Railside Bar & Grill serves it up in Elmira
By Al Parker 11/2/09
Youre about to enjoy a rite of passage, says smiling day shift bartender Chris King as he deftly slides a full platter and an ice cold Labatts across the table toward a guest.
Like a gaudy oversized jewel nestled in a crown, Michigans original potato burger dominates the dish at the Railside Bar & Grill. Theres a side order of hand-cut home fries, but the potato burger is the star of the menu at the Railside, formerly the Elmira Inn.
Its a blend of black Angus beef, cheddar cheese, some special spices and grated Kitchen Farms potatoes, explains chef Randy Troy, an affable culinary veteran whos well known in the Northern Michigan restaurant scene.
About four years ago, Bob Huppert and Larry Beurkens bought the slightly ramshackle Elmira Inn and sank a lot of cash and sweat equity into it, expanding the kitchen, redoing the rest rooms and updating the furniture.
Huddled right along the railroad tracks, the place had seen its better days, but the new owners worked hard to change its image from a smoky, aging bar into a clean family-friendly eatery. Its no longer a bar that serves food, but a restaurant that offers drinks.