OT: If you were to eat your first American lunch in Ann Arbor, where would you go?

Submitted by Seth on August 17th, 2009 at 9:20 AM

From my cousin:

I have a favor to ask. I have a friend from work whose son is at Ann Arbor. The son has a friend from Xiamen, China arriving (I think to also be a student). My friend was asking around for recommendations for an authentic first lunch in the U.S. for this Chinese friend.

So what would you recommend? What would you think of for a first lunch for a foreigner. I'm not sure that there is a quintessential American lunch any more. Any local restaurants (not a chain) that you can think of that would be "quintessential" Ann Arbor?

My initial thoughts:

CHEAP: Krazy Jim's Blimpy Burger

MODERATE: Cheesesteak, Stilton Fries and a beer at Ashley's

EXPENSIVE: Zingerman's



August 17th, 2009 at 9:28 AM ^

If you want straight up American, I think it has to be Blimpy.

Zingerman's was my last meal before I left AA after graduation,

#1. Who's Greenberg Anyway: Zingerman's corned beef with chopped liver, leaf lettuce & our own Russian dressing on double-baked, hand-sliced Jewish rye bread from Zingerman's Bakehouse.

but that is too much, and not specifically American. America IS burgers and fries (although at Blimpy I prefer the fried veggies).


August 17th, 2009 at 9:30 AM ^

I love Blimpy Burgers. I lived in South Quad and could see the place from my window. You have to be smart about when you go, though, because it is packed during normal lunch hours.

If you are looking for expensive, there is a place called the Blue Nile on 4th and...something, maybe liberty or huron. It is an ethiopian place where you eat with your hands. Very good but rather pricey.

EDIT: oops, totally failed on the American part of my recommendation, but it is still worth going to.

ATX Wolverine

August 17th, 2009 at 9:34 AM ^

Assuming they're not a vegetarian, I think you'd have to go with a burger of some sort. For me, at least, that's about as American as it gets.

Blimpy Burger would probably be a fun experience, but you don't want to scare him off. After that, between Ashley's or a sports bar, you can probably find a good burger at a bunch of places in town.


August 17th, 2009 at 9:36 AM ^

I would take him to Casey's for a first authentic burger before Blimpy. Nothing against Blimpy, but it is verging on fast food.


August 17th, 2009 at 10:05 AM ^

I am offended by this assertion. Blimpy is way more quirky and delicious than any fast food place.
It is also quite the experience, especially if you get the cook of ambiguous gender who berates people for going too slow. Good times.


August 17th, 2009 at 11:52 AM ^

The problem with Blimpy is that it is kind of a hard core sort of place...if I went to china and my host made my first lunch the Sea Urchin Roe and Shark Testical Surprise I would be a bit freaked out by that...even though weird seafood stuff can be great, you kind of need to ease yourself into it a bit, y'know?

I think Caseys or Zingermans would be a good idea.

Wolverine In Exile

August 17th, 2009 at 9:37 AM ^

Nothing more American than a hot dog off the street from a vendor loaded up with as many free toppings as you can fit. And mustard, no ketchup. Ketchup is a travesty on a hot dog. Blasphemous really.


August 17th, 2009 at 5:00 PM ^

Mark's Midtown Coney Island on State (just south of 94) has some very acceptable coney dogs. I believe there is also one on Plymouth Road near US 23.

Of course, you really want the best coneys, you've got to truck in to The D and go to Lafayette. But you already knew that...

James Burrill Angell

August 18th, 2009 at 6:28 PM ^

I mean look, what's more American than a steak and where in Ann Arbor does a good old slab or red meat better than Chop House. Needless to say, thats costly. If he can't swing that and you're restricted to Ann Arbor and you're going for something "American" for his first meal, I'd say you can't go wrong with Zingermans?? There are some other great restaurants that serve various forms of ethnic food but wouldn't you want someone's first meal in America to be somewhat representative of the culture.
Just saying.


August 17th, 2009 at 9:46 AM ^

a rough introduction to American style dining, don't want the poor chap to get reprimaned for screwing up the ordering process. Like someone else said, Casey's serves a mean burger.


August 17th, 2009 at 9:54 AM ^

Granted, it's not American (it's Korean), but it's fricking awesome. Man I miss that place.

I've never been able to figure out why campus had so many awesome Korean restaurants.


August 17th, 2009 at 9:56 AM ^

#18 Where's Bo Sandwhich would be a great shoice, with a can of Root Beer. Otherwise, most of the suggestions outside of Zing's are okay...

Off the beaten path. Izzy's Sandwich Shop on West Stadium.


August 17th, 2009 at 10:30 AM ^

lived on Walnut St. last year and did lunch there once a week. It is a little pricey ($8 and change for a sandwich), but the price/value combination is pretty good...the sandwiches are enormous and just the most delicious-fuckin thing you've ever had.


August 17th, 2009 at 12:52 PM ^

You know, I lived in Oxford and then the Geddes Hill apartments the following year, and ama(i)zingly, I don't think I ever once ate at Maize N Blue. I might have bought a drink there in passing. I never saw anybody eat there. It was bizarre.