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When I came to the University of Michigan this fall, my alumni older brother handed me a list of 40-some restaurants I had to try in Ann Arbor. The list had every kind of food you could possibly think of; it was almost overwhelming to my barely-freshman self. But number one on the list — complete with a note telling me it would change my life — was none other than Frita Batidos.  

I don’t think I’ve ever had a dining experience quite like the one I have when I walk into Frita Batidos. The seats are bright picnic tables, with the outdoor ones doting blue umbrellas. The Cuban-inspired menu includes traditional chorizo, beef, black bean or fish fritas, which are topped with shoestring fries, dashed with different kinds of mayo and aeolis and finished off with a toasted brioche bun. Fritas are incomplete without their milkshake-like batido counterpart that perfectly completes the most indulgent of meals. 

I took my best friend from high school and my brand-new roommate to Frita Batidos during our first week in Ann Arbor. At first, we couldn’t understand how any burger could be worth the hour-and-a half wait we were looking at. 

Then I received my fish frita and took my first bite, and then another, and another. The crispy fish combined with the crunchy fries and the soft bun complemented each other in a way I had never experienced on a burger before. To me, a burger was a beef patty with some cheese and a bun, but at Frita Batidos it was so much more than that. 

I can now say that my brother was right: the burger at Frita Batidos did in fact change my life. 

Daily Staff Reporter George Weykamp can be reached at gweykamp@umich.edu