Shoreline Restaurant & Brewery
Every now and then, my parents like to get together for lunch. The easiest thing for both of us to do is meet halfway. A lot of times, we go to New Buffalo because my parents like the casino there. There’s only a couple restaurants in New Buffalo that we really like so we go to the same ones a lot.
This weekend, my mom wanted to meet because we didn’t get together for Mother’s Day. We actually met J’s parents in New Buffalo last week and my mom wanted to spend time with her mom, so we just made the plan for a week later.
We used to go to Michigan City all the time when my brother and I were younger. The outlet mall was a huge draw because they had a Nike outlet and a Tommy Hilfiger Outlet. In those days, we weren’t really adventurous eating outers, so none of us had ever eaten anywhere in Michigan City other than a fast food or casual dining chain….but billboards make finding interesting places easy.
Since J and I moved to Lansing three years ago, we have passed a billboard for Shoreline Brewery on I-94 every time we go home. My new found interest in craft brews made the selection even easier for me. I checked the menu and the hours to make sure they were open and every one would be able to find something to eat. I got the ok from J and my parents so we made plans to meet at noon central time for our week after Mother’s Day lunch.
Shoreline Brewery is on Wabash Street just off US-12. It’s a pretty easy drive from either the Lighhouse Place Outlet Mall which is just on the other side of US-12 or Blue Chip Casino which is just a few miles up the road on US-12. The building is a pre-Civil War lumber yard building that was turned into a brewery/restaurant in 2005. The parking lot sort of wraps around the building and you can enter from either the street side or the back parking lot.
We walked in through the back which comes right into the bar area. It’s a large open room with pub tables made out of oak barrels and normal sized tables the farther you get away from the bar. The walls are the original brick, but in some places it’s covered with newer planks adding depth and lighting up the space.
My aunt came with my parents, so there were five of us. We took a table for six along the back wall. The tables are covered with a dark red tablecloth that is then topped with butcher paper. Silverware is already on the table and wrapped in the thicker paper napkins that almost feel like cloth, so they go for something a little more upscale than the typical pub.
A waitress saw us sit down and came over with menus. Food was on the front and the drinks were on the back. I flipped it over to see what they had to offer in terms of beer. I figured I’d be the only one drinking, but since we were at a brewery, I had to try something. I went with the Sum Nug IPA. It’s apparently one of the more popular beers at Shoreline as IPA’s usually are at brewpubs. This one had a really heavy hop flavor all the way through. It’s one of those beers that I really enjoyed, but don’t know if I could drink more than one. It is something I would definitely order again though.
My aunt went with a Diet Coke and J got a Pink Lemonade for her first drink. I say first drink because she realized she screwed up when she saw the Root Beer’s that my parents ordered. The Root Beer is from Sprecher’s Brewery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It’s served in a glass bottle but the waitress brought glasses which they all preferred to drinking out of the bottle.
There wasn’t a lot of variety in lunch. My dad and I both ordered the Shoreline Brew Burger. The sandwich is a prime ground chuck burger topped with onions that have been camrelized in beer, lettuce, tomato, and their own Don’t Panic Pub mustard. I had cheddar cheese added to mine while my dad got Provolone. I had asked to have the onions left off, but the kitchen forgot and I found onions when I bit into it. It wouldn’t have been a huge deal had the onions not been underneath the cheese. I was still able to get most of them off and didn’t really notice it too much so it wasn’t a big deal. Otherwise, the sandwich was delicious. I got mine cooked medium and it came out with a gorgeous pink center. The burger was served on a pretzel roll which held up well to the juiciness from the burger. There was just enough mustard on the top bun to where it didn’t overpower the meat. It added just a subtle hint of tanginess and heat.
My aunt and J both ordered the BBQ Pulled Pork Wrap. On paper, this one sounds delicious. It’s slow-cooked pork with cole slaw, carmelized onions, and cheddar cheese wrapped up in a tortilla. J got hers without the onions and the kitchen did remember to keep the onions off hers. Her issue was actually the pork. It wasn’t really pulled pork. It was more of a pork roast that had been cut up. She’s not really a big fan of pork roasts so it wasn’t really her thing. She was expecting more of a pulled pork. The pork was tender and fall apart on contact, but really shouldn’t be called Pulled Pork. I think J was also a little turned off by the fact Indiana appears to still be archaic and allows smoking in restaurants. There wasn’t a cloud of smoke hanging in the air but since we live in a state that has banned smoking, a single cigarette is noticeable now.
While J didn’t really like it, my aunt seemed to and polished off the whole plate. I took a bit of the pork after J opened the wrap and I thought it was alright, but not what I was expecting either. If it didn’t have the cole slaw on it, I would have finished the wrap for her, but alas, I don’t like cole slaw.
My mom was the odd (wo)man out. She was really excited about the Beer Battered Fish & Chips. The fish is hand battered Atlantic Cod that is fried up golden brown. She got four pieces of fish and seemed to really like it. She slathered on the tartar sauce and ate it up.
All five of us got fries as our side. The other options were hand sliced veggies chips, cottage cheese or pasta salad. The hand cut fries were fried up to a deep golden color and seasoned with a generous portion of salt. I always refer to these kind of fries as Chicago-style because it’s the only place I really see them done like this. From J’s perspective this was the best part of the meal. She loved them. We all agreed they were delicious and were all happy with the choice.
The bill for the five of us was a little over $71, but the three root beers and my beer tacked on a few extra bucks that we normally wouldn’t have spent had we stuck with fountain soda. Other than the miss with J, everyone seemed to enjoy their food. My burger was delicious despite the fact that I found a few onions on it and my dad didn’t say anything and if he doesn’t complain, it’s usually a good sign.
Even though it’s not in Michigan, it’s still a stop to consider when you’re doing of a tour of Michigan breweries. They have a pretty good line up of beers and a pretty solid menu to go along with it.