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 Southwest Michigan Trip Report

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  • Total Posts: 23
  • Joined: 4/19/2001
  • Location: Indianapolis,
Southwest Michigan Trip Report Sun, 09/6/09 4:56 PM (permalink)
Spent three days in July eating along the Lake Michigan coast. Stayed in Michigan City the first night, with lunch at Redamak's in New Buffalo my first food stop. I know there's a big variance of opinion on here over Redamak's burgers. To me, they're just fine, a little more well-done than I might prefer but honestly never dry. It's basically a really good mom burger and the place has such a perfect summer feel to it, I'll keep going back. Tried the calamari appetizer this time ($4 I think), which was good too.

I ate dinner that night at the Duneland Beach Inn, an out-of-the-way spot in Michigan City, which I like a lot as a spot, not nearly as much for the food, which is decent but not worth the money you'll pay for it. Two months later, I can't even remember what I had. But pretty, no?

The next day I drove up the coast, stopping for lunch at Henry's Hamburgers in St Joe.

Henry's was a midwest chain (out of Chicago) back in the '60s; this is the last one left. I'd seen it described as White-Castle-meets-normal-sized-patties, but it's really quite a bit better than that makes it sound. My double cheeseburger had a distinct flavor to it, almost a touch of sausage taste, and yes, better than Redamak's. It was hard to negotiate the massive road construction in St Joe to get to Henry's but worth it.

The weather was perfect for a leisurely drive north and I reached Grand Haven late in the afternoon. Nibbled my way around town: a corn dog (or whatever it is) from Pronto Pup (if you've never tried one, it's free), lake perch from Ray's, a drink at the Bil-Mar. But when I happened upon the amazing-looking Fricano's Pizza Tavern, I knew there'd have to be one more meal later that night. Look at this place!

The neon sign looked even better at 11 that night.

It was just as nice and cozy inside. Originally a boarding house, the building has been a bar since the '20s, and a pizza tavern since 1949. Here's their paper placemat.

My pizza looked great: super-thin crust, but not at all crispy (just the way I like it), unevenly charred around the edges.

It was very good -- and very rich! Yes, I'd had plenty of food already that night, but I can usually polish off pizza with the best of them. Two slices of this one and I was stuffed. I could tell it was a good pizza but I'd like to try it on a healthy appetite to determine just how good.

On my drive back the next day, I stopped at Bob's Processing, outside of South Haven, and bought some of their vaunted bacon -- which I can honestly report lives up to its billing, maybe the best bacon I've ever had. From there, I visited my Auntie Lo in northwest Indiana and attended my high-school class reunion. A very nice mid-summer break.

<message edited by Train on Sun, 09/6/09 7:18 PM>

    • Total Posts: 3778
    • Joined: 6/17/2004
    • Location: Columbia, SC
    Re:Southwest Michigan Trip Report Wed, 09/9/09 12:32 PM (permalink)
    Nice signage on all the places you visited--that pizza looks scrumptious.

      • Total Posts: 19
      • Joined: 5/30/2003
      • Location: New Buffalo, MI
      Re:Southwest Michigan Trip Report Wed, 09/9/09 1:32 PM (permalink)
      Nice report but puhleeeeeze Henry's over Redamaks.No way though everyone has their own taste buds.

        • Total Posts: 228
        • Joined: 9/17/2003
        • Location: Cincinnati, OH
        Re:Southwest Michigan Trip Report Wed, 09/9/09 1:51 PM (permalink)
        Glad you got to Fricano' favorite pizza place since I was a little girl.  We try to get there at least once a summer.  I am not a beer drinker and usually stop at 2 pieces of pizza, but I can scarf down a whole one (everything including anchovies) and a couple of Stroh's.  Heaven! 

          Re:Southwest Michigan Trip Report Wed, 09/9/09 1:56 PM (permalink)
          I love pizza where the cheese goes all the way to the edge of the crust! Looks like they use a couple of different cheeses - any idea, or is it just the browning from the oven?

            • Total Posts: 23
            • Joined: 4/19/2001
            • Location: Indianapolis,
            Re:Southwest Michigan Trip Report Thu, 09/10/09 1:05 PM (permalink)
            I'm thinking it's just browning from the oven, though not 100% sure. Perhaps Sudie knows.

