If you're from the Detroit metro area (mightymezzo73
, this means you), you're probably familiar with this place.
On Michigan Avenue (US Highway 12) in Dearborn, Michigan, north of the intersection with US-24, also known as Telegraph Road, there's a bar and restaurant on the side of the road in the southbound lanes, across the street from a Ford Dealership and a Bob Evans. The restaurant has a red paint job and huge letters on the side, which read "Miller's Bar." From the exterior, it looks like your average no-windows drinking establishment. But the preconceived notions of it being just a bar end there.
Walk inside, and you'll always find a line. On the right side is a small dining room with a dozen tables; on the left is the bar, the kitchen (complete with a flattop griddle, loaded with burger patties), and a larger dining room. There's no hostess, so you just wait for a table to open up. Once you sit down, the waitress comes to the table and asks you what you'll have. And this is where it gets interesting. There are no menus on the table. You're supposed to know what they serve: Hamburgers, cheeseburgers, fries, onion rings, soft drinks (pop, for those of you in the midwest), beer, and mixed drinks. That's it.
The burgers are massive. They're easily a half-pound, and they're incredible. GQ Magazine actually listed these on its list of "20 burgers you have to eat before you die." I'd literally drive the hour and 20 minutes it takes from my front door for one of these. And then I'd drive home. My uncle actually introduced me to this place after he took me to the North American International Auto Show in Detroit one year when I was in high school. I've been there, easily, 30 times since.
And the other cool part: There is no menu, so there's no prices. The entire thing is based on the honor system. You either leave cash on the table or go to the bar and tell the owner what you had. And if you lie to him, you'll feel guilty because the place has the best burgers you've ever tasted. It's cheap--burger , fries, and a Coke will set you back 8 bucks. Substitute a beer for the Coke and it's 9.
Next time you're in Detroit, ask how to get to Miller's. You won't soon forget.
And now I ask you, fellow road foodies: In your experience as a road traveler, have you ever stopped somewhere or gotten a tip from a local (restaurant, gas station, or roadside landmark) that you've found yourself wanting to revisit? What was it? What made it linger in your mind and what made it so special?