The next week is going to be really busy for me. It’s a change of pace and actually a welcome change of pace. I’m starting to get some work now that fall sports are getting under way which means a lot more traveling and a lot less time playing Wii.
A friend of mine was driving through on his way to Plymouth where he’s spending the weekend. He’s working for SPEED this week at MIS and Plymouth is where is hotel is. Since today was a travel day, he asked if I wanted to meet him for lunch somewhere. The original plan was to meet in Ann Arbor because he was going to take I-80 to Toledo then head north. For some reason, he changed his mind and took I-94 from Chicago.
Since he was taking 94, he was open to meeting somewhere closer for me. Jackson seemed like a good stopping point for both of us, so I started looking for places to eat.
We don’t get to Jackson very often, so I’m not really familiar with what’s there. I put a post on Twitter asking for suggestions and I did get a reply from one person. @ddkronkh pointed me to an article that was in the Jackson Citizen-Patriot about the Top Ten sandwiches in Jackson. I wanted to eat all of them, but I had to pick one.
What I ended up picking was The Roadhouse Bar & Grill on Lansing Road near Parnall Road in Blackman Township. Coming from Lansing, my GPS took me through the country a little bit and I was starting to wonder where this place was and if my friend from Illinois would be able to find out. It actually isn’t too far from I-94 and he was able to find it without the help of a GPS.
The red building sits fairly close to the road, but there is enough room for five or six cars to park in front. There’s plenty of parking on the sides and around the back of the building though. When I first drove by around 4:30, the parking lot looked packed. That’s a good sign. I didn’t stop then because my buddy was still about a forty minutes away.
When I came back closer to 5:15, the lot had cleared out a little, but there were still quite a few cars for a Wednesday night. The entrance is right in front of the building and you have to walk up three pretty steep steps to get to the entrance way which is more like a porch than part of the building. Eventually, you make your way into the bar area where we found a table in what I believe was the smoking section. First thing out of my buddy’s mouth, “Guess I’m not in Illinois anymore.” For someone who hadn’t been in a restaurant that allowed smoking in quite some time, the smoke was noticeable, but for someone who’s gotten used to it again, I didn’t really notice it.
We took a seat at a table and waited for a waitress. It took a little while for someone to finally acknowledge us by saying she’d be right back. Another lady came over and gave us menus to look over. There was some confusion here about between the two waitresses because neither knew if the other took our drink orders. We were finally asked and we both got Coke’s. They had Pepsi as well, but it was cans and not out of the fountain.
The menu is typical of a grill & bar but they did have some Mexican items as well. The sandwich the Citizen-Patriot spotlighted was the Muffulletta. Always a good choice, but wasn’t in the mood for it. I settled on the 1/2 lb. Bacon Cheese Burger (also available in a 1/4 lb). The sandwich comes with strips of bacon and cheddar cheese. It’s served “deluxe” which usually means condiments, lettuce, tomato, and onion, but I asked to keep all that off. I only wanted the bacon and cheese. The sandwich was pretty good. It was, for the most part, a typical pub burger. The bacon was nice and crispy and the cheese was melting into the meat. The bun was a sesame seed bun that had a little bit of toasting on it. The sandwich came with chips, but I upgraded to fries for a buck. The fries were out of the bag restaurant fries, but they were nice and golden brown.
My buddy started with an order of mozzarella sticks. They came out as an appetizer, but the waitress only brought ranch dressing. He’s not a ranch fan, so when she brought back more drinks, he asked for some marinara which she ran back to the kitchen and got. For the meal, he ordered the Philly Steak Hoagie. I’m sure it wasn’t an authentic Philly Steak, but from where I was sitting, it actually looked pretty good. The sandwich started with tender cuts of beef then it was topped with grilled onions, peppers and American cheese (slices, not whiz). He upgraded to fries as well, but he got the Roadhouse Fries which were little wedges of red potatoes that had been deep fried. He didn’t say anything either way about his sandwich (he doesn’t know I blog, so he didn’t make a point to tell me how it was like most people do), but he did finish it off and almost like the plate clean.
Our bill was probably a little over twenty bucks. We paid on separate checks and I know mine was a little over nine bucks, so I’m guessing on the total cost. The food was pretty good. It was a nice laid back spot for us to catch up. We didn’t feel rushed and it wasn’t a very big deal that we sat and caught up for about an hour after we finished our meal.
The Roadhouse Grill & Bar is a nice little neighborhood joint just outside of Jackson. They have an interesting menu and it’s a really laid back atmosphere. There are enough TV’s if you’re wanting to see a game, but it’s also a place you can feel comfortable bringing the family.