Shoreline Brewery & Restaurant
208 Wabash St
Michigan City, Indiana
Visited on February 25, 2011
I was surprised by how good ShoreLine was given its location off the beaten trail in the middle of a forgotten industrial town. It looks like it’s right next to a nuclear power plant, though I think the large structure is something else. But anyway, the location, food, and especially the beer is all outstanding. Stop by if you’re ever on the way from Chicago to Michigan or vice versa.
Driving up to ShoreLine through the streets of Michigan City is a bit of an experience. I came in from the east and was a little perturbed by the terrible condition of the roads, the lack of any real sort of town and the giant nuclear power plant looming just hundreds of yards away. Luckily, any fears were quickly abated by one awesome experience.
I really like the feel of ShoreLine. The interior is clean, crisp, made mostly of wood and not overly decorated. The bar is long and comfortable. There are a few televisions hanging in the corners – not enough to make it a viable option during football weekends or March Madness, but enough to see the big game. It’s an old, stand-alone red brick building that has been reclaimed to make any kind of diner feel at home, which I appreciate.
Whatever “it” factor that the location lacks (and it does slightly), it is more than made up for by the beer and the food. The menu features a decent mix of pub entrees like fish and chips or pasta and sandwiches and burgers. But these aren’t your normal deli sandwiches. Pulled pork, Cajun shrimp, crap cakes, falafel and avocado aioli are just a few of the things you can find featured on their creations. I had a Cajun shrimp wrap that wasn’t overly spicy and definitely hit the spot. My favorite part of the experience, though, was the house-made vegetable chips. Besides the typical russet potatoes, they’re slicing up yams and beets and frying them to perfection themselves. Yum!
The beer is also top quality with plenty of selections to choose from. From lighter lagers and English pale ales to imperial scotch ales and whopping 15% honey oatmeal stouts, none of their selections are light on flavor. The one detraction, in my opinion, was their IPA, which was a little bitter up front without much floral complexity as a payoff. But past that, all the beers were very good, with special recognition of their Big Bella heavy Scotch Ale, which was superb.
I was in a little past lunch time, so there wasn’t a big crowd, but the girl behind the bar was pretty attentive. She had no problem helping me choose between dishes and took an active interest in which beers I was enjoying. All in all, a great find.