Schu’s Grill & Bar
Now that I’m working regularly, I don’t have to depend on the freelance stuff like I did for the last couple of years. That doesn’t mean I still don’t like getting that phone call. Those jobs always pay so well.
A couple days ago, I got a call about a job in St. Joseph for today. I jumped at it. It was a fairly easy, yet time consuming and physically demanding job.
When lunch time rolled around, the group of people I was working with, who live and work in the St. Joseph/Benton Harbor area, headed straight for a corner bar overlooking Lake Michigan.
Schu’s Grill & Bar is on the edge of downtown St. Joseph on the bluff overlooking the Big Lake. It sits right on the corner of Pleasant Street and Lake Boulevard. St. Joseph has really done a wonderful job building up their downtown. It’s full of shops, restaurants, and boutiques which means parking is a little hard to come by. There are a few lots scattered throughout the downtown area and if you’re there on a weekday or on a day that the beach is not full, you’ll have no problem finding street parking.
We were already walking around downtown St. Joseph so that wasn’t an issue. We had a fairly large group with six people and we made it in just in front of the lunch rush. We were taken to a table on the bottom level of their split level dining room near the entrance to the outdoor patio.
I had looked at the menu for Schu’s in the past and always considered it as a place to either stop for lunch on the way home to Chicago or as a place to meet J’s parents for lunch sometime. The numbers next to the menu items has always scared me off, but this time, I didn’t choose the where we ate lunch, so I was just along for the ride.
We all started with drinks. Two of the ladies got a glass water, another lady and the other two guys got iced tea. I got a Pepsi. We also ended up with a bottle of the house Pinot Grigio at the table, but wine’s not really my thing, so I stuck to my Pepsi.
We started with a couple plate for the table which were both suggestions of my lunch companions that were in the know. The one I really enjoyed was the Bleu Cheese Kettle Chips. These house made chips are covered in a mound of bleu cheese. It was pretty much only me and the guy who ordered them that were actually eating them, so I didn’t take nearly as much as I would have liked to. I did scrape some melted bleu cheese out of the bottom which was absolutely delicious. The other starter we got was the Spinach-Artichoke dip which comes with an array of tortilla chips. I’m not usually a fan of the dip, so I didn’t even try it although it seemed to go over well at our table.
We all went pretty separate directions with lunch. I stuck close to what I know. I had been given a couple suggestions, but I ordered Schu’s Angus Burger. It’s a pretty simple burger that is made of fresh ground and formed Angus beef that is char-grilled and served on a toasted challah roll with cheese. They had a couple good cheese choices, but I, for some reason, went with cheddar. It was a delicious sandwich and I appreciate any place that serves their burgers on anything other than food service buns. The roll was pretty dense, but I really liked that. The side dish for my sandwich was beer battered fries which were also delicious and cooked to a perfect golden brown. It was a great meal, but the price tag was over $10. That’s what has always scared me off from Schu’s.
There were two other guys who dined with us today. One of them ordered The Corned Beef Reuben which is the sandwich he has been itching to try for quite some time. The sandwich is served on bakery rye that is stuffed with corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and 1000 Island dressing. The comment I heard from him was that it was “worth the wait.”
The other guy in our group went with the day’s special which was some kind of chicken wrap. I didn’t quite see everything that was on it, but it looked to be pretty typical. Both his wrap and the Reuben came with fries and both are frequent customers of Schu’s, so you know they’re both fans.
Two of the three ladies in our group went with the Ahi Tuna Salad. I really wish I didn’t feel so weird taking pictures of strangers food because these salads were art on a plate. I don’t remember everything that was on it, but it was a salad with an Asian twist. Both seemed extremely pleased with their selection and commented on how well the tuna was cooked.
The third lady that was eating with us today ordered the Mango Chicken. The plate is a grilled chicken breast topped with a mango salsa and served with rice and seasonal vegetables. She was sitting next to me and I’d be lying if I didn’t say my mouth was watering just a little bit.
To my surprise, we actually did the coffee and dessert thing after the meal. That’s not something I usually do. Everyone, except me, ordered a cup of coffee and we got two desserts to split amongst the table. One of them, and probably the more popular of the two, was the Key Lime Pie. The other was the Hot Fudge Chocolate Cake. I was stuffed by the time dessert came out and forced myself not to eat anymore. We still had half a day of work ahead of us and I was going to need a nap if I started eating sugar. The Key Lime Pie was the definite winner at the table although the cake didn’t get neglected.
In most of my reviews, this is where I tell you how much the meal cost. I have to be honest, I have no idea how much this one cost. I never saw a bill. I don’t even know who picked it up, but someone else did and wouldn’t take any money from anyone else. I know my burger was pretty expensive and out of my typical price range.
Schu’s walks a pretty fine line between being a fine dining establishment and pub. It’s kind of a Fine Pub. They have some pretty amazing dishes and a really good view of Lake Michigan which you can enjoy from their patio, but it’s not a place to go for a quick, cheap meal though. Most of the other patrons, and the place was full, looked to by the business types. I’m very glad I got to experience Schu’s today because I’ve been going back and forth on it for a while. Like I imagined, the food was really good.