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 Visits Google!

As Lauren mentioned in last Tuesday’s post, she and I visited a different kind of lunch spot today. This week’s trip took us inside Google’s Ann Arbor Office.


Now you may be wondering how Lauren and I were able to merit an invitation to one of Google’s private employee lunches. So here is the story…

While sitting at one of the Lunch Ann Arbor Marketing (LA2M) networking events, a non-profit educational organization dedicated to teaching about all things marketing, I met a guy named Rob. Rob works for the Google Adwords team and oddly enough knows my roommate’s sister- small world. While talking with Rob about his job at Google and my internship at Ingenex Digital Marketing, where I dabble in Adwords, we discussed the fun, laid-back, colorful work environment that has become synonymous with Google’s name. And being that we were at a lunch event, we discussed the fabulous lunches that are served at his office each day. Long story short Lauren and I headed to the Google office, located on South Division just a few minutes walk from our office, this afternoon.

Upon entering the reception area we were greeted with a warm welcome and hello, and were asked to sign in. Rob arrived a few minutes later and we walked through the brightly colored halls to the Google cafeteria. Inside we helped ourselves to the buffet style lunch that had been laid out by the office’s culinary crew. The spread was delicious with fresh salads, fruit, veggies, rice, salmon and lamb linguine pasta. After our meal, the general consensus was that Lauren and I could not leave without tasting the peach cobbler dessert. So we walked around the corner and to our great surprise the tray was being filled with a brand new peach cobbler- still warm and gooey, fresh from the oven.

After the meal Rob gave us a tour of the building. We got to check out the employee rec room- with games, tvs and loads of snacks; a few conference rooms- each named after cities in Michigan; the employee work stations- each decorated with colors and personalized themes; and so much more. But I think it’s safe to say that Lauren and I enjoyed viewing the Lansing room best of all; being that we are grads of Michigan State University (I graduated last May and Lauren will graduate this coming spring) and Lansing and MSU are near and dear to our hearts. So it was neat to see the Lansing room with its mural of the State Capitol, and photographs of the MSU football stadium and campus.

We’d like to thank Rob and the rest of the Ann Arbor Google Team for allowing us the chance to sit in and enjoy such an exclusive lunch with you.

Ann Arbor Art Fair takes on iPhone App

With four art fairs in one, it is almost impossible to remember all the different locations, events and artists that are present for the well-known Ann Arbor Art Fair. Jumping on the digital bandwagon, Art Fair has launched the A2ArtFairs Application for iPhone and iPod Touch. With mostly rave reviews on iTunes, this app is sure to be a hit for this event that takes place every year on the streets, just outside of Ingenex Digital Marketing Headquarters.

While, I can only access some of the features from my iPod touch (no GPS option) I found this app to be very helpful. Followed by an artistic introduction, the Art Fair staff has broken the application into seven sub categories.

  • Map – Features a color coded map outlining each of the four art fairs – the map can also point out your location if geo-location is enabled on your iPhone.
  • Artists – For those of you on a mission at this year’s Ann Arbor Art Fair, this is the feature for you. Sift through the large list of artists and types of art that they have on display. Once you have found what you are looking for, click on the booth number, and the map will show you how to get there.
  • Entertainment – What is an event in Ann Arbor without a little entertainment? View the list of entertainment, and filter through the performer name, stage and genre. This feature also shows you how to reach the entertainment destination on the art fair map.
  • Get Here – Not from the Ann Arbor area? Well the Get Here option is perfect for you! Learn about the A2 Art Trolley, park and ride option, downtown parking and more. This feature outlines the steps for different option of getting to the art fair and the rules and prices that go along with them. Find driving directions on your iPhone by clicking on the Google Maps button.
  • Sponsors – Every major event has sponsors, and the perfect place to recognize them is on a feature of the iPhone app!
  • Businesses – Ann Arbor is a busy city with a lot of business. Use this map to find all of the great Ann Arbor Restaurants, stores and more. (Also, check out the A Taste of Ann Arbor Posts)
  • Trolley – Experience the convenience of riding the trolley from art fair to art fair thanks to the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. This feature on the application will tell you where to pick up each trolley, and then where it will take you.

With all the information it features, the simple A2ArtFair app has the potential to be your art fair sidekick. Whether you plan to leisurely stroll through all the booths or look for one particular type of art, the application is your digital map, trolley guide and calendar of all the art fair events.

