Tag Archives: Gladwin restaurant

When Food Tastes Better…


New Beaverton Tavern Menu updated (as of May 2016) in another post! Click HERE.


This week, I’ll be finishing up the last of my posts on our trip to Michigan. Here’s something I learned:

Food tastes better and is more appreciated and savored after a HARD workout.

It was mid-July and I wasn’t quite back into running. Yet, I still knew that I needed to get some sort of exercise. This was when I was working on my LOST 42K virtual race. During that time, I did some longer walks than I had done probably in the past year. But on both occasions, two meals that I loved last year didn’t please me much. In fact, I was somewhat disappointed. 😦

First up, the nachos and puerco flautas at the Beaverton Tavern this year were good, but didn’t leave my taste buds as satisfied as they usually do – even after a 7.65k power walk around the lake and back. I still think I will get them again next time. Maybe things were just “off” for me that day.

As an aside, I need to post their menu, in case you are looking for it. If you aren’t, check the interesting variety of food at this place! {Or just feel free to scroll down past them.}

First is the Menu found in the Gladwin Buyers Guide.

And now some photos of the menu from the dimly lit bar. You can click on the photo of each menu to enlarge them.

Apostrophe Pet Peeve

Apostrophe Pet Peeve

Have you ever had South of the Border Spaghetti?

Have you ever had South of the Border Spaghetti?


Pizza or Dessert?


Later in the trip, when we dined at Castaways in Bay City I knew that I wanted the Island Burger because I adored it so last year. But again, I just wasn’t thrilled nor satisfied. I am almost 100% positive that it was the fact that last year I ran 3+ miles in 95-degree heat beforehand. This year, I was still out of commission from running and I just took the dogs for a walk. It wasn’t a very long one. Sham continues to be a little difficult on a leash. I didn’t work up a sweat at all. It was a bummer.

So was my burger.

It’s amazing how much running can do for you mentally. During a run, I’m fighting with myself most of the time. After a run, I feel incredible, lighter and happier. And later, when I’m up to eating, it makes food even more pleasurable.

One thing that I’ve discovered is that working out is the true form of relaxation. Why? I wouldn’t say the working out itself is particularly relaxing. However, the relaxation part is how you feel afterward. There’s a sense of accomplishment. Afterward, you can sit on your butt if you want to and just watch TV or read or do anything you want…


You aren’t relaxing at all if you just come home and “relax” because you think you deserve to do so. Instead, you’ll feel guilty for all the stuff you aren’t doing, like the workout you promised yourself or the mess you’ve meant to clean up. And you’d probably have the energy to do that cleaning after you’ve worked out, too.

Have you noticed you enjoy food more when you’ve worked out?

What is your definition of true relaxation?


Cherry Wheat!


Oh how we love sipping on a little Sam Adams Cherry Wheat on tap when we go back to Michigan in the summer! If you are lucky, they’ll put a maraschino cherry or two in the bottom of the glass, too.

018You are probably surprised that I’m drinking a mass-produced beer like Sam Adams. Additionally, it’s not local. And when I’m vacation, I do like to drink local beers. Still, we never find this glorious, glorious beer on tap in Minnesota. So that got us to thinking…


We find Cherry Wheat on tap many places where we dine in Mid-Michigan. Hmm…

Then, we picked up a six-pack of the to sip on while out on the lake later that week. And we read this on the bottle neck:

Cherry Wheat

So THAT’S why. Using Michigan cherries has to be the reason it is distributed widely in Michigan. Oh, if only, they’d send those kegs just a little bit further west to us… I often forget about buying it in the bottle at home. But tap is so much better anyway.

One of the places where I nearly always order a Cherry Wheat is at the Riverwalk in Gladwin. The Riverwalk is a bit of a higher-end restaurant for the town. And it’s also one of the few places in Gladwin that has an online presence and posts their menu.

One menu that surprised me this year was their Under 500 Calorie Menu!

