Travelers Club International Restaurant and Tuba Museum

13 10 2008
  • 2138 Hamilton Rd.
  • Okemos, MI 48864
  • (517) 349-1701
  • Website
  • Menu
The Travelers Club International Restaurant and Tuba Museum in Okemos

The Travelers Club International Restaurant and Tuba Museum in Okemos

I had no idea what to expect dining at a tuba museum.  The Travelers Club is one of the first places that jumped out at us when we moved to Mid-Michigan.  It just sounded and looked like an interesting place.  We kept putting off dining there because we don’t make it to Okemos very often.  Now that Younkers is done remodeling, that may change. 

The Travelers Club is at the intersection of Hamilton Road and Okemos Road.  It’s hard to miss on your way to Meridan Mall.  The little corner building doesn’t look like a very big restaurant from the outside.  We found parking along Hamilton Road and walked to the red doors that open into quaint dining room with a row of booths and an number or tables crammed into the space.  When we walked in, we heard a voice from somewhere in the back tell us to find a seat wherever we liked.  We made our way to the back of the dining room where we took a table along the back wall.  For being a Sunday afternoon at three o’clock, the Travelers Club was doing pretty good business.  All the booths were full and there were quite a few tables being used as well.

A waiter came over with the menus which have seen better days.  He took our drink orders.  J ordered a Diet Coke and I ordered a Coke.  We didn’t realize they actually served Pepsi, but when the waiter brought the drinks, I didn’t think my drink tasted like either a Coke or Pepsi.  Turns out, it was a Diet Pepsi.  Oh well.  It’s probably better for me.  The waiter then gave us a few more minutes to look over the huge menu.  The whole idea behind the restaurant is the “traveling” menu.  There are pages for a number of different ethnic cuisine choices.  Throughout the year, there are different specialties of the house highlighting a different country or regional cuisine.  This month happens to be America.

I jumped straight to the sandwiches and burgers section of the menu.  There were a couple sandwiches I considered, but there was also a Buffalo Burger and I have a hard time passing that up.  On the next page there was a page dedicated to informing the patron about the benefits of buffalo meat and a cholesterol comparison between buffalo and other popular meats.  The burger came with a side of BBQ sauce, chips and a pickle.  At first, I was a little scared.  You can’t cook buffalo well done or it gets really tough.  When cooking steaks, the rarer the better with buffalo.  I always struggle when cooking buffalo burgers myself because I know I need to find that happy medium between safe and yummy.  When this burger was set down in front of me, it looked like there was blood on the burger.  I hoped it would still be juicy, but not still breathing.  I hesitantly took a bite only to find the burger was perfectly cooked.  It was just a little bit pink in the middle and not dried out at all.  After a couple bites, I put a little of the BBQ sauce on just to spice things up a little.  The sauce was a little sweet and helped give the burger a little more flavor and a little more moisture.

J went somewhere totally new for her.  She ordered the Southwest Grill which is a grilled cheese sandwich with grilled onion, tomato slices, and guacamole.  A side of tortilla chips and salsa also came with the sandwich.  Grilled cheese is one of her favorite meals, but all the extras were a little scary.  Turns out, she loved it….even with the onions.  She’s not really an onion fan, but these onions were small enough and blended into the sandwich that she didn’t really notice them.  She said the sandwich far exceeded her expectations and that it’s definitely something she would order again.

Our bill for lunch was right at $20.  It took a little while for our waiter to notice we were ready for the check, but once he did, things went pretty quickly.  The Travelers Club is such an interesting space.  The tuba museum part of the business is mixed right in with the restaurant.  There are tubas mounted along the ceiling.  We actually sat in the “sousaphone corner” of the museum.  The whole space is a really interesting mix of exhibits.  The food was good.  The atmosphere is interesting.  It’s a shame to think there’s a for sale sign on the property out front.




One response

20 10 2008

the beer is also good! but yeah we ate here a couple of years ago and the service was pretty slow… 😦

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