The last time we were at Butter Run, I said that we would be back. The name “Butter Run” is from the time the grandfather was asked to go buy some butter, and during that errand, he got side tracked at a watering hole for a quick one and a few hours later, he returned home with the butter. There are now four generations that have continued this family tradition of going out for a “Butter Run.” You have to honor tradition. The restaurant always continues to find something that makes me smile.
The Butter Run Saloon is in St. Clair Shores, but not on the water. It is one of the old saloons that one would normally just read about. It is long and narrow with a patio on the back, that was probably hastily rigged when the harridan insisted that only politicians could eat indoors, but people could eat outdoors in the winter. It is the kind of joint that one could find in old neighborhoods as it had wide plank pine floors, tin embossed ceiling, long gone beer draught beer emblem levers handing from the ceiling as well. The walls are covered with Michigan memorabilia of sports, schools, popular snack foods and candies and Motown.
One could spend probably a day there and still miss something very cool. The menu, right off the bat, offers Escargot as an appetizer, and we still haven’t tried it, because we haven’t really been there for a dinner. They have appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches and main entrée dishes; and have breakfast, lunch and dinner. Three of us had Beef Barley Soup which is there daily offering (and it may have been the best we have ever had) and one opted for Cheese Soup. Then we all had different versions of Cheeseburgers with either fries or onion rings (me) and they were excellent, and I tend to be fussy (go figure) about a burger. We had to take boxes for the leftovers, as they were that good. The other thing that surprised me, even from the last time we were there, was that they not only carry a nice assortment of wines (not just a red and a white), but they now carry their own house brand. There were four different “The Butter Run Saloon Private Reserve” wines; a Pinot Grigio, a Chardonnay, Merlot and a Cabernet. We shared a bottle of The Butter Run Saloon Private Reserve Pinot Grigio California NV. The wine was “cellared and bottled” by Free Run Wine Company of St. Helena, California. I could not find anything about this company, but I can make kind of an educated guess that they are a custom-crusher and warehouse for independent winemakers that cater to both individual wineries that can’t afford their own equipment yet, and for jobbers that will affix “house labels” for restaurants and caterers. Now some of you might think that I have lost it by ordering a Pinot Grigio to go with burgers, but I have found that a good chilled Pinot Grigio can be complimentary to many different dishes, when one isn’t looking for complexity, and even a mediocre one tends to be palatable. There were no production notes of course on this wine, but I think it is safe to say that the wine was made in Stainless Steel to keep the fruit and the acidity as fresh as possible. The nose was very light and so was the wine, it was what we call a quaffable wine and perfect for a hot day, but we were enjoying it in the winter.