Riverwalk under 500

While I do appreciate menus like this in any restaurant, I didn’t order from it the duration of the trip. I guess I was just in the mood for other items. And it seemed that the Riverwalk Salad that I loved so dearly in the past was no longer on the menu! {Cue sad face.} But I do like that there is a map of Michigan next to the items that are considered “Pure Michigan.”


There were some new apps on the menu that intrigued us this year. As Rob is a fan of onion rings, he ordered the Onion Tower:

ONION RING TOWER $8.99 A tower of Beer Battered, Hand Cut Onion Rings served with Signature Sauce.

A tower of Beer Battered, Hand Cut Onion Rings served with Signature Sauce

No, no no. Nine dollars for seven mediocre onion rings is even an abomination in Mpls-St. Paul, where prices tend to be higher. These should have been a TOWER or an The Best Onion Rings Ever. This wasn’t the case. No way would he ever order these again. But we did find an app that we loved:

PRETZEL POPPERS $6.99 Cheddar Cheese Stuffed Pretzel Bites served with Signature Sauce.

Cheddar Cheese Stuffed Pretzel Bites served with Signature Sauce

These are genius! This is actually what they should be serving at baseball games {if they aren’t already}! That way, people aren’t trying to juggle their containers of pretzels with cheese sauce and their beers beer while making their way across laps to their seats. When we brought Rob’s parents back to the Riverwalk, we had to get them an order. The dipping sauce is really good, too, but unnecessary. These bites are perfection by themselves.

I’ve never ever seen Rob order potato soup in my life; but he did at lunch and loved it:

Whats the soup of the day joke SOUP DU JOUR CUP $2.99

SOUP DU JOUR (cup) – $2.99

“Soup du Jour” always reminds me of this clip from Dumb and Dumber:

Oh how hard it is to watch that after watching marathons of Newsroom starring Jeff Daniels!

Anyway, there was a special one day and it sounded like it’d hit the spot:


Buffalo Chicken Caesar Pizza

This pizza/flatbread {they may have called it a flatbread} was near perfect. The cucumbers, tomatoes, Parmesan cheese with the Caesar dressing and hot sauce just made a great combination. The crust was good, too. The only downfall about this pizza is that reheating is difficult with that romaine lettuce. But is there really a way around that? If you have never had anything like this, I’d highly suggest you attempt to make a version. Biz, do you want to give it a go?! I think it’d be up your alley!

And of course, the Pretzel Burger that won my heart over during last year’s visit is always a satisfying option at the Riverwalk.

Jumping back to the title of this post, I’d say that in some ways Cherry Wheat = Summer for me. Maybe because I’m only drink it on vacation… 😉

Is there a beer or beverage that = summer for you?

What is your favorite one-bite food?


The Hotel Bar


Salesman and racists and football stars. All hanging out at the Hotel Bar…

I can’t resist singing that line from the song “Last Time’ by the Ike Reilly Assassination {a band we love out of Chicago} every time we walk by or even think about this place. Not because it fits, but because it’s called the Hotel Bar.

Hotel Bar 2Despite that OPEN sign in the window, for as many years that we’ve been returning to Gladwin, I didn’t know this place was open. This year, Rob thought we should go inside. I even asked, “Did someone buy this place and open it up?”

But this place has been open since 1881.

Yes, it was once a hotel with a bar below. And while the hotel portion is no longer in operation, the name stuck. You can read about the history here.

While we did go at an off-time {which we tend to do often}, there weren’t too many people seated at the bar. We were able to pull ourselves right up to it. However, much to our dismay, there was only one beer on tap:


This is when we asked what they offered by the bottle. The bartender opened up this fridge below to let us see the selection. {And, no, we did not sign up for the Euchre Tournament.}

Hotel Bar 4We were pleasantly surprised to find this old Seattle favorite and promptly ordered a couple of bottles. {And, no, we did not sign up for the Golf Outing.}

Red Hook IPA

Red Hook Longhammer IPA

It was crisp, hoppy and refreshing on a hot July day. Another employee walked by and said, “Ew!!! I can’t believe you are actually drinking that! It tastes like a skunk ate pine needles and pissed in a bottle!” We just laughed. I guess it’s a Budweiser kind of town. 😉

The IPA also paired nicely with Friday. What do I mean by that? Because there was a Friday Fish Fry and I love my IPAs with something salty!

