The Bear Trap Inn – Shingleton, Michigan – Review
Adventurers Rating – 4 out of 5 Stars
The Bear Trap Inn is just a small restaurant on the side of the road in Shingleton, Michigan. Unless you’re from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula you have probably never heard of the restaurant or the town. However, while driving in the U.P. you may run across a billboard or two for some place claiming to have “the best pastie in the U.P.” While many restaurants will make this boast… The Bear Trap Inn is, in fact, THE restaurant with the best pastie in all of the U.P. So what’s a pastie exactly? Well without getting into it too much we’ll just call it a “meat and potatoes calzone” that you will find in the northern-most regions of the United States. But there is more to the Bear Trap then just pasties, they offer a wide menu that should fit just about anyone’s palette.
Did you know The Adventurers has their very own resident foodie? It’s true! The oldest of the children, “Thing 1”, is our #1 food critic and he insisted that we stop for a pastie at least once on our trip through Northern Michigan. We started the search at lunch while at the less than mediocre Antlers in Sault Ste Marie. Since we knew what part of Michigan we would wind up in around dinner time we took to our smart phones to begin researching our options. Betsy came across the “best pastie in the U.P.” and from all of the rave reviews we decided that was the place. Hours later, after several attractions, pit stops, and cities… it was time to seek out our dinner choice. Only, we forgot what it was called …so we scoured the internet trying to find the place… we wound up at another pastie spot and said “hi” to Bigfoot before realizing this was not the place.
After out little detour with Bigfoot we did eventually find THE place! We had assumed it was located in Munising when in fact it is not and thus the reason why it didn’t show up in any of our later searches.
When we first walked into the restaurant we were greeted with a sight that made us question whether this was really the right place for us to have our family dinner.
It may be hard for you to see because we had to take a sneaky photo but on that table surrounded by those guys are empty beer cans stacked in pyramid form. Not exactly what you would expect to see at a family restaurant. Not to mention, Thing #2 also goes by the nickname of Mr. McSpilly, so one false move on his part and you would have the city folk battling it out with the country folk.
Luckily, we had nothing to worry about as the rest of our experience at the restaurant was fantastic! The service was good and the food received two thumbs up from all four of us. Naturally Thing #1 ordered his long-awaited pastie that was purportedly made by Grandma herself.
Chris also tried to order a pastie but it turned out there was only one more left to sell for the day! So what did Thing 1 think of the pastie? He said it was the best pastie he has ever had! I think we earned some brownie points with this restaurant visit!
Betsy: I wasn’t really sure what to expect of this restaurant but it turned out to be a great find! I am sure if we had made it there at “regular” dinner time we wouldn’t have run into the drinking crowd. If we are ever back in the Pictured Rocks area again I would definitely want to stop in for a meal!
Chris: I did get to sample the pastie but since I had never had one before I have no basis for comparison, however, it was very good! I wound up getting the brat burger instead which was excellent as well. The waitstaff was very nice and even though the drinking crowd looked intimidating I’m sure they were harmless… the “danger factor” just makes for a better story lol.