Ann Arbor – Whether it be a mouthwatering tempeh burger or some general Tso’s cauliflower, the Detroit Street Filling Station knows how to sate your appetite.
“It’s very eclectic,” explains owner Phillis Engelbert. “We have south-of-the-border type foods, we have Asian style foods, we have American style foods. We often get people who eat here who don’t even realize the food is vegan.”
Besides tasty vegan food, the Detroit Street Filling Station fills you up with a sense of community as well-something Engelbert has dedicated her life to. Her passion for volunteering and activism began in college. She then dedicated the next 30 years of her life to various community works, including creating Michigan Peace Works.
Eventually, she got burned out, and it was in that time when she slowed down, that she really developed a passion for cooking vegan food. She and a friend started with a food cart and eventually opened The Lunch Room in Ann Arbor.
The small restaurant got quite busy, so when a spot on the corner nearby opened up, they took it, opening the Detroit Street Filling Station in 2017.
Currently, the restaurant is closed to dine-in service and offering take-out. They do have a beautiful patio they decorate with lots of flowers and greenery, but they are keeping that closed too until the COVID numbers drop and their staff is vaccinated.
“This business is run in the model of a community organization, where building a community and taking care of people comes before all else,” says Engelbert.
You can, however, order all their food to-go. For the carnivores out there, try their Tree Town Tempeh Reuben, with sauerkraut, Russian dressing and homemade Rye bread. It has a lot of the same flavors you would expect from a Reuben. Another great choice is General Tso’s Cauliflower on fried rice. The cauliflower is lightly battered and deep-fried, then smothered in General Tso’s sauce. The texture is very satisfying and a good substitute for fried chicken. You also should not pass up their desserts. I would be surprised if you could tell they were vegan.
Detroit Street Filling Station is located at 300 Detroit Street in Ann Arbor.