If you want a cheap drink and a small, “up north Michigan bar” feel, head on over to the Mushroom Bar and Grill in Mesick, Michigan. Mesick??!??! Yeah... Mesick. Map it, it's a city in Michigan - trust me.
Though I wasn’t feeling adventurous enough for their more unusual items such as duck, their bar food served up just fine- and what’s more, they had wi-fi! This is not a small compliment in Mesick. It really is cheap eats with a lot of food. A couple dollars gets you nice and full. It's basically greasy foodie heaven.
One plus is that they are located smack dab between Traverse City and Frankfort, so the location lends itself to up north vacation commuters. You’ll get a smile, a $3 glass of wine/ draft beer, and a game of pool if you so desire. And the bonus is the people watching- listen to some local gossip while you watch sports or hang out at the bar.
I spent every summer in Mesick and remember the good ole days of Fish Fry Fridays and fried chicken. It's been totally remodeled, but every time I walk in I still can smell the same fry grease, wood, and hint of smoke that you just can't remodel out of a place. It's a place that reminds me of my childhood and though I don't think its the best bar I have ever been to they will definitely see me every time I stop up.
Their burgers are like greasy delicious patty melts on buttered grilled bread. Throw on some cheddar and thick bacon and you have a decent cheeseburger. Basically I think they cook them in butter (butter burger) because they taste so good. I don't eat butter that much so when I have, I instantly miss it.
Sadly, they are closed. However, ever since I was young this place has been opening and closing and opening and closing... Dairy DANS might be closed, but Dairy 'insert other name' will probably open soon. Hopefully they will keep the burgers they way they are. Drenched in butter!
This is downtown Mesick. You really can't miss it because "downtown" is almost nonexistent.
Ok, Sparks gets five stars in the category of diners and homemade food. So take that into account before reading this. This is not like a five star restaurant. This is a small family run restaurant in what feels like a one mile by one mile town.
How did I stumble upon this little gem you ask? My family has a cottage in this small town and I spend alot of time hanging around the up north area.
For some reason I am always partial to family run establishments. This place has homemade everything it seems. The jam is tops (they make it). The bacon and sparks hash is what brings me back every time. Get a full order of cheesy, green peppery, oniony, hammy, potatoey deliciousness. The bacon is smoked and juicy. It's thick. Just like good bacon should be. It Tastes like it was just sliced off the pig, which makes it the best bacon I have ever had thus far. I don't joke about bacon. Ever. This is serious business.
What's surprising is they have gluten-free bread, which is great. Im only surprised because it doesn't seem like anyone but Ann Arbor cares to have items like this.
I've recently had their burger which quite possibly could be one of my favorite burgers. I don't know if it's the way they cooked it that time or I just was really hungry but it was goooood. However, the fries were normal fries. If they were the hand cut ones you could get at the dairy place down the street then the whole meal would be complete.
If you are a first timer you should get sparks hash, the bacon, and choose a homemade bread for sure. Try every single one of the jams. They won't disappoint.
While you're waiting for your food to digest look at their homemade jerky and pies. Triple berry is my favorite and honestly, I don't like pies or dessert-like foods so that says alot.
*the dairy place is closed down now
**reduced to 4 stars because of new management
Giving you a taste of what I taste. From gourmet to everyday. No pretentious bull - just good food.