New York Pizza Depot – E. Williams

18 01 2009
  • 605 E. William
  • Ann Arbor, MI 48104
  • (734) 669-6973
  • Website
  • Menu
The New York Pizza Depot on Williams Street in Ann Arbor

The New York Pizza Depot on Williams Street in Ann Arbor

When I’m in a college town, one of my favorite meals is to find a place that sells pizza by the slice.  I was in Ann Arbor by myself to shoot a basketball game which means I was going to be on my own for lunch.  A few weeks ago, I picked up one of those travel magazines at a rest area.  It had a list of restaurants by location in town, so looked for something in the campus area.  I found a pizza place and assumed they would do pizza by the slice, so when it came time for lunch, I headed down towards the State Street area to find the New York Pizza Depot.

The New York Pizza Depot sits on the corner of Williams and Maynard Streets.  The New York Pizza Depot is a small chain founded in Ann Arbor looking to franchise out.  Right now, they have five stores under the franchise umbrella Uncle D’s New York Pizza.  Three in Ann Arbor, one in Ypsilanti, and one in Bloomington, IN.  To my surprise, the shop was pretty big.  There is a main room when you walk in with a glass case full of pizza and a few tables.  There’s also another room with more tables down a short hallway.  It looks like it used to be two separate store fronts that were put together.  The decor is really nice.  The booths are cloth covered and it feels more like your sitting on a couch than a restaurant booth. Read the rest of this entry »





Crisler Arena

18 01 2009
  • 333 E. Stadium Blvd
  • Ann Arbor, MI 48104
  • (734) 998-7236
  • Website
Crisler Arena on the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor

Crisler Arena on the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor

When I got the e-mail asking if I was available to shoot men’s basketball at Crisler Arena, I have to admit, I was a little pumped.  Growing up in the far away land of Central Illinois, Ann Arbor was this far away, mystical place we saw on TV every Saturday afternoon.  I would have been in junior high during the Fab Five years and there were wars at my house over college basketball.  My brother was a Michigan fan while I rooted for Duke.  This was also about the time Nike was coming out with “authentic” apparel.  My brother had the Jalen Rose jersey and matching shorts.  I had a number of Duke shooter shoots.  As far as we were concerned, Crisler Arena was one of those places we’d never go to, but would have given anything, at that time, to see a game there. 

Well, I got my chance 10 plus years later.  Crisler Arena is on the campus of  U of M in the shadow of Michigan Stadium.  My first impression was, “wow.”  That’s not a good wow.  That’s a “I can’t believe this” wow.  The place is so run down it doesn’t look fit for a basketball program with the history and aura of the Michigan Wolverines. The seats were rusted, they were small and low to the ground.  From a broadcast point of view, Crisler is one of the worst stadiums I’ve ever worked at.  I’ve never been to Big Ten stadium where all of the cable had to be run from the truck.  After being there five minutes, all the expectations I had as a kid were squashed.  I’m really glad my brother hasn’t been there. Read the rest of this entry »





Circle K – Ann Arbor

18 01 2009
  • 1420 E. Stadium Blvd.
  • Ann Arbor, MI 48104
  • (734) 997-9405
  • Website
The Circle K on Stadium Boulevard and Packard Street in Ann Arbor

The Circle K on Stadium Boulevard and Packard Street in Ann Arbor

What’s my favorite thing about going to Ann Arbor?  It’s not Zingerman’s.  It’s not Blimpie Burger.  It’s the Circle K.  I made my to Ann Arbor through a snowstorm for work.  I left pretty early because I didn’t know just how bad the roads would be.  When I got to town, I made a quick stop at Zingerman’s Next Door to pick up some caramel’s for J.  I still had about a half hour before my call time when I got to Crisler Arena and I remembered that there was a Circle K about half a mile down the road, so I headed out back on to the unplowed streets of Ann Arbor.

The Circle K is on Stadium Boulevard not too far from The Big House and Crisler Arena.  It’s not the newest gas station in town, but they had what I needed.   A Polar Pop.  I’ve blogged a few times in the past about the Polar Pop, but I’ll remind you again, it’s more nostalgia than anything.  Yes.  It’s just a Pepsi out of a fountain in a styrofoam cup, but, unlike other gas stations, they charge less than a buck.  Actually, they only charge $.63.  Read the rest of this entry »





Grizzly Peak Brewing Company

14 09 2008
  • 120 W. Washington
  • Ann Arbor, MI 48104
  • (734) 741-7325
  • Website
  • Menu
Grizzly Peak Brewing Company in downtown Ann Arbor.

