Avalon is on wheels! These wheels, however, are not just rolling through the D. They’re attached to the food carts at Mark’s Carts in the courtyard next to Downtown Home and Garden on Ashley at Washington in downtown Ann Arbor. The last couple months have seen the blossoming of outposts for breadheads in Ann Arbor: from a great array of sweets at Mighty Good Coffee to heirloom recipes and classic cocktails at The Ravens Club. Today, however, we turn our attention to Mark’s Carts, where in another showing of our strong ties to Ann Arbor, three of the carts are serving their goods on Avalon bread!
Mark Hodesh, owner of Downtown Home and Garden, had a vacant courtyard and a lingering idea after a trip to Brooklyn where he was intrigued by the variety of foods being offered by cart vendors. At Mark’s Carts, the operators share a commissary kitchen, preparing and serving everything from headcheese hoagies to Mexican specialties, highlighting several ingredients from local sources. Sure, food carts and food trucks have been a mainstay on the coasts, but they can’t boast the deliciousness of Avalon’s 100% organic flour bread.
On a recent trip to the courtyard, I checked in with Darcy’s Cart, eat, and The Lunch Room. All were enjoying a little downtime in the mid afternoon after a boisterous lunch rush. While Darcy’s Cart was featuring Avalon bread in a bread pudding, eat was serving up what co-owner Helen Harding calls “hot meat on a bun (with some vegetarian things),” and The Lunch Room was turning even the meatiest of meat fans on to their BBQ tofu on soft wheat rolls.
Some carts stick mainly to a core menu, others post daily specials on Facebook and Twitter. Local caterers eat have developed a following for their Korean beef and pulled pork sandwiches, which are often featured at the cart. Darcy’s Cart likes to mix it up, drawing from a range of international influences, but always promising a breakfast burrito. The Lunch Room, which started as a pop-up, serving meals at a flower shop and a tattoo parlor, among other places, has an all-vegan menu.
So, next time you’re in downtown Ann Arbor, check out the array of goods at Mark’s Carts. You’ll likely find me there, trying to decide what to eat…