CloverVisits: beer, burgers, and history at Sidetrack in Ypsi
We don’t often get out to Ypsi, but after seeing posts on Sidetrack on MegGoesNomNom not once or twice, but twenty-two times, I decided we had to check it out. It didn’t hurt that they were also named to GQ’s “Twenty Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die” list.
Sidetrack is located in Ypsilanti’s Depot Town, a historic area that sprung up around the train station back in the 1830s. The building has apparently been a restaurant, although under different names and owners, since 1850! It was our first time visiting this area, and I enjoyed reading the historic plaques scattered around town.
The restaurant is full of interesting things, with everything from train models to old photos to several giant moose heads that watch over the dining room. There’s also a lot of patio space, which was packed on this busy Saturday evening. Although there was a line going out the door when we arrived, it moved quickly. The tables were packed a little too tightly, and it was a little too busy; I recommend coming during a more quiet hour, rather than during peak dinner times like we did.
Not really being a beer person, but having read about Sidetrack’s great beer list, I went out on a limb to order the Arbor Strawberry Blond, which unfortunately was sold out. Our waitress recommended I try the Short’s Strawberry Short’s Cake instead. As a non-beer person, it means a lot when I say that it was delicious. Light, sweet, extremely refreshing, I enjoyed this more than any other recent beer I’ve tried. It is described as a golden ale with strawberries and milk sugar that “transform this beer into a rose-colored nectar that has hints of cream and is pleasingly sweet. Biscuit flavors and aromas arise from the great amounts of Victor malt used in the brewing process.” Fantastic. I’ll definitely be drinking more of this.
I was also intrigued by the Beer Battered Pickles. The crispy batter had a great flavor!
I got a burger with the regular old lettuce, tomato, onion, cheddar, but was very pleased to see that I could also add goat cheese and garlic aioli! These unexpected toppings really elevated my burger from any old pub fare to something with an interesting combination of textures of flavors. The goat cheese was especially good. Goat cheese is something that I used to dislike, not being ‘cheesy’ enough, but in recent years have come to love. The sourness and great texture make it a great topping to anything, and I especially like using it in lieu of the powder that comes with boxed Mac and Cheese.