By Sheryl Oswalt
Looking to break up this dreary weird winter weather? Working on your renewed efforts to lose weight that came with the new year? I’ve got a suggestion. Why not check out Cowboy Up on M-60, west of Silver near Mendon, for some line dancing to get your heart rate up? It’s not just for kids or young people! It’s great fun for all ages.
Start your evening out at nearby Brewster’s Smokehouse. You might have already visited one of the other locations owned by Brad Wilcox and Jeff Geiger, a Vicksburg area resident. The location just outside of Mendon is owned by Wilcox, Geiger and Dee and Larry Shannon. They opened this location about nine and a half years ago. Locals might remember it as The Bottle Barn in the 1970s or The Keg in the ‘80s, then Duke’s Steakhouse before opening as Brewster’s. I’m sure many of you have memories of attending classic rock concerts there or enjoying the arcades.
Brewster’s is known for its apple wood smoked meat entrees. The beef brisket is smoked for 14 hours. It serves smoked items dry; meaning without sauce. You have the option of enjoying the flavors of the meat itself or you can add any number of five terrific sauces in the amount determined by you. This allows you to make your meal a smorgasbord of flavors all of your own choosing. Another neat thing is the combo offerings. Options include meat selections along with sides and serve from two to six people. Prices on these combos are very reasonable and give you the option to try more than one entrée.
Along with its great smoked meat options, it boasts a terrific soup and salad bar for those watching their weight or with dietary restrictions. The Smokehouse offers quiet dining in the bar area or room for a crowd in the large dining area. This section comes complete with a large fireplace where “Elvis” hangs. Elvis (I believe to be a Texas Long Horn bull) was owned and raised by Terry and Tody Stitt of Three Rivers and is quite a specimen. This is a great area for family get-together or parties. Reservations for this type of gathering are appreciated but not required.
I met with cook Lucas Iobe, who has been working at Brewster’s for six years. Iobe started at the Paw Paw location and soon found himself transferring to the Mendon location where he is in charge of the smoking for all locations. Ironically, his father also worked as a bartender at this location back in the ‘70s. Brewster’s is one of the state’s largest buyer of briskets; needing anywhere from 700 to 2,500 pounds a week. Favorites on the menu are its brisket dinners, smoked wings, St. Louis ribs and its fritters. I had a great pulled pork sandwich with the salad bar and my husband enjoyed their ribs.
After your meal, plan to head out back to enjoy some music. Cowboy Up offers line dancing from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. with music playing until midnight on Wednesday and Thursday nights. Lessons on Friday and Saturday run from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. with live music from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Rumored to be the largest dance floor in Michigan, there is plenty room for every one of all ages. You’ll find families with young children out on the dance floor, everyone from 2 to 82. It’s a great place to go for food, socializing and even exercise.
Recently added to its spring line-up of entertainment is last year’s sellout performer Kane Brown. For more information on this and many other upcoming events be sure to check out its Facebook page. Reserve your tickets soon as the Brown show is sure to be a sellout.
In addition to family dining and entertainment Wednesday through Saturday, Brewster’s offers buffet and banquet catering as well. Its website shows a great offering of choices for on-site or off-site catering options. If you get anything out of my review I hope you realize that this location is not just for an energizing evening of music and dance but also a good place for a great quiet meal for two.