Shaggy J’s Eatery and Pub
Maybe you are going to see the beauty of the thumb and it’s lake shores or perhaps the wind farm to the east of pigeon. Well, either way if you blink you could miss the quaint farming community of Pigeon and if you are at all hungry, looking for a snack or even just need a drink then we recommend you open your eyes so you don’t pass by Shaggy J’s. Soon to celebrate their 4th anniversary in February of 2012, owners Rob and Joely have transformed this old newspaper building into a great place to eat.
The 22 months of renovation has paid off by adding an inviting atmosphere where you are comfortable meeting friends for a drink at the bar, going out for a date or dinner for the entire family. Come as you are but be sure to come hungry because you won’t want to miss a thing from drinks to appetizers to desserts!
Starting in the Thumb
We tried several appetizers and we could have easily made a meal from the ones we sampled. The Thumb Bites are bite-sized pieces of dough hand rolled and deep fried to a crispy golden brown then dusted with parmesan cheese. They are served with a warm nacho cheese dip and a homemade marinara sauce that is full of onions and herbs. We next sampled the Onion Curls which are thinly sliced onion rings dusted in a light coating then deep fried. A creamy wasabi sauce on the side adds a punch to these light and airy morsels. The Billard sticks wrapped up our appetizer repertoir and were the favorite of our server. A smokey grilled chicken, black beans, red peppers all balanced with the sweetness of corn and creamy monterey jack cheese to provide the filling to a flour tortilla deep fried and served with a side of zesty Southwest ranch dressing. A mouth full of flavor with every bite!
We were told that the locals love the Parmesan Chicken Salad and we did too! The mixed greens topped with large pieces of bacon, chunks of feta cheese, chicken breast and tomato were accompanied by a sweet and creamy poppyseed dressing. The flavors of this salad were amazing even without the dressing.
The Lake Perch is coated in your choice of either beer batter or lightly dusted then fried and is served with your choice of potato and fresh vegetable. One of our reviewers preferred the beer batter while the other liked the lightly dusted perch. Either way you choose, you will not be disappointed.
Entree’ number three was the Cajun Pasta. Usually served with shrimp and chicken but because of an allergy of one of our reviewers we just had the chicken. This dish was probably our favorite. A beautiful presentation with the cayenne pepper and parsley dusting the rim of the plate we couldn’t wait to take a bite. The fettuccine noodles, chicken and chunks of lightly sauteed onion, tomato and pepper were all dressed with a spicy Cajun sauce and then a sprinkle of parmesan cheese to top it off. The flavor explosion was phenomenal. You can request to have the chef prepare it less spicy, but we enjoyed it as prepared.
Finally, we tried another of their most popular menu items–The Wet Burrito. A monster! A flour tortilla stuffed with refried beans, and seasoned ground beef (from a local butcher), topped with cheese, enchilada sauce, lettuce, onion, tomatoes, peppers, black olives and jalapenos. Again a colorful presentation and oh so good!! Served with a side of sour cream and salsa this burrito is big enough for two! If you are thinking Mexican but not in the mood for a burrito then look at these nacho’s…
Dessert At Shaggy J’s
The selection just never stops at Shaggy J’s and dessert is no exception. Joley told us that a baker comes to the restaurant to prepare all of the cakes and decadent desserts. The dessert menu changes often depending on the season but a few items remain the same. We were tempted by the large selection of sweet endings to our meal but chose two to finish off our visit. The Cinabites are similar to the Thumb Bites but these deep fried dough balls are sprinkled with cinnamon and come with three dipping sauces-chocolate, raspberry or icing. Great bite size pieces, we couldn’t help but think of our kids loving to share this dessert. Our final selection was the seasonal Candy Cane Cake. A white bundt swirled with a bright red ribbon of peppermint flavored cake and topped with a glaze frosting. The light texture of the cake and refreshing hint of peppermint was a great ending to our meal.
This small farming community has a well kept secret and we are letting the cat out of the bag…Shaggy J’s is definitely a place to nail yourself down in the thumb!
Shaggy J’s Eatery and Pub
7232 Michigan Avenue, Pigeon, MI