I’m on a bit of a blog overload tonight- too much to write about and not enough time to write.
Saturday, Chris and I ended up having quite an adventure. First we went to lunch at Sawyer’s Pancake House. I ordered a turkey burger with avocado and goat cheese. I’ve had this before and really was tempted to get something off the new dinner menu but it was too early for that much food. Chris and I split the Southwest Vegetable Wontons though. They were tasty and obviously homemade. Chris also had the yellowfin tuna sandwich, another new item. He’d eaten one earlier in the week and said its best with lettuce and tomato added. The fries have changed a little bit since my last visit. they were definitely crispier this time, maybe a little bit too crispy. But, I do like the crunchy end pieces so I “suffered’ through it. Dipped in basil mayo, you can’t go wrong anyhow.
After a few errands, we decided to go see a movie, like a lot of other people in this town. Not much else to do on a rainy day, I guess. Narrowing it down to two movies, I made the choice for the black comedy Burn after Reading. The Coen brothers are great and this movie was very typical of them. Brad Pitt, whether you think he’s a hottie or not, played his character perfectly! We had about 45 minutes to kill until the movie started so we wandered over to the Williams-Sonoma store (in Eastwood).
As we walked in the door, Chris said “try not to spend any money.” I replied, “Are you talking to me or yourself?” We wandered around, I fiddled with the gadgets, my favorite section, and wiped my drool off the glass in front of the knife cases. I turn around and who do I see at the cash register? Yep, there is Chris saying “don’t look.” Silly boy was buying a large cookie press “for me”, visions of sugarplums spritz cookies dancing in his head. I pointed out the cool Halloween cookie cutters I’d found and soon enough, we were adding that to the bag.
After the movie, we hop on 127 and I figured we were going home but then Chris stayed left and headed toward 96 Eastbound. Wouldn’t tell me where we were going either. I guessed somewhere in Okemos and that was true originally. But, too busy talking, he missed the exit for Okemos (he was planning to visit Dusty’s Cellar) and the next one isn’t until Williamston. As it happens, this week’s City Pulse had a write-up about a new restaurant in Williamston so I suggested we check it out while we were there.
The Riverhouse Inn was pretty busy and I felt a little underdressed so I just grabbed a menu and added it to our mental “to do” list. As we were driving around trying to find the place (its on Grand River, really very easy except the odd/even sides change depending on if its East or West Grand River), I remembered the D&W Fresh Market. We have shopped at one of these in Grand Rapids and while its not as nice as The Fresh Market (also in GR), they have excellent produce, carry Boarshead deli products and offer good prices on wine. Somewhere recently I had seen an ad for the new Williamston location which was filed away on that mental list. This location is smaller than the one in Grand Rapids, mostly in the deli department. We still found plenty to buy including a few new cheeses to try out (see future post). And there, on the 2nd to bottom shelf, was a label I’ve been looking for since our trip to Minneapolis in July. Idiziabal cheese, the smoky sheep-milk cheese from Spain that goes fantastic on a slice of bread with a pile of turkey. Unfortunately, it was only the label, they were out of stock of the actual cheese. Guess we’ll have to check back in a few weeks.
By the time we left the store, it was full dark and still raining. Again, I thought we were headed for home but just before turning back towards the highway, Chris said we needed to make one more stop. We pull in to a street-side parking spot and he starts walking towards what appears to be a bar or restaurant of some kind.
It wasn’t until we sat down, at the bar, that I found out the name of this place: CB’s Bucket Bar & Grill. Formerly known as the Williamston Bucket, its been re-opened under the new name for about a year after a fire destroyed the original in February 2006. The old version was a more typical bar with tvs and NASCAR memorablia, so I hear. The new version is nicely done up with a wood bar, light green coloring and a tranquil, smoke free environment. It was very quiet but the bartender assured us that its normally busier, with Friday night being their biggest night. I’m sure the constant rain kept many people away this weekend.
We were originally only going to have a drink but I was hungry so we decided to take a look at the menu. Along with a few nightly dinner specials, you can order something so simple as a pub burger or get fancy with a full steak dinner. I opted for CB’s Special Salad with grilled chicken while Chris had the Steak Bites appetizer- cubes of cooked-to-order sirloin served with bread and boursin cheese dipping sauce. About half-way through eating this, he declared “New Rule: we are coming here at least twice a month.” Since Williamston is not on our side of town, I don’t know if we’ll be able to stick to that but I can see coming to the D&W grocery store twice a month so we could become regulars soon enough.
We didn’t order anything complicated but sometimes simple food gets the worst of it when a place is trying too hard or trying to cover up their shortcomings. In this case, Chris’s steakbites were medium with a hint of pink as requested. My salad was made up of fresh apple slices, cucumbers, romaine and good cheese with just the right amount of dressing. I’d much rather some places just do dressing on the side because they go overboard especially with creamy dressings. Not a problem here.
My first glass of wine didn’t really excite me. I think my medicines are affecting my tastebuds but also it was too strong for my salad. When I said I’d just like a glass of the house Pinot Noir, the bartender suggested I try the Mark West Pinot as its the same price ($5/glass) and much better. She was right. (side note: Mark West Pinot is on sale at World Market for under $10/bottle right now, we saw it Sunday). The bartender was also our waitress/server. She was attentive and friendly but didn’t hover. As we sat there, we got involved in a conversation with another couple at the bar. Pretty soon everyone was chatting about the economy of all things!
I had a hard time finding information about this place on the internet. This is partly because I couldn’t remember the exact name. I finally got the word combination right and found some reviews from when they first re-opened last fall. No website and no mention anywhere of the club they have opened on the 2nd floor. I’m not convinced that a club in Williamston is really “right” but there were about 30 people there Saturday night. It was smoky though- we didn’t actually go in.
Considering our eventful evening was all based on missing that exit for Okemos, I think it turned out all right!
CB’s Bucket Bar & Grill
Hours: Mon-Fri, 11 AM -2PM (kitchen closes at 11PM)
Address: 132 Grand River Ave., Williamston (just east of the Williamston Sun Theatre)
Accepts all major credit cards, smoke free!