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Posted on Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 11:30 a.m.

Frugal Friday at Grizzly Peak Brewing Co. - split a pizza or enjoy bread pudding for $5 per person

By Mary Bilyeu


Mary Bilyeu | Contributor

My friend Ruth Kraut "won" me last fall at Gimme Shelter, the primary fundraising event for Alpha House, which provides shelter and other support services to homeless families. I had donated a gift certificate to the silent auction, offering a chance to join me for a Frugal Floozie Friday write-up.

When offering these donations, one wonders who's bidding and who'll come out victorious. I was thrilled to learn that Ruth and I would be sharing a food tasting adventure!

We were finally able to schedule our lunch date, and had a fabulous time — and a great meal — at Grizzly Peak Brewing Co.. We were seeking vegetarian options, and my auction package had included an offer to order — and perhaps share, dependent upon price — an assortment of treats. So we debated among the bruschetta topped with tomatoes, basil, olives, garlic, and parmesan; the polenta fries served with housemade "catsup," recommended by our charming waiter; several varieties of the hearth-baked pizzas; and cheddar and ale soup. Each dish was tempting, each had merit.

We settled on three things, sharing each not only so that we could both have tastes, but because the servings were more than generous.


Mary Bilyeu | Contributor

As Ruth and I talked about our children, about blogging, about work, about barbecue competitions (Memphis in May as well as the kosher answer to this "Super Bowl of Swine," the ASBEE Kosher BBQ Contest), and about many other things, we started our meal with the soft warm pretzels pictured above, served with a hard cider-infused cheddar dipping sauce. With four large, tender breadsticks in the basket, as well as the rich cheese accompaniment, at $8.95 this was a great appetizer for two within our mandatory $5 per person budget.

Next we shared a pizza which, as Ruth noted, was truly large enough to have been our entire meal without any other dishes. We chose the one with roasted bell peppers and artichoke hearts, which was beautiful and flavorful all at once. For only $7.95, this was an exceptional value for a large amount of food.

We couldn't leave without dessert, especially since an reader who posts as DBH had recommended that I try the restaurant's cherry bread pudding.


Mary Bilyeu | Contributor

At $4.95, Ruth and I could each have ordered our own and stayed within the budget; but it was rich enough — and we'd already enjoyed enough other items — that splitting it was perfect. (Our waiter even brought us individual plates, each with its own half-portion.)

If you ever just want coffee and a little sweet "something" to share with a date, I would highly recommend this. Featuring white chocolate, toasted pecans, and numerous tart cherries, the pudding is drizzled with a bourbon-caramel sauce that was an ideal accompaniment.

For attentive and friendly service, warm ambiance, and excellent food that offers great value and numerous frugal options, Grizzly Peak is a wonderful place to enjoy a meal with loved ones.

Grizzly Peak Brewing Co.
120 W. Washington
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104
Monday - Thursday: 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.
Friday - Saturday: 11 a.m. - midnight
Sunday: Noon - 11 p.m.

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Mary Bilyeu writes for on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, telling about her adventures in the kitchen - making dinner, celebrating holidays, entering cooking contests, meeting new friends ... whatever strikes her fancy. She is also on a mission to find great deals for her Frugal Floozie Friday posts, seeking fabulous food at restaurants on the limited budget of only $5 per person. Feel free to email her with questions, comments, or suggestions:

Go visit Mary's blog — Food Floozie — where she enthuses and effuses over all things food-related; and look for her monthly articles in the Washtenaw Jewish News. "Like" her on Facebook, or send a tweet on Twitter, too.

The phrase "You Should Only Be Happy" (written in Hebrew on the stone pictured in this post) comes from Deuteronomy 16:15 and is a wish for all her readers - when you come to visit here, may you always be happy.



Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 8:07 p.m.

Ummmm yep. So I went to the Chop House and got the following: Filet Mignon - At 11 ounces it was plenty to split 8 ways and only came out a little over $5 pp Then we had the Caesar Salad and split it in half. Plenty to eat. Luckily, bread was free, so we at a loaf of that. We also each had a big potato, those are only $5.95/ea and only slightly over our $5 limit. So there you go. Frugal dinner at the Chop House. Only $5. Cheap eat suggestions?


Sat, Feb 16, 2013 : 12:34 a.m.

the frugal friday pursuit has become a farce. I like Marys reviews but they are mostly not within the definition of frugal friday. Maybe you should either get back to the 5 bucks per person mission, or hand it over to someone who can meet the standard. Mary you could do regular reviews if that suits you better


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 11:43 p.m.

I absolutely LOVE how Chela's is at the top of that list. They might be cheap but OH MAN is their quality beyond that of main st. venture projects. They are proof positive that good food can be very affordable.

Elijah Shalis

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 7:34 p.m.

I love the Grizzly Peak.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 5:56 p.m.

I like their grilled veggie sandwich (lunch only, I think) and a Bear Paw Porter. Doesn't hurt to have it served by a friendly cute, curly, long-haired blonde lunch waitress.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 4:51 p.m.

When you have to spend a few bucks on Mad Dog 20/20, a $5 meal is indeed valuable.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 4:15 p.m.

This article: "We were finally able to schedule our lunch date, and had a fabulous time —and a great meal — at Grizzly Peak Brewing Co."'s fellow journalist response: "At no time does she say that you can eat an entire meal for $5" Well, that pretty much says it

Jessica Webster

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 3:10 p.m.

Mary - I am a sucker for those warm pretzels. Have you ever had their Cheddar Ale soup?

David Bardallis

Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 4:46 p.m.

Mmmm, cheddar ale soup.

Jessica Webster

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 3:06 p.m.

Mary writes about the dishes that you can order in Ann Arbor area restaurants that are tasty and come in at under $5 per person. At no time does she say that you can eat an entire meal for $5. She's just on the hunt for a good plate of food that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. If you have suggestions for places or dishes you think she should try, please feel share them here in the comments. As you can see above, she's happy to oblige!


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 3:31 p.m.

No Jessica....she does not write about DISHES.....she writes about places you can go and eat for $5 per person. It's not advertised or implied that it's only $5 per's $5 per person. The idea is that TWO people should be able to go to this place and have a good time and enjoy food for $10 or THREE people could do it for $15. As M pointed out.....her very first suggestion is splitting a 4 pretzel appetizer with one of the better breweries in the city....and that's it... The word 'frugal' is being entirely misused here...there are two generally accepted uses of that word. One is quantity....the other is economics. The meal potions are frugal...2 pretzels FOR THE ENTIRE MEAL is very small. Half of an 8" Pizza is a SMALL portion of food. The money spent for the quantity and quality of food however is NOT frugal and is in fact the opposite. It's THAT definition of frugality that I take exception to because its THAT definition she keeps implying and that is NOT correct.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 2:01 p.m.

Grizzly Peaks....frugal? I like their food...I like their atmosphere...I like their beer. But frugal they aren't.... Once again you've stretched and altered your "$5 per person" rule to include multiple entrees during the same meal. Then you give the impression that for less than $5 others can eat at this restaurant and have the same experience... Try going in and ONLY spending your requisite "$5 per person" including beverages...and THEN tell us how satisfied you felt with the meal. Also...have you ever watched The Frugal Gourmet? Part of what made him so awesome was that he could take plain cheap and ordinary and turn it into something special. It's not very frugal to choose lavish, small portion dishes (yes my often like to embellish the portions of things you review) either.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 2:55 p.m.

She got 4 warm pretzels for $9 and said "Well that's in budget". So you go to a brewpub, get a glass of water, and eat two pretzels. Sounds like a charming evening.