Abdul El-Sayed likes Bellflower a lot

I’m not in the habit of talking about our guests at Bellflower. I think that people, when they dine with us, are entitled to their privacy, and I don’t intend to start posting here whenever I have a discussion with a public figure at the restaurant. With that said, though, as Abdul El-Sayed took to social media last night to talk about his experience at Bellflower, I think I’m probably within my rights to acknowledge the fact that he and his wife, Sarah Jukaku, came in for dinner last night, and that they were both incredibly kind and tremendously supportive… In a series of social media posts published after they left, El-Sayed shared with his online followers that he’d just eaten “one of the best meals (he’d) had anywhere” at Bellflower, calling our work “incredible,” and saying that he couldn’t “recommend (the restaurant) enough.”

Anyway, I just wanted to note this here so that I wouldn’t forget it. I had no idea who he and his wife were when we first started talking, and it was such a delightful moment for me when I finally put the pieces together and figured out that I was talking with someone whose work in public health I’ve respected so deeply over the past several years. [I’ve been following his career since he was executive director of the Detroit Health Department, and can’t recommend his podcast America Dissected strongly enough.] While it’s true that I ultimately supported Whitmer in the gubernatorial primary, I’m an enthusiastic supporter of his budding political career, and I can’t express to you enough how much it meant to me, as we were in this moment, waiting to hear the official word that Joe Biden had been elected President of the United States, to be having a conversation with someone who actually served on the Joe Biden-Bernie Sanders Unity Task Force on health care, helping to plot our course forward as a nation as we attempt to right the wrongs of the Trump administration and plot a responsible course forward. There’s more that I could say, but I’ll leave it at that. I should add, however, that it’s a great feeling when you come to discover that someone you truly respect tells you that he values your work, especially in uncertain times such as these. Oh, and it’s also really weird knowing that, right now, Abdul El-Sayed is walking around with a photo of the two of us together on his phone. It’s kind of surreal.

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  1. Anonymous
    Posted November 6, 2020 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Abdul El-Sayed on Twitter just now:

    Milwaukee. Detroit. Atlanta. Now Philadelphia.

    Black cities are saving America from the “American Carnage” we’ve watched for the past four years.


  2. Kim
    Posted November 6, 2020 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    It is good that Ypsi has a place that attracts people like El-Sayed. It’s good for the community for people like him to come here.

  3. John Brown
    Posted November 6, 2020 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Thats awesome to hear Abdul likes your food, too. He’s got good taste.

  4. Grandma
    Posted November 6, 2020 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    What a wonderful compliment!

  5. Posted November 6, 2020 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    I still haven’t been to Bellflower. I’d like to check it out though. Can I have the GPS coordinates? Is it hard to find amongst the rubble of what was once the City of Ypsilanti? Those damn rioters!

  6. Posted November 6, 2020 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    That is great!

    Have you read his book? It was really good! If you would like, I could drop it off at the restaurant for you since I am done with it.

  7. Posted November 7, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Are you going to start putting signed photos on the walls of all the famous people that come in to dine and that you develop an embarrassing crush on?

  8. Posted November 7, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Thanks, Lynne. I have not read his book. And thank you for the offer. You don’t have to come out, though. If you’d like to just leave it somewhere, I can come and get it. Arlo and I take long walks every day, and we’d be happy to change our route to find it. I’m sure he’d like the adventure of it.

  9. Posted November 7, 2020 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    And I don’t know that I’d call it an “embarrassing crush,” Robert. I just appreciate his work, and think that he has a future in politics. Like I said in the post, I didn’t vote for him against Whitmer, as I thought the she was the best candidate at the time. But, yes, it has crossed my mind that we need a wall of signed headshots. I have a few here already; Peter Falk, Don Knotts, Daniel Pinkwater.

  10. Posted November 7, 2020 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    I’m was just kidding.

    I know you’re not embarrassed.

  11. Posted November 7, 2020 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    I sorry. I’m is drunk. I’m been celebrating.

  12. Posted November 7, 2020 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    I do like the idea of having a collection of autographed headshots on the walls at Bellflower. You’re going to want to get that tradition going before the quality of the food tanks. Then you’ll just get regular people eating there.

  13. Posted November 8, 2020 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    What’s your favorite item on the menu?

    That question is for everybody.

  14. Lynne
    Posted November 8, 2020 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    I first encountered Abdul El-Sayed at an Indivisible meeting in Brighton. He was starting his run for governor and I was seriously impressed. He has really good ideas and that is important but he also has the charisma to get elected. He is good at making connections with people.

  15. iRobert
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Speaking of having crushes on politicians, is Sad too sad about Mayor Pete not being the president-elect to give us a review of the Bellflower? C’mon man, get over it.

  16. Posted November 18, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    iRobert, I am so slow witted. When I read Sads comments, I thought he was living in the past and was referring to our late great Mayor Pete of Ypsilanti. It took me a moment to realize he was referring to Buttigeic…., I guess it shows how much of an impact Buttigeic….’s campaign created on me. Oh well.
    My cousin from Indiana was making a humanitarian trip here to Michigan last week. We grabbed lunch at the Bellflower (take out). My cousin spends a lot of time in New Orleans, so eating good food is expected. I got the gumbo–very nice. He got a shrimp sandwich that he plowed through with gusto, thought was very fine. Thought the fresh bread was great.
    We stopped in on our walk, and the counter service was friendly and efficient. Loved the black/pink tattoo our server had.
    Looking forward to our Thanksgiving dinner we are getting from them.

  17. Lynne
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    I am getting Thanksgiving from them too. Two dinners! One to drop off at my sister’s house. Then we will zoom and will all be eating the same food so it might feel like we are together?

  18. Posted December 4, 2020 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Mark, don’t know if you saw this, but sounds like a good idea

    I have an idea for the local bars, restaurants and breweries.
    Vitural Ypsi Pub Crawl.
    Have a site where customers can choose from beer or cocktails and have a package price for each. The packages include 1 or 2 of the most popular or seasonal drinks from participating locations. The customer chooses a pickup date and time range, prepays and “bar hops” to pickup thier SEALED carry out beverages. Have a limited number for each date/time slot. Include promos and info about future promotions. Could also offer delivery for an extra couple bucks?
    Maybe New Years?
    Please? I want to try ALL these wonderful places offering carry out drinks…
    734 Brewing Company
    Cultivate Coffee & TapHouse
    Corner Brewery
    Arbor Brewing Company
    MAIZ Mexican Cantina
    Aubree’s Pizzeria & Grill
    Who else?

  19. Anonymous
    Posted December 5, 2020 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Bellflower sandwiches are really good, and the bread is the star.

  20. Posted January 8, 2021 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    I brought a couple of mobsters to Bellflower for lunch a few days ago. We all enjoyed the food.

  21. Bob
    Posted September 26, 2021 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    I’m sorry to say it’s taken us a year to get to it but my wife and I had a fabulous meal here last night. Really special. We will be back soon with friends. Lovely place.

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