Friday, July 1, 2011
Frugal Floozie Friday -- Jerusalem Garden
Well, today is Frugal Floozie Friday, and we're going out for dinner this time - for Middle Eastern food at Jerusalem Garden.
My BFF Wendy and her daughter, Alison - home for the summer after an exciting term interning at the State Department - joined me for an adventure one recent evening. We had such a fabulous time that this will be a two-part escapade completed next week ... same Bat time, same Bat channel!
We wanted to attend the first night of Top of the Park, described in a press release as:
"One of Ann Arbor’s favorite community celebrations .... (It) offers admission-free concerts, movies under the stars, open-air performances, street arts, family attractions, and a wide variety of cultural activities for the whole community to enjoy."
So we started with dinner before meandering over to the concert a few blocks away, right in the heart of the University of Michigan campus.
Jerusalem Garden is unfortunately located right in the midst of the enormous and seemingly endless project to construct an underground parking structure. There is a sign saying that the two restaurants on that block are still open; but with parking non-existent and the street blocked off, it's not a particularly enticing location. (You can even find a Facebook page supporting the restaurants: Keep Earthen Jar and Jerusalem Garden Open ... go "like" it.)
So we were on a mission to show our love.
We sat on the shaded patio on a perfect summery evening, a small oasis from the dust and consternation of the construction site, and were happy to see three other tables filled in addition to watching numerous customers walk in and then leave with take-out orders.
We were surprised at how many options were available within the very strict $5 per person budget for Frugal Floozie Friday: an assortment of salads and soups, spinach and meat pies, and eight different sandwiches featuring falafel or hummus or lentils and rice. And, of course, desserts were within our price range, as well.
I decided upon the Small Falafel Plate (pictured at the top of the post), which would have been $3.25 with one sampler side dish; but since I could choose a second side dish and bring my total up to only $4.75, that's what I did. I chose tabouli (on the right) and my favorite, fattoush (on the left). Wendy and Alison decided to split the Jerusalem Burger for $5.75: "Ground beef & lamb mixed with onions, parsley and spices baked in grape leaves, wrapped with hummus."
As you can see from the pictures, we absolutely got a huge bang for our proverbial buck -- we were served an incredibly generous amount of food! And it was exceptionally good food, too; Wendy loved the burger, and kept remarking how excellent it was and how enormous just her half of it was.
My falafel patties were perfectly cooked -- crunchy exteriors encasing a crumbly and flavorful filling. The salads were crisp and fresh with subtle flavors, rather than having been overdressed or too acidic (as they are at some places). Our waitress very graciously offered me a second piece of pita bread, which I happily accepted. And the three of us enthusiastically polished off our entire dinner, thoroughly enjoying our feast.
Whereas last week's featured establishment, Schakolad, was more about finding a sinfully seductive treat within the Frugal Floozie Friday price limit, going to Jerusalem Garden was about finding great value for the expenditure. An entire dinner for $5 or less??? What a fabulous deal!
307 S. Fifth Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
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Frugal Floozie Friday: Food and Fun for Five Dollars or Less ... Really!!!
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- Frugal Floozie Friday -- Jerusalem Garden
- ▼ July (21)