Get the App Here!

Up-Coming Events for MSU’s Alumni Club of Washtenaw County

Being a recent Michigan State University graduate, I have recently discovered the value of a strong alumni network. No matter what it states on that very expensive piece of paper I worked so hard to achieve, without the right connections and experience, very few job opportunities are open to myself and the rest of today’s graduates. And while joining an alumni network is no guarantee of employment, it can definitely open up the door to internship opportunities and other circumstances that help young, inexperienced grads gain much-needed “real world” experience.

I consider myself lucky enough to be a part of an alumni group that spans the nation, and to some degree the world, making it easy to find networking and support wherever life takes me.

The Michigan State University (MSU) Alumni Club of Washtenaw County, my current location, serves as a hub for networking, socializing and general relationship building for all MSU Alumni and supporters living and working in the Washtenaw Area of Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Saline, Chelsea and Milan. The main purpose of the group is to support the continued success of Washtenaw citizens and businesses, while also allowing them to become active in their community through networking and activities.

As the month of August approaches the Alumni Club prepares for two of its big events- its First Monday meeting, and Annual Spartan Golf Scramble and BBQ.

First Mondays are social events that bring the Washtenaw branch of MSU’s Alumni Club together on the first Monday of each month. These informal meetings usually start around 6 pm and last as long as people want to stay and network amongst the group. The August meeting will take place on August 2nd at the Corner Brewery in Ypsilanti, located at 720 Norris St. The Corner Brewery is known for its large outdoor beer garden and tasting room. Behind the scenes, it is a production brewery that produces and bottles beer for distribution throughout the state of Michigan.

The Alumni Club’s other big up-coming event is the Spartan Golf Scramble and BBQ. The Spartan Golf Scramble and BBQ is an event that is held each year to raise money for a scholarship endowment fund that benefits Spartans from the Washtenaw Area as they attend MSU. Each year the group looks for avid golfers and die-hard MSU alum to come out and enjoy an afternoon of Spartan fellowship and networking, while supporting future Spartans through financial contributions to the event. The event will include 18 holes of golf on the Lake Forest Golf Club green, with each participate golfing in teams of four. Single players are welcome to sign up for the event and will be placed in a foursome on the day of the outing. All skill levels are welcome to come out and play. The Spartan Golf Scramble and BBQ will be held on August 14th this year.

For more information or to look ahead to more club events, visit the club calendar.

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 – Seva

It’s restaurant week here in Ann Arbor! That means gourmet food at phenomenal prices. Megan and Lauren are both on vacation, so Eric Rodriguez (our Client Services Manager) and I decided to take on A Taste of Ann Arbor.

Seva is nestled into the heart of downtown on E. Liberty St. As a fully vegetarian restaurant, Seva takes pride in creating new, tasty, and organic dishes. Eric chose the Burrito con Elote stuffed with butternut squash, corn, beans, and cheese (which can be modified into a Vegan dish) while I munched on a Quinoa-Spinach Salad. Both were served by friendly staff that smiled as they passed and never let our water glasses go dry. 

Seva offers as many organic and local products as possible. In keeping with the eco-friendly theme, the restaurant offers biodegradable items, such as little paper cups of salsa and guacamole instead of plastic. If you are looking for a natural pep, try one of their juiced drinks. I decided to order a Ginger Shot. The ingredients are simple: ginger, which is known for its healing properties.

The vegetarian hot spot offers reasonable prices, but during Ann Arbor’s Restaurant Week, Eric and I enjoyed our entrees for $12 and found a new place to frequent.

A Taste of Ann Arbor- The Beginning

As Eco- Friendly Interns at Ingenex Digital Marketing, Lauren Weingartz and I have grown accustomed to writing press releases, coming up with headlines, and scouring the web for templates and how-to guides. But this week we have been given the opportunity to embark on a new kind of adventure. An adventure far from the likes of Adwords and Google how-tos. Every Tuesday we will be walking around Ann Arbor and exploring the wonderful world of Ann Arbor restaurants, eateries, diners and bistros and then blogging about our experience. Service, atmosphere and “melt-in-your-mouth” food quality will all be up for discussion. So grab your sunglasses and umbrella – this IS Michigan- and join us on our latest dining excursion.

