Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Date Day (Sort of) in Bay City, Michigan

Chris and I spent the day together Sunday, and while it wasn't "technically" a date since we were with his mom, step-dad, brother, and other family members all day, we were kid-less, so I'm calling it a date day. His aunt was celebrating her 60th birthday at a no-kids-invited dinner, held at the Stein Haus/Atrium* in Bay City, Michigan.

Is it still a date if your step-father-in-law picks you up in a mini-van and you sit next to your brother-in-law while your husband climbs into the third row?

On the way to Bay City, we stopped for a short visit at Chris's aunt & uncle's house in Fenton. Chris and his brother had never been there before, and it is a really awesome house so they wanted to check it out. I have been there before, but I wasn't opposed to going on the grand tour once again. This was, however, my first time seeing the garage. That might sound dull, but this garage houses four Corvettes and a neighbor's airplane, so it's a little cooler than most. After the tour, we sat down and snacked on some cupcakes that looked too good to eat. I've been trying to decrease my sugar intake by a lot, but Sunday was a total sabotage. I mean, someone offers you a scrummy cupcake, and it's kind of rude to say no, am I right?

And, ummm, is it still a date if you're sharing cupcakes with your husband's uncle?

Stein Haus and Atrium in Bay City, MI
After our visit, we all continued on to Bay City for the birthday party. The Stein Haus (Atrium? see note below), is housed in an old car dealership. The dining room we were in was the former show room, so it was quite large and airy, with tall ceilings. There are even patio tents set up (see photo) to cozy it up a bit. This part of the restaurant is quaintly decorated with a European countryside air, and shows no vestige of its car dealership past. The connected bar has a definite Deutch flavor, with steins hanging from the ceiling.

I'm assuming because we were part of a large party, we ordered from an abbreviated menu. I was not terribly impressed with the vegetarian options. I went with the pasta, and naturally ended up not loving it because I rarely ever enjoy restaurant pasta. On the plus side, the freshly baked bread with herb butter was delicious, and the salad was crisp, cold and fresh, just the way I like it.. The staff was friendly and I have no complaints about the service, but our food was a long time coming. By the time our meals were served, we were famished. Although I wasn't thrilled with my selection, I would like to return and maybe order from the full menu and try something else.It's a really neat place to have a meal.

Is it still a date if you're walking around the restaurant, snapping pictures for your blog?

We had a good time mingling with family whom we don't get to see very often. Everyone is pretty spread out, geographically speaking, so special occasions are a treat for catching up and chatting. I love Chris's family so it was really fun.

Throughout our meal, I was taunted continuously by a red and white building across the street that I had been told was a candy shop. Sugar reduction who? As the party drew to a close, we said our good-byes and high tailed it to St. Laurent Brothers/ The Nut House (does everything in Bay City have to confuse me by having two names?). And we came home with a large, heavy bag full of candy. For the kids. Ha. I don't want them eating too much of that crap, so I have been eating as much as possible to save them from it. When it's gone, I can really concentrate on eliminating sugar from my diet. And yes, I realize I sound like a junkie. Just one more time, I promise, then I'll quit for good...

It was a good day, even if the date part was a matter of speculation.

*I'm not actually sure what to call it? Our glasses we were drinking from said Stein Haus, but the sign over the door we walked in said Atrium. I'm thinking the bar is called Stein Haus and the restaurant is called Atrium, but I'm just not certain!

The Stein Haus, Bay City, MI

Stein Haus/Atrium, Bay City, MI
Temptation at St. Laurent Brothers/The Nut House in Bay City, MI
And more temptation...Bay City, MI
It goes on and on...Bay City, MI

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