Campus area feeds students for less
By Megan Jacobs!| Daily Arts Writer
I - - -
hoosing an eatery in Ann Arbor
ian be a daunting task, with
hundreds of restaurants offer-
ing a cornucopia of tasty options.
Come nightfall and a somewhat
depleted cash reserve, the goal may
seem that much harder to achieve.
Around every corner, however, is an
Ann Arbor gem waiting to be eaten.
Every morning, from summer until
snowfall, Chef Sylvia Nolasco-Rivers
rises early to prepare a cartful of tan-
talizing and delicious El Salvadoran
cuisine so that promptly at 11 a.m., she
and her husband Joseph can open for
business at the corner of East University
and South University. Come lunchtime,
students and faculty alike are lined up
for a taste of Pilar's Tamales. For a mere
$6.95 or less, Chef Sylvia will serve up
a chicken, pork, jalapeno or vegetarian
tamale with a generous side serving of
hot black beans and organic brown rice.
Unless it's nearing 2 p.m., the closing
time of Sylvia's cart, diners can also
have sweet fried plantains melt in their
mouths. Combos also come with a cup of
sweet hibiscus tea. Tamales from Pilar's
are unique - steamed in a banana leaf
instead of the traditional corn husk -
adding to their soft, delicate consisten-
cy. By far the most authentic and easy
on the wallet, Pilar's Tamale stand is an
ideal lunch spot.
Though hot dogs are served, soup
is the true attraction for patrons of
Le Dog, one of Ann Arbor's hidden
finest. Le Dog has two locations,
each roughly the size of a cruise
ship bathroom, so lunchtime diners
are best advised to seek out the two
stands owned by husband and wife;
Ika's is on Main Street and Jules is
at a flashy red cart on E. Liberty.
The couple boasts a menu of over
80 different kinds of soup, ranging
from potato to Tuscan squash with
blue cheese or traditional favorites
such as chicken noodle. One taste of
their dynamic lobster bisque, avail-
able only on Thursdays and Fridays,
will make you wonder why you ever
even wanted a hot dog, though Le
Dog offers beef, Polish and turkey
varieties. Five dollars is enough for
a hearty soup portion.
Krazy Jim's a.k.a. Blimpie Burger
South and West Quad residents
for years have known Blimpie Burg-
er on South Division to be the ideal
Sunday dinner spot when the dorm
cafeterias are closed; soft greasy
fries and burgers sizzled to per-
fection turn the cheap to gourmet
in one bite. Open since 1953, this
polar bear decorated burger stand
has offered delicious burgers and
thousands of deli sandwich combos
to the Ann Arbor masses. An added
perk: $10 is more than enough for a
filling meal and a drink.
Ann Arbor's notorious greasy
spoon, located at the corner of Liberty
Street and Ashley Street, is open 24
hours a day, almost every day of the
year, and it's safe to say diner food
doesn't get much better. This hole-in-
the-wall offers typical favorites such
as burgers, fries sizzled to perfection
and BLTs, but the real reason to swing
by Fleetwood is breakfast. Don't stop
at eggs; Fleetwood is renowned for its
Hippie Hash, a mouth-watering filet
of hash browns, broccoli, mushrooms,
onions and tomatoes topped off with
an unhealthy dash of feta cheese.
Fleetwood is tiny, packed wall to wall
with stickers that have been on the
wall since its 1949, as well as some of
Ann Arbor's most colorful, pierced,
intellectual and argumentative per-
sonalities. Sadly, this loveable feature
also makes a table hard to come by at
peak hours, usually 2 a.m. and 11:30
a.m. Remember not to spend all your
cash on a cab, either, as Fleetwood
does not take checks or credit cards.
Luckily the greasy fare is as delicious
as it is inexpensive; $10 is usually
enough for breakfast for two.
No fuss, no frills, not even a place
to sit down inside this Church Street
mecca. Backroom, one of the many
dollar-a-slice joints in Ann Arbor,
cements its place in this veritable
pizza explosion by broadening its
Jules Van Dyck-Dobos and his granddaughter Rosalba Torres serve soups and hot dogs at Le Dog on
East Liberty Street.
horizons this year, offering more
than just pizza. Now, in addition to
floppy slices and soda, diners can line
up out the door for unique late-night
delights - as Backroom now serves
chicken wings, spinach pie and even
kosher bagel dogs. No, Backroom is
not the best pizza on the block, but
any greasy pizza will do at 3 a.m. and
Backroom is perfect for that.
True, China Gate on Church
Street and South University Ave-
nue is only open until 10 p.m. and
rumors have circulated that the
Chef Jan legend may or may not be
bogus. All the same, hands down,
China Gate has egg rolls down to
an art form. It will be the best $1.50
Pilar's Tamales: Corner of East University Avenue
and South University Avenue.
Mon. - Fri.: 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Le Dog: 306 S. Main Street and 410 E. Liberty St.
Mon. - Fri.: 11:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Blimple Burger: 551S. Division St.
Mon. - Sat.: 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Sun.: 11 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Fleetwood Diner: 300 S. Ashley St.
Open 24 hours
Backroom Pizza: 605 Church St.
Mon. - Sun.: 11 a.m. - 3 a.m.
China Gate: 1201 S. University Ave.
Mon. - Sun: 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Backroom Pizza, which has also recently expanded its menu to
include chicken wings and spinash pie, serves pizza until 3 a.m.
16B - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 27, 2005