Grizzly Peak Brewing Company in downtown Ann Arbor.

Our day in Ann Arbor was coming to an end and I was starting to get really hungry again.  Earlier in the week, I asked for suggestions on where to eat dinner and there was no shortage of recommendations.  Since we had spent a pretty good chunk of money on lunch and shopping, I didn’t want to hit up one of fancier restaurants on Main Street even though they were quit tempting.

What we settled on was the Grizzly Peak Brewing Company which was a suggestion from Amy.  Grizzly Peak is located just off of Main Street in a big corner building.  We parked across the street in a public lot and walked over to the brewery.  When we walked in, we found the hostess station.  There was a lady bent over the stand and I just assumed she was the hostess.  Nope.  She was waiting for her husband or something.  A waiter saw us standing there and came over to seat us.  Here was my big complaint about the meal.  I probably should have asked to be seated in the bar so I could watch the football game, but I didn’t.  Outside of the bar, there was one other couple eating and one large group.  The dining rooms at Grizzly Peak are huge and there are several options.  They seated both us and the other couple right next to the large group in a cramped dining room near the back of the space.  Come on now.  Why would you seat a couple next to a group in an empty restaurant.  We just wanted to enjoy a nice dinner, but the group wanted to catch up and you know how people get when they haven’t seen each other in a while.  Grandpa at one end of the table is yelling to his grandson at the other end of the table.  Doesn’t make a good dining experience for anyone around them and we were right next to the table.  Read the rest of this entry »





Whole Foods Market – Ann Arbor (Washtenaw Ave.)

14 09 2008
  • 3135 Washtenaw Ave.
  • Ann Arbor, MI 48104
  • (734) 975-4500
  • Website
Whole Foods Market on Washtenaw in Ann Arbor

Whole Foods Market on Washtenaw in Ann Arbor

Can you believe that I have never been in a Whole Foods before?  Where I’ve lived the last six years, the closest Whole Foods was in Chicago and until J and I started dating, I didn’t spend a lot of time that far north.  Same thing when we moved to Lansing.  The closest Whole Foods in Ann Arbor.  We were driving around checking out the city when for some reason I said, “I think there’s a Trader Joe’s in town somewhere.”  I was wrong, it wasn’t Trader Joe’s It was Whole Foods.  J put it into her GPS and even though we were driving aimlessly, we were just a few blocks away, so why not check it out?

I’m gonna say right now, it’s a good thing there is not a Whole Foods in Lansing.  On the other hand, you’d always know where to find me.  The thing I’ve always heard about Whole Foods is that it’s expensive.  As we walked through produce, I could see that.  We can get produce at Horrocks (review HERE) much cheaper.  It’s probably not “organic” at Horrocks, but it tastes the same.  Read the rest of this entry »





Spice Merchants

14 09 2008
  • 401 N. 5th Ave #2C
  • Ann Arbor, MI 48104
  • Website
  • (734) 332-5500

(I’ve updated this review after Kelly pointed out I had the wrong name..It’s right now and I’ve found more info on the web.)

The Ann Arbor Spice House in the Kerrytown Shops

The Spice Merchants in the Kerrytown Shops

The Spice Merchants was another incredible find in Ann Arbor.  After walking around the Farmer’s Market (review HERE), we headed inside the Kerrytown Shops to see what that was all about.  We didn’t find much on the list of businesses next to the elevator, but there was one shop on the second floor that I wanted to check out.

I’m assuming this is a fairly new store because there’s no information about it anywhere on the web.  Even the Kerrytown Shops website lists the store as being vacant.  It’s definitely not vacant. It’s filled floor to ceiling with spices and not your run of the mill, everyday spices.  There were things in that store I’ve only seen mail order.

Along the walls, the spices are stored in bulk in glass jars.  You’re asked not to handle the jars, but for the more popular spices, there are bags of prepackaged spices hanging near the bulk.  If you want something that’s not already packaged or want more, an employee will package it for you.   In the middle of the store there are racks of spice rubs.  Same deal as the bulk spices except this time they add shakers of the rub to the display. Read the rest of this entry »





Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market

13 09 2008
  • 315 Detroit St.
  • Ann Arbor, MI 48104
  • (734) 994-3276
  • Website
The Ann Arbors Farmers Market on Detroit Street in Kerrytown

The Ann Arbor's Farmer's Market on Detroit Street in Kerrytown

Farmer’s Market’s are something that is relatively new to me.  The last place I lived had only one and it was at a time that wasn’t very convienent.  Since moving to Michigan, I’ve done a lot more shopping this way and love it.  We were in Ann Arbor to do some shopping, but first, we hit up Zingerman’s Deli (review HERE) for lunch.  As we were driving around looking for parking, we passed the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market and realized it was close to the Deli.  After a delicious lunch, we walked down the street to see what the local Ann Arbor farmers had to offer.

