The Hidden Gem Reviews

By Heather Brouwer

Knight’s Steakhouse, conveniently located on Dexter-Ann Arbor Road, has a wonderful ambiance. The lights are slightly dimmer than many restaurants, and the tables are small enough that in the slightly noisy atmosphere you can still hear the person sitting next to you, which gives off a more intimate feel.

There were options of booths and tables. The tables had extremely comfortable rolling chairs that are nice when you want to look someone in the face but don’t want to go through the trouble of making a ruckus by moving an ordinary chair.

Knight’s does, however, have a slightly older clientele base of middle-aged people. But it had a large variety of food options that are enjoyable to everyone as well.

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Hidden Gems

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Seva, located conveniently in the Westgate Shopping Center, is a restaurant specializing in vegan-vegetarian fare.

Upon entering on a Friday night, the place was busy, but my friend and I were seated right away. The vibe of the restaurant was reminiscent of most of the vegan restaurants I had been to; cozy, but with Ann Arbor hipster flair. It’s on the nicer side of casual, and definitely a restaurant suitable for a family outing or a date. The staff was young, many of them donning flannels and beanies over their Seva T-shirts. It isn’t a very large restaurant, but it’s not crowded. The tables are well-spaced, and it’s easy to navigate.

Although it is a vegan-vegetarian restaurant, Seva has a versatile menu. No, you can’t order a hamburger or a steak, but as someone who has been vegan for a year and an on-again-off-again vegetarian since middle school, I was pleased by the choices and ordered a spinach salad and cilantro-peanut stir fry.

The spinach salad, which came with chargrilled tempeh (fermented soy beans) in addition to the vegetables, was pretty standard, but perhaps a little overpriced at $13.

The stir-fry, which was $15, was a was a medley of vegetables over brown rice, with a “cilantro-peanut-ginger-lime sauce” that added flavor to what could have been another standard dish.

Overall, Seva offers a nice dining experience at a decent price. Although there isn’t  anything exceptionally stand-out about it, it’s a good option for vegans and vegetarians in the area.

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The Lunch Room triples as a vegan restaurant, bar, and bakery all tucked into a courtyard in Kerrytown. Finding the restaurant wasn’t particularly difficult, but finding the entrance posed a bit of a challenge. We ended up walking through a marketplace and considered asking one of the employees before we found it. Perhaps this could have been avoided if we had been more observant, but the layout is a little confusing.

Inside The Lunch Room, there’s a counter for placing your order with 15,000 bamboo skewers dipped in blue paint hanging above it, and I noticed several Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ+, and feminist friendly stickers on the windows.

During the lunch rush, the restaurant operates on a “first come, first serve” basis, as there aren’t very many tables crammed into the small space and they don’t take reservations or call-ahead seating. Fortunately for us, there were two tables available when we arrived, and there were only three of us.

At the counter, I ordered pad thai and a side garden salad. The food was brought out by a few different servers. The only employee that was particularly kind to us was the person who helped us at the counter, but the service was quick and nothing to complain about.

The side garden salad was only $6 and very enjoyable. The pad thai, at $10, was full of bold flavors and was served with some of the best tofu I have ever had at a restaurant. It was great value; I had enough leftover for lunch for the next day.

If you’re a vegan or vegetarian or just someone who enjoys healthful eating, I would definitely recommend checking out The Lunch Room. It may be a little cramped and crowded, but the delicious food and eclectic atmosphere make up for it two times over.

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