... only if his first meal is after a heavy night of drinking, and it's 3AM.
OT: If you were to eat your first American lunch in Ann Arbor, where would you go?
He could always go to Frank's Restaurant, it's pretty much a diner. It only opens for lunch and breakfast. It's on Maynard, underneath Tower Plaza, next to the bike shop and Madras Masala.
If only you hadn't said American, then Madras Masala would be the place to be...ah yes, butter chicken and kulfi mmmmmmm
Notice he said "lunch," not "3 a.m. after a two-week bender and coming home from at the Blind Pig and subsequent hitting on lesbians in the 8-ball."
(EDIT: Dammit, should have hit "Save" sooner -- plus 1 for you, 4godkingwolverine...)
100% Blimpy Burger. Its a no brainer.
Blimpy Burger and Casey's are both good choices, but I would definitely go to Mr. Spots. They have the best wings in town, and everything else they serve is awesome too. After eating there for 4 years, I never once had a bad meal.
Zingerman's is world-class, on par with the Carnegie Deli in NYC. Maize n Blue is nothing more than a cheap copy.
No matter where you go, the kid will be ruined for American food. There is nothing typical about the food in Ann Arbor. Most American small and mid-sized towns are a food wasteland compared to A~2.
Koegel, kugel . . . they're both desserts.
I'd recommend Casey's. Gazpacho for starters, an order of onion rings and the Sixth Man with hot peppers.
Have you tried their fried artichokes? That's a required appetizer when I go there, they are amazing.
the artichoke hearts are heavenly. Assuming this guy is 18 or 19 he should be able to wolf down the onion rings AND the artichoke hearts. I miss having that metabolism.
oh my. that sounds amazing.
Only reason I used to play co-ed rec softball was going to Casey's after the game for a burger.
It's off-campus and overpriced (some would argue. Not I.) but the food is fantastic.
And it is very literally all American food, so there ya go...
I know it's a chain, but I always go to AA because it's the closest one (by far), plus they have all the pro-Michigan shirts and so on.
I think he'd have a blast, being from China, because it is the most perfect representation of "American" food. Take something from another culture, and add all kinds of stuff that doesn't belong to make it super delicious.
I think to someone from China, going into the "Mongolian Barbecue" would be like us walking into a "Bistro Canuck" in France to find your hostess is in hockey skates, the food is cooked by mounties, Labatts posters are all over the walls, and the servers are all in flannel and add "eh" to the end of every sentence.
You MAY be right, but it's not done up corny at all. The only thing "Asian" about the place is some characters high up on the wall they added recently. Heck, the latest additions to the line are Italian.
I just feel like it gives a good example though. Some countries try to make a knock off, for tourists. Mongolian BBQ isn't for tourists (necessarily). It's just a heavily "Americanized" version of another culture's food, just like almost all "American" foods are.
Either way, the point of the place is definitely not to pander towards some ridiculous vision of asian dining.
I would probably eat at that restaurant twice a day if I ever was unfortunate enough to end up in France.
American meal is beef, I think you've got to do either a hamburger or steak. To me this question isn't about "good food", its about the American culture and our history. I mean, think about what you'd want for your first meal in France -- I can't imagine you'd choose a burger. Here, well, it's just gotta be -- (either that or a hot dog -- which you should save for a Tiger game).
Given that backdrop:
Blimpy's is the winner. I thought about Spot's, but as good as the wings are, I just don't think that wings bear the same place in Americana as the burger.
But, after you take him/her to Blimpy's I'd also suggest hitting Casey's or Ashley's, or wherever for your favorite local grilled burger where he can compare the blimpy burger to a big, rare, meaty grilled one with a cold Short's tap.
I'm getting hungry . . .
Zingermans is the first place that comes to mind. My personal favorite was #20 - Tom's New Job, but I like my deli sandwiches simple.
Surprised that nobody has suggested Backroom. They do lunch, it's cheap, and what's more American than pizza?
Blimpy's "quirky" atmosphere- aka having some dude yell at you, the customer, and then charge you for more than two squirts of ketchup- is not going to impress a foreigner.
I'd take him to Zingerman's.
McDonald's [crumples paper]
...no GTC's or Mr. Spot's?
Take him to Benny's. He can eat like Michael Phelps.