A2 Fiber YouTube Contest for a Cause

If you enjoy making videos, uploading content to YouTube, or if you just have an interest in Ann Arbor then check out the A2 Fiber YouTube Contest being presented by LA2M. The contest is in support of A2 Fiber, the city of Ann Arbor’s initiative to be one of the few cities Google selects as pilot communities for its Google Fiber project. The contest kicks off tomorrow, Saint Patrick’s Day at 11:30 at Weber’s Ann Arbor. An Irish lunch buffet will be served and you will also have a chance to say why you think Google should choose Ann Arbor to receive a Google fiber-optic network. Winners of the contest have a chance to win a multitude of prizes including a Weber’s Ann Arbor Hotel and Dinner Package, gift certificates to Conor O’Neill’s, or even a chance to win an Apple iPad.

On February 10, Google announced that it plans to build and test ultra-high speed broadband networks in a small number of communities across the country. These lines will stream data at 1 gigabit per second, about 100 times faster than most Americans get through their current cable and DSL providers. If Ann Arbor is picked as one of these communities it would be a major asset to the community. Not only would it improve the lives of residents but it would also lure high-tech companies to relocate to Ann Arbor.

LA2M is Lunch Ann Arbor Marketing. LA2M is open to client and agency side marketing professionals, and anyone else who wants to learn about marketing. It’s a chance to exchange ideas and get to know other professionals during lunch in a relaxed and friendly environment. They are known for giving free advice to businesses that attend our meetings. There is no membership fee. It was started in 2008 by Derek Mehraban, CEO of Ingenex Digital Marketing, an internet marketing firm in the Ann Arbor area, and a few friends.

For more information about the A2 Fiber YouTube Contest visit the contest’s website at http://www.la2m.org/a2fiber or check out the contest’s rules.

Hands-On Local Tech Event

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Since 1982 there is a magic place in Ann Arbor devoted to the children and their education: the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum.

Born from the work of Cynthia Yao and many other volunteers, who converted the old brick firehouse into what it is today, the Hands-On Museum is hosting more than 250 interactive exhibits for children. Each one of them has been built in order to teach kids about the world and its secrets, from science to physics, geology, math, music and more.

In their youngest age children are the smartest and the most longing to learn they will be in all their life, and it is our duty to feed them with the most interesting and useful knowledge which will turn them into bright young adults. This is the mission that enlights this museum’s work. By creating enjoyable ways of learning people in here are stimulating every day children’s minds: kids are not just spectators, they will have fun in becoming substantial parts of the exhibition, which make this experience much more impressive and the learned things absolutely unforgettable. And the adults bringing their children there can not help falling under the Hands-On Museum as well, the youngest part of them is coming out leading them to have more fun from exhibit to exhibit, and they will feel again that forgotten thirst for aknowledge!

It is in this background that the Hands-On Museum decided to go a little bit further, by organizing an event called Hands on Local Tech which will see as a protagonist not just the children, but their family and the local tech companies as well: the Hands-On Local Tech Event will gather them together on Saturday May 30 from 6 pm to enjoy a night of fun and growth. Children will be involved in educational and amusing games, the companies will describe their activities and teach people about that in extra-ordinary ways, and the parents will take advantage of this network oppurtunity or, which is my guess, will join the fun!

When amusement, knowledge, and sincere wish of staying together are meeting you can not prevent feeling enriched: occasions like this are what make our everyday life special.

I think we all need to thank the volunteers of the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum for their work, which is contributing to render this small city of Michigan a great place for families to stay.

Marta Battiston

Digital Marketing Internship Summer 2009

Ingenex Digital Marketing is looking for 5 or so quality interns for Summer 2009 Eco-Friendly Digital Marketing Internship. This internship is a combination of networking, real life experience, face time in a professional office, and training on digital media. It rocks! And it won’t take too much of your time.

You come to Ann Arbor once a week to work for 2.5 hours. You learn about all forms of digital media. You work for real clients and non-profits. And you do the rest from the comfort of your apartment, library or coffee shop. It’s a low emission, kind internship for people who want to grow in the digital space.

If you have the goods – apply to this post. We will accept applications through April 15. The next class of interns will begin May 18. Please apply to the internship in a variety of ways. Make a comment on this blog post with why you feel your a good candidate. Connect w/ me on Linkedin and ask for an intersnhip. Be creative online and get our attention. It may just pay off for you.

This Could be You!

Also, if you’re not looking for an internship consider taking the New Media Drivers License course at Michigan State University. It will rock your world.