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Feels Like Home

Remember the song from “Cheers?” The catchy lyric that got us all fired up about going to a place “where everybody knows your name?” Well, when you walk into Ernie’s, that’s how you feel. They may not know your name there, but they sure make you feel like they do.

Most Places Stop There

Sure, most restaurants greet you at the door with a friendly host or hostess, take you to your table, and from there on, it’s a lot of hope. Hope a waiter or waitress gets to you in a reasonable amount of time, then hope that they’ll come back with that drink or appetizer you can hardly wait for. You hope someone pays attention so you can get a refill on your drink or a glass of water. You hope the food’s good so you won’t feel ripped off when you pay the bill. You hope the service was adequate. And that’s about it with most restaurants today. Adequate.

Ernie’s Makes The Rest Play Catch-Up

And we’re not talking about that red stuff you pour from a bottle, either. Catch up, as in: far behind and wish we could be as good. And it doesn’t matter what kind of food a place serves, you want the same thing from a diner or a fancy steak house: good food and good service for your dollar (Roscoe’s note: It’s always more than a dollar, it’s a bunch of dollars, especially if you’re with your babe. But here’s the thing, at least with Roscoe: we don’t care how much it costs if it’s good. But if it’s not good, it’s not even worth a little.)

Mediterranean Is In

There are plenty of Italian joints, Chinese joints, Coney joints, burger bars, diners, drive-ins and dives all over, especially here in the Detroit area. How many Mediterranean joints? Not too many, and even less that are any good. But wait…

What The Heck Is Mediterranean?

Ever hear of the Mediterranean Sea? There are a lot of countries around that body of water: Spain, France, Italy, Turkey, Greece, Egypt, and a few on the tip of North Africa. They all share a certain cuisine, certain ingredients that are plentiful in that part of the world: fruits (like figs), vegetables (like eggplant, grapeleaves, olives and peppers), and the oils that come from them. Delicious cheeses and spreads (like hummus, a creamy chickpea dip, and tzatziki, a tangy cucumber garlic yogurt dip).

And That’s Just For Starters

Mediterranean cuisine is big on fish, and at Ernie’s you can get a whole, fresh fish, authentically prepared. And tender meats, the Lamb Shank Osso Bucco comes to mind immediately, braised til it melts in your mouth, like just about everything else at Ernie’s, from the Bistro Steak to the Pastitsio – baked pasta and savory meat sauce and Bechamel – to the linguini with Little Neck Clams du Provence (that’s roasted tomato, garlic, and a splash of Chablis).

And It All Starts With Sam

Wait, did he just say Sam? Then why do they call it Ernie’s?

It’s A Family Business

After World War II, Ernie Backos (Sam’s father) opened a small tavern called The Club 1011, and ran it with his father. Thirty years, marriage and four children later, Ernie opened his own restaurant and bar, Ernie’s Kings Mill, at the very site it remains today, 16655 19 Mile Road (at Garfield), Clinton Township, Michigan. Newly incarnated as Ernie’s Mediterranean Room, it’s now run by Sam Backos, Ernie’s son. He’s the big guy you’ll see walking around making sure everyone’s happy and things are going right (and they usually are).

Lots Of Reasons To Go To Ernie’s

Sure, the food’s great, all of it, and you don’t even have to want Mediterranean. The burgers and salads are terrific, and they’ve got these little pizzas (and you know Roscoe loves his pizza) called Pizzettes, thin crust, brick oven baked and delicious – cheese and pepperoni, artichoke and olive, or tomato, Kasseri and spinach. But if you just want to hang out at the bar and have a few drinks, Ernie’s has you covered there, too.

Now For The GOOD News

Wait a minute… you mean there’s more? More than great food and service? That’s right. (Roscoe’s note: you can’t go wrong no matter which server you get: Melissa, Angelica, Richelle, Cheryl, Jacquee, or Tonina, they’re all great, they all work hard, leave ’em a good tip). But now, lest we digress, let’s get to the stuff that really matters to Roscoe…

Ernie’s Is Cigar Friendly

And they’ve got a great bar. The bartenders will make anything you want, expertly, and Roscoe will personally testify that Alyssa’s Margaritas are quite possibly the best in town. In the summer you can drink and/or dine on the large patio, the first outdoor dining area in Macomb County (ol’ Ernie was thinking when he built this place).

Don’t Forget The Dessert

Here at Club Roscoe we don’t really advocate denial of good food (like you couldn’t tell), so do yourself a favor and try one of Ernie’s desserts: the baklava is delicious (not as sweet as most), and they’ve got a cake that just might be the moistest (is that a word? it is now) on the planet.

You’ll Always Leave Happy

And how many places can you say that about? When you’re at Ernie’s, it’s the same as… Cookin’ With Roscoe.

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