Saturday, January 24, 2015

Cuban Street Food in Ann Arbor

The home of Cuban-inspired deliciousness
When I visit Ann Arbor, I always struggle when deciding where to eat. The city has so many excellent restaurants. I can go with the safe choice of one of my old favorites from my college days, or I can take the risk of trying something new. This past week, I ventured into Frita Batidos for the first time with some friends and my family.

The restaurant serves "Cuban Inspired Street Food," including its mainstays, fritas (Cuban-style burgers) and batidos (Cuban milkshakes). Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis at several long picnic tables or barstools at counters along the wall. Although the restaurant may have a minimalist interior, diners should not fret, because Frita Batidos saves the extravagant details for the food.

I ordered a beef frita with muenster cheese, avocado spread, and sweet chili mayo. My wife ordered the fish frita with avocado spread and cilantro-lime salsa, and we got a mini black bean frita and a grilled cheese frita for our girls and the twice-fried plantains for an appetizer (The restaurant also serves chorizo and chicken fritas). We had to try to the other half of the restaurant's name, so I ordered a lime batido, and my wife ordered the coconut cream batido.

The beef frita
Despite being covered in fries, the fritas were not as greasy as I thought they would be. The burger meat was tender and tasty, and the fries were delicious. The burger was not huge either, so I would recommend a double burger to anyone who is really hungry. My wife described the fish frita as a perfectly browned patty of tasty flavors. The black bean frita was good but a little too spicy for my daughters.

The batidos were amazing. The first sip of my lime shake shook my taste buds. The shake was very sour for a milkshake, but not too sour to be unpleasant. My wife's coconut batido was full of chunks of coconut. The smooth taste of coconut soothed the taste buds, instead of assaulting them like the lime batido. 

The lime batido
In the end, I was happy we ventured outside of our favorite restaurants when choosing Frita Batidos for lunch. Deciding where to eat will be more difficult on our next visit to Ann Arbor because we now have another "old" favorite on our restaurant list.

Frita Batidos is located at 117 W. Washington Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104. Telephone: (734) 761-2882. Website:

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