Ann Arbor is home to a great many restaurants. Of course, I may be a little biased and assume that they are all amazing, but when I found myself at Taste Kitchen, I was in new territory. You, back when I was a student Taste Kitchen didn’t exist. Plus, if it did it was definitely beyond my onetime student budget.
When you look up places to eat in Saugatuck, one spot is at the top of every list: Phil’s. Phil’s is like the quintessential Midwestern Bar and Grille, serving up a variety of beers, burgers, salads and the like in a dimly lit space that leans more toward dive than romance. Naturally, we had to pay the place a visit.
After attempting to grab dinner at the most popular spot in Saugatuck, Phil’s, we realized we couldn’t wait for a table and made our way to Coral Gables instead. The place was nearly empty, which we took as a bad sign for the food, however, it had a beautiful view of the Kalamazoo River so we knew it couldn’t be all bad.
Milford, Michigan might be out there, but it has a pretty cool main street with shops and restaurants. One such restaurant goes by the name of Palate and kind of does the gastropub thing. I had heard good things about their mac and cheese, but I wasn’t up for that as a full meal and needed to find the main course.
The Detroit area is populated with some pretty amazing Middle Eastern food. This is due, of course, to the high population of people from that region. Thus, I operate under the impression that you can’t go wrong with any place because of the big time competition. So when I stepped into Shawarma Kingdom in Birmingham, I walked in with expectations.
The Royal Park Hotel in Rochester is home to a restaurant called the Brookshire Restaurant, which apparently has one of the best brunches in the metro Detroit area, so we set out there to finish off a whirlwind Detroit food weekend that took me to more than one place I had never even considered visiting back when I was a Michigan resident.
I don’t exactly come from a family that is into fancy food. This may be apparent in my reviews, but if not it should be apparent in the fact that for my mom’s 60th birthday all she wanted to do was eat at Heroes in Waterford, Michigan. You see, Heroes isn’t in any way a bad place, but it is at its basest level a bar and grill. A bar and grill, however, with whitefish that is too good for its own good.
Strangely situated in the middle of West Bloomfield, Michigan is one very authentic Chinese restaurant. It’s called Shangri-La and has the endorsement of not one, but two Chinese/Taiwanese people I know that have been there. It also has the endorsement of all the other people that show up on the weekends for their dim sum.
Clarkston is not a part of Michigan I ever found myself in while spending the first 22 years of my life in the state. Yet, Union Woodshop wasn’t there for any of those 22 years either. It’s there now though, a modern BBQ spot fully endorsed by hometown hero Kid Rock (although not owned by him in any way despite popular contrary opinion), and thus I finally made my way there as well. And it should probably be noted that while I don’t really listen to Kid Rock’s music, he does seem like he would like the same food as me.
A great ramen is hard to find. Good ramen, not so much, but great yes. So when Slurping Turtle in Chicago got so big that they decided to open up an outpost in Ann Arbor, I assumed great things. So on my last visit to Michigan amidst weather worthy of ramen, I made sure to make a stop in Ann Arbor for some slurping.