Red Arrow Roadhouse
Good Food, The Sign Says.
Located just inside the Southwest corner of the state of Michigan is the an old establishment which has a long history. With owners Tim and Jennifer Trout at the helm we believe it has a lot of history still to be written. Originally opened in the early half of the 1900′s there have been only 3 different owners the last 60 plus years. The rustic atmosphere features several mounts including: bear, mountain lion, and a badger (Not a Wolverine). The decor also includes old neon signs, a wooden canoe, and a really cool old Smokey the Bear poster. However, the thing you will notice right away is how fresh and clean the restaurant is, which makes it a comfortable place to eat, drink and relax with good friends.
The Roadhouse no longer has rooms since they were sold off a few years ago. Now, the Roadhouse concentrates on providing great food. For over 20 years they have been known for their full menu, which includes their fabulous ribs. There are several specials, the most popular of which is probably Monday Rib Night. Off season they offer a discounted menu which encourages locals, as well as out of state patrons, to continue making the Roadhouse a regular destination. During our last visit we spoke with several patrons from out of Michigan who consider themselves regulars. After sampling many of their entrees, especially the ribs, and some amazing deserts one of our reviewers now considers himself a future regular!
Appetizers, Beer and Wine.
Now the three of us love appetizers but Tim cooked us up some menu items that made us think for a minute about just eating appetizers. First was the Buffalo Shrimp. Now a days, buffalo wings are everywhere, but buffalo shrimp are a rarer treat. If you like Buffalo chicken wings and you like shrimp, then you will love this appetizer. The sauce was perfect, with a light kick, but not so strong as to overpower the shrimp. Next, was the Roadhouse Pan-Seared Crab Cakes with whole lump crab. They were soft and prepared to just the right consistency. The crab cakes were served with a Cajun Remoulade, which is a spicy Cajun/Creole sauce that’s perfect with crab cakes, shrimp and much more. It’s based on aioli, or garlic mayonnaise and was a real palate pleaser! Last, but not least, we have to recommend the amazing House-Made Blue Cheese Potato Chips. They are perfectly done and cut to just the right thickness. These chips, along with the ribs, might just be my last requested meal! They were not greasy and the melted blue cheese was to die for!
Oh My, What to Try
Ribs, Ribs, Ribs! Okay, we are actually going to go light on the ribs and tell you about some other food because talking about the ribs is a waste of time as they are some of THE BEST! So, if you like ribs just order them! Let’s look at the first picture above. The Broiled Fresh Lake Superior Whitefish. This is known as Tim’s favorite. However, I do believe that is right behind the ribs! The fish had a lightly browned Parmesan crust. I can see why this might be his favorite. The fresh Michigan fish was great and flaked apart perfectly. Then there is Tim’s Homemade Meatloaf. This homemade meatloaf was a great mix with the right consistency and the fresh flavor of Tim’s fresh mushroom gravy. If you love mushrooms and meatloaf this is for you. The Meatloaf was served with the same green beans as the Whitefish which were cooked Al dente. Al dente describes vegetables that are cooked to the “tender crisp” phase – still offering resistance to the bite, but cooked through. So expect a slight crunch of green beans that will remind you of those picked from grandma’s garden but warm.
The last dish here is the Fusilli with Roasted Chicken. However, it was cooked vegetarian style by leaving out the chicken and the Prosciutto ham. Our vegetarian really enjoyed it and I think the rest of us enjoyed it as much as anything else. Add those meats and oh yes, this would be over the top for the carnivore in you. The sweet peas and mushrooms in the Parmesan cream sauce with the Fusilli pasta topped with fresh grated Parmesan was delictable. Try these items or anything else on the menu and you will love what you are eating. Don’t forget about the Ribs though!
How about an Amazing Dessert
SAVE ROOM! We tried a few different desserts but our favorite is right there – The Roadhouse Mudd Pie I (The Roadhouse Mudd Pie II we will try next time!). I promise you will love it! This ice cream has a rich creamy consistency. You don’t think the coffee flavor is for you? It is! Our non-coffee drinker in the group thought it was his favorite and he would have NEVER ordered coffee anything. Owner Jennifer’s favorite was another favorite of ours, the Key Lime Pie. It is made with Nellie & Joe’s Famous Key West Lime Juice.
A couple seasonal treats we also strongly recommend if you get there in the fall is first, The Homemade Pumpkin Cheesecake. This fluffy cheesecake had a perfect pumpkin and cheesecake pairing with homemade caramel and candied pecans that are worth mentioning as they added the wow to it! Finally, the Apple Crisp. It arrived piping hot served in a French Onion Soup style crock. A sphere of smooth and rich vanilla ice cream began to dissolve into the crunchy caramelized oatmeal crust. The apples that lie beneath were smothered in a sauce which would do grandma’s apple pie proud. Ask for no more than 2 spoons for this desert as it is one to be savored and considered slowly. Let your other table guests get their own!
Make the trip!
The Red Arrow Roadhouse is worth the trip. Whether you are heading to the lakeshore of one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, Lake Michigan, heading to Chicago or just out for a Sunday drive (or any other day); any reason you find or make up is a good one for a trip to the Roadhouse, for some GREAT food with GREAT service. Owners Tim and Jennifer know how to make you comfortable in their great atmosphere and their food is outstanding.