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September 02, 2003 - Image 67

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-09-02

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The Michigan Daily - New Student Edition - Fall 2003 - 3F

Food

For

Thought:

For brazin ood or a night on the town, Ann Arbor delivers
Prickly Pear offers unique flavors

By David Enders
Daily Food and Drink Critic
At virtually any hour of the day, any day of the
week, my roommate Josh can be found sitting on
the couch, watching the Food Network. That's
where I found him a few weeks ago, when I came
home starving.
"Yo - you want to come with me to do a
restaurant review?"
Josh's eyes lit up. He actually turned off
"Molto Mario" to join me. We decided to go to
Prickly Pear.
"What the hell is a Prickly Pear?" my room-
mate Mike yelled at us as we were leaving. I
guess he was mad because we didn't invite him to
go.
Josh and I started with a cheese ravioli in a
toasted pumpkin seed sauce for an appetizer. Josh
was impressed with presentation and taste.
"It was a nice blend of the southwestern style
and homemade ravioli. They didn't overpack the
ravioli. A lot of people overpack the ravioli."
The only thing lacking was a slightly time-
delayed translator with a British lilt.
"Green peppers! This is great! Nobody gar-
nishes with green peppers. They're all about the
red peppers. Red peppers aren't that great."

For dinner, Josh ordered "savory" blue corn
crabcakes. He asserts there is a difference in taste
between blue corn and regular corn. I think he
was just swayed by the use of the word "savory"
on the menu.
"The crabcake had a nice outer crust with the
blue cornmeal. I don't think they used any flour."
Iron Josh, the veritable gas chromatograph of
the dining experience:
"It was an interesting flavor. A tad salty. I've
never had crabcake with chutney. It was chili
chutney - similar to mole, but mole has choco-
late in it."
I had the baked sweet potato enchiladas with
chihuahua cheese and squash salsa - tasty and
very filling, yet not too heavy. The restaurant
offers a number of vegetarian selections and
unique versions of standards, such as jicama slaw.
During dinner, all Josh talked about was Bobby
Flay. Bobby Flay, and how if Bobby Flay was a
basketball player he could probably beat Michael
Jordan in a one-on-one. I didn't say anything,
because I don't really like Bobby Flay. But the
last time I talked shit about Bobby Flay, Josh
challenged me to a red snapper battle.
I didn't see red snapper on the menu at Prickly
Pear, but the portions were generous, especially
the black beans and rice that came with the

meals. Mine lingered in the fridge until one of
my roommates threw them out because the gooey,
unidentifiable substance dripping from the con-
tainer had begun eating through the cardboard of
his case of Bud Light.
Prickly Pear is small and predictably decorated
with a Southwestern theme. It's comfortable,
though, which almost made me forget we were in
the "my parents are in town" restaurant district,
or "M-PIT." (I'm going to keep using that until it
catches on. In fact, I think all the neighborhoods
in Ann Arbor should have cute, Manhattanesque
names. Like "SET-O" for the "student ghetto" or
"SOS-LID" for the "South State Street liquor
store district.")
I remembered where we were when the bill
came. Josh and I spent nearly $50, without
drinking or dessert - though both were appeal-
ing: The restaurant offers a range of expensive
(when you're talking about liquor, expensive
means good, right?) tequilas, house margaritas
by the pitcher and a wide selection of flans,
brulees and other things concocted by pussy
French guys. BAM!
Prickly Pear is located at 328 South Main St.
It's closed Monday and open 11:30 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Tuesday - Thursday, 11:30 a.m. - 10 p.m. Friday -
Saturday and 11:30 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. Sunday.

NYAN WINt/Uaily
Enjoy coffee or a French meal alongside the beautiful wall paintings at Cafe Felix.
The cozy cafe is located on Main Street.
Cafe FeliX is high on
taste and elegance

I

ORIENTAL FLAIR:

SUSHI.COME

Daily Arts Wnter
In contrast to its loud and spicy
neighbor, Mongolian BBQ, this Euro-
' pean cafe provides a cozy, elegant
atmosphere for its customers. Owned by
three French brothers - the oldest is
Felix -the cafe has graced Main Street
for five years now.
The most noticeable aspect of the
cafe is its beautiful wall paintings, mir-
roring the tables and bar in the restau-
rant itself, but manager Anna Zogas
hopes that people will visit for more
than just the attractive interior.
"The variety is really what sets us
apart (from other restaurants)," Zogas
said. "You can come here and order
pretty much whatever you like. You can
come here with a group of people and
someone wants a coffee, someone wants
a glass of wine, someone wants a bagel
or pastry -and we can offer.that."
The menu takes its inspiration from
French and Spanish influences, serving
croissants, pastries and omelettes during
the day, while at night switching to their
tapas menu.
"Tapas are small Spanish dishes
meant to be paired with each other and
shared amongst a group of people, said
Zogas, explaining the restaurant's spe-
cialty. "It's a European concept in that
people will go sit and drink wine and
beer with small bites to eat."
At five in the evening, the lights dim
and this Spanish tradition comes alive.
Cafe Felix serves all sorts of tapas, from
salads to vegetables to fish and meat.

