Feeling Jolly at the Jolly Pumpkin

We went to lunch at the (newer) Jolly Pumpkin in Royal Oak for lunch. Sad, I know, going to a brewery on lunch when we can’t enjoy the beer, but I have to say the food was good. Jolly Pumpkin is a chain brewery with locations across Michigan and in Chicago.

They have unusual offerings such as Baked Feta, popcorn cauliflower and interesting salads. As I am on this new eating healthy “thing” I opted for the Farro and Brussels salad. For those that do not know Farro is a combination of various grains of species of wheat. It tastes “puffed” almost like you would imagine a sugar smack from childhood. I like to say if brown rice and barley had a baby, it might be Farro. It is an interesting flavor and texture, and does well hot, or chilled in salad.

This salad was a heaping mound of shaved Brussel Sprouts, chopped Kale, Farro, dried cranberries, feta cheese, roasted almonds with a whole grain mustard vinaigrette. I added chicken since I wanted some protein. The salad was good and filling as I could only eat about half. My only complaint, the price. Adding the chicken, sticking with water to drink and adding tip put me at almost $20 for lunch. Pricey when you didn’t even get a beverage.

I was going to order the turkey melt and I wanted those tiny pomme fritte fries that I love, but I abstained. Others around me ordered, so I snagged a fry. The Parmesan truffle fries were amazing. Hot, just the right amount of crisp and salt. Buttery Parmesan and just a hint of truffle. The turkey melt looked and was described as delicious, with smoked gouda, arugala, tomatoes and a dried cranberry mayo. All melted into the most perfect looking crisp farmers bread. Ugg. Yeah my salad was great blah blah.

I found our waiter to be very underwhelming. Zero personality. One of our guests didn’t get her salad due to them forgetting to order it. No real apologies, at least not from him. There was another waitress who was working hard to make up for his inadequacies.

I would go back, but next time at night when I can drink. The beer menu however looked very heavy with sour beers and IPA’s. Even the neighboring restaurant in the basement (where Bastone Brewery now solely resides) is not laden with stouts or porters.

So go, be Jolly. Drink beer. Grab a burger. A great place to nosh if in Royal Oak.

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