My friend Jenny and I were by David’s Bridal in the Cranbrook Village Shopping Center looking at wedding dresses, and after some exhausting maneuvering in and out of gigantic, heavy dresses, was looking for something to eat. Right across the street, delicious smells were coasting my way from Tony Sacco’s. We hadn’t previously heard about them, but the amazing scent of pizza was enough for us to go in. I rarely lug the Canon 6D out while I’m shopping, so please forgive the iPhone quality photos. (more…)
Fred suggested we try El Harissa Market for dinner, it’s a small deli/cafe on the northwest side of Ann Arbor, near Juicy Kitchen. True to its name, it feels like a market. There are shelves with everything from local tomatoes to jasmine tea in tin cans.
I was sad when the make-your-own-sushi restaurant Tamaki closed, but was excited to see signs for Taste Kitchen soon after. The same owners of Tamaki are running Taste Kitchen, but the two restaurants seem to have very different philosophies. Tamaki had pho, one of my favorite dishes, and I’m glad to see it survived the transition. Its Taste Kitchen incarnation is a lot fancier, involving an unlidding of the dish that really lets its aroma make an entrance. It also involves a side dish with a poached egg that you get to drop in yourself.
The single Yelp review that was posted on Taste Kitchen page mentioned that everything was well-plated, which is definitely true. There is a focus on presentation, with active little moves like pouring sauce over your dish. Above is the succulent pork plate, with coffee, butternut squash, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, romanesca, and maple maple burre monté! The best part of this was the maple butter; it was just the right amount of sweetness. (more…)
It was storming and pouring when I finished work, so I asked Fred for a ride home. He surprised me by driving not home, but to the Red Brick Kitchen & Bar in Dexter. It’s about the season we usually venture out to Dexter for their cider mill and to stock up on raspberry wine from the Sandhill Crane’s tasting room. There was unfortunately a 40 minute wait, but since we had come all the way, we put our names down and walked around, our umbrellas only somewhat protecting us from the rain.
Once in a while, we’ll hear about a fantastic restaurant that’s a little ways away. Kevin told me about The Sardine Room in Plymouth a couple months ago, but it took a while for us to be able to make the drive over. They feature “buck-a-shuck” dollar oysters during their happy hour, which runs 4-6PM Monday-Friday. Although I grew up in Boston, I always found oysters to be strange-looking sea creatures that belonged in a harbor rather than on my dining plate. I must truly be an adult now that I have not only tried oysters, but found them to be delightful little bursts of lemony-ocean flavor. Also, they’re so photogenic!
Every year when we visit the Dexter Cider Mill, we always stop by the Sandhill Crane Vineyards tasting room located in a little corner room of the barn. I still have not found a dessert wine that comes close to their wonderful raspberry wine, and every year try to stock up on a few bottles to last us through the holiday season.
Summer’s fading fast, and it truly feels like fall. Each year since I’ve been in Ann Arbor, I’ve taken a trip to the Dexter Cider Mill sometime in September or October. People travel here in all sorts of methods – driving, biking, or even canoeing. Time has really sped up these last few years, with a year passing before I even realize it. When I try to think back of the last time I went apple-picking with friends, I’m always shocked by the realization that it was a whole year ago. I appreciate these yearly traditions more, now that we are all getting so busy and have to actively make plans. So without further ado, I present a local favorite, the Dexter Cider Mill.