A Taste of Ann Arbor- Last Stop, Sheesh Mediterranean Cuisine

As the summer is coming to a close, so ends Lauren and my journey as Taste of Ann Arbor food critics and Eco-Friendly Interns at Ingenex Digital Marketing. So to celebrate our journey from wide-eyed interns to digital savvy marketers the whole Ingenex gang joined us on our lunch excursion.

Today’s lunch brought us to Sheesh Mediterranean Cuisine, a Lebanese restaurant, just a few blocks down from our office on Main Street.

Upon our arrival, the Ingenex team noticed the painted murals and lush burgundy curtains that adorned the space and gave the restaurant an authentic look and feel. As we took in our surroundings a booth was found to accommodate our 7 person group with plenty of leg and elbow room. We were promptly brought a few baskets of pita bread and the restaurant’s Middle Eastern salsa, along with glasses of ice-cold water. Among the buzz of conversation we also decided to order some homous to tide us over until our food arrived.

In Lebanon it is customary for meals to last a few hours because the host will urge their guests to take second, and many times third helpings because this shows that guests are enjoying their meal and are savoring the whole dining experience. To be expected our servers were very hospitable and frequently visited the table refilling our pita and water glasses, however the wait time between when we ordered our food and when it arrived was rather lengthy.

Ordering everything from Fatoush Tawook Feta to Mjadra and Falafels our team sampled a wide variety of Lebanese cuisine. The general consensus at the table was that despite the lengthy preparation time, Sheesh was worth recommending in the future.

Lauren and I would like to thank everyone that made A Taste of Ann Arbor possible and we know we will most definitely miss our Ingenex co-workers as we move on to the next stages in our digital marketing and advertising careers. Thank you for all the experience, it has truly been a pleasure.

A Taste of Ann Arbor- Zingerman’s Delicatessen

Image thanks to Flickr user: jhoweaa

Today’s journey took Lauren and I out of the familiar six block span on Main St that we usually frequent for lunch, and brought us to the streets of Kerrytown. Kerrytown is about a five minute walk from our office, at Ingenex Digital Marketing, on South Main Street in Ann Arbor. And is home to many local favorites, including Zingerman’s Delicatessen. We had both heard of Zingerman’s before our outing today and decided that if the locals were talking about it, then it was definitely a spot that needed to make our ‘Taste of Ann Arbor’ list.

Zingerman’s has been in business since 1982 when Paul Saginaw, Michael Monahan, and Ari Weinzweig began the deli; which serves (non-kosher) traditional European-Jewish delicatessen dishes and sandwiches.

Known for it’s fun atmosphere, friendly service and welcoming feel; Lauren and I had high expectations for the Ann Arbor deli that even President Obama couldn’t resist visiting, this past May when he delivered the commencement address at the University of Michigan. And as luck would have it, we were not disappointed.

As we approached Zingerman’s we were greeted with a welcoming smile and a bubbly, “How are you today? Would you like to try some free samples before you head in and order?” So Lauren and I grabbed a toothpick and dug in while admiring the brightly colored buildings, and red brick road around us. Before ever stepping in the door, we felt right at home.

Upon entering Zingerman’s we were handed a menu so we could peruse through page after page of options. After about two minutes a man, named Tom, from behind the deli counter stepped down to help us narrow our choices. He highly recommended the Gemini Rocks the House sandwich. Which is normally a vegetarian option made with Zingerman’s own handmade fresh mozzarella, tomatoes & Italian pesto on grilled farm bread; but on this occasion Tom suggested adding bacon to the sandwich, which is what we ended up deciding on. Tom was also the one that suggested we split the sandwich and try some of their homemade salads. So in the end, Lauren and I ended up ordering the Gemini Rocks the House sandwich, a side of Mediterranean potato salad, and a side of fruit salad.

After placing our order at the deli counter we took a seat under Zingerman’s outside tent and seating area. The outside patio was colorful with umbrellas and picnic tables all around. Within ten minutes our food was brought out to our table with an amusing and creative flare. Servers carry out food and yell in almost a game-show fashion that your food is ready. Everything was delicious, and Lauren and I could not stop talking about how the mozzarella and Italian pesto, along with the fruit salad made our outdoor picnic lunch taste just like summer.

Next to the deli is a building, conveniently called Zingerman’s Next Door, with indoor seating, a barista house and gelato parlor. And although we did not get a chance to sample anything that this building had to offer, due to being so full from our wonderful deli lunch, Lauren and I will definitely be making another trip to Zingerman’s in the future and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a laid back, fun atmosphere for lunch.

A Taste of Ann Arbor- The Jolly Pumpkin

What better than the first day back to work from a week off then a visit to a well-known Ann Arbor restaurant to continue our Taste of Ann Arbor!  This week, for our return Megan and I ventured across the street from Ingenex headquarters to The Jolly Pumpkin, and as luck will have it, we were accompanied by Tiffany as well.

Now, I know that we missed out on some great eats and extraordinary prices as both Megan and I happened to be on vacation during the bi-annual Ann Arbor Restaurant week, but The Jolly Pumpkin still managed to excel as an eatery and satisfy each of our taste buds at an affordable price!

Christy, our friendly and energetic waitress was a great component to our experience at The Jolly Pumpkin. She offered suggestions, and was not afraid to tell us her honest personal taste opinions of each menu option we asked about. She knew each menu item, and what it tasted like, and if she had not tried it just yet, she was honest! With Christy’s guidance, Megan tried the Margherita pizza, Tiffany had one of their lunch specials, and for me, the Not Just a BLT. Each menu item featured a unique flavor, for example, my Not Just a BLT contained different ingredients such as mozzarella cheese and salsa verde. Maybe not what you would expect on a BLT, but they gave the sandwich a unique Jolly Pumpkin flare.

I think it is safe to say that each of us would recommend these menu items to anyone looking for fine Ann Arbor cuisine. For all of those that do not have a visit to A2 planned in the near future, check out The Jolly Pumpkins other locations in Michigan, Dexter and Traverse City.