Art and Soul is feasting on the culinary arts this week. 89.1 WEMU'S Lisa Barry is joined as usual by local food expert and writer Jessica Webster and they welcome special guest John Reyes, Ann Arbor correspondent for eater.com. They discuss eater.com’s 2017 list of the hottest bars and restaurants in Ann Arbor.
Some of the highlights on the list include the unique eatery opened by local favorite Teahouse called Eat More Tea. Jessica Webster describes what a tea-themed eatery offers up.
“The products that they’re selling all have some element of tea in them. They’ve got gelato and they’ve got macarons and they’re infused with a wall of different types of teas. So you may have an orange-scented tea that goes into the macaron.”
But wait, is it macaroon or macaron? Well they’re two different types of cookie, as Webster explains.
“A macaroon is a cookie that has coconut. A macaron is a French cookie that is made with almond flour. It is gluten free, it’s very airy, as opposed to the dense cookie known as a macaroon.”
There is now a place in Ann Arbor to taste the difference. Le Bon Macaron is a family-owned bakery with two other Michigan locations. John Reyes says it’s worth a visit not just for the macarons and cream puffs, but for the distinctly Parisian feel.
“In the front of the restaurant, they have about five or six bistro tables. It’s really light and airy. It’s a great place to have coffee and sit and relax for a while.”
Moving from French to French-Canadian, Smokes Poutinerie features a menu full of variations on the classic French fry dish. Reyes explains poutine and where the menu gets unique.
“Poutine is traditionally French fries with cheese curds and gravy. There are different varieties you can do with different types of cheeses and fries or tater tots. And then different types of meats. Smoked brisket, pulled pork, or chicken.”
Next on the list is the evolution of former burrito joint BTB Burrito, which is now known as Cantina Taqueria. It mixes traditional taco fillings like carnita or carne asada with more elevated offerings, like mushroom or pork belly and grilled pineapple. Webster calls the plates “instagramable” for how beautiful the pictures are coming out.
Rounding out the discussion is Argus, which opened a new location on Packard. It’s part grocery store, part seven days-a-week farmers market, with a coffee shop and bakery hangout thrown in for good measure. There is much to love about a local market, as Webster says.
“You pick your favorite looking tomato, and you get a little bar-code that’s unique to that farm, and you bring it up to the counter and that farmer gets the money that you’re spending on your produce. And it all stays in the community.”
More from John Reyes can be found here.
Jessica Webster hosts The In Crowd Sundays at 3 p.m. on 89.1 WEMU.
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