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Posted on Wed, Mar 6, 2013 : 5:58 a.m.

Ann Arbor's restaurant 'eat' expands menu with TV dinners, pot pies and pantry items

By Kody Klein


Helen Harding and Blake Reetz stand at the counter of their Ann Arbor restaurant eat, 1906 Packard St. The restaurant recently added menu items such as TV dinners, pot pies and pantry items.

Courtney Sacco I

If you saw a sign outside a restaurant that said, "new larder menu," you'd probably think it was either a typo or a pun, right?


"It's an old-fashioned name for a pantry," said Helen Harding, co-owner of Ann Arbor's eat restaurant — the official name of which is spelled with a lower case "e."

Harding and her partner, Blake Reetz, are officially offering a new "larder menu" at their shop at 1906 Packard St., which opened November 2011. The menu offers the same handmade cooking items — such as stocks, jams and dressings — that Harding and Reetz use in eat's catering and restaurant options.

"People already eat them on our sandwiches," Harding said. "I think it’s nice for people to be able to incorporate those into their own cooking."


The menu at eat now offers TV dinners and pot pies.

Courtney Sacco I

In addition to the larder menu, EAT will now be offering pot pies and TV dinners.

"We wanted to give people a way to enjoy our food in a different format," Harding said. "The TV dinners came about because we were talking about convenient food and how awesome TV dinners were except they never were as good as you wanted them to taste."

Harding said their TV dinners may look like the classic trays from the grocery store, but EAT has made a few changes.

"It's made from scratch, has good ingredients, and doesn’t have any preservatives," she said.

The dinners and the pot pies range in price from $4 to $13, and the TV dinners are $8.75 or two for $17. Harding said unlike traditional meals, their TV dinners are not microwaveable and that new items have been successful so far.

"I’ve had people bring them to friends who just had babies or relatives who are getting out of the hospital who can’t cook for themselves," she said. "...I bring them home because sometimes I’m eating alone and don’t want to deal with cooking."

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Thu, Aug 8, 2013 : 3:42 p.m.

I love pot pies!!!

Thinking over here

Fri, Mar 8, 2013 : 7:08 p.m.

How long do you have to bake the TV dinners?


Thu, Mar 7, 2013 : 5:43 p.m.

A while back I had noticed that EAT had their exterior lighting (night time security) on 24/7. Not good for the environment and just plain wasteful. They were unconcerned, feeling there was nothing wrong w/ purposely wasting energy. I prefer to frequent shops of those who give a darn about her planet. If this kind of attitude by business people bothers you, I would say, let them know by taking your business elsewhere. If you don't care, keep on shopping there. Their attitude was "who cares". Well, I do and I hope others do also


Wed, Mar 6, 2013 : 5:54 p.m.

A note to the author of this article: it's not a good idea to assume that just because you don't know a word, your audience also doesn't know that word. The term "larder" came up fairly often in books I read as a child, so I've known what it meant since I was six or seven years old. I'm sure that's also the case for a large percentage of this site's readership. As a result, your little introductory joke comes off as insulting. IOW: Major fail. Kthxbai.

Jojo B

Thu, Mar 7, 2013 : 4:59 a.m.

I didn't know the term "larder" so I appreciated the humor and the explanation. Guess I'm not old enough or cranky enough to understand or get insulted by it. And saying "fail" is so overly pedestrian these days, especially when the article didn't actually "fail" at all.


Wed, Mar 6, 2013 : 7:02 p.m.

A note to fjord: It is not a good idea just because you know a word that everyone does. Please don't bother letting us know EVERY time you come across a word you know!

Atticus F.

Wed, Mar 6, 2013 : 4:51 p.m.

I went there about a year ago, and it seemed like everything on the limited menu had mushrooms in it. I haven't been back, but might stop in and grab a couple tv dinners to go sometime.


Wed, Mar 6, 2013 : 3:36 p.m.

Cole, try everything!! It's all great!

Lizzy Alfs

Wed, Mar 6, 2013 : 3:29 p.m.

It's cool that they're making this space work when others couldn't. For people who go here often: has it become more of a neighborhood destination? It reminds me of what the Juicy Kitchen owner is aiming for on North Maple.

Jessica Webster

Wed, Mar 6, 2013 : 10:20 p.m.

Lizzy - yes. I often run into my neighbors at eat. It's got a great neighborhood vibe, and people often pick up a bottle of wine just down the block at Morgan & York before grabbing their take-out from eat.

Wolf's Bane

Wed, Mar 6, 2013 : 3:23 p.m.

This guys are never open. Grr.


Wed, Mar 6, 2013 : 11:55 p.m.

I've always wondered what this place even was. It never seemed to be open when I pass by. We had a place like this near us in Grand Rapids before we moved. Making Thyme kitchen. Good concept.

Cole Bertsos

Wed, Mar 6, 2013 : 3:17 p.m.

Haven't made it over here yet — any menu suggestions?

Sean Thomas

Fri, Mar 8, 2013 : 3:08 p.m.

the mac and cheese is amazing. I hate onions, but their baked mac n cheese was so good I didn't realize onions were adding a hint of flavor until I was done. Love that place.


Thu, Mar 7, 2013 : 12:26 p.m.

All of their vegetarian entrees are fabulous!

Jessica Webster

Wed, Mar 6, 2013 : 10:19 p.m.

I'll second the Sloppy Yousef. I've had it a few times and it hasn't let me down yet. I also dig their pot roast, which is very similar to the pot roast I used to love at Jefferson Market.


Wed, Mar 6, 2013 : 3:42 p.m.

I always order the Sloppy Yousef. It's great.

Edward Green

Wed, Mar 6, 2013 : 2:52 p.m.

Good ideas! Reasonable prices, especially for the quality of their food. Always a convenient meal down the street for me when I'm busy with the baby. Great soups....


Wed, Mar 6, 2013 : 2:16 p.m.

Pot Pies!! yummy, can't wait to try 'em.


Wed, Mar 6, 2013 : 12:34 p.m.

How about some Hamburger Helper? Because what I really miss about growing up in the 60's was the excellent frozen, processed food in boxes. Salisbury "steak," Tang, Space Food Sticks.. the possibilities, if not endless, are limited only by ability to be shaped into cubes...


Wed, Mar 6, 2013 : 6:59 p.m.

Would Swanson's say no preservatives?


Wed, Mar 6, 2013 : 5:27 p.m.

I'm sure Swanson would also claim they had "good ingredients."


Wed, Mar 6, 2013 : 4:58 p.m.

timjbd "It's made from scratch, has good ingredients, and doesn't have any preservatives," "unlike traditional meals, their TV dinners are not microwaveable" No different than freezing fish or venison or vegetables for a later date!


Wed, Mar 6, 2013 : 1:39 p.m.

Tang FTW! Much cheaper and tastier than Pixie Stix.

Homeland Conspiracy

Wed, Mar 6, 2013 : 1:08 p.m.

I remember Space Food Sticks!!!


Wed, Mar 6, 2013 : 12:20 p.m.

My husband and I get take out from here 3-4 times a month. Their food is excellent, I cannot wait to try the new items!