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Traveler’s Cafe & Pub

May 6, 2019

  • 5225 Portage Road
  • Portage, MI 49002
  • (269) 775-1775
  • Website
  • Menu

J’s new job actually gives her a lunch break.  I know that sounds weird to most people but J and I have worked since college in a profession that just expects you to take five minutes here, ten minutes there, eat a sandwich at your desk while something is downloading and call that a lunch break.  I actually had a boss tell me one time to add up all the downtown I had during the day and it would probably come out to more than the hour I am supposed to get….we just didn’t have time to take that whole hour at once.

When you’ve lived like that for close to twenty years, getting used to a lunch break can be hard.  She texts me quite a bit asking if I have down time and could meet her for a meal without the kids.  Most of the time, that’s not possible.

I did finally get an opportunity one day last week.  I had a couple of hours in between assignments and amazingly, that break happened over a typical lunch break.  J asked if I could meet her in Portage near her office.  There’s a new restaurant she’s been itching to try.

Traveler’s Cafe & Pub opened a few months ago on Portage Road right in front of the airport.  The building had been Theo & Stacy’s for close to 30 years until a couple of guys from the OnStaff Group next door made them an offer.

I had actually never been to that Theo & Stacy’s before for some reason but J had a few times.  She said the layout of the place is pretty familiar but there were definitely some upgrades and modernizations made to the place.

We met in the parking just before noon on Thursday.  We walked in to the building to find a host station which had the flight departure and arrival times from AZO on a TV screen right at the front door.

The sign said “Wait to be Seated” but someone from the bar told us to sit wherever we’d like on the west side of the restaurant.

We grabbed a booth in the large dining to the left as you walk in.  There’s a newness to the feel of the place with shiny wood floors, solid wood furniture and a lot of natural light that reflects off the posters on the walls.

There is another dining room across from this one that is bridged by the bar area.  There are a few pub tables in the walkway where the floor changes from wood to tile but the second dining room, leftover from the smoking/non-smoking days in restaurants looks to be the same as the first.  When we walked in, there was only one other group eating.  By the time we left, most of the tables in the first dining room and a few in the second were full.

The menu is pretty classic diner food.  They open early for the breakfast crowd and by lunch they transition to sandwiches, burgers, fried foods, etc.

I went with the Texas Burger off the “First Class Burgers” part of the menu.  This sandwich is a blend of meat mixed special for this restaurant by Halperns’ of Kalamazoo.  The burger is topped with bacon, colby jack cheese, and BBQ sauce.  The burger had that nice, crunchy exterior from being cooked on a flat top. It was cooked more towards the medium-well side as there was no pink left in the meat.  The bacon was nice and crunchy and there was just a drizzle of the BBQ sauce so you got the sweetness in every bite but didn’t make a mess.  The burgers come with choice of fries or tots.  I picked fries.  They were of the frozen skin-on variety.  A little mustard would of helped but with a little salt, they were fine on their own.

J picked the Gourmet Grilled cheese.  The simple sandwich is sourdough bread with a mixture of four cheeses between the slices.  Simple but tasty.  She also chose fries as her side.

Our bill came out to a little over $24 before tip.  I didn’t realize it but there is a cash register near the bar to cash out.  The waitress saw me throw my card on the table and she picked it up.  I had my back to the bar so I didn’t see others heading up there or else I would have done the same myself.

Traverler’s Cafe & Pub is a solid little diner.  They cater to people who are “traveling” through the area whether it be before or after a flight or just on their way to work in the morning.  We probably spent 45 minutes in the restaurant but a lot of that was just enjoying time without fighting with kids who can’t sit still.  It’s a quick, tasty meal to get back on the road to wherever you may be going.

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