While we were on vacation we ate at a Polish restaurant called "The Legs Inn" that was a few miles from our rented cottage. I know that sort of sounds like a strip club, but it's called that because of the stove legs that protrude from the roof:
The exterior looks sort of like a field stone fortress decorated with Native American motifs. I first drove by the place while I was out looking for wild blackberries and had no idea what was inside the burled door until we came back for dinner.
There really are no words to describe what it's like inside, other than perhaps Ed Gein's living room if Ed Gein had preferred working with Kielbasa and driftwood rather than the corpses of middleaged housewives:
That's the bar. Could it possibly be one of the coolest bars you've ever seen? How could it not? The bar itself is made from a giant hemlock. There are taxidermied animals everywhere, including a black bear that appears to be humping a giant log next to a totem pole:
There's so much lacquer in this place, I have no idea how it survived the smoking era (that ended this year in Michigan) since it was built in the late 1920s by Polish immigrant Stanley Smolak (it's been in his family for 80 years). Along with a cadre of Native American artisans, Smolak worked for decades to create the restaurant that sits in Cross Village, Michigan today. The place seemed especially popular with aging bikers. I liked the pool table annex:
The waiting area was filled with yellowed newspaper articles about the place:
And then there was this thing:
As if it needed anything else, the restaurant has lovely grounds and outdoor dining area that overlook Sturgeon Bay. Such a great place for kids to run around and play while waiting for their perogies.
There was even a huge garden out back filled with ingredients for the Polish fare on the menu (the restaurant is only open seasonally, so I'd be willing to bet they use their own vegetables for many of their needs for a good part of the year). With that much dill, it's got to be a Polish restaurant:
Given our proximity to Hamtramck, we have really high standards for Polish food, and even there the Legs Inn didn't disappoint. What an incredible restaurant.