Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
Schuler's
115 South Eagle Street, Marshall, MI
269-724-8537

Review by Rosie, ThePlazaQueen, PandaCat

Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house we went for Christmas. It's a long drive down to Grandma's and we've done it many times. We even have our favorite place to stop for lunch on the way. The Cracker Barrel in Fort Wayne, IN is the halfway mark and it's comforting to know that we'll get good food at reasonable prices and be able to stretch our legs and shop for local knickknacks, souvenirs, and country store treats. We made our usual stop on the way down, but this time it was a short trip, coming back the same way only three days later.

We decided to push on past and drive another hour on our way to another place quite famous in the region. The restaurant, located just off Main Street in quaint downtown Marshall, looks like a quaint Bed and Breakfast and according to some literature about its history, it was indeed a hotel as well as a restaurant at one point. This particular area of Michigan attracted many German and Swiss immigrants and the Schuler family were among them. The décor of the different rooms in the restaurant reflects their Swiss heritage in the dark paneled walls, carved beams, and stuffed stag head adorned the working fireplace in the Centennial Room where we were seated.

We had missed whatever passes for a weekday lunch rush and were early for dinner so we were seated immediately in the large, but quite cozy Centennial Room. The tables and booths were arranged on three tiers and covered in casual brown and white checked tablecloths that were not vinyl. Our waitress came right over and took drink orders while we perused the menu. It did not really try to be a German or Swiss restaurant. The menu was not terribly extensive, offering only a few selections in each area, but this increased the likelihood that they would do them well.

When the drinks came out, they were accompanied by a basket of fresh bread and crackers made in the bakery next door also owned by the Schuler's. The bread was a whole grain, but very soft, fresh and sweet-tasting. Fresh, sweet, whipped butter and Schuler's signature horseradish cheese spread came with the bread and kept the munchies at bay till our food came out.

The "chicken finger queen" stuck with her favorite and was quite satisfied, the portion suiting her usually small appetite, while still leaving room for dessert. The quiche connoisseur inquired what the quiche was for that day and was told it was sausage so she thought she would give it a try, along with a crock of turkey noodle soup. When the quiche arrived however, it turned out to be salmon. Now, there is nothing wrong with salmon quiche — except when you're expecting sausage. Still, rather than calling waitress on the error, the quiche was tasted and it was pronounced quite good, especially when complemented by the accompanying fresh fruit. The other entrée we tried was London broil accompanied by steamed mixed vegetables and mashed red potatoes. The meat was nicely tender and cooked just as ordered, but the mashed potatoes unfortunately were a little flat. Well, you can't have everything.

Since this was a new place for us we decided to shoot the works and order dessert too. Heck, why not treat ourselves? It was a long drive and we deserved a treat. The kid meal came with an ice cream sundae dessert and chocolate was the flavor of choice. It was served with a pirouline cookie and small cups of chocolate sauce, M&M's, and gummy bears on the side. Who could possibly resist that? We also decided to try the chocolate mousse and the apple strudel with vanilla sauce. The mousse was elegantly served in a brandy snifter and topped with whipped cream and a fresh strawberry. The mousse itself was fluffy and smooth and tasty, but with tiny chunks of chocolate to make it interesting. The strudel consisted of a flaky pastry wrapped around fresh slices of apple, toasted walnuts, raisins, and caramel sauce and baked to a golden brown then drizzled in a luscious vanilla sauce. (Diet? What diet???)

Recognized several times over the years by respected travel publications as a worthy stop on any trip remotely approaching Marshall, Michigan, Schuler's offers a welcome, comfortable environment in which to enjoy a tasty, reasonably priced meal. Dinner for three including dessert, tax, and tip was less than $60. We'll definitely stop here again on the way to or from Grandma's, or maybe on our next road trip to Chicago ...

A cautionary coda: the meals are good value, so much so that you should pay attention to the steps as you leave. We saw one happy group come to a panicky stop when an elderly member of their party tripped on the steps and went sprawling! She was okay, but remember, the tiered dining levels are nice, but keep an eye on Granny — you want to go over the river and through the woods to see her again next year, after all. And when you do, stop here en route again.


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