Jeffrey Bloomer: If you’ve heard of Seva and live south of Huron Street, you probably know it as the resident vegetarian restaurant in Ann Arbor. Hippies, right? Located at 314 E. Liberty St. – actually really close to Central Campus – it’s quiet and casual dining with a menu of proven and unproven vegetarian meals (many things can be made vegan if they aren’t already). I was up to no good, so I decided to ask Paul, who’s sort of a meat-and-potatoes Hungry Jack type, to come with me for dinner.
Paul Tassi: You tried to trick me.
JB: I had honorable intentions. The few times I’ve eaten out with Paul, he orders things like a plain burger patty and whole milk or a plate with three orders of bacon. It freaks me out. I may be a vegetarian, but I brought you because this place really is good for everyone. They have a lot more than imitation meat – they even have a pretty good bar.
PT: Uh huh. Is this place vegetarian or vegan? Which is the crazy hippie one and which is the healthy one?
JB: I’m not sure what you –
PT: Hey! They have T-shirts! I’m going to get one to remember this, cause I will never ever be here again.
JB: Paul – whatever. Let’s order. I got a sandwich with too many peppers last time, so I think I’ll stick to pasta. Yes . goat-cheese ravioli. The waiter tried to make me get this last time. I don’t really have $15 for dinner, but you being in a vegetarian place is kind of a special occasion, right?
PT: What are these burgers made out of? Actually, don’t tell me. How are they allowed to have eggs here? Isn’t that like an aborted chicken?
JB: They just can. We can talk about the politics of conception later.
PT: Whatever, I’m getting eggs then. Oh, and French fries. Wait – are they real French fries or like soy French fries? They don’t have cabbage or something in them, do they?
JB: No, Paul, there’s no cabbage in the French fries.
PT: Fine. Good. Eggs and fries.
JB: Wait – you can’t eat here and just order eggs and French fries
PT: What why not?
JB: That’s like going to Gratzi and ordering plain noodles.
PT: Yeah I definitely have done that.
JB: (pause) I know you’re serious, too.
(Twenty minutes later.)
PT: How is taking them so long to scramble eggs?
JB: Actually, that’s the complaint of a lot of people who eat here. Seva has a reputation for pretty slow service. I’ve never noticed it, to be honest, but the atmosphere so leisurely and relaxed here that I don’t think I’d care.
PT: Yeah, they’re all in the kitchen doing Yoga and smoking peace pipes.
JB: Shut up, he’s bringing the food. This ravioli looks delicious, and are these . walnuts? I guess I missed that on the menu. That’s what I like here, though. The entrees are always a little strange – there are weird combinations – but I’m almost never disappointed. You can’t really get this stuff anywhere else in Ann Arbor.
Anyway, how are your . eggs?
PT: Yeah not bad. I’m still not coming here again, but I guess this place isn’t bad.
JB: I’m so glad. If you had ordered real food, I’m telling you would change your mind. This goat cheese is amazing. These walnuts – a little abrasive.
PT: Yo do you realize I’m about to pay $14 for eggs and French fries?
JB: And grapes.
PT: Yes, I’m sorry, I forgot about the grapes. That would’ve bought three bowls of mac and cheese at Noodles.
JB: We’ll go there next time.
PT: That place is like practically vegetarian. Except when I put steak on my spaghetti.
JB: You put steak on your spaghetti?
PT: Steak, good. Spaghetti, good. I don’t see the problem
JB: You’re the reason I’m a vegetarian.
Cheap Moderate Pricey
Specialties: Vegetarian cuisine
Located at: 314 E. Liberty St.