The best bang for your buck food wise in Ann Arbor isn't in Ann Arbor.
The key phrase in the OP is "small town" - AA is not a "small town" relativly speaking.
Try Saline, Dexter, Milan, and Chelsea. As each one of those communities is a bedroom community of AA, that's where the locals go.
Saline - Dan's, Mac's, and some new Itialian place I can't remember the name of
Chelsea - The Common Grill (of course, but it's not cheap)
Dexter - The Dexter Pub
Milan - Milan Grill
And, even Ypsilanti - Sidetrack (my #1 favorite)
...there's other's I'm sure I forgot. But, you get the picture.