Posts tagged ‘restaurant’

Grange Kitchen and Bar

Friday night was my running buddy’s birthday, and as she is something of a foodie as well (most of our time hanging out is spent discussing or eating or watching food…), she had the awesome idea to go to Grange in Ann Arbor. Grange is a local restaurant that’s dedicated to serving local, seasonal and sustainable food whenever possible, and the resulting menu is absolutely fabulous.

But before getting ahead of myself, let’s start with drinks, shall we? I love restaurants with a creative cocktail list, and this definitely didn’t disappoint. I don’t like bourbon, and therefore didn’t want to order the GBK Manhattan (bacon infused Bulleit Bourbon, maple syrup, orange bitters, brandied cherries), but a member of our party did, and he let me try it. Bourbon aside, it was good! You could really taste the smokiness from the bacon – the aftertaste just kept coming at you, but in a good way. I did, however, order the GGGinger (fresh mint, ginger syrup & fresh lime juice, Tanqueray, ginger beer, crystallized ginger), because ginger beer is possibly my favorite drink in existence. Not beer at all, it’s just a really gingery ginger ale type beverage that I used to drink all the time in London:

The presentation of my drink was stunning – everyone at the table wanted a drink/to take a picture of it!

And believe me, it tasted as good as it looked. As did the cute bite of crystallized ginger on top…

Along with the drinks came some crusty bread and butter – I helped myself to a piece.

And so onto dinner. My philosophy when I eat in “fancy” restaurants is to always eat something that 1) I wouldn’t cook at home, 2) I probably couldn’t cook at home, even if I tried, and 3) I wouldn’t want to cook at home. So, following all of these rules, I ordered the Fried Pig’s Head with Mustard and Sauce Gribiche for my starter.

I didn’t know it when I ordered it, but sauce gribiche is (according to wikipedia), a “mayonnaise-style cold egg sauce”. I’m actually glad I didn’t know that – I don’t really like mayonnaise (though I’ve never tried to make it at home), and I’m sure it would have negatively influenced my opinion of it before I tried it. As it was, it basically just tasted like a soft stone-ground mustard. And as for the pig’s head – it was so tender and flavorful. And the crust was some sort of breading, I think, which in and of itself was delicious. On the side was something of a spring mix (arugula and something else?) lightly dressed. Yum…

For my main course, I ordered the Sautéed Perch with Swiss Chard and Squash Gnocchi.

The fish and the chard were pretty good, but I have to admit, the gnocchi were definitely my favorite part of the dish. I could have eaten an entire plate of them!

I also got to try a bite of the pork belly, which I’ve wanted to try as a meat for awhile – it’s also a well-known dish at the restaurant. It was so tender as well – it just fell apart! I was really happy with my dish, though :)

If I were to voice any complaints about Grange at all, it would be that the service could have been a little quicker – we waited awhile for both of our courses. We were a big party, true, but at an upscale restaurant like that, I would expect something a little quicker. However, our service was quite nice, and even agreed to split the bill between the 9 of us, which was awesome. 

If you are ever in Ann Arbor, and are looking for a really nice place to eat at, eat at Grange! It seems they also have a slightly less pricey lunch menu now as well – I’d like to go and try their burger!

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December 6, 2009 at 9:34 pm Leave a comment

Following Foodie: An Ann Arbor Institution

So difficult! I had such good eats all day today, but I think I’ll post about them tomorrow morning. Tonight, I’d like to introduce everyone to possibly the most famous food institution in Ann Arbor, the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses. The “Community” consists of a Bakehouse, Creamery, Delicatessen, Catering Company, Coffeeshop and the Zingerman’s Roadhouse, a full-service restaurant.  I actually found out about Zingerman’s the first time I visited Ann Arbor (all the way back in June…) when I was researching “the best places to eat in Ann Arbor”. Zingerman’s came up in basically every search I did.

Zingerman’s Delicatessen is located in the Kerrytown district of Ann Arbor, which I wrote about yesterday. 

The Deli is featuring bacon right now (Ari Weinzweig, co-founder of Zingerman’s, wrote a book on bacon called Zingerman’s Guide to Better Bacon…), and it’s immediately apparent when you come across the place – I could smell the bacon (quite literally!) and knew immediately what I wanted on a sandwich! The menu is very clear and concise (which is good, because it’s hung on a wall, and there’s usually a wall of people between you and the menu), and is divided by different types of meat and then vegetarian options – my eyes went right to the pork section! I decided on the Jen’s Pimento Parti – “Pimento cheese (Southern cheese spread with Vermont cheddar, mayo & pimentos), Arkansas peppered bacon, tomato on grilled brewhouse bread”. You also get asked what kind of pickle you want with your sandwich (how could it be a deli otherwise?); I chose a garlicky pickle (I could have also chosen a cucumber-y one…).

My sandwich came out pretty quickly; it was also really busy (if you go on the weekends, there’s usually a line out the door and around the block…). And *this* is what I received:

And yes, that’s a half size :)

The sandwich was spicy and delicious – I especially liked the bacon, because it was real thick-cut bacon, with a ton of pepper around the edges.

One of my favorite aspects of Zingerman’s is that they are completely transparent with where each and all of their ingredients comes from. The “general store” of Zingerman’s, which is inside the Deli, features a meat counter, a cheese counter, a bread counter, and different “sundries” (don’t you love that word?). For each item, there’s a description of not only what the item is, but where it comes from. There’s a lot of local foods (such as peanut butter from Michigan! – I want to try that!), and also specialty international items – I really want to try a pesto they sell there that’s from Italy. The only downside is that it is pretty expensive – both the sandwiches and the items they sell. But the quality is so good, that it’s easy to overlook the slightly high prices, because you know you’re getting a great product.

Of course, I had to end my meal with some sort of dessert (yes, I had to :)). I walked over to Zingerman’s Next Door, which has coffee, pastries, bagels, and ice cream. Which I immediately gravitated to.

I love the small size – the sandwich was so big, I don’t think I had room for anything bigger!

As I was leaving Zingerman’s I passed by this:

Which is a little garden with all different kinds of herbs (cinnamon basil? all kinds of mint – all kinds of awesome!) and tomatoes. It really just reinforced my positive feelings regarding the “Community of Businesses” – they’re really committed to producing the best food they possibly can, even if it means growing it themselves!

September 10, 2009 at 10:39 pm Leave a comment


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