Burroughs Tavern: Barbecue Bliss in Brighton

Burroughs Tavern, in Brighton , Michigan , provides the perfect setting for a dietary “time-out.” In other words, don’t expect to find too many – if any – options on the menu that would fall under your daily Weight Watchers points quota. What you will find is a bevy of hearty, tempting options, and incentive to return.

Located on a quiet, curvy, tree-lined road sits the inviting Burroughs Tavern. My two dining companions and I parked in the back lot, which abuts a golf course, and slithered our way through the packed entryway and toward the hostess stand. With a 30 minute wait in our future, we then made our way to the nearby Lounge for drinks and ambiance, where it became clear how embedded this restaurant is in its community. Folks on neighboring bar stools engaged in conversation with staff, and one fellow was quick to recommend “anything smoked” to this trio of newcomers.

We took his advice. Once seated in dining room, I ordered the Pulled Smoked Chicken, while my companions ordered the Pulled Pork and BT’s Beef Brisket. I also opted for a side salad, and my companions, chili. At $2, the side salad was a deal – just ample enough to temper my hunger with its bed of crisp greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, and seasoned croutons. My companions seemed to enjoy their white chili, although the purrs of enthusiasm they usually voice for chili were not there. “This is interesting,” one remarked. When our entrees arrived, the purring began.

Chicken, though in many ways a safe choice when dining out, can run the risk of being dry and flavorless. Burroughs’ smoked chicken was far beyond safe; it was incredibly moist, and pleasantly smoky. Although it would have been perfectly satisfying in its “undoctored” state, I proceeded to experiment with the six barbecue sauce options on the table – “Sweet and Sassy” and the “House Sauce” emerged as my favorites. Each entrée comes with corn bread – in essence, a long slab of sweet and buttery deliciousness topped with a generous lob of butter. Entrees also come with two additional sides. I opted for the green beans, which were cooked to crisp perfection, and the French fries, which would have been quite nice in their own right, but became lost amid the sea of meat and starch on my plate. For a half pound of perfectly prepared chicken, two sides, and corn bread, $10 is a terrific price. The pulled pork also earned rave reviews at my table, although the dry strips of beef brisket were not as well received.

Menu options at Burroughs are very reasonably priced, with the larger, half-pound portion barbecue entrées running around $10-12, and sandwiches and appetizers hovering in the $5-10 range. Beyond the barbecue, diners can find steak dinners, burgers, fish and chips, and enticing sandwiches – Smoked Turkey Reuben and Smoked Salmon BLT, among others. Located minutes from Brighton ‘s quaint downtown, the restaurant has the look and feel of a local institution that has been around for generations. Turns out, the newly renovated restaurant has been around for a while – since 1927. Its owners and staff have clearly mastered the art of providing inspired meals at budget-friendly prices.