the Booze Umbrella – and a SCATHING review of Fleetwood Diner

Well Hello! Tonight I have a post about four Ann Arbor establishments I visited this weekend. First up:

 

Jolly Pumpkin Jolly Pumpkin on Urbanspoon

Jolly Pumpkin is a local brewery that I have been wanting to try ever since it opened in Ann Arbor in 2009. I had also heard good things about the place. We went here for dinner and drinks on Friday and it didn’t disappoint.

To drink, I started out with a draft of Jolly Pumpkin’s own Bam Biere, which the menu described as, “A golden farmhouse ale, naturally cloudy and dry hopped for a perfectly refreshing balance of spicy malt, hops and yeast. Named by Men’s Journal as one of the Top 25 Beers in America.” A very good beer, indeed!

And to nibble on, we also started with an order of Truffled French Fries, “fried crisp, with truffle salt and fresh rosemary.” Very delicious! I love thin-cut fries and these were exceptionally hot and crisp. The rosemary was very prominent, and the mayonnaise-y dipping sauce was good too. We devoured this whole cone!

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We ordered two entrees and shared. The huz picked out the one of the granite-baked pizzas, the Fire and Smoke Pizza and OH my WORD, it was divine! Incredibly smoky, cheesy, MMM! The menu says, “smoked free range chicken, charred sweet peppers, scallions, chipotle tomato sauce, smoked mozzarella and fresh basil.” I had total entrée envy. But I did eat heavenly two pieces of this suckah (in addition to most of my entrée).

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The original plan was to order two pizzas and share them, but I saw a Sweet Potato Gnocchi dish on the Specials menu that I wanted to try. Sadly, it didn’t quite live up to my expectations. There were only maybe 10 gnocchi in the dish, though the ones that were in there were quite big and also quite delicious, with a very muted sweet potato flavor. Diced butternut squash, pepitas, goat cheese, spinach, and exotic mushrooms were also mixed into the dish. All in all the dish was good, but certainly not worth the $19 price tag. Next time I will stick with the pizza!

Also, unpictured, is a draft of another beer that tried, the Bam Noire which is a “dark farmhouse ale” brewed by Jolly Pumpkin. This beer was very smooth but not interesting as the flavors in the Bam Biere. I think I preferred the Bam Biere.

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Also, while we were eating at Jolly Pumpkin, a customer knocked into our unfortunate server, causing a tray of drinks to spill (not my beer – thank goodness!), which caused a bit of a ruckus, but I think it was handled well by our server and the staff. My belongings got a bit of booze-splash, but it was mostly my umbrella, so no biggie! We now refer to said umbrella as the “Booze Umbrella.”

 

Cupcake Station

Since we had some extra time after dinner, we went to our favorite place – Cupcake Station – for dessert! We split one of the divine peanut butter bars that we tried and loved last time and each picked out a cupcake. I picked out the pretty pink Strawberry Chocolate cupcake and the huz ordered the Mint Patty. Amazing, as always.

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Then we finally got around to seeing The King’s Speech at the State Theatre.

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Fleetwood Diner

This weekend I was in the mood for brunch. Most often when I visit Fleetwood it is after the bar, at around 2:00 AM. However, sometimes I like to go at normal hours too, like say noon on Saturday. I didn’t take any pictures this week, but here are some pictures from past trips. Normally I LOVE Fleetwood. I would say I’ve been there maybe a dozen times?

As someone on Yelp described it, “its like the dive bar of restaurants.” I get that it’s supposed to be your local, low-key, greasy spoon, post-bar spot.

I get it.

I really do.

But… I really had a horrible experience here this weekend! Probably the WORST service I have ever experienced… anywhere. We arrive, and after selecting our table, we are otherwise ignored, other than our “server” literally throwing two menus at our table as she walks by, looking the other way. Okay, fine. The place was probably only about half-full when we went – mind you, the place isn’t very big. Maybe 6-7 tables at most, plus several barstools at the main counter. After a long wait, the server returned and asked, “What do you want?” to which, I start telling her my order, but before I can finish my sentence I am interrupted with “WHITE, WHEAT, or RYE.” Not a question, but a statement. “Uhh..rye..” and then I finish my sentence. I also had to repeat back my order again, and she asked twice whether or not I wanted coffee (yes… I do)." She was also quite lippy with the huz, as he was deciding how he wanted his eggs and started to say, “fried…” he was briskly interrupted with her sarcastic reply, “ALL EGGS ARE FRIED.” …..NO SHIT SHERLOCK! Seriously. I’m so glad you gleaned that single shred of knowledge after working in a diner.

After our order was placed we sat and chilled. Our server was obnoxiously shouting some sh!t about porn stars while I was definitely NOT drinking coffee.

Our food came out several minutes later and I still didn’t have coffee.

Or water.

Or silverware.

Okay… So she brings my coffee. I mean, is it too much to ask, at a breakfast joint, to get my coffee BEFORE my food? Especially considering that our server by no means appeared too busy to get it. About 1/3 of the way through our meal, our server stopped by for what was the last time, to leave our check, promising to return with coffee, which never came.

We left very unhappy, and I really don’t think I can see myself returning to Fleetwood again. Sad. Inattentive servers are one thing, but flat-out RUDENESS is a whole other thing that I will not tolerate.

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Fleetwood Diner: Fleetwood Diner on Urbanspoon

Biwako Sushi

Saturday we redeemed one of our Groupons at Biwako sushi (which is conveniently located about 0.1 miles from our house). Fun fact: the first time we went to Biwako, we were asked if we would mind having our picture taken while we were at our table, which we didn’t mind at all, and our picture is now posted in the entrance, along with about 20 other tables of diners! Very cool. Smile

We started with miso soup and salad, on which I had sesame dressing this time.

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We ordered four rolls, selected by the huz (shown clockwise):

    • Black Jack: Spicy crab, avocado, cucumber with salmon & tuna on to
    • Ferrari: Lettuce, tuna, cream cheese, salmon, yellowtail, avocado, deep fried, with eel, sake
    • Volcano: Spicy cooked shrimp, scallop, crab, masago served over california roll
    • Philadelphia: Smoked salmon, cucumber, cream cheese

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We shared a bowl of Green Tea Ice Cream for dessert. Rolling on the floor laughing

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As always, the service at Biwako was very nice, fast, accurate, and friendly! I like supporting Biwako for this reason!

And there you have it – my weekend of nom-splurges. I think my favorite thing this weekend was the Fire & Smoke Pizza at Jolly Pumpkin.

I’ve now reached Level 2 of the 30 Day Shred. You can read about it by clicking the below icon:

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Note Currently listening to: E.T. – Katy Perry.

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7 thoughts on “the Booze Umbrella – and a SCATHING review of Fleetwood Diner

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