Thursday, May 5, 2011

Farewell. For Now

Although Ann Arbor doesn't know it yet, Summer has begun and Elisabeth and I hightailed it out of town. Elisabeth is spending the summer in Tokyo and Utah, and I am home in St. George UT and then going to St. Louis. Thankfully, St. George knows what season it is and welcomed me home with blue skies and 80 degree weather. 

We have a lot of eating left to do when we are back in the fall. It will probably be time for us to reevaluate our list and add more restaurants, and invite more of YOU out to eat with us!

Have a great summer! Don't miss us too much! Happy Eating!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Jerusalem Garden

First I would like to offer a disclaimer- "We Eat Ann Arbor" is not responsible for surprising prices at any of the restaurants we have reviewed (ahem... The Blue Nile... Freshman class...). 

Ashley Park is a huge reason for the success of this blog right now. A big thank you to Ashley for instigating all of these recent eating ventures. There are still a lot of us left in Ann Arbor, and so Samantha, Ashley, Elisabeth, Me, and Chelsea Groen pilgrimaged to Jerusalem Garden for some authentic Middle Eastern food. 
Movie Star, Ashley Park

Chelsea and Chelsea
Elisabeth's 8th grade portrait
Atmosphere: 8. FINALLY it was warm enough to sit outside on the patio. It was a little breezy (there was a tornado warning that day...) but the sun felt wonderful. There's a lot of construction in South Fifth though, right in front of the restaurant which wasn't ideal. 

Service: 7. Our food came out really quickly, but Ashley and Elisabeth's order of hummus never came out, so they ended up canceling it. 
Things I don't know the names of, pita, and our half-eaten plate of Chicken Shawarma
Food: 9. I can now say that Chicken Shawarma has changed my life. So good. Samantha and I split the plate of Chicken Shawarma which came with mjaddara and a bit of tabbouli (I don't really know what these words mean. But it was great). Elisabeth finally pulled the stick out of her behind and dropped her rule that no one can order the same thing- she and Ashley also split the Chicken Shawarma. Chelsea ordered the Falafel plate with lentil soup, which she rates as a nine. Good choice, Chels.

For all of you staying in AA for the summer, or coming our for a trip when there is warmer weather- this is the perfect summer spot. But bring someone who knows what all those words mean. 

307 South 5th Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-2217
(734) 995-5060

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Blue Nile

If it feels like its been two months since you last read a Food Blog post from us, you have. Elisabeth and I were in a little production called BRIGADOON, but now that it is over, we have all the time in the world to eat and write about eating. We hope you missed us.

Tonight, Elisabeth and I celebrated the end of the year and the show with several of our good friends at The Blue Nile, an Ethiopian restaurant downtown.  It's unlike any dining experience I have ever had- they bring you huge trays of food and these light bread roll/wrap things that you tear up and scoop up the food with. It's communal dining at its best. Elisabeth and Ashley had been there together about a month ago and I've been dying to go and experience it for myself. I was NOT disappointed.
Across the street
Me, Elisabeth, Ashley, Allison, Laura, Holly, and her brother Adrian
Atmosphere: 7. The Blue Nile is beautiful- its colorful, spacious, and incorporates Ethiopian design elements. Our table was right next to the window overlooking the street, prime seating.

Service: 10. Perhaps given the fact that we were one of the only parties in the restaurant on a sleepy Monday evening contributed to this factor, but the wait staff took excellent care of us. Our waitress was constantly bringing us more food and water, we were visited by the owner of the restaurant, and they even brought us free tea at the end of our meal!

Food: 9. I don't quite know how to begin to describe how great the food was. And so different from anything else I've ever had. Included in the food tray were lentils (lots of kinds of lentils), cabbage, split yellow peas, chicken drumsticks, spicy beef, collard greens, mixed vegetables and more. We each ordered the "Ethiopian Feast" which meant an all-you- can-eat buffet. They brought us two trays for the table and for the next hour replaced all the items we had eaten with more food. So. much. food.

Before they brought the meat for the middle of the tray, and before we devoured it
This side of the table ate their seconds before we could finish our firsts... They actually lapped us twice.
L to R Elisabeth, Ashley, Allison, and Laura- who is halfway in the pic because she only half helped them
Allison loves the Blue Nile :)

IF YOU GO: Important Tip! Bring any recent UProd ticket- on the back is a 20% discount!
The Blue Nile
221 E Washington St 
Ann Arbor, MI 48104 
(734) 998-4746

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Black Pearl

Elisabeth and I will be playing catch up for the restaurants we've been to in the last month or so...

