Sunday, October 23, 2011

Seoul Street - Authentic * Bold* Korean

1771 Plymouth Rd.
Suite 101Ann Arbor, MI 48105
Phone: 734.719.0085
Sunday - Thursday 11am - 10:30pm
Friday & Saturday 11am - Midnight
Price: $$
Seoul Street Menu

Seoul Street is what I would call a hidden gem, literally.  Unless you know this restaurant exists it would be pretty impossible to find.  Located on the back side of the Upland Green Plaza right behind Great Plains Burger Co. a small yard sign with arrows directing you to the back of the building is the only indication Seoul Street is there.  

I was skeptical when it came to trying this restaurant.  I have only had Korean food once before and lets just say I wasn't a fan.  Lindsey @ Munchin' Michigander on the other hand is a huge fan of Korean food, especially Bibimbop, and insisted we give this place a try.  Knowing there were a handful of other restaurants in the same strip I could visit if nothing on the menu looked good to me, I decided we could give it a shot.  After looking at the menu Lindsey decided on Bibimbop and I chose their $7.50 Street Deal choosing Boneless Strips and Mandoo.
Bibimbop with marinated rib-eye steak $8.00

Grandma Hong's Mandoo - Vegetable (ordered as part of the $7.50 Street Deal)

Boneless Strips (ordered as part of the $7.50 Street Deal)
Leftt: Soy Garlic  Right: Hot & Spicy
The food arrived after a short wait and it looked amazing.  If you order chicken be prepared to wait about 20 minutes because the chicken is hand breaded and prepared when ordered.  It is defiantly worth the wait.  I ordered my chicken strips as a split order getting two of them glazed in their soy garlic sauce and two of them glazed in their hot & spicy sauce.  Both were amazing.  The chicken is pound thin, hand breaded and deep fried.  While slightly different then the traditional chicken strip they should defiantly make your must try list.  Along with these I had Grandma Hong's Mandoo.  Made fresh these little dumplings are hard to describe but another must try.  The Bibimbop was another dish that didn't disappoint.  The serving was generous and the ingredients fresh.  This restaurant changed my opnion of Korean food.  Regardless of what you chose to order at Seoul Street you can't go wrong everything is delicious.     

Leslie @ Munchin' Michigander 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Mackinaw Pastie & Cookie Co.

117 W Jamet
at I-75 exit 339 South
Mackinaw City, MI 49701

Phone: 231.436.8202
Open May to October
Price: $$
Mackinaw Pastie & Cookie Co. Menu

When it comes to food Northern Michigan is known for one thing, Pasties.  On a recent trip to Mackinaw City I was on a mission to find the best pastie in the area.  Mackinaw Pastie & Cookie Co. was located within walking distance of our hotel.  After checking in and settling in, we ventured out looking for dinner.  I was shocked, the city was full of gimmicky restaurants and tourist traps.  I guess I shouldn't have expected more from a city full of tourists.  The few restaurants that did not look like attractions were deserted.  With Pasties on my mind I decided to skip the tourist traps and seek out the one thing I was hoping to try.  Almost every restaurant in the area advertised pasties.  It was hard to know which one was worth trying, but my mind kept going back to the little pastie shop by the hotel that looked as if it exclusively served  pasties.  

When you walk in the front door of Mackinaw Pastie & Cookie Co. you are greeted by a menu board displaying a handful of pastie options, and a counter where you place your order.  Just past the counter you are lead into a small dining area complete with plastic table clothes.  The decor was dated but it had that delicious hole in the wall feel.  We placed our order for a Pastie Stroganoff and a Pastie Grande and patiently waited for the to be prepared.  

Left: Pastie Stroganoff $7.29    Right: Pastie Grande $7.69
Once our order arrived we couldn't wait to dig in.  I ordered the Pastie Grande which is a fresh baked pastie topped with taco sauce, cheddar cheese and sour cream.  All I have to say it was AMAZING.  The filling inside the pastie was not bland at all and the crust was perfect, not to thick and not to thin.  While I was inhaling my pastie I couldn't help to drool over the Pastie Stroganoff next to me which is a beef pastie topped with a special blend of gravy, sour cream and chives.  Like mine it smelled delicious.  If I had room in my stomach I would have ordered one of everything on the menu just to try it.  

