Local Option Bar glides to the top of our list for places to eat in Michigan City with great food and excellent service.
When asking residents where is the best place to eat we get a lot of different answers. But out of all of those answers, there was one that kept coming up… Local Option.
Local Option Bar, a quaint tavern-style “watering hole” is located at 1714 Franklin Street, a small upgrade from their previous location on Barker Avenue.
Once we heard the name for about the tenth time we decided we had to check it out for ourselves.
Disguised in our best winter-resident costumes (mainly just our long sleeve shirts and coats) we snuck in the back door of the nostalgic tavern Friday evening.
Once through the door, the first thing we noticed was the look on all of the patrons’ faces. Every person was enjoying themselves with the sound of laughter throughout the establishment and the occasional sound of pool balls being racked and slung across the green felt in the side room.
The centerpiece horseshoe bar was filled with local patrons who were undoubtedly regulars in their “assigned seats”.
Although it was our first time there, there was no need to look at the menu after being informed of the Fish Fry Special where we got a half pound of fried lake perch with hand-cut french fries made from fresh potatoes, a breadstick and choice of soup or salad all for just ten dollars!
Being from Florida, I miss my favorite fried grouper dishes so decided to try the perch for the first time in my life. I’m still on the hunt for that grouper though.
Needless to say, when the waiter arrived with my basket of fish and sticks, I was happier than an eight-year-old on Christmas day.
The first bite into the golden fried perch was enough to make my eyes roll back. The exterior was perfectly breaded and fried to a perfect golden crisp while the inside still maintained its flaky moist texture filled with flavor.
Another bite from my basket, this one into my french fries, took me back to a time when I was just a boy living on a country farm in Florida where mama made homemade everything.
Aside from our perfectly cooked meal, our service was just as impeccable as our dinner. After several visits from other restaurants and eateries, we were very refreshed to find a place that had a great combination of quality service and food. Our waiter was very polite, prompt and attentive.
Glancing around our new Friday night get-away, we noticed that Local Option didn’t just offer great food and service, but many things for locals to come out and enjoy instead of hibernating through the winter.
A poster for Poker Night announced weekly free poker tournaments on Thursday nights. A side room filled with pool tables contained the hustlers and players. A corner of the pub was claimed by the dart battle zone. Big screen TVs surrounded the bar, and a jukebox played songs we have forgotten over the last thirty years.
Whether you want something great to eat, need something smooth to drink, or just an activity to get you out of your basement, Local Option is definitely a top pick on our list. Go stop by and let them know Michigan City Journal sent you.
For more information, location, hours, and specials, you can follow them on Facebook HERE.