February Fourteenth. The most romantic night of the year. What do the two of us do? Make plans for a dinner at the most romantic restaurant in town! With who, you may ask? Ourselves. In actuality, our friend Dorothy made the reservation for the three of us, but at the last minute she had to work. So it was just the two of us, surrounded by a sea of couples.

Atmosphere: 8.5. Only an 8.5 because Elisabeth doesn’t like eating dinner on tall stools where her feet don’t touch the ground. The Black Pearl is the swankiest place we have eaten so far. It is definitely a place you want to get dressed up to go to. We felt a little out place because we weren’t in heels.. It feels like a classy upscale martini bar and restaurant (which it is). A favorite touch of Elisabeth's was the super awesome ceiling fans over the bar. We had a great table right next to the floor to ceiling windows at the front of the restaurant looking out at Main street.

Service: 8. The service here is top notch, and their wait staff is friendly and informed. One of Elisabeth’s friends who works here gave us excellent menu recommendations.

Food: 9. For an appetizer, we ordered the shrimp guacamole, which was very delicious. Even Elisabeth who doesn’t love seafood thought it was good (I thought it was excellent- you should get it). Elisabeth’s entrée was the Pasta Gone Bayou which she rated as a 9.5. She loved the Cajun flavored creamy sauce with crab, shrimp, sausage and chicken. I ordered the signature fish tacos-their most popular item, and for good reason. It was fresh and had tons of unexpected flavor, also very filling. The menu is mostly seafood but there are other options for those who may prefer something else.
Shrimp Tacos
Pasta Gone Bayou

Overall: 9. The Black Peark is the perfect place for a romantic night out with someone you want to spend a lot of money for dinner on… however, its definitely worth it. Make sure to get a reservation ahead of time!

302 South Main Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-2108
(734) 222-0400

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Arbor Brewing Company

February 5th.

So my birthday was last Wednesday (February 2nd- you can now mark your calendars for next year...) and it was great- Elisabeth and I went to see a show in Detroit but unfortunately that meant we couldn't eat out somewhere fabulous that night. So, in effort to prolong my birthday celebrations as long as possible and to have a valid excuse to go out for dinner, I invited several of my girlfriends out to Arbor Brewing Company on Saturday!

from L to R- Samantha, Ali, Casey, Alex, Dana, Marie, Elisabeth, Chelsea, Carlye.
Atmosphere: 8/4. Elisabeth and I had two very different opinions here. After we left I commented how much I loved the genuine, neighborhood brewpub feel. It had a casual and relaxed vibe. Elisabeth's differing opinion can be surmised from her one line response- "When I eat, I like to feel important."  Classic. I won't be letting her forget that one for a while. The other girls were split as well on this one. It was mixed reviews so you'll have to decide for yourself!

  • Carlye gave it an "8 (because of those loud ass people playing that game in the corner) but I loved the bar setting!" 
  • Casey agreed also giving it an 8 for atmosphere.
  • Dana and Ali- 6 and 6.5, respectively
  • Samantha- 5

Service: 7. Eh. To be expected.

Food: 8. I thought it was great. Elisabeth thought it was so-so (officially a 6). The favorite item was the Mezza Luna Ravioli. And Casey's side of onion rings? Were amazing- also large enough to feed small countries. 

  • Ali rated it an "8 - it was SO good, and SO filling! Generous portions and very varied menu." 
  • Carlye: "9- I LOVEEEEDDD the food, but my salad was way over dressed (you know what I'm sayin girl) but that is literally the only reason I give it a 9 instead of 10." 
  • Casey: "8- The food was great but I was disappointed by the lack of options on the menu." 
  • Dana- 8

Apple Goat Cheese Salad and Quesadillas
Asiago Chicken Pasta and Mezza Luna Ravioli 
ONION RINGS and Fried Chicken Tenders
Overall: 8. It was one of my favorite nights out since we started this whole thing. I loved it. I think it is a "don't miss" Ann Arbor spot. Another thing I loved was their commitment to buying local and organic. "We understand that the creation of sustainable food systems is as important to our community as it is to the environment and we continue to participate in this process through our commitment to supporting local businesses." They even include a list of the local vendors, farms and distributors they buy from right on their menu. It's good to know where your food is coming from!
Clean plates for all of us
If you go: Check out the website to view their menu. They don't take reservations, so get there early on busy weekends. 
114 East Washington Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

(734) 213-1393

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Afternoon Delight

January 29th

I have to say I'm a little embarrassed I haven't been here until this point. My old roommate Erica was here all the time, at least it felt like it, (hey Erica, why did you never take me?!) so it seems a shame we have put off eating here for so long. Along for the ride with us was our new friend Ruth Duersch- she's doing a PR internship here this semester on break from Brigham Young University. We love to steal great BYU people and convince them Ann Arbor is better... because it is.

