Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sue and Esther's Tea Room

Last weekend I had to travel six hours north for a corporate party in Michigan. Whilst there, my mother and I decided to make a weekend out of it by visiting the nearby city of Frankenmuth.

The holiday theme shops were gorgeous and a gem to walk through. Even with it being only the beginning of November, seeing all of the Christmas décor definitely put me in the holiday spirit. All of the shopping eventually made us hungry for lunch. Luckily, while browsing for things to do in town, I had come across a tea room that recently opened near the main strip of shops.

Once I stepped inside Sue and Esther’s Tea Room I noticed the interior is much prettier than the exterior, as the tea room is tacked onto the end of a brown brick mini-mall. We were greeted with the friendly face of the owner and shown to a table in the back of the restaurant. The owner was soon replaced with our waitress who not only donned a friendly smiled but a cute tea party hat.

After looking over the menu, I found their prices to be reasonable for a typical tea room. I ordered “Sue’s Savory Salad” – greens, tomato, cucumber, cheese, cranberries, almonds, chicken, and house dressing – plus a cup of Ceylon tea. All of that came to around $10 before a T.I.P. The salad was rather large and all of the ingredients tasted fresh. My complaints would be with the chicken – it was dry – and the house dressing – it was spicy. A marinade of brine with the chicken would help.

However, I am not going to pick on the food too much because this is a tea room… in which I expect emphasis on the tea – and there was!

I could not find a list of their tea selection online which worried me if this was going to be another tea’d off disaster. However, once in the restaurant I was more than pleased with their variety of teas. They had a little of everything for just about every style of tea drinker. There were unflavored teas of the basic four; then they had a few flavored teas for each type. They also had iced tea and even bubble tea.

The cup of Ceylon tea that I ordered was perfectly steeped. If we had had more time I would have ordered the endless pot of tea ($3.50 per person) and tried more.

In retrospect I should have ordered the green tea to see if they knew about the correct water temperatures and steep times. Although, I believe the staff is very knowledgeable in the field of tea. I didn’t personally ask any questions, but I overheard a few groups of ladies inquiring about certain types of tea in which the wait staff seemed happy to answer. They described the flavors of tea and even the correct pronunciations which is more than I can say for the last tea room I went to.

Walking to the front of the restaurant to pay the bill, I took a peek into their small gift shop to find a trio of ladies oohing and aahing over pastel colored tea ware. After the cash exchange with the smiley, friendly owner, we were on our way out of the door properly satiated and caffeinated.

Even with the overall girly theme of pastel colors and frilly hats, if I lived near this tea room, I would most certainly be a frequent visitor.