Zogas suggests* the Hojaldre De
Champinion, a puff pastry filled with
portabello mushrooms and topped with
a red wine cream sauce or their popular
Brie Plate, warm brie cheese served
with strawberries and baguette slices.
And if you're tired of watching your
roommates chug beer on a Saturday
night, the cafe has a more refined way
to enjoy alcohol with their coffee cor-
dials. Combining fine liqueurs and Ital-
ian imported Segafrado espresso, these
coffee drinks are a delicious way to end
the night. Its most famous is the Cafe
l'Orange, containing Remy Martin,
Cointreau, Grand Marnier, coffee and
whipped cream.
Also for those with a sweet tooth,
there are sweet and savory crepes served
throughout the day. The crepes come
with a variety of fillings including fresh
berries, ice cream and Nutella as well as
meats and vegetables (in the savory
crepes).
Zogas feels that the cafe does not
cater to one specific age group.
"We have many regulars - we have
people who will come in for dinner a
certain night of every week, professors
who come in from the university and sit
and do their work in the back," Zogas
said. "I would encourage students to
come in and sit and enjoy the atmos-
phere."
LSA sophomore Kate Wheeler has
already had the chance to sample some
of Cafe Felix's special dishes.
"The crepes are delicious," Wheeler
said. "The atmosphere makes you feel
as if you're in France."

By Rebecca Ramsey
Daily Weekend Editor
Chances are, if you wanted to
enjoy dinner last year at Sushi.come
on a Saturday night, you probably
had to wait awhile with other hun-
gry customers. Since its inception in
late 2001, business has flourished as
droves of sushi connoisseurs rushed
to indulge in the finest and most
affordable sushi around.
Besides Economics 401, there may
have been nothing more difficult to
endure in Ann Arbor than to wait out-
side the windows of the restaurant and
see the wait staff flutter by with a tray
of yellowtail, shrimp tempura and eel.
Like an act of self-masochism, it hurt
to drool over the sushi, but at the same
time, it felt so good.
Such may have been the case last
year, when Sushi.come's decor consist-
ed of only ten tables and a small sushi
bar, but the recent expansion into the
adjoining restaurant provides for a
roommier, more customer-friendly
environment. Now, with over 30 tables
to accommodate more customers, and
with good word-of-mouth consistently
spreading, business has been busier
than ever.
One would think that owner Chan
Lee, who moved from New York to
Michigan, would enjoy a relaxed Mid-
western atmosphere, free of the
demands of a bustling city. Yet, Lee

explains that more people are starting
to see sushi as relatively common fare,
rather than a chic and exotic delicacy.
"I came to Ann Arbor because it is a
popular city and since the younger
generation is starting to like sushi
more, it was a good place," said Lee.
"We want to make sure that our busi-
ness keeps up, so we serve only the
freshest fish."
Another good reason to dine at
Sushi.come is the free soup and
salad for customers who dine in.
Unlike other Ann Arbor sushi restau-
rants that charge patrons for their
small salads, Sushi.come's philoso-
phy affirms that customers should be
able to get the most out of their
feasting experience, including com-
plimentary starters.
It is this courteous manner which
Sushi.come bestows on its customers
that justifies the restaurant as the Best
New Business. Not only is it a good
place to satisfy your palate, it is a com-
forting venue that succeeds at putting
it's diners at ease.
But the success does not stop in Ann
Arbor. The future holds much entre-
preneurial optimism for Lee and his
establishment, for Lee hopes to open
another location in California or Ohio.
And it's a good decision. From the
mouth-watering hand rolls and nigiri
to the way the Ann Arbor restaurant is
usually packed, Ohio doesn't really
seem too far of a drive.

TONY DING/Daily
With its expanded seating section, Sushi.come offers a new flavor to more of A2.

