As a rising Senior in high school, I'm stuck hearing that question on the daily. As the year rolls around, most rising seniors are becoming more and more preoccupied with the idea of finding a few universities that fit us best and then doing our best to make sure we get into those places.
Last week I went to the University of Michigan, and, besides just finding a nice new university, I found a lot of delicious new food. So--here's the spots I would recommend if you find yourself on a visit to the cute mini-city of Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Our breakfasts were probably the most disappointing meals in Ann Arbor. We went to two different places but neither was particularly outstanding. Both were slightly pricey for what they were and neither had a truly perfect menu--just a couple decent items.
The one I'd most recommend is Afternoon Delight (251 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor, afternoondelightcafe.com). The strong points were the fresh baked multi-flavor bran muffins and the super strong and super hot coffee. We opted for blueberry over peanut butter chocolate but the muffin was perfectly moist and fluffy. The weak points (sadly) were the actual breakfast items--I got cinnamon french toast which was awfully dry and overcooked. I also tasted the egg sandwich which wasn't anything special. Here's my disappointing french toast, the egg sandwich, and the top of the funny looking but scrumptious muffin.
For lunch we felt morally obligated to go to one of the most famous places in all of Michigan. Zingerman's Delicatessen (422 Detroit St., Ann Arbor, Zingermans.com), is widely known all over Michigan as somewhat of the Zabar's of the Midwest. However, Zabar's blows Zingerman's out of the water. Zabar's, my favorite New York City Delicatessen and gourmet food market, will always be tops on my list. Though Zingerman's was delicious, it had simply comparable food to Zabar's at a surprisingly higher price. Zabar's competes with extortionate New York rates and Zingerman's was still more expensive. We found ourselves shying away from the bagels and cakes below because they were simply unreasonably priced for their quality.
The one upside to Zingerman's is that it has a well-oiled machine of a restaurant in back. Zingerman's offers a humongous selection of sandwiches and sides like home baked kinishes. The only caveat is that my sandwich and the other below were both predictably expensive. I ordered the most famous Binn's Reuben sandwich and the other sandwich is a turkey/chopped liver combo. Below, the sandwiches were really delicious but I'm not sure mine was 100% deserving of the $14 price tag.
Dinner in Ann Arbor is absolutely the best. Whether you're a college student on a budget or a local that can afford to dine in style, Ann Arbor has a restaurant for you. I sampled a restaurant at each end of the spectrum.
(216 S. State Street, Ann Arbor, savasrestaurant.com)
Sava's features both an extensive list of delicious and fairly priced sandwiches and a list of more lavish entrees and a variety of sides. I had the Cuban and a side of mac and cheese (on the waiter's suggestion) and my mom had the Kalifa Panini with sweet potato fries. My sandwich was juicy and delicious and my mom's was also pretty yummy. The Cuban was filled to the brim and, as the local UMichigan student waiter said, "great after a long, hard day." The only forgettable piece was the mac and cheese I ordered on recommendation.
Also, it doesn't hurt that Sava's has a well decorated interior with an upper level of seating as well. The restaurant (below), is pretty aesthetically pleasing.
They also make kick-ass mixed drinks out of their full bar. The "poolboy" (pictured here) was heavenly.
KRAZY JIM'S BLIMPY BURGER:
(Corner of Packard and S. Division St. in Ann Arbor, www.blimpyburger.com)
I heard about this place on Guy Fieri's infamous Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. Though I'll agree with the haters, Fieri is obnoxious and annoying, the restaurants he visits tend to be worth visiting. Krazy Jim's did not disappoint.
To order, you stand in a snaking line and put together your burger as you go through. First, you have to order your fried goods. DON'T SKIMP! Jim's deep fries a selection of delicious fresh vegetables in addition to the classic onion rings and french fries right before your eyes. As you can see below I got myself a hefty basket of fried mushrooms.
Next you order your burger. Their ordering system is a little particular but they have directions on the wall to guide you. The frycooks will only give you a cute heckle if you get it twisted up. You can order from 2-5 (or more on special order) patties. Their patties are thin, so don't hesitate to go for three or more. Also pick from one of their six different cheeses, one of their four unique buns, and many grilled veggies and bacon/salami to top your burger.
My burger and Krazy Jim's experience was the foodie highlight of my trip to Michigan. This pre-football-favorite is a MUST-SEE during any Michigan visit.
At any rate, the University of Michigan was in a delicious foodie town. Maybe I'll be back in Ann Arbor soon...only time will tell!