Casual Comfort

. October 30, 2012.
Classic-Cup-Cafe-Interior

Classic Cup Cafe 4389 Jackson Road Ann Arbor, MI 48103 Phone: 734-662-4411 Hours: Mon-Sat 6:30am-9pm; Sun 7am-8pm www.classiccupcafe.com

“Where are we going for dinner?” asked my 8-year-old son.

“Classic Cup Café,” I answered.

“A cup of what?” he replied. “Coffee?”

“No, they have lots of food.”

"I know!” he persisted. “A cup of TEA!”

Classic Cup Café, located on Jackson Road on the west side of town, offers more than what can be served in a cup. My son discovered this one Friday night as he and the rest of my family settled into a worn, but comfortable, booth.

The restaurant exuded an old-school vibe, from the classic photos and old movie posters decorating the walls to the plastic cafeteria-style cups. Numerous families, most with grandma and grandpa in tow, were dining around us. The menu offered traditional fare such as chicken fried steak and patty melts. There were also appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, and entrees, which I pointed out to my son. I wanted to make sure he realized they served more than coffee or tea.

My son tuned out my ramblings, though. That’s because he was focused on the lengthy kids menu, offering everything from pancakes to ravioli to grilled cheese. Prices ranged from $2.99 for a hot dog to $4.25 for fish and chips, drinks not included.

My son ordered a cheeseburger and fries while my 5-year-old daughter selected mac and cheese. My husband and I started with fried artichoke hearts with marinara sauce. Next, he chose the penne alla toscana pasta ($10.25) while I got the famous prime rib (8 oz. for $11.95) with a baked potato and vegetables. The entrees included salad for him and soup for me.

Our fried artichoke hearts appetizer was light and tasty. My kids had never tried them before and found them pleasing, except for the occasional stringy leaf. Next my husband noshed on his simple garden salad while I tried the Swedish potato soup with ground beef, potatoes and carrots — delicious. The blended flavors of potato and meat made me want to come back in winter for a hot cup.

Just as the kids got bored scribbling in the restaurant’s coloring books, the main dishes arrived. My prime rib was juicy, even though it was cooked past medium to medium-well. I loved the accompanying grilled squash, zucchini, red onions and peppers. I tasted fresh vegetables, not but- ter or sauce. Meanwhile, my husband found his pasta with Italian sausage, roasted red peppers, and mozzarella to be creamy and filling. My daughter’s portion of mac and cheese was generous and she couldn’t fin- ish it. My son practically inhaled his stan- dard — cheeseburger and fries.

The kids had been focused on dessert ever since we arrived, enticed by the dis- play case of sweet treats by the front door. My son and I split a piece of coconut cream pie, which tasted sweet, but bland. My husband and daughter shared a piece of apple pie, which my husband deemed good.

Not surprisingly, Classic Cup Café offers specialty coffee drinks, but it was too warm a day for us to partake. We did feel like we indulged in a cup of comfort, though. With its casual, albeit worn, ambi- ance and varied menu, the Classic Cup Café offers classic food in a relaxed, family- friendly setting.

THE SHORT COURSE

Kid-friendly Yes

To avoid wait They are busiest on Friday night for their fish fry and on weekend mornings for brunch.

Noise level Moderate

Bathroom amenities A bit rough looking, but clean, with changing tables in both rest- rooms.

High chairs Yes 

Got milk Yes

Kids’ menu Yes

Anything healthy for kids The ravioli may be the best bet off the kids’ menu. You can order a side salad, too.

Food allergy concerns They are happy to accommodate you if they can.

Katy M. Clark is a freelance writer from Saline.