Monday, June 6, 2011

Taste of Ann Arbor 2011

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Yesterday was the Taste of Ann Arbor festival along lovely Main Street from 11am to 5pm, complete with free parking! I've only once before been to a "Taste of..." festival, and that was when we stumbled upon the Taste of Chicago a few years ago during a trip to the windy city for a friend's job interview. We weren't prepared for the traffic or the food ticket prices, so after wandering for a bit, we left with empty bellies.

Not this time! Kimmy and I were prepared for Taste of Ann Arbor and forwent breakfast in preparation of the feast ahead.

Our first stop after obtaining a sheet of tickets each was Conor O'Neill's Traditional Irish Pub and Restaurant for some chicken on a stick. This was beaten flat and fried, so not at all what I get from Chinese buffets, but it was at least as delicious. I've walked by Conor O'Neill's many times and wondered how it was, though I've never stopped in. I will definitely have to do so now! I'm not a big beer drinker, so I'll have to bring my boyfriend along for that assessment. (Something tells me he won't mind one bit.)

Next up was a chicken taquito for Kimmy from a place I can't recall the name of, and a samosa for me that was packed with flavor from Shalimar. I actually bipassed the Japanese stands in favor of more Indian food - some cholle tikki - from, I believe, Mahek Indian Cuisine, which impressed me with its plethora of delicious spices that did not singe my tongue. (I like spice; I don't like hot.) 

When I spotted "cheese pie" on the menu for Parthenon, the Greek divey looking place on Main at Liberty where Kimmy had her first gyro, I insisted we get some. I freaking love cheese pie! It's like spanakopita (spinach pie) but without the spinach and stuffed with tasty, tasty cheese instead. Do yourself a favor and eat some today!

From there it was time for dessert, so we headed over to the Cupcake Station and got a couple of mini cupcakes that were absolutely fabulous. That was when I noticed that Cherry Republic had opened, a place my parents have often shopped at up in Traverse City, and I had to go inside. There were samples galore! Dried cherries covered in four kinds of chocolate, cherry salsa, cherry jams and preserves, cocktail weenies cooked in cherry barbecue sauce, mini meatballs soaked in cherry pasta sauce... I anticipate visiting that store often in the future. 

After that we completed our dessert tour with ice cream (Superman for me and butter pecan for Kimmy) and some fluffy tiramisu. We actually ate the tiramisu first because the ice cream was so solidly frozen that it took quite some time for it to soften enough for me to even scrape off a taste with my plastic spoon. 

Since Kimmy and I are still new to the city, attending the Taste of Ann Arbor was a terrific way to familiarize ourselves with more of the offerings downtown, where Kimmy spends much of her time already for her work. One of these nights I think I will have to join her for a drink or some snackings. Downtown Ann Arbor is loads of fun! And oh-so tasty.

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