Flavor Express – Zef’s Lighthouse Tavern

I cannot remember the last time my husband and I were able to go out to eat. Yesterday was the first time in what feels like forever, so of course we went to someplace new and exciting.

Zef’s Lighthouse Tavern is a neat little place right off the water in Fair Haven, MI. I will admit, from the outside I didn’t think there were going to be many people when we went, but I had no idea the parking lot was actually in the back. Boy, this place gets busy on a Saturday night! It didn’t stop the servers from getting the food out, though.

Speaking of food, need I say their burgers are absolutely DELICIOUS! The descriptions of the two I’m sharing with you are taken directly from the menu.

“The Lighthouse” Burger and Onion Rings

Burger topped with lettuce, tomato, pepper jack cheese, beer-boiled bratwurst, sauerkraut, and honey mustard with beer-battered onion rings in the background
“The Lighthouse” – served with pepper jack cheese and topped with beer boiled bratwurst, sauerkraut and honey mustard. Beer-bettered onion rings are in the back.

This is the burger my husband tried, and of course I had to try it because it sounded delicious and crazy. I never imagined putting a bratwurst or sauerkraut on a burger, let alone putting both on there. The burger meat is nice and tender, and the bratwurst simply melts in your mouth. I expected the sauerkraut to be, well, sour. However, it is actually sweet and adds the sweetness to the burger instead of being salty and sour and completely throwing off the flavor balance.

As for the little piece of eye candy in the back, those are beer-battered onion rings. They are huge! Out of the four of us at our table, we were only able to eat about half of what was made for us. The batter is super light and crunchy, never getting soggy overtime. The onions themselves are sweet and don’t slide out of the batter casing like most onion rings I eat do. They are one of the reasons why I want to come back here.

The “Slap on the Wrist” Burger

Cajun-seasoned burger served with pepper jack cheese and topped with fresh jalapeno, applewood smoked bacon, and "lighthouse sauce"
The “Slap on the Wrist” – a Cajun seasoned burger served with pepper jack cheese and topped with fresh jalapenos, applewood smoked bacon, and lighthouse sauce

This is the monster burger I had the pleasure of enjoying. Throughout my pregnancy I had a huge craving for spicy foods, and that craving simply did not disintegrate. The burger patty itself isn’t spicy despite the Cajun seasoning, but the fresh jalapenos sure do pack a wallop. The bacon is cooked perfectly – not chewy but not super dry and crunchy – and the special Lighthouse sauce adds just enough sweetness to not allow the jalapenos to completely overtake the dish. It completes the burger, really, and with the amount on the burger, you don’t get a huge mouthful of it, but you also don’t get a “barely anything there” bite. It is just the perfect little spread to balance the flavors.

The food isn’t the only thing about the place that was wonderful. The servers are very welcoming and make you feel welcome, and they all work together to ensure you’re enjoying your visit, your drinks stay full – what servers basically should do. The atmosphere is very lively and energetic, which makes it a fun place to go to if you need a little pick-me-up drink. Being close to the water, the drive to this place is lovely and it also ensures the fish they serve is as fresh as can be.

This place is highly recommended to others us at FlavorSmasher HQ, and the next time we go here, we plan on trying the fresh fish dinners. Hopefully, you’ll be able to experience them too.

Enjoy the flavor!
~ Mandi

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