why dont we have these in orlando?

ann arbor is a pleasant town, especially if you head there straight from detroit and compare the two. it feels like a different world.
college town with a great, thriving downtown area plus loads of local food initiatives. everyone that lives here, loves it. when i asked people what do to in town, everyone had a response and some people had long lists. something charming about a college town that is not only a college town. (sorry auburn, but i like opelika better.)

we spent a few different days in this place so i’ll highlight the happenings and bests:

we went on saturday to the Farmers Market. it was nothing compared to the Eastern Market that we had just come from in Detroit, though they had some repeat vendors and they did have a great little local roaster called Roos Roast Coffee. i didn’t get a chance to stop by their place, but i bought a half pound of decaf that i’m looking forward to trying…

also, we ate at Zingerman’s Deli. which was so great it will get its own post, but i’ll just say here that i’ve heard john say on more than one occasion in a little kid’s whine voice “i want zingermans…”

also stopped by the People’s Food Co-op, which i expected to be similar to our Orlando Homegrown Co-op (which you should look into if you live in Orlando and haven’t yet, you should). however, it felt more like a small local grocery store. they even had a fair trade coffee shop and hot food bar attached as part of the co-op. take that Orlando, always room to grow.
funny thing about it is i went in there looking for a copy of Edible WOW – Southeastern Michigan. they didn’t carry it, the girl at the register hadn’t even heard of it. maybe the Edible WOW guy needs a bit more exposure.

so, i stopped by Mighty Good Coffee on my day off and found the winter and spring copies of Edible. (don’t worry Wendy, i picked one up for you!) their coffee was really great and they have a micro-roastery in the back end of the shop. also, they supply a lot of other places in town and try to be as locally sourced as possible, even getting their milk in glass containers from Calder Dairy in Carleton, MI only about 40 miles away.

another great thing to note, since people in Michigan desire and demand local Michigan made products and pay attention to where the things they buy come from, more local businesses are thriving and the big guys, such as Whole Foods, source local Michigan products because that’s what people want to buy. hence the cyclical relationship of local businesses thriving, even with the big guys around. so pay attention to the distance that your food took to get to you and buy local when you have the chance – you are supporting local businesses and the livelihood of your city. that includes eating at restaurants that source local products!

yet another great sign.

spent a bit of time in Crazy Wisdom Bookstore, upon recommendation. bought some teas and met a girl named Laura with a great story. destiny perhaps, but there is no such thing as coincidence.

the best part about ann arbor is that everyone was so excited that is was spring they all took to the streets! these are the things i knew/learned about…
Saturday: Farmers Market @ Kerrytown
Sunday: Artisan Market @ Kerrytown; Taste of Ann Arbor full of food vendors, music, and hipster students from University of Michigan; last day of Zingerman’s Camp Bacon

raven club berry dessert!

sooo much to do! i biked around and checked out a few places, then headed to the Taste of Ann Arbor for food – thai tea, horchata from Mediterranean place, fish tacos from The Black Pearl (best), ribs from The Blue Tractor, and dessert from The Raven Club. also listened to The Appleseed Collective while in food lines and invited them to a house show in Orlando via their tour/merch girl. and sat in the beer tent to see Dragon Wagon jam for awhile…which only made me miss Jubals Kin all the more!

i agree with the locals, pretty great city and definitely worth spending time in. oh, and very bike friendly – there were tons of people riding around town and a great biking trail near the university.