The first thing I noticed was the abundance of peppers.  It must be that time of year because every table had a lot of peppers ranging all over the scoville scale.  I looked at some habanero’s and some red peppers, but ultimately passed because I didn’t know how long we were going to be in town or how hot it would get in the car. 

Another big thing for me is fresh herbs.  It’s so hard to find good quality herbs and I’m a terrible gardener.  I killed everything I tried to grow this year after having really good luck with basil last year.  There was one table that had just about every type of herb I could have wanted.  I’m not sure I’ve ever seen spearmint and there was more than one table that had it.  Read the rest of this entry »





Zingerman’s Next Door

13 09 2008
  • 422 Detroit St.
  • Ann Arbor, MI 48104
  • (734) 663-5282
  • Website
  • Menu
eZingermans Next Door which is literally next door to the famous Deli of the same name in Ann Arbor

Zingerman's Next Door which is literally next door to the famous Deli of the same name in Ann Arbor

If you’ve been to Zingerman’s Deli, Zingerman’s Next Door shouldn’t be hard to find.  It’s right next door.  The shop has two purposes.  First, it’s seating for Zingerman’s Deli.  As I mentioned in my REVIEW of the deli, after you place your order, you go next door and have a seat.  A server will bring your sandwiches and you can sit down and enjoy the biggest deli sandwich you’ll probably ever eat. 

The second purpose of Zingerman’s Next Door is to offer things you can’t get at the deli.  The main focus is coffee, but they offer chocolates and even gellato. 

The tables are kind of cramped in to the space, but with as many people as Zingerman’s gets, the more tables the better.  We found one along the wall near the cash register.  Our wait was only about 15 minutes which was pretty good for the volume orders the kitchen was filling.  We ate our meal and didn’t feel rushed or cramped which happens at some of the other hot spots in Ann Arbor. Read the rest of this entry »





Zingerman’s Delicatessen

13 09 2008
  • 422 Detroit St.
  • Ann Arbor, MI 48104
  • (734) 663-3354
  • Website
  • Menu
Zingermans Delicatessen in the Kerrytown District of Ann Arbor

Zingerman's Delicatessen in the Kerrytown District of Ann Arbor

Since we’ve been in Michigan, the one place I’ve been wanting to eat at is Zingerman’s Deli in Ann Arbor.  I can’t remember how I first heard about it, but it’s been on my short list for a long, long time.  I’ve passed the last two times I was in Ann Arbor because of time constraints.  Today, J and I took a shopping trip since U of M was on the road and the first thing we did was find Zingerman’s Deli.

Zingerman’s is in a unique area of Ann Arbor known as Kerrytown.  Very narrow streets  not far from downtown.  Across the street, sorta, sits the Kerrytown Shops.  There was a lot going on in the area on a Saturday morning.  Not only was the Farmer’s Market open, but there was a festival going on in the school lot near the Deli.  We drove around for almost twenty minutes before we finally found a spot to park on 5th Avenue.  It was raining pretty hard, but that wasn’t enough to keep me away from the biggest sandwich I’ve ever gotten at a Delicatessen.

When we opened the door to Zingerman’s, I was shocked to find a building full of people.  I had heard the lines got pretty long at times, but it was shoulder to shoulder inside.  We finally made our way past the meat and cheese counter to get to the line to order lunch.  There are close to 100 different sandwich combinations.  It was a little overwhelming at first, but we managed.  The wait was pretty short even though there were so many people.  The employees taking orders were very on top of things and knew what the sandwich combinations by the numbers. Read the rest of this entry »





Dinner in Ann Arbor?

12 09 2008

Looking for suggestions again.  J and I are going to do some shopping and check out Ann Arbor.  I’ve been there a few times for work, but never had time to walk around downtown.  Since UM is on the road, we thought we’d head that way and check out H & M and try to find some place to eat.  I know I want to eat at Zingerman’s for lunch, but are there any good suggestions for dinner?  I’ve hit the hip college spots (Blimpy Burger and Fleetwood).  Is there anyplace else that we just have to go to?