0714 Dinner at Jolly Pumpkin

My husband is the best.  Did you know that?  Because he is.  Apologies to all of your husbands, but mine takes the cake.  I had a super disappointing and frustrating day today – the sort requiring a straight line towards ice cream and a nap.  I had planned to make dinner, but Shane convinced me to let him treat, so we pedded up to Jolly Pumpkin.

Jolly Pumpkin Cafe & Brewery
photo by brian cors

I don’t remember if I’ve mentioned JP here before, but it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite places to eat out in Ann Arbor.  The food and drink are consistently excellent, and we can usually enjoy both without breaking the bank.  The founder of the brewery is vegan, and as a result the menu features exceptional vegetarian and vegan options – in fact, I don’t think I’ve had meat there yet, though I have enjoyed two delicious and filling tofu salads.  Tonight we opted to split an appetizer and a pizza along with our drinks – a beer for Shane, and a lovely strawberry-balsamic cocktail for me.

Our appetizer was a trio of dips – hummus, edamame, and red pepper walnut – served in a perfect ratio to rustic pieces of flatbread. I particularly liked the simplicity of the hummus, which really allowed the flavor of the chickpeas to come through. Our truffle pizza arrived as we scooped up the last bites of dips – not a minute too soon. And oh, was it lovely.

Jolly Pumpkin
photo by william couch

Three rich, salty, gooey cheeses covered a thin layer of creamed shiitake mushrooms, with a fresh bite of arugula and a drizzle of truffle oil on top. We both stopped after two pieces but looked longingly at the last two before finishing off the pie – far too big for just one person, but the right size for two to split.  As Jamie Oliver would say, happy days.

0308 Snacks for Dinner

You know, in my early 20s, it seemed like the best way to get a lot of alcohol was to throw a party.  Some kind of drink – often jello shots or a keg MGD – would be on the house, but most people would also BYOB, and by the end of the night, the fridge would be full of assorted booze – the seeds of the next party.  I once had a party where I explicitly said no beer, only to end up with 27 cans of Miller High Life.  Not sure how that one worked out.

In the last few years, though, the post-party trend has steered towards food – delicious homemade treats, side dishes for the entree, a bottle of wine or two – the sorts of things that are perfect for an impromptu meal after a bad day.  What a coincidence, then that I came home with a headache and a terrible mood after spending all day restarting my computer in 30 minute intervals.  There was not a chance of me cooking, despite having a delicious meal planned.  Instead, after my nap, we had snacks for dinner.  And oh, did we have snacks: olives, two kinds of cheese, two kinds of crackers, two kinds of berries, and two kinds of dips, made up on the spot out of plain Greek yogurt and savory/sweets from the spice cabinet.  Some Ole Salty’s that we’ve impossibly kept ourselves from eating for 2 months.  Not a high-brow meal by any means, but a good one, and one that hit all the right flavors.