Jolly Pumpkin – Ann Arbor, MI

by John on September 28, 2009 · 3 comments


Stephanie and I went over to the Jolly Pumpkin Cafe & Brewery in Ann Arbor for some locally brewed beer and vegetarian eats.  They don’t only offer vegetarian menu items, but I’ve been trying to up my veggie intake.  Jolly Pumpkin is a brewery in Dexter, MI that produces unfiltered and unpasteurized beers that maintain a rustic, country style.  Their beers are aged in wine bottles that creates a unique, earthy taste.  They recently decided to open up a cafe/restaurant on Main St.  Unfortunately, we went on opening day and they had not yet obtained their liquor license.  No beer for us.  Single tear.

We began the meal with a cashew, corn soup.  Fantastic.  I’ve never had a soup that featured cashews, but this was very good.  Kind of a corn chowder with a hint of cashew.  I apologize for the terrible quality of the picture.  Just seconds before taking this picture, Stephanie spilled her entire beverage across the table and onto my lap.


Cashew and corn soup

I decided to go with the Green and White Pizza, which was a homemade sourdough bread topped with Ricotta cheese, preserved lemon, roasted garlic, arugula, and spinach.  I was worried about the large amount of greens and bread, and the lack of cheese.  This wasn’t the kind of pizza that I’m used to.   The problem turned to be the strong taste of the lemon peel.  It was hard to taste many flavors besides the lemon, which led me to remove them all together.  Once the peels were gone, this was a pretty good pizza.  Not great, but good.  I would be hesitant to order this again because of the strong citrus taste.


Green and white pizza

Stephanie ordered the crushed Smashed Chickpea Panini, which consists of a crushed chick pea salad with cucumber yogurt dressing, grilled eggplant, and arugula on rustic Italian bread.  I can honestly say, even without the presence of any bacon or pork product, this was one of the most delicious sandwiches I have ever eaten.  The chickpea salad was a little spicy and the grilled eggplant nicely replaced any meat that could have been added.  It almost resembled a chili verde.


Smashed chickpea sandwich


Smashed chickpea sandwich


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Solid food and the beer is outstanding.  Unfortunately we couldn’t get the beer with the food but the visit was worthwhile.  I would definitely recommend that you give this place a try.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

wouldibuyitagain September 29, 2009 at 8:52 am

The food looks good. Never heard of aging beer that way, I wonder if it is better. Funny that they would open the doors to a brewery and not be able to serve beer!

Craig September 29, 2009 at 12:24 pm

The beer is actually aged in second hand barrels(I think most of the ones they had were from other breweries) with Wild Yeast and other bacteria added before being hand bottled and left to condition.

Troy October 1, 2009 at 9:35 am

we have a new jolly pumpkin up here in Traverse City too…
haven’t been there yet, but i’ll definitely have to check it out!

i love north peak, so i should have known by now that the pumpkin would be great.

thanks for the pics!

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