Mark and Matt's Chili Trek
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Restaurant NameThunder Bay Brewing Co.
Address4362 Baldwin Road
City, State ZIPAuburn Hills, MI 48326
Phone(248) 454-THUN
GPS Coordinates LAT 42.704896 LONG -83.306741

Restaurant AtmosphereMichigan Themed microbrewery
Chili HeatSpicy
Chili FlavorTasty
Chili TextureAverage
Chili Prices$6.95 for a bowl
Chili Fixin'sCheese and chopped onion. Bottle of habenaro sauce on the table. Didn't see crackers

Comments by Mark Everest
Rating: 10
The plan was to take the family to the Rain forest cafe for dinner but there was a two hour wait. Right around the corner (inside of Great Lakes Crossing mall) we found the Thunder Bay Brewing Co.. I wasn't even thinking about chili until I opened up the menu and found not 1 but 4! different chili options. Chili Verde, Upper Peninsula Venison Chili, Tawas Turnkey & Chicken Sausage Chili, and the Big Three Chili Sampler. There was no hesitation in ordering the UP Venison Chili.

To quote their menu: "Spicy red Chili slow simmered with Pewamo Porter & Ancho Chilies topped with jack, cheddar & chopped onions." It was like reading a raunchy romance novel in public.

Even though it was priced as a stand alone meal at $6.95, I ordered the BBQ pulled pork sandwich as well.

The chili was served in a good sized bowl with a few tortilla chips on top of the chili and cheese. The taste was great. Plenty of spices and enough heat (that's right - real spicy heat) that I didn't need to add any Habanero sauce. There were nice chunks of (farm raised) venison and veggies.

It was refreshing to find a place that obviously tried to make a good homemade quality spicy chili. It's worth the drive. Matt might even have to give this chili at least a 5 even though it cost more that $2.
Comments by Matt Fuerst
Rating: 9
Mark went to Thunder Bay many months ago and has.... enthusiastically encouraged me to visit for myself. I was somewhat put aback by the hefty price tag, but the real limiting factor is the drive from my house to Auburn Hills. While not far mileage-wise, it's about as frustrating as an armless man playing tennis. Lots of traffic, lots of clown drivers, lots of people. Not to mention it's in a mall and the last time I was in a mall I was tackled by a security guard.. something about brandishing a weapon in public. Oh well, the little kid wouldn't stop crying, what else was I going to do?

I was destined to make one trip this year out to Auburn Hills to visit the awesome Bass Pro Shop there, so I called Mark for the details on Thunder Bay. I left all firearms and sharp objects in my car and headed into the den of evil called the mall.

You have to love a joint that has like 3 types of chili on their menu, along with an option for a chili sampler platter. This is a restaurant that fully embraces chili as a food. Sweet. I couldn't remember off the top of my head which chili Mark got, and wanted to get somethign different than his selection just so we'd have some variety on here, but as it turns out I'm an old man and my memory failed me, and I ended up getting the UP Vension chili myself.

What a spectacular chili. Thunder Bay tries. Yippie! There is some spice present, it's not going to make you roll on the floor in pain, but some sissies will probably get a little nasal decongestion going. This is a great thing. I really dug the texture, it wasn't too chunky but avoided the soupy-atmosphere. While I like some thinner stuff, with the venison chunks the thickness was a real bonus.

The price is a bit of a bummer and leaves you in chili-limbo. Are you just going to order the chili alone? Or go with a sandwich as well which propels you up near a Jackson for a lunch? I wasn't actually that hungry so a chili and a root beer (hmmm root beer) was a solid lunch for me. So kids, bust open your wallet and enjoy some chili...

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