Monday, November 12, 2012

The Fleetwood Diner

The Fleetwood Diner is one of the only 24 hour restaurants that I can think of in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and the only one that isn't part of a chain. (Though there is another location in Lansing, I don't think that makes it a chain.) It is also the home of the Half & Half Burger, made up of half ground beef like a normal burger and half ground bacon. Yes, bacon. Naturally, my boyfriend Greg had to order this, and I believe he said it was surprisingly bitter. I couldn't bring myself to ask for a taste. I was quite happy with my bacon-free cheeseburger.

The Fleetwood Diner also lays claim to Hippie Hash, comprised of hash browns, grilled veggies, and feta cheese. Really, it doesn't sound half bad, except that it has peppers in it, and peppers and I don't get along very well. I guess being vegetarian is what makes it "hippie," and, this being Ann Arbor, the hash is not the only vegetarian option on the menu. They also offer tempeh burgers, among other things.
Again, this being Ann Arbor, and since Ann Arbor is located on the eastern side of Michigan, the Diner's menu also includes gyros and coneys. Mmm! (Though I haven't tried either yet.)

To me, the coolest thing about the Fleetwood Diner isn't its menu. I love that it's a freaking diner! It's shaped like my grandpa's old camping trailer, and about the same size. The counter inside is lined with round stools with vinyl cushioned seats. And the guy - there's only one - cooking your food is standing at the grill right being the counter. You can sit and watch him make your food and even chat while he does it. Outside are tables with folding chairs clustered around the door beneath the striped awning.

If the time is right, you can hop across Liberty for a nightcap at Bill's Beer Garden. Or vice-versa. The two establishments are owned by the same person. In fact, the two owners of the beer garden met while working together at the diner decades ago. (Click the link for a rundown of their brainchild.) 

Newcomers to Ann Arbor should really check this diner out. Sure, there are lots of fancy and fun restaurants on Main St, but off-Main has a lot to offer, too, and must be tried, too.

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