Innovation Cafe, Plymouth, MI

It’s unlikely that you would know that Innovation Cafe exists, even if you live in Plymouth. It’s hidden inside the Michigan Life Science and Innovation Center building in an industrial park off of Beck and M-14. I have to thank a Yelp reviewer for the tip on this one. I was looking for new places to eat in Plymouth and came across a single review of Innovation Cafe from someone who works nearby. The review by BD Traveler R. was intriguing enough for me to make the trip out there. I also scoped out their website menu ahead of time and it sounded interesting for a weekday lunch. The cafe is run by chefs who own a catering business. The cafe appears to be side business as the hours of Innovation Cafe are a little short, only 11am-1pm Monday through Friday.

I grabbed an adventurous friend and headed up last week on a Tuesday. The setup is cafeteria style, but the sandwich and entree choices offer more than you might expect from a corporate cafeteria, including sushi, a salad bar and several interesting sandwich options. Tuesday is also ‘Stir-fry Day’, it was beef and broccoli the day we went. It smelled tasty, but not being a broccoli fan I went with the Innovation Club sandwich which had grilled marinated chicken, black pepper bacon, romaine lettuce, tomato, Swiss cheese and aioli on freshly made bread. I also added their fresh caprese salad as a side. They surprised me by grilling the chicken and frying the bacon for the sandwich while I waited.

I love pepper and there was plenty of it on my sandwich, though it might be a bit too much for some. All the ingredients were very fresh and flavorful. The caprese salad left a little bit to be desired. The tomatoes weren’t as flavorful as I would have hoped and the simple dressing was missing some pizazz too. My lunch also included a simple, but tasty pickle on the side.

Overall I think it was a nice simple lunch and would be a great change of pace for local office workers looking for something that’s healthy and uses local ingredients. It’s a good alternative to fast food or chain restaurants in the area for a quick bite to eat. I don’t know that I’ll necessarily make a special trip out, but if I were nearby and wanted an easy cheap lunch I’d keep Innovation Cafe in mind. The prices are really reasonable and the chefs make a point of using local vendors and products which I make a point of trying to support.