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Tuesday September 02, 2014
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Karl's Cabin Reviewed



Karl's Cabin is a lively roadhouse in Salem Township, about ten miles northeast of Ann Arbor via M-14 (exit at Gotfredson and follow the signs). Johnny Cash reportedly played the joint in one of its earlier incarnations, and that pedigree alone could justify a pilgrimage.

The log cabin built in 1945 as Rusceak's Rustic Tavern is the focal point of a now-sprawling family eatery. Karl's specializes in grilled meats and the Greek favorites of the Karl Poulos family, who took over ownership in 1982. Hanging Tiffany lamps and festive white lights brighten the dark-wood interior. A stage stands at one end, big enough for dueling piano shows. There's a waiting list for dinner most Saturdays, yet many Ann Arborites have never heard of the place.

What they're missing is an antidote to our sophisticated local venues. At Karl's you can get a fine filet mignon for under twenty bucks or flaming Greek saganaki cheese proffered by servers who may not clear your veneer-topped table until you raise dirty dishes and say please. One saucy server was not afraid to say no when asked if she knew where the crunchy sesame bread sticks and decadent desserts were baked. "They come in boxes, so it's not here," she declared, then spun away to deal with six noisy Harley riders, who dwarfed their patio table.

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