by K.M. Zahrt
Recently, a new restaurant, The Grafted Root Eatery, opened in Grand Blanc. My wife, Katie, and I heard through a friend that it was featuring fresh, seasonal food from mostly Michigan-based companies. That sounded great, so on Saturday, January 18, we decided to give it a try.
We trekked over to the restaurant, which is tucked behind the McDonald’s at the busy intersection of South Saginaw Street and Holly Road. When we arrived we found ourselves lucky to be the only patrons (I’ll explain why shortly). We were seated at a table of mismatched retro chairs in between the bar area and the lounge area, which was supplied with a stocked bookshelf, a piano, and acoustic guitars – prepared for whatever leisure suits you.
My wife tried the pancakes with eggs topped with savory Michigan maple syrup, and I had the oatmeal with brown sugar and Michigan dried cherries. It was delicious; there’s no need to type more. We left the place sufficiently satiated without the brick-in-the-bottom-of-your-stomach feeling that often follows a breakfast eaten out, and we both agreed we shall return.
Later that day, we were surprised to see the following message on their Facebook page: “We had to shut down for two hours because we literally ran out of everything and people were still coming. We could not serve people like they deserve to be served. The good news for tonight’s dinner is: we prepped and cleaned and we are ready to do this correctly” (January 18, 2014).
We were surprised, but not shocked. It’s a great little restaurant, and I foresee its popularity continuing to grow, especially since they recently received their liquor license and plan to “serve up Michigan beers, wines and vodka, gin and whiskey” (DeFever, Mlive.com, November 3, 2013). Shoot, on February 4, they served “Gluten Free Banana Bread French Toast” — banana bread french toast? What?! On one hand, it may need more space to accommodate demand in the near future; on the other hand, the cozy quarters give it a European pub-style intimacy that’s hard to find on this side of the Atlantic.
I am proud to report we did return. Yesterday, we gave the lunch menu a try. Katie (pictured left) had a famous Lynn’s Spunky Chicken Croissant — chicken, grapes, celery, and almonds smothered in a curry mustard/mayo dressing with a little kick. I had the Grilled Ham & Turkey Sandwich that comes with some kind of homemade jelly on it — my guess is strawberry — which gave it a perfect dash of sweetness.
The menu items range from $5-$10 for breakfast or lunch options, but there’s no skimping on quality, and there’s no excess quantity simply to justify the price.
So, Michigan hipsters and locavores, help this place thrive. The next time you’re passing McDonald’s in Grand Blanc and you’re thinking about getting something to eat, drive one driveway farther and treat yourself to something healthier and more delicious at The Grafted Root Eatery instead. We hope to see you there!