              • Total Posts: 4074
              • Joined: 12/10/2004
              • Location: Des Plaines, IL
              Re:Southwest Michigan Trip Report Thu, 09/10/09 1:44 PM (permalink)
              Count me as one of the fans of Redamak's.  The trick is to get there during non-peak lunch hours.  From noon to 4:00pm they serve "The Working Person's Special", a burger and fries at a lower price than if you ordered them separately during non-peak hours.  The thing is, I think they have those "special" burgers pre-cooked in order to meet demand.  If you get there outside that time, you'll pay a buck or so more, but you can get your burger cooked to order.  We have always gotten ours cooked to medium rare and never had a problem with over doneness or a dry burger.

              Nice report overall.  Makes me want to do some more exploring of the sunset side of the Mitten State.


                • Total Posts: 228
                • Joined: 9/17/2003
                • Location: Cincinnati, OH
                Re:Southwest Michigan Trip Report Sun, 09/13/09 8:59 AM (permalink)
                I'm thinking that it's only one kind of cheese.  More than that would detract from the simplicity of the menu.  One size, choice of about 6 ingredients.  I think the photo just reflects browning from the oven.
                  carolina bob

                  • Total Posts: 3420
                  • Joined: 1/1/2005
                  • Location: Chicagoland
                  Re:Southwest Michigan Trip Report Sun, 09/13/09 10:25 AM (permalink)
                  Great report, Train. Like Buddy, I'm a Redamak's fan; also, that pizza at Fricano's looks like something that I need to check out. That Henry's sign sure brings back some memories. When I was a kid, there was a Henry's not too far from our place. We only ate there once, and I remember being rather unimpressed with the hamburgers. I'll have to make a short roadtrip up to St. Joe soon and pay a visit to this lone outpost of an otherwise dead chain ( for old times sake, if nothing else. ) 

                    • Total Posts: 2366
                    • Joined: 12/1/2006
                    • Location: Pewaukee, WI & Fuquay-Varina, NC
                    Re:Southwest Michigan Trip Report Sun, 09/13/09 10:52 AM (permalink)
                    I spent some time in SW MI and always got a kick out of the Henry's commercials.  They were really cheesy, seemed like something out of the 1970's, but I ALWAYS watched them.  I never ate there, though.  On the rare times I'd eat out there, it would be at other locally owned and run eateries.

                    Bob - If you are ever in Coloma ...

                      • Total Posts: 602
                      • Joined: 3/8/2006
                      • Location: Deerfield, IL
                      Re:Southwest Michigan Trip Report Wed, 09/23/09 11:36 AM (permalink)
                      There used to be  a wonderful Italian restaurant in Lincoln Park in Chicago called Fricano's.  They did Italian seafood, and were just fabulous! 
                      Hubby and I were really sad when they shut down.  I wonder if they were any relation to your marvelous pizza place?  I'm not a  big pizza girl, but that one did look great - tempting even for me....

                        • Total Posts: 143
                        • Joined: 3/22/2007
                        • Location: englewood, CO
                        Re:Southwest Michigan Trip Report Fri, 09/25/09 6:49 PM (permalink)
                        Great Trip Report ! They are always so much better with pictures. And yours are fantastic, along with the descriptions.

                        Next time you are in St. Joe's, MI try this place.

                        Silver Beach Pizza (269) 983-4743

                        Great pizza. Located in the old train station, overlooking the beach with a great view of Lake Michigan.

                          Re:Southwest Michigan Trip Report Mon, 10/19/09 6:14 PM (permalink)

                            • Total Posts: 128
                            • Joined: 8/27/2005
                            • Location: Detroit, MI
                            Re:Southwest Michigan Trip Report Mon, 10/19/09 6:30 PM (permalink)



                              • Total Posts: 6222
                              • Joined: 4/24/2005
                              • Location: Tonka Bay, MN
                              Re:Southwest Michigan Trip Report Mon, 10/19/09 6:39 PM (permalink)




                              Hot dog_guy is posting and promoting his blog with postings in several threads but is contributing nothing to the forum. Thus spam. Not the canned food but a term for people that do that.

                                • Total Posts: 7590
                                • Joined: 4/17/2005
                                • Location: Marina del Rey, CA
                                Re:Southwest Michigan Trip Report Mon, 10/19/09 8:01 PM (permalink)
                                I wasn't fast enough to report all of his self promotions.

                                He'll be gone soon.
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