Bobcat Bonnie’s, fresh food at a friendly price
The name alone brings a smile to your face and with its logo, featuring a grinning bobcat, this gastropub adds to the positive vibes in Downtown Ypsilanti. Located in the space left vacant by Bona Sera on Michigan Avenue, Bobcat Bonnie’s offers a modern and friendly atmosphere with a large open dining room painted with deep colors.
Bobcat Bonnie’s roots run deep in Michigan. Their original location, in Detroit’s Corktown, has now expanded to locations in Ferndale, Wyandotte, and now Ypsilanti. I was a bit apprehensive about how toddler-friendly the restaurant would be, with its trendy interior and dim lighting, but after my son spotted the coloring books and crayons at the hostess stand, we were in good shape.
Playful menu, international inspiration
Bobcat Bonnie’s menu features a large array of shareables and tots, soups and salads, main courses, and desserts, as well as a large beer list focused on Michigan made brews and other drinks.
We started out with the fan-favorite Cap’n Crunch chicken fingers ($9) and an order of the truffle tots ($7). The chicken, coated with Cap’n Crunch cereal breading, comes with two dipping sauces. We loved the sauces, especially the sriracha honey, which even our four-year-old enjoyed. The chicken fingers, due to the breading, were a little sweet for our taste. The truffle tots were delicious and left us wanting to try the other varieties offered on the menu. They arrived hot, crispy, salty and covered in parmesan cheese and truffle oil.
Bobcat’s kids menu and mains
The kids menu, featuring standard kids menu fare, had surprising quality. Our four-year-old ordered the kids burger with cheese ($6), but this is not your standard kids menu burger. The freshly grilled patty arrived on a shiny brioche bun with cheddar cheese and a side of fries. ‘Tis the season, so we ordered the cody calebra’s turkey bowl ($10) for our two-year-old. Mashed potatoes and stuffing come layered with fresh corn, chopped turkey, gravy, and then topped with cranberry relish; a holiday turkey dinner in a bowl. This mom stole more than a few bites from the bowl; It was delicious. My husband ordered the bobcat burger ($12) which features a giant, crispy, beer-battered onion ring, bacon, cheddar, and bbq sauce on a gorgeous brioche bun. He deemed it delicious and commented that the fries were crispy.
We also ordered the naan club ($10), a standard club sandwich taken up a notch with turkey, ham, bacon, swiss, cheddar, lettuce, tomato, and onion layered between slices of naan bread with sriracha aioli. The sandwich had great flavor but was somewhat difficult to eat due to its size and the bread choice. On our next visit, we want to try another option, perhaps the fish tacos ($11), blackened salmon ($13), or the korean beef sandwich ($12), which features bulgogi marinated beef and various toppings on a bolillo roll. The menu also offers vegan options including a mushroom dip sandwich ($10) and potstickers ($8).
Dessert and final notes
Looking around we noticed several other families and enjoyed the lively, if a little loud, atmosphere of the place. We decided to top off the meal by selecting a dessert from their changing dessert menu; apple crisp with whipped cream. Stewed, and heavily spiced apples arrived in a cute mason jar topped with crunchy granola and a swirl of whipped cream. We enjoyed the apples but could have done without the crunchy chunks of granola topping. Next time we would love to try the pumpkin whoopie pie.
The portion sizes for all of these items were reasonable, not huge, which we really appreciated. If you’re a family that loves to try new things, along with elevated pub food staples, all at a great price, then add a visit to Bobcat Bonnie’s into your holiday calendar.
The Short Course
To avoid wait: Come before 6pm.
Noise level: Medium to high.
Bathroom amenities: Changing table.
High chairs? Yes.
Kids’ menu? Yes.
Anything healthy for kids? Not on the kids menu, but they offer a few bowl options.
Food allergy concerns? Check out their gluten-free menu, or ask your server.
200 W. Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti, Michigan 48197
bobcatbonnies.com | 734-879-0663