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Restaurants & Bars 3

Ann Arbor: great Thai and sushi, others (long)

Heidi Claire | Dec 3, 200110:07 AM

We lucked out on some really wonderful food this past weekend in Ann Arbor. We got in later than expected and were fortunately able to change our res at Tribute to the next evening at an earlier time. Friday night we found ourselves eating progressively through several restaurants. On a stroll around the block we happened upon La Sabor Latino which has been mentioned here before. We stopped in for some salsa and chips (fresh tasting and good) and shared an appetizer of the house-made chorizo and melted cheese which we wrapped in warm corn tortillas and ate with pickled jalapenos. Warmly spiced and gooey. We loved it.

Later, we decided on Thai and drove to a place called something like Siam Cuisine Inc. Or maybe just Siam Inc. At any rate, we didn't stay past the soups which were terrible. I had a tom yom goong and my husband had the Thai won ton. Mine tasted like salty old shrimp shells and the wonton soup was also overly salted with won tons the texture of leatherette. We were out of there. On to MIKI for sushi -what a surprise!In addition to an extensive choice, this perhaps was the best we have ever had.The shashimi of hamachi and maguro were cut into generous blocks of glistening-fresh fish served with feathery mounds of snow-white daikon and citrusy shiso leaves. Uni was creamy and sea-tasty. Spicy tuna roll was chock full of said tuna with just the thinnest amount of nori enclosed rice wrapped around. For the more adventuresome I spied horse mackerel in the case,and cod roe and monkfish liver were available. Priced very reasonably. The restaurant menu was full of with selections I haven't seen offered in Cleveland.

For breakfast the next day we were directed to Angelo's, which I guess is known for their homemade breads. We didn't care for them. Very thick and doughy. Almost like they weren't baked long enough or were cut into before cooled enough. It was just as well - we were going to need room for lunch and dinner.I always screen the Yellow-Pages restaurant section in a new town to see if I can glean some non-apparent chow tip.I spotted an ad for Siam Square which mid-ad stated "special E-Sarn food". That was it! We called up our neighbors' son and invited him along ( hey, we could order more with a hungry college-kid in tow!), and set off to the Quality Inn at Washtenaw and 23 which housed Siam Square. What a treat! We arrived as the only diners and our kind, young server was happy to accomodate our desire for food prepared Thai-hot, not gringo-style.Off the E-sarn (Issan)menu: Fried pork jerky with a chile peppered vinagery sauce (husband deemed as good as Lotus of Siam),chile-HOT papaya salad with dried shrimps (also offered plain or with salted crabs), glad-bags of steamed sticky rice, Nam Tok- a chile-laden beef salad tossed with mint, red onion and roasted rice powder. From the extensive regular menu: perfect, thin little tod mun cakes. Pad see ew with tofu - well seasoned with dark soy and not a bit oily. An excellent and not overly sweet version of Panang curry. We wanted to order more ( a couple of baby clam dishes sounded enticing), but we only had room left for a bite each of home made sherbety, refreshing coconut ice cream. We couldn't believe our luck in sniffing out this place.
A requisite visit to Zingerman's the next day found us filling ou trunk with olive oils, vinegar, outstanding organic pamigiano-reggiano and breads for friends and ourselves. I'm not a fan of the famed brownie but I did discover a chocolate treat to my liking - sourdough twists heavily studded with chunks of dark chocolate. I love how the tang of the sourdough works with the chocolate. Ann Arbor was our kind of eating town - on our next trip we'll try to squeeze in some Cottage Inn pizza - today I'm definitely off to the gym.

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