Mountain Town Station
506 W Broadway St
Mt Pleasant, Michigan
Visited on September 6, 2010
Mountain Town Station is exactly what I’ve come to expect from Michigan brewpubs – beautiful with good beer and food even if it’s in the middle of nowhere. This one happens to be one of the area’s oldest operations and its still going strong. On my first visit, I was more impressed by the building than by the food or beer. On the second visit, a day before a marathon in Traverse City, the food was much better though the beer can still use a little bit of work.
After a Labor Day weekend full of crap brewpubs and disappointing experiences, I was afraid the trend would continue on my last stop. Luckily, Mountain Town Station is a pretty solid establishment. It’s nowhere near on par with Bell’s or Founders, but it ain’t too shabby.
The building looks a lot like the Oaken Barrel in Greenwood, Indiana. A giant, barrel-looking feature dominates the rest of the building, which has a sort of warehouse tinge to it. Inside is elegant. Very low lights – almost too low – a nice bar, nice tables and the feeling of an upscale establishment without overdoing anything.
The food was probably the best part about my experience here. The menu is pretty varied – and pretty expensive – but one doesn’t have to spend a whole arm and a leg; just one or the other will suffice. I ordered a beef brisket entrée that came with a side, bread and salad for $14.00. Not too shabby. They were nice enough to replace my salad with a cup of mushroom bisque, which was delightful. The brisket was a bit on the cold side, but it was tender, smoky and absolutely done to perfection. The beans were a mix of black and navy in the barbeque sauce, and though they could have used some onion or bacon, were damned tasty anyways.
The beer was certainly drinkable, but nothing was nearly good enough to make me want to take some home. The weizen was nice because it had the traditional German flavors without them being overdone (I’m not a big fan of the style when the taste is strong) and the IPA was well-done. The brown and the stout was drowned out by the barbecue sauce; a sure sign there wasn’t enough flavor in there even if I could get a clean taste anyways.
The service was serviceable. Quick, friendly, efficient. But nothing out of the ordinary, which describes this place quite well.