I just had a birthday…go me! And we decided we wanted to head out of town for minute and take a weekend trip to Ann Arbor to celebrate and just spend time together. The main reason was because one of our all-time favorite Michigan eateries was having a street fair! We love Ann Arbor anyway, so a trip down there is always fun!
We headed down on Saturday morning, to start our food-filled weekend! We are foodies in every sense of the word! Our first stop was in Clarkston, upon the recommendation of a friend, to visit the new restaurant, Honcho. They are owned by another favorite of ours, Union Woodshop, so it was basically a must-do! The food was BEYOND amazing! It’s a latin-infusion type of restaurant. Tons of fresh ingredients and so many options for our food allergy kids! I was so impressed by the staff as well because they were so knowledgeable about the ingredients and preparation of food. Their guacamole is to die for and I’ll forever be adding sweet peas to mine from now on! James tried a few of their tacos and this mountain of fries, like a poutine or sorts, topped with a fried egg. I have their Enchiladas Suizas because I can’t say no to enchiladas with a verde sauce. The kids had cilantro lime rice, chicken tacos (minus the cheese) and a black bean and quinoa salad. I was a little disappointed that their refried beans all contained soy, since their Arlo’s favorite, but the rest of the food was so good. Not to mention, their décor was so fantastic and I was ready to basically move in. I wish I would have taken more photos of the décor, but sometimes you just have to enjoy the food…
Then we headed over to our hotel (we stayed in nearby Novi) and the kids literally went INSANE! There’s just something about hotels, giant beds and large curtains that make them go crazy and think it’s a playground! I guess I can’t really blame them, I just want to jump on the beds too.
Next we headed further south, the real reason for the trip, to attend Zingerman’s Deli 35th Anniversary Street Fair. And since it was my 35th birthday too, I wanted to go! Zingerman’s deli in Ann Arbor is so good and their story is even better. Their an Ann Arbor cult favorite, and it’s well-deserved! Their sandwiches, side dishes and store full of goodies was well worth the trip! They also have a bakery, creamery and several other facets to the deli, even including an online shop.
The street fair was set up in the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market and included booths from several vendors, mostly delicatessen type of foods. Not a ton for the kids, being that it was a lot of cheese and processed meats, but they did score some crackers and such. The problem was that there was a TON of people and the entire promenade was wall-to-wall people. We had two littles and double stroller so we didn’t last long. It was disappointing, since that was the reason we wanted to go, but it was just too packed. So we turned the whole weekend into a food crawl of sorts!
I had researched before we went, as I always do, to find alternatives for the kids, since I knew the fair likely wouldn’t have many safe options for them. I stumbled upon a vegan restaurant right downtown called The Lunch Room. Their food is so good! We ordered the kids some mac and “cheese,” made with butternut squash and red pepper sauce, although I skipped the topping that contained nuts and sesame seeds, both of which Lark is allergic to. I added on a side of black beans and rice, and yes, my kids eat a lot of these as you can see from above…it was an exciting moment for Lark as well because she was able to pick from several options in their bakery case as a treat and she picked the most adorable, rainbow-sprinkle sugar cookie with little edible stars. There were less options for Arlo, as vegan food often contains soy, but Lark picked out a donut for him, covered in cinnamon sugar, that free of soy AND dairy! It made my mama heart happy to be able to treat them to something special. Both of them devoured the food, with my help because I can’t say no to a good, vegan meal.
After that, James still had a hankering for Zingerman’s, but I was stuffed! I couldn’t even think about ordering a sandwich. But it was so busy that it took an hour to get his sandwich and by that time, I was starving! I did manage to eat some of his though, of course. The kids played in their little play area with some toys and it was actually nice because we were able to sit and enjoy it. I desperately wanted dessert, though, but with the time it took to get our food, I was sort of over it, in a sense, and upon seeing the line inside the bakery, I gave up on dessert and opted for Starbucks on the way back to the hotel.
Oh, and we also saw the biggest spider and spider web we’d ever seen, wish I’d have grabbed a photo of it, but instead, see our reactions about sitting right underneath it…
After good night’s sleep, we woke up and decided on another adventure. This time, to IKEA! Arlo woke up not feeling well. He was having some pretty severe stomach issues, which isn’t unusual for him, but he was in a little more distress than usual. He had no fever or other symptoms. He’d laugh and play, then lay on the bed, double over in pain until it passed and he’d start playing again. So we decided to head to IKEA anyway after he’d been feeling better for a bit, only to have him pass out in my arms about 30 minutes in while we were having a snack in the cafe, and proceeded to sleep, dead weight in my arms, for the rest of our time there, which was probably well over an hour! My arms were so sore the next day! After IKEA, we headed home. By evening, he seemed better and we are guessing he ate something that affected his food allergies in some way. I’m actually curious if the Vegan dinner the night somehow contained Soy that I may not have been aware of, but it’s hard to say. His food allergies affect him digestively and it’s often delayed, so it’s not easy to pinpoint.
All in all it was an awesome trip, despite some minor setbacks! And now I’m craving Honcho several times a week…oh and hey, I managed to vlog our adventures! It had been so long since I vlogged our family happenings and it was nice to document things in that way again…Enjoy! And if you get to Ann Arbor and its vicinity anytime soon, be sure to check out Zingerman’s, The Lunch Room and Honcho in Downtown Clarkston. You won’t regret it!