Annabelle's Own Restaurant: Review of a Wonderful Gourmet Experience!

Updated on February 24, 2018
Keep your eyes peeled- we almost drove right by this unassuming eatery!
Keep your eyes peeled- we almost drove right by this unassuming eatery!

Is There a Gourmet In Your Neighborhood?

The tri-city area boasts a few and in my modest experience regarding gourmet restaurants I have learned two things:

  1. They usually aren't like what you see on TV. No valet parking, no maître d', no sign insisting the on necessity of a coat and tie for entrance; at least not in mid-Michigan. The pride of these venues leans more towards the originality of the dish rather than external flourishes and pomp. You will feel perfectly at ease wearing a nice pair of jeans and pullover in Annabelle's.
  2. They tend to be smaller spaces. This is not a negative by any means. The absence of a "warehouse" feeling creates a more intimate, cozy ambience. The dining area in the front features only 8 tables, however the back room (also reservable for special occasions) is about double that size. Read on as we take you from the parking lot to the table and everything in between at Annabelle's Own restaurant!

Our areas of critique are as follows:

  1. Atmosphere
  2. Menu
  3. Taste
  4. Service

"Be the change you want to see in the world." Ghandi

We believe there are enough critics in the world telling you what you shouldn't like about movies, restaurants, etc. We view that as a waste of time. Anyone can complain about what they "DON'T" like. We want to cheer about things we do like. That's why we only print reviews on venues we think are excellent. Enjoy!

*For the readers convenience we will always place location and contact information for the restaurant being reviewed at the END of the article.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Keep your eyes peeled- we almost drove right by this unassuming eatery!a cozy table for two :)stepping back in timeIt's hard not to feel encouraged at Annabelle's Own. :)  This encouraging plaque is one of many gracing the walls.overflow/back roomoverflow/back room with fire place- lovely
Keep your eyes peeled- we almost drove right by this unassuming eatery!
Keep your eyes peeled- we almost drove right by this unassuming eatery!
a cozy table for two :)
a cozy table for two :)
stepping back in time
stepping back in time
It's hard not to feel encouraged at Annabelle's Own. :)  This encouraging plaque is one of many gracing the walls.
It's hard not to feel encouraged at Annabelle's Own. :) This encouraging plaque is one of many gracing the walls.
overflow/back room
overflow/back room
overflow/back room with fire place- lovely
overflow/back room with fire place- lovely

Atmosphere

Annabelle's Own pulls off what very few places can. It manages to capture a variety of motifs and blend them together subtly and successfully. There is a feeling of 1940's Americana upon entering that gently segues into a tasteful sense of better homes and gardening décor. Positive, uplifting signs adorn the walls in all the right places. It's hard to pull off two elements at once (hence no ball room dancing at Chuckie Cheese) and yet here it is managed effortlessly. The lighting is gentle enough to create a relaxed mood which is just what we were looking for.

Atmosphere Rating: 5 out of 5

Menu

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Menu

As you can see the prices are affordable and the menu features a plethora of options. I had the Huli-Huli chicken breast which proved extremely yumi-yumi. Huli-Huli refers to the BBQ sauce which is comprised of a traditional base, then augmented with spicy spices and crushed pineapple. The taste was just super! Topped off with chives and perfectly sliced green onions and complimented with round cut, sliced potato wedges. I also had a salad and an order of "bama bleu coleslaw," and folks I dare say this is the best coleslaw I've ever tasted. I actually ordered a second bowl, something I've never done (partly because I had to share with Sondra). My salad was also tasty accompanied by a homemade bread roll which really seemed like a mini loaf of home made bread.

I only wish I had looked over the menu more thoroughly. That's what happens when I'm hungry- I get impatient :( I also wish I would've had a piece of the homemade cake. It looked just like mom used to make! Ah well. There's always next time.

The menu was excellent!

Menu Rating: 5 out of 5

Click thumbnail to view full-size
salad before....bama blue slaw before...hmmmm...90 seconds later...I really need to eat slower :(Annabelle's Own famous 5 cheese Mac and Cheese!Huli-Huli- Chicken and potatoes (Dan Quayle spelling)
salad before....
salad before....
bama blue slaw before...
bama blue slaw before...
hmmmm...
hmmmm...
90 seconds later...I really need to eat slower :(
90 seconds later...I really need to eat slower :(
Annabelle's Own famous 5 cheese Mac and Cheese!
Annabelle's Own famous 5 cheese Mac and Cheese!
Huli-Huli- Chicken and potatoes (Dan Quayle spelling)
Huli-Huli- Chicken and potatoes (Dan Quayle spelling)

Taste

Italian gourmet chef Massimo Bottura recently said, "When I create a dish for a customer I want that dish to take them back in time to their childhood to their mother's cooking." I thought of that statement in connection to Annabelle's. There is something about it that feels like home. I think it's a combination of the atmosphere, aromas and friendly service. The wait staff and chefs truly know what they're doing-they compliment each other perfectly. You get the sense that you are in the presence of people who love what they do.

We loved all the unique tastes and textures we discovered at Annabelle's Own. That's one of the great things about eating at a unique eatery like this one- they don't go by other people's play books, they make their own and the menu proves it. For variety, affordability and great, unique taste we give Annabelle's Own

5 out of 5 for taste.

Service

Sondra and Honey
Sondra and Honey

Excellent Servers and Service!

Our waitress's name was "Honey" and she couldn't have been sweeter. The smile you see in the picture was on her face with every customer for the entire hour we were there. She was kind, efficient, and extremely courteous. She answered all our questions and some we didn't even ask! We liked her very much. One of the chefs also came out and went to every table and greeted and thanked each customer for coming out. I know it sounds creepy for me to eavesdrop like that, but I had to- I'm writing a review! In all seriousness the chef was very professional and friendly. We had a wonderful dining experience. Thank you Annabelle's Own for making our night out terrific!

Service Rating: 5 out of 5

A Confession

I must admit that for many years I have been a buffet man. I hate the idea of going out and ordering a single dish and then not liking the dish. Buffets always seemed just a little bit safer. Try some of this, some of that, if you don't like something no loss- just get back in line for the entre' you DID like. Now I'm getting a little more daring and trying venues where you have to commit to a single dish. I feel the quality tends to be higher and one draw back to buffets is the multiple hands touching the serving utensils. The germ conscious side of me dreads the thought of dozens of hands that have been who knows where, touching who knows what, fondling the same serving spoon! What is your favorite type of venue to visit? Please take the poll below and share your thoughts.

Delicious Cream Of Mushroom Soup

How Do You Like Your Soup?

This soup was absolutely delicious. Rich and creamy, the mushrooms are very big. Sondra likes the mushrooms smaller while I like the bigger version that seems to soak up and absorb the soup. However, if you're like Sondra and like your mushrooms diced the chef would be happy to cut them down to size per your request.

What's Your Favorite?

When you go out to eat which venue do you prefer?

See results
Indeed- words to live by...
Indeed- words to live by...

Map For Annabelle's Own Restaurant

Contact and special information

989-835-5344 is the number for the restaurant. I specifically asked the chef about special requests and she told me that they will work to accommodate special requests to the best of their ability:)

Final Thoughts

Someone once said, "A poor cook follows a recipe to the letter, a good cook uses a recipe as a guide, a great cook (chef) creates the recipe." I say without reservation that Annabelle's chefs are in the third category. Thank you again, Annabelle's Own, for a wonderful dining experience!

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