Writer’s Note: I enjoy two things in nearly equal amounts: eating, and telling people what to do. Perhaps above all is my love for telling people what to eat. Left unchecked, I will arrive at a restaurant with your order already planned. I eat systematically and strategically, controlling another’s order allows me to maximize my options, which is important because before I graduate I’d like to have eaten my way through Ann Arbor. It’s not a feasible quest: I won’t actually be able to eat everywhere in my two remaining years, but I’m going to see how far I can get.

A conjoined perk of my Ann Arbor culinary adventures and love for telling people what to eat is that I’ve become pretty good at giving food recommendations. Which is where this series comes in. I get genuinely excited whenever I come across something incredibly delicious, and my friends have only so many ears for listening. So I decided to create a series where I can expound upon my favorite things to eat in Ann Arbor. Best Bites isn’t a list of the top restaurants or places to eat, but rather a collection of the most delicious single items/dishes one can find in the city.

HopCat’s Pretzel Nuggz are reason alone to visit the brewery. Yes, I know the restaurant is known for its famous crack fries, and yes, they are extremely good, but I’m telling you, the pretzel nuggz are even better. I could wax poetic about the nuggz for hours. I talk about them to anyone one who asks, and many, many more who don’t. I’m a bonafide obsessee.

First off, the word “nugget,” or actually in HopCat’s case, “nuggz,” is enough to sell me on any item. I’m a fan of any food that’s a nugget in disguise (boneless wings, I’m looking at you). So of course, when I spotted the pretzel nuggz on the menu, I immediately pulled the trigger. As much as I like nugget-shaped foods, I was not expecting them to be this good. These nuggets are doughy pillows of pretzel perfection. They’re coated in a copious amount of butter and salt, and are served with a cheese dipping sauce. Butter, bread, salt and cheese is a winning combination in any context, but HopCat manages to marry the ingredients better than any other restaurant I’ve been to. Like I said, I’m obsessed. These things are scrumptious, they’re well worth a try. (Oh, one last thing, insider’s tip: All appetizers are half off on Monday nights.)

Best Bites is Daily Arts writer Tess Tobin’s continuing series on her favorite food in Ann Arbor.


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