Friday, August 27, 2010

Ann Arbor Part 1

I spent most of my childhood growing up in Ann Arbor, Michigan where my parents taught at the University of Michigan. I have so many wonderful memories of this amazing college town, and shockingly, many are linked with food! Kyle and I had the opportunity to return to Ann Arbor this summer; we only had a long weekend and somehow managed to jam-pack 48 hours with all of my favorite eats and a brisk walk down memory lane.

My best friend from childhood, Anna, came up from Chicago to join us for my homecoming. We spent 90% of our childhood eating, the other 10% of the time we were plotting ways to meet and eventually marry our teeny-bopper crushes.

Kyle updates and loads photos for me and I am not sure why he put in this photo out of all the photos we took together that weekend! It is outside Best Buy, where we had to get a new memory card after leaving ours at home. It was a test shot. Oh well.

Kyle and I took a red eye flight and got to Detroit at 6:30AM (3:30AM Seattle time!). What do you do when you are exhausted and jet lagged? Go to Ethiopian food! My parents used to take me to The Blue Nile, a wonderful Ethiopian restaurant in Ann Arbor. However, as a kid, I never appreciated or really liked the flavorful food. But as an adult, it was delicious and fun. You eat with your hands and wrap the tender meat and beautifully cooked veggies in injera, a spongy bread that is similar to a tortilla. Above is Kyle's Doro Wat, spicy marinated chicken, with lentils and green cabbage.

Anna got the Yebeg Alecha, marinated lamb slowly cooked in a subtle, savory sauce with onions, garlic, and jalapeno peppers with an herbed butter sauce. YUM!

I got the Zilzil Wat, which was a beef dish. I loved the mixed vegetables I got on the side, they blended perfectly with the rest of the dish and the injera.

After stuffing ourselves, we walked off our meal and toured the University of Michigan campus and the downtown area. It has been a hot summer in the midwest and the humidity drove us into air conditioned stores, like one of my old favorites, Kilwin's Chocolates.

My favorite chocolate is a raspberry french cream, and the best place to get this is at Kilwin's. I have searched the world over for a good competitor; but even my favorite Seattle shop, Oh! Chocolates, does not compete with the Kilwin's super sweet, creamy, raspberry-y goodness.

They also have a great ice cream shop attached to the chocolate shop. We would have stopped in if we didn't have another ice cream shop on the docket....

Ahhh, Washtenaw Dairy. Anna's Dad, Mark, use to bike with Anna and I to this fabulous old-fashioned ice cream shop. We used to think it made it OK to indulge in a double scoop if we biked there. Above is an old favorite, Butter Pecan and Black Cherry. Anna and I were marveling at the fact that you can get a big scoop for only $2!

I realize that you might be thinking this post spans the course of several days, but this is actually the last stop on our first day in Ann Arbor. It doesn't even include the fabulous meal we had with my wonderful friends, Alan and Susan, which will post later this week. So after a couple of drinks out on the town, we had to make one last stop for a late night meal at Fleetwood Diner.

My family and I used to go here when we wanted a greasy, belly-filling, artery-clogging burger and fries. Unfortunately, the health department must have got to this burger joint, because the burger wasn't dripping with grease and seemed to have about 2000 less calories than what I remember. But it was still a great treat and way to end our 28 hour day! Kyle got the Hippie Hash, which is a massive pile of eggs, veggies, meat and other food that I'm assuming would be delicious after a Woodstock concert.

To be continued....

Happy Eating,


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