Take him to the Fleetwood diner. Where else can you see goths, homeless people, street performers, street walkers, and drunk people looking for grease 24 hours a day?
Go To Maize & Blue and get a rueben with the friend egg on top. Thats american god damnit.
"friend egg" has to be my favorite typo of the day.
Red Hawk is Casey's equal, if not superior, and you don't have to go all the way up to Depot St.
I think Zingermann's is good and all, but to pay that much and stand in line for an hour is absolutely ridiculous. They aren't that good.
It's Casey's with better atmosphere, better location, better beer, better food, better help, etc.
I'd second (3rd?) the Red Hawk . Damn burgers and beers. A bit higher end, but still reasonably priced and definitely tasty
You can get a fast-food burger in any city in China. It won't compare with Blimpy's, etc. but it's in the same universe at least. On the other hand this guy has probably never had a steak. He's probably never had a meal in which the beef was served as, well, the entire meal.
Take him to a supermarket (there is nothing more American than a supermarket; he will never forget the trip to the supermarket), get a good cut of meat, and grill it at a park or in the back yard. Olive oil and garlic rub. Choose your favorite picnic sides. If he's 21, a decent microbrew, otherwise iced tea or, shoot, Vernors. And there you go!
i can't believe no one has mentioned:
a) NYPD - best pizza ever
b) afternoon delight - i guess this may be slightly more of a brunch than a lunch
c) grizzly peak - grizz burger, sweet potato fries
i guess it sort of depends on his age too. if he's an 18 year old kid coming over for undergrad, it'd be appropriate to take him to some of the more dive-y places
I'm not even sure it would make my top 5 list of places to get pizza in Ann Arbor. We used to get NYPD pizza for Math Club, and a lot of people wouldn't eat it even though it was free. It's pretty bad when college students would rather pay to get pizza somewhere else than eat your pizza for free.
Ok, first sentence- fair enough. But be real, I don't know a single kid who pays for his own food who would turn down a slice because it's just that bad. Also, math club is for nerds. What do they know?
I've been a lurker for ages, but this one has brought me out of my shell.
I HAVE to throw my vote in for RED HOT LOVER!
1 Chicago Dog
1 Serious Dog
1 Basket of Fries (save the baby red baskets!)
1 Cherry Coke
= the WIN
I have some horrible, heart breaking news for you.
Red Hot Lovers is no more.
I was going to mention it, too. Although it is a very convenient excuse for you to take him to a Tiger game and have a brat/dog!
A man's first American meal should not be at Comerica Park. That's just cruel.
This is almost worse than the day I took my daughter to her first U of M game (opening day 2007). OMG I need a drink now.
Yeah, they closed down because of all the construction going on right around them. There is a chance that they may relocate, but its not looking good.
I was under the impression that they would re-open when the construction was done -- am I completely wrong? How could that place relocate? Part of its charm was its location across the street from the b-school, right next to central campus. Popping in there for a quick chicago dog between classes is one of my favorite memories from college. Well, favorite memories from the "class" portion of college at least.
The people that own RHL aren't the people that own the property. The people that own the property are jacking up how much it costs to use that location, since the new student apartment complex makes it that much more of a desirable location. I guess it was more than the people that run RHL wanted/could afford to pay.
Hippie Hash or the Greek breakfast...
It's been years since I've been back to AA, but when I do go back, the first stop is the Fleetwood - followed closely by a visit to the White Castle on Packard. Mmmmm - sliders.
If pizza qualifies as "American," go to Pizza House. (I've always thought Cottage Inn was a little overrated.)
If not, most of the others mentioned above are good.
No one goes to Pizza House for pizza.
Hell, I'd rather go to NYPD for pizza.
I will say though that I think Cottage Inn is fantastic.
I go to Pizza House for pizza. (So, based on my observations everytime I'm there, does most everyone else.)
Cottage Inn just seems heavier/greasier to me. I feel ill after I eat it.
For sheer nostalgia, Blimpy... but considering I have disposable income now that I rarely had when I lived in Ann Arbor, I'd pick Zingermans. Don's Rhythm & Blues with Russian Dressing instead of mustard. Yum.
take him to quicky ... get some big greasy burger mabye with egg and basocn on it, curly fries, and a shake
Where's the love for Quickie Burger?
Is that the place that moved in where Tubbys used to be?