Prickly Pear’s atypical southwestern fare delights

By: Ken Cross | January 7, 2012

Lovers of southwestern fare take note: Ann Arbor’s Prickly Pear is a must-visit. The southwest café, perched among Ann Arbor’s well-known haunts along Main Street, offers sundry choices that suit adventurous and traditional palates alike. 

One look at the menu will tell you this is not your typical taco hut. Yet if you’re looking for traditional Mexican fare, you can find it. Bean and meat burritos, skillet fajitas and corn tortilla enchiladas are yours for the choosing if you’re not up for a culinary adventure. These are all delicious, by the way, but when at the Prickly Pear, it’s best to veer off the beaten path a bit.

Start with a small dish, or appetizer, like the Navajo fry bread, sweet potato cakes or southwest calamari with red mole and black bean salsa. For the main event, try the sweet potato enchiladas with Chihuahua cheese, or the grilled chicken and scallops with honey coconut butter glaze. Or better yet, opt for one of the day’s specials, which often include a fresh catch fish married with an enchilada or taco, or an in-season vegetable like pumpkin or squash baked into a savory cheese ravioli.

If you’re in for lunch or eating light, try the butternut squash soup or one of eight salads, like the San Antonio pecan chicken salad with dried cherries, cheese, honey, pecans and char grilled chicken breast. There are also three festive southwestern rollups: vegetable black bean, habanera flat iron steak or jalapeno chicken.

Prickly Pear

A full bar, including a range of Mexican beers, tequila and house margaritas, is also available.

The atmosphere is cozy, with southwest colors and patterns, and only 55 seats available for dining. Stop in any Friday or Saturday night during dinner hours, and you’ll likely have a bit of a wait. But it’s worth it. Put your name on the list, get a pager and explore some of Ann Arbor’s other treasures, like Connor O’Neil’s next door.

Prickly Pear, located at 328 S. Main Street, is open Sunday through Thursday11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. (closing at 8:30 p.m. on Sundays during winter) and 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. It’s closed on Monday.

For a full menu and more information, visit www.pricklypearcafe.com.