- 2702 E. Main Street
- Kalamazoo, MI 49048
- (269) 414-6441
- No Known Website
It’s a quick bachelor weekend for me. J and her mom took a trip to Michigan City for a little shopping and a spa day at Blue Chip Casino. The unfortunate thing, for me, is that the night they were gone, I was at work, so I didn’t get to take advantage and eat all the crap I don’t like to eat when J is here.
I did get at least one meal by myself and I decided to run across town to pick up some BBQ from a place I just recently learned about after seeing a couple reviews on Urbanspoon.
The Birdcage is a small BBQ joint located inside the Eastwood Market on Main Street in Kalamazoo Township. A few weeks ago when I drove by, the only telltale sign was a neon sign in the window that said BBQ and the smoker out in the parking lot. Today when I pulled in to the parking lot, I noticed a big white van with the company logo on the sign and a large sign hanging above the entrance advertising the restaurant.
When I opened the door to the market, I was immediately hit by the smell of that sweet, sweet smoke. It would be hell if I had to work in the market and smell that all day. No one way I would be able to resist.
The Birdcage is in the back of the market. Looking over the aisles of general merchandise, I could see the cutout for the order counter in the far back corner. I headed back that way and found a line waiting to order. Looks like I’m not the only one who recently found this place and most everyone had a paper menu in their hands looking over the menu that includes ribs, rib tips, chicken wings, hot dogs, and hamburgers.
The kitchen is pretty small and really outdated. Once you actually taste the food it makes it more impressive that everything outside of the BBQ is prepared on a kitchen stove that appears to be circa 1970 and a couple hot plates. There was one guy working the counter and the kitchen when I walked in. There was another person out manning the smoker, but he eventually came in to help out once he realized how long the line was getting.
Usually, I’m a pulled pork person. That’s how I really like my BBQ, but The Birdcage doesn’t do pulled pork. Their specialty is ribs so I got a large order of rib tips and a regular order of Mac ‘n Cheese. Instead of having a large list of sides, they rotate each day and only do a couple. Today’s sides were Mac ‘n Cheese and Greens. Other days of the week they also do corn, cabbage, green beans, spaghetti, yams, corn on the cob, and baked beans. I would assume their kitchen limitations prevent them from doing more than a couple each day.
The cost of my meal was a little over $10 which I’m completely ok with when it comes to BBQ. I know that stuff ain’t cheap and I was very happy to see my meat chopped up right in front of me then drenched in a BBQ sauce from a big pot on the hot plate before it was packed up.
There is no seating so the place is strictly carry-out. There’s also no drinks at the restaurant part of the shop, but the market has plenty of choices. You just have to make separate purchases.
As soon as I threw the bag on my passenger seat I started smelling the smoke. I couldn’t get home fast enough to dig in. When I did finally pop the Styrofoam container open, I was shocked to see so much meat. The rib tips were perfectly done with nice, crunchy burnt ends. The whole stack of meat was swimming in a thin, sweet BBQ sauce. I really could have made a meal out of just the rib tips as their was more there than what I was expecting. The meat was delicious, but I really wanted to just drink the sauce that was left in the bottom of the container.
The mac ‘n cheese was a cheesy, creamy concoction with strips of bacon mixed in. The thing I really noticed was the taste/smell of garlic salt. I could tell that they used their dry rub in the mac ‘n cheese, so I’m guessing garlic salt is a big component of that rub.
The Birdcage was definitely worth the trip to the other side of town for me. I love BBQ in all forms and even though they don’t do my favorite sandwich, they still do really delicious ‘cue