Raising the bar just over the line

. March 7, 2013.

Oh please, say it isn’t so!  In the blink of an eye, another summer is history.  School has only just begun, and I have already found myself longing for the days just past that were filled with spontaneous activities.  We are again slaves to the school schedule, activities, practices, homework, meetings and strict bedtimes.  
However, before hitting the books we squeezed in a last summer hoorah at Quimby’s Food and Spirits in Lambertville, Michigan.  We had so much fun; my family hopes to return sooner rather than later.  This gem is masked in an unassuming storefront located at the end of the Kroger plaza at Sterns and Secor roads.  I was pleasantly surprised to realize it was even closer to our house than the Westfield Mall!  Don’t let the Michigan address scare you off from stopping by; it’s closer than you think.

Enjoyable entertainment
We dropped in on a perfect summer evening and had the good fortune of snagging a table on their recently opened patio.  If weather permits, General Manager Nick Chuhy hopes to keep the patio open through October.  Quimby’s has entertainment every Friday and Saturday night beginning around 7p.m. all year long.  The entertainment keeps the patio hopping during the summer months, and moves inside the remainder of the year.  We had a toe-tapping good time listening to Norts and Manning.  They were enormous fun with their guitars and harmonicas, and they really enjoyed watching everyone have a great time.  I also noticed Norts and Manning had quite the following.  You can find them there most Friday nights.

Serving up countless optionsOccupying a double storefront, the inside fills up with customers quickly.  “We have quite a few regulars.  We’re very fortunate”, said Chuhy.  Quimby’s is owned locally by cousins John Bates Jr. and Allan Bates Jr. and they advertise that they are NOT your typical bar and grill.  We most definitely agree.  Families with children were everywhere, and the menu selections are far from your run of the mill pub grub.  “We have a great culinary staff.  They do an outstanding job,” said Chuhy, adding that they have a philosophy of “find a way to say yes to your clientele.”  After enjoying our scrumptious meal, it was no surprise to hear that their kitchen makes almost everything from scratch.
Before moving on to the menu of endless possibilities, I need to mention that they have regular specials every day of the week. Take note. On Monday evenings, children 12 and under eat free from the kids’ menu.  Unlike most places, Quimby’s offers TWO kid meals for every adult entrée.   Not a bad deal.  They even offer the option to substitute homemade applesauce (which is yummy) or the vegetable of the day in place of French fries.  And the Mac-n-Cheese?  Well, we’ll just say we thought it a good rival of our favorite mac-n-cheese around town.  It’s so good, it’s on the main menu as well.  They offer the usual kiddie fare and options range from $3.49 to $4.99 plus drink.  If you check out their website, you can always find printable monthly coupons. Taking the family out just got more affordable.
The extensive menu includes specialty burgers, seafood specialties, great steaks, pasta specials, sandwiches, salads, and even home-style entrees like Italian meatloaf and Jambalaya.  According to Chuhy, some of the customer favorites are the house sirloin steak, their Atlantic salmon, and their prime rib which is available every Thursday through Saturday.  But if that doesn’t wet your appetite, maybe they could tempt you with pork chops, Grouper, Chicken Marsala and more.
As for our dinner choices, we started with cheddar cheese and whipped potato pierogies for $6.99. Yum.  I had the Lake Superior Whitefish served with fresh green beans and garlic mashed potatoes for $14.99.  Perfectly seasoned and baked to perfection; I loved it.  My husband was craving a burger and for $7.99 he devoured a 1⁄2 pound Cajun-seasoned burger loaded with jalapeno pepper rings and pepper-jack cheese.  He added a side of their sweet potato fries served with homemade sweet butter rum sauce.  Wow—they tasted like dessert with that incredible sauce.  Needless to say, my husband didn’t enjoy much of them after the rest of us had dibs on his plate. That’s okay, we all shared homemade crème brulée for dessert and made sure he got at least a couple bites before we polished that off too.
Bottom Line: Having the appeal of a neighborhood gathering place, Quimby’s welcomes its regulars, as well as the newbies who will likely become regulars.  The extensive menu of culinary delights, live entertainment and family friendly atmosphere will make it a winner on everyone’s list.    

Karen Zickes is a mom of three active children and freelance writer who resides in Holland, OH.  She can be reached in c/o editor@toledoparent.com.