The quick trip out to picturesque Brighton really is a lot quicker than you'd think (25 minutes from Royal Oak, in fact). And besides, it's gorgeous scenery. Looking to grab a drink on a beautiful patio and mingle, maybe do a little dancing? This is the perfect spot for all of that. But when it comes to food, there are few places – dare I say in the Midwest – better than Burroughs Tavern.
Any restaurant selected to appear in our Made in Michigan issue had better have one hell of a menu – featuring local faire, fresh ingredients, etc. Well, if there's a restaurant that does more of that than Burroughs Tavern, we'd be shocked. (They did, after all, win our 2012 Best Local Menu.) From Michigan buttermilk to Pinconning cheese to Bluegill caught locally, there are few establishments that use Michigan produce and ingredients to create such incredible dishes.
The success a restaurant has, and the pride that its employees have in their job, always starts from the top down. Joe Agius sets the example for the staff, and you can tell. He regularly walks the restaurant, inquires as to how everyone is enjoying their food and just chats it up with the clientele (and he's completely genuine about it, it's not like the whole used car salesman act you're probably used to).
The aforementioned Bluegill is fantastic – even if you're not a big fish fan. It doesn't have that overly-fishy taste, the breading is buttery and light and the fillets are just small enough to not weigh you down. And the Pinconning Colby garlic mashed potatoes that come with them literally taste like heaven.
When I think of Burroughs Tavern (now, aside from fish), I think of barbeque – and smoked meats! I seriously dream of their smoked goodness. The BT Bonanza is the perfect introduction if you are so unfortunate to not have tried the sweet, sweet meat that they offer at their wonderful restaurant. It's a plate that is literally overflowing with smokey wings (smoked for over three hours) that are, in fact, the most delightful thing I have ever eaten, falling-off-the-bone ribs, Old Bay-seasoned jumbo shrimp and an order of their goat/cream cheese-topped Burroughs bites. It is, no exaggeration, a plate of happiness.
The other great thing to keep in mind when eating at Burroughs is that their approach to their smoked and barbequed meats is very simple – everyone, from 8 to 80, should be able to enjoy their barbeque, without feeling like it's too spicy or strong. Their pulled pork and brisket are delicious, moist and perfectly prepared. They keep a variety of homemade sauces on the table so that you can either spice it up or add a sweet BBQ sauce to it, whatever you'd like – but it certainly won't start out too strong.
The bottom line at Burroughs is that you simply can't go wrong, no matter what you order. From top to bottom – appetizer to mouth-watering dessert (try their apple crisp or Michigan cherry bread pudding, you'll appreciate both no matter how full you are by dessert), it can't be beat. | RDW