Wash it down, Washtenaw-style If Ypsilanti were a beer, what would it taste like? Thanks to the seasoned craft brewers at Arbor Brewing Company, the eccentric town is now available in a bottle. The brew is called Ypsi Gypsi, a lightly hoppy and moderately bitter American pale ale. It tastes like it was born between a fruit stand and a bakery, with some pale malts and summery mid-evening sunrays added to the mix. Want a quaff? This stellar porch companion is available in a six-pack for $8.99 at Champane's Wine Cellars (7007 Chicago Rd. Warren; 586-978-9463). If you dig the taste and want to explore more local creations, you can head straight to the source: Arbor Brewing Company is located in downtown Ann Arbor (114 E. Washington St.; 734-213-1393) and has plenty of outdoor seating along with darts, shuffleboard, and an unbeatable happy hour.
A jazzed-up menu The classic sweet and savory combo is taken to revelatory extremes in Cliff Bell's all-new lunch menu. The sophisticated jazz club will be offering selections such as a grilled country ham and cheddar sandwich (served on a glazed doughnut!), a chicken and waffles dish decorated with jalapeño syrup and chive butter, and a grilled peanut butter, bacon and honey sandwich on banana bread. More traditional-leaning options include a pulled pork and rock shrimp sandwich, or the "Juicy Lucy," an 8-ounce burger stuffed with brie and bacon bits served on a house-made onion roll. Combined with some good music and an elegant environment, this makes for a unique lunch experience — and if you wait longer than 15 minutes, it's on the house! Lunch is served 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday at Cliff Bell's, 2030 Park Ave., Detroit; 313-961-2543.
Corktown press The gourmands at Food and Wine magazine dropped by Detroit to pen a piece on the dining scene simmering over on Michigan Avenue. They made what has become a de rigueur stop at Slows Bar-B-Q to meet with Phil Cooley, but also dropped in at Astro Coffee and the Sugar House as well. See the piece for yourself at tinyurl.com/7aohzrf.
Scooped! An alert reader pointed out to us that last week's roundup of roadside ice cream stands and other snack shacks omitted one of his favorites. Let's correct that right away. He writes, "My favorite ice cream joint in Royal Oak was left out: The Local Scoop." He went on to rave about the "Eskimo Kisses," which he says is vanilla with chunks of chocolate-covered coconut. Enticed? Have a taste at 1210 Catalpa Dr., Royal Oak; 248-677-1829.
Know of any upcoming food events, new restaurants, special promotions or anything else related to drinking, dining or food? Let Side Dish know! Call 313-202-8043 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
& Courtyard Cookbook
by Ann Benoit
Pelican Publishing, $35
Among the numerous iconic restaurants of New Orleans, including the decades-old Antoine's, Brennan's, Commander's Palace and Arnaud's, and some of the newer favorites, such as K-Paul's, Jacques-Imo's, Mr. B's Bistro and Cochon, few approach the legend of Broussard's. Ann Benoit and the Preuss Family, the owners, have combined the history and the recipes of this elegant Creole restaurant in Broussard's Restaurant & Courtyard Cookbook. The pictures of the building and its trappings, along with those of the scrumptious food, should entice you to try to live the experience at home using time-honored recipes, some of which have been served since the 1920s.
the works When you're ready to tackle the recipes from Broussard's or any of the other restaurants and cookbooks that extol the region's cuisine, you might want to see cajungrocer.com, where you'll find all of the necessary ingredients. They offer alligator and andouille, crabmeat and crawfish, spice blends and sauces, beans and rice — just about anything you need to move your Creole and Cajun chops to the next level. If you've never tried "turducken" because it sounds too complicated, the Cajun Grocer will send one your way. It's a semi-boneless turkey stuffed with a deboned duck, which is then stuffed with a deboned chicken, all with the stuffing of your choice between the layers.