The Food and Wine Hedonist

leave your inhibitions at the door

How to get ten cute girls to go out to dinner with you, (even if you are a pathetic lifelong loser)

Hey y’all, Hedonist here.  Last December I put out an open invitation for guest posts and, so far, we had Girl Crush: Zooey Deschanel and White Parent Raps Gotta Stop.  Now we have one from Domingosaurus, from Not Necessarily About Dinosours or Anything Else.    I first met Domingo when I was slinging wine at a local specialty grocer.  Since then, I’ve witnessed some cool posts on Facebook and I knew he did some writing as well.  So I didn’t hesitate when he offered to do a post.  Of course, I was hoping it would be one of his funny takes on music.  He gave me cheeseburgers.  

Oh well, it’s still a great post!  



Step 1:  The first thing one learns as a pathetic lifelong loser is you can’t just walk up to some girl and ask her to go out to dinner with you.  (Over the years I’ve become quite the connoisseur of pepper spray.)  It’s much better to come up with some nefarious and preferably convoluted scheme and the more nefarious and convoluted the better.  I chose to go with something along the lines of: “Sooooo, (Always start out with a long drawn out: “Sooooo”) I have a friend who writes an online food and wine blog and he has asked me to guest write a post for him.  Since I don’t really have particularly exotic tastes I thought it might be a novel idea to review 10 good places in Ann Arbor to get a good old fashioned plain cheeseburger and fries.  When I write this thing I want to include an accompanying photo of each cheeseburger being modeled by an attractive member of the fairer sex, so I was wondering if you wanted to help me out.  In exchange I will buy you dinner.  It does not have to be a cheeseburger.  But it can be, if that’s what you want.”  (I have a patent pending on this particular nefarious scheme so come up with your own.)

Step 2:  Employ nefarious scheme.

Step 3:  (And here’s the rub.)  Now you have to write the damn post.

Ann Arbor burgers

10 Good (or not so good) places in Ann Arbor to get a Plain Old Cheeseburger and Fries, preferably accompanied by an ice cold Coca Cola (Because who the hell wants Pepsi)

First of all I’m not really sure if I’m the best person to be writing a food review.  On the one hand, I don’t have very exotic tastes.  On the other hand, I generally try not to say anything bad about anyone, or their businesses (Not necessarily a good trait when attempting to write a fair and objective food review.)  Not only that, when it comes to Ann Arbor, I’ve pretty much already been everywhere, and as I invariably order the same thing every time I go out to eat it’s safe to say none of these meals were new to me.  Still I felt obligated to revisit each place, wether I’d been there recently or not.  Besides that my scheme to find 10 lucky ladies to accompany me to dinner turned out to be easier than expected, so I then felt I should probably go ahead and go through with it.

In these reviews I am not just rating the burger itself, but the bun it was on, the service, the ambience of the restaurant, and, perhaps most importantly, what sort of fries the burger came with.  (Another factor would have been wether the establishment had Coke (good) or Pepsi (bad.)  This criterion is no longer valid, as I am happy to report every cheeseburger I consumed came with a delicious glass of Coca Cola!)  Now back to the fries.  I like my burgers plain, and I like my fries plain.  I also like them crispy and made from plain old fashioned POTATOS.  (No weirdness.)  I ordered all the burgers well done, though in that regard I am not picky at all.  I will happily eat a burger dripping with blood or burnt to a crisp, and all points in between.  I really don’t care.  But I ordered them all the same way for consistency.

Ann Arbor burgers

10 Kristy at Grizzley Peak10)  Grizzly Peak.   I have been to Grizzly Peak on several occasions for drinks and it has always been a fun time.  Food wise however, it was my least favorite of all the places I visited.  I ordered the burger well done, it came bloody.  (Again I don’t really care, but that’s not the point.)  The fries were limp and undercooked.  The “bun” was more of a croissant than a hamburger bun.  (I wanted a hamburger bun.)  Kristy (who gets mad props by the way for being the only vegetarian who agreed to do this with me) ordered a baked Macaroni and cheese dish which the menu clearly stated would be served with bread.  There was no bread.  I inquired about this and was informed their oven was broken!  (Why were they even open?)  Kristy was then given a bowl of bread that had been microwaved!.  Beyond this the waitress failed to make much of an impression, but apparently still thought she might have warranted a 20 dollar tip on a 30 dollar order.  (Nope.)