Atmosphere: 6. I'm beginning to realize how ridiculous these atmosphere ratings are... what kind of scale is this? How on earth can Afternoon Delight's rating be related in any way to The Earle? The fact is, they aren't, so the numbers here are a little irrelevant, but for the sake of the format we've established, we'll keep rating. For fun. So for fun, Afternoon Delight rates at a 6. Its a quirky little breakfast/lunch spot that is totally Ann Arbor. It's not trying to be anything fancy, it just lives up to its well established reputation. Ruth didn't love the atmosphere- she didn't like that it lacked uniformity. Neither did Elisabeth, which you would expect from her if you have seen her room. 
Service: 7. Eh. Nothing spectacular but also not bad. Status quo.

Food: 7. The menu offered all the standard breakfast and lunch fare- omelettes, pancakes, eggs, sandwiches, soups, salads etc. But they also had some really interesting items on their menu unique to Afternoon Delight- like the Muffin Delight- "a hot split bran muffin filled with your choice of frozen yogurt," and a whole host of other frozen yogurt treats. 
       However, we did not order the Muffin Delight. But Ruth ordered the Morning Delight- "a special blend of ham, cheddar cheese and egg, served on a whole wheat English muffin," Elisabeth ordered the Cheese Blintzes- three thin pancakes filled with a mixture of ricotta and cottage cheese, topped with strawberries, chocolate chips, and sour cream. It sounds bizarre, but was evidently really sweet and delicious. I ordered a really boring plate of biscuits with sausage gravy- down home southern cooking was just calling my name that day. As to be expected Elisabeth (and Ruth) ordered hot chocolate, and this cup gave Northside Grill a run for its money. Ruth gave it two thumbs up, "Three, If I had them."
Overall: 7. Afternoon Delight was tasty and fun, but it doesn't set itself apart from the other breakfast/lunch places in town. Its certainly worth going to and is fairly inexpensive. 

If you go: Check out their website, or find them on facebook. It's super crowded on the weekends! Expect to wait upwards of 30 minutes to be seated. 
251 East Liberty Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 665-7513

Do you agree or disagree? Tell us about your Afternoon Delight Cafe experience in a comment!

PS- we know you all are reading this...because you've told us. So, it's time hit the "follow" button over on the right there. 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Café Japon

January 17th.

Hey Folks, this is Elisabeth here. I decided to take complete advantage of restaurant week, and ate out twice in one day. Lunch at The Melting Pot (see below), and dinner at Caf
é Japon. Chelsea was not with me for the latter. Obviously, I am much more popular than Chelsea because people actually invite me to eat with them. The incomparable Adam Wilson took me to dinner a Japanese-French fusion restaurant. Perfect for us because Adam grew up in France and I grew up in Japan.

Atmosphere: 4. Café Japon was not what we expected. We thought we were going to a chic, inventive restaurant, but we arrived to find a hole-in-the-wall, order at the counter restaurant. When Adam called to get a reservation, he heard the hostess yell to the kitchen workers, "Do we take reservations?!?!" Needless to say, we were the first people to ever make reservation at Café Japon. The decor looked like it was a hand-me-down from a deserted diner mixed with some random Asian accents. The only cool decoration were the grass hut booth covers. Of course, we choose to sit underneath one.
Service: 8. The service was quite perfect at Café Japon. Our waitress/hostess was very kind and stayed past her shift so she could finish serving us. Our meal involved many different dishes and she brought each dish out at a perfect gradual pace so we were never overwhelmed with food, nor were we ever waiting for food. The business also seemed family oriented; our waitresses/hostess' husband played live music at the restaurant, and seemed to be the daughter of the chef.

Food: 6.5. The food at Café Japon was oishii (or delicious) but, as is the trend, not what I expected. I was prepared to find menu items that uniquely combined Japanese and French cuisine, but found the French and Japanese dishes to be pretty separate. Adam and I ordered two completely different 3 course meals off the set restaurant week menu and shared our food. This meant I got to try a lot of different dishes- from sukiyaki to a savory seafood custard (yuck!) So many dishes, I can't begin to name all of them. The highlights of the meal, for me (Adam might say differently), were the tuna tar-tar, lentil pilaf, ratatouille, and light orange and cream pastry dessert. This restaurant finds its strength in the authenticity of it's food. These dishes have no sign of Americanization.

Overall: 6. I had a wonderful experience at Café Japon. But I'm convinced that was because I got to eat with chopsticks and had great company. The food was great, but not something I would necessarily crave.

I have discovered a great strategy for this crazy adventure Chelsea and I have embarked on. . . get other people to take you to the restaurants so you don't have to pay. Anyone want to take Chelsea and I on a double date?

If you go:
113 East Liberty Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-2109
(734) 332-6200