Here at Capital Area Women’s LifeStyle Magazine we want to spread the love all the way around the capital area. So, I decided to do this month’s food review somewhere in the St. John’s area. I was told by many that Ryan’s Roadhouse was the hot spot to be. Dragging Editor Emily with me on a cold, rainy day in June (!), we hit up this recommended establishment. Right up front, I am going to tell you this review may be much more about observations than the actual food. First up, the motto at Ryan’s Roadhouse is “Warm Beer and Lousy Food.” Now, does this suggest an overly honest and obvious indication of a subpar dining experience or does it point to an establishment bent on casual humor and fun? We would have to see. As Emily and I slogged through the rain I got the vague impression that there was a patio to be used on a finer day. What greeted us as we entered was a warm and cozy lodge feel. Cedar, fieldstone and fireplaces (and some taxidermy) embraced us and saved us from the weather. As we were being seated, we walked by the bar. There were 10 women sitting together drinking beer at noon on a Friday. My first thought was “hey, these are my kind of girls! I am going to come hang out here.” Next, Emily and I were greeted by the owner himself, Ryan. Again, my first thought was “does he come on the menu?” Alas, no, but when I asked him what made the Roadhouse special he said it was great people and great fun. Again, food was not the main selling point. Okay, so Emily and I tuck into the menu. We both decided to get the salad bar which comes complete with soup. Emily had the vegetable beef and said it was very savory and flavorful. The bar itself was solid, nothing too out of the box but enough to make you feel you were hitting your seven servings for the day. I ordered the Monte Cristo and Emily went for one of the specials of the day, a barbequed pulled pork pizza. My Monte Cristo was exactly what you would want. Turkey and ham were paired with cheese, battered and fried and served with a raspberry jam. It was gooey salty-sweet perfection. Emily thought her pizza rocked! It was on a large, thin flatbread covered with tender pork and a nice, smoky sauce. The food was good! Hello, it deserves some props. The menu was rounded out by ribs, burgers, salads, pasta and more. As we were leaving, Emily and I walked past the bar again and took note of the patrons. As we walked out into the parking lot, passing a few people walking in, I turned to Emily and said “is it me, or are the men in St. John’s totally manly?” She laughed and said she noticed the same thing. I don’t remember if the menu had dessert. We didn’t need it. We headed back to Lansing in the rain feeling warm and satisfied. By the way, I was right about the patio. Go enjoy 50-cent wings (all day, every day) while you pour a beer listening to live music on Thursdays. Or challenge yourself to all-you-can-eat fish and shrimp on Fridays. Just keep your eyes peeled on the local talent. Remember, people watching can be the most fun. Ryan’s Roadhouse is at 902 E. State St., St. John’s. For more info call (989) 224-2550.
Colette Evangelista sells certified organic, non-toxic beauty, health, baby and home products at www.healthandhopeorganics.com. Twenty percent of her profits go to Ascending Above Autisim, a charity that helps parents pay for autism treatment.