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Friday
May132011

A taste of old world charm at Eagle Tavern in Greenfield Village

I have a confession to make. Although I have been to The Henry Ford Museum many times since moving back to Detroit I haven’t stepped foot into Greenfield Village since I was a young whippersnapper. It was probably a school field trip or perhaps my parents took me there. I remember the old houses and quaint shops but that’s about it.

My husband has never been to Greenfield Village and I keep putting this destination on our list, for whatever reason it hasn’t happened over the last two summers. This year will be different. I had the opportunity for a short visit this week to have lunch in the historic Village.

The idyllic Eagle Tavern sits on the edge of the 80-acres of Greenfield Village and takes you back to a slower, quieter time. The tavern was originally built in 1831 in Clinton, Michigan. Greeted by costumed staff, we were sat in the comfortable room with no harsh lighting, just candlelight and sunshine streaming through the windows.

The lady of the pub came over for a quick chat and joked that the three women at the table should head out to California where there are 10 men to every 1 woman due to the gold rush. She also explained the sleeping quarters above the tavern and warned that, “we don’t let people sleep with strangers here,” to giggles from the very mature adults at the table.

The food and drinks at the Eagle Tavern are locally sourced, either from within 150 miles or the state of Michigan.

“Our menu reflects both the seasonal nature and availability of foods in mid-19th-century Michigan and offers a selection of both alcoholic and temperance drinks of the period.” ~ from the menu at the Eagle Tavern

The recipes are authentic, taken from the cookbooks of the 1860’s and such, and every thing is made from scratch. Even the cocktails are subject to the historian’s critical perspective. No, you’re not going to be able to get the trendy drink of the moment but the cocktails and beer they do have are tasty.

Top: Salmagundi. Left: Savory Noodles. Right: Motor City Brew Works beer.

The menu changes seasonally three times a year. The spring menu included a fabulous dish of Savory Noodles with peas and lettuce, Chicken Croquette, and Beef Steak Pie. The stewed mushrooms were a standout side dish and Salmagundi plate is a must have. The Midnight Cake was heavenly, a chocolate dream.

Of course, we had to sample some cocktails too. The authentic Mint Julep packs a punch. Motor City Brew Works brews special beer and ale specifically for Greenfield Village. The Menlo Light Beer is a perfect sitting-on-the-porch beer. The bottle is even designed to resemble a light bulb. The Steam Station Beer is a bit hoppy and goes great with food.

After lunch, I had a few minutes to wander the grounds. Even though I had been here before it was all new to me again and I walked around with child-like wonder.

I watched as two young men sheered a lamb the oldy-worldy way as they told me about Merino wool. The lamb was very well behaved considering it takes hours to accomplish the task. And I even got to witness the baby lambs first day out of the barn, wobbling around and exploring new territory!

Baby lamb in mid baa and with all its lamby friends.

Yes, this year I’ll finally get my husband to Greenfield Village for the first time! Stay tuned for further tales from Greenfield Village. 

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Reader Comments (3)

You think that was fun, Becks? Check out Holiday Nights Dinner at the same spot any weekend in Dec. (larger dining room inside).

I was skeptical and thought it'd be hokey, to be honest, and now am caroling with praise like a wassail bowl over-dipper. Seriously, it's an enchanting time-travel treat.

Let's go to the website:

Step into a Christmas card from the past. . . . an authentic holiday meal, served by costumed presenters and enhanced by seasonal décor and live music from the period.
http://bit.ly/mRPCIO

Pricey ($66 last year, inc. admission to village-wide Holiday Nights activities/entertainment), but worthwhile. Book early -- sells out every year in advance. You'll thank me.

May 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlan Stamm

Hubby and I were just saying that we need to go to the Village sometime this season as it has been a few years for us. If you need companions, give us a shout!

May 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSchmee

looks like a blast. That first pic looks so good

May 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMiraUncut

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