Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Lunch via a national historic landmark

I am lucky enough to work within walking distance of a national historic landmark–The Henry Ford Estate in Dearborn, Mich. So, when my lunch date canceled on me today and I found myself in need of a back-up plan, I decided to treat myself to an awesome, if a little pricey, veggie sandwich offered by the Estate’s Pool Restaurant.

The Estate was home to automotive pioneer Henry Ford, and his wife, Clara, for more than 30 years. And what is now the Pool Restaurant had, indeed, once been the room where the Fords’ swimming pool was housed.

Like most restaurants, the Pool’s menu is meat heavy. Yet, they do usually offer at least a couple vegetarian options. My absolute fav is Clara’s Garden Sandwich, which you see pictured above.

The Fords were known for their various gardens, which included a vegetable garden located near one of the Estate’s 300-year-old Bur Oak trees. From the Estate’s Web site:

The garden consisted of a variety of vegetables including rhubarb and asparagus. Also cultivated were raspberries, red and black currants and herbs. Grapes grew on a fence which ran around the entire garden. Used to keep animals such as the deer and raccoon out, a portion of this fence still exists today.

Located due west from the Vegetable Garden is the Compost Storage. Every year in March, truckloads of sod from the near by fields were brought to the estate along with cow manure from Ford Farms. These items were mixed in layers with grass clippings and leaves. Two months later this material was ready for use in the Green House and gardens.

Fruit Orchards such as apple, pear, peach, and other varieties were also positioned in various locations around the estate. Behind the second meadow, to the right of the lake, was an apple and pear orchard. Today’s guest parking lot sits where the Black Cherry Orchard once was located.”

Clara’s Garden Sandwich is chock full of thick veggies–tomato, cucumber, roasted red pepper–paired with field greens and layered between pumpernickel bread with a garlic herb cheese spread. Fair warning, this is not a first-date type of sandwich, because the thickness of it can make it a messy eat. But, it’s still extremely yummy all the same. And, it’s served with a side of seasonal fruit. Menu price is $8.95.

The Estate does modify the menu according to season, so this sandwich isn’t always available. Another option for vegetarians at the Pool would be the “Nuts About Spinach” salad, which I’ve had several times when Clara’s sandwich isn’t offered. The salad features fresh baby spinach leaves topped with almonds, walnuts, soy nuts, fresh melon, strawberries, mandarin oranges and Michigan dried cherries, topped with a raspberry vinaigrette. Menu price $9.95.

Check it out if you’re ever visiting southeast Michigan!

1 comment:

Holler said...

That sandwich looks heavenly, which reminds me, I better go make sandwiches for tomorrow!