OLLIE FOOD + SPIRITS: A hipster hotspot welcoming of families

. April 30, 2018.
ollie-view-from-entry

Ollie Food + Spirits

42 East Cross Street Ypsilanti, MI 48198
734-482-8050. Ollieypsi.com
Tuesday–Thursday: 11am–11pm
Friday: 11am–12am
Saturday: 8am–12am
Sunday: 8am–3pm
Closed Monday

The Short Course

1. Kid-friendly: yes
2. To avoid wait: brunch before 9am or after 1pm
3. Noise level: Low
4. Bathroom amenities: Changing table
5. High chairs? Yes
6. Got milk? Yes –from Guernsey Farms, yum!
7. Kids’ menu? Yes
8. Anything healthy for kids? Yes
9. Food allergy concerns? Menu directs you to ask server about allergy concerns

Delightful Depot Town

Located in the heart of Depot Town, Ollie Food + Spirits offers a casual atmosphere with a thoughtful and unique menu that caters to both adults and kids. Consider visiting for one of their themed Sunday brunches, as we did recently when the theme was “Pee-Wee’s Brunch House,” referring to the ’80s cult classic. Themes and some menu items rotate, although many brunch staples appear week after week.

As with any brunch, we aimed to arrive late to avoid waiting time with the kids, but the time change the night before seemed to throw everyone off, so our attempt at a 1pm brunch yielded a quote of a 30-minute wait time (actual wait time was 20 minutes). This gave us a chance to wander and explore Depot Town a bit. Bonus tip: Plan to put your name in and then take the kids for a short walk down to the Tridge— the famous three-ended bridge over the Huron connecting Frog Island and Riverside Parks. 

Kids Mac & Cheese

Kids Mac & Cheese

Themed brunches deliver deliciousness

The themed brunches provided adults with nostalgic humor but also induced some interesting discussion with the kids. Both explaining and just saying the name “Meka Leka Hi Meka Hiney Hash” provided some good laughs. Ordering it provided a great combination of potatoes, beets and corned beef described by our 4-year old as equal parts stretchy and crispy. He was a fan. We would recommend this dish, which comes served with a side of eggs and toast;  a solid hash with components good for picking by all family members. 

We also tasted the Biscuits and Reba the Mail Gravy and found that the house-made biscuits were a fresh and fluffy delight and the gravy was smooth and bacon-y with a pinch of spice (mushroom gravy also available). The brioche toast order with the hash was also a superstar.  After also quickly devouring the Chairy’s Cherry Glazed Doughnut Holes (fresh, dense, not too greasy with crispy exterior and deliciously not-too-sweet glaze), we were well aware by the end of our meal that Ollie is serious about baked goods.  So serious that they offer vegan options as well— in our case, two toasted coconut chocolate chip vegan waffles topped with Michigan maple syrup, whipped banana coconut cream and house olive oil with maple granola.

If your kids aren’t into picking their favorite parts of your grown-up dish, Ollie offers a Kids’ Menu available for all meals including Butter Noodles, Lil’ Mac, PB + Honey, and Eggs ‘n’ Taters.  Our 2-year old enjoyed the Lil’ Mac which was made with penne and a creamy, rich, cheese blend. 

Ollie Donut Holes

Ollie Donut Holes

Ice cream next door sweetens the deal

While we found solid kid-friendly food options, parents should be prepared to offer some soft coaching to the serving staff to ensure food and drink service is kid-appropriate.  We were the only family with kids on our visit and we’re not sure who panicked more— our 2-year old or us— when the server sat a full-size water glass in front of her! 

Ollie is a solid brunch pick with a number of vegan and vegetarian options and a full coffee (and alcohol) bar— an overall fun outing.  If you’re used to doing breakfast or brunch in-and-out in 30 minutes, consider the relatively slower service into your planning. Perhaps the best part for families is the jointly owned Cream & Crumb next door, offering a selection of local ice cream and baked goods, which can easily be used as bribes for good kid behavior.