Before restaurants, hungry people went to friends' houses to dine on someone else's cooking, be waited on, and leave sub-standard tips. Travel far with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of country cooking and drinks at Tillman's Historic Village Inn in Albion.
Tillman's Historic Village Inn populates its menu with a cornucopia of grilled meats, hand-selected seafood, and hearty, slow-cooked country cuisine following an age-old tradition that dates back to 1824. Start a meal with banana peppers stuffed with spicy chorizo sausage and a blend of asiago and parmesan cheeses ($8.95), or invite a rain-slicked fisherman to your table and steal his freshly snagged Maryland crab cakes ($7.95).
For heftier appetites, the 12-ounce prime rib ($15.95) falls from the heavens, collecting one of nine unique steak rubs on the way, such as the bold blue-cheese crust ($1.95) or zingy cajun rub ($1.25). After a long, hot bath, lobster tails ($23.95) laze blissfully in drawn-butter pools with lemon-wedge flotation devices. Massive portions of hickory-smoked baby-back ribs ($18.95) threaten to tip poorly balanced plate spinners, showering them in savory-sweet sauce.
Tillman's Historic Village Inn, housed in a building once used as a carriage house, inn, and tavern, proves its rich history by displaying a number of artifacts from centuries past throughout the restaurant. Keeping true to down-home tradition, the dining room contains a large fireplace, rustic, wooden tables and chairs, and a machine that transports flummoxed 19th-century travelers to present day as exhibits.