Hotel Bar 5Not the best fish fry I’d ever had, but I still enjoyed it. Hats off to the soft roll on the left. Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve had one of those?

But let’s back up and take a look at the menu. Like many other dining establishments in Gladwin, you won’t find theirs online.

Hotel Bar 8Let’s zoom in on something that always makes me laugh:

Hotel Bar 3Everywhere you go, you’ll find something “WORLD FAMOUS!” What makes something World Famous? I highly doubt that the “World Famous Steak Sandwich” at the North Point Lounge in Kawkawlin, Michigan is truly World Famous. I hadn’t known about it until I saw the sign.

Guinness is World Famous.

Michael Jordan is World Famous.

Philly Steak Sandwiches are World Famous.

But I would have to say that most things that are labeled “World Famous,” usually are not. If something is World Famous, then you wouldn’t even have to mention that, right?

But I digress.

I think it’s funny that not only is the Hotel Bar {which, remember, I didn’t even realize was open for business} is the “Home of the World Famous Burgers” and that the “Most Famous Burger around the World”The Hotel Burger – is even famous in Ireland! Is this because someone in Ireland knows about it? Do people in Ireland send others here when they are in the States? I think this is so funny. And I love it. 😉

Because of their famousness, Rob had to order one of the burgers:

Hotel Bar 7

Smokehouse Burger – 1/2 lb beef, bacon, onion, American cheese and Smokey Sauce

Rob loved it so much that we had to come back later in the week to bring his parents there. They had never been there before either!

On that second trip, I noticed these on the menu:


Hotzarella Sticks

I love that name! I’m guessing that would be Mozzarella Sticks made with Pepperjack Cheese. I did not order any because I wasn’t particularly hungry on our second visit. In fact, I actually ordered a wrap {listed on the other side of the menu, of which I didn’t seem to take a photo}. I remember it being exceptional. I would definitely order it again. I only ate half and took the other half home.

And I don’t know if I mentioned before that in Michigan, you can play Keno in the bars. It’s something Rob likes to do sometimes to, you know, pass the time and support the Michigan economy and education system. 😉

Hotel BarHave you ever discovered that a bar or restaurant where you live was open that you didn’t realize was before?

If so, did you give it a try?

What were your thoughts?


Yeah, We Got the House Wine


On this summer trip to Michigan, we tried a new {to us} restaurant. We’ve been going to mostly the same restaurants for years in this small town. But there was one that we hadn’t tried…

Enter The Camp.

I’m not quite sure how I heard about it, but when it was suggested, Rob’s parents had heard that the food was pretty good. We decided to all give it a try. Even though The Camp Sports Bar and Grill has a Gladwin address, it still took us about thirty minutes to get there.

The place was packed! We made our way to what seemed like the last table in the joint. It did take a while for us to get service, but it was right around the 4th of July holiday.

The décor was completely dated {Strike One for Robert Irvine from Restaurant: Impossible} and had a deer-camp feel. I seem to recall camouflage something-or-other and I have a vague recollection of antler light fixtures. Although, I can’t confirm that with photos.

There was a bar side that was separate from the restaurant side where we sat. I took a walk over to the other side while we were waiting for our food. The woodwork gave it more of a cabin feel. The bar itself was small, but the low tables were just the same as the restaurant side. My mother-in-law thought the separation of two rooms might be the former smoking and non-smoking set-up, back when lighting up was legal in restaurants.

In true Gladwin fashion, the Camp menu cannot be found online. So I snapped a few photos. This menu is quite extensive. {Strike Two for Robert Irvine}.

Camp4Like I said, there are lots of choices! Of course, there is pizza, which seems to be on the menu just about everywhere in this area. But the number of entrées surprised me! And I must say that I’ve never seen liver and onions on a menu before. {Nor have I ever tried them.}

They also have specials every day! The night we were there was Spaghetti Night. I kept seeing a small loaf of homemade bread being brought to the tables of people ordering the Spaghetti Dinner. It looked soooo good! I wonder if that was just for Spaghetti Night or if those ordering entrees received bread service, too.

