Do not let the spelling fool you. That is Ypsi, pronounced ip-see, short for Ypsilanti–home to Eastern Michigan University.
Besides one of Forbes Magazine’s “America’s Best Colleges” listings, Ypsilanti has much to offer. As soon as you drive through and see the famed water tower, you will want to know what this burg is all about.
Here are some reasons to take a whirl through Ypsi.
Their slogan is “Gourmet burgers and brats, good for vegetarians, great beer selection.” They are being modest. Upon entering, one is instantly drawn in. The inflatable and cardboard moose heads–as well as plastic chandeliers–insist that fun will be had.
Their cornerstone is their bratwurst menu. It has two categories, usual and unusual. Usual includes “vegetarian hot seitan.” The unusual menu has options such as “alligator and crawfish.” There are 12 different bratwurst choices.
I like the burgers. I am not even a fan of hamburgers in particular, but these are special. Try the Mr. Peanut (aged cheddar, bacon and crunchy peanut butter). Their sandwiches have a choice of brioche or pretzel bread.
The Wurst Bar has 4 different types of tater tots. They have poutine tots, nacho tots, vegetarian tots and vegan tots. With no lack for originality, they also have not just sauerkraut, but kimchi-kraut. Foodies, rejoice.
Check our their varied, delicious menu, Michigan-sourced beers, or one of their many special events.
If you have forgotten your lunch, no matter. Walk into The Rocket Candy and Gifts and buy a refreshing peanut butter and jelly flavored soft drink. (Yes, I did a double-take when I saw it, too). You can also pick up Detroit’s own Sanders candy, or bacon flavored anything.
Stylized as unicorns, grandparents, garden gnomes and more, the rubber ducky selection alone makes The Rocket worth the trip. Frieda Kahlo and Dalai Lama paper doll books, farm animal stained glass and bunny salt and pepper shakers are just a few other unique novelties which will catch your eye.
If you need a gift, The Rocket Candy and Gifts is my suggestion. Take a look at their web store.
I am so happy to have found Stony Creek Bead. As a new crafter, it is wonderful to go to a shop with an extremely helpful staff. On my first visit, I was given plenty of help and suggestions–now I have the elastic thread beading needles I so desperately needed.
Their bead selection is incredible. From pewter alligator beads (lead and nickel-free) to rich hued polymer clay flowers, their bead supply has enough to keep any beader busy. Many of their beads and patterns are by Michigan artists. They also have classes and special events. Pop in, or take a look at their patterns online.
I love opera. Sometimes my saying so is met with quizzical looks. Perhaps the creators of Opera on Tap (an Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti troupe) have had similar experiences. Their mission is: “…as a not- for-profit 501(c)3 company, is to promote opera as a viable, living and progressive art form deserving a place on the American cultural landscape.”
Clearly, they are achieving their goal. Their shows are raising an opera following, not to mention a fan base of their own. Described as “fun, raucous and un-pretentious,” their performances are held in Ypsilanti bars, such as Sidetracks and Frenchie’s. (Since Sidetrack’s is the home of one of GQ Magazine’s 20 Burgers You Must Eat Before You Die, you have more than one reason to attend).
I am so looking forward to catching an Opera on Tap. Bring your friends, pull up a table and see how fun opera can be.
Now that I have started you off, come and get to know Ypsi on your own. What are you waiting for?