The Short Course:
To avoid wait: Avoid big sporting events.
Noise level: On the louder side.
Bathroom amenities: Clean bathrooms with changing tables.
High chairs? Yes, and booster seats.
Kids’ menu? No.
Anything healthy for kids? A few salads.
Food allergy concerns? I would recommend discussing with server.
An unassuming building on Jackson Road on Ann Arbor’s west side houses an unexpected surprise. Although at first glance the bar and TVs might give the appearance of a typical sports bar, The Session Room offers a variety of seating options to provide customers with several unique dining experiences. There is a casual section with high-top tables for a happy hour drink after work, a well-lit family-style section with rustic wooden tables, fine art on the walls and TV screens, and an outdoor beer garden for an evening drink with your sweetheart or a game of corn hole with friends. It is alternatively a proper destination for drinks with friends, a family night out, or an anniversary dinner (and we have enjoyed all of those at The Session Room).
Not your typical bar food
Service at The Session Room is quick and responsive. We were seated at a table within a few minutes on a busy Friday night and finished our meal within one hour of sitting down.
The food menu, while somewhat heavy on pizza and burgers, has a number of kid friendly items. There is no kids’ menu, per se, but many of the dishes lend themselves to a younger palate (pizza, mac and cheese, sliders). They also will prepare buttered noodles on request. We ordered a cheese pizza ($13) and sliders ($10) for the kids, and mussels ($11), gluten-free yellowfin ginger salad ($12), gluten-free tequila chicken tacos ($10) and a hot honey soppressata pizza ($15) for the grownups.
Our three small children (ages 2, 4, and 6) ate nearly an entire pizza on their own! It had a thin crust and savory, tangy tomato sauce. My husband and I enjoyed the sweet and salty honey soppressata (dry salami) pizza. It had the perfect pop of spice in the honey that is drizzled on the crunchy crust. The mussels, served in a rich ale, tomato and garlic broth, were even enjoyed by the kids, once they got past the shells. The seared yellowfin salad was quite refreshing, accompanied by a spicy mayonnaise and a ginger, chili lime arugula salad. However, the sliders were plain, and somewhat dry, served with kettle chips. The chicken tacos were appetizing with pico de gallo, avocado and a spicy sour cream. However, they may not be kid friendly because they were too spicy and the corn tortillas would be a tough vessel to navigate for a child.
The mac and cheese ($10) is made with hickory smoked cheese sauce, which appealed to the adults but our kids didn’t love it. Additional sandwiches and options are available for between $10 and $15. Traditional entree dishes (steak, fish, pasta) range in price from $16 to $26. The menu has several vegetarian and gluten-free options. But as this place specializes in beer, pizza and burgers, the gluten-free and vegetarian options, perhaps understandably, are not the stars of the menu.
Great beer variety and pizza
The beer menu is nearly as long as the food menu and is nicely divided into sections based on the type of beer you’re looking for (wheat, sour, hoppy, etc). For beer novices, a flight with 4 4-ounce tastes is a fun way to try a sampling. My husband and I ordered local beers based on our server’s recommendation. There are close to 70 beers on tap with a list that changes frequently.
The Session Room is a great place for beer variety and unique, delicious pizzas with a fun atmosphere. If this is what you’re looking for, bring some friends and the kids and watch the game or sit out in the beer garden. You will certainly be satisfied.
The Session Room
3685 Jackson Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48103
734-585-7300 | sessionrooma2.com