Their apps include a bit more than your Usual Suspects. And as always around these parts, there’s a menu for “Mexican” food:

Camp6But I was really eyeing this part of the menu below because, for some reason, I was feeling like a salad again!


Of course there were your standard burgers, sammies and wraps for those looking for those things. There was also a menu for “Baskets of Grub,” which are actually served in a bucket, not a basket. 😉

Camp1And there were even more sandwich choices before we got done to the beverages:


The beer selection was minimal, but they know what sells. However, before we even got the menu, I was eyeing one guy’s glass of red wine. It just sounded good over beer that night. Still, I knew it was going to be house wine. I know I’ve stated never to order the house wine. But with really no other choice, {Wine coolers? Really? Those still exist?} I went with it.

Apparently Rob did was feeling it, too. Because when he said he’d take a glass of Cab, I told our server that I’d love the same. We each received a big-assed glass! Of course, I wasn’t expecting a completely proper pour, but at least they didn’t fill it to the rim.photo 1And you know what? It really suited me that night. I’m not gonna lie. It hit the spot. Little did we know {until we received our bill} was that it was also Wine Night and all glasses of wine were $2.50. That is unheard of where we live!

We waited a really long time for our food but we didn’t mind too much because we were just relaxing {Rob and I sipping our wine} and enjoying each other’s company.

I ordered:

Southwest Chicken Salad

Southwest Chicken Salad – mixed greens, fajita chicken, tomatoes, Mexican cheese, sour cream, tortilla strips

Oh . And just so you know. A cabernet with such a salad is an oh-so-wrong food pairing. {A crisp sauvignon blanc would be more appropriate.} I really did like this salad, despite the fact that the greens were more iceberg than they were mixed.

Rob and his dad ordered the burgers – one with chips and one with fries:

And Rob’s mom ordered:

Fish sandwich...

Deluxe Fish Sandwich – fried Alaskan walleye topped with lettuce and tomato and served with tartar sauce

This sandwich was HUGE! It was enough for two people. And it was served on that small loaf of homemade bread that I was telling you about.

Verdict? The food is good. There is a reason why this place is popular and packed. Robert Irvine wouldn’t be needing to make a visit any time soon.

So why am I posting about this on Wine Wednesday, do you ask?  Because I normally don’t like to order the house wine in restaurants because it is a poor value and often the highest priced wine. However, this is definitely one case where it was the right move. 1) There were no other wine choices and 2) It hit the spot. There’s a time for everything.

Have you ever ordered something, food or drink, and then realized that it just wasn’t hitting the spot? What did you do?


An Irish Pub Calls for Chicken


This post is meant to show you some photos of the funny things I only TOLD you about O’Sullivan’s Pub last year

Over the past ten years that I’ve been going with Rob to Michigan, we first discovered O’Sullivan’s Pub just last year. We really did enjoy it; so we had to go back. First, I need to post some silly photos of the menu for those of you who are looking, since they don’t post theirs online. You can click to enlarge.

And again, just as I did last year, I wondered if they bought their furniture from an old Buffalo Wild Wings.

Carved into our booth.

Carved into our booth.

Rob’s mom was smart and ordered the Reuben Sliders that we all so adored last year. Knowing how good the corned beef, was, Rob and his dad opted for another take on the Reuben, which they each really enjoyed:

Nathan's Special - Corned Beef, Pastrami, Swiss cheese, 1000 island dressing served on rye bread

Nathan’s Special – Corned Beef, Pastrami, Swiss cheese, 1000 island dressing served on rye bread with onion rings

And although we were in a self-proclaimed Irish Pub, I didn’t order any fish and chips nor corned beef. Instead, I did what worked for me in Ireland. I ordered CHICKEN!