Where to get the best,
cheapest pizza in A2

y Count on Mr. Spots
$ for high quality wings

By David Enders
Daily Food and Drink Critic
In following with the theme of
student financial issues, I decided to
pontificate on the most affordable
of all campus pleasures, the great
common ground of panhandlers and
students alike: The slice of party
store pizza.
Enlisting my roommates to assist
me, we consecrated the evening by
chugging warm keg beer (likely pro-
cured at one of the places we would
later be dining) and hollered at some
freshmen girls. Our advances
ignored and rebuffed, we consigned
ourselves to soaking up the suds with
cheesy consolation, and thus
attacked the Axis of Grease before
us. The only criteria in our search for
the best slice at the nicest price was
that it had to come from a place that
specifically did not specialize in
serving pizza.
First stop: Diag Party Shoppe
(340 S. State. Hours: Open until 1
a.m. Mon. - Thurs., 2 a.m. Fri. - Sat.,
Midnight on Sun.)
Price: $.99 for all slices. Choices
include cheese, pepperoni, sausage
and vegetable.
Grease factor: Crust seemed to
have absorbed most of it. A decep-
tively heavy slice.
Crust: Spongy.

variety of slices, but it closes earlier
than the others. "Fluffiest" pizza of
the three.
Second stop: Jimmy's Sgt. Pep-
pers (1028 E. University. Hours:
open until 3 a.m. Sun. - Thurs., 4
a.m. Fri. - Sat.)
Price: $1 for cheese, $1.25 for
vegetable or pepperoni.
Grease factor: No runoff upon
folding of pizza. A few thick stains
on the plate.
Crust: Crispy (read: burnt).
Sauce: Closer to tomato paste.
Kind of dry, but the best tasting of
the three.
Cheese: Most likely of the three to
be close to 100 percent dairy.
Availability of condiments: Hot
sauce, garlic, oregano, basil, pepper,
hot Cajun spice, parmesan, hot chili
sauce, salt and pepper are all avail-
able with slices.
Presentation/atmosphere: White
paper plate. Between the wood pan-
eling and the intermittent smell of
marijuana, going to Jimmy's is like
hanging out in the basement of a guy
you don't know very well.
Service: The guy behind the
counter sat on his can until his
manager yelled at him to get us
some pizza.
Final assessment: Best sauce of
the three. It probably would've tasted
better if it hadn't been sitting around

By Charles Paradis
Daily Weekend Editor

As the credits for "Friends" begin
to roll, you click off your television
and realize the dull rumble you
thought was coming from your
roommate's subwoofer is actually
your stomach growling. After debat-
ing your options you and your room-
mates decide to go for some cheese
steaks and wings. You dial up Mr.
Spot's, and as the employee curtly
takes your order, you are satisfied
that your hunger will soon be satiat-
ed. Little did you know that the $15
order would become an hour-long
ordeal as Mr. Spot's once again fell
through on the delivery front.
Moral of the story: Good wings
don't guarantee good delivery.
Located on South State Street by
the corner of Hill Street, Mr. Spots
has one of the best locations on
campus - they are close to every-
one. With delivery service available
at most competing food providers, it
is no wonder that Mr. Spot's feels
compelled to deliver to remain com-
petitive in the late night
drunk/stoned munchy department
that characterizes the life of so
many college students.
But there comes a point where
one must say enough is enough, and

Spot's the award for best wings
since 1989, a tradition that is older
than some of those skateboard
punks in the Diag.
The wings come in three flavors:
suicide, original buffalo and Spot's
own, or as normal people call it, bar-
becue - that crafty cat. They come
in orders of a half dozen, dozen, two
dozen or the bucket of 50.
Dine-in or carry-out, you would
be hard pressed to find a better
combination of ambience, service
and cuisine. The dorm room-sized
dining area possesses a homey qual-
ity with its Formica tables and
counter tops that is as much a hot
meal in your kitchen as a five-star
dining experience.
It is a shame that a restaurant that
excels in almost every other facet
of the business would be so marred
by a thing such as delivery, an
optional service meant to entice
more customers. With a well estab-
lished niche, Spot's needn't pander
to the masses by motoring around
the pedestrian-packed streets of
Ann Arbor to deliver the city's
finest wings.
But subtracting the two minutes of
travel time plus the seven minutes of
preparation time, Spot's delivery
generally finds ways to waste at
least 50-plus minutes of its standard

Late night snacks at Diag Party Shoppe on State Street.

Availability of condiments: Hot
sauce, garlic, oregano, basil, pepper,
hot Cajun spice, Parmesan, hot chili
sauce, salt and pepper are all avail-

dropped on the floor in front of a
half-dozen very hungry/stoned guys).
However, service from employees
younger than 12 (occurs at various

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