Posted by: Kath Usitalo | June 22, 2010

Road Food Report: Beachtown Treat

Bubba and our Splattered Van

“You’ve got my car!” a voice called out as I stepped through the screened door of the ice cream and snack shack near Silver Lake Sand Dunes. I’d just parked the Splattered Van in front of The Bubba Q, in search of the slow cooked pork sandwich recommended by the local girls working in the gift shop at Mac Wood’s Dune Rides (more on that adventure another day).

The Bubba Q, smack on the main vein on the commercial side of Silver Lake, is the kind of joint you’d expect to see in a casual beachtown.

The kind of joint you’d be disappointed if you didn’t see in a beachtown:
A red-trimmed, shiny white little house with two walk-up windows for placing orders, and outdoor seating where families polish off piles of Nacho Chips & Cheese (Real Cheese) and bikini-clad teens eat scoops of locally made Country Dairy and Hudsonville ice cream.

A bearded, tie-dye shirted man popped into one of the service windows. “Are you Bubba?” I asked. “I might be. Are you the law?” he bantered.

I asked Bubba if I could take his picture with the Splattered Van, and when he stepped outside he told me that years ago he’d wanted to paint his wheels with a tie-dyed pattern but his wife refused his offer.

So he took the rainbow of paints and covered the buggy in psychedelic colored stripes. “What could she say—it wasn’t tie-dyed,” he laughed and tossed his head, sending his silver peace sign earring swaying.

Across the street at Silver Lake State Park I enjoyed the tender and flavorful pork BBQ sandwich and just-right fresh squeezed lemonade. A really tasty lunch made that much better with the view of the water and the mountain of sand that separates Silver Lake from the Great Lake Michigan.

The Bubba Q
No website. Located on the main vein along Silver Lake at 8547 Silver Lake Rd., Mears; phone 231-873-8685

Silver Lake Sand Dunes are the only dunes east of Utah that allow private vehicles to drive on them. (In designated areas; restrictions apply.)

If you don’t have an ORV but want to sample the experience head to Mac Wood’s Dune Rides, now celebrating 80 years of scooting tourists across the sands.

Visitor Info Click: Silver Lake Sand Dunes Area

The sand dunes on the right, hundreds of feet tall, don't look all that high from the state park across Silver Lake



  1. Good timing, Kath….we’re having Girls’ Weekend this weekend! My daughter has looked up the Mac Wood’s Dune Rides and is very excited for it – “I’m not gonna lie, I’m really jacked for the dune buggy ride!” I’ll let you know how our time there was and will be sure to stop in and say ‘hey’ to Bubba! 🙂

  2. Cindy Lou, I have more tips on the area for you! Will email them to you (you’ll have the scoop before I post the stories here!)

  3. What, no picture of the pork sandwich!!?? I wanted to eat vicariously through that sandwich as I heat up my Lean Cuisine for lunch today.

    • Mary Lou, the sandwich was sooo tempting and I was so hungry I did not take time to take a photo of the sandwich. It was actually a late lunch, about 3:30 or 4 p.m. after I’d done the Mac Wood’s Dune Ride and other exploring. It was delish…I see Lean Cuisine in my future.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: