The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Monday, October 10, 2011-- 7A
The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Monday, October 10, 2011 - 7A
Hut-K Chaats won Saturday's cook-off at Mark's Carts on West Washington Street.
Carts hit te mar
Foodies flock to SAMPLING THE MARK'S CARTS-PICKINGS
[v n s' C nartt
ar sI ar s/lL
By SARAH SQUIRE
Web Development Manager
Saturday's cook-off was
advertised as a competition, but
the six carts and throngs of visi-
tors were all winners.
The six food carts of Mark's
Carts on West Washington
Street went head-to-head in a
cook-off sponsored by French
cookware manufacturer Le
Creuset on Saturday. Custom-
ers tasted free samples of each
cart's entry and submitted bal-
lots marking their favorites.
To first-time diners, the cook-
off looked like a special event.
But for returning visitors, the
mix of students, families and
other Ann Arbor locals enjoying
the live music was just another
afternoon at Mark's Carts.
"It's a favorite place of city
staff for lunch during the day,"
said Ann Arbor resident Jamie
Kidwell, who saw a sign adver-
tising the cook-off when she
came for dinner the night before.
"They did class it up a little bit, I
think (the food is) still all good
on any day."
Sarah Suhadolnik, a third-
year graduate student at the Uni-
versity, came to Mark's Carts for
the first time Saturday after she
heard about the carts and cook-
off through a friend of a friend.
"It was great," Suhadolnik
said. "Surprisingly, I liked the
kimchi stuffing best, which is
definitely outside of my normal
After the day's taste, Suhabol-
nik said she'll probably come
back to Mark's Carts to eat.
Each cart was given a differ-
ently colored Le Creuset pot to
create a dish in the same style
as its regular menu. Most of the
owners modified one of their
popular dishes for both new and
"Let's give each of the carts
a pot, the same pot, so they are
on a level playing field and see
what they can do with it," said
Trish Ranallo, Le Creuset ter-
ritory manager for Illinois and
The Lunch Room: Fall Harvest Aloo Yoop Stew
A satisfying vegetable medley that brought together all the comforts of
Humble Hogs: Trfffed Macaroniand Cheese with White Cheddar, Gruyere
A stand-out mac and cheese that had all the right fixings running
throughout and put any boxed mac and cheese to shame.
San Street: Not Your Korean Grandma's Kimchi Stuffing
An innovative Korean twist on the classic American dish that kept your
taste buds guessing and wanting more.
Hut-K Chaats: Shanu Chant
A slightly sweet, slightly spicy Indian dish with a variety of textures that
you can feel good about eating.
Two of the carts ran out of samples tooearly to be reviewed: Darcy's Carts
Chelsea Chile Verde and Debajo del Sol'sJay's Cassoulet
For full reviews, checkout michigandaily.com/blogs/the table.
Ranallo said the goal of the
event was to generate business
for Mark's Carts and Downtown
Home and Garden. The competi-
tion was second to the publicity.
"We figure today they're all
winners because of the crowd
and the exposure, but we will
crown a winner," she said.
At 1 p.m., Ranallo collected
the 221 ballots and disappeared
to calculate the winner. By 1:30
p.m. the crowd had thinned, and
most people who had castballots
earlier had moved on with their
The people still sitting in the
courtyard turned toward Hut-K
Chaats after hearing a scream
of delight. Ranallo had snuck
behind the cart, which serves
a healthy version of traditional
Indian street food, to tell Sumi
Bhojani the cart's shanu chaat
won the cook-off.
Sumi's husband Swaroop Bho-
jani, owner of the Hut-K Chaats
cart and Hut-K Chaats restau-
rant on Packard Road, was less
shocked than his wife at the
"Frankly, I wasn't surprised
because this is the most popular
dish at the restaurant," he said.
Though shanu chaat, a sweet
and spicy dish consisting mainly
of chickpeas, is a regular on the
restaurant's menu, this was the
first time it was served at the
"We loved (the event). Good
D See a video from the cook-off
crowd and amazing response,"
Mark Hodesh, owner of
Mark's Carts and Downtown
Home and Garden next door
on South Ashley Street, was all
smiles on Saturday.
"Perfect weather, good pub-
licity and (the cook-off) was a big
hit," he said.
In addition to the cook-off,
Hodesh cooked five gallons
of chili and chef Matt Banks
smoked two briskets for anyone
visiting the store to taste.
Downtown Home and Gar-
den's third-annual pickling con-
test, which offered 54 pickles,
medleys, chutneys and salsas
for patrons who wished to par-
ticipate in judging, took over the
new greenhouse space behind
Phillis Engelbert, co-owner
of another cart in Mark's Carts
called The Lunch Room, said she
sold out most of the dishes on the
menu in addition to giving away
all the samples for the cook-off.
Hodesh and Ranallo are open
to holding more cook-offs in the
future. They were already dis-
cussing possibilities for future
events and special offerings
involving all the carts moments
after the winner of Saturday's
cook-off was announced.
"It was just a good vibe out
there," Hodesh said.
From Page 6A
over Robin as he'd like to believe.
Here's where the series can
sometimes string a storyline out
too long. Ted and Robin again?
That's been over for four seasons
now and we've heard her referred
to as "Aunt Robin" almost since
the beginning. We're over the two
of them. As for Robin and Bar-
ney, who knows? But the pairing
feels odd, as the two don't seem to
share the needed chemistry.
Putting the who's-in-love-
with-whom drama aside, the
show's other flaw is that it fre-
quently walks the line between
clever and overdone. The audience
doesn't need the jokes spelled out
for them on the voice-over. The
needless sum-up after every com-
mercial break is tiresome, and
Bob Saget's ("Full House") con-
stant freeze-frame interruptions
disrupt the flow.
Despite these relatively small
flaws, the series often has perfect
comic timing, shown to remark-
able effect in the new season
when Ted is narrating his encoun-
ter with Victoria, while Lily, Mar-
shall and Barneyare negotiating a
bet on which the stakes are Bar-
ney getting a look at Lily's preg-
nancy boobs. It's the perfect mix
of humor and reflection.
Undoubtedly, the series is one
of the best long-running com-
edies on TV. And even though
we really (really!) want to know
who Ted ends up with already,
it's not about the destination, it's
about the journey. And the jour-
ney is definitely what "Mother"
U OF M HOUSING FAIR
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 13TH
AT THE "U" - RIGHT ON CAMPUS!
STOP BY AND MEET LOCAL AREA
APARTMENT AND RENTAL HOUSING PROVIDERS ON
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 13TH INSIDE THE UNION.
COME AND FIND YOUR PERFECT HOUSING
OPTIONS FOR THE 2012-2013 SCHOOL YEAR!
SPNSOED B Y
r & J