The 10 Best Non-Basic Food Items From The 10 Best Restaurants In Ann Arbor

The 10 Best Non-Basic Food Items From The 10 Best Restaurants In Ann Arbor

How to successfully eat your way through Ann Arbor... and your wallet.

For all you Michigan foodies out there, listen up. While Sava’s Greek salad, Fred’s avocado toast, and Isalita’s truffle guacamole will always be crowd favorites, we definitely don’t give enough credit to some hidden gems on these menus.

During first semester, I mastered American politics, statistics, health and nutrition, and English. More importantly, however, I mastered the Ann Arbor food tour. Here are a few items from your favorite restaurants that you should no longer look past.

1. Skillet from Ama Bistro

While Ama Bistro makes a mean omelette, there is absolutely nothing better than their “create your own skillet.” This is a heavenly ceramic skillet filled with hash browns, veggies, cheese, meat, and eggs. I know, insane, right? Trust me, it tastes even better than it sounds!

2. Brown Rice Bowl from Fred’s

If you’re even looking for a feel-good healthy meal, Fred’s is your place. Their menu consists of healthy versions of almost anything you could be craving. After trying the menu almost to its entirety, their brown rice bowl is definitely a go-to choice.

3. Cauliflower Tacos from Isalita

This is definitely not what comes to mind when envisioning tacos, but I promise they do not disappoint.

4. Santa Fe Salad from Sava’s

Some may argue with me on this, but Sava’s Santa Fe salad totally beats their famous Greek salad! Sava’s is a go-to for a majority of UM students, and you truly can’t go wrong with anything on their menu.

5. BT Nachos from Blue Tractor BBQ

Besides their authentic BBQ items being off the charts, they also have one of the best nachos I’ve ever had! The best part- the deep fried jalapeños on top!

6. Stone Pot Bibimbap from Kangs

This is most definitely proof not to look past a tiny restaurant on South U! A sizzling pot filled with rice, vegetables, Korean beef, and a fried egg. What more could you ask for?

7. Wood Roasted Wings from Bigalora

Coming from a buffalo wing enthusiast, not all wings need to be drenched in hot sauce! These are the most delicious wings, simply roasted with spices and caramelized onions.

8. Spicy Miso Tonkotsu from Slurping Turtle

Slurping Turtle somehow is the cure to any illness. After a bowl of ramen, you are guaranteed to feel better. The “Spicy Miso Tonkotsu” has the perfect level of spice bound to clear up your sinuses!

9. Chipati from Pizza Bob’s

A warm, soft pita stuffed with chopped salad and chicken, with the most heavenly secret sauce. Fun fact- chapatis are an Ann Arbor one of a kind special, which is why you should take advantage of their deliciousness.

10. Churros from Aventura

Once you’ve tried all of the meals above, I’m sure your sweet tooth will kick in. The churros from Aventura are truly one of a kind. I guarantee you won’t even feel guilty after consuming the whole order because they’re THAT good!

Cover Image Credit: Instagram | @gtshaw

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I Tried The New Starbucks Crystal Ball Frappuccino And... Eh

My inner 12-year-old loved it. My 20-year-old self, not so much.

As a proud Starbucks gold star member, I rarely miss a special. I hopped on board the Unicorn Frappuccino trend, completed my Bingo board in 4 days (and with the least possible number of transactions), and frequently receive notifications from all my money saving apps that I'm "spending more than the average on Starbucks" like leave me alone, you don't know my life.

So when I heard about the Crystal Ball Frappuccino, I was intrigued. The promotional material didn't provide much information, relying instead on the "magical" factor of different colored sprinkles. It was an inefficient marketing technique so of course, it worked. What can I say, I was curious.

I bit the bullet and bought the drink. Like any of the frappuccinos, it cost me more than $5 and it came out looking fun, swirled white with green with sugary green sprinkles on top. Upon the first sip, I was not impressed. I wasn't surprised either, but I wasn't impressed.

It tasted like an artificial peach-flavored sugar explosion in my mouth, like the perfect frappuccino to try if you're 12-years-old and you're at the mall with your friends and you've never had coffee before. It was sugary, sweet, a hint of fruity, creamy, and brought me back to the middle school days of Vanilla Bean and Strawberries & Creme frappuccinos.

