OT: Taste of the Town

Submitted by Topher on September 7th, 2009 at 10:27 PM

Maybe I'm kitschy, but I like Todd's Taste of the Town on ESPN football broadcasts.

1. Does anyone know where there is a list of these? I was thinking about making a Google map of them for posterity and to give me starting points for places to visit when I go to road games.

2. Has he done one in Ann Arbor (if so where)?

3. For the benefit of non-UM alums on the board, what are your nominations for Ann Arbor Tastes of the Town? I suggest the Mongolian grill and Cottage Inn (although I went there on Saturday and was disappointed, something must have changed from the last time I went there ten years ago).

4. Apparently Cottage Inn is favored by stoners: http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/aaa/425529349.html



September 7th, 2009 at 10:30 PM ^

I've never seen if he's done an Ann Arbor one, but you can bet the house when he does it that he's going to end up at Zingermann's.

Don't get me wrong -- Zingermann's is some good stuff, but it's so overhyped and overpriced it's ridiculous.


September 8th, 2009 at 10:12 AM ^

When my wife and I lived in A2 about 10 years ago we went to Z's several times because it was so hyped. It was good but way over priced and not as good as the hype.

There are lots of great breakfast places and lunch spots just as great there and cheaper. Lately the morning after games we have been going to the Broken Egg and been very happy with the food and crowd there.


September 7th, 2009 at 10:32 PM ^

Can't help you on one.

I'm 90% sure he went to Blimpy Burger on his AA trip. Anyone else verify that?

As far as #3, Mongo, while good, is a chain these days. Check out this thread:


I'll vouch for several Cottage Inn runs late at night while clean. It's awesome. When they had the 5 dollar pizza, I'd order one as I left the stadium and pick it up on the way to campus.


September 7th, 2009 at 10:56 PM ^

I live in Kansas and have been to about 10 games. I have not missed a trip to the Cottage Inn when I make it up. It is now a ritual. Other than that I don't have enough AA culinary experience.
I am not a world traveler or anything, but CI has the best clam chowder on the planet. I dream of it!


September 7th, 2009 at 10:46 PM ^

Mongo is a chain.

Cottage Inn is excellent, but they have changed the recipe a little bit or something. They don't give you the sesame seeds on the crust unless you ask, and those make the pizza.

Maize and Blue Deli is a good alternative to Zingerman's. The sandwiches are HUGE and fairly priced for the size and quality. In addition, the wall with all the Michigan autographs gives the place a great ambiance.

If they were ever in town for the Minnesota game, I think hitting up the Brown Jug would be a logical choice.

Also, I second the person who said that he went to Blimpy before. It is the most obvious first choice.


September 7th, 2009 at 10:48 PM ^

I have had a few different people talk to me about Pizza House halfway across the country, so that should up there. Of course, it's not a unique stop. What about Angelo's?


September 8th, 2009 at 12:19 AM ^

Cottage Inn started in Ann Arbor and the original is still there. The original also is a full service Italian joint, where the chain is mostly just pizza places.

As to all the mongo references... I just don't get the infatuation, it's alright, but nothing special.

And pizza house is a poor man's Pizza Bobs (Bobs invented chipaties and the sauce and Pizza House stole it).


September 7th, 2009 at 11:04 PM ^

In my opinion, the Maize N Blue Deli has far better sandwiches than Zingerman's does. The portions are massive, the selection is incomparable, and the family who runs the place is very nice. And you don't have to endure Zingerman's wait time (although you might sometimes have to wait a few minutes).


September 8th, 2009 at 12:10 AM ^

probably out of the reach of most students (financially), but Zingerman's Roadhouse is an amazing restaurant. Absolutely All-American menu (every item is domestic, with many items locally produced) and they focus on regional american cooking. This is an absolute jewel we have in AA that people travel to from around the globe.

It ain't cheap, but should be memorable if you want to learn a bit about the food you consume.


September 7th, 2009 at 11:54 PM ^

If you can dine at the same restaurant in Sterling Heights or Troy, it is automatically disqualified. Must be unique to AA. First thing ABC/ESPN does when they come to town is send a cameraman over to Zingermans to bring us those first person sandwich-man cam shots. I haven't been back to AA since last fall, but I assume Magic Wok is still in the Union. That's my vote.


September 8th, 2009 at 12:17 AM ^

I ate there at least 5 days a week for two years. Best cure of a hang over ever. My buddy would walk around the corner and the lady would already ask if we wanted Bourbon Chicken or if we were feeling adventurous that day, which of course meant we were having the ginger chicken (which if you got at noon time was the best thing ever).


September 8th, 2009 at 11:51 AM ^

yes, it's a Pizza Hut. It's pretty good, too.

Panda is indeed in Villa's spot. +1 for orange chicken, magic wok always gave me a stomachache.

The U-Go's has expanded to take over STA Travel's old location. STA took over the back half of the Union Bookstore.

Mrs. Fields/the smoothie place has expanded and now includes Auntie Annie's pretezels.


September 7th, 2009 at 11:56 PM ^

Big Ten Burrito would be my vote for taste of the town. Cottage Inn is a great choice also as is Fleetwood Diner. I'm definitely hitting up some BTB when I get up there on Friday, though.


September 8th, 2009 at 12:47 AM ^

BTW, someone asked me for directions to Scorekeeper's on the street right before the game. Clearly guys without tickets; I bet they got a seat real quick though?


September 8th, 2009 at 1:02 AM ^

I'm glad to see Fleetwood Diner mentioned, the Meaty Hippy Breakfast is pretty much the best thing I have ever eaten in my life.

But, I have not seen Mr. Spot's mentioned yet. I know there are a few at other colleges, but Mr. Spot's is freaking delicious.


September 8th, 2009 at 4:02 AM ^

As far as pizza goes, the original Cottage Inn has some really good specialty pizzas that are really reasonable. Back Room pizza is across from BTB cantina on south U and (I think) Church St. and is good-divey pizza for a dollar a slice.

I would seventh Fleetwood, but I'd have a hard time enjoying it nearly as much if it wasn't 5 AM and I wasn't drunk.

For breakfast/brunch I would really recommend Afternoon Delight if you want something that isn't Angelo's (which has failed to impress me). Afternoon Delight has some really, really amazing breakfast food at much more reasonable prices and usually much better wait times, and I feel like it has a bit more Ann Arbor character. Also, Cafe Zola (I think its like 121 W. Washington or something) has some of the best waffles I have ever had.

If you're going out towards some of the higher end dinner places on main street, I think things like The Prickly Pear/Gratzi/Melange/Connor O'Neills are all staples that are generally popular and always deliver.