food & grocery: Frugal Friday at Cafe Ollie - delicious Michigan-made options abound
Mary Bilyeu | Contributor
Sarah and I each enjoyed a refreshing dish of Guernsey Farms Dairy's McGuire's Irish Mint ice cream, produced not too far from Ann Arbor in Northville, which was perfect on one of those way-too-early-to-be-summer days that found their way to Michigan before it was even officially spring. A single scoop — in either a cone or a lovely sundae glass — costs only $2.75, leaving plenty of room in our mandatory $5 per person budget to buy a local favorite: Faygo soda "made with real sugar in glass bottles."
Cafe Ollie also features daily soups, an assortment of coffees and teas and baked goods made from scratch (like the fabulous sweets pictured above). Sarah and I had originally intended to treat ourselves to cupcakes, but the ice cream was calling more loudly on a hot afternoon.
We met just after 4 p.m., and were having such a grand time — truly, talking about everything from family to antique heating grates to Jewish law! — that we ended up closing the place just before 8 p.m., with only the gentlest nudge from the very sweet waitress just as she started to clean up. Many places would be loathe to let you loiter for quite that long, but we were welcomed stay right until the end of the day.
The next week, Jeremy and Mitch and I sat in the sun on the deck and enjoyed a late lunch of sandwiches, which are served with Detroit's own Better Made potato chips and Perkins Pickles. For the exceptional price of $7, Jeremy and Mitch split the Reubenesque, Cafe Ollie's own Reuben sandwich.
Regular readers know that Jeremy will inevitably order a Reuben if he finds one on a menu, and can pontificate at great length about the pros and cons of each one!)
Jeremy gave this sandwich high points for generosity of filling, tenderness of meat, and — most importantly — excellent flavor.
Cafe Ollie features a menu filled with creative sandwiches and salads, and caters to carnivores, vegetarians and even vegans specifically. So whether you're looking for a light meal, a sweet treat, or some combination thereof — and no matter what your dietary preferences — you can absolutely find something delicious to eat.
And once you've finished eating, you want to meander next door to the fabulous shop that's also owned by Cafe Ollie's owners, Danielle Scherwin-Teachout and her husband, Mark Teachout. (If you don't find them on one side of the doorway, you'll find them on the other.)
I first told you about the Michigan General Store in my post about Buffalo Celery Sticks, in which I used some Cajun-flavored chips I'd found at the shop to create a great variation on the famous wings. You can find so many, many exceptional items at this store, from salsas and mustards to wines and beers to smoked fish and cherry caramels, all made proudly here in Michigan.
So stop by Cafe Ollie and the Michigan General Store. Enjoy delicious food and a warm welcome, and support both a local business and the Great Lakes State!
42 E. Cross St.
Ypsilanti, MI 48198
Tuesday - Friday: 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.
writes about her adventures in the kitchen - making dinner, celebrating holidays, entering cooking contests ... whatever strikes her fancy. She is also on a mission to find great deals for her Frugal Floozie Friday posts, seeking fabulous food at restaurants on the limited budget of only $5 per person. Feel free to email her with questions or comments or suggestions: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You should also visit Mary's blog — Food Floozie — on which she enthuses and effuses over all things food-related. The phrase "You Should Only Be Happy" (written in Hebrew on the stone pictured in this post) comes from Deuteronomy 16:15 and is a wish for all her readers - when you come to visit here, may you always be happy.
The phrase "You Should Only Be Happy" (written in Hebrew on the stone pictured in this post) comes from Deuteronomy 16:15 and is a wish for all her readers - when you come to visit here, may you always be happy.