Beyond the Diag - Off Campus Housing

Brett’s homemade Pad Thai, made using 1 pot, 1 pan, and plenty of fresh ingredients.

​Check out this month’s Q and A and get to know Brett Slajus (LSA ‘16): Cellular and Molecular Biology Major, future medical student, Kerrytown resident, and your friendly neighborhood foodie!  Click on the links to find out more about local eats and grocery destinations!

  • What is your favorite place for each meal in Ann Arbor?

    • Breakfast: Broken Egg on Main or Aventura Weekend Brunch. If any type of hash is on a menu, I’ll usually get that.

    • Lunch: Monahan’s in Kerrytown is a really good place. The fact that it’s a fishmonger and deli counter is cool. It’s as close to having fresh fish as you can get here.

    • Dinner: Vinology; their cheese flight is the best cheese plate in Ann Arbor.  Also, RIP Lena—their happy hour was the best for students over 21 and under 21, since they had good food as a part of it. The goat cheese dip was dope.

  • What is your favorite thing to cook?

    • The most fun thing I’ve ever made was a crepe cake.  It was a bunch of crepes with cream filling stacked on top of each other.  Thirty to forty crepes—it was a labor of love. My favorite seafood dish to make is Mediterranean calamari with Israeli couscous, currants, and a tomato-based sauce.

  • Where do you like to grocery shop and why?

    • For basics, Kroger has good quality produce and a decent price range. For specialty things, like steamed buns, tamarind paste, and other sauces, I go to Way-1.  Sparrow Market has good meat and seafood, and the setup of the place is wonderful—it’s like a food bazaar, plus the farmers market and other shops add to the experience.

  • What advice do you have for making delicious/healthy meals on a college budget?

    • Rice and beans are the cheapest, most complete meals. If you have those as a base and add in more interesting things, that’s always a good entryway into cooking. They’re both pretty hearty foods, and you can’t screw them up very easily. I steer clear of processed foods.The only processed foods I really eat are granola bars.

  • What advice do you have for people cooking for themselves for the first time?

    • If your parents are good cooks, ask them what spices they use for some of your favorite dishes. I’d start out with 4-5 spices, they’ll last you for a while.  If your parents don’t cook, think about what your favorite foods were growing up and Google those foods. Try and stick to one genre of food at first. Regardless of what you cook, add in fresh herbs for flavor and presentation. You can get plants or find them packaged.


Contributed by: Marissa Nazareno