Month: January 2011

Michigan Roundup – Part 1

One of my favourite parts of visiting home for Christmas are the restaurants – specifically in Ann Arbor. I’ve posted a few of my ‘must-go’ places before, so I won’t bore you with the many details. Instead, perhaps a pictorial food journey of ‘Tree Town’ is in order…

Aut Bar – Eggs Benedetto:

My favourite brunch place doubles as Ann Arbor’s only gay bar at night. Their slightly twisted weekly takes on Eggs Benedict (this one with a yummy spicy ham) is always a winner. The potatoes are especially tasty.

Aut Bar on Urbanspoon


Pacific Rim – Big Eye Tuna:

For mains at Pacific Rim (my favourite restaurant and former place of employment before I joined the big bad world of PR), my dilemma is always ‘Do I go for my favourite, my other favourite, or my other other favourite?’ This particular time I went with my ‘other’: the Big Eye Tuna. Seared tuna with a wasabi cream, ginger-miso and sweet soy sauce, served over crispy rice with a daikon salad. It is superb.

Pacific Rim By Kana on Urbanspoon


National Coney Island – Original Coney Dog with Fries

And of course, what trip to Michigan would be complete without a trip to a Coney Island? Whether Kerby’s, National or one of the many ‘off brands’, the consistency of the chili that goes on that lovely dense meaty pipe, is just something that can not be replicated in the UK.

National Coney Island on Urbanspoon

Five Guys – Cheeseburger with hot sauce, bacon and ketchup with Fries

And to balance the hot dog, we must mention the glorious burger. Five Guys is a national chain famous for the accolades of President Obama, their anything-you-want-on-it-for-free toppings and the all you can eat peanuts. They made it to Michigan shortly after I moved away, but I’ve tried almost every time to make it back when I’m home. It’s melt in your mouth goodness.

Five Guys Burgers and Fries on Urbanspoon

Part 2 including fried chicken, more BIG American breakfasts and the Cuban street food place du jour coming up soon!


Abu Zaad – Edgware Road

This meal was ages ago, I’ll warn you now, but just because it’s a little outdated (I think June or July?) doesn’t mean I don’t remember it well. First off, it was a very rainy Saturday afternoon where a friend and I were caught on Edgware Road – starved, cranky and without an umbrella. We were fairly miserable.

Popping into the first reasonably priced place we saw (if not just to escape the downpour), we had no idea what treats were in store.

Abu Zaad is the second location of a Shepherd’s Bush Syrian cuisine mainstay. The menu features all the normal things you’d expect of such a restaurant, and it seems that I’m the general consensus is they do it best (See the Telegraph review here).

We started out with hummus, lightly dusted with paprika and drizzled with olive oil.  And while the hummus was mostly creamy, it was also accented with whole chickpeas throughout.  Actually, it reminded me of my favourite store-bought hummus that my ex-flatmate used to only be able to get at the Finchley Road Waitrose. The one that I never remember the name of. I’m sure that helps you a lot.

For my main, I went with the Mixed Grill: Skewers of lamb cubes, chicken cubes and minced lamb.

A bit of a kick, this one… The rice and salad helped to calm what could have been an overly spiced dish. Still, it’s savoury charms didn’t go unnoticed.

My friend went with the Chicken Tagine Chicken Couscous:

I remember being very upset I was only allowed to steal one bite. The aroma was rich and utterly consuming. A great dish.

While there are many many many choices of Syrian, Lebanese and pretty much any Middle Eastern food on Edgware Road, do try Abu Zaad. I can’t promise the décor is anything but austere and diner-like, but the meals are so good, you won’t hardly notice.

Abu Zaad on Urbanspoon