Dusty's puts classy spin on bars with Tap Room
By Robin Swartz / Lansing State Journal
Dusty's Tap Room, 1857 W. Grand River Ave. in Okemos,
is a new addition to the ever-growing Dusty's Cellar empire. It's basically
a burger-and-a-beer bar, but with a Dusty's twist. It's upscale - and
The 60-seat, 2,000-square-foot space has its own kitchen
and menu, separate from the fine dining restaurant a few doors down.
The 16-seat bar offers front-row seating for TV viewing.
The menu here is basic - appetizers, burgers, salads,
a handful of entrees and, yes, hot dogs. The beer and wine lists are
longer than the food menu.
We started with cheese sticks. But, being a Dusty's
offshoot, these weren't ordinary cheese sticks. They're Smoked Cheddar
Cheese Sticks ($6.95 for six), fried-walnut-crusted smoked Cheddar sticks
served with spicy mustard. They actually tasted classy.
The companion had the Char Grilled Rib Eye ($15.95),
a half-pound steak served with fries and a salad. The steak was extremely
tender, juicy and flavorful. Diners can hoose betweem thin-cut fries
(similar to potato chips) and beer-battered fries. She chose the former
and loved them. They weren't too greasy, and they were served hot.
I had the Detroit Chili Dog ($4.95). It's a quarter-pound
Angus beef hot dog topped with Coney-style sauce, Cheddar Cheese and
diced onions. It's too big and covered in toppings to pick up. The toppings
were as good as I expected them to be; the hot dog itself knocked my
socks off. It's beefy and rich and unlike anything I've had - even at
a ballpark. The beer-battered fries were crunchy and had a nice hint
of spice. The 14-ounce glass of spicy, fruity Bell's Oberon Ale was
a great complement to the meal.
Even with all the tables full and the bar busy, our
food arrived quickly. Our server was friendly and seemed eager to do
a good job. She mostly succeeded; however, she didn't check back after
delivering our food to see if we needed anything else.
If you're looking for the quality of a Dusty's meal
without the leisurely pace, the Tap Room is a place to check out for
a quick, delicious meal.
Hours are 11:00 a.m. to midnight Mondays through Thursdays,
11:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 11:00 a.m. to 10:00