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Jul 22, 2010 08:31 AM

Brooklyn (Irish Hills), Michigan and surrounding areas

Having spent six weeks (over a six month period) in Brooklyn, Michigan (for work at the Michigan International Speedway) I wanted to post my favorite local restaurants and those in the surrounding areas. I'm leaving out Ann Arbor as it's just too big and there are already many threads on it.

Please chime in if you have any other suggestions (I'm here for another week!)

My favorites/Worth the trip:

The Common Grill (Chelsea):
Excellent, fresh, nice wine/beer list. Best ambiance/interior in the area.

Evans Street Station (Tecumseh):
Inspired chef, seasonal menu, some hard to find beers/wines, atmosphere is nice (but a bit dated and overly formal).

The Main Street Stable & Tavern / The Hathaway House (Blissfield):
Two separate restaurants located right next to one another (same owner). Hathaway is the more formal of the two and I believe only open on the weekends. MS Stable is very informal with a great bar. Pleasant patio as well. Look out for their events which include backyard bbq's and farmers market dinners.

By town:

Jerry's Pub -
Owned and Operated by a really welcoming/friendly family, a step or two above standard pub fare with a outstanding lake view and outdoor bar. Food is hit or miss depending on who's in the kitchen and I'd suggest sticking to the "specials" menu.

Others in the area that I can't necessarily suggest but will list herein as they are the best options in town (I've tried everything):
The Beach Bar (horrible layout, lots of senior citizens, uninspired/boring menu but it’s near the lake and they make a decent pizza
)Popp's Place
Randy's BBQ
Harold's Place (never actually been but hear good things)


Aggie's Sports Bar
The name says it all. Ordinary (but done well) bar food with a solid burger. Divey. Boring beer list. Don't come here expecting any surprises - but it works.
108 Brooklyn Road. Napoleon, MI 49261

Napoleon Cafe:
Standard home cooking - good breakfast and lunch. Never went for dinner though it looks like they have some interesting specials including various Easter European offerings.
6816 Brooklyn Road. Napoleon, MI


Daryl's Downtown:
Apparently run by former chef of The Common Grill. Some similar menu items, but certainly not as fresh or as good. They have a huge dining room which felt awkward as it was dead when I was in there. Some nice seafood options.

Knights Steakhouse:
Not the greatest (or anywhere near it) steak, but it works. Sit in or at the bar (it's dark and welcoming) and order yourself a stiff cocktail.

West Texas BBQ:
Off the side of the highway. Very odd hours (lunch only) so make sure to consult the site before heading over! Cool spot.


Clinton Tavern (AKA Dan's Sports Bar
)Ordinary bar fare well done, enormous and very tasty burger. Some hard to find beers beers.
124 West Michigan Avenue. Clinton, MI 49236-9577


Seafood. Some interesting dishes. Oyster Bar. Upscale interior. Nice place for lunch too.


Seitz's Tavern:
Old School bar. Awesome. Grab a beer or two before heading over to Common Grill. Never tried the food, but they do offer it.
110 West Middle Street. Chelsea, MI 48118-1225

Spending long hours at the track can be daunting and the local food choices may get you down, but if you’re willing to travel a bit out of town you will be rewarded. Don’t be scared.

Evans Street Station
110 S Evans St, Tecumseh, MI 49286

Common Grill
112 S Main St, Chelsea, MI 48118

Seitz's Tavern
110 W Middle St, Chelsea, MI 48118

Daryl's Downtown
151 W Michigan Ave, Jackson, MI 49201

Clinton Tavern
124 W Michigan Ave, Clinton, MI 49236

Harold's Place
Corner of US 12 Onsted Hwy, Brooklyn, MI 49230

Jerry's Pub & Restaurant
650 Egan Hwy, Brooklyn, MI 49230

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  1. Thanks for posting. I pass this area generally once a month when travelling to Detroit area from Milwaukee......I'll have to stop by one of your faves!

    1. Thank you for the summary Hoover13. I wish West Texas BBQ's meat had worked out for you in a more inspiring manner (as it did for me). In any event, I was unfamiliar with some of the other places you enjoyed, so I will have to check them out.

      What the heck, while we're on the topic, let me add that I made the long drive to Chelsea's Common Grill this past weekend. Nice space on a nice strip. Really cool. Although there were many enticing value-priced brunch offerings, I chose to splurge and order paella at $28(ouch).

      I must say, the smoked paprika / cured sausage flavor of the whole dish, and the quality/freshness of the seafood, were very, very good...generally comparable to Valencia. Clams, lobster, salmon, halibut, jumbo shrimp, linguica (excellent!), chicken(chicken added nothing)...yum!!! Also included were fresh vegetables, all blanched and then flash broiled. Too, the bread was wonderful, by Michigan standards. My only disappointments were that the rice was an easy, converted type rather than a fresh medium grain creamy (risotto style) type....even though seafood risotto IS also on the menu....and that the flash broil finish overcooked the quality pre-poached seafood ever so very slightly. Still quite nice, but just not absolute perfection. For $28+ (one person) I was sort of expecting perfection, but I left very thrilled, nevertheless. Maybe a lot less quantity, but a little less price, would have elicited a "practically perfection" evaluation from me.

      I hope you come back and visit Michigan again (and still have that sweet expense account you enjoy, when you do). Happy travels Hoover13 :-)

      Common Grill
      112 S Main St, Chelsea, MI 48118

      1 Reply
      1. re: vtombrown

        Thanks for the kind words vtombrown. I actually really liked West Texas BBQ, in fact I snuck over there for lunch today! I got the sampler platter each time - once with Brisket, Turkey and Polish Sausage and another time with Beef, Hot link and Pork. I can't say I'm a huge fan of their BBQ sauce, but will admit that I was really surprised by the turkey! Wow. I was hesitant to order it but it ended up being one of my favorite items. The same woman was working the counter both times I visited and gave me a free side each time which goes a long way in my book. Great road-side ambiance in there too.

        I'm glad you made it over to the Common Grill. It really has been my best experience on this side of town so far. I'll admit though that my first trip was much more successful then my second. Perhaps I was starved from anything decent for so long that I blew it out of proportion after my first visit, but needless to say - still a favorite. If you get a chance try to get out to Evans Street Station (Tecumseh) and The Main Street Stable & Tavern / The Hathaway House (Blissfield) too. All were really nice surprises for me. Though I'll caution you now that Evans Street is quite expensive.

        I've really enjoyed my stays here - and I'm sure I will roll back into town one of these days (my Mom recently moved out to Indy). I'll make sure to check your posts for all the new spots when I return. : )

        Evans Street Station
        110 S Evans St, Tecumseh, MI 49286

        Common Grill
        112 S Main St, Chelsea, MI 48118

      2. Hey, Hoover...were you on a winning X Prize team?

        2 Replies
        1. re: coney with everything

          No, I work for the X PRIZE and ran the competition (while not driving all over Michigan stuffing my face).

          1. re: Hoover13

            Are you coming back in the Spring?