Even the Wine Raconteur can have an off night. Lately I have had a schedule that has precluded going out that much and I hope that changes soon. We finally had a night to go out for dinner and the plans were scuttled, but we decided to go out anyways, just the two of us. It was an odd time for restaurants; it was after Cinco de Mayo and before Mother’s Day. We were going to go to one of our “stand-bys” and we decided to try something new instead. Ypsilanti is another college town near our home that of course is in the shadow of the much larger college town of Ann Arbor. There is a district known as Depot Town in Ypsilanti that has been a “watering hole” since my days in college, so off we went to discover what it was like currently. Depot Town has acquired the name from the section of railway tracks and was vital part of the city back in the early days. There is a building that may be utilized again, it is of historical value from the Civil War days, the old railway depot is now used for other purposes and there is even a caboose on a side track just for ambience. Another kind of unique item there is a museum dedicated to the Hudson Motor Car Company, housed in a former Hudson dealership, and I guess you have to be a Detroiter to really get excited to see all of the cars.
Depot Town is several blocks of vintage buildings and several of them have been converted to restaurants and taverns. Most were geared to the population of students that attend, just up the road. It appeared that wine might not be an option, but as we wandered along the sidewalks and looked at the food that some others were enjoying outside, we decided to go into Maiz, a restaurant offering South of the Border dishes, and I do not mean Canada, if you are a native Detroiter. It was a unique restaurant from appearances and on the brick wall as we entered in we saw an old hand-painted billboard that had been rescued for Finck’s, a working man’s clothing line that I have mentioned a couple of times before. The restaurant was very busy, but we got a table very quickly.
Our waitress was very attentive and let us knows that everything was “house-made” as she brought us a basket of tri-colored chips and salsa to munch on. Since we were not going to have wine and we were in a Mexican restaurant we decided to have Margaritas, as we both enjoy them and it probably our favorite cocktail when we are out. I have this “thing” about ordering the “house” Margarita, because I think that if they make a fine generic drink, the food will be better as well, and we were off in the right direction. My Bride had a frozen Margarita with no dusting on the glass and I went with the classic pour on the rocks with salt. We shared a delightful appetizer of three halves of Baked Avocado, one of their house specialties which was stuffed with Pico de Gallo, Muenster cheese and bread crumbs topped with Cilantro Aioli and fresh Cilantro. My Bride had the Mango Salad which was baby greens mix topped with smoked corn, tomatoes, mango salsa, grilled pineapples, tortilla strips and blackened Tilapia. I was kind of torn between a couple of dishes, but just the name of the dish won me over, I mean how can one resist “El Gordo Bastardo”? It was a giant Chimichanga stuffed with beef, pinto beans and rice deep fried, but then it was on steroids, because it was topped with Chorizo sausage, grilled peppers and onions, Muenster cheese, Salsa Verde, lettuce and tomatoes. By the time we finished our dinners and I had another Margarita we were sated and needed to walk around Depot Town again, before the drive home, and yes I will get back on track with more wine, very shortly.