Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Unique Casa Dominick's

Ever since I came to the Ann Arbor area over 25 years ago, I've been intrigued by Casa Dominick's. This Italian bistro, nestled amongst the older two-story homes that border the main University of Michigan campus, serves draft beer in Mason jars.

How cool. Like drinking moonshine. Certainly the folks quaffing their favorite brew appear happy as they raised their jars to toast the latest Wolverine victory on the veranda outside, or on the wraparound porch on the second story. [We should certainly celebrate our awesome victory over the Irish on Saturday]

So it was a first when Wendy and I dined there Friday, a stop in our ongoing Frog Island creme ale tour of 2006. My wife's armed herself with a list of local pubs that reportedly serve her favorite Michigan microbrew.

Well, cross off Dominick's for sure. Frog Island was a no-show there. We had LaBatt's instead. After placing a sandwich order at the counter, we brought our beers out back to a marvelous beer garden surrounded by a privacy fence.

We passed a fountain where water streamed from the, uh, body part of a cherub statue into a concrete reservoir below. Also cemented into the brick wall that secured the little urinator was what appeared to be an old gravestone. Maybe the original Mrs. Dominick resides somewhere underneath all this. We sat at one of the oversized picnic tables, shaded under a canopy of branches, trees that I did not recognize, giving the impression we were at at an arboretum. Or some nook out of a Ray Bradbury story.

Finding an empty table spot was problematic as many were reserved for a Tappa Kegga Day fraternity (aren't they all?) or on this day for incoming students from the pharmacy college. Gee,I don't think I want my future pharmacist taking notes on mixing drugs while his host is mixing drinks.

Anyway, I thought they had an interesting security system for taking and delivering sandwich orders. When my wife put our order in, the counterperson asked for her name and last initial. Then over a mini-loudspeaker we heard "order for Wendy." I volunteered to go back inside to pick up our order, but wondered what would prevent somebody else from claiming our pre-paid Italian and meatball sandwiches.

The answer? When I presented myself at the counter to pick up an order for Wendy, the server asked, "Last initial?"

"T", I replied. Hea, how ingenious! I'm going to suggest this to tech support at work to replace the cumbersome password system we use now.

I just sign into the computer as "Dave."

The computer responds, "Last initial?"

Then I type in "T."

I'm in.


Blogger poopie said...

Umm hmm..and I would be Poopie J.

2:16 PM  
Anonymous cassie-b said...

It sounds like a nice day all around. And I would order my sandwich as cassie - b

2:20 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Unfortunately, after this post your sandwiches will never be safe again... good thing they didn't serve your wife's microbrew!

3:54 PM  
Blogger WordWhiz said...

Mason jars as drinking glasses is a common southern thing. Who'd have thought some place in Michigan would take up the tradition.

I like the password system. At least it's one I could remember! I'm lucky to remember my "user name". Then I also have to recall a password!! TOO MUCH!!

7:22 PM  
Anonymous schnoodlepooh said...

beer in mason jars - brings back memories. that must be a favorite around colleges.

and the password... works for me... first & last are the same. p.p. okee dokee

10:46 PM  
Anonymous Peter said...

I don't like to show my ignorance... but, what are Mason jars?

6:31 AM  
Anonymous Squirrel said...

Peter must be yankee. All southerners know that mason jars are what you can your jelly in. One question, why do they call it canning when you are putting the stuff in jars?!

Sounds like a nice place to spent the afternoon!

9:16 AM  
Anonymous Deb said...

Sounds like a fun place; very relaxing. Of course the beer will be very salty with tears if your Wolverines encounter some Horns.

Couldn't resist. ;)

2:29 PM  
Blogger molly said...

Very high tech identification. Most places around here ask your name, but no other id, and you know they don't care whether or not you get your order.

3:11 PM  
Blogger Lucy Stern said...

I used to use "Mason" or "Ball" jars when I canned tomatoes in my early years. They are nice heavy jars that will hold anything.

As you know, I'm not a beer person but I suppose lemonaid would taste good in those jars.

I'd be Lucy S.

4:37 AM  
Blogger Kacey said...

Congrats on the big Wolverine win! You can stay excited until November when they meet The Bucks. Oh, yeah, you can trust those beer swilling pharmacy students---how sober do you have to be to count out pills? There is very little mixing going on behind pharmacy counters these days.

4:43 PM  
Blogger vicki said...

I can barely read this, it makes me so homesick. And WHAT is going on here in Chicago in the 6th inning? ARRGGHH!

6:48 PM  
Anonymous bonnie said...

On Vicki's heels!

A University of Michigan victory and beer is not a safe combination for some.

8:06 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Ah, Mason jars - Poopie and I know all about drinking out of those. Theirs a unique restaurant not far from where Poopie lives (and I used to live) in Missoui, known as Lambert's.

Now there is a unique restaurant. "Home of the throwed rolls" it states on the outside. The do. They literally toss the rolls to you from across the room. Your drinks, whatever they may be, come in near-bucket-sized Mason jars, as I'd mentioned.

If you have a small stomach, then ordering a main course wouldn't be advisable, considering they come by with every "helping" under the sun: fried okra, mac & tomatoes w/ onions, fried potatoes, hushpupies, you name it.

An order with a name and last initial password, though? I like the idea, but somehow it takes away from the whole experience of eating out and relaxing. Seems too high tech. Call me old-fashioned at my young age. :)

11:50 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

Very clever. Very entertaining too. Now, I'm hungry and in need of an ice cold beer. Anyone seen my mason jar?

Ciao Big Dave "T."

11:56 PM  
Blogger Kacey said...

Hey Teri---Watch out for those mason jars --- that's where they stick the date rape drug!

Just kidding Dave, Thanks for visiting my place --- I'm too sleep deprived to talk inetlligently. I heard an old joke about a Catholic who wouldn't pee in a Mason Jar, but I guess this isn't the place for it! lol

9:57 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

Please tell me you didn't see a Woverine victory on the veranda outside.

4:27 AM  
Anonymous Terri said...

I'm still smiling....great idea, I say. This might work in a whole lot of other areas too. Think about it, might have a little goldmine business here suggesting this.

6:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


12:46 AM  

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