If one thing is true about me, it’s that great food and travel speak to my soul. Whether it’s finding a fantastic local spot to visit again and again as a “tourist in my own town” or seeking out a new place somewhere in Tombstone, Arizona (more on that some other time), I’m completely game for the adventure.
One place lately that speaks my inner food lover and local travel nerd is Main Street BBQ in Lowell, Michigan. This fairly new restaurant is not far from where I grew up and (thankfully) not too far from where I live now!
the delicious details:
The place: It’s situated in the middle of Main Street with ample parking in the rear, on the street, and in a side lot. It occupies a sizable space in one of the old buildings downtown and offers great seating in front of massive picture windows overlooking the street. The interior has a rustic industrial feel with distressed bricks covering the walls and soft lighting strung on cables and metal bars above.
For lunch, it has a fantastic convivial atmosphere as plenty of locals stop by for lunch. At night, it’s a warm and inviting spot to meet friends for great food, drinks and conversation.
The food: Their broad range of meats – chicken, pork, beef, fish – guarantees that anyone who goes will find something to enjoy. Personally, my favorite is the beef brisket – it’s simply divine. It has that melt-in-your-mouth tenderness and so much flavor, it’ll render you speechless for the first few bites.
The sides and sauces are phenomenal compliments to the meats. The hush pups, coleslaw, cheddar corn bread and potato salad are just a few of the incredibly delicious choices to sit alongside whatever meat you choose. Their smooth white sauce and tangy vinegar sauce are only two of the six offered at each table.
The beverages: Bell’s, Founders, Perrin and Chateau Grand Traverse get honorable mentions on their extensive drink list that brings the West Michigan food and beverage scene together in one incredible culinary trip.
The inspiration: Sitting on the side of all this delicious food, almost as an afterthought (though certainly not treated that way), is a refreshingly tangy cucumber and onion salad. Initially, I was pleasantly surprised to see it as it’s something I’ve only ever eaten at my grandma’s house. This vinegar-based salad is a great foil for the all the strong flavors associated with the BBQ.
My most recent visit there last week inspired me to make this salad and though it isn’t exactly like what they serve at Main Street or what my grandma makes, it’s a pretty good substitute.
Be warned: the following recipe is a cobbled together version done during a hunger-driven rampage through my kitchen one night.
Okay, not exactly, but I got home from work one night and was craving this salad terribly! Instead of patiently searching out a recipe or calling my grandma for her’s, I just started throwing ingredients in the bowl and voila!: This cucumber salad was born. I’m certainly no Betty Crocker, but I think this recipe will become a staple for my refrigerator.
2-3 medium to large cucumbers of any kind
1/2 white onion
1/2 cup of white vinegar
2-3 tbsp of sugar (to taste)
1/2 cup of water
1/2 – 1 tsp of salt
Black pepper to taste
Cut the cucumbers in half lengthwise and then chop them into thin slices, like half moons. Cut the onion in half and cut into thin slices like the cucumber.
Combine the onion and cucumber into a glass bowl. Set aside.
Stir the vinegar, water, sugar, salt and pepper in another bowl until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Pour this mixture over the cucumbers and onions.
Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or up to a couple of days to let the flavors mingle and the cucumbers and onions become tender. Enjoy!
If you’re looking for a new spot to grab lunch or dinner with friends in West Michigan, head over to Lowell and check out Main Street BBQ. I promise, you won’t walk away hungry, thirsty or disappointed.