The olive burger was invented in Michigan, making it a regional food that ranks up there with Vernor’s and the coney dog.
The staff of the Calhoun County Visitors Bureau traveled across the county to find some of the best Michigan olive burgers.
SUNS OUT BUNS OUT
If you are looking for a new lunch spot, Suns Out Buns Out is the place to be! This restaurant, on the north side of Battle Creek, is bright and airy. What stands out though is the food and the customer service. The employees make you feel like you are a regular they have seen every week.
Specializing in burgers and fries, Suns Out Buns Out will not leave you disappointed or hungry. Choose from one of their everyday burgers or choose from one of their many weekly specials.
The olive burger “Olive Lucy” is served on a toasted bun and topped with a generous portion of a mayo and olive mixture. It was as delicious as it looked! I love olive burgers and this was one of the best I have had. The fries are just as good and compliment the burger perfectly. — Becca Pelton, marketing director
ALBION MALLEABLE BREWING CO.
When biting into this burger, the first thing I noticed was the crispy, grilled edges. It was perfectly done, and one of the many reasons that Mlive named Malleable burgers the best in Michigan.
The olive burger is one of Malleable’s specialties, and the topping was a good mix of olive with a lot of pimento. Everything is fresh, including the buns which are made in-house by Pat the Baker. I also like that this one includes cheese. It adds a richness to the burger that helps balance out the brininess of the olives.
The fries that come with the order are impossible to quit. They practically melt in the mouth, with fluffy potato that’s been fried to crispy perfection. A special sauce for dipping is served on the side and it’s much better than ketchup (and I usually love fries with ketchup!).
It was nice to see the brewery bustling at lunch. While it’s a great place for an after-dinner drink, Malleable has become known for much more than cool brews. The food is an attraction in itself. — Annie J. Kelley
SPEED’S KOFFEE SHOP
A local gem, Speed’s brings their version of the traditional olive burger to their Battle Creek menu, and it is everything an olive burger should be.
The burger consists of ¼ lb. of beef cooked over a classic flat-top griddle, slathered with mayo, and topped with thick slices of green olives, all stacked high on a toasted bun. It provides a wonderful combination of flavors and textures.
The patty is well seasoned, making it the perfect amount of smoky and salty, which pairs well with the briny olives, creamy mayo, and sweet buttered bun.
The bun has a slight crisp to it, which keeps the olive mixture from turning the burger into a sloppy mess. Each burger is served with a generous portion of hand cut fries at an unbeatable price. (ed. note: we also love the milkshakes at Speed’s, perfect with a burger)
If you’re looking for an authentic olive burger, try making a stop at Speed’s the next time you’re in town! – Kaycie Chrystan, intern
CHI MON-EE’S FOOD COURT AT FIREKEEPERS CASINO HOTEL
Executive Chef Brant Coulter made me promise to order a triple olive burger for this project — that’s three hamburger patties in a stack that was almost too big for me to bite. But I can see why he insisted. FireKeepers is proud to make almost everything from scratch, including the hamburger buns, and they use good ingredients. The hamburger patties were satisfying. While Chi Mon-ee’s prides itself on fast service, you’re not getting the usual fast-food grease.
But we’re here to talk about olives, aren’t we? They’re roughly chopped, complete with the red pimento. It looked like the olives were tossed in a dressing, as opposed to being mashed with mayo. I could see herbs clinging to the olive chunks that I popped into my mouth.
Another detail I appreciated was that the olives were put on the bottom of the burger instead of the top. So the olives were the first thing that hit my tongue, followed by the meat.
My burger bag also included fries that had a light spice coating. I couldn’t quite place the spices, but they were good — a little savory, a little sweet, no ketchup required. — Annie Kelley, communications director
CLARA’S ON THE RIVER
From an olive burger aficionado, this is what makes a good burger: about one-third pound of ground chuck and brisket, flame-seared to medium doneness; one split, quality white bun, lightly toasted on each cut side and spread with mayonnaise; one slice of Swiss or American cheese; one slice of a large, ripe tomato; Romaine lettuce; and a good portion of sliced green olives without pimentos.
Do not compromise this flavorful combination with any other condiments! Both the Broadway Grill in Marshall and Clara’s on the River in Battle Creek meet the above stringent requirements, and each restaurant offers a variety of sides.
Clara’s On the River is an American restaurant with a vast menu. It is located in the 1888 Michigan Central railroad station close by the Battle Creek River. The antiques-filled building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, contains many mementos of late nineteenth century railroading.
Olive burgers are char-broiled ground chuck served with lettuce, tomato, pickles, mayonnaise, sliced green olives, and American cheese. Five sides are available. — Steve Ferrera, store assistant
The Broadway Grille Restaurant is a casual full-service restaurant with a large menu. The Friday night fish fry is a popular tradition.
The Marshall location (which also serves breakfast) is one of three, the others being in Coldwater and Union City. Each restaurant has a full-service bar, large screen TVs, and Mt. Pleasant Brewing Company beers on tap.
The olive burger has a large, flame-broiled patty with sliced green olives, lettuce, tomato, Swiss cheese, and mayonnaise. Four sides are available. — Steve Ferrera, store assistant
Look for the Irish Burger on the menu – it is a half-pound burger topped with ham, hot pepper cheese, mayo, lettuce, tomato and olives.
It was a good burger. I liked it because it had its own twist with things that normally don’t go on an olive burger, like ham and pepper cheese (normally just mayo and olives) and it was very juicy. The fries had the perfect crisp.
McGonigles is a great Irish lunch and dinner spot located next to CN Railroad. Great bustling staff crew for a busy Wednesday lunch. -- Kelli Pash, sales coordinator