Ann Arbor Dining: Babo

Babo is one of my four main lunch eateries in Ann Arbor. The food is fantastic and the interior space is updated and refreshed with a more than amazing frequency.

Years ago I used to dive into Chipotle salads with the gusto of a starving man. Now their food does nothing for me, and the price points don’t offer any value over a place like Babo. The daily lunch sandwiches at Babo – which are absolutely supreme – set me back $8.00 + tax, which is only about a dollar more than Chipotle.

Did I say that sandwichs are supreme? The omnivore options are served with fresh meat, thoughtful condiments and some of the freshest sandwich bread this side of Zingermans delicatessen. I’ve eaten their turkey/aged gouda/apple slices on a baguette as well as the roast beef sandwich with cranberry aioli. Babo always serves up a vegetarian option, too, usually a mozzarella caprese sandwich.

The staff is helpful without being cloying. Another bonus? Surrounding the market is a well-stocked and well-curated market that reminded Ms. H. and me of some of the markets we found in Paris. I love that I can grab items for dinner after I eat my lunch. Granted I pay a monetary premium, but that markup is more than offset by the time cost savings of not having to drive to Trader Joes/Whole Foods, park my car, get out, wander around to find what I want, then wait in line to pay for it, get back in my car, then wait to turn out on to Washtenaw or Huron River drive during rush hour traffic. That $1.50 I saved has now evaporated in the time suck of suburban shopping.

I say no to that so I can say Yes! to Babo. I’m already at Babo, so that carton of heavy cream costs me about the same at the Trader as it does at Babo.

Babo is decidedly continental in vibe and execution. If you haven’t yet added Babo to your eating rotation (and shopping, too!), I cannot recommend Babo highly enough. You’ll probably find me there at lunch. I look forward to seeing you there, too.

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