Esther Allweiss Ingber
How could Anna’s House be voted “No. 1 Best Breakfast in Michigan” if it’s only been open since April 2 in Farmington Hills?
While diners on the west side of the state apparently were big fans of Anna’s House in an MLive.com dining poll, I had no prior knowledge of this special group of family-owned restaurants. Since visiting, I’m glad that a former TGI Fridays on Northwestern Highway made way for an Anna’s House. I expect Anna’s will win accolades around these parts, too.
About 15 years ago, entrepreneur Josh Beckett fell in love with Becky Miller’s cooking at Anna’s House in Grand Rapids. He bought the restaurant and decided to expand into new markets. Miller sometimes is enlisted to help train kitchen staff. Other Anna’s House locations are in Grandville, Holland, Kalamazoo and Westland. Each kitchen manager creates new menu items, including seasonal specialties. In Farmington Hills, Curtis Lubbers manages the kitchen and Tony Sieczkowski is general manager.
Anna’s House, open 6 a.m.-3 p.m. daily (except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day), stands out for both food and atmosphere. The menu goes beyond the basics, veering off into adventurous and delicious new territory. The music and cute retro décor recall the 1950s-early ’60s era.
For breakfast, popular among “Anna’s Favorites” is Twilight French Toast, featuring crème Brulee sauce, fresh berries and raspberry Melba. I was wowed by my Lemon Poppyseed Crepes, stuffed with house-made cream cheese and topped with warm blueberry sauce.
I’ve never had potato pancakes quite like Anna’s: nicely crisp with a soft hashed browns-pancake filling, garnished with goat cheese crumbles and chopped green onion. The accompanying sauce is an apple cider vinegar reduction. Another savory selection is Cuban Benedict on grilled English muffin halves. Michigan Bread, a family bakery in Taylor, supplies high-quality breads made without additives.
Among the menu’s House Bowls, served with cage-free eggs, favorites include Hippie Hash and Smoked Salmon Hash. Kimchi Reuben Burger on a pretzel bun includes slow-cooked, hand-pulled corned beef.
Besides strips of sturdy turkey bacon, I sampled vegan patties that had the texture and taste of real ground beef. They star in Anna’s Vegan Impossible Burger. The menu lists many options catering to different dietary lifestyles, including gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan and vegetarian.
Beverages available here include handcrafted espressos and lattes, hot chocolate from Ghirardelli chocolate and draft sodas made in Traverse City.
Tylor Devereaux, decorator at all Anna’s House locations, gave Farmington Hills metal “space-age” lighting fixtures, featuring bare bulbs inside trapezoid frames or at the end of rods. Period collectables include teapots, coffee urns, toasters, radios and a console TV. Primary colors are aqua and green.
Walls display pithy sayings and canvases of local attractions. Soaring above the dining counter is a black-and-white mural of “Anna,” a carhop at the drive-in. In one corner, the muralist copied a picture showing an actual Farmington Hills couple on their 1962 high school prom night, posed beside a Mercury. Oversized B&W sketches of “Flo” and “Mel” from the TV series Alice decorate doors that can be closed for private dining. The restaurant’s capacity is 240.
32555 Northwestern Highway
Farmington Hills, MI 48185
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