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October 30, 2014 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-10-30

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2B- Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycam

2B - Thursday, October 30, 2014 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Greece a h Ann
Arbor at MeZes'

Daily Arts staff choose their favorite
bits of Halloween pop culture.

Daily Food Columnist
Serving ethnic food
anywhere in the United
States is difficult, but
it must be especially so inAnn
Arbor. Veer too far toward
and you risk
your only cus-
tomersbeing MeZes
lonely gradu-
ate students. Greek Grill
Americanize 715 N.
your food University
too much, $
and you'll be
forced to cover
everything with Kraft singles
and mayonnaise for maize-and-
blue clad superfans.
So I was intrigued when I
heard about Mezes Greek Grill,
a newcomer on North University
recently opened by the Roumanis
family. I have very little experi-
ence with Greek food. I study
Ancient Greek, so my percep-
tion of Hellenic culture is all
thighbones burned at the altar,
ramming triremes and bearded
philosophers canoodling beauti-
ful boys. My perception of the
food was that it wasn't Italian.
I had no idea whether to expect
vague pan-Mediterranean com-
fort, or a restaurant plucked
straight out of Athens via heli-
copter and plopped down next to
the Ann Arbor Panera.
There were no thighbones
burning in the kitchen when
I first stepped into Mezes, but
there was a spit stacked high
with layers of lamb slowly turn-
ing next to heat lamps. That
lamb is sliced off in short strips
for gyro, a staple Greek dish that
Mezes serves several versions
of. The one I tried on my first
visit was classic: meat, cucum-
ber, lettuce, tomato, onion and
yogurt sauce ... except for the
three fries placed ontop. I think
this dish best represents Mezes'
solution to the conundrum pre-
sented at the beginning. The
food is unmistakably, authenti-
cally Greek, but with American

touches that are simultaneously
comforting and creative.
The menu revolves around
several core proteins, differing
in both type and preparation.
There's the roasted lamb gyro, or
grilled souvlakia of beef, chicken
or pork. You can get all of these
on a skewer or on a pita, either
by itself or with a Greek salad
and grilled bread. I highly rec-
ommend the sandwich route.
The combination of warm meat,
tangy yogurt and crisp vegeta-
bles - with that trio of hot, salty
fries - is simple but full of flavor-
ful contrasts.
The souvlakia is far and away
the best. The menu says that
they're grilled butthey taste like
they've been deep fried, with a
crisp, caramelized exterior and
moist, almost fluffy interior, like
meaty falafel. The gyro also has
a nice flavor, but all those hours
wiltering under the heat lamps
leave the meat a bit desiccated.
The pork and chicken are best
enjoyed on a stick, so that the
flavors of the marinade - olive
oil, lemon, herbs - can come
It'swith the side dishes that
Mezes really creates some
wonderful culinary synergy
between Greece and America.
The first time I went in, the guy
behind the counter asked me if
I wanted Greek fries. I said yes,
and a few minutes later received
what looked like a fresher ver-
sion ofpoutine, thatclassic
Quebecois dish of fries, cheese
curds and brown gravy. This
one was the Greek version, with
lemony dressing, crumbled feta
and olives. What's great about
it is how each element is taken
seriously. The actual fries are
some of the best I've had in Ann
Arbor: thick yet crispy, streaked
with earthy skin. The dressing
isvibrant, the cheese becomes
molten from the heat, the olives
actuallytaste like olives.
The Greek potato salad is even
better. Chunks of tender spud are
combined with not mayonnaise,
but that same lemon dressing
and chopped dill, scallion and

