Travel highlights from our time in Ann Arbor, Michigan – including the Detroit Street Filling Station, People’s Food Co-op, and shopping on Main Street.
After spending time visiting Detroit and Windsor Ontario, it was time to head home. We had a long drive ahead of us. But I couldn’t resist the call to Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Ann Arbor is also the first place I ever flew to on an airplane when I was 11 or 12. It was for a future problem solving competition with a group from my school.
I have so many wonderful memories from that trip. But one of the strongest is of getting on an airplane for the first time ever and without my parents.
The flight attendant started into the safety talk. But of course, I’d never head this information before.
I knew if anything happened on that plane, I would have to fend for myself since my parents weren’t there. I was listening as if my life depended on it.
I remember feverishly poring over the safety information card in the back pocket of the seat in front of me. I was flabbergasted that everyone around us looked bored out of their minds, absentmindedly looking out the window or chatting while a flight attendant went through the demonstration.
I wished she would slow the heck down.
I studied my chair to sort out how the seat cushion could be pulled apart for a floatation device. (Because obviously, the chances of a water landing between Iowa & Michigan are super likely. Haha!)
After my nerves subsided, I filled a roll of film with picture after picture of the patchwork quilt that is flying over the Midwest.
Whenever I get on an airplane and people disinterestedly look away while the flight attendant shows how to buckle the seat belts, I think of my sixth grade self trying to make sense of it all.
It only took about 3 decades, but I was back in Ann Arbor!
I can see why I was so charmed by it as a kid. It made me wonder if it set the tone for the kinds of towns I’d like, since I first visited at a transformative time when I’d never experienced that vibrant, college town atmosphere before.
Food options in Ann Arbor are a little fewer on Sundays. But I wasn’t sad at all about our visit to Detroit Street Filing Station.
Detroit Filling Station
There was lots of seating inside, as well as a patio area. We sat outside at a small table in front of a group playing music for their Sunday jazz brunch.
There’s a specific kind of warm weather euphoria that’s unique to places that experience a frigid winter. Everyone was leaning into the spring brunch vibes – with little buckets of champagne for mimosas on several tables.
I ordered the Central American platter with chick’n seitan, fried plantains, bright pink pickled cabbage, tofu scramble, avocado, refried black beans, cashew sour cream, and warm corn tortillas.
I could have made a meal of the refried black beans. It made me wonder why I always use pinto when making vegan refried beans.
(I remedied that once I got home. And I have a recipe coming up soon on the blog!)
Fried plantains were served on top of the beans with a drizzle of cashew sour cream. And they are just so nice together. Plantains & black beans are a great match.
I was a little disappointed that the chick’n seitan wasn’t breaded. I was hoping it would be fried chick’n style, since they also had chick’n & waffles on the menu. But the flavor was fine.
The platter was huge & really filling. David and I totally could have shared just one dish between us.
David ordered the aforementioned chick’n & waffles. I was having some food envy when I saw his plate. But he was kind enough to share several bites.
Got to love the mix of sweet & salty with maple syrup drenched chick’n seitan over a Belgian waffle.
The chick’n & waffles platter at Detroit Street Filling Station is served with steamed kale, which was a nice balance to all of the beige.
They didn’t really do anything to the kale, outside of steaming it. But we also ordered some carrot bacon, because that sounded really interesting to me. And that went together really nicely with the kale.
The carrot bacon is reminiscent in taste & texture to coconut bacon, but without the coconut flavor, obviously.
More vegan options in Ann Arbor:
The original location of Seva is in Ann Arbor. There’s also a location of Avalon Bakery & Café there as well.
I visited both of those restaurants at their Detroit locations. (Read about those visits in my vegan Detroit post.)
People’s Food Co-op
After lunch, we walked through the Sunday artisans market.
Then we strolled through the People’s Food Co-op, because natural grocery store visits are a vacation must as far as I’m concerned.
The co-op was small but well stocked. There’s a small café as well.
Then we headed to Main Street, where Taste of Ann Arbor just happened to be going on.
The streets were filled with people buying samples from local restaurants. And there was a real festive mood in the air. It made me wish we could have stayed a lot longer!
I was so charmed by Ann Arbor, I definitely won’t wait another 30 years until I visit again. Now that I know it’s easily within driving distance, it would be perfect for a romantic weekend away.
(Bonus: No nail biter of a plane ride involved. Haha!)