But given that I'm not 12-years-old, it reminded me of some other things. It tasted like the cheapest peach vodka we could find to mix with orange juice in the basement after junior prom. The association was almost enough to make me sick and the traumatic memory that it brought back was far from welcome.

As someone who has a paper due in a couple hours and a final exam in the morning that has not even been addressed yet, it tasted like a painful lack of caffeine and also a sugar-induced headache.

Did I finish it? Of course I did. I'm not going to pay nearly $6 for a drink I'm not going to drink (it was nonfat mom and dad, don't worry). But I feel like, again, Starbucks missed the mark with this "special" drink.

It's basically peaches and cream flavored, plus more sugar with the sprinkles, food coloring, and whipped cream. Whether or not it contains caffeine, I don't really know, but I'd be willing to bet it doesn't. What it does contain though is a lot of sugar, quite a bit of disappointment, and absolutely no intention to try it again.

It's pretty, it's cute, and it's fun. That plus the marketing technique and the target audience of preteens will probably make it do pretty well. But on behalf of sleep-deprived, caffeine-addicted college students everywhere, if the next special Starbucks drink could actually contain coffee and fewer rainbows and magic, that'd be great.

Cover Image Credit: Maria Nelson

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9 Must Try Restaurants In Downtown Seattle From A Seattlite

Some foods are worth the mile-long line; some others - not so much.

After living in Seattle for 9 years, I consider myself a Seattlite. From numerous trips downtown with friends, here’s a list of the best food places to visit - created by a local!

1. Pike Place Chowder

Recognized internationally as the best clam chowder in America, Pike Place Chowder boasts numerous awards including multi-year champions of clam chowder. Although the lines are usually at least 20 minutes long, this chowder is worth every minute of the wait. I would stand in line with tourists every week just to get their New England Chowder because it is just that good.

One downside of this place is that it’s located in a small alleyway, making seating scarce and often hard to find.

2. Mee Sum Pastry

Located just across the street from Pike Place Market, this small shop sells piping hot Asian breads that are just too delicious to pass up. From beef curry hombows to chashu pork buns, this place sells it all.

3. Piroshky Piroshky

Also located across the street from Pike Place, this popular Russian spot sells both sweet and savory pastries, allowing people with all cravings to have something to choose from. I recommend the potato and mushroom piroshky and the ham, cheese, and spinach.

4. Storyville Coffee

Hidden above the Crumpet Shop, Storyville Coffee presents a modern ambiance and is a perfect place to get some work done or study for classes. Because they roast their own coffee beans, this place makes tasty lattes with a velvety milk texture, although the french press could be a hit or miss depending on when they were brewed.

5. Dick’s Burgers

Famous for its affordable burgers and delicious milkshakes, Dick’s Burgers is a local favorite. It holds a status similar to In-N-Out in California. For $1.90, this place serves up some decent cheeseburgers. Of course, with this price, don’t expect anything high quality or gourmet, but it does fill you up and leaves you satisfied.

6. La Marzocco

“Their lattes are good” - my boyfriend.

Known as an Italian espresso machine manufacturer, La Marzocco does not disappoint with their coffees. The whole shop is extremely instagrammable, and they even have a radio station in the shop. For an aesthetically pleasing yet tasty drink, order the latte or cortado.

7. Emmett Watson’s Oyster Bar

Emmett Watson’s Oyster Bar is a hidden gem in the back corner right next to Seattle Cutlery. They serve all your fresh seafood desires, from fried clams to seared fish. I really enjoyed their half-dozen oysters, which are freshly caught from the local bays. The half dozen platter offers flavor profiles that range from everything between refreshing ocean (almost salmon roe-like) and sweet clams.

8. Gelatiamo

Personally my favorite gelato spot anywhere, Gelatiamo offers a wide range of flavors, from the traditional to the unexpected. Before serving the gelato, this place places their metal cups in the freezer to delay the melting process, allowing customers to savor their frozen delight for longer periods of time. The rice gelato is a must try for anyone.

9. Daily Dozen Doughnut

Fluffy, tasty, and moist are all words that describe this already-famous spot. For $4, you can enjoy 6 small but extremely tasty donuts. These treats are great finger foods to eat while enjoying and exploring Pike Place Market.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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