It was time for The Undercover Divas to take a road trip to northern Michigan, the heart of Elk Country! We traveled north on I-75 to our destination, the El-Bo Inn. We were north of downtown Atlanta, and about 35 minutes south of the Mackinac Bridge, all on M33.
Almost there, we passed a jack pine nesting habitat dedicated by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, to the Kirtland’s warbler. The endangered Kirtland’s warbler is one of the rarest members of the wood warbler family. It is a bird of unusual interest as it nests in just a few counties in Michigan’s northern Lower and Upper peninsulas, and only a few other places on Earth.
Its nests are concealed in mixed vegetation of grasses and shrubs below the branches of five to twenty year old jack pine trees. Male Kirtland’s warblers arrive back in Michigan from the Bahamas between May 3 and May 20, a few days ahead of the females. The area is on the east side of M33; don’t forget to take a look while driving by.
Just a few minutes past the warblers, we came upon the El-Bo Inn. It was a small, cabin like restaurant, surrounded by miles and miles of forest. The El-Bo Inn is under new ownership since 2016, with a re-vamped menu. It offers wrap sandwiches, daily specials and specialty pizzas. The new owner has updated the menu with hand cut Strip Steaks, Mussels and Desserts and have added an outdoor beer garden.
The place has a great atmosphere, open for 4-wheelers and fishermen in the summer and a rest point for snowmobiles in winter months, as it is surrounded by many Michigan off-road trails. The El-Bo Inn also has lots of imported beers, including Guinness, on draught. They are a restaurant that has a full bar.
They have an extensive menu that has lots of lunch and dinner options. The salads looked inviting, and they had many home-made dressings available, including blue cheese. They make just about everything in-house. One of us ordered a club sandwich on whole wheat, very good. Another had the daily special, which was a Philly cheese steak melt. Both came with their delicious home-made chips. All was excellent. The service was friendly and the place had a down-home, country feeling. Overall we had a wonderful lunch experience.
You will not be disappointed, you will be delighted. The El-Bo Inn is truly a hidden gem in northern Michigan. Open every day at noon, closed Mondays. Don’t miss it!