green Crossings — position Sweetwater's as the sophisticated café choice in Ann Arbor. Signature coffees include the Dragon Eye (house coffee and condensed milk) and the Monkey Cap (a chocolate cappuccino).
Vinology 110 South Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-222-9841; vinowinebars.com; $$$: The Jonna family's Ann Arbor wine shop aims to educate people about wine. The space's interior decorating takes guests on a tour of sorts, showing the soils, sands and loams that give wine its terroir. And flights of wine are paired with delicate small plates to heighten everybody's enjoyment.
Weber's Restaurant 3050 Jackson Rd., Ann Arbor; 734-665-3636; $$: Fitted inside this deluxe, full-service hotel, founded in 1937 by Herman Weber, this restaurant is still owned and operated by the Weber family, committed to guest satisfaction.
Zanzibar 216 S. State St., Ann Arbor; 734-994-7777; $$: Zanzibar serves user-friendly interpretations of cuisines from Vietnam, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, India, the Caribbean and West Africa. The selection of full-meal salads is perhaps the best in the metro area. Try the grilled chicken breast rubbed with achiote paste, served atop baby greens, black beans, avocado, roasted peppers and dry Jack cheese with a citrus vinaigrette.
Zingerman's Delicatessen 422 Detroit St., Ann Arbor; 734-663-3354; $$: Opened in March of 1982 by Paul Saginaw and Ari Weinzweig in an historic building near the Ann Arbor Farmers' Market, the deli served as the foundation for the extended Zingerman's kingdom of today, which includes Zingerman's Next Door (422 Detroit St., Ann Arbor; 734-663-5282; $$), as fine a deli as anyone could wish for, and Zingerman's Roadhouse (2501 Jackson Ave., Ann Arbor; 734-663-3663; $$$) American food served in a setting that harks back to the day when weary travelers could recharge with a comforting meal by the roadside.
Special thanks to editorial intern Ali Harb for helping compile these listings.
See any inaccuracies in our listings? Anyplace that's closed? Any facts that have changed? Let us know! Send e-mails with corrected information to the editor of this column, Michael Jackman, at email@example.com.
> Email Metro Times food staff