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The Royal Oak Brewery

November 15, 2021

  • 214 E. 4th Street
  • Royal Oak, MI 48067
  • (248) 544-1141
  • Website
  • Menu

We haven’t spent a weekend in Detroit in a very long time. I’ve been there for a couple nights for work but just us, as a family, hanging out and sightseeing around Detroit…it’s been a while.

I’m still not exactly sure how this happened or what it is, but L got picked to play a flag football game at Ford Field last week through school. They do something called Playworks and somehow, that led to the Flag Football Jamboree.

The game was on Sunday but we decided to make a weekend out of it. L really, really wanted to ride the school bus from Kalamazoo to Detroit but we had to say no to that. We finally won her over (sorta) with a trip to the zoo and a hotel pool.

Yeah…the Detroit Zoo…something we’ve been saying for years we needed to do again. We took J when she was just under 2 years old. We actually took her to see The Wiggles at the Fox Theatre but we got a hotel that weekend too and made a trip out of it. Come to think of it…that’s the last time we had been to Detroit, not counting a Tigers game, together….that was in 2013.

We actually had a really good day at the zoo. Not a lot of whining. Kids got excited about a few things. The penguin building is closed again and the polar bears didn’t swim directly over our heads, but we all had fun and B made a friend in the reptile house (another kid, not a lizard) as we were getting ready to leave.

Something else we haven’t done in quite a while was eat in a restaurant with the kids. We came sort of close when we went to Chicago over the summer. We ate at Labriola downtown. J likes to remind me the front of the restaurant is open to the street so not technically an indoor restaurant.

J and I have eaten inside a restaurant a few times since last March….mostly since we’ve gotten vaccinated. We finally got the kids their first shots and one of the things they were really looking forward too, eating in a restaurant again.

I gave J the choice of brewery or BBQ…she chose brewery. Good choice…although BBQ would have been good too.

The Royal Oak Brewery is in what I assume is downtown Royal Oak. The brewery is on 4th Street a couple of blocks east of Main Street. We didn’t see any really convenient parking so I drove around the block a few times before I found someone leaving a street parking space. I let them leave then let my kids make fun of my parallel parking (I’d like to see them do it!)

We stopped in for lunch/dinner just before the 4:00 football games kicked off on a Saturday afternoon. The place wasn’t packed yet but it got a little more full as Michigan State’s kick off drew nearer.

The restaurant is one large room with wood floors and an exposed ceiling. It has a real brewery vibe to it…which makes sense since it is a brewery. There are TV’s all over the place and each of them had a different football game on. There are three rows of four tops all the way through the dining room making use of as much space as they can.

There’s a really cool looking bar running along one wall. There are large storage tanks behind the bar which, I know what I’m saying here, really drive home that brewery vibe.

The beer list wasn’t huge but I found a beer pretty easily. I picked the Royal Pride IPA. The menu says it an “aggressive citrus laden flavor.” I was overwhelmed by the bitterness of it. I really like IPA’s but this one really took me by surprise. It was good…it just wasn’t what I was expecting.

There really wasn’t much for J to choose from. There was a sour on the board but as soon as I mentioned it to J, the waitress said they had just blew that one and they haven’t taken it off the board yet. I then said there’s a Cider on. They had a cider but it wasn’t the one that was on the board. I believe it was Virtue’s Cider Rose but I could have misheard.

We noticed a kid’s menu when we walked in so we asked our waitress about it. She ran back to the host stand to grab one for us.

L ordered off the kid’s menu but B did not.

L picked the Mac & Cheese. Why did she pick the Mac & Cheese? Because it was Kraft Mac & Cheese….my kid’s are so not adventurous.

She was really excited she got to pick a salad as her side option. The salad was not a Kraft meal kit but it was simple. Lettuce, croutons, cheese, and ranch. I think it should have had some other veggies, but that’s all L likes on her salad so that’s what J asked for.

I opened my stupid mouth and asked B if he wanted a pizza. J was trying to get him to order off the kid’s menu but we figured if he got the pizza, we would eat the leftovers so we just gave in and let him order the Loaded Pepperoni.

The wood fired pizza was actually really good. B only ate two slices but the rest of us all grabbed a slice. The soft crust, smoky crust was loaded with mozzarella cheese and a lot of pepperoni. The four of us ate about half and I brought the rest to our hotel for breakfast.

The Royal Oak Brewery is still doing a lot of the COVID things including QR codes for menus. J and I both scanned the code as soon as we sat down. It didn’t take us too long to find something that tickled our fancies.

J picked the Country Grilled Cheese. This hearty sandwich is stuffed with Fontina cheese, granny smith apples, and bacon on grilled sourdough. J said the sandwich was delicious but both the apples and the bacon could have been thinner sliced. She the flavor was on point though. The sandwich came with a side of thin cut fries with a heavy, delicious salt and pepper seasoning.

My pick was a burger. I chose the Hair of the Dog burger. This sandwich is a thick, juicy burger patty with bacon, cheddar cheese, mayo and a fried egg. Throughout the whole pandemic, the thing I was really missing was a delicious, warm, juicy burger. Carry-out burgers are delicious but they’re just not the same. Biting in to this burger brought so many warm fuzzy feelings. My sandwich also came with fries and they were quite tasty. I shared some with L because as much as she likes side salads, she can’t resist fries.

Our bill for lunch (dinner) was right around $70. As much as I miss eating out with my family and enjoying a beer (or two sometimes), I don’t always miss the price tag.

This meal was worth the price. All four of us left pretty satisfied with what we chose.

The Royal Oak Brewery is a cool place. They’re one of the older breweries in the Detroit area going back to the mid-1990’s. Their longevity isn’t really a surprise. I wish there were more beer options but that’s a minor complaint. We had a great meal in the kind of restaurant we’ve missed in the last year and a half.

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