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Really a great eating experience. You and your party are seating around this exotic small round table, which is covered with a soft flat bread like a table cloth. Then different types of colorful food are lain directly on the bread. There are no utensils. You dive in with your hands using torn pieces of bread to handle the stewy dishes. Ok...make sure you go there with people you really like... this is an unusually personal experience. The ever attentive staff brings an endless supply steaming towels to clean your hands. The food is Ethiopian, which means its heavy on the legumes (lentils and peas) and vegetables, although there are some excellent meat dishes. To the uninitiated it will remind you of Indian food in its seasonings and textures. The food is endless..you pay one price and the staff will constantly refill your portion. I've done Ethiopian restaurants three or four times before and this is the best yet. The flavors are fresh as they are exotic. Its all on the spicy side. The staff, from the host to the waiters, smile and serve. Even they seem like they are having a good time. And the decoration of this spacious restaurant is truly beautiful, reflecting the warm imagery of east Africa. And if the communal thing spooks you, they will gladly supply you with plates, utensils, and a plain old square table.
Updated May 31, 2007
Address: 221 E. Washington, Ann Arbor, 48104
If you are looking for the best falafel in southern Michigan, you've found it at Jerusalem Garden (307 S. Fifth Ave). A quaint restaurant that seats 35 to 40 people inside, 15 to 20 outside in the warmer months. All food is made from secret family recipies from the homeland, Palistine. Cheap food, great food!
Favorite Dish: There is no way to pick which meal is the best, for each choice (falafel, kafta, shwarma, lentil soup, kibbie, hommus, grape leaves, majadra, baba, fatoush) is fabulous.
Written Apr 30, 2007
Address: 307 S. Fifth Ave, Ann Arbor, MI
The Earle is a seemingly elegant restaurant which appears to be classy and sophisticated. My husband and I were planning to have a romantic dinner there to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Unfortunately, the restaurant was full of secondhand smoke from the customers at the bar, making it impossible to enjoy our evening. The dining area is considered non-smoking, but it is far from smoke-free. Smoke from the bar easily wafts into the dining area, since there are no real barriers or partitions dividing the smoking section from the “non-smoking” section. Also, given that the restaurant is located subterranean with poor ventilation, there is no adequate way to remove the smoke from the air.
We changed tables, hoping that another section would be less smokey and carcinogenic, but ended up leaving the restaurant because I was afraid to breathe. To top of our lovely evening, we received disparaging comments from a customer for complaining about the smoke. This customer is most likely The Earle's typical customer since the restaurant caters to smokers. This troubled me because I had heard that The Earle was the "Classiest" restaurant in Ann Arbor. I am new to the midwest so it came as a surprise to me that a classy Michigan restaurant is full of second-hand smoke and attracts the likes of rude, ignorant and very stupid people. I found the entire experience quite ironic because the Surgeon General had released his report just a day before, stating that there is no safe level of secondhand smoke exposure. It was ironic also because my husband is training to be a vascular surgeon and has performed many amputations on smokers. I'm sure that the smoking customer who told us to go to another restaurant will be his next patient.
The service was excellent and I'm sure that The Earle also has excellent food, but we will never know because we care too much about our bodies to willingly breathe in second-hand smoke.
Written Jul 5, 2006
You may need an appetite and a half to get your mouth around a Zingerman's sandwich. With classic corned beef and pastrami, free-range turkey and chicken, more cheeses than you knew existed, and dee-luxe condiments slathered on home-baked bread, it's no surprise that lines for the sandwich counter often stretch out the door. While you're waiting to order, you can scan the display cases and scout out exotic cheeses (be sure to ask for samples), olives, dried fish and other delicacies. Wooden shelves are piled high with magnificent olive oils (there are often cups of oil and soft little bread cubes available for tasting), pastas, European canned tomatoes, vinegars, anchovies and much more.
Favorite Dish: We go for the sandwiches but usually end up bringing home cheese, olive oil and meats from the deli. And don't forget their bread now that they've opened their own bakery.
Written Jun 4, 2006
Address: 422 Detroit Street
Every bite at this restaurant is a divine experience. The ambiance is nothing special per say, but it is nice and clean and hospitable. The menus are written on tiny chalk boards and the wait staff recites to you verbally every single item. It's a fun experience.
Everything on the menu sounds so delectible it is difficult to choose what to eat- you'll want to choose everything!
