Taste of Ann Arbor 2014 Review

This afternoon we attended Taste of Ann Arbor, an event that we love. Taste of Ann Arbor takes place on Main St between William and Washington. Various restaurants throughout Ann Arbor have tents setup to sell a couple of sample menu items. Most items are small tasting sizes so that you can sample multiple items from different vendors. Event tickets are $0.50 each and are purchased from stands or ticket sellers typically located at the middle, north and south end of the event. Individual items start at 1 ticket with the most expensive item I recall at 8 tickets ($4). All food sales are via tickets which helps them to move the lines faster.

Typically we park at the north end of Main Street for downtown events, but due to road closures from the Dexter-Ann Arbor race, we parked at the south side of the event (garage at 4th and William). Since it is Sunday, parking was free which is always an added bonus.

Arriving early is definitely the way to go. Lines tend to be shorter and there is more room to move as the lines aren’t impeding the pedestrian flow. It is also easier to find a curb or planter to sit on when it is less crowded.

My favorite dish was the fish tacos from Black Pearl. Melange had great bargains with every item priced at 1 ticket. The herbed lemonade was a hit with my daughter and her friend. The Mango Passionfruit sorbet was also a hit and what we went back to use our last tickets on.

One of the better bargains was the chicken stir fry and rice from BDs Mongolian BBQ. At 5 tickets, it wasn’t that cheap, but my daughter had some, I had some, and we still brought some home. Fortunately it was served in a take-out container, so I could just close the lid to bring it home for dinner.


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Ordering her Stir Fry

For dessert, we had cheesecake and cherry pie from Achatz Pie, a fried Oreo from BD’s Mongolian, and the Melting Pot dessert sampler.

Another favorite beverage was the Strawberry Mint Agua Fresca at Lena. I have created my own version which I will be sharing on the blog shortly.

If your child is a less than adventurous eater, there are several options that will hopefully please them. Both Silvios and Touraminas were there with pizza, Busch’s had hot dogs, and Conor O’Neills had chicken on a stick (aka chicken fingers).

Chicken on a Stick

A big hit with the kids was the Transformer street performer. He starts out as a person:

Then transforms into a car and zooms around the sidewalk:

We stopped to watch the performance twice, the first time was early on in the day so the crowds were relatively small. Unfortunately he was setup in the shadows with the bright sun behind him so it was difficult to get a good picture.
 
I love that they use tickets for each item instead of each vendor accepting payment. The lines at each restaurant tent moved much faster since it was just a hand over of tickets – no need for change or credit card processing.
Getting her 5 tickets for Stir Fry
In addition to the food, we also stopped by the Ann Arbor District Library to pick up our Summer Reading sheets and information on the Summer Reading Game. When I took a look at their Jump brochure for kids activities, I can see I will be busy adding all of their summer events to the blog tomorrow. It is definitely one of the biggest brochures I have seen from the library. We also stopped in Vault of Midnight to check out the comic books and Cherry Republic (where we added wine tasting to the food sampling).

Overall we spent $40 on 4 sheets of tickets to feed our family of 3. We all had plenty to eat. We did bring a bottle of water for each of us so we didn’t spend tickets on many beverages. We bought the beverages that we wanted to try rather than beverages to quench our thirst.

 
Did you attend Taste of Ann Arbor? What was your favorite dish?
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Ann Arbor with Kids is your go-to source for Ann Arbor Family Fun. It got its start in an activity list that I was compiling for the playgroup I ran at our church. When my daughter started preschool, the other moms were thrilled to hear about my list. I decided to take the list public in 2009.

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