Friday, January 31, 2014

Tomukun – Keeping it Simple

Sometimes you want to get out and try someplace new, but not necessarily Some-Thing new.
Here is how to Keep it Simple at Tomukun.

Dumplings… I think we have all had them.  Also known as Potstickers.

Tomukun does Dumpling right!  There filling is a traditional dumpling filling, with pork and ginger, but they do an amazing job balancing the flavors.  We have had them each time we go and they are consistent with the product they serve.  The outside is beautifully fried on all three sides, nice and crispy.  Always hot when they come out, be careful not to burn your tongue.  Their house sauce is wonderful for dipping.  This is an Appetizer that won’t let you down.   $3 gets you four dumplings.  I do recommend sharing with a friend if you are ordering another item or you will fill up fast.

Ramen… We all have flashbacks from the college years and packaged ramen.  No worries when ordering Ramen at Tomukun, they do it right and give you comfort in a bowl.

Tomukun Ramen

The Tomukun Ramen gives you full flavor with Pork.  A huge bowl for only $10
A rich Pork broth with a great portion of proper Ramen noodles (cooked perfectly).  The is the base for Roasted pork belly, spinach, bamboo shoots, scallions (aka: green onion), Naruto fish cake, half a soft boiled egg, and a sheet of nori (seaweed).  If you are not keen any of the pieces (Naruto, seaweed) but are curious to try, just keep the order as is.  Once you try them, if they are not your thing just pull them out, easy peasy.  If you are not adventurous in something new, just ask them not to include it in the bowl.

Butter Corn Ramen

The Butter Corn Ramen is great if you want to keep it on the lighter side.  A huge bowl for only $10
This ramen starts with the pork broth, but is sweeter due to the corn and other goodies.  Served with a helping of ramen noodles, Crispy Chicken, buttered sweet corn, bamboo shoots, hard boiled egg, scallions, and white onions.

So get on out there and try someplace new !

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Bell’s Dinner – Ann Arbor, Michigan

                Bell’s Diner is located on the West Side of Ann Arbor.  Owned by a Korean family they offer both traditional Diner food as well as traditional Korean food.  It is a small diner and will fill up quickly during peak times. 

                I would go there with my parents in the summer on the days I went to work with them (they were self-employed), and when I went to college I would met up with them at Bell’s occasionally for a bite to eat.  I usually got the Fried Rice back in those days, quite filling.
                I was talking to an old friend about BiBimBop at she mentioned that Bell’s had it.  Well that was perfect for my craving during Art Fair week so that I didn’t have to go downtown into the crazy.  I was a bit underwhelmed, my friend said you can chose your meat and how you want your eggs, they did not offer me a choice and it came with beef and scrambled eggs.  It was ok, but not as good as a couple places I preferred downtown.  After about a year I was talking with another old friend (funny that they were from the same circle of friends when we were younger), and he mentioned the Bop at Bell’s and that it was really good.  I voiced my first impression, but after the conversation decided I needed to try it again and see if it was just an odd day for them.  I do believe it was, maybe a shortcut for the crazy art fair, because this time I got to chose both the meat and how I wanted my egg.  Excellent Bop! 

Check out more about Bell’s at these sites:

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Biercamp – Ann Arbor, Michigan

Seasonal varieties of artisan sausage, bratwurst, hot dogs, jerky, bacon, pickled items, nano brews and more hand made fresh in-house.

Walter Hansen and Hannah Cheadle love the food they make and are a delight to talk with.  If you have any questions about the food, including help in how to prepare it at home, they are happy to let you know the best way to bring out the flavor in the meat.

Meet the Meat:
And don’t forget the Bacon…. Lots of different kinds of Bacon

But wait, that is not all, don’t forget to check the board and enjoy some sausage or a sandwich before you get back on the road.  
Steamship Round is only offered on Fridays:

They have quality sodas to go with that too.

Once the prepared meat for the sandwiches is gone for the day they are removed from the menu board.  No worries, just grab a package Brats or Hot Dogs along with some buns and you will be ready to eat shortly after you get home.  Need a side, grab some of the Awesome Sauerkraut Salad or other tasty treats.  The sides are great for parties too!  We keep their meatballs in our freezer for a day we want some good comfort food. 

Now Go Check Them Out !!!

Find Biercamp on Facebook or their website:

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Frita Batidos – Ann Arbor, MI

Cuban Inspired Street Food!

The inside had a simple design with communal seating on long tables, along with a mini bar at the front window and in the back space.  As I watched the place fill up with the Saturday lunch crowd everyone seemed quite comfortable with the seating.

You place your order at the front when you come in.  Giving them your name they bring the food to you when it is ready, calling your name as the place fills with people.

Cajeta Coffee $5
A Cuban style espresso with cajeta and steamed milk.
A Cuban espresso refers to an espresso shot which is sweetened with demerara sugar as it is being brewed.
Cajeta is a confection of thickened syrup usually made of sweetened caramelized milk.
Caramel?  Yes Please !!!!
The serving size is about 8 ounces, for the price I would have like more, but I do like the serving size.  A thick creamy, caramel cappuccino.  Not like the once you get at the coffee shop that uses some caramel flavored syrup though, this one had a thick caramel taste and feel to it.
                Each table, and along the mini bars, has a container of water along with cups to serve yourself.  Stacks of napkins and bowls of dominos are there for your use.