Mackinaw Pastie & Cookie Co. left such an impression on us we rearranged our coolers, make a special trip on our way home to stock up on frozen pasties.  We were also excited to learn that they ship !!!  I am sure I will be ordering more soon.   

Leslie @ Munchin' Michigander

Friday, August 19, 2011

Restaurant Review: Satchel's BBQ

Satchel's BBQ 
3035 Washtenaw Ave
Ann Arbor, MI  48104

Phone: 734.971.5100
Price: $$
Satchel's BBQ Menu

My husband and I are BBQ fanatics, we even had BBQ for our wedding reception!. So when my nose led me to a large wood-smoker at the road just west of Whole Foods on Washtenaw, I knew there was a smoke infused pile of meat with my name on it.

It is never a difficult decision when it comes to deciding what to order at a BBQ joint. It is a must to sample as many items that have been laced with smokey goodness as possible. The mastery of barbequing large cuts of beef and pork is the true measure of a pit master, and I must sample the brisket and pulled pork.

The dinning room at Satchel's is inviting. It has an outdoor picnic ambiance, with the smell of smoke wafting through the air. Shortly after ordering I had a divided paper plate piled with brisket, pulled pork, mac & cheese, coleslaw, and cornbread. Yummm....I could not wait to pig out!

Satchel's hit the nail on the head with both the brisket and  the pork. They were tender and moist with a smoke intensity that was right on the money. It  was so mouth watering delicious that I forgot to sample the array of BBQ sauces that filled a metal pail on the center of the table. The other side of my plate however did not tantalize my taste buds. The mac & cheese was, well... mac & cheese. A pungent taste of celery seed over powered the coleslaw. And the most disappointing item of all was the cornbread. When eating BBQ I tend to save my cornbread for last and pretend it's desert. However, when cornbread is bad, it’s bad and this was no exception. It was dry and flavorless.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Restaurant Review: Zamaan Cafe - Ann Arbor

3580 Plymouth Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
Phone: 734.213.3350
Monday - Friday 10am - 10pm
Saturday 11am -10pm
Sunday 11am - 9pm
Price: $$

Hungry the other night, I decided to sift through my pile of coupons and try something new.  I cam across a coupon I had clipped out of a monthly coupon mailer for Zamaan Cafe.  I am in love with Mediterranean food (especially chicken shawarma sandwiches) so I thought I would check to see where this restaurant was.  When I looked at the address on the coupon I discovered it was located only about a mile and a half from where I live.  How did I not know there was a Mediterranean restaurant so close to home.  I immediately called the number on the coupon and ordered my stand by favorite, a chicken shawarma and fattoush salad. 
When ordering I was asked if I wanted the traditional chicken shawarma or the one with feta cheese.  A chicken shawaram with feta was a new concept to me, I have been to a lot of Mediterranean restaurants but I have never seen this on the menu. 
Once home with my take out, I could hardly wait to dig in.  Everything looked and smelled delicious  My first bite was of my fattoush salad.  The dressing was yummy, but overall I thought the salad was a little heavy on the lettuce and a little light on the cucumbers, tomatoes, and other yummy additions.  Overall the salad was average.  Next I bit into my shwarma and OMG feta should be a standard addition.  The sandwich its self was average, like the salad, but the addition of the feta made it AMAZING.  I will for sure be ordering this addition on every chicken shawarma I order from now on. 

Zamaan has a pretty good combo deal, a sandwich with your choice of salad, fries, or rice for $6.99.   Not a bad deal for something much healthier then fast food. The food was good, but pretty average compared to other Mediterranean restaurants in the area. 

Leslie @ Munchin' Michigander

Friday, July 1, 2011

Restaurant Review:
Gabriel's - Ypsilanti, MI

2585 E.Michigan 
Ypsilanti, MI 48185 
(1 additional Location)
Phone: 734.483.5846
Monday-Sunday: 10am - 9pm
Sunday: 11am - 9pm
Price: $$
Gabriel's Menu

Have you heard the idiom, "don't judge a book by its cover"? Garbriel's is a prime example of why you should not prejudge this restaurant due to the location, menu size, or its exterior appearance. What we found inside this red and yellow dive was a cheese steak hoagie that could turn a Philadelphian into a Michigander!

