Mr. B’s Rustic Tavern

5 07 2008
  • 101 W. Grand Ave
  • Howell, MI 48843
  • (517) 548-5500
  • No Known Website
  • Menu
Mr. B\'s Rustic Tavern

Mr. B's Rustic Tavern - View from across Grand River Ave.

We came to the corner of Grand River and Michigan Ave. and there was this old building with a neon sign that wrapped around the building that said “Mr. B’s Rustic Tavern.”  There were tables outside that were full which is usually a good sign.  We found street parking about a block away then walked back.  Since the outside tables were full, we had to sit inside which really wasn’t a bad thing.  The inside of the tavern is divided into smoking and non-smoking with the bar in the smoking area.  Of course, the little half wall that divides the two areas does nothing to stop the smoke.  They certaintly didn’t falsely advertise with the name of the place.  The whole inside does have that rustic feel.  The floor is old, creaky hardwood and the walls and support beams look like had seen better days.  It gave a really neat, unique feel to the place.  Along one wall was a row of pictures depicting the history of downtown.  Along the ceiling beams were orange neon tube lights.  There were booths along with walls with tables filling the rest of the space.  Near the back of the space was another room with video games.  Plasma TV’s were hung over the bar and in the smoking section of the dining room.

A hostess showed us to a table near the windows so we could at least people watch while we were eating.  We got our drinks (Pepsi products) then put in our order.  While there was a lot that looked good to me, I went with the French Dip sandwich.  I got a little bit of sticker shock because the sandwich was eight dollars but it didn’t come with fries, so I payed the extra two bucks (yes, two bucks extra for fries) and got seasoned fries.  While it was hard to get over the price initially, I felt a little better when the food came.  The sandwich was served in a wicker bowel with a paper wrap.  The two pieces of the sandwich were individually wrapped in the same paper then positioned around a huge ceramic bowl with the au jus.  The plate was finished off with a huge order of steak fries.  There was a lot of food.  Too much actually.  The sandwich was good but nothing I haven’t had anywhere else before.  The sliced beef was served in a seasame seed sub bun.  I asked for the sandwich without the grilled onions and when I got it, it looked like they forgot to leave them off.  They did, but what threw me was the mozzerella.  Instead of a slice, they were like cube strips on mozzerella.  Just looking at the sandwich, they looked like onions.  I figured it out when I went to see if I could pick them off and they were stringy.  The au jus had an onion-y flavor which I’ve gotten used to and have started to like.  The fries were big and seasoned very well.  Steak fries are hard to cook and these were cooked perfectly.  A nice golden brown and crispy.  There were visible pieces of sea salt on each fry.  As I mentioned earlier, there was a lot of food.  I actually was not able to finish everything on my plate and I’ve got a big appetite, so if you look at how much food you get for ten bucks it will help justify the price.

My girlfriend got the chicken tender basket.  Her plate came piled just as high as mine did.  The pieces of chicken were really big.  Before she even started, she passed one to me knowing she wouldn’t be able to eat it all.  She really liked the crispy breading.  They were thin strips but long and wide.  She got the same fries with her basket.  She really likes fries crispy and these were.  She also mentioned the seasoning and compared them to what I make at home.  I really season my fries, but I use sea salt and ancho chile powder.  These didn’t have any chili powder, but the salt really added more flavor than you would imagine.  When she got to the end, she had one chicken strip left and a little bit of the cole slaw that came on the side.

Once we finally got our bill, it was a little more than I like to pay for lunch at a bar.  Before the tip, our check was just over $25.  Both of us left full and probably could have taken a little bit home.  Our waitress was on top of things having our check ready before she took our plates so there was no lag time after we finished.  We both enjoyed Mr. B’s for both the food and the atmosphere.  The prices might have been a tad high, but the portion size made up for it.  I’m sure we’ll head back that direction for a few of the shops and Mr. B’s will definately get consideration for a return trip




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