Jolly Pumpkin, Ann Arbor, MI

First off, I apologize for the quality of the above photo. The interior of The Jolly Pumpkin is quite dark at lunchtime, even by pub standards, and my cell phone camera doesn’t have a flash. I don’t mind a tavern atmosphere, but at lunch I expect to have a little more lighting. But, that’s really the only flaw I found with my first visit to this upscale brew pub.
Although I eyed the Grilled Romaine Salad with Warm Potato Croutons on the menu for a bit I wanted something I could sink my teeth into a bit more. I ordered the Not Just a BLT with the Market Salad with Roasted Garlic dressing for the side. The sandwich lives up to its title by combining applewood smoked bacon, arugula, oven roasted tomatoes, house-made mozzarella and salsa verde on toasted farm bread.
The salad was simple with mixed greens and cucumbers, but the dressing was delicious. The pickled zucchini spear that came with my dish was a nice change from your traditional dill pickle. It had a balsamic vinegar sweet tang to it. I dipped the zucchini spear in the wonderful roasted garlic dressing for an extra flavor punch, but it stands on its own just as well. The bread for the sandwich was perfectly toasted with a light nutty flavor. The bacon wasn’t greasy and paired well with the slightly peppery arugula, mozzarella and oven dried tomatoes. The house made mozzarella had great texture and a mild flavor. I didn’t taste much of the salsa verde, so I’m not sure it added much to the sandwich. The only suggestion I have is to make the oven roasted tomatoes into a spread or tapenade in place of the salsa verde so their flavor permeates each bite of the sandwich. But, the combination of flavors were absolutely delicious overall.
Service was pleasant and attentive, but not rushed. I didn’t get a chance to try dessert this time, but with such tasty food on this visit, I’m sure I’ll have lots of chances in the future. I’ll make sure to bring a flash camera to my next meal here!