While raising children, driving them to school and activities, ensuring they were fed and had completed all of their homework, busy mom Anne Klingler determined that Marquette, Mich. “needed a fast food restaurant that did not involve French fries!” In 2013, her vision became a reality with Outlanders, a fast-casual restaurant offering a unique dining experience and homelike atmosphere for active families desiring more quality time.
“After my children had grown, I knew I had the time and the drive to open a restaurant to help busy working families like mine,” Klingler said. “It’s our passion to make delicious, wholesome food for families in the community. Whether customers dine in or take out, we’re here to bring folks together to slow down and enjoy a meal with family and friends.”
Initially a small takeout-focused restaurant, Outlanders expanded to its current space in 2017 to take advantage of a larger kitchen and dine-in area. The restaurant specializes in fresh, made-from-scratch meals at reasonable prices as well as kid-friendly surroundings, which include a cabinet of games and comfortable seating. Family style meals have ample servings for four to six hungry people, with best-sellers including 3-Cheese and Spinach Shells, Wet Burritos and Chicago Dogs.
“I have been cooking my whole life. Family dinners were my responsibility from a young age. Cooking became and continues to be my passion,” shared Klingler, who has a bachelor’s degree in Restaurant and Institutional Management from Northern Michigan University.
Inspired by an abundance of basil, Klingler created the popular Thai Basil Bowl. She combines creamy Mountain High™ Original Whole Milk Yoghurt with coconut milk, ginger, basil and cilantro to flavor this distinctive rice, chicken and veggie bowl. Upon tasting the fresh and flavorful recipe, Klingler “knew we had a winner.” Outlanders also uses Gold Medal™ All-Purpose Flour, Betty Crocker™ Frosting and Yoplait™ Yogurt in its other featured recipes.
As the North Central Regional Recipe Winner in the 2018 Neighborhood to Nation contest, Klingler will receive $5,000 as well as $1,000 to share with a local nonprofit. She has chosen Teaching Family Homes of Upper Michigan, a private, non-profit child welfare agency that provides a variety of services for children and families in need. For the past five years Outlanders has donated a portion of its December sales and hosted a guest chef who created special menus with all proceeds going to the organization.
Beyond its ongoing support of Teaching Family Homes, Outlanders’ steadfast commitment to the Marquette community is evident through its participation in multiple festivals, fundraisers and other events for charity. “Our philosophy is to help where we can and we strive to live that every day,” Klingler added.