See that eggplant up there? That was about as big as my head. And the tomato was like two of my fists! After picking apples at the Wasem Fruit Farm last Wednesday, Greg and I returned home to drop off the apples and on the way decided to stop at Budd's Produce, located just down the road from our apartment. Despite having lived along this stretch of road for a year and a half, I've never been there. Before, it wasn't along my usual driving path, but now it is, so I think of it more often, and now that I have been, I think I am more likely to return.
There was a lot of produce for such a little stand. And the prices were great! That giant eggplant was, I think, $1 and the tomato was 50 cents. We also got 2 zucchinis and two ears of corn and only paid $4 for all of it. There were also fresh green beans, which I like, but Greg does not. I was hoping for some pattypan squash, but alas! only yellow squash and zucchini. I decided the last time I made yellow squash that I do not like the texture of the rind when it is cooked. Too tough and chewy! So I just went with the zucchini this time.
After I got home and was looking through recipe books, I discovered that I have a recipe that calls for one large eggplant, two zucchinis, and a tomato! How perfect was that? You'll have to stay tuned to read about how that turned out, though.
Later that evening, Greg and I were wandering Ann Arbor when we remembered a store we'd been past a few times but never stopped into, Babo: a Market by Sava, located at 403 E Washington (Division is the cross street). I was never sure by just looking at the outside if it was a market or a restaurant. Turns out, it is a bit of both.
Babo is a terrific place to buy fresh meat, cheese, and an array of deli delights. And you can try everything in the deli before you buy it! You can aso buy lunch or dinner as the deli counter includes things like mac and cheese (absolutely wonderful; so creamy), pulled pork in a sauce that changes every day depending on what fruit is on hand (it was raspberry when we went), bean salad, seaweed salad, seafood salad, and so much more. I got two wedges of steak quesadilla, the best quesadilla I have ever had. It was so full of steak, I couldn't believe it!
There are a few aisles of grocery items, as well, and beer and wine. The most interesting part about Babo's grocery side, I thought, was that you buy milk in glass jugs. Pay a deposit on the bottle, then bring it back when the milk is empty and get another one. Wonderful!
There is also a little coffee counter where you can get in such interesting offerings as cafe du miel (coffee with honey), which is what I ordered and I loved it. Greg got something called a Lumberjack, which was sweetened with maple syrup and tasted like breakfast. There is a counter in the deli/coffee area where you can sit and enjoy your food and beverages (also tables outside) and a fun wall of giant magnetic poetry! I didn't play with it that night, which only means I will have to go back.
So if you are near Ann Arbor, or even passing through, check out Babo. I'm willing to go on record as saying Babo is better than Zingerman's. That's right, I just said something was better than His Holiness Zingerman's. They aren't exactly the same kind of place, but pretty darn close, and Babo doesn't have the ridiculous wait that Zingerman's deli does. The prices are also more reasonable and the portions much bigger. Don't believe me? Try it and decide for yourself.
Next time: what I made with the produce I bought.