Ann Arbor burgers

9 Dani at Arbor Brewing Company

9.) Arbor Brewing Company.  Again this is a place I visit far more often for drinks than food.  The burger itself was pretty good.  The bun it rested on was again some sort of weird roasted multigrain thing you might expect to find a Boca burger on if you happened to be at Jerry Garcia’s house for dinner. (Back when he was still alive, of course.)  The fries were so so.

ann arbor

cute girls

Ann Arbor burgers

8 Karina at Kasey's8.)  Kasey’s.  Kasey’s is a HOPPING place.  We had to wait standing in the middle of hundreds of people packed in like sardines for an hour before we even got to sit down.  It didn’t help that we had arrived at 6:00 pm sharp on a Friday night, but honestly I’ve been in that place on many different occasions, at all different sorts of times, and I have never seen it empty.  The food was excellent, except for this; the bun had ONIONS in it!!!  Now if there is one thing I despise above all other things, it is onions.  (I hate them.) After the accompanying photo for this review was taken I spent the next 20 minutes picking them off, before I would eat the burger.  (It was worth it though)

Ann Arbor burgers

7 Kelly at Red Hawk Tavern7.) Red Hawk Tavern.  With the exception of Old Town, this is probably the place I’ve been in for lunch the most times.  It’s quiet, not too expensive, and has good food.  They get marked down only for one thing on this particular occasion, my burger came without fries, though I definitely said I wanted a cheeseburger and FRIES.  In my opinion, eating a cheeseburger with no fries would be like eating spaghetti with no garlic bread, or fish sticks with no macaroni and cheese.  I mean come on, REALLY?  (Obviously I remedied the situation, but then I had to wait for the damn fries.)


Ann Arbor burgers


6 Jaqueline at the Fleetwood6.)   The Fleetwood Diner.  This was the only place on the list I went to that is not in fact a bar.  The Fleetwood is where one goes when all the bars have closed.  (It is open 24 hours)  I have been there many times, and probably quite a few times I have no memory of.   The burgers are your typical greasy spoon diner fare.  (They don’t even ask you how you want them cooked, cause frankly you’re gonna get it how they cook it.)  The best thing about the Fleetwood by far is the fries.  Crispy and golden brown, and they come in a red plastic basket!  (mmmmmmm)   It’s also cheap.

Ann Arbor burgers

5 Becky at Conor O Neil's5.)  Conor O Neil’s.  It’s an Irish Pub.  We went there the day AFTER St. Patrick’s Day, and consequently there were maybe two other tables occupied in the whole place.  (There was still the slight smell of vomit lingering in the air from the day before, and I’m pretty sure I spotted someone, dressed of course in green,  still passed out under a table near the back) The burger however was GREAT.  The fries were all right, but nothing to “write home about.”  (Whatever that means.)  Oh and I was kidding about the vomit smell.

Ann Arbor burgers


4 Starr at Frasier's Pub4.)  Fraser’s Pub.  Fraser’s is a dingy little “Townie” bar located a fair click beyond the main downtown bar circuit, but still near the outer fringes of the downtown area.  It’s a fun, relaxing place to dine or drink.  (I have done both there on many occasions.)  The burger was delicious.  The fries had potential but could have been cooked a little longer.  Props to Starr for being 1 of only 2 of my “cheeseburger dates” who actually consumed a cheeseburger!

Ann Arbor burgers

3 Melanie at Banfield's3.)  Banfield’s.  Banfield’s is yet another dingy little townie bar located about halfway between the epicenters of downtown Ann Arbor and downtown Ypsilanti.  (I know this because both it and Fraser’s are part of my usual “Cross Town Bar Hopping Adventure.”)  Banfield’s is also a great place to be if you like quiet dark bars where you can just sort of hang out in the corner and not be bothered by anyone.  (which I do.)  The food here is also delicious.  Especially the burgers.  The fries were good too!

Ann Arbor burgers

2 Rachel at Knight's2.)  Knight’s.  Don’t look for the name of the bar on the sign, which is simply indicated by a big Horse head by the side of Dexter rd.  (Just like they used to do back in the Dark Ages, when most people couldn’t read anyway.) Burger wise, this was the best place by far.  The only mark down was for the fries, which weren’t quite as crispy as I would normally like.  In fact the best part about this dining experience was the Long Island Iced Teas we enjoyed after dinner, of which (I was informed) they will not serve you more than two of.  (Rachel and I had two apiece.)

Ann Arbor burgers

1 Aimee at Old Town

1.)  Old Town Tavern.  Perhaps I’m being a little biased, as this is in fact my “regular” hang out. (Where everybody knows my name.) But this was probably the best overall dining experience I had during the course of this particular quest.  The burger itself was delicious, cooked just the way I asked for it and came on a normal, soft white sesame seed HAMBURGER bun.  Also it was accompanied by a generous heap of crispy golden brown steak fries.  (My favorite.)  I suppose I should point out here that the perfection of my dining experience here may have had something to do with the fact that I eat there quite a lot, so the cook definitely knows how I like my food, but I feel it says something that they go out of their way to see to it I get it the way I like it.  (I also want to point out that Aimee was the other of my two “cheeseburger dates” who did in fact, consume an actual cheeseburger.)

Ann Arbor burgers

In conclusion: I like cheeseburgers and fries.  I would eat at any one of these places again.  (And I’m sure I will.)  I realize I probably didn’t get into the “particulars” of the food as much as good reviewer probably should, but I’m not, after all a food critic.  (I’ll leave that to the Food and Wine Hedonist.)  I figure, however, that I am not the only person in the world who enjoys a plain old burger and fries, so hopefully, if you’re out there, this little guide has been of some use to you.  And perhaps I will drop back in again sometime to tell you about my ten favorite places to get plain cheese pizza.  Or my ten favorite places to get Chinese food.  (And by Chinese food I mean Sweet and Sour Chicken, which I’m told, is really American food.  But whatever.)


