Dining at HopCat with the Family

This afternoon we took advantage of spring break to have a family lunch at HopCat Ann Arbor. They opened in February at 311 Maynard. They are conveniently located across the street from the parking garage (which was particularly convenient with today’s threatening weather).

My husband tried HopCat for the first time earlier this week when he took his employees out for lunch. He really enjoyed his meal and suggested returning as a family.

Atmosphere at HopCat

Make no mistake, HopCat is a bar and grill with a strong emphasis on Beer. Those under 21 are admitted with a parent before 9p. There is a separate menu just for their beer options that is the same size as their food menu. At lunch time it was relatively quiet, although I imagine it would be louder at Happy Hour/dinner when the bar area would be more crowded. The restaurant, at least the corner where we sat was fairly dark. I apologize for not having better pictures to include. I should have turned on the flash, but I didn’t realize they were so dark until I got home.

Menu at HopCat

The menu at HopCat leans heavily towards sandwiches and burgers with a nice selection of appetizers. There are also a few entrees. They do not have a children’s menu, but can make smaller portions of select items like the Macaroni and Cheese. The lack of a children’s menu isn’t a big deal for my family since my daughter is 9 and often prefers to order from the regular menu for more sophisticated fare. Portions are large enough that you could easily share a sandwich or burger with your child or two children could share.

Our Food at HopCat

We started with the Pretzel Nuggz appetizer. Which was served with a horsey mustard and a cheesy sauce. My husband likes the horsey mustard, but it has too much of a kick for my daughter and I. We preferred the cheese. With a portion of 12 Pretzel Nuggz, it is perfect to share for a group of 2, 3, 4, or 6. With 5, you’ll just have to fight over the extras.


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Pretzel Nuggz at HopCat

For dinner, both my daughter and my husband ordered the Cowboy Burger. My daughter decided to tone down the burger by replacing the pepper-jack cheese with cheddar but left on the fried poblano peppers on the burger. I was worried that it would be too spicy for her, but she declared it not at all spicy. She ate half of her burger and brought the rest home for dinner tonight. At 1/2 lb, the burger would have been large enough for she and I to share.

Ready to enjoy her Cowboy Burger at HopCat


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I opted for the I Am the Pork Sandwich Who Knocks (Tenderloin). It was huge, but delicious! I only ate half, so I’ll have leftovers for tonight or tomorrow too.

I Am the Pork Sandwich Who Knocks (Tenderloin) at HopCat

The best part of the meal are the Crack Fries which are served with the burgers and sandwiches. The fries are beer battered and then liberally coated with cracked black pepper. I almost ordered them separately as a starter, but my husband pointed out that we would be getting them with our meals.

Beer at HopCat

HopCat has over 30 beers on tap plus many more available by the bottle. I am not a beer drinker (I had an aversion to the smell of beer while pregnant, and never redeveloped a taste for it), so I can’t comment on the selection. My husband had a beer, but I have to confess that I am not sure which beer he ordered.

Review of HopCat

After the meal, my daughter declared HopCat “a new favorite restaurant”. I am sure that we will be back. There are a number of other dishes on their menu that I want to try including the Mussels appetizer, the chicken salad wrap, and the HopCat BLT. My daughter also has her eye on a few other starters including the Meat Head Pizza Rolls.

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Anna Mae

Anna Mae owns & operates Ann Arbor with Kids, a website dedicated to Family Activities in Ann Arbor. My husband and I moved to Ann Arbor in 2003 and our daughter joined the family in 2006.

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