It must be regarded as proof of the local food movement’s success in Michigan that even in freeway-billboard-advertised, tourist-oriented Frankenmuth, local food and drink are being given a place at the table. The scenic little burg, with its perpetual Christmas at Bronner’s and ongoing chicken dinners at 125-year-old Bavarian Inn, would seem the last place a real, live dining trend would rear its head. Yet, amazing as it may sound, Bavarian Inn is undergoing its first major renovation since the Reagan administration, constructing a new rooftop bar and grill that will feature 16 taps, with a dozen of them serving actual Michigan-brewed beers. What was formerly the Roof Garten bar will become the decidedly middle-American-sounding Michigan on Main Bar and Grill, a destination for Michigan beer, wine and even “special Michigan cocktails.” (Was “craft cocktail” just a notch too far for this marketing makeover?) The Bavarian Inn folks say they’re planning a menu of food that is sourced within the state, with offerings including a foot-long homemade bratwurst on a pretzel bun served with mustard ale dipping sauce, and grilled pork Michigan medallions made with Michigan apples and caramelized onions and lightly glazed with a beer-infused mustard sauce. There will even be a “Maize & Blue Salad” that’s loaded with buzzworthy ingredients, including artisanal greens, dried Michigan cranberries, house-made granola and a seasonal vinaigrette. The owners also promise plenty of sharable appetizers (no small plates here!) for those who just want to kick back and have a bite too. The tavern, which is scheduled to open this month, is doing a delicate balancing act, seeking to update the inn’s offerings while still appealing to the SUV set. We couldn’t resist teasing them a little, but here’s hoping their appealing rebuild really wins visitors over. Go, Michigan! To learn more, see bavarianinn.com.
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