Over my ten years of living in the Ypsilanti area, I've been to Sidetrack Bar & Grill many times. Every single time I've been pleased with their food and drinks, and I must also say that they make the best club sandwich that I've ever had. Huge enough to eat in more than one serving and the bacon is perfectly cooked and thick cut.
However, during this time of COVID-19 regulations and mandates, food isn't the only important thing about a restaurant. That being said, I'm not just looking at how good food is, I'm also looking at how a restaurant handle the COVID-19 safety mandates that are currently put in place.
Recently, Sidetrack has gotten some complaints with their handling that was publicized in other news outlets, so I thought I'd give them a fair shot at clearing their name while also enjoying some great food. Needless to say, I was rather excited to give them a visit because I hadn't been there in well over a year.
It's 11:30 AM on a Saturday when I arrive. I'm the only patron inside the establishment, but there are quite a few groups of people outside in the patio area. I was immediately greeted by an older gentlemen who was calling someone on his cellphone, with his mask down around his chin standing in front of the bar. This made me worry immediately and I was honestly very close to turning around...but I figured that this was exactly what I was there to look at. He hangs up his phone and puts his mask in the correct position, and proceeds to lead me to seat.
For starters, I ordered a coffee. It came in a quaint little glass and really helped me to wake up, for I was out of coffee when I woke up that morning. After that, I ordered the spinach and artichoke dip for an appetizer and a Wells Banana to drink. The dip was creamy and hearty, you could really taste the artichoke in it. The beer was a 16 ounce draft and was very delicious. I would compare the flavor most to banana bread. The body was full and the color had a nice amber-honey tint.
The sun shined through the windows and the day was just starting to pick up. It was actually around this time that Biden "won" the election, and cars started to honk their horns in celebration as they drove by. Top 40 style music was playing on their radio and more customers began to come in.
Not once did they ask a patron for contact information so they could trace the outbreak of the virus, nor had they asked me upon my arrival. I also noticed that while they had hand sanitizing stations all throughout the joint, I never saw a staff member actually use them. Finally, the gentleman that sat me at my seat was seen more than once not having his mask on properly.
I must note that the artichoke dip was extremely filling and I was finding it difficult to fathom ordering more food. However, the show must go on. So I ordered a "You can tune a piano but you can't tuna fish" sandwich. This comes with white albacore tuna, tomatoes, cheddar cheese and a Russian dressing, with potato chips on the side. The sandwich was quite delicious and I could only eat half of it because of how filling the artichoke dip was, not to mention the hearty beer.
With all that being said, the food & beer were very good as always, but I did not feel like Sidetrack was properly following the safety measures that are mandated by our state due to the presence of the COVID-19 virus.