Hailing itself as “Ann Arbor’s neighbourhood bar”, Casey’s Tavern took over the historic Washtenaw Lumber warehouse and opened for business in 1986.
In 1872 the Wood and Perrin company built a warehouse across the street from the train station. They sold pork, cider, apples and wool out of the building until the 1880’s when the former Underground Railroad slave runner , Sellick Wood, turned the building into a lumber warehouse. Wood ran the buisiness along with his son Frank until 1916 when it became the Washtenaw Lumber Company. Washtenaw operated out of the building until Casey’s took over and converted it into the homey bar and grill that it is today.
Featuring home made bar fare the smallish tavern does as much in house as possible. The beef is ground for burgers and corned for corned beef in house. Such commitment shows in the personnel and food. Some of the charter employees are still there. It’s also made Casey’s a perennial winner of the “Best burger” crown in Ann Arbor. High praise. Especially when pitted against one of my all time favourites at Krazy Jim’s Blimpy Burger.
Mrs. Sippi’s friend, The Wolverine, suggested a lunch meeting as we passed through the area on our way south. Casey’s did not disappoint.
A collection of no less than 20 condiments are waiting for you on your table. They had some of the usual suspects such as Tabasco and Worchestershire but the honey mustard and a roasted garlic flavoured hot sauce were among our favourites.
We started with (battered) deep fried artichoke hearts. They were nicely done in an almost tempura batter. The “Dijonnaise sauce” was really nice. Kind of a cross between remoulade and thousand islands dressing. A good way to get the ball rolling.
The Wolverine took the simple tuna salad sandwich and added cheese. He had it grilled and elevated it to a terrific tuna melt.
The burgers are pretty much construct your own. We opted for the jalapeno chutney, cheddar cheese and chili. I’m not sure if the chutney even made it onto the burger but if so, it was lost. The bean laden chili was really nice although not spicy. The burger it’s self came with a nice tinge of pink to it and was moist and tasty. They may win best burger in Ann Arbor but my vote still goes to Krazy Jim. The accompanying fries were out of a bag and were okay.
The Reuben was flat out great. I loved the corned beef. Strong with allspice flavour, it was fantastic. The Swiss stood up nicely to it and the kraut added a nice secondary dimension. I started to add some mustard and then decided the sandwich didn’t need it.
You can find Casey’s across from the old train station on historic Depot Street (#304) in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The old storage sheds, original to the building are still in the back parking lot.
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You can also find them on the web.
Well that’s all for now. See ya next time.