Chicken Finger Salad - chicken fingers, lettuce, onion, tomato, cucumbers, black olives & shredded cheese

Chicken Finger Salad – chicken fingers, lettuce, onion, tomato, cucumbers, black olives & shredded cheese

It may look like your basic salad. But it was sooooo good and hit the spot for me that day. And I splurged with that perfectly cooked, fried chicken with just the right crunch to make it worth it!

And now, for the bathroom I was telling you about last year:

Finally, the women’s bathroom was just strange to me. It was just the one-person restroom, not the kind with stalls. It was very narrow, but had two toilets! I guess, ladies, if you are out at the pub drinking with friends, this is just plain efficient.


Two toilets in one women’s restroom…

We still love this place. And because I like to get a fried chicken salad about once every year or two, I just have to remember that this is the place to get one where I’ll be satisfied.

What’s the strangest restroom you’ve been in?


Beer Here!


Earlier this week, I mentioned that when we are dining out in Michigan, sometimes there are places where we like to dine and there are some places that are just better for drinks.

Piper’s Pub happens to be one of the latter. I’m just not fond of the food here, despite the fact that menu doesn’t look too bad:

Yeah. Piper’s Pub is another one of those dining establishments that doesn’t put its menu online. The menu above is from the Gladwin Buyers Guide.

Rob loves the Bleus Burger here, but when I tasted it last time, the meat seemed “funky” to me. Maybe I’ve just been spoiled with good meat at so many of the farm-to-table restaurants we have going on in the Twin Cities. I do like the blue cheese sauce and the ciabatta bun, though. Can I get this one sans meat, perhaps?

Pipers Burger2

Bleus Burger – blue cheese and bacon

In fact, most of the crew gets burgers when we dine here.

Pipers Burger

M-61 Cheddar Burger – cheddar cheese, onion rings, BBQ sauce {although this particular burger was ordered without the sauce}

I thought that the onion rings on the burger was a brilliant idea. Although, I’m sure that most people just take them off and eat them separately. All the burgers/sandwiches come with fries. It’s an extra $2.49 to add those pub fries that I love so much.

Forgetting that I was going to give a salad a try next time, I ordered a grilled cheese. I didn’t have high expectations, so I wasn’t surprised with the turnout being sub-standard:

Piper's Grilled Cheese

Grilled Cheese – provolone and cheddar

But I did steal a few of Rob’s fries, which are, in my opinion, the best food at Piper’s.

I also got a few photos of the actual menu. Let’s analyze it a little more closely, shall we? Maybe I can find something to order next time.

Pipers MenuHoagies and wings don’t usually excite me. I remember that, last year, someone ordered wings and said Buffalo Wild Wings are better. And do people actually order Hoagies at a sit-down restaurant?

Piper's MenuI actually don’t even recall this menu page! Pizza? They have pizza? Why haven’t I tried that? My guess is that we already had Pizza at M’s and were either pizza’d out or knew it wouldn’t live up. we knew it couldn’t live up. It might be worth trying sometime, though. Maybe.

Pipers Menu2I like to call these apps The Usual Suspects because you can pretty much find them on every menu in this neck of the woods. As for the salads, the fact that there are no descriptions probably shied me away from going that route. I always fear bad chunks of old iceberg lettuce and a mealy tomato. And from our experience last year, I can tell you that nacho pile could be a pile of something else. And I don’t even think that’s because I’m comparing them to the most perfect nacho you’ll find in the area at Beaverton Tavern.

Wait! There’s chili on the menu. If I’m looking for a semi-decent-healthy choice, I might want to give this a try in the future. I don’t remember that being on the menu either. But when it’s July and I just got done swimming in the lake, my first thought is not a big bowl of chili. And would this still be the same funky meat? I’m guessing no, because it’s probable that the burgers are frozen patties. I doubt they’d break those up to make chili.

Pipers Menu4Actually, those wraps sound good, too. It’s interesting how much more you see on a menu when you don’t have to make a decision in two minutes! It looks like there actually are a few things to try if we go back next summer.

