LAT: How long lines keep Porto's Bakery affordable — and growing

I think that says all the needs to be said.

Not a Wolverine but a frequent visitor at the end of the last century. When Border’s was the local book store.

I love Zingerman’s too but that does not really look like a cuban to me

Did @linus provide a list of decent Southland Cubans?

I guess I have to go with Cafe Tropical’s but it is not great.

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no linus didn’t. and isn’t.

zingerman’s a good choice if you’re not in the mood for de long’s.

@linus DeLongs is long gone. Its either a Korean or Thai place now. I remember that lovely conversation we had about DeLongs a few years ago and how the mods wanted to banish it to a different board.

@CiaoBob Its not a true Cuban - its a hybrid. They use pulled pork instead of roast pork, but its very good.

Before the late, lamented Borders was around Ann Arbor had Marshal’s, a wonderful one-of-a-kind place. Their motto was “Come in and browse”. On a cold weekend afternoon the aisles would be filled with people sitting on the floor doing just that. I thinks the location now houses a trendy boutique. Ann Arbor has changed for the better since my youth, but not all the changes are good.

Ann Arbor has changed for the worse. Borders and Schoolkids Records have given way to froyo chains and chipotles. Still an awesome town, but it has lost a bit of magic.

Shocked that we won’t be seeing that top 50 cubanos list…

there’s one waiting for you at porto’s.
as warren zevon said, “enjoy every sandwich.”


i understand that pizza bob’s is still there.

It is indeed. Krazy Jim’s has moved two doors down from the Fleetwood Diner, but both the food quality and size of the patties has gone downhill. As a youth I found a triple-cheese blimpy was perfect, now three patties are drowned in a semi-stale onion roll. Seva (originally Soybean Cellars) is still going strong for vegetarian food. Upscale dining options are multiple, my favorite being The Grange, a largely locavore New American place. Had an incredible warm cider/bourbon cocktail there last winter and a great dinner. Metzger’s has moved west to Zeeb Rd., and the Old German has been reborn as a cellar bar. There are a lot of Korean options, as well as Arabic places.
Perhaps the most striking thing about Ann Arbor food-wise these days is the quality of the meat. At the butcher shop in Kerrytown I purchased grass-fed, local, organic, USDA Prime ribeyes for 13/lb. Two inches thick!
Just to acknowledge the original topic of this post there is a Cuban place that does a great Cuban hamburger,

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didnt those dorks who own krazy jims try and crowdfund their move?

They did indeed, but the crowdfunding wasn’t as wrong as it seemed. Krazy Jim’s family owned the property and sold to the University for multi-millions. The family who managed it for years after Krazy Jim died were not wealthy. They were pretty cool; I remember a late night munchies episode where we tried to buy burgers after they were closed and they gave us several bags of leftovers for free. Gut busters; I don’t even want to think about it…Ann Arbor in the late '60s…$5 marijuana fine. Precursor to Colorado. It’s been many years.

After the move however they seem to have lost their virtue - at least as far as the quality is concerned. On football weekends there are still lines for a block. Unlike the old days during the week you can walk right in and be served. The food is nowhere as good as it was. So many better burgers in Ann Arbor. Zingerman’s Roadhouse has a Cornman Farms organic dry-aged burger cooked over wood for special on Mondays for $14 - includes fries and salad - and they have great beer. Such a shame. The Fleetwood Diner still has great breakfasts but they no longer serve clam chowder. Some changes are not for the best.

Have to respectfully disagree; I am older than you. I remember when Main street was filled with dippy little shops and dive bars. Sear and Roebuck was the major commercial enterprise (my best friend’s father managed it - I could never tell him it smelled bad). I was there in the riots of the '70s when Sheriff Harvey shot teargas at us, and some creep tried to have sex on South University (not successful - very embarrassing). There were some cool things: Bolgos dairies delivering milk; the UofM letting us into games free after halftime; mushroom hunting in what is now a parking lot outside of the basketball stadium (Cazzie’s Palace); the Hayden Planetarium in my high school; free concerts on Sundays (thanks to the MC5 and the Up my ears are going), but all in all it’s nowhere near as nice as it is now. It may be commercialized, as with almost all of America is, but it is nowhere near the cultural wasteland it was in the '50s, '60s, and '70s.

I forgot one thing. Dominick DeVarti’s son, of Dominck’s, was a friend of mine. When we would go on field trips he would bring me an incredible sandwich. An Italian not a Cuban!

Are you to blame for Dominick’s sangria?!

I hear you on the Ann Arbor changes. I think it’s all relative to the period you’re comparing it to. I could imagine the 70s vs today being a positive change. I’m looking at the 90s compared to today, when iconic places like Schoolkids, Middle Earth, Village Corner, the Parthenon, Lovin Spoonful, Moveable Feast, Bagle Factory, etc created a very unique vibe for the town compared to the sterile new anytown establishments in their place. It’s still a terrific town, it just feels a lot more homogenized.

i once saw someone put clancy’s fancy hot sauce in their hot tea at the fleetwood.
didn’t know it was still open.

sigh. the wolverine den. pj’s flood’s party. o.k. i’m done now…

I wonder if the Fleetwood bathrooms are still the same. Best. Graffiti. Ever.


Nope, I’m w/ ya on the cheese rolls.

I don’t know if I ever had the original form of the potato balls. I actually really like how soft they are (incl the filling). I had one at a party from 2010 or so, and I didn’t like it at all. I assumed it was b/c the ball had been purchased the day before and hadn’t been reheated for the party, but maybe that’s actually what the original like (it was quite firm and dry).

I’ve had a few Russian goodies (from some bakery in WeHo)… I think one was a fruit tart? I liked it quite a bit (not too sweet). I also think Pink Orchid in Westwood has pretty good QPR (yes, I know it’s a Persian bakery)…

No, that just sounds like it needed to be reheated. The potato balls and ham croquettes changed a couple years ago. the potato balls were a little firmer and you could pick them up and bit into them without them oozing. Now they are “looser”, so you bit into it and they just sort of break apart. The ham croquettes before used to have a smoother texture to them and you couldn’t really discern any pieces of chopped ham; now they have a chunky consistency, like minced pieces of ham bound with mashed potato, which I don’t find as pleasant.

The whole interior is covered with graffiti now.
I can’t contrast Ann Arbor in the 90s vs now as I left in 74 and didn’t spend much time there until the last couple of years. You could very well be right and I missed the Golden Age.

i dont remember seeing clam chowder at the fleetwood diner. i know i wouldnt have eaten it there if i did.

main street got less weird after 74; the central cafe held out for a while.

i think angelos is still open but im not sure.

i thought i was done. cant compete with the mc5/stooges/sonics rendezvous/scott morgan era anyways.