The Short Course
To avoid wait: Friday and Saturday nights are busiest. Go early or prepare to wait.
Noise level: Moderate to high depending on how crowded
Bathroom amenities: Changing table in Women’s
High chairs? Yes, plus boosters
Got milk? White and chocolate. Pop is available, too.
Kids’ menu? Yes
Anything healthy for kids? Try pasta with marinara sauce and celery sticks or apple slices on the side
Food allergy concerns? Talk with your server, who is trained to alert the kitchen about food allergies. They have ways to work around whatever you are allergic to.
“You kind of feel like you are in Montana,” my husband stated.
“Not really. It feels like Texas,” my twelve-year-old son commented. Funny, he’s never been to Texas.
My family of four was sitting in JR’s Hometown Grill and Pub in Milan. The restaurant emanated a western vibe with wagon wheel light fixtures, cowboy murals and horseshoes adorning the wall, country music on the stereo and NASCAR on TV. We were ensconced in one of the black booths along the wall; plenty of tables of various sizes and a bar rounded out the interior.
Home on the range
JR’s Hometown Grill and Pub originated in Adrian in 2008. The restaurant expanded to Tecumseh, Brooklyn, and Petoskey before opening the Milan location in 2015. According to its website, JR’s strives for quality steaks and superior service. All locations share the same lunch and dinner menu and some, including Milan, serve breakfast.
The menu is extensive, offering a little bit of everything. There are appetizers, salads, soups, chili, steak, ribs, chicken breasts, seafood, Mexican dishes, sandwiches, and burgers.
“That might kill me,” my husband said, eyeing the Black Angus Four-Cheese Wagon Train burger with American, provolone, Swiss and pepperjack cheese.
“Get it!” I enthused.
When he opted for the 12 oz. rib eye instead ($18.99), with a loaded baked potato and vegetables, I ordered the Wagon Train burger with sweet potato fries. My son, 12, also chose steak, the 8 oz. Happy Trails Sirloin with apple slices and mashed potatoes.
Jumping on the steak bandwagon, my daughter, 9, picked the 6 oz. steak from the kids’ menu ($11.99). Other kids’ menu choices include chicken strips, grilled cheese, mac and cheese, hamburger, or pasta ($4.49-5.99). Prices include a drink and choice of French fries, coleslaw, cottage cheese, applesauce, apple slices, or celery sticks.
Straight from the Chuck Wagon
We started with an order of Bavarian pretzels with nacho cheese ($6.99). Four big sticks, hot and salty, were gone right quick — crispy and chewy on the outside, soft and doughy on the inside.
“This is the life—eating pretzel sticks. Don’t you dare write that down!” proclaimed my daughter.
Saved from her scorn by the arrival of our meals, my burger was flavorful, with layers of cheesy goodness. I was surprised, though, by its perfectly round appearance. I learned patties are made in-house using a form and can be previously frozen. My sweet potato fries were crispy and decadent with a sweet cinnamon and sour cream sauce the server suggested ($0.50).
“Do not disturb. I’m in paradise,” my daughter reported about her steak. My husband and son were equally enamored with their slabs of beef.
“It’s excellent, cooked nicely, with great hatch marks,” noted my husband. I tasted it and found it juicy with a delicious grilled flavor.
“Great,” said my loquacious son. He disliked his side of mashed potatoes due to the strong flavor of the brown gravy. Our server quickly appeased him by bringing some fries.
I admit I had steak envy. My family swooned about their meat and I would pick a steak next time. I was full and satisfied, though, as portions were sizeable. We had no room for desserts such as chocolate layer cake, toffee crunch Blondie, or a pretzel brownie sundae ($3.99-6.99). I’ll leave room next time I mosey down south to Milan for a tasty, comforting meal.