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Posted on Thu, Nov 5, 2009 : 5:37 a.m.

Wise Guy's offers a nice option for a quick, inexpensive sandwich

By Julie Halpert


Kerry Thompson, the father of Wise Guy's owners Kasey, Kris and Kerry Thompson, makes a sandwich inside of the restaurant in Ann Arbor.

Angela J. Cesere |

It’s been at least a few years since Bev’s Caribbean Kitchen closed and vacated the tiny space on the corner of Woodlawn and Packard. Since then, I’ve seen a few other restaurants begin to set up shop, then close before they even were set to open. Now, there’s a live tenant: Wise Guy’s, a basic carry-out place specializing in Chicago hot dogs and a few sandwiches.

This is really more of an indoor stand than a restaurant. It’s run by University of Michigan students, and brothers, Kerry and Kasey Thompson. And it’s only open Thursday through Saturday, when they’re not studying for classes. Kerry says they hope to eventually be open for dinner every night.

There’s so little room here that sit-down dining isn’t an option.


The Skinny Vinny sandwich, featuring mushroom "meatless-balls," marinara and mozzarella at Wise Guy's in Ann Arbor.

Angela J. Cesere |

Wise Guy’s offers seven different types of hot dogs, either Nathan’s or Vienna beef (the kind wrapped in casing), with assorted ingredients like sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and bacon. We opted for the basic plain Nathan’s hot dog and it was hearty and delicious, served on a wonderful poppy-seed bun that resembled challah.

Otherwise, there are four sandwiches, including two vegetarian, as well as assorted packaged chips and desserts.

For the Italian beef sandwiches, you have the option of choosing a quarter-pound, half-pound or three-quarter-pound, along with a “level of au jus intensity,” (dry, wet or “swimming with the fishes”). The beef was fresh, though saturated in far too many peppers. My favorite was a vegetarian choice — the “Skinny Vinny,” which featured delicious meatless meatballs made with mushrooms.

The black and blue chicken wrap was an odd combination of chicken in a spicy red hot sauce smothered with blue cheese. The two overpowering flavors, strong cheese along with spicy sauce, didn’t work well together.

For dessert, we enjoyed the jumbo cookie, full of chocolate chips, oatmeal and other sweet ingredients. We got the last one on our first visit and were disappointed there weren’t any the second time around.

Service was quick and the server was chatty and attentive. On the second visit, he threw in a bag of pretzels free because, as he told us, they were about to expire. The prices are right here, with most hot dogs costing around $4 and sandwiches no more than $6.50. Wise Guy’s offers the chance for a quick, inexpensive meal — if you happen to be in the neighborhood on one of the three days they’re open.

Wise Guy’s 1232 Packard Street Ann Arbor 734-681-0038 Wise Guy's web site Hours: Thursday: 4-9 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.- midnight. Plastic: No, cash or check only. Liquor: No. Prices: Inexpensive. Value: Good. Wheelchair access: No.


Jessica Webster

Fri, Nov 6, 2009 : 8:21 p.m.

I *really* miss Bev's. I'll have to try the new place. The Taqueria that occupied the space a couple of years ago could have been good but never really got their act together.

the major

Fri, Nov 6, 2009 : 8:45 a.m.

I really enjoy the dogs here. I try get in here once a week.


Thu, Nov 5, 2009 : 2:49 p.m.

Ah, another Chicago dog place, perfect. China on the run was in that space for a long time, I wish these guys the same success. The space is really set up better for a place that does more delivery than carry out. I would pay for delivery of a Chicago dog for sure.


Thu, Nov 5, 2009 : 11:42 a.m.

Wolverine3660 your right bev's was one of my favroit places to eat in the city, her and her husband did EVERYTHING in that place and i sure miss them. gonna try these guys out now though.


Thu, Nov 5, 2009 : 7:48 a.m.

Bev's Caribbean Kitchen was a great place to get wonderful food. Too bad she had to close. I hope Wise Guys succeeds.

Corinna Borden

Thu, Nov 5, 2009 : 7:25 a.m.

I am so excited that it is once again a corner of food. Thanks for the review!