Red Arrow Roadhouse
Well. The plan for this weekend was for my parents to come stay for a couple of days to see their granddaughter. Earlier this week, that changed. My dad wasn’t paying attention as he was going down the stairs and he fell down the last couple of steps breaking his ankle and tearing his rotater cuff. He’s now pretty much confined to his La-Z-Boy with my brother’s lap top and his TV remote.
My mom still wanted to see L, but she didn’t want to drive all the way to Kalamazoo by herself. She asked if we could meet in the Michigan City area for lunch then find someplace to run around for a while so she could still spend the time with her granddaughter.
I asked my mom if she wouldn’t mind coming a little bit farther for lunch. There’s a place in Union Pier I’ve been hearing good things about for years. Best of all, they were open for lunch on Sunday.
The Red Arrow Roadhouse is on the north side of Union Pier on Red Arrow Highway. It’s a real easy drive from Exit 6 on I-94. I actually had my mom and aunt (who decided to come along for the ride) meet us at the St. Julian Winery Retail Outlet just off the highway. That worked out pretty well because neither of them had been to a tasting room before and they had to kill about a half hour before we got there.
The Roadhouse sits right along the highway with only enough room between the busy highway and the building to park a car. We pulled in to a small parking area between the restaurant and a grocery store to park alongside the building. J always gets a little worried when we go places on Sunday wondering whether or not they were open. She had just questioned me a few minutes earlier and those fears were for naught. The place was pretty packed.
We were met right inside the door by a hostess who took us to a six top. We put a high chair along the wall for L, but resisted putting her in it right away hoping we could keep her in a good mood. My mom actually ended up walking her around the small dining room for a bit to keep her happy.
I grabbed the drink list right away. I only saw four taps at the bar so I was hoping they had a good bottle selection. They didn’t have a whole lot, but they did have a bottle from Greenbush Brewing. I ordered the Brother Benjamin which is Greenbush’s Imperial IPA offering. Everyone else at the table ordered Coke products.
The menu isn’t huge. They have a list of sandwiches and some entree’s. We all found a couple delicious sounding options.
I ordered off the special menu. My pick was the Char-Grilled Western Burger. The burger is brushed with Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce and grilled up with a nice, crispy outside with a tender, juicy, pink interior. It’s topped with cheddar cheese, bacon, and caramelized onions (which I left off). The sandwich was cooked perfectly and while it could have used a little bit bigger pieces of bacon, it was still incredibly delicious on a soft, yet well toasted bun. The sandwich was served with fries and slaw. I passed on the slaw, but the thin cut, crispy fries were a delicious side to the burger.
Both J and my aunt ordered the Pulled BBQ Pork Sandwich. The hand pulled pork comes topped with caramelized onions. J had them left off while my aunt left them on. The pork is smothered in BBQ sauce which for J, was the downfall. J prefers a sweet BBQ sauce while this one is much more of a tangy vinegar sauce. The meat was perfectly tender and juicy. J just didn’t really like the sauce and the meat was swimming in it. My aunt, on the other hand, devoured her sandwich. She seemed to really like it. I picked a few scraps off J’s plate and the sauce didn’t bother me as much. If I wasn’t so stuffed from my sandwich, I probably would have finished hers. The pork sandwiches also came with fries and slaw which J shared with L.
My mom picked the Grilled Chicken Pretzel Club. The grilled chicken breast is topped with bacon, melted Provolone, lettuce, tomato, and Dijon Mayonnaise. It’s served on a Pretzel bun and served with fries and slaw. My mom hasn’t really had sandwiches on Pretzel buns before and she said that was the highlight of her sandwich. It was something different for her and she really liked it.
The bill for the four of us was a little over $50. While the place is kid friendly, they didn’t have a separate kids menu, so we didn’t order L anything. We all sort of ripped off pieces of our sandwiches and shared fries with her, so the $50 was for the four sandwiches (which were each $9.99) and my beer.
The Red Arrow Roadhouse is a really cool place along a touristy highway along Lake Michigan. The only miss was J’s pulled pork. In hindsight, she should have went with the Grown-Up Grilled Cheese, but she was craving BBQ after a conversation that mentioned Slow’s BBQ several times. Everyone else was really happy with our lunch and as we were leaving, my aunt leaned over to J and said “You guys always find the best restaurants.”