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    Post #1 - June 22nd, 2008, 1:15 pm
    Post #1 - June 22nd, 2008, 1:15 pm Post #1 - June 22nd, 2008, 1:15 pm
    Our family of four (2 adults and 2 kids (8 & 10)) will be staying at the Khardomah lodge in Grand Haven, MI next week. We're looking for good tavern burgers, fruit pies, custard stands, pizza and other flip flop type vacation fare. Thanks!
  • Post #2 - June 29th, 2008, 2:19 pm
    Post #2 - June 29th, 2008, 2:19 pm Post #2 - June 29th, 2008, 2:19 pm
    Time Out Chicago just had a piece on South Haven which is just a short jaunt from Grand Haven. Here's what they had to say...

    As for me, I used to vist GH a lot as a kid and we always went to the Bil-Mar. I loved eating on the deck and seem to remember a pretty good burger (of course, this was nearly 20 years ago, but they are still around).

    Bil Mar Restaurant 1223 South Harbor, Grand Haven, MI 49417, Located in Downtown Grand Haven, 616-842-5920
    FIG Catering, For Intimate Gatherings
    Our website
    Our blog
    molly@FIGcatering.com
  • Post #3 - June 30th, 2008, 3:53 pm
    Post #3 - June 30th, 2008, 3:53 pm Post #3 - June 30th, 2008, 3:53 pm
    Walk north on the main drag about 1 or 2 miles from the state park - just where "town" starts - and stop at the closet-sized shack selling Pronto Pups. These hand-dipped corn dogs have been around for ages, and you'll know why once it cools enough to be bite-able.

    They also cheekily offer a "low-fat" pronto pup, which is nothing but the stick they come on. I recommend the full-fat version - at least two of them, smeared with mustard.
  • Post #4 - July 4th, 2008, 7:05 pm
    Post #4 - July 4th, 2008, 7:05 pm Post #4 - July 4th, 2008, 7:05 pm
    Fricano's in Grand Haven has the best pizza in all of southwest Michigan. Check out their website at http://www.fricanospizza.com/map4.htm
  • Post #5 - July 5th, 2008, 7:46 am
    Post #5 - July 5th, 2008, 7:46 am Post #5 - July 5th, 2008, 7:46 am
    BTB wrote:Fricano's in Grand Haven has the best pizza in all of southwest Michigan. Check out their website at http://www.fricanospizza.com/map4.htm


    How can you so easily discount GNR Winner Stop 50 Pizza? That must really be some good pizza!
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #6 - July 5th, 2008, 10:06 am
    Post #6 - July 5th, 2008, 10:06 am Post #6 - July 5th, 2008, 10:06 am
    If Saugatuck id not too far you have to go to Wally's on a friday, have half the table order the lake perch and the other half ribs and eat family style, awesome place in downtow Saugatuck.
  • Post #7 - September 17th, 2008, 11:57 am
    Post #7 - September 17th, 2008, 11:57 am Post #7 - September 17th, 2008, 11:57 am
    The Wife and I are headed to Douglas for Columbus Day weekend. Anyone have any recent thoughts on good places to eat nearby? I definitely want to get to Stop 50 and Journeyman Cafe sounds good. Any other places we should be considering?
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #8 - September 17th, 2008, 12:15 pm
    Post #8 - September 17th, 2008, 12:15 pm Post #8 - September 17th, 2008, 12:15 pm
    jesteinf wrote:The Wife and I are headed to Douglas for Columbus Day weekend. Anyone have any recent thoughts on good places to eat nearby? I definitely want to get to Stop 50 and Journeyman Cafe sounds good. Any other places we should be considering?


    In Douglas, I would go to Everyday People Cafe for dinner. Despite it's casual-sounding name, it is one of the "nicer" places in the area. If you eat in Saugatuck, there is one place to go, IMHO, and that's Phil's, which is a bar/pub. It won't knock your socks off, but the food is much better than some of the other options there.

    Everyday People Cafe
    11 Center Street
    Douglas, MI
    (269) 857-4940

    Phil's Bar and Grill
    215 Butler St
    Saugatuck, MI 49453
    (269) 857-1555

    Edited to add: I've been to both places in the last week, so my commentary is pretty recent.
  • Post #9 - September 25th, 2008, 2:45 pm
    Post #9 - September 25th, 2008, 2:45 pm Post #9 - September 25th, 2008, 2:45 pm
    Grandma Bobbi and I are going to Saugatuck shortly and will give the Everyday People Cafe in Douglas a try. From their website, the place looks interesting. I hope they have the shredded duck confit risotto the night we're there. I love duck but Grandma Bobbi doesn't. I'll try to remember to write a report upon our return.
    Best regards,
    Grandpa Bob
    "It was very nice the time I was there." - my Mother whenever she was asked her opinion of a restaurant
  • Post #10 - September 26th, 2008, 7:08 am
    Post #10 - September 26th, 2008, 7:08 am Post #10 - September 26th, 2008, 7:08 am
    One of our favorite places in Saugatuck is The Corner Bar downstairs from Coral Gables on the waterfront. You can sit outside and have cocktails and good food overlooking all the docked yachts and boats. Their perch is real yellow lake perch, not the cheap white lake perch served at most other restaurants, and I think their perch is the best in town. On Fridays they have a special on the yellow lake perch (think it's $11) and while it's not all you can eat, a "second helping" is free.
  • Post #11 - September 26th, 2008, 10:57 am
    Post #11 - September 26th, 2008, 10:57 am Post #11 - September 26th, 2008, 10:57 am
    Eating notes from our recent trip to Saugatuck-Douglas-Holland:

    General Impressions: 1) Food and wine prices are 15%-20% lower than Chicago and tax is <7%; 2) the Farmers Market in Holland is terrific – try the Taco Loco at Raul's Tamales stand.

    Everyday People's Café – Douglas – Still one of the most enjoyable dining experiences anywhere (both times). They just switched to their Autumn Menu (though it is not yet on the website) and we thoroughly enjoyed the Duