Category Archives: Food

The Ann Arbor Bias – Zingerman's

Ever since one summer as a college student in Paris, sipping cappuccino on the Champs Elysees, I’ve been looking for that same type of European, al fresco atmosphere that makes you feel like you’re on vacation. But so often, outdoor dining means you’re just steps from a busy street, inhaling car exhaust.

What’s the best place to capture that feeling in Ann Arobr? Zingerman’s Roadhouse, of course. You know, the one at the corner of Jackson and Stadium, less than 300 yards from I-94. So what makes it one of the best outdoor dining establishments (aside from the food)?

…wobbly tables and hard, rather uncomfortable seats…

…the descent of tiny bugs on our remaining food at the end of the meal…

…noise can be a problem outside. When crowded, it is virtually impossible to hear your fellow diners amid the din.

I think there should have been some standards set forth before reviewing restaurants where you’d dine al fresco.

Don’t get me wrong, we drop a C-note at that place once a year because of the food. We don’t, however, go there for the atmosphere. Putting Zingerman’s on a list of the best outdoor dining establishments in Ann Arbor is disingenuous at best.

via Restaurant review: Zingerman’s Roadhouse – AnnArbor.com.

Speaking of Food Porn…

We made a pilgrimage to the new Whole Foods in Ann Arbor today, as required by our residency contract with Washtenaw county. It always surprises me just how much the marketing of food lends to its appeal. For instance, entering the store, you are assaulted with the scents and sights (lit by the sun from mid-afternoon until sun set, I assume) of fresh, polished fruits and vegetables. The unsightly boxes that these foods came in is visible, all are stacked by hand in neat towers of spheres or columns. It’s glorious; food as a vision. You can’t help but want all of it because it looks so appealing. It’s like the red-light district materialized in a grocery store, but all the hookers became apples, leaks, and.. well, melons.

Now, I will admit there are things available at Whole Foods that simply cannot be found at Kroger or the local grocery store; cheese and fish tend to be on our list when we hit Whole Paycheck. But, for the embarrassing amount we spent today, much of it was splurging: potato latkes and grilled leaks simply don’t land on our menu very often.

Don’t get me wrong, if I had the means, I’d gorge myself on $20 fruit tarts and $50/pound hand-massaged cheese until I burst. But I always feel slightly guilty partaking in the gastronomical orgy of that place, like I should have just stayed with that steady girlfriend instead of hitting the hookers and blow in The Valley.

Tune in next week when I crank up the hypocracy and go back to Whole Foods for a sushi lunch.

Spicey Porn

There are many miracles in the world to be celebrated and, for me, garlic is the most deserving.

Leo Buscaglia

I love to cook. Which is to say, I love to make bold, spicey dishes. Garlic is my favorite flavor to play with, much to the chagrin of J–, but I also love the smell of fresh basil, cilantro, and hot peppers.

Which, with winter not far from our windows, is why finding The Spice House is such a wonderfully awful event. For those spices I just can’t find around here, I now have a source. And my debit card softly weeps. If anyone *cough* is looking for a Christmas suggestion, I’d point to the Some Like It Hot Gift Box. Or anything from the garlic page.

The Omnivore’s Hundred

I don’t usually do whatever list-of-intItemToDoPreDeath, but this was food, a subject at which I excell, so, what the hell. Found at titled: some amusing blog pun.

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here atwww.verygoodtaste.co.uk linking to your results.

1. Venison.
?2. Nettle tea.
?3. Huevos rancheros.?
4. Steak tartare.?
5. Crocodile?
6. Black pudding.? – ug
7. Cheese fondue.?
8. Carp. ?
9. Borscht.?
10. Baba ghanoush. ?
11. Calamari.? – love it
12. Pho. ?- maybe? had something very similar, but it wasn’t Vietnamese. 
13. PB&J sandwich.? – serioulsy? 
14. Aloo gobi.?
15. Hot dog from a street cart. ?
16. Epoisses.?
17. Black truffle.?
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes.?
19. Steamed pork buns.?
20. Pistachio ice cream.?
21. Heirloom tomatoes. – There aren’t many tomatoes I haven’t tried
22. Fresh wild berries.?
23. Foie gras.?
24. Rice and beans.?
25. Brawn, or head cheese.?
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper.?
27. Dulce de leche.?
28. Oysters.?
29. Baklava.
30. Bagna cauda.?
31. Wasabi peas.?
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl.?
33. Salted lassi.? – coworker brought this in for a potluck once
34. Sauerkraut.?
35. Root beer float.?
36. Cognac with a fat cigar. – oh, college?
37. Clotted cream tea.? – individually, yes, but together? Huh. 
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O.?
39. Gumbo.?
40. Oxtail.?
41. Curried goat.? – wouldn’t bar-b-qued goat count? 
42. Whole insects.? – would lobster count? 
43. Phaal.?
44. Goat’s milk.?
45. Malt whiskey from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more. – far too many times?
46. Fugu.?
47. Chicken tikka masala.?
48. Eel.?
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut.?
50. Sea urchin. – not a chance. when even sushi lovers say this is an aquired taste.. no way.?
51. Prickly pear.?
52. Umeboshi.?
53. Abalone.?
54. Paneer?
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal. ?
56. Spaetzle. ?- Ann Arbor folks, go to Metzer’s on Zeeb
57. Dirty gin martini.
58. Beer above 8% ABV.?
59. Poutine.?
60. Carob chips.?
61. S’mores.?
62. Sweetbreads.?
63. Kaolin.?
64. Currywurst.? – where oh where can I try this?!?!
65. Durian.?
66. Frogs’ legs. 
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake.
68. Haggis.?
69. Fried plantain.?
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette.?
71. Gazpacho.
72. Caviar and blini.?
73. Louche absinthe.?
74. Gjetost, or brunost.?
75. Roadkill.? – Deer hit by a car, made into sausage. Wasn’t bad, actually. 
76. Baijiu.?
77. Hostess Fruit Pie.?
78. Snail.?
79. Lapsang souchong.?
80. Bellini.?
81. Tom yum.?
82. Eggs Benedict. ?
83. Pocky.?
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.?
85. Kobe beef. ?
86. Hare.?
87. Goulash.?
88. Flowers.?
89. Horse.?
90. Criollo chocolate.?
91. Spam.?
92. Soft shell crab.? – so good on a sandwhich
93. Rose harissa.?
94. Catfish.?
95. Mole poblano.?
96. Bagel and lox.?
97. Lobster Thermidor.?
98. Polenta.?
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. 
100. Snake.

61/100… not too shabby.

Alan Richman is Still A Douche

And a blatantly transparent one as well.  Richman’s latest “critique” is about Brasserie Les Halles, a midtown Manhattan restaurant famous mostly for its association with Anthony Bourdain.

Richman’s review is, shall we say, petty, as he happily claims to bust a hostess lying to him and his companion and ripping on Bourdain who hasn’t cooked in the restaurant in 8 years (save for one night for his show).  The remainder of the “review” is a self-indulgent trip into a thesaurus as Richman tries to upstage his own ego in an attempt to cloak his true purpose in going to Les Halles.

Guess Richman is a little bitter about winning the Douchbag award from Bourdain.  Classy of GQ’s man, though, to take a shot at revenge by shredding the restaurant instead of responding to the criticism. Guess some critics really are just bitter douches.

GQ’s Alan Richman Blog