Friday, June 28, 2013

Bone Heads BBQ Food & Spirits

You may not think a restaurant with a flaming skull and crossbones as its logo would be capable of a little double entendre, but in the case of Bone Heads BBQ in Willis, MI, you'd be incorrect in that assessment. They make no secret that "spirits" does not only refer to the bottles behind the bar. More on that later.

My former roommate Kimmy and I were often curious about the flaming skull and crossbones billboards we passed on I-94 advertising barbecue. It's a rather eye-catching symbol, after all. When we found out that it was supposed to be haunted, though, we really became curious! It was not until Kimmy had moved back to California that my boyfriend Greg and I finally ventured out to Willis in search of Bone Heads.
The stairs are supposed to be supernaturally active.
The owners believe their building dates back to 1865 and has served many purposes in 100+ years since; "coach stop, grainery, butcher shop, ice house, post office and general store." This offers the building more than charm. It's one of those places that, when you walk in, makes you think, "I didn't know places like this actually existed." Like when Kimmy saw lightening bugs for the first time, which don't live in California.

Bone Heads' dining room is absolutely charming. It was restored in the 1980s to resemble its general store days, so maybe that is why this shop girl felt so at home. (It also reminded me of places I've been with my grandparents out around Allegan county. I think my grandfather would really like this place.) It's easy to believe, sitting there surrounded at every angle by antiques, that Bone Heads is haunted.

Don't let the ghosts deter you, though. The food is  truly fantastic! Greg ordered a sandwich called, I'm pretty sure, Death By Pork that he continues to talk about weeks after our visit. It, indeed, would have been the death of me. There are three different pig products on it! Bacon, pulled pork, and I forget the third. (The menu won't load all the way for me, so I can't double-check on their website.) Greg was in hog heaven. And it was served with homemade potato chips, the perfect companion. We were supposed to go again last night with his family, but plans fell through. I bet he dreamed of that sandwich all night. (We ended up at Twisted Rooster instead, just the two of us, and ordered their amazing Southwest Nachos, so dinner was not a total loss.)

As for me, I chose the country fried chicken smothered in gravy, served with onion straws and some ridiculously delicious cornbread muffins. My mouth is absolutely watering at the memory. I want to eat the picture I took. The cornbread muffins were probably the best I've ever had in my life. And I have eaten a lot of cornbread in my day! The gravy was creamy and so full of flavor. Greg and I were both so absorbed in our food, I think the Ghostbusters could have come in and we wouldn't have noticed.

Speaking of ghosts, the woman in white that is often seen on the stairs has been named Nellie by the staff. Neither Greg nor I saw her, nor any of the other activity, such as swinging lights, that is said to go on here. I was, however, overcome by a creepy feeling in the bathroom. I can't tell if it was a supernatural atmosphere  - there is at least one report of seeing more than one's own reflection in the mirror - or the giant welcome sign inside the bathroom stall, or the fake ivy and flowers wrapped around and draped over everything, or the cherubs and prayers decorating the walls. I very much felt that I had walked into a church's gazebo. 

The men's room was a very different story. No, I did not go inside, so this is second hand information courtesy of Greg. Those walls were decorated with vintage advertisements for prostitution licenses and cures for syphilis, so quite the opposite end of the spectrum from the ladies'. 

If you are anywhere within an hour of tiny Willis, MI (or Ypsilanti Township if that's easier for you to picture), don't let the ghosts or bathrooms scare you away from a truly phenomenal meal. Bone Heads BBQ is country home cooking at its best. I can't wait to go back!

1 comment:

  1. Yummy BBQ... Come On Traveler To Beautifull Indonesia