Like many fun events in, well, life, my pre-birthday weekend was all about the food. It’s always about the food, isn’t it? I am a religious follower of Ann Arbor birthday deals (especially when they are food related), and I was able to take advantage of a few deals this weekend.
Free dinner at Mongolian Grill.
Buffalo Shrimp is always my favorite. Also discovered their meatballs are also a solid choice. Did you know Mongolian Grill has marinara sauce available? Now you do. And it is good.
Not-free cocktail. Contained Southern Comfort, Iced Tea, and Coca-Cola. Maybe something else too, but I can’t remember. Lemon? Alright. Needed more booze, to be honest.
This wasn’t one of my “deals,” but for Dessert 2.0, I tried a flight of port wines at Ravens Club.
The flight featured a small pour of each of the four ports that Ravens Club offers.
These were really fun to taste! The 20-year aged tawny port was especially interesting. Port wines are typically around 20% alcohol (versus most wines, which are usually 12-18% alcohol), and I could certainly smell the alcohol when sniffing the ports, but they went down especially smooth, with lasting sweet flavors of caramel and toffee. In fact, the tasting experience of these ports was an evolving journey. Throughout the tasting, I declared that I detected all sorts of flavors, some good, some bad, some just crazy: caramel corn, Werther’s candy, bubblegum-flavored hard candy, pine needles, burnt popcorn, among many (many) others.
I’m a little nutso, but it keeps it fun.
At this point I was a little hungry, so we tried an order of Pull-Apart Foccacia from the 207 Hour (late-night) menu, served with cheddar ale (the thick, creamy, pale sauce, with a rather sharp cheesy flavor) and amogio dipping sauces. The red amogio sauce was incredible – thick, tangy, garlicky tomato-based sauce, with a rich hint of sweetness. Everything about this plate was great.
Free meal at Noodles if you sign up for their email list! Lots of new offerings at Noodles since my last visit (which, admittedly, has been a while), including a few sandwiches, like the one I ordered – the Wisconsin Cheesesteak, smothered in Mac ‘n’ Cheese sauce. This was quite good! I ordered the oddest pairing of dishes …evAR, by selecting a cup of Thai Curry Soup as the other half of my “duo,” which was also really good! Loved the savory broth.
These weren’t part of the deal, but we also tried an order of pot stickers, which were surprisingly delicious. You better believe I Sriracha’ed these babies up right.
Also hit up World Market during their Art & Wine event featuring discounted art work, free food samples (scored some salami and chocolate dip!), and a complimentary wine tasting (tried a cab and a prosecco!), and also redeemed a birthday coupon for $10 off a purchase. Win, all around.
Back Alley Gourmet was offering free food samples at Cherry Republic this Saturday, featuring cherry ingredients, including a salad with cherry vinaigrette, dried cherries, dried apricot, and blue cheese, as well as warm brie with cherry. We picked up a jar of Cherry BBQ sauce while we were downtown.
Free birthday burger: my usual – the Santa Fe Chipotle turkey burger. Sadly, this burger was lacking and I could not quite figure out why. It was just bland this time.
Apparently I also ate this burger in February of last year, and wrote this: “So good. I ate every last bite and my mouth was burning at the end.” This was not at all true this time – there was no heat at all. Now that I reread the burger description, I think that the pepper jack cheese was left off of my burger, and the rest of the ingredients were skimpy. Kind of a bummer. Not bad, but just bland.
At some point this weekend, I may or may not have made a(nother) batch of Perfect Brownies for two. These are so wicked-awesome.
Nick’s was attempted for breakfast, but the crowds led us away, which instead led to a pretty delicious Dibella’s Old Fashioned Assorted sub on their awesome Everything bread. This may or may not have been the third time I’ve eaten Dibella’s in the past week, but this was the only time I’ve had to pay for it.
Actually, the huz paid for this time. You know what that means? I am a big time baller. Clearly.
Clearly Dibella’s understands the proper bread : meat ratio. Perfection. Nommity nom nom.
..Also discovered their giant deli pickles during this visit. Yessss.
I actually did a little cooking this weekend. Two of my favorites, paired, for a most-excellent dinner!:
..Still have a few days left to redeem my remaining birthday coupons. I cannot decide where to eat on the day of my birthday! I’ll keep you posted.
Because I’m sure you’re so interested.
Have a good week!
PS – No I am not watching the Super Bowl. Deal with it.
Currently listening to: Are You Hurting The One You Love? – Florence + the Machine.