Michigan’s Best Local Eats: Comfort food is key at Ann Arbor’s Northside Grill

ANN ARBOR, MI — If someone is looking for comfort food then his restaurant is the place to go, Jim Koli, owner of Ann Arbor’s Northside Grill said.

The family diner, a popular spot for breakfast and lunch, recently celebrated its 29th anniversary.

The Northside Grill’s most popular menu items tend to be traditional breakfast dishes like the two-egg breakfast with meat.

However, the restaurant does have other popular options, like the Maiden Lane, a breakfast sandwich made with grilled sourdough and two fried eggs topped with cheddar cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, mayonnaise and hash browns.

Another popular dish is the Nitro Skillet, which is filled with onions, green peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes and potatoes sautéed in a nitro-mustard sauce. The dish is then topped with melted cheese and two eggs.

This spicy skillet makes a “flavorful” meal, Koli said.

“It is a little bit spicy, but it’s being mixed in with the vegetables and potatoes so it’s not necessarily super concentrated on the skillet,” he said.

Along with these dishes, the restaurant rotates selling and making baked goods. This month’s sweet treats are pumpkin pie, blueberry muffins, lemon poppy seed muffins and mini loaves of banana bread.

The restaurant may serve some traditional dishes, but it does try to switch things up each month by doing different events. For instance, this month customers will be greeted with not only a live Elvis performer, but a special menu for Elvis Sunday on Aug. 21.

The special Elvis Sunday menu will have four items to choose from, including an Elvis-sized BLT, Graceland Cakes, a Hunka-Hunka Burning Love Skillet and a Blue Hawaiian Omelet.

The Elvis-sized BLT is a half-pound BLT served with a Twinkie, while the Graceland Cakes are banana buttermilk pancakes topped with peanut butter. The Blue Hawaiian Omelet is made with onions, green peppers, tomatoes, pineapple, ham and mozzarella and cheddar cheeses.

Then there is the Hunka-Hunka Burning Love Skillet, which has two strips of bacon, two fried eggs, onions, green peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, Tabasco sauce and topped with mozzarella and cheddar cheeses.

Despite being in Ann Arbor for nearly 30 years, Koli said he only wants there to be one Northside Grill that offers a neighborhood restaurant for the community.

He said his main goal is to continue to connect with not only the restaurant’s customers, but with its staff members, too, because “that’s what it’s all about.”

Northside Grill, 1015 Broadway St., is open from 7 am to 3 pm seven days a week. Find the restaurant online or by phone at 734-995-0965.

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