During the drive to Garland Resort Natalie and I had passed through Rose City, Michigan, and identified what we thought was a neat looking little restaurant & bar called the Faull Inn that we thought would like to stop and eat at during our drive back down-state. We like to stop into these kinds of places that we find along our routes and have had really good luck with them in the past. Some of our favorite meals have come out of these stops and we’ve even come up with some recipe ideas from them, too. Plus, it’s really a great way to experience areas we’re traveling through and may never get back to again.
Sure enough, on our way back home we again passed through Rose City on highway 33 and swung into Faull Inn. We used the side entrance away from the street which was a little saloon-like and had a paper sign within it advertising that the owners of the Faull Inn were looking to sell the place and retire. That could have been a little disconcerting but upon opening the inner door and seeing the nicely finished wood bar, tables, chairs and the classic small-town smiling face from the hostess/bartender behind the bar, we felt like we were instead in for the treat we had hoped for.
We were promptly seated in the restaurant area of the establishment (the non-smoking side) and waited on by another friendly face who quickly brought us some lemonades that had asked for. The menu was pretty limited and basic bar fare – plenty of fried options, burgers, pizzas and sandwiches. We were hoping for something a little more unique from the place that looked like THE place to eat in this small town in northern Michigan, but the service and food quality made up the difference. Natalie had an Italian sub and I had a turkey club on a real nice toasted marbled rye bread – perfect size for a big lunch – and we had also split a cup of the Faull Inn Blue Ribbon chili. The chili was okay; A little like Cincinnati style chili and could have been a little more flavorful and/or spicy – but that certainly depends on how you like your chili. I like mine thicker, spicier and less with less tomato base.
The place is pretty well styled in that northern cabin wooden structural feel and was warm and welcoming. The bathrooms were quite large and clean and had all the supplies – always a good thing. You can get the private ownership vibe very easily from the place and that’s something that I always appreciate coming from a small business family. Looking around you quickly pick up the personally written signs and daily specials menus, easy and laid back communication between the business and customers or amongst the employees, and a willingness to play along when you want to have something ordered differently from what’s on the menu. Keep looking and you’ll see the items that the owners found in markets and craft shops that reflect their personality and almost make you feel like you’re eating at someone’s home. Prices were pretty modest and the place seemed to be a destination for locals getting out of church or from the immediate area.
While this wasn’t our best experience stopping off at a small, local place we knew nothing about (hey, we’ve been fortunate to have stopped at some excellent local bars & restaurants), I am easily willing to bet it will be far (FAR!) from the worst as we keep doing this. What the place lacked in certain areas (menu, for sale advertisement in oddly situated side entrance, smoking area easily bleeding over into non-smoking area) it more than made up for where it counts the most with the friendliness of the staff, the food quality, prices, charm and cleanliness. The owners deserve to find their retirement a welcome change of pace because you can tell they have put a lot of time and energy into keeping it up and making it a feather in the cap of Rose City, Michigan. In the end, we had a satisfying meal in a welcoming environment and I am definitely glad we stopped at the Faull Inn for lunch, during our passing through Rose City.