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Main Street Smokehouse

March 1, 2023

  • 225 W. Main Street
  • Mendon, MI 49072
  • (269) 496-5002
  • Website
  • Menu

We have lived in our house on the westside of Kalamazoo for almost 13 years and have never had an extended power outage.

We can’t say that anymore.

We were one of the unlucky ones who lost power last Wednesday evening as the ice storm was rolling through. We were able to tough it out Wednesday night. Thursday night we found a hotel room. Friday night, we were looking for a hotel for the weekend but really were not wanting to pay that much money.

Fortunately, my in-laws said we could use their house for the weekend. They live on a lake near Centreville so they didn’t get the ice that we got. They’re in Florida for the winter so we just had to open the house back up for a few days with hopes our power would return before Monday.

J was going to wait for me to get off work on Friday so we wouldn’t have to take two cars. I told her that was not a great idea. They’d have to sit in our cold, dark house until 6:30. I told her to just go where it was warm. I’d check on the house again after work before driving down there.

There’s obviously no food at my in-laws since they’re not home and we didn’t want to bring a lot in with us or make a mess of the kitchen. I suggested we meet in Mendon for dinner once I got off work. There’s a place there we’ve both been wanting to try.

Main Street Smokehouse is on Main Street in Mendon just to the east of Burr Oak Street. The building was home to Viva until they moved to Portage last year. It’s an odd building sandwiched between Main Street and the St. Joseph River. There is no parking right in front of the building because the road is literally a few steps from the front door. There is parking across the street at the Mendon Farmers’ Market so you don’t have to walk too far.

The restaurant is really tight inside. It’s highly, highly suggested you get reservations…especially on a weekend. The main floor has less than a dozen tables and they are packed in pretty tightly. When we at in this building when it was Viva, there was some balcony’s with tables too but that’s not a thing you can do in Michigan winters. We were smart enough to get a reservation with made sure we had a table. There’s also a downstairs area we saw waitresses going to but we didn’t go down there to see how big that area was. We know they were turning people way at the door though.

There’s also a pretty small bar area on the main floor. This was also packed with people hanging out and having a few drinks. There was one more table here tucked in to the corner but it looked like it was maybe only on or two seats.

I wasn’t really in a drink mood so I got a Coke. J was in a drink mood so she got a margarita. The cocktail menu isn’t online and I forgot to snap a picture of it so I don’t actually know what was in this but after a couple of sleepless nights, J said this one really hit good.

Literally everything on the menu at Main Street Smokehouse looked good to me. Why chose just one when you can choose 3, right?

I did the Smokehouse Sampler. This plate included 1/3 lb of both brisket and pulled pork plus a 1/3 of a rack of ribs, Texas Toast and choice of side. I obviously picked the Smash Potato fries because I like fries. This plate was only four dollars more than the sandwiches so it just made sense to try a little bit of everything.

I started with the ribs since they were laying on top of everything. They’re a St. Louis style rib with a sweet sour glaze. These ribs just slid right off the bone when I picked them up. They were tender and smokey and delicious. I like ribs dry so I could have done without the glaze but it was still tasty and didn’t take away from how good these ribs were.

I went to the brisket next because brisket is always my favorite. The brisket is cooked with black pepper, pasilla chiles, guajillo chiles, a house spice mix, soy sauce, and mushrooms. The meat was tender and broke off easily with each bite. It didn’t have the good salty crust typical of a Texas brisket but it had a more complex flavor.

The third meat was the pulled pork. They inject the pork with a sweet nectar and apple juice mix and rub it with dry rub. This pork is something else. I’m pretty partial to my own pulled pork…which I also inject with apple juice…but this was really good. I’ve become more of a brisket guy when eating at BBQ restaurants because I don’t have the time to make brisket at home…but the pork was really the standout on this plate.

I didn’t know what to expect with the Smash Potato fries. They were essential steak fries that had been slightly smashed. They were good…and, like always, fries are good vessels to get BBQ sauce in to you mouth. I was able to try all four of the sauces on the table with the fries. I don’t normally put sauce on the meats but I still like a good BBQ sauce for dipping potatoes.

J ordered the Pulled Pork sandwich. As much as I liked the pulled pork, she loved it. She made no bones about it saying this was the best pulled pork she’s ever had. She said that more than once. The apple juice injected pork is such a different flavor. It keeps the pork really juicy as well. The sandwich comes with the Carolina BBQ sauce already on it and it’s served on a brioche bun with kettle chips. J can sometimes get picky about big pieces of meat but that didn’t matter with this one. The flavor was so amazing she got over the texture of chewing through a big hunk of pork.

It’s not online anywhere but there is a kids’ menu. We were a little hesitant on going here at first because neither of our kids eat BBQ and we didn’t see anything on the menu B would eat. I did a search on their Facebook page to see if it was mentioned and it was…it just didn’t have what was on it.

L ordered the Mac and Cheese. We ordered it off the kids’ menu so she would get the kettle chips with it. We probably should have just ordered it off the adult menu. L, who can be picky about mac and cheese, took one bite…then finished the bowl in probably two more bites. She really liked this. The mac and cheese are big macaroni noodles with a thick, creamy sauce and topped with shaved Parmesan. She was still hungry and we were still ordering so when we got the waitresses attention, we actually ordered her a side order of the mac and cheese from the adult menu.

B asked for the Chicken Tenders for his meal. This bowl had three crispy pieces of chicken and kettle chips. He asked for ranch to dip them in but they really didn’t need anything to dip in. These tenders were area actually really good on their own. They weren’t the typical flat, frozen food service tenders you get a lot of times. These are thicker chunks of chicken with a thick, golden brown, delicious breading.

Our bill for diner was a little over $60.

Main Street Smokehouse is a legit BBQ joint. Everything we had was delicious and even the kids ate their meals which is unheard of most of the time. Reservations are super important but can easily be done online. I really think this is the kind of place worth driving to if you’re looking for a night out someplace different. It’s loud and a little cramped, but once that food is set down, you won’t even notice. The food is legit.

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