red onion. The potatoes soak up
the vinaigrette, softeningthem
to the point where bits break
off and thicken the olive oil and
lemon. It's potato saladbound
with potato.
If you have any room left, the
baklava is definitely worth it. A
thick layer of chopped walnuts
and honey, fragrant with cumin
and cinnamon, is sandwiched
between layers of phyllo. It's
sweet but not cloying, opulently
rich but not so much thatyou
only eat one bite. And if you're
really inthe mood for some-
thing new, try a Frappe coffee.
I'd never heard of this drink,
which apparently is ubiquitous
in Greece and Cyprus. To make
it, you take Nescafe, water and
sugar blended into a froth and
then pour that into a glass of ice
and milk. It tastes like a glass full
of cappuccino foam, and must be
drunk in small sips.
A mix of
politeness, sass
and herbs.
Whatever you order, I'm sure
that you'll notice the unique
ambiance of Mezes as soon as you
walk in. This is not a place for
the grumpy or antisocial. Ask
about the ingredients of a salad,
and you might get a long lecture
about the careful sourcing of
the olive oil. Cough when you
walk in, and you'll be told that
you need soup. Sit down, and
you'll definitely get at least two
people asking you if you like
everything, with a recommenda-
tion for what to order next time.
At Mezes, this mix of passion,
politeness and sass is as impor-
tant as the mixture of herbs.
Buonomo is secretly wishing
he was Greek. To console him,
e-mail gbuonomo@umich.edu.

'Hungry Like
the Wolf'
I'm assuming 99.9 percent of
people don't think of Halloween
when they hear Duran Duran's
"Hungry Like the Wolf," but it's
basically on every Spotify Hal-
loween playlist and I haven't
stopped listening to it for the past
four weeks for whatever reason,
so I'm running with it. I'll be hon-
est - for the longest time, when-
ever I heard this song I thought
of "Lizzie McGuire," because I'm
kind of sure that there was an epi-
sode where Lizzie, Miranda and
Gordo were running around the
halls ofbtheir junior high whilethis
song played. Or maybe I'm think-
ing of "Big FatLiar" - I know for a
fact this song was in that movie.It's
when Amanda Bynes and Frankie
'Hocus Pocus'
I know, it's the obvious choice.
Survey 10 people born between
1990 and 1996 and at least eight
would name the daft joy that is
"Hocus Pocus" as their favorite
Halloween movie - one buzzkill
purist who picks an actual horror
movie, and the token "Hallow-
eentown" obsessive. But "Hocus
Pocus" really is that good - it's
original but distinctly relatable,
funny for a giggly seven year old,
and funnier for a 19 year old who
finally gets Sarah Jessica Parker's
character. Though the plot osten-
sibly follows horny high schooler
Max on his mission to get some
action on Halloween - and his
bratty sister's consistent derail-
ment of his plans - the real stars
are the #witches, who grace us
with their humor and signifi-
cant star power. What other film
features Bette Midler belting "I
OK, "American Horror Story"
might also be an obvious choice,
but I'm not talking about the
recent iteration or any season in
particular. For the last four years,
"Horror Story" 's two-part Hal-
loween installments have become
an undisputed highlight of the
critically acclaimed anthology
drama. This year, the characters
are warned that any freak who
performs on Halloween sum-
mons the spirit of the two-faced
Edward Mordrake. (When the
freaks inevitably perform on Hal-
loween, we get Jessica Lange's
glorious rendition of Lana Del
Rey's "Gods & Monsters.") On Fri-
day,if you find yourselfinthe mood
for both Connie Britton and horror,
but don't want to watch the 2010
"Nightmare on Elm Street" remake
(and let's face it, who isn't always
in the mood for both Connie Brit-
ton and horror), revisit "Murder

Muniz turned Paul Giamatti blue
in a montage that should be used
in all intro film classes. Those were
better times.
Though '80s pop bands don't
usually coincide with the spooky,
they never fail to maintain a cer-
tain level of disturbing.
"In touch with the ground,
I'm on the hunt I'm after you?"
No thanks, Nick Rhodes.