Finally! On to the beer. The beer selection is quite good for a small town! The more interesting beers, however, are offered in a bottle rather than on tap. We are okay with that. I’m sure it would be hard to move them otherwise. We wanted to know what was offered, so we asked for a beer menu.

Pipers Beer Menu

Piper’s Pub Beer Menu

Yeah. This is what we got. I think it’s the only list in the place and really for the servers’ reference! Okay, so the beer list isn’t that extensive, but there are excellent beers on it! At least three of those hail from Michigan. Here’s my fave of that bunch:

Pipers Beer

New Holland Brewing – Dragon’s Milk Bourbon Barrel Stout

In fact, this is probably one of my top ten beers of all time.

I am never disappointed when I order it. For the first time ever, I turned over the bottle to read the back. I love the description and now I have some food pairing ideas! And look at that alcohol percentage. This one could be dangerous! It’s too easy for me to drink…

photo 2 Truthfully, though, I always commend a bar or restaurant that serves local beers. Holland, MI may be a few hours away from Gladwin, but serving beer from your own state is local to me!

Have you had Dragon’s Milk?

Name one beer that would go in your list of Top-10-of-All-Time.

{Yeah, that’s a selfish one to get new brews from you!}


Gladwin Menus


It’s finally time for me to recap our Restaurant Impressions of our Michigan travels this past July when I felt like a kid again. A couple may be repeats from last year – but with a twist. And if you don’t live in Michigan or don’t plan on going anytime soon, please… stick with me these next couple weeks while I throw these posts in here and there.

You just may be inspired to do or make something!

Or you just might find our experiences funny.

Laugh if you want, but many people find my blog by searching for a menu of restaurants in Gladwin, Michigan. Why? Many restaurants in Gladwin County do not post their menus online. Some don’t even have a website or online presence! It seems sooooo 1980s. But it some ways, it’s refreshing. In other ways, it’s just darn annoying when you want to remember what you ate there or what was in a dish you had when you are trying to blog about it. {Oh wait, am I am the only one?}

But for those looking, you may have come to the right place today!

If you live in Gladwin, you can actually find a whole slew of menus in the local Buyers Guide!


While I tried to photograph as many menus as I could before ordering without being looked at too strangely, I felt like this guide was a good supplement to anything I may have missed.

And so we begin…

Mr. M’s.

Mr. M’s is a restaurant we visit at least once each time we are in Gladwin. The food is comforting. You can’t really go wrong. But their menu is HUGE!

Menu3Yeah. A bit hard to read in that photo of the Buyers Guide menu. Here are some closeup photos:

Although, for some reason, I didn’t take a photo of the pizza menu! We love the Mini Pizzas here. They remind me of the Personal Pan pizzas I’d get for free as a kid from Pizza Hut during the Book It! program. The crust and topping ratios are perfect. So is the size!

Finally got photos of those pizzas because I didn’t last year. However, I didn’t get a photo of that salad I love there because we didn’t go back this time. But I did find a description of the contents! It’s the Mr. M’s Chicken Signature. Yum!

Menu - M's Salad

And they have a nice pile of nachos!

Plug for the Gladwin County Carriage Festival! Woot! Woot!

Plug for the Gladwin County Carriage Festival! Woot! Woot!

Despite this note on the menu below, we don’t go to Mr. M’s for the drinks. Read more about why here from last year.

Mr M's Menu2We did stop for drink for fun one afternoon… on the bar side. Which also seems stuck in the 80s and still reeks of smoke despite the fact that smoking has been banned in restaurants in Michigan for a few years now. At the bar, I saw a sign that kind of confused me:


Pale-o Beer?

With all of the Paleo-hype these days, I was thinking that this was a Paleo-friendly beer, which I did not know existed. And it actually sounded strange to me in a small town where you hardly even see things advertised as gluten-free. Then I realized what they were trying to advertise…

A PAIL o’ beer!

A bucket of five bottles of beer for just $10. It’s a deal, but it’s funny how a little spelling error can confuse little old moi. I told you that you’d see some funnies if you kept on reading!

Instead, I think we’ll cross the road for a beer

Which restaurant do you prefer to dine, but not really drink?