Babo and Revive + Replenish
Revive + Replenish, a paired deli and minimart, bookend the original Zaragon high-rise on East University. The word that surfaces most often when sampling their sandwiches and made-to-order salads is "refined." A very traditional chicken club could have been made by your mom, with mayo and a frilly fringe of lettuce on whole grain bread. The racier "Cubano" packs roast pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, and yellow mustard into a crusty sesame toast ciabatta. Portobello mushroom and red peppers make for another tasty and filling panini. Less successful is the Vietnamese chicken sandwich with pickled veggies, which got a little mushy on a French bread roll. Washtenaw Dairy donuts duke it out with Zingerman's and Pastry Peddler baked goods on crowded counters, and you can get fruity smoothies any season of the year. If that's not enough in the treat department, Replenish has private-label baggies of almonds and macadamia nuts, candy and cookies, and 5-hour Energy shots by the register. There's also real food, like yogurt, veggies, potatoes in crates, and boxed Amy's entrees in the frozen case.
"These are the kinds of places I think about when I think about Ann Arbor," a visiting law student from Ohio said on a recent visit to both Babo and R + R. Neither has anything resembling a dollar menu, but both offer real food and fresh-baked bread--even if you have to choose between that and $7 boxes of cookies. In case you need help deciding, the heavenly rosemary-cranberry Raincoast crisps at Babo are worth every penny.