Mount Clemens

385. The Engine House – January 25, 2019 – Mount Clemens, MI

January2019EngineHouse1 (2)January2019EngineHouse2 (2)My first blog-worthy visit of 2019 didn’t come until the end of January, because I was off exploring a completely new-to-me part of the world (Thailand!) for nearly half the month. Surviving my first post-vacay work week amidst frigid temps and jet-lagged-induced brain fog was cause enough for a TGIF celebration at The Engine House in Mt. Clemens.

The bar and grill has a cozy, welcoming feel and a menu that proffers various salads, sandwiches, appetizers, pastas, pizzas, meat-centric entrée dishes, and a build-your-own-burger option. Daily lunch and drink specials are also available.

Because I never feel more American than when I return from international travel and inexplicably crave a bacon cheeseburger, I chose the build-your-own-burger option and loaded mine up with that sweet, sweet pork-and-dairy-laden goodness. It was delicious, rich and meaty and flavorful and characteristically American in its large-and-in-charge-ness. I enjoyed some crispy French fries, as well.

I learned from the friend who I dined with at The Engine House that night that any time a train goes by, everyone of drinking age in the bar receives a free shot. Sadly, no locomotives lumbered past The Engine House during our dinner, but I love the whimsicality of that gesture and hope to experience it during a return visit.

309 Cass Ave.

Mt. Clemens, MI 48043

www.theenginehouse.net

345. Emerald Theatre – July 15, 2018 – Mount Clemens, MI

July2018EmeraldTheatre2 (2)July2018EmeraldTheatre1 (2)While I was volunteering at the Femmes of Rock concert at the Emerald Theatre a few weeks ago, it hit me that it was my first time visiting the venue.

Could that be possible? I asked myself. I’d grown up in relative proximity to the Emerald; it seemed crazy to me that I’d never before witnessed a concert or other live event at the popular venue located in the heart of downtown Mount Clemens. But I’ve since racked my brain, and unless I visited the place as a kiddo and have totally forgotten it, it indeed appears that this was my first time in the space. So . . . new-place time!

The gorgeous, nearly 100-year-old (built in 1921) theater is small and intimate, as you can see from the above photo of its interior; it seats approximately 1,600. According to its website, it’s been revamped in some respects since its inception; that mural on the face of its exterior obviously isn’t circa 1921, for instance (but man, is it striking!). There’s a bar in the theater area, and upstairs there’s a sleek bar space called the Rock Room open on Friday and Saturday nights that features live performances.

While I was at the Emerald in a volunteer capacity, I was able to watch the show performed that night – which was AWESOME. The performers, Bella Electric Strings – a quartet of female violinists backed by a three-piece rock band – KILLED it! The ensemble brought mad energy and skill to the classic-rock tunes they played; I highly recommend you check them out if you’re interested: www.femmesofrock.com. And of course, check out the Emerald for a live performance!

31 N. Walnut St.

Mt. Clemens, MI 48043

www.theemeraldtheatre.com

272. The Rec Bowl – September 13, 2017 – Mount Clemens, MI

20170913_18053520170913_193326 (2)The Rec Bowl is a bowling alley in Mount Clemens. But in the warm-weather months, it’s also a popular venue for live music, which I discovered firsthand during a Wednesday-night visit in mid-September.

My uncle and his girlfriend frequent The Rec Bowl regularly for its live music shows, which are held in an open-air bar area attached to the outside of the bowling alley. Cover was $5 on the night I was there, and man, did the people flock out! I’d heard that the place had a dedicated following, and it was true; people reserved tables to make sure they got spots to check out the night’s entertainment. Nearly every attendee appeared to be in the 60-plus age bracket (with the great majority looking to be solidly in their 70s), which delighted me, because come on – I want to be one of those octogenarians venturing out to see live music on a Wednesday night and twirling about on the dance floor! When I retire, I most certainly plan to double-down on exploring the Detroit area and the rest of the world, because if not then, when?

The band that night was the Dave Bennett Quartet, a jazz band led by a clarinet player named – you guessed it – Dave Bennett. Those guys were great; they played their hearts out, and the audience loved them, as did I. I am predisposed to enjoy jazz because my paternal grandfather was a jazz drummer and obsessed with it, and it reminds me of him. And also, I simply find jazz pleasant, an escape for my brain.

