We caught up with Gabriel Islas, Ann Arbor Dishcrawl ambassador, on her forthcoming A2 restaurant crawl
When did you realize food was your thing?
It all started with my family, more specifically with my mom. She's an amazing cook and makes most of her dishes from scratch! She even ran a small, but very successful, restaurant for a few years while we were growing up. Unfortunately, I didn't inherit her cooking talents but my palate did get used to her tasty food. So, as I get older, I've started to appreciate more the amount of work and dedication in takes to know how to cook. And, because my family has owned a couple of businesses, I also understand the hard-work and sacrifice it takes to run a restaurant.
During the day, I work as a marketing creative project manager in a company based in Detroit. That's why when I saw the opportunity to organize Dishcrawls in Ann Arbor, I felt like I could put my project management and marketing experience to use in order to get the word out there about this fun and unique concept. And, it doesn't hurt that I would get to eat all this delicious food in the process!
What is it about Dishcrawl that you think makes it so cool?
The coolest thing is that Dishcrawl is all about communities. You get to meet fellow foodies as well as local media, restaurant owners and chefs. Dischrawlers can try the most popular dishes in four different restaurants, all in one night. You're basically a foodie for a night. I think it's a great idea for food-lovers, but also for people looking for date-night ideas, for people new to town, or for singles looking to meet people. It's basically a great option for anyone.
What are the qualities of an amazing restaurant, in your opinion?
The qualities that I look for in a restaurant are, obviously, good quality food, but also good overall atmosphere and service. In other words, an amazing restaurant provides a full experience, taking into account everything from the food quality, service, cleanliness, etc.
What make Ann Arbor's dining scene special?
Ann Arbor is such a diverse city. This is reflected in the selection of restaurants we have. You can have anything from American cuisine, Mediterranean, Japanese to Ethiopian food. Another attribute that identifies Ann Arbor is its open-mindedness; people are willing to try new foods and new restaurants. All these things make Ann Arbor the perfect environment for new and unique restaurants and food concepts.
What will the first Dishcrawl be like?
We're going to visit four restaurants in the Downtown Ann Arbor area. The restaurant list is a secret, but participants get clues via Twitter and Facebook, which makes it really fun! 48 hours before the event, we notify people where to meet and get the fun started. Tickets are $45 and include all food, tax and tips. Tickets are available at www.Dishcrawl.com/annarbor.
Ann Arbor Dishcrawl, a four-restaurant foodie event, is Tuesday, April 23 at 7pm. Tickets are $45 and include all food, tax, and tips; Current readers will earn a 10% discount when purchasing tickets online by using the code "currentmagazine" at checkout. Tickets are available at www.dishcrawl.com/annarbor.