Chorizo Fritas $8
Add-on: Tropical Slaw and Fried Egg +$2
Inspired by traditional Cuban burgers made from spicy chorizo served with shoestring fries on top on a soft egg bun.
                I told the gal at the front that I wanted something on the traditional side.  I knew I wanted the Chorizo Frita, but was told the fried egg is traditional and the tropical slaw is a great pair for it.  I was expecting a bit more spice from the chorizo, but it may have been muted by the slaw and sweet chili mayo.  It is Very messy, licking fingers was needed so I would not lose any tasty bits.  Back to the water I mentioned above.  Make sure you pour some into a cup before you begin eating, this will come in handy with a few of those napkins from that stack over there.  When your hands have gotten good and messy, just pour a bit of your water onto a couple napkins and clean up.  Then you can pick up the fork and eat the remains of your sandwich (if there are any). 

Churro $1.5
You can taste a hint of the orange zest, a nice freshness to a fried dessert.  It is rolled in cinnamon and sugar, and they make them big!  The gal left the tray for me since the cinnamon/sugar can get a bit messy.
Chocolate Espanol $4
Described on the menu as: Rich, hot chocolate infused w/cinnamon

It did not have the consistency or taste like a hot chocolate to me, but still good.  I got more of a whipped milk chocolate pudding feel from it.  It was thicker than I expected, and I didn’t taste any additional cinnamon that other than from dipping the Churro in.  When I drank the remaining chocolate it was more like a pudding.  For a serving size of only about 2 ounces, I did feel the price was too high for it.


You can find them on Facebook or their website:

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Brunch at Jolly Pumpkin - A2 MI

The weekend is a wonderful time to enjoy brunch after running your morning errands, the tasty reward for doing all your chores.

Jolly Pumpkin opens at 10am on the weekends and serves up wonderful brunch options alongside the Lunch menu.  It is nice to get into town before noon, there is street parking everywhere and the lot on the corner of Main and Williams always has spots open.

Here are some of your reward options:

Bacon and Egg Pizza:

Really?  YES !!  This was the first of the brunch items we tried.  Their hand-tossed sourdough crust topped with caramelized onions, Applewood smoked bacon, Gruyere Crème, and two fried eggs.  You may need help from you knife just to separate the slices, but this is about using your hands for breakfast.  Seriously the best breakfast foods all in a pizza.

Challah French Toast:

Challah Bread is wonderfully absorbent (wonderful for bread pudding too) so it soaks up the egg before being grilled and adds wonderful flavor.  The slices are nice and think, like Texas toast.  Michigan Maple Syrup of course, if you have never had proper maple syrup I highly suggest you through Aunt Jemima or that Log Cabin out and get some of the good stuff.  Fresh berries are served on the side along with Applewood smoked bacon or Sausage.

Farmers Omlete:

Seasonal Market Veggies stuffed inside fluffy eggs.  This one was filled with caramelized onions, shaved Brussels sprouts, and Mozzarella.  Served with roasted fingerling potatoes, and salad greens with a light vinaigrette.  If you feel the need for meat you can add a side of Applewood smoked bacon or sausage.  This meal is incredibly filling with or without the meat.

For more information about Jolly Pumpkin and all of their locations, visit their website:

Friday, January 3, 2014

The Wafel Shop – Ann Arbor, MI

Bringing real Belgian Wafels to Ann Arbor!

Wafels !  Can anyone Not like one of these?
They even offer Gluten Free and Vegan options!
The Wafel shop is keepin’ it real, keepin’ it simple, but you can dress it up if you want to.

Now let’s go inside and take a look.
Their color scheme is Orange, Cream, and Silver.


And look, they even have a fairy door.  Of course fairies like wafels (I'm guessing with Michigan Maple Syrup).   Apparently Waldo does too!

They offer a few types of Wafels:
Liege – Dense and chewy, with Belgian pearl sugar
Brussels – Crispy exterior, light, buttery, fluffy interior
Gluten-Free Brussels – All the fun, none of the gluten
Vegan Brussels – No animals were harmed in the making of this Wafel.

You can add on the toppings you like with a few free items and then goodies priced $1-$3 depending on what you want added.
If you are not sure where to start, they have great ideas for you from their savory ideas of the Wafel BLT to sweet desserts like the Mandie.  (both tasted by us and we can verify the awesomeness!)

A selection of refreshing beverages to pair up with the tasty wafel.
Keep warm with their special Wafel Shop blend of coffee roasted by Zingerman’s

Keeping things as local as they can they offer amazingly fresh goodness.
Let’s cut to the chase and show you some :

Some days you just want something Simple and a cuppa coffee:

You can go sweet and keep it a bit healthy and fresh with the Flanders:

Need a light meal, try the Wafel BLT:
 Check out the homemade garlic aioli

Want a larger dessert on a warm day, the Mandie is great!
Note on this version, they were out of chocolate covered Liege wafels, so we went with a warm wafel and replaced the chocolate cover with chocolate syrup.  Inside remained the same with the Biscoff and Zingerman’s Gelato.
We have tried both versions, we actually like the warm wafel version a little better because the warmth helps melt the gelato a bit and really ties all the flavors together well.

For more information on The Wafel Shop you can find them on Facebook or their website: