Craving pizza? Stop by the Pizza House or the Original Cottage Inn for sharing a hearty dinner with friends, or hit South U Pizza at 3 a.m. after a night at the UGLI (or, let’s face it, Charley’s). Burritos? We’ve got you covered. Mac ‘n cheese? No doubt. The same can be said for just about every kind of food, from burgers to subs, Indian to sushi. However, if you ever found yourself in the mood for seafood, chances are just one restaurant comes to mind: Real Seafood.
Located on a hoppin’ stretch of sidewalk near the corner of East William and Main Street, bearing a name that doesn’t get much more straight-forward, Real Seafood Company Ann Arbor offers students and AA residents one of the largest selections of seafood in town. And given the lack of equally-well-known competitors in the seafood category in the area, it seemed necessary for us to take a closer look and see whether or not Real Seafood lives up to its name.
After entering through a pair of doors with handles shaped like seahorses, I’m impressed by the decor that hints at the name, right down to the life-sized swordfish that hangs from the wall. But it’s not gaudy. In fact, the massive murals, warm lighting and crisp tablecloths simultaneously give the restaurant a vibe that’s both comfortable and upscale.
About that upscale thing: once seated and given an iPad to browse for selections (yes, iPads for menus), you’re faced copious amount of choices, ranging from fried calamari and Maryland crab cake for appetizers to Atlantic Salmon and Lake Superior Whitefish. The dinner entrees can get pricey (in the $20-$30 range) and are best saved for a real night out (potentially with your folks picking up the tab).
If you’re counting your pennies, drop by for lunch where the prices top out at $16. You can’t go wrong with any one of Real Seafood’s fish sandwiches — some of my favorites — but I highly recommend the Grilled Salmon BLT, which comes with dijon mustard sauce on a toasted kaiser roll, served with fries and a dill pickle all for $9.95. In the mood for a little extra? Top off your lunch with chocolate mousse.
In the dinner category, the mussels were a little bland, the shrimp cocktail a bit fishy, and the food all around pretty so-so. That said, the spot definitely offers many options for everyone to try (with better luck than I, perhaps). The verdict? With respect to its name, Real Seafood Company Ann Arbor makes a good attempt to keep it real, but falls a bit short with it’s dinner menu items. It seems lunch is the move here… save your fancy dinner for another spot.
Address: 341 South Main Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Hours of operation: Monday-Thursday 11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m., Friday-Saturday 11:30 a.m. – 11 p.m., Sunday 1 p.m. – 9 p.m.