Saturday, July 19, 2014

Friendly and Fun Lena of Ann Arbor

At the corner of Liberty and Main in downtown Ann Arbor, there was once a terrific Greek restaurant called the Parthenon. Not long after I moved to Ann Arbor, they closed. It was with great curiosity and some anxiety that I watched the space be gutted and rebuilt as a new restaurant, Lena. Stairs? Those hadn't been there before. Where did they come from? Where did they go? And what's with that egg-shaped fireplace that seems to hang from the ceiling. 

It wasn't until Art Fair this past week that my boyfriend Greg and I at last were able to give Lena a chance. You'd think any downtown restaurant would be packed at this time, but we were able to get a table right away. Our waiter was friendly, attentive, and personable. He was also very knowledgeable about the menu and was ready with food and drink recommendations. 

First we ordered drinks, an iced tea for me and a vanilla clove mojito for Greg, and a plate of plantain tostones because Greg loves plantains and I am always game for new food. The vanilla clove mojito had an intense flavor and was strong. Greg fell in love with it, though he dared not order a second. "If I keep drinking these, I'm not walking out of here," he said. 

For the main course, I decided on the blue crab burrito. I love crab, especially blue crab. I wasn't sure if it would be any good this far from the coast, but I wanted to give it a try anyway. I enjoyed it! Thought the flavor was a bit on the fishy side. (There was fish mixed in with the crab, which I don't begrudge them. Crab is expensive this far from the coast.) Greg had the Cuban sandwich. He raved about this, too, dubbing it "like the most tender Cuban sandwich ever." I did not try it because I cannot eat most forms of pork without becoming horribly, painfully ill. 

Both of us were too full for dessert, so I can't report on anything there. But the friendly staff, terrific food, and strong drink will draw me back. One day!

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