Gabriel's is small and dingy, but the kind of dingy where you know food must be good as there was a steady flow of customers coming in the door. It could probably seat about 25 people, though many customers opted to take their sandwiches to go. With only four sandwiches to choose from, this may have been the smallest menu I had ever seen. Leslie and I both ordered the cheese steak hoagie with a side of  peppers.

After a short wait, I was unwrapping my cheese steak from unbranded paper that reminded me of something a department store cashier would  use to wrap up something fragile. The bun was lined with American cheese and stuffed with steaming hot paper thin slices of ribeye and sauteed onions. I topped off my hoagie with a tangy-diced hot cherry pepper relish, or in Gabriel's lingo -- a side of peppers. 

It was mouth watering delicious! If I even thought I could squeeze a couple more ounces of food in my stomach, I might have ordered a second. This cheese steak hoagie was far from the ordinary over processed burger and greasy french fry meal. There were no liquid renderings running down my palm. Nor any drips on my shirt leaving behind the evidence of a sinful meal. But it tasted like there should have been! This sandwich is a broke college kids late night dream food. Too bad it's not a little bit closer to Eastern Michigan University's campus. 

Lindsey @ Munchin' Michigander

Friday, June 24, 2011

Product Review:
California Pasta Shops Inc. - Fresh Handcut Gourmet Pasta

California Pasta Shops Fresh Handcut Pasta
33905 HARPER
,  MI  49236
Phone: 586.790.7080
Price: $$

In a pasta mood, I decided to try California Pasta Shops fresh Handcut Gourmet Pasta.  I am glad the grocery store had placed a "Made In Michigan" tag on the self to highlight this product, because due to its name I would have never guessed it was made here in Michigan.  A 1 lb. package of this pasta was only $3.19, a good value considering it makes enough pasta for 3-4 meals.
I followed the instructions on the packing, placing the pasta in boiling water for 3-4 minutes.  As son as the pasta was drained I immediately grabbed a noodle for my first taste test.  I was surprised, the pasta tasted perfectly al dente.  My only complaint is that some of the pasta failed to separate, causing a few dense clumps of pasta. Overall this pasta was just average, tasting better then boxed noodles, but not good as some other fresh pastas I have had.  
Leslie @ Munchin' Michigander. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Product Review:
Cardillo Pizza Sauce Seasoning - Spicy Mix

Carrillo Pizza Sauce Seasoning
Cardillo Seasonings
16751 Curtis
Roseville, MI 48066
Phone: 248.333.2425
Price: $

Browsing the aisles at Hillar's Market, I stumbled upon little packets of pizza sauce seasoning hanging on a chip clip in the pasta sauce section of the grocery store.  These intrigued me.  I immediately grabbed a packet and flipped it over to see what else was needed to make it.  All that was needed in addition to the seasoning packet was a 15oz can of tomato sauce and two tablespoons of olive oil.  I always have olive oil on hand, so at $1.69 for the seasoning pack and $0.99 for the tomato sauce, I tossed the little packet in my cart. 

This sauce was extremely easy to make, I grabbed a bowl and dumped in the tomato sauce, seasoning, and olive oil.  Whallah after a quick stir and about 30 seconds I had pizza sauce.  It smelled amazing, but it was time for the taste test.  I grabbed a spoon, stuck it in the sauce.  I was a little overwhelmed at first, this sauce packs a punch.  When they say "spicy mix' they are not kidding around.  The sauce has a really good flavor and I like spicy food, but this was a bit to spicy for me. 
Prepared Sauce
Overall I really like the concept of this sauce as tomato sauce is usually a staple item in most homes.  The seasoning packets are cheap enough and shelf stable, making them another easy item to keep on hand.  I often find myself craving pizza and having everything to create something resembling one, minus the sauce, so problem solved.  The flavor of this sauce is really delicious and I can't wait to try their "less spicy" verities.   

Below is a video from the Cardillo Pizza Sauce website, showing you just how easy it is to make their sauce.

Leslie @ Munchin' Michigander