Bombers 306 East Michigan Avenue
Ypsilanti, MI 48198
Date of visit: September 5, 2011
Labor Day excursion
Monday, September 5th at 10:30am – a totally lazy day. Chilly and cloudy, with a promise of more of the same, so we took the big car to do some needed food shopping. The plan was a). Eat and then b.) Shop and somewhere in-between a) and b) pick up the Springer Softail, which spent the night at a friend’s house. Our friend had detailed the Springer for fun? I should have suggested he borrow my Street Glide and he would have had a ball!
Once in the car we decided to check out Bob Evans in Dundee, which we found to be way beyond crowded. Being Bob’s was not an option, as usual; my hubby asked me where I would like to eat. For some reason out of all the decisions life throws at you, the one decision you’re sure to get, if you’re a female, is, where do you want to eat? And the usual answer is I don’t care, and the truth is sometimes, I just don’t care, (unless of course it is a place that specializes in Lima Beans.)
I selected the local Coney Island, which was also crowded; I didn’t feel like waiting in a line and we didn’t want to drive to Ohio, so we decided to let our GPS find a restaurant for us. Setting a 10 mile or so radius on our GPS, we selected American food on the Garmin restaurant list and waited for the results. Nothing in the local restaurant list that popped up looked particularly interesting. We were up for a little drive and decided to pick one of the Coney Islands in Ypsilanti, at least 10 miles away and set the GSP to back roads only.
Michigan has some interesting back roads. The road commission is not too big on filling in road holes and ruts; on back roads you have a 50/50 chance of riding onto a potted obstacle course or with little or no warning run out of pavement finding yourself on gravel of various depths or dirt and mud with the same ruts and holes as the paved roads. It can be challenging to any Biker. When we ride back roads I like to know what to expect, in a car it doesn’t matter.
We drove the back roads, dirt, gravel and all. It took about an hour to drive 10 miles on narrow, pitted; rutted, badly maintained areas to arrive at the GPS selected Coney Island. The Coney Island was closed. It was a holiday and apparently, a lot of restaurants decided to celebrate and close their doors. But it was Monday and several restaurants are closed on Monday’s, making up for their open Sundays, regardless we are hungry, this is getting serious.
Pulling up another list of restaurant on the GPS I recognized Bombers in downtown Ypsilanti so off we went. It’s been at least 20 years since I’ve been there and I had no idea what to expect.
Bombers is located downtown Ypsilanti, actually down and across the street from Haabs. Unlike Haabs, Bombers has a parking lot (free parking) behind the building that it shares with other businesses. The front of the restaurant still advertises Bombers: the name displayed in funny looking black lettering along the front of their yellow awning, which I’m sure is the same awing and lettering from 20 years ago. In contrast to the yellow, the building is bright red and tiled. From the outside the place looks totally outdated, in fact you might think: do I really want to eat here? But this look is only part of the charm.
We parked in the back, watched a few people leave Bombers by the back screen door and decided to go eat. As we headed to the back entrance we were motioned inside, by who I believe may have been the manager. I asked about closing times, being it was a Holiday and all and she replied, they close at 1 today…I didn’t realize it was 1:15 which is probably why the place looked fairly empty.
The back entrance opens into a short dark hallway: the kitchen door on the right, the restrooms on the left. Workers were bustling around with buckets and vacuums, looked like they were cleaning up, getting ready for closing, which I suppose they were.
The restaurant before us was big. There’s a counter by the front cash register, booths along the side of the walls, and tables and chairs throughout. Large parties can be accommodated with some table rearrangement.
We sat along the wall in a wood booth: no table cloth, no pre wrapped silverware, only the typical restaurant setting of salt-pepper-sugar.
Waiting for the waitress I recalled Bombers was a one of a kind and found it has not changed in all these years. It’s a seasoned diner with museum quality (some anyway) décor that serves big portions of food, not, unlike Tony’s in Birch Run. Unlike Tony’s, Bombers has a theme; the walls are fully decked out with memorabilia from World War II to present. They even included references to the Home Town University, Eastern Michigan. There are pictures, yellowed framed newspaper articles, various charts, clothes, and some (I believe) airplane parts tacked up in various places, in some sort of order. Overhead, hung on what might by nylon filament line, are several model planes, slowly spinning in the moving air from their ventilation system.
And then we noticed a sign: Bombers was featured on the Food Network as a top five over indulgence restaurant. I don’t know if that sign influenced our expectations of the restaurant or not – it may have.
We were offered coffee, waters and the menu. We were still in the breakfast mode so I selected corned beef hash and eggs with raw onions. The corned beef hash choices included three or two eggs, I only wanted two. And there was a choice between canned corned beef or hash. If it didn’t’ say fresh the hash was most likely canned with potatoes, but I didn’t ask.
My hubby ordered the Mexican Omelet, which turned out to be massive concoctions of eggs, meat, cheese and sauce. It was big, and he could only eat half of it. He said it was okay, which is his way of saying he’s had better: the food was good and nothing out of the ordinary except for the size.
My breakfast was hot, tasty, and way too much to for one person to finish. My meal as did my DH included toast and potatoes. My order did have all the ingredients promised, green peppers, eggs (of course) cooked and raw onions. And like my husband, the breakfast was good, I’ve had better and I’ve had a lot worse.
The coffee was hot and fresh. I think they may have made a pot for us. Hot, fresh coffee is always a plus. I was impressed the manager let us in after closing, the food was hot and fresh and no one rushed us. In fact we were one of the last diners to leave. I thought Bombers would make a great dinner run destination for the girls riding group I travel with, but the restaurant hours are posted as 6-3, making it a breakfast and lunch run.
No Dinner here. It’s definitely Biker friendly, family friendly, heck, invite the neighborhood, they’ll love it.
Cost: I never saw the bill.