120 W. Washington St.
Ann Arbor, Mich.
While visiting our British friends Pete and Caroline in Ann Arbor recently they told us about a brew pub they’d discovered in town that “felt like a real English pub.” My husband and I were intrigued and allowed ourselves to be led into The Grizzly Peak.
One glance at the menu and I was in heaven. It was filled with the unique and high quality vegetarian options that one would expect to find in a busy college town. For instance, alongside the usual vegetarian appetizers like tomato bruschetta and mixed salads was polenta fries. I had to do a double-take to make sure my eyes were not deceiving me. Polenta fries!
But first things first. Since the Grizzly Peak is a brew pub, it would have been a crime to visit without sampling their selection of beer. With great gusto, Pete and I each ordered the five beer sampler. Here’s what we got:
Victor’s Golden Ale (nice, but too dry)
Grizzly Peak Pale Ale (a good, all around pleasing beer)
Steelhead Red (our favorite- malty and smooth)
Bear Paw Porter (a roasted, dark ale a little like Guinness but not as thick and frothy)
Bonny Betty Williams Scottish Ale (another pleaser – malty with a dry finish)
Grizzly Peak’s sandwich selections include two vegetarian options. I went for the Wild Mushroom burger – portobello, oyster and shiitake mushrooms blended with cream cheese and parmesan, pan seared on a challah roll with basil pesto aioli. A steal at $6.95. This isn’t a frozen Boca-burger kind of thing. This is an honest-to-goodness, house-made special; the kind of sandwich one would expect to find at a vegetarian restaurant, but not at a “regular” ole bar and grill. Kudos to Grizzly Peak for rocking my world.
The other veggie sandwich on the menu is a Grilled Veggie Dagwood Sandwich – sweet peppers, zucchini, portobellos, red onion, tomato, arugula, and mozzarella cheese on Italian bread with pesto mayonnaise. YUM. On top of that, they list two vegetarian entrée options: homemade mac & cheese, and Squash Fettuccine, consisting of creamed pumpkin, feta cheese, mild green chiles and charred red onion. There are also three vegetarian pizza choices to choose from: Spinach and Portobello, 3-cheese, and roasted pepper and artichoke.
Even though I usually don't bother photographing the non-vegetarian items on the menu, my husband raved about how good his Brewery Steak Sandwich was, so I shot it too. The sandwich consists of grilled hanger steak, thinly sliced and sandwiched between crispy potato cakes with melted cheddar, bacon and porter crème fraiche.
Another very cool thing about the restaurant is that all their soups, sauces, entrées and dressings are made fresh from scratch each day, and they use local suppliers and products. It’s obvious that the Grizzly takes both their craft and their vegetarian clientele seriously, and it makes for a wonderfully refreshing experience.