Sidetrack Bar & Grill, Ypsilanti, Michigan56 East Cross St.
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WLB has entered the land of great lakes and high fives. Add to that great microbrews and burgers, and Michigan might just be the place to be these days. I have a new burger to add to my ever increasing list of favorites. A historic brick building set alongside a still vital set of tracks in the positively Seussian sounding town of Ypsilanti, Sidetrack can’t help but be charming. The only thing that might work against it is the student crowd that made it impossible for us to satisfy our burger cravings late one Saturday night (they serve food until 2AM!). We opted for Sunday brunch instead. We sat ourselves down at the dark wood bar amidst taxidermy and train memorabilia- somehow it works, and eyed the do-it-yourself bloody-mary bar, before dangerously opting for margaritas. Great start. They pretty much do everything right here- from the attentive service to the almost comical size of their margaritas, Sidetrack doesn’t leave you wanting for much.
One of GQ’s “20 hamburgers you must eat before you die”, I was thrilled to be about to cross one off the bucket list. Needless to say, my expectations were incredibly high. I was not disappointed. The Sidetrack burger is all kinds of beautiful. I ordered mine with cheddar and grilled onions, and it comes with lettuce and tomato- “just to make it healthy” as Julia would say. Sidetrack has taught me that when it comes to a 1/3 of a pound of meat, two slices of cheese is the way to go. It didn’t matter one bit that our burger was cooked medium as opposed to medium rare. It was rich and flavorful beyond belief. The menu tells us the burger is “handcrafted, hand rolled and fresh ground daily”. Those are the keywords that repeatedly factor into any great burger. And at about $6.50, this burger could be the burger against which all others are measured.