dog02By Anthony Brancaleone,


In the small Michigan town of Montague sits an All American Classic; the Dog n Suds Drive In. Founded in 1963, by a Montague schoolteacher who ran the restaurant in the summer months, the Dog n Suds was purchased and re-opened in 1966. The same family has been operating this piece of Americana ever since.

Standing proudly on Dowling St, right next to the bridge, the Dog n Suds called to our crew one evening, as we wound our way through the back roads of the Great Lake State. There, in the mellow gold of the setting sun, she stood, a beacon for all hungry travelers on the road.

The sign read ‘Root Beer’, in lovely neon orange that stood atop a yellow and green neon catwalk. Female carhops bounced car to car, in a 1960’s ballet reminiscent of upper classmen cheerleader meets retro pin up doll.

As we pulled in, listening to 50’s blues and rockabilly on the am radio, our excitement grew to double cheeseburger proportion. The menu at the Dog n Suds is more varied than one might expect. Of course, there are dogs; Coney dog, Coney with cheese and the Chicago dog, but there are also burgers, glorious burgers, charco-flamed, with names like the Texas Burger and the Big Bopper.

Dog n Suds also offers Breaded Pork Tenderloin, Chicken Strips, Lake Perch and Pork Barbeque, Corn Dogs, malts and shakes and some of the finest Root Beer, brewed, bottled and distributed by the great Windy City, itself.

I placed an order for the Charco-Burger basket, complete with fries and slaw. The grilled onion and gourmet pickle – hidden beneath the bun – combined with that char flamed goodness, literally exploded like fireworks inside my mouth. Good thing I had a frosty mug O’ Root Beer to wash it all down or I may have continued to chew on that flavour all the way home.  Open for the season.

4454 Dowling Street, Montague Mi.  231 894 4991