Aubree’s Pizzeria & Grill – Plainwell
I’m really not a fan of working Saturday’s…but seriously, who is? We’re short some staff at work, so we’re all taking turns filling in shifts. My draw was a Saturday morning since it’s the only time I can really work before 2:00 seeing as how J works until noon and we want to pay for childcare.
The shift I had to work was pretty odd hours with my day being over at 2:00 PM. I still had a little bit of a day left so I wanted to get home and spend it with L and the kids before they had to go to bed…and J had the same situation where she was filling in on Sunday with a shift that started at 3:00 AM, so our time was limited.
I hadn’t eaten lunch yet and I knew it was getting close(r) to dinner time for everyone else. I asked if they would eat a pizza if I picked one up on the way home and once again, I got no pushback for wanting pizza.
At the end of last year, a pizza chain born in Ypsilanti opened it’s first SouthWest Michigan location in Comstock Township. Last month, they opened one in Plainwell. Hey, Plainwell’s on the way home, how about trying out the pizza?
Aubree’s Pizzeria & Grill is right off US-131 in Plainwell on Allegan Street. The building was originally a Big Boy and later a local pancake house. The building has been almost completely remodeled. If you didn’t know better, you would have no clue that it used to be a Big Boy.
When we ate at the Comstock Township location in December, we stayed away from pizza. We were all in the mood for something else and I knew we could do carry-out sometime once the Plainwell store opened.
I called in the order for a thin crust pepperoni pizza (only comes in large) and an order of cheese bread once I got about as far as Wayland. I was told it would be about 15 minutes or so for the order to be cooked and that’s about how far I was from Plainwell.
As I mentioned earlier, Aubree’s looks nothing like Big Boy. So many times, restaurants move in and only change a few things to make it their own. Aubree’s really did a complete remodel. The dining room is quite large and very open. There’s a huge bar near the front door with windows that look back out in to the parking lot. It’s in the area that the classic Big Boy sunroom used to be, but the whole area has been redesigned.
I was told on the phone to just go straight to the bar when I got there, so I bypassed the unmanned hostess station. The bar was also unmanned at the moment as there was only one person nursing a cold one while watching basketball on one of the number of monitors hanging above the bar.
A couple minutes after I got there, the bartender came out of the kitchen and asked if I was there for a pickup. I said yes and she checked with the kitchen to see my pizza was just coming out of the oven. She rang me up while the kitchen was boxing up the food. As I was signing the slip, she went to the kitchen to retrieve the two boxes.
L was waiting for me at the back door and she was excited to see pizza boxes in my hand. I told her I got a pepperoni pizza and some cheese bread. She asked for the cheese sticks, so that’s what I opened first.
They have an option for a bread called The Ultimate Feta Bread. I passed and just got the regular cheese sticks. The thin pizza dough is covered with a blend of five cheese and garlic butter then topped with Parmesan cheese. I asked for a marinara dipping sauce which came in two cups on the side. The bread’s dough was a crispy, buttery foundation for the pile of cheeses. All three of us started with the cheese sticks and we couldn’t come to a consensus on using the marinara or not. Honestly, I could go either way as they were delicious on their own and with just a little bit of sauce.
I really didn’t know what to expect from the pizza, so I was extremely happy with what I found when I opened the box. I ordered the thin crust pizza and what I found was something that was more reminiscent of your local neighborhood bar than that of a chain restaurant. The edges of the pizza had slightly burnt strands of cheese hanging off the end and a dark, delicious circle of well-doneness all the way around it. The sauce was much sweeter than what I expected and was a perfect compliment to that crispier cheese that was holding it on to the crust. The crust was a perfect thickness and crispy around the edges. It got softer as it moved towards the center. Another nice touch was that it was cut into squares instead of triangles. My favorite way to eat thin crust pizza.
Our bill for the pizza and cheese sticks was just over $23. When we ate at Aubree’s last, I said “we would definitely welcome one on the west side of Kalamazoo” and I still mean that. We’ve gotten different menu items on both trips and have been very fond of everything. The pizza was actually surprising because it wasn’t a typical chain pizza. There was more too it than I think I was expecting. Plainwell is not too far out of the way from where we live and this pizza could make it in to our usual rotation.