Monday, September 10, 2012

Bison, Poutine, and Wojapi - Oh My!


Just a few miles west down I-94 from my apartment is a bar and grill that I've had my eye on for most of the year called Spirits Restaurant and Lounge. It first caught my eye when my roommate Kimmy and I were driving by on our apartment hunt last winter because it has a large pretty feather design as part of their logo. We gathered that Spirits had a Native American theme, a subject quite close to Kimmy's heart. We never made it there, however, as we both tend to be very low on funds.

This is where my wonderful and loving boyfriend Greg comes in. He and I like to explore and try new places, so much of our time together is spent prowling all over Southeast Michigan looking for new thrift stores we haven't visited before, sights we haven't seen, and restaurants where we have yet to eat. So one night, we decided to visits Spirits. Unfortunately it was closed, probably because it was a federal holiday, and we ended up at Johnny's on the Lake instead.

A couple weeks ago, however, we decided to try again and not only found Spirits open and ready for our business, there was a band setting up to play live that night. The restaurant wasn't very full that night, but it was a midweek night, so it didn't raise any red flags for me, as they say. We sat a little close to the band, so as they started up, it became a little difficult to hold a conversation, but the music was good, and I found the songstress/violinist to be quite talented.

Next to our table was an interesting little room partitioned off by thick curtains, rather like you find in a theater, with a couch and blank white screen up on the wall. Greg and I wondered if the room could be rented out for parties. We never asked, though, as we had no parties to query after.

Now for the most important part: the food! I decided immediately that I liked Spirits menu because right at the top of the appetizers listing was poutine, a poster child dish for Canada comprised of french fries, cheese, and gravy. I think it sounds delicious; Greg disagrees. The dessert menu also included a rare find, wojapi, a native fruit pudding that I attempted earlier this year. (There are still a few frozen jars of it in my freezer because it made so much. I need to make corn biscuits or something to go with it so we can finally eat it up!) Mine was made with strawberries. I don't know what Spirits used.

Sadly, we did not order the poutine nor the wojapi, but we did build our own bison burgers. I love restaurants that let me build my own sandwich. I don't remember what Greg had on his, but I got mushrooms and cheese with garlic mayonnaise, and it was phenomenal. In addition to bison, you may also choose ground beef, chicken, possibly turkey, and I'm pretty sure there was at least one vegetarian option. (They don't have their menu online, and my memory isn't that great.) You also get to choose what type of bun you want! There truly some excellent selections when you want your burger done your way.

Spirits is, admittedly, a little out of the way being located way out on Rawsonville Rd. Really, though, it isn't such a far drive from Ypsilanti or the surrounding cities if you want to give a unique bar and grill with some different menu items a try. Oh, and don't forget the live music. You may want to check for that before you go, though since their website isn't fully up yet, it will probably just be a surprise. 

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