Schlotzsky’s – Downtown Battle Creek
I love the Battle Creek Christmas Parade. It’s at night. They do it down Michigan Avenue which is a really tight street through downtown. It’s usually not to terribly long. Parking is pretty easy. We’ve gone four out of the last five years missing last year’s parade because J was about two weeks from her due date with B.
J’s company enters a float in the parade, so she and the kids usually walk in it. Since I work at a competing company, I typically walk alongside behind the crowd in case she needs help with the kids.
We made our plans to walk in the parade again this year which started a little earlier than usual. In the past, we’ve always gone about an hour and a half before the parade started and gotten dinner at Arcadia Brewing Company. We tried that again this year. 45 minute wait. We walked back down to Griffin Grill & Pub. No available tables…..and that’s about the only options. Malia Mediterranean Bistro was open, but that’s way to fancy with two kids under the age of five. Rafaynee Southern Cuisine was closed. It didn’t appear that Pastrami Joe’s was open from across the street. That didn’t leave us with much choice.
We were already down Michigan Avenue near Griffin and could see a sign for either Subway or Schlotzsky’s. I think that’s kind of a no-brainer.
We ended up at Schlotzsky’s on Michigan Avenue in Downtown Battle Creek just north of Capitol Avenue. The store has entrances from both the street front Michigan Avenue side and the backside which is a parking lot off State Street.
We had already parked in the public lot next to the Battle Creek Welcome Center and had been walking along Michigan Avenue trying to find a place to eat, so we entered the front doors.
The restaurant is quite large with a big seating area near the back of the space. The small order counter is near the front and there are some large tables around it. The building doesn’t feel like a chain restaurant with old hardwood floors, exposed brick walls, low lighting, and a somewhat artsy color palate that includes murals and solid color accent walls.
We have eaten at Schlotzsky’s in the past, but it appears things have changed since the last time we ate there. There are pasta dishes on the menu now including Mac & Cheese, 10″ pizzas, flatbreads and a new line of signature sandwiches that look better than the sandwiches I remember
The menu board above the counter listed the sandwiches, but didn’t have ingredients on them. The lady working the counter grabbed a paper menu for us so we could see what was on each sandwich before we made our decision.
We started with L because she was the easy one. They had a kid’s version of the mac so that’s what we got here. The small foil pan came with a pretty standard macaroni and cheese with elbow macaroni and a very thick, gooey cheese sauce. The Mac was topped with shredded cheddar cheese. The kids Mac came with a cookie and a small drink as well. L ate about half of her mac before handing it to me and started in on the cookie as soon as we would let her.
I ordered one of the new Signature Sandwiches called the Beef Bacon SmokeCheesy. I like beer. I like bacon. I like cheese. This sounded delicious just from the name. The sandwich is Angus roast beef, smoked cheddar cheese, bacon, and a chipotle mayo. It’s served on a Signature bun which is a light, airy bun similar to a ciabatta, but I don’t think it was.
The sandwich was just as tasty as I’d hoped it was going to be. There was a lot of the smoked cheese and even the chipotle mayo tasted good on this sandwich. Very, very rarely do you hear me praise mayo, but this time, it actually worked with everything else that was going on. The roast beef wasn’t anything to write home about because it was the gooey smoked cheese that really brought this sandwich together.
J opted for a Signature Sandwich as well. She picked the Bacon Grilled Cheese which comes with a Tomato Basil dipping sauce. The Grilled Cheese is a pretty unique sandwich on the menu because it comes on a Pretzel roll that’s perfect for dipping. It’s made with four cheeses, Muenster, Parmesan, Swiss, and Provolone plus tomatoes and bacon. The “dipping sauce” actually looked like it was a cup of soup, so this sandwich is easily a full meal on it’s own. The Tomato Basil dipping sauce, again, is a pretty standard tomato soup made with tomatoes, basil, and onions.
Our total for dinner was a little over $25 and after we got the kids bundled up, we made it to the start of the parade just in time for J and the kids to join in.
Schlotzsky’s wasn’t my first choice for dinner. Hell, it wasn’t even on the radar, but downtown Battle Creek has so few restaurants, we had no choice. It worked out well in the end. I was surprised by their new menu and we all had a dinner that we were happy with in the end. I still would have preferred to have a beer with dinner, but sometimes, it just doesn’t work out that way.