Casually cool

. January 14, 2013.
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Frita Batidos117 W. Washington
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Phone: 734-761-2882
Hours: 8am – midnight everyday
www.fritabatidos.com

White. Everywhere. That was what struck me upon entering Frita Batidos, a new Cuban-inspired restaurant that recently
opened on Liberty. The brick walls were painted white and the long picnic tables for seating were white. It seemed
stark, but as my family of four was about to find out, Frita Batidos warms you up with its community dining experienceand whimsical Latin cuisine.

Frita Batidos is the brainchild of owner Eve Aronoff, whom some of you may remember from Top Chef: Las Vegas and still others may recognize as the proprietor behind the upscale restaurant eve. Her new restaurant strives to provide high-quality fritas and batidos (loosely translated as burgers and shakes) in a casual setting using fresh, local ingredients.

 

Delectable choices

Dinner choices included fritas, soups, salads, and snacks like beans and rice. The kids’ menu boasted a mini beef or black bean frita, mini grilled cheese or ham and cheese, or an egg sandwich. Each meal came with shoestring fries and fruit for $6. Drinks were extra. My seven-year-old son chose grilled cheese while my four-year-old daughter wanted grilled ham and cheese.

Sweet and savory

I selected the chorizo frita ($7) with sweet chili mayo while my husband chose the inspired Cuban sandwich ($12) with lemongrass roast pork, thick cut bacon, Tasso ham, gruyere, and chipotle mayo on Cuban bread. We added a side of the best snack ever ($6)—beans, rice, salsa and cheese. I decided to try coconut water and my husband ordered ginger lime juice. I was surprised by how quickly everything added up on the bill, considering it was a counter service restaurant.

It was busy that Saturday night and we snagged seats at a long picnic table that we shared with college kids. Latin music pulsed over the sound system. A server brought us our drinks, including the ultra fresh ginger lime juice served in a baggie with a straw.

My husband sipped it, looking like an overgrown toddler with a juice box. “It’s spicy!”

My coconut water was light, sweet, and served in a hollow coconut, which I thought made me look cool. I’m sure when my kids are teenagers they will put me in my place.

Worth the wait

Dinner took about 20 minutes to appear. Did I mention they were busy? The food was excellent. My brioche was soft, fresh and buttery. The chorizo, while a bit greasy, was flavorful, and topped with fries. My tongue tingled in a good way after every bite.

My husband’s inspired Cuban was tasty, with impressively thick bacon. Hands down the best snack ever was the best thing we ate. Every bite of the
coconut ginger rice, cilantro lime salsa, Muenster cheese and beans brought out a new tangy flavor. 

The kids were happy with their French fries and sandwiches, although my daughter’s was missing its ham. Both kids sampled, but did not gobble up, the pineapple served with their meals. We finished with churros, fried dough with grated nutmeg and orange zest, which we dunked in Espanol, a
dark hot chocolate with cinnamon. The Espanol made it rich and decadent.

The food was good enough that we would go again. There’s Cuban-inspired breakfast yet to try, plus the batido, the tropical milkshake that is half of the restaurant’s namesake. Frita Batidos is open morning, noon, and night, which means its ready for us whenever we go back for more.

THE SHORT COURSE
Kid-friendly
Yes
To avoid wait Try going for breakfast or lunch. If it’s dinner you want, go early.
Noise level high
Bathroom amenities unisex and without changing stations
High chairs Yes
Got milk It’s not on the menu, but they have it
Kidsʼ menu Yes
Anything healthy for kids Seasonal fresh fruit is offered with kids’ meals.
Food allergy concerns They use a vegetable and olive oil blend for cooking. While one dish used to contain macadamia nuts, they should be entirely nut free by this spring. As always, call ahead with any questions.