One could say that I tend to be a creature of habit. One could also say that I need routine in my life. One could further say that any change of my behavior is merely the beginning of a new routine to supplant an old one. This is certainly true when it comes to going out to eat. I have my “go-to” places (Arbor Brewing Company, our dearly departed Ann Arbor Pizza and Subs, the food co-op) and rarely break out of the mold unless I happen to be going out to eat with someone who picks somewhere else. This is what happened this past weekend and how Ken & I ended up at Lena, a newish (within the past year or so) restaurant at the corner of Main & Liberty (what I consider to be one of the hearts of downtown).

(Note: I am not now nor have I ever been someone who takes pictures of my food. I certainly respect and admire people who are good at that sort of thing, but I’m not. So, I invite you to kick it old school and use your imagination to conjure up the dishes that I am about to describe)

For the appetizer, I ordered the guacamole. I’m a late adopter of guacamole and am trying to make up for lost time by ordering it frequently. The guac came with nacho chips which were not only good but had a bit of zest to them. Too often, the nacho chip serves as merely a very high calorie device to get the guac into my mouth. These chips had some sort of spice on them and they were warmed which made them an enjoyable part of the dish. The guac had fresh cilantro scattered on top and it was good on its own but great when you got some of the cilantro on the chip.

For my main dish, I got the beef brisket tacos which were excellent! Three corn tortillas, beef brisket, black beans, rice, cheese and an aioli sauce neatly arranged on a plate for just $11. I was completely full after eating them. They were messy and fun to eat, as tacos should be!
My cocktail was a raspberry fresco which was raspberry infused gin, raspberries, cucumber and raspberry infused ice. I could have went SLURP and drank it all down in one but I paced myself and enjoyed it. It was kind of hard to drink through the straw (the berries kept getting caught) but that was a small price to pay for a drink that screamed SUMMER in my mouth.

Changing things up is hard for me for reasons I don’t really understand. Part of it could be an anxiety disorder that has plagued me since I was a lass and finds comfort in routines and knowing what to expect. In this case though SCREW YOU ANXIETY DISORDER because Lena proved to be a very pleasant surprise. John Steinbeck said something about how it’s hard to leave a routine even if you hate it. Then again, I had to read that guy in high school and he kind of sucked so….


  1. Karen M. says:

    Sounds like I’ll have to give them another shot! I had a couple of not-so-great meals there, but I’m willing to try again 🙂

    1. teacherpatti says:

      I’ve heard that from a few people, too! I’m not sure if it just depends on the meal or what but I was very very happy with my tacos (everyone at my table liked their entrees)

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