Forget everything you might have imagined about Bode’s Corned Beef House. From the curb, the view of Bode's is both confusing and appealing, and all but dares you to guess what’s inside. The misplaced building on Plymouth’s Main St. simultaneously conjures images of an old Bavarian brothel and an abandoned soup kitchen. This confounding appearance lead me to conclude that Bode’s was either the best deli in southeast Michigan or an eat-at-your-own-risk health hazard. My assumptions could not have been more wrong. Bode’s is not your typical greasy spoon, it’s not a New York-style Jewish deli. No, Bode’s is beautiful in its simplicity; Bode’s serves corned beef, and they do it well.
You’ll find no pickle tray on the menu, no matzah ball soup. Don’t try to be fancy; order a sandwich. I can’t speak to the entire menu. I can speak to the hot corned beef on rye - delicious, melt-in-your-mouth corned beef. Skip the toppings, skip the condiments, toast the rye and pile on the buttery cow flesh. Since Bode’s serves breakfast all day, I took the liberty of ordering the homemade corned beef hash, just to check. Good stuff, but the sandwich is the thing.
Bode’s history is palpable - from a railroad hotel, to a relocation to the “more elegant Mayflower” building (does Plymouth have a thing for Pilgrims?), to corned beef house starting in 1959. The front room has one long counter with bar stools. The back room is filled with tiny booths - booths filled with tiny septuagenarians - and the faded pinkish-peach color is a throwback to grandma’s kitchen. Thankfully, it seems the service is also a throwback. My Coke was never empty, my waitress was eager and pleasant. Best of all, with prices cheaper than fast food, Bode’s provides bang for the buck. Consider this my endorsement.