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NEDS on Gull Lake

August 19, 2019

  • 15450 M-43
  • Hickory Corners, MI 49060
  • (269) 671-5700
  • Website
  • Menu

I got home from work last Friday a little earlier than usual and a little hungrier than normal.  Friday is usually pizza night but J said she wanted to go somewhere and sit on a patio.  Whenever we’ve tried this around Kalamazoo on a Friday night, it works out poorly.

I thought maybe we’d find something on a lake somewhere and I somehow stumbled on NEDS on Gull Lake.  It’s a little bit of a drive from Kalamazoo but we decided to make the trip just to do something different.

NEDS on Gull Lake is on M-43 on the northside of the lake.  It’s right across the street from the Prairieville Township Park and public boat launch.  We pulled in to the parking lot and it was full.  We couldn’t get lucky and find someone pulling out.  Other cars were parking on the side of the road on the very busy M-43 but with the kids, I didn’t really feel comfortable doing that.  We decided just to pay the $7 and park in the Township Park and walk across the street.

I don’t get out this way very often, but I don’t ever remember seeing this building before.  I was expecting a smaller pub with a Jimmy Buffet theme and a patio with a wooden fence around this picture from Google shows


That’s not what’s there any more.  In May, a brand new two story building with a large wrap around porch patio opened.

We headed inside to find a host.  There were no available tables at the moment but they were turning them pretty quickly.  We really wanted to sit outside so we were willing to wait a few more minutes.

The inside of the restaurant isn’t all that large.  Off to one side is a small bar with a row of pub tables along the windows looking out over the patio.

The other side is more of a dining room with a mixture of pub tables and four tops.  The decor is very minimal with just a few TV’s on the walls and lightbulbs hanging from the ceiling to add a little more light than what the windows provide naturally.

There is an upstairs area that looks like it might be used for private parties.  The stairway leading that way from the dining room was blocked off and there were waitresses going up and down the stairs underneath the rope.

It took maybe 15 minutes for a table to open up outside.  A waitress took us to a table kind of on the corner where the patio wraps around to the side of the building.  There are maybe 7 or 8 metal tables with red umbrellas on the cement patio.  The sun was getting pretty low in the sky but the umbrellas did a really good job on cutting down on the glare and keeping the area cool.

The menu at NEDS is pretty large.  They have a wide variety of options from burgers to sandwiches to some really delicious looking thin crust pizzas.  They were doing a lot of pizza carry-outs while we were there.  People were bringing their boats into the public launch across the street and walking out with five or six boxes pizza to get eat while they waited for sunset.

It just so happened that this night was also the anniversary of J and I’s first date 12 years ago.  That night we also sat on a patio overlooking the water (Illinois River) in Peoria, IL.  We celebrated with drinks.

There was nothing I was too interested in on the draft list but I saw a few other people with cans of Bell’s Official.  I got one of those and a glass to pour it in to.

J saw a cider on the tap list and went that direction.

I was really leaning toward a pizza since it was Friday night but I stuck to my usual order of a burger.  I picked the Smokehouse BBQ Burger.  This 1/2 lb. of Angus beef is topped with cheddar cheese, bacon, and Boogie’s BBQ Sauce.  The sandwich came on a toasted brioche roll with choice of side.  I stuck to fries for my side and they kind of looked like they may have been baked battered fries.  I used some BBQ sauce that was on the table to dip them in and they were quite tasty.  The burger was solid.  The meat was very juicy and tender and that sweet BBQ sauce gave it a pretty unique flavor alongside the salty crunch from the bacon.

J really wanted the Loaded Tots but that’s not a meal on it’s own so she also ordered a Strawberry Field Salad to round out her meal.

The Loaded Tots are a big plate of Tater Tots with pulled pork, cheddar cheese, and BBQ sauce.  To make this plate even better, they had bottles of what we assume was some kind of Fry Sauce and some kind of Ranch which she added to the tots knowing I wasn’t going to eat them anyway.  I did get to try the pork and it was tasty.  I would have loved to have had more of Boogie’s BBQ but they only do that on Sunday’s.

The Strawberry Field Salad is strawberries, greens, spinach, pecans and a poppyseed dressing.  This is the kind of salad J almost never passes up.  It wasn’t very big but it was a lighter compliment to the heavier plate of tots.

There is a small kids menu that includes one of their delicious looking pizzas.  B said he wanted both a cheese pizza and a cheese quesadilla.  We made him choose one.  He eventually…after much prodding to narrow it down, chose the cheese pizza.  The pizzas are all thin crust and they come out with a really tight, dense but still a little doughy crust.  B’s was pretty simple with just cheese that had a great golden brown sheen to it.  He ended up eating about half which gave J and I both a chance to try it.  They looked like they did a lot of carry-out on the pizzas and they will even deliver across the street to the boat launch so it’s a simple, delicious thing to grab while spending a day on Gull Lake.

L knew from the get-go she just wanted the Cheese Quesadilla so that’s what she got.  It’s a simple yet delicious combination of tortilla and cheddar cheese.  Her sandwich came with fries.  She ended up eating all but one triangle which is really good for her lately

Our bill for dinner was right around $50 but wait, there’s more!

Ice Cream!  Right inside the door is a small ice cream counter.  There are twelve flavors from Ashby’s Sterling Ice Cream in Ludington.  The kids were both pretty good at dinner so we let them get a scoop of ice cream each before we left  That cost another $10 on a separate check.

We took our ice cream and went back across the street to the boat launch where we parked.  There’s a nice little swimming beach there and a small playground for the kids.  It was a really nice night out so we essentially just sat at a picnic table and watched the sunset while the kids did their best to get in the water and look for shells without getting their clothes wet.

We almost didn’t make this trip out to Hickory Corners.  B fell asleep on the ride there around Plainwell and we seriously considered hitting a drive thru and going home.  I’m really glad we stuck it out though.  It turned in to a really great night out.  We had a fantastic dinner on a great patio then capped the night off with ice cream and playing in the water over at Gull Lake.  I really was just expecting to have a good dinner and head home but it turned in to more than that and I’m really glad we made a night out of it despite everyone being so tired.



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