Monday, August 10, 2009

Redamak's: Bite into a Legend?

-Got Beef?
The Burgers of Michigan

If you grew up in Chicago and ever spent anytime over summer in SW Michigan Harbor Country then you might remember Redamak's-the burger that made New Buffalo, Michigan famous. In fact if your from Chicago and grew up or lived in Lincoln Park you may even remember the 2nd location of Redamak's that opened on Lincoln ave but only lasted for a year or two. So you knew it's time on here was coming. I have been to both locations but obviously the one on Lincoln is long gone but I do remember going there. I've been going up to the Michigan City/Harbor Country area during the summer months for a long time and Redamak's has always been a part of it. It is a summer time only establishment so they close for the winter in October but are able to do so because they fill the 200 seat restaurant almost everyday of the summer and fall with both locals and lots of Chicagoans.

Another popular stop along Red Arrow Highway

Having been around since 1946 it has quite a history and loyal following of generations of families but to be blunt its a love/hate thing. I know people who think its the best ever and I know some who scream its all hype. I would count myself somewhere in the middle and maybe even closer to the hype part. Its not because its a bad burger but because sometimes things just cant live up to the hype due to the fact its so great. So if you grew up on these things and ate them often every summer maybe you think its the best because it takes you back to summer time as a kid. I ate there a few times a summer but it was never my favorite as a kid either. I did and still do enjoy going there once a summer so I was there for my yearly visit not too long ago. I had to get it on here, people have been asking.

Redamak's is a good option for family's on vacation in the area

Due to its large space and booze being available its a nice choice for a family in the area to go for a dinner night out. Especially if you have children which most vacationers do in the summer. What it is great for is a good old fashioned All-American meal after a hot day in the water and sun. If it was a long day for the parents keeping rack of all the little rug rats well its got the booze for them so you can see why there's usually a wait at nighttime and a guarantee on weekends. Redamak's takes care of the waiting process fort he kids by having a arcade and game room and for the adults by having a large waiting area outside and beer/drinks available while you wait. the kitchen does a good job of getting the food out fast so the turnover is quick and you wont go home hungry from this place. One thing I actually prefer to the burgers is the appetizer selection. While there's nothing too special about it-they have quite a few fried options that you can never go wrong with. Here are my go to items when I take my yearly visit.

Red's Chip's

^How can deep fried home chips topped with cheddar sauce and bacon bits served with sour cream not be good? to both kids and adults-who might not admit it but they'll keep picking at them.

Onion rings are the Brew City battered frozen kind...which are actually quite good

Mini Tacos

^Well this one might just be a me thing but I cant get enough of these frozen treats. I guess you can call it my shameful food obsession because there just frozen little tacos shells filled with mystery beef and fried up and served with cheese, sour cream and salsa.

"The burger that made New Buffalo, Michigan famous"

Then there is the burger, the one where they proclaim you are biting into a legend! The meat is ground fresh in the meat room 3-5 times a week according to the season. The burger is prepared the same way it was back when it was a popular tavern and a must stop to eat along Red Arrow Highway for traveling Chicagoans before I-94 was built. Its pan fried and wrapped in wax paper and you gotta give the current owners credit for not switching a thing. I would guess the burger is a quarter pound and everything means ketchup, mustard, raw onions and dill pickles.

They do not and have never offered lettuce or tomatoes. Options available for extra include grilled onions, round bacon, mushrooms, chili, jalapenos and green olives. Now here is my belief on why the kids love it and so if you grew up on it you might still love it-the cheese. The standard cheese is Velveeta like substance and so maybe not so popular with an older person who's just eating there for the first time. Swiss cheese is offered and so are double and triple burgers. I always go with a cheeseburger with grilled onions and mustard and pickles. Its not the best ever but I do enjoy it for what it is once a year when in the area.

Redamak's cheeseburger: A legend in its own mind? I Keed, I keed

Redamak's has quite a history so if you want to learn more about it then check out the page on their website. Just be warned it does play cheesy music. Click here for the history.

Redamak's Tavern
616 E Buffalo St
New Buffalo, MI 49117-1519
(269) 469-4522
Website (plays music)

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