Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Gem

There's a sleepy town on the border where Wisconsin and Michigan are separated by the Memonimee River. Marinette is home to the Mickey-Lu-Bar-B-Q, the neatest burger joint in the Midwest. If you enjoy a little nostalgia, make sure to stop in for a step back in time. When you do, the first thing you'll notice when you get out of your car is the mouth-watering smell of charcoal coming from the old tin smokestack. Yep, Kingsford charcoal. All the food is cooked over a charcoal-fired grill located smack dab in the middle of the diner. It's dark brick front faces the lunch counter, which seats about twelve. The counter bears 24 worn spots that came from 63 years of propped elbows. Countless burgers have been served over that old counter, and probably as many first dates were spent in the two-seater booths under the windows along the wall. Some have had both their first date and their 50th anniversary there.

The food is simple: burgers, brats, and dogs. All served on Zemal (Semmel) rolls toasted over the grill. They also serve a fair amount of fried egg sammiches, which was a surprise to see on the menu.

No fries. You want a tater - get a bag of chips.

And malts. This place wouldn't be right without malts.

Everything adds to the character of the place, but it's the charcoal-fired grill that makes it so neat. Nobody can deny that charcoal makes food better.

We sat directly across the front of the grill, watching the grill master flip burgers, crack eggs, cook brats, toast buns, assemble burgers, wrap orders, and ring the bell. All in short order. The waitresses were a blur, running to keep up with the malt machine and the bell. The burgers are not huge, but neither are the prices. 2 dcw & 2 cm was about $10. That's two double cheeseburgers with the works and two chocolate malts. The works is onions, pickles, ketchup & mustard, and butter. The buns are toasted just right, and are still nice and soft.

So stop there. Get a dcw. Relax. And enjoy.


Jeffro said...


I love eating at little out of the way diners and such - the food is usually always good and easily approaches Gramma made quality, plus it's relatively cheap. It's too bad that most of the small town cafes and diners seem to be on the endangered species list.

Sherri said...

What a cool place Andy. Thanks for sharing...