I work in the health food industry, which pretty much makes me a professional hypocrite.  
I have some skills in the realm of art and writing, but alas I’m also extremely lazy, and spend the vast majority of my days doing something I call “killing time while I wait to die.”  It usually involves video games or movie viewing.  Every once in awhile though, inspiration strikes and I crank out some stuff.
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About thefoodandwinehedonist

I don't know everything about the world of food and wine, but I'm not going to let a small detail like that stop me from blogging about it.

17 comments on “How to get ten cute girls to go out to dinner with you, (even if you are a pathetic lifelong loser)

  1. The Byronic Man
    April 23, 2013

    My wife has similar feelings about onions, at least if they haven’t been grilled. I like them, but know that I have to endure prolonged shunning if I put them on my burger.

    And burgers really are like sushi (I suspect no one’s ever said that): if you deviate from the classic formulas too much, you’re just going to botch it.

    • domingosaurus
      April 23, 2013

      It seems dislikers of onions are in the minority. I’ve heard many people say they like them “as long as they are cooked.” As far as I’m concerned, an onion is still an onion, and I don’t like em. (no sir!)

      Furthermore: though I have no food allergies of which I am aware, I often use the “food allergy excuse” whenever I find myself in an uncomfortable dining situation at someone’s house and don’t want to be rude. So many people have so many different kinds of allergies these days, the ruse is never questioned. Sometimes I wonder if there really are any food allergies, (or if we might just all be lying to each other so we don’t have to eat something we don’t want to eat?)

  2. Cowboys and Crossbones
    April 23, 2013

    Cute girls, indeed! Now I know what I will be going to get for supper tonight!

    • domingosaurus
      April 23, 2013

      Well if you want company, there’s still at least 50 Ann Arbor burger joints I haven’t reviewed yet! ; )

      • Cowboys and Crossbones
        April 24, 2013

        Ha! I’m in Nashville but if I’m ever in Ann Arbor again, I will hit you up! I did get a burger last night for supper, though thanks to you…my lips loved, hips, not so much!

  3. the winegetter
    April 23, 2013

    Splendid article and awesome pick up line. Will try to remember it if I ever get a divorce…;)

    • domingosaurus
      April 23, 2013

      Hey now! That’s my pick up line! I have a patent pending, remember?

      (Just kidding, of course.)

  4. domingosaurus
    April 23, 2013

    I want to thank the Hedonist for allowing me to guest post here, and also I have to post a slight retraction. I claimed only 2 of my burger models actually ate burgers, but I was quickly reminded that Dani, who went to Arbor Brewing Company with me, also had a burger. I guess I was, as usual, paying more attention to what i was doing than what anyone else was doing, which might actually go a long ways towards explaining why I have to use coercive methods to get dinner dates.

    Also, she didn’t get french fries. She got potato chips. Soooooo….

  5. emonmaimon
    April 24, 2013

    Oh my goodness. Cheeseburgers, fries!

    I have been avoiding them for so long I think I need to find someone and go eat together!

  6. foxywholefoodie
    April 24, 2013

    I too am a cheeseburger and French fries addict so thanks for the post. Now, I’m not in Ann Arbor so it’s not of great use to me – but it was still fun to read through! Now I want a cheeseburger…

    • domingosaurus
      April 24, 2013

      It seems I have inspired a lot of people to eat cheeseburgers and fries! YES!

      • foxywholefoodie
        April 24, 2013

        It doesn’t take much to make me want a cheeseburger 🙂 but I did enjoy the humor of your post particularly!

  7. pegoleg
    April 24, 2013

    Clever way to rope in 10 different ladies, as WELL as sample some fine burgers and fries. I think the Arbor Brewing Company is where I went about 8 years ago. I had fried fish that brought on a near-death experience later that night that turned out to be a gall bladder attack. I can’t be sure, though – did they have a picture on the wall of me clutching my sides in agony?

    • domingosaurus
      April 24, 2013

      I’m pretty sure they did! It was poster size in fact, and had a little disclaimer tacked underneath it that read “We’re pretty sure it wasn’t the fish.” I never knew what that meant until just now!

  8. domingosaurus
    August 4, 2015

    Reblogged this on Not Necessarily About Dinosaurs or Anything Else and commented:
    So my very first actual real life blog was not posted here on my own site, but as a guest blog for my good friend The Food and Wine Hedonist in April of 2013. (I started my own “Not Necessarily About Dinosaurs Or Anything Else” shortly thereafter.) As you may have guessed by the title of his blog, he writes about food and wine. And Hedonism. Let’s not forget the Hedonism. Being neither a connoisseur of gourmet food nor a big drinker of wine (I like it but it hurts my stomach. ) I wrote a whole post about, you guessed it cheeseburgers and fries, and where good places to get them in Ann Arbor could be found. He kindly said I could re-blog it for my month of daily guest posts, and I was really planning to save this “Get Out Of Jail Free” card as long as I could, but it’s late, I got shit to do, and I’m tired. Enjoy!

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This entry was posted on April 23, 2013 by in Ann Arbor, Dining and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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