Skip to content

The 57 Burger Barrel

September 13, 2015

  • 706 W. Chicago Road
  • White Pigeon, MI 49099
  • (269) 816-1053
  • Website
  • Menu

J and I moved to Kalamazoo almost six years ago.  During the time, I can only think of driving through White Pigeon two or three times.  We don’t go that far south on US-131 very often and we almost never go all the way down to the Tollway to get back to Chicago.

Somehow, I ended up in White Pigeon late last week for work.  It wasn’t my intention to get dinner while we were there, but anytime I see a restaurant put the word “burger” in their name, I take that as a challenge.  The burgers must be good.

A little restaurant in White Pigeon did more than just put the word “burger” in the name…..they did it at a drive-in….with actual carhops.  How could I pass that up?

The 57 Burger Barrel is on Chicago Road between downtown White Pigeon and the US-131 intersection on the west end of town.  Like most drive-ins in this area, the restaurant started it’s life as an A & W Drive-In many, many years ago.  I’m not 100% sure, but I believe the last restaurant this building hosted was Lily Jean’s Drive-In.  According to an article in the Sturgis Journal, the building had been empty for about four years before the current owners bought it, cleaned it up, and opened as The 57 Burger Barrel last summer. 

We pulled in to the small drive-in just as the sun was starting to set a little before 8:00.  I pulled in to one of the spots under the awning next to a large menu board with a speaker box.  It appeared as though the speakers no longer work as the waitress walked toward me and said to holler when I was ready to order.

I had already checked the menu out on their Facebook page, so I was actually ready to order.  Co-worker brought his lunch, so he was going to order a burger.  His loss.

The burger I ordered was called The 57 Smokehouse.  The sandwich is a 1/4 lb beef patty topped with bacon, jalapenos, onion rings, and 57 Smokehouse Sauce.  I opted to make the meal a basket which included fries and a Coke.

Since C.W. wasn’t ordering, I asked for the order to go.  We still had some work to do so I decided to take it with  us to our next job site where he had to do some things before I could actually doing my job….leaving me with a little time to eat off the hood of the car.

It took a little less than 10 minutes for the waitress to come back out with the Styrofoam container with my food.  The cost was a little over $8 before tip which I paid for with cash.

I went for the fries first since they had the shortest shelf life in the Styrofoam box.  They were skin-on fries that were generously seasoned with salt.  They were delicious albeit a little soggy from the box.  That’s my problem for taking it to go instead of staying to eat.  I bet fresh out of the fryer, these are delicious.

The burger was on the gourmet side for a drive-in.  It wasn’t the cheap greasy patty you expect from a drive-in, but it also was a gourmet pub burger.  It was somewhere in the middle, but still very tasty.

I was a little turned off by the 57 Smokehouse Sauce at first.  It appeared to be some kind of mayo-ketchup mix like a Fry Sauce, but it had soaked in to the bun, so there was no way I was getting it off.  I decided just to deal with it and it turned out, the jalapenos actually tasted better with whatever the sauce actually was.  It sort of mellowed out the spiciness of the peppers.  The burger was served on the well done side of things with very crispy bacon on top.  I’m not a super  huge onion ring fan, so after I took the picture, I slid them off the sandwich.

The 57 Burger Barrel is not your average drive-in.  Yes, they do have the old-fashioned A & W recipe root beer, but that’s about the only thing you’ll really recognize from the drive-ins of yesteryear.  They’ve stepped up with the food offerings going for something better than the average drive-in fare.

57 Smokehouse Burger w/Fries

The 57 Burger Barrel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: