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."