Being a New England native, I am VERY particular about my seafood and especially about scallops. They can taste like bleach or be cooked rubbery if of poor quality. The dish I had was amazing. The scallops at West End Grill were soft, sweet and made me swoon. Whether you like seafood or game, anything on the menu is a culinary A-Z dream on your pallet. Highly recommened.
Favorite Dish: Duck appetizer
Sea scallops entre
Written May 24, 2006
Address: 120 West Liberty Street, Ann Arbor, MI
Since Ann Arbor is a college town, most places are fun and young and hip... this local brewery is no exception. We stopped in on a Friday night (St. Patricks Day to be exact) so of course the place was packed, but luckily we snagged a large table for our party of 5 and got to enjoy people watching and good times. Leopolds is set up differently from any restaurant/brewery I've ever been to. One half of the large room is all picnic tables and benches, while the other half has a few tables. I like the idea behind the picnic tables... to mingle with your fellow drinkers/diners and maybe make some new friends (reminded me of summer camp). The bar is in the back corner and had a line of customers throughout the night. There is no table service (for drinks or food) so unfortunately, standing in line became the norm. If you're feeling bored, behind the bar is a wide assortment of board games... so sit down next to a stranger and start up a game of checkers!
The bar offered mixed drinks, shots and of course their own beer (don't expect to get a label beer here). The beer was... ummmm... really, really bitter. I tried a couple of kinds and can't say that any of them did it for me. Usually if a brewery has bitter beer they also offer orange slices (drop in the beer, bitterness not so noticeable), but they didn't here so I ended up sipping a beer that I didn't like all night. The food was actually really good. They offered appetizers, wraps, pizzas, salads, etc. and everyone at our table enjoyed their meal. The atmosphere was fun and loud and enjoyed by people of all ages.
I would go back again, but I'd probably just get a mixed drink next time!
Favorite Dish: Most of our group tried the different wraps and were satisfied enough with our meals. Nothing 4 star about it, but good food and a great time.
Written Mar 19, 2006
Address: 523 S. Main Street
I have a friend who's lived in Ann Arbor for 12 years and had never been to Amadeus. What's more, he didn't know it existed until I took him there. Amadeus is small enough and out-of-the-way enough to be overlooked even by long-time Ann Arbor residents. The fact that it's so small and unknown makes it all the better in a town full of huge despicable chain restaurants.
There are about a dozen tables in the restaurant and it's usually staffed by one or two waitpersons at a time. It's very small and very European in atmosphere, which goes very well with the Eastern European menu.
Favorite Dish: When the waiter told me that the soup of the day was dill pickle soup, I was sort of disgusted but curious. I think I was expecting something with a base like pickle brine. Instead it's a delicious creamy soup with a slight dill, vinegarey flavor. I really believe that it gets better with every spoonful, because you start a little curious and frightened and by the end, you're wondering why you only ordered a cup and whether it would be wrong to pick up the cup and lick the remaining soup off the edges.
I also highly recommend the White Chocolate Macadamia Bombe, which won some kind of award and highly deserved it. Unfortunately they were out the last time I was there, so it isn't as fresh in my mind as the soup.
Written Oct 31, 2005
Address: 122 E. Washington
A quaint little (approx 15 tables) fine dining establishment in downtown Ann Arbor. When the waitress comes over and rattles off the whole menu, I knew I was in for a good experience and the food didn't disappoint.
Favorite Dish: Been once and had the lobster stuffed fillet with bearnaise. My wife had scallops that were unbelievable...oh yeah and the bread is delicious. The whole experience was an orgasm for the senses.
Written Oct 15, 2005
Address: 120 West Liberty, Ann Arbor
Great food and cheap prices. The restaurant is charming and comfortable. My favorite place to eat from my first bite.
Favorite Dish: $3.99 One trip to the salad bar! Get in your greens and get a muffin to boot. Can't beat the price! Many other scrumptious menu items.
Written Oct 13, 2005
Address: 251 E. Liberty
Phone: (734) 665-7513
Blimpy's has a legendary reputation around Ann Arbor. They simply have the best hamburgers I've tasted. The hamburgers are made from thin patties (they grind their meat fresh daily) and you can order from two patties (a double) to as many as you desire on your burger. They also serve french fries, fried vegetables and chili, but the burgers are the main attraction.
The service is notoriously rude, but that's often considered part of the appeal (really!). If there is one place in town that should be considered a unique Ann Arbor dining experience, this is it.
Favorite Dish: Quint with american cheese, pickles, lettace tomatoes and mayo.
Updated Jun 28, 2005
Address: Corner of Packard and S Division
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