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Lake Burger Tavern

September 28, 2022

  • 6800 S. Westnedge Avenue, Suite F
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49002
  • (269) 365-9998
  • Website
  • Menu

Saturday’s have become days to “just get out of the house.” We’ve gotten a little lazy as summer comes to an end and we get in to a fall routine.

That was the case a couple of weeks ago. We all laid around the house until the middle of the afternoon. No one ate lunch. I had plans to go to the WMU football game later that night so J said we should go somewhere for what would probably become our one meal that day.

There are a lot of new places opening up so we got some work to do to get to all of them.

We chose Lake Burger Tavern.

Lake Burger Tavern is a partner restaurant to Lake Burger on West Main Street. The tavern is on South Westnedge in Portage in front of the Crossroads Mall. It’s in the little shopping plaza with Qdoba and Penn Station Subs just south of JL Hudson Drive which is one of the mall entrances. There’s not much of a sign up right now but it’s right next to the Cold Stone Creamery.

We walked in around 2:00 on a Saturday afternoon the week they opened. There were a few people at the bar and a few tables of people already waiting for food.

Ordering is done at the counter at the end of the bar. There’s a large menu hanging on the wall and since we were the only ones in line, we took our time to go over what everyone wanted before we stepped up to order.

The menu focus isn’t really all that different from Lake Burger. Burger’s are obviously the main attraction but there are other sandwiches, sides, and even small plates to go along with the alcohol to make Lake Burger Tavern distinct from Lake Burger.

We put in our order then were handed a number to put on the table.

Lake Burger Tavern feels odd in the particular strip mall. It’s definitely not the kind of place you’d think would be there. Once inside, you totally forget where you’re at. And you will not believe this space used to be a Biggby Coffee.

There’s a bar that serves up a number of craft cocktails and local beer. There are TV’s that kind of give that part of the space a sports bar feel.

The rest of the space is the dining room. There are several different seating options ranging from the type of shared booth you’re likely to find at a fine dining restaurant…..

…to pub tables and standard four tops in a sun room area that brings back memories of the old Wendy’s designs.

J and I both cocktails and they were brought out from the bar once the bartender got them ready.

I ordered the Old Fashioned because it’s made with Detroit City Bourbon. I love craft spirits. It took me while..just like it did for craft beer. But when all you know is Jack Daniels, it’s such a shock to the system when you have something that is actually good. This Old Fashioned is made with bourbon I would drink neat plus the usual bitters, sugar, and an orange twist.

J didn’t want to get the same drink I did so she ordered the Mexican Mule. This drink is made with 18th Amendment tequila, ginger beer, and fresh lime juice. Again, locally sourced spirits with this tequila from Muskegon. She has been a mule drinker since around the time the pandemic started and she didn’t regret not getting the Old Fashioned.

It didn’t take long for our food to come out after we sat down. I think I had gotten up to get B a refill on his Sprite when I noticed the runners coming out of the kitchen with our plates.

I ordered the BBQ Bacon & Bleu Burger. This sandwich is anchored by a pasture raised beef patty from Carlson Farms topped with crispy tempura onions, thick cut bacon, a tangy BBQ sauce, and bleu cheese. I didn’t really need the onions on this so I scraped. I was left with an absolutely delicious burger. The meat is juicy and full of flavor. The bacon was crispy and salty. The tangy BBQ sauce held it all together with the tangy bleu cheese crumbles. I chose to add Parmesan truffle fries to my sandwich. The fries are fresh cut and topped with Parmesan cheese and truffle sauce. They served with a dipping sauce that we couldn’t quite place. Maybe some kind of fry sauce? Not quite ketchup. Not quite BBQ sauce but it was tangy and tasty is sauces are your thing.

J’s sandwich pick was the Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sando. This sandwich is a seasoned chicken breast topped with pepperjack cheese, ranch, lettuce, and pickles. There’s an option to make this a spicy chicken sandwich but J passed. Chicken breasts are hit or miss for J. She typically prefers thinner pieces of meat. She doesn’t like biting through big, thick, chunks of meat. It’s not a flavor thing..it’s a texture thing. This sandwich was thicker but it was super tender and your teeth kind of melt through the meat. She did the regular fries alongside her sandwich which were still incredibly tasty.

B ordered the Kid’s Grilled Cheese. This sandwich was really, really good. It’s simple, but really good. The buttered brioche bread had that amazing smooth, buttery crust that good grilled cheese has. The cheese is American which makes is super gooey. My kids swear they don’t like American cheese but love it every time they eat it without knowing. His sandwich came with fries which he doesn’t really eat so L took some and J and I split the rest.

L was being a little difficult because she seems to not like anything anymore. There’s an arugula salad on the menu so we pushed her towards that. It typically comes with feta, candied walnuts, dried cranberries and a lemon-poppy vinaigrette. L got it with just the cheese and ranch dressing. She wasn’t happy it was arugula and that she couldn’t get Italian dressing…then ended up eating the whole thing and really liking it. Go figure.

Our bill before tip was right around $60. That’s not awful for us anymore plus we had two cocktails.

Lake Burger Tavern brings all the good from Lake Burger (the burgers and fries) and adds in some delicious sandwiches and a full bar. I love that it’s counter ordering so it’s really laid back. You can stop in and have a great sit down type meal or just grab something delicious to go.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Mary Ann permalink
    September 30, 2022 5:54 pm

    That great red sauce is home made ketchup and you are right…it is yummy!

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