But I still love this song more
than- I love "Monster Mash,"
and "Thriller" seemed too easy
(nothing but respect, Michael).
Also, wolves are inherently
Halloween-y (Halloweenie?)
and you can't argue with that
logic. So help me God if this isn't
on everyone's party playlist this

Put a Spell on You" while sport-
ing a fake overbite, and Parker as
a ditzy flirt who tries to put the
moves on anything that doesn't
move fast enough? "Hocus Pocus"
is unique in the Halloween genre
by being grounded in reality.
Yes, three Salem-era witches are
broughtback from the dead along-
side, yes, a 500-year-old cat who
is actually a teenage boy. But at

its heart "Hocus Pocus" is about
growing up and feeling awkward
and losing control... with witches.
With famed "High School Musi-
cal" director Kenny Ortega (yeah,
that's fucking right) at the helm,
there is no doubt "Hocus Pocus"
was destined to be the perennial
Halloween classic that it is. #Yab-

Do you consider yourself "stylish,"
a "fashionista" or just plain ol' "cool"?
If so, you should definitely apply to write
for the new Daily Arts Style Beat.
E-mail erikacat@umich.edu
to request an application.

House"'s "Halloween (Part 1)" and
"Halloween(Part2)."The two-part
episode corresponds with the exact
moment "American Horror Story"
became the undisputed, unrivaled
authority on horror television of
our generation. When the dead
can roam free for the day, Violet
(Taissa Farmiga, "The Bling Ring")
confronts the tragic truth about
her murderous (and deceased)
boyfriend Tate (Evan Peters,
"X-Men: Days of Future Past").
Britton's Vivien comes face-to-face

with her husband's pregnant (and
deceased) mistress Hayden (Rate
Mara, "House of Cards"). And Jes-
sica Lange continues to deliver a
who grieves over her vivacious (and
recently deceased) daughter Addie
(Jamie Brewer, "American Hor-
ror Story: Coven"). The episodes -
between their thrilling characters,
frightening narrative and October-
infused aesthetic - makes for the
perfect Halloween viewing.


Unsurprisingly devoid of
excitement or hype, OK Go
released a new album this past
week titled
Ghosts. It's
a decent I Won't Let
album with
a classic alt- You Go
pop sound OK Go
similarto BMG Rights
other con-
like American Authors or Shep-
pard. Despite the mediocrity of
the album, Internet energy float-
ed around its release because of
what it promised: a new OK Go
music video. The band holds all
its true talent and ingenuity in
its music video making efforts.
With millions of views on You-
Tube to prove it, OK Go dedi-
cates itself and itssmild musical
success to the production of
eccentric, extensive and awe-
provoking visual feats - in the
form of a music video. "I Won't
Let You Down" passively plays
as the upbeat background to
another visual masterpiece.
Directed by noted Japanese
director Morihiro Harano, the
music video begins in an aban-
doned warehouse in the city of
Chiba, about 45 minutes out-
side of Tokyo. The high-tech


nature of this video stands out
immediately. The camera is a
specialized drone controlled
both by GPS and hand. The
band members also never leave
their chairs, which are motor-
ized scooter-like transporters
from which they move around
and choreograph feigned tap
dancing and umbrella twirls.
Initially the band is very Gene
Kelly a la "Singin' in the Rain."
Black suits, colorful socks and
tap dancing from futuristic
moving chairs. And then the
troupe of Japanese dancers
Next, the camera drone fol-
lows the band and girls outside

into a manicurel_ parking lot.
Here the umbrella swirls and
the dancing becomes more
theatrical and complex. The
drone camera takes an aerial
view and follows the impecca-
bly synchronized movements
of the dancers and band mates.
The ending aerial display is
the zenith of the video, made
even more incredible by the
knowledge that it was shot 50
to 60 times to achieve perfec-
It's another great music
video from the OK Go boys.
The 2010 Rube Goldberg
Machine video for "This Too
Shall Pass" is hard to beat, but

the meticulous production of
this video keeps it in a close
second. Enhanced only slightly
by the music, the "I Won't Let
You Down" music video has
already surpassed 6 million
views. For those previously
uneducated in OK Go's visual
talents, this music video is
an excellent example of the
dedication and large-scale
approaches they are willingto
take for a mediocre, five-minute
song.You don't have to think too
much or listen too hard: Just sit
back and watch as a drone guides
your eyes on a synchronized rou-
tine in Japan.




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