Peanut butter and jelly wings, ham-and-pineapple sandwiches, and buffalo hummus are now rolling out of the kitchen once populated by Ranch Pizza. Poison’s Rainbow, the funky bar from Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock, now has a menu that fully fits his out-of-left-field vibe, including lots of out-there bar snacks he thought up himself.
Last year, Brock opened his Kerns neighborhood bar with then-pop-up pizza place Ranch Pizza, which specialized in thick-crust, Detroit-meets-Sicily pies. In May, Ranch decided to leave Poison’s Rainbow, focusing on its own Woodlawn restaurant. With the restaurant’s main food vendor gone, Connor Martin, the chef behind supremely cool Chinese pop-up Mian, came in to help the owners develop a new menu. “It was a pretty cool process, because it was pretty collaborative,” Martin says. The chef worked directly with Brock, as well as the three other owners including Bunk Bar co-founder Matt Brown. “[Brock] had a lot of input — I had no idea that he worked in kitchens before.”
Several of Brock’s off-the-cuff ideas ended up on the menu almost unchanged: His ham sandwich — caramelized grilled pineapple, shaved honey ham, Swiss, and sriracha mayo on a Hawaiian roll — basically went straight from that first meeting onto the menu. The guitarist also asked for “peanut butter and jelly wings,” which Martin translated into a grape-based, aromatic-heavy glaze, dusted in seasoned roasted peanuts and served with peanut satay sauce. For dessert, he came up with a “cereal milk panna cotta” — “It’s funny because he has no idea who (Momofuku Milk Bar chef) Christina Tosi is,” Martin says.
The menu is rounded out with several Mexican-American-esque dishes, including Sonoran hot dogs and a number of $3.50 tacos — grilled steak tacos come with pickled red onions, blue cheese, and salsa verde, and the cauliflower tacos arrive in a cochinita-pibil-style marinade. Martin is particularly excited about his chicken adobo tacos with soy-braised cabbage and fried garlic; the adobo recipe is his mother’s. Those proteins can also slide into quesadillas or over sheet tray nachos, complete with pickled jalapenos.
• Poison’s Rainbow [Official]
• Mian [Facebook]
• Modest Mouse’s Isaac Brock Wanted to Name His Bar ‘Magic F—-ing Flute’ [EPDX]
• Previous Poison’s Rainbow coverage [EPDX]
• Previous Ranch Pizza coverage [EPDX]