International Flavors

One of the many advantages of living in a university town is the cultural diversity, especially when it’s expressed through food cooked in family-owned eateries. There’s Spanish, Indian, Mexican, Nepalese, Middle Eastern,Cuban, Korean, Japanese, Thai and Chinese, and finally more Vietnamese places started appearing in the last couple of years.

Ginger Deli is a take-out window with a few covered outside seats. The bread is fresh baked daily for their sandwiches, they use fresh, local ingredients whenever possible and make everything in house. Ginger Deli opened in the summer of 2014 by a former automotive designer and classical pianist, who decided to follow his passion for food and cooking.

The parents of the owners of V Kitchen opened their first restaurant in South Vietnam in the early 80’s. Here, there is an extensive list of what they call “home-style Vietnamese dishes.” There’s something for everyone, including a whole section for vegetarians. Pho House on Washtenaw, in Ypsilanti, also serves authentic Vietnamese food, and more than just pho.

Ayse’s (pronounced “eye-sheh”) Turkish Café has been serving delicious Turkish home cooking for over 20 years. Ayse started as a caterer in the late 80’s, and opened the café in 1993. Her menu changes daily, and uses local, seasonal ingredients whenever possible. There are a lot of choices for vegetarians and vegans, and Ayse can work with other dietary restrictions since she’s almost always there cooking.

Another place for great food and quiet ambiance is the Blue Nile, which proves that an elegant all-you-can-eat restaurant isn’t an oxymoron. The Blue Nile has been serving traditional Ethiopian feasts for over 20 years. You can get their feasts with or without meat, and you eat with the traditional injera bread, a spongy bread that literally soaks up the flavors and spices. If you don’t feel like a feast, there are plenty of tasty individual dishes on the menu, and if you don’t like eating with your hands, just ask for silverware. Be sure to try their Ethiopian tea, coffee and honey wine.

Casablanca, on Washtenaw in Ypsilanti, serves a variety of tasty Moroccan food.  My favorite is the Bastilla, a delicate strudel stuffed with chicken, egg, cinnamon, almonds and orange blossom water. It’s crunchy and savory, sweet and creamy, warm and addictive. The bread, called Harsha, is warm, dense and chewy. And their falafel is some of the best in town.

Try some of our international flavors and let us know what’s your favorite.

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