While my cranium was immersed in a cray-cray-ba-nay-nay roller-coaster ride of jazz notes, my tummy was tripping hard on my corned beef sandwich, that delightful amalgamation of red meat, Swiss cheese, and buttery toasted rye bread – MMMM. I noticed on the Rec Bowl’s website that it showcases a more extensive menu than the one that was offered to us on the patio; inside the building it appears to offer a more expanded variety of sandwiches, salads, and appetizers such as fried cauliflower, chili fries, and Nacho Supreme (three completely valid excuses right there to round up some friends and get in some bowling!).

It doesn’t look like The Rec Bowl will feature any more live music for the rest of the year; we’ll have to wait until next year to groove out. But the indoor bowling alley – plus the darts and billiards that are also offered – are available year-round and will likely prove to be a tempting option on those long winter nights when it’s dark at 5 p.m. and there’s a foot of snow on the ground (but let me not go there yet!).

40 Crocker Blvd.

Mt. Clemens, MI 48043

www.therecreationbowl.com

226. Bath City Bistro – January 20, 2017 – Mount Clemens, MI

20170120_185259-220170120_193450-2Happy Saturday, guys! If you are local and looking for somewhere to hang tonight, try Bath City Bistro in Mount Clemens.

Downtown Mount Clemens in general, I feel, is underrated. Every time I hang out down there, I end up exclaiming, “Why don’t we come down here more often?” I’m reminded of the fun shops and restaurants that call The Clem home. And truly – how had I never been to Bath City Bistro prior to two weeks ago?

I’d been hearing about the restaurant/bar/feather bowling court for years. In case you’re not familiar with the latter, feather bowling, to my understanding, is a game where the objective is to hurl wooden wheel-shaped balls down a court to get them as close as possible to the feather at the end of it. I didn’t engage in any rounds of feather bowling during my time at Bath City Bistro – but I’m intrigued! The courts were busy during my visit, and I could hear the intermittent rumblings of the play as a friend and I enjoyed dinner.

The restaurant’s expansive dining area has a cozy, classy vibe and is equipped with plenty of TVs if you are looking to keep tabs on a big game while you eat. A variety of domestic and craft beers, wines, and specialty cocktails are offered via the drink menu.  The dinner menu is also wide-ranging, boasting an array of appetizers, pizzas, pastas, sandwiches, and signature entrees varying from a fajita bowl to a filet, ribs to fish tacos, Belgian sausages to chimichurri-glazed steak and shrimp. I ordered one of the nightly specials, a flavorful grass-fed Delmonico steak with roasted vegetables, plus a bowl of cheese-crusted French onion soup (broth + cheese = pretty much the antidote to winters in Michigan).

Our server was awesome, friendly and attentive. She brought us these fresh rolls with this crack-like cinnamon butter that transported me back to my college waitressing days at a steakhouse when I used to smuggle bread and its equally addictive cinnamon and honey butters to a server station, where I would crouch in hiding and gorge. Those were the days! Thanks, Bath City Bistro, for transporting me back to my college days and for being so awesome in general!

75 Macomb Place

Mt. Clemens, MI 48043

www.bathcitybistro.com

115. Mount Clemens Bakery – April 11, 2015 – Mount Clemens, MI

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The lethal sugar-coated fried croissant

I have a weakness for old-school local-institution bakeries – especially if they are right on my way home from workout class. Yes, I did go right from my calorie-burning session at CC Plus at the Center to Mount Clemens Bakery – sounds like a pretty balanced Saturday to me!

If you go here, and you should, you need to get one of the fried croissants. They are huge – bigger than a baby’s face – and coated in sugar. And they are absolutely delicious. And you will tell yourself that you are just going to eat half before lunch, and you’ll eat the whole damn thing. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

95 N. Groesbeck Hwy.

Mt. Clemens, MI 48043

http://www.mtclemensbakery.com/#

114. CC Plus at the Center – April 11, 2015 – Mount Clemens, MI

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This was not my first visit to CC Plus at the Center, the awesome community fitness center in Mount Clemens. I actually first visited it back in February, but I didn’t immediately think to write a post on it. And then I kept needing to get a photo of it. So here I am now – better late than never!

CC Plus at the Center is a really gorgeous facility that offers a variety of fitness classes – yoga, zumba, pilates, 20/20/20, to name a few. The classes are drop-in, meaning you can go whenever is convenient to you; a $28 10-pack of classes is available to new learners, which is what initially helped to lure me in. Every instructor I’ve had has had a really good energy, and the desk staff has been very helpful in giving me background information on all the various classes. Check it out if you live in the area – it’s a great place to get in shape for summer!

http://www.ccplusfitness.com/