The second full day in Michigan was one of my best friend’s birthdays (reason #1 I came to visit) and so in the morning we went to a small shopping area in Ann Arbor for breakfast. I started the morning off by going to Glassbox Juice & Coffee to grab some juices around 9am with my friend Darby. Not only does Glassbox offer a wide array of juices but have a delicious homemade toast from the well-known Zingerman’s that comes with almond (or peanut) butter and jams. The menu offers vanilla and green tea lattes, a raw kale salad and grilled cheese too! The coffee/juice bar is right in the center of the shop behind a glass wall so you can see your juice being made right in front of you.
I ended up ordering the Liquid Sunshine ($5.75) with pineapple, cucumber, mint and basil while Darby ordered the C2 ($4.75) with added whey protein ($0.75). If I wouldn’t have had an actual breakfast/early lunch a bit later across the street at Zola Bistro, I definitely would have ordered the PB&J Panini. How good does that sound? With homemade pb? Ugh.
The great thing about our juices was they came out quick and the man who made them (who happened to be the owner) poured them into large glasses AND over ice. For $5.75 you don’t get that good of a juice too often! Not sure if they were organic or not but for the price I was fine with organic or not.
After we had our juices, I met up with my other friends literally across the street at Zola Bistro. Zola offers brunch, dinner and happy hour but for brunch the options included crepes, waffles, bagels, sandwiches and burgers AND assorted pastries. Eating breakfast food out is usually hard for me since my breakfasts at home are usually chia puddings, oatmeal or smoothie bowls. Things that restaurants don’t really offer.. and having eggs every morning is not too thrilling for me. However, an item that popped out to me on Zola’s menu was the Vegetable Latkes ($15.95). I don’t even remember the last time I had potato latkes.. probably when I was a kid but the sweet potato twist on these WITH added parsnips and an option of smoked salmon on the side.. I couldn’t resist. When they came to the table they seemed very small and I was worried they wouldn’t fill me up but they were just the right size. Two cakes with a huge chunk of smoked salmon plus my juice from earlier… perfect morning combo of a brunch.
After my friends devoured their egg dishes and did a bit of shopping at Anthropologie, we all were craving some coffee so we went back to Glassbox to get lattes. I always crave coffee but never want to buy it because it makes me too jittery and every other option is always too sugary. I decided to splurge though and get one of my favorite drinks – a green tea latte. All of my friends ended up getting chai and vanilla lattes. Luckily, they had a 6oz size for $4.25 (a bit pricey for a latte but it was a hipster, modern shop after all) with the choice of almond or soy milk. I got almond and had it hot. The foamy top was perfect and just the right amount of froth and sweetness.
You can’t go wrong with a good latte picture can you? Of course mine didn’t have latte art on it so I had to grab my friend’s to snag a picture. By now my friends are fully aware of my want to grab their plates/cups to take a good food photo. Sorry guys!
After we had our lattes and spent a few hours out on my friend’s lake floating around on inter tubes, we went back to her house to make our own pizzas. Because my friend Darby is gluten-free she made her own gluten-free pizza crust. I decided to try it with her because I love trying new things and gluten-free when you have the option because why not? We baked it before we put our toppings on it for a few minutes and then after as well. Not sure for how long or how it was made (thanks to her dad doing all of that work) but the dough was super squishy and pretty durable (not like normal gluten-free breads). I’ve only had gluten-free pizza one other time (at my school’s dining hall… which tastes like a brick) and this was by far the best. Since I don’t eat cheese, I put a wild amount of homemade sauce on it, peppers, fresh basil, sundries tomatoes and fresh tomatoes. Overload on the tomatoes but it was delicious. Perfect summer night treat.
We also consumed a ridiculous, over the top amount of La Croix that night and watermelon. You can’t go wrong with those two. And yes the pizza looks slightly sloppy but it’s the taste that matters at the end of it all!
Our last group meal in Michigan was the following day, Saturday, at the famous (according to my friends) Zingerman’s Delicatessen in Ann Arbor located by the Kerrytown Market & Shops. When we got there around noon there wasn’t much of a line but when we left an hour later, the whole sidewalk was filled with future customers. Right when we walked inside, the store was packed with numerous tourists getting their hands on fresh bagels and goods.
We walked far into the back room where a large crowd of people were in three different lines ordering sandwiches, salads and sides. The lines went by pretty fast because you just say your order then go into another room to pay and then wait outside for your food to be delivered to you. The large menu that hung from the ceiling displayed more sandwiches than I think I have ever seen in one restaurant in my entire life. Options went from corned beef, chicken, turkey, pork, beef, pastrami, fish, hot dogs & hashes, AND vegetarian/vegan options. Oh and don’t forget the few salads and COUNTLESS sides including parma squash, lemon couscous and garlic potato salad.
I decided to order the Sheila’s Viva Las Vegan ($11.50 for a small) with added marinated mushrooms. The sandwich came on grilled fresh farm bread baked in Zingerman’s and let me tell you… hands down the best bread I’ve ever tasted. Ever. So fresh, so fluffy and despite being thick, it was quite light. The sandwich had a thick layer of hummus, baby spinach, roasted red peppers and artichokes. It was perfect to say the least. Accompanied by a juicy garlic pickle. I also tried my friend’s Stewart’s Farmer’s Hash ($9.99) which was a mix of regular and roasted sweet potatoes. Pretty darn tasty.
Before we left, I went with two of my friends to the coffeehouse next-door (or behind the patio seating) and while they ordered coffee, I snuck a peak at all of the wonderful pastries, gelato and chocolates available. Zingerman’s offers a Mini Me sundae – a small scoop of gelato with their notorious “Magic Brownie” and chocolate syrup – for $5.99 and chocolate and vanilla malts for $6.99 for those craving something sweet right after a huge lunch. But if the ice cream doesn’t call your name, pastries like the Cinn-Oh-Man ($3.60) and the Obama Buns ($5.99) are available in glass cases just waiting for someone to take them home. Maybe next time I’ll go for a pastry instead of a huge doughy veg sandwich!
Thanks to my Michigan friends for bringing me (and my other friends) to Zingerman’s to try out something even Obama raves about. I’m glad I could enjoy such wonderful treats in Ann Arbor, especially since I had never been to Michigan before. It’s always great eating out with my friends from school because they appreciate most of the same foods as me. Nothing beats some good homemade pizza, hummus and definitely a whole case worth of La Croix.