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Ann Arbor’s Edible Downtown

By Pam Aughe, R.D. | August 03, 2016
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babo market
Babo Market

Ann Arbor is a lively university town that offers a variety of retail, restaurants, coffee shops and farmers' markets. It's impossible to experience it all in a short visit. Our time in Ann Arbor was spent wisely at the established Sweetwaters Coffee and Tea and at the new food empire built by Sava Lelcaj.

For more than 20 years, Sweetwaters Coffee and Tea was has been offering the finest food and drinks in Ann Arbor. Sweetwater prides itself on using only the best ingredients to create a quality product with a wide variety of coffees, house-made teas, shakes, smoothies and Italian soda.

Our delicious lemon scone and a peanut butter crunch bar were created locally—by Crust in Fenton and Avalon in Detroit—emphasizing the importance of community to Sweetwaters. An exciting addition to the coffee house’s community involvement is the partnership with Robin Hills Farm as their CSA pick up spot. Robin Hills is a sustainable, organic farm that offers produce, tours and u-pick. A neat option in your CSA box is to add Sweetwaters tea or coffee, Crust bread or a baked sweet treat.

For lunch we visited Sava's. Restauranteur Sava Lelcaj began with a small restaurant named Sava State Street Café in 2007. Two years later the success of the café grew to a new location called Sava's. The menu is described as new American plates and is offered in a comfortable, modern setting. I was impressed with the flavor combinations on a simple turkey burger. The burger I tried was deliciously seasoned and topped with gruyere, fig and balsamic jam and baby kale.

A few years later, Lelcaj opened Babo Market with a deli, coffee shop and small bar. We identified a variety of Michigan products in the small market, but were really impressed with another venture for this entrepreneur called Farm Fresh Meals to Go. An alternative to fast food, Farm Fresh Meals to Go sells prepared gourmet meals for people who don't have time to cook but want to eat welll.

I’m looking forward to my next visit to Ann Arbor to eat at Lelcaj’s newest restaurant called Aventura for modern Spanish tapas. So now with two restaurants, a gourmet market and a line of fresh foods, Lelcaj clearly understands the recipe for success.

Ann Arbor has an amazing food community. Where should edibleWOW eat next?

Article from Edible WOW at http://ediblewow.ediblecommunities.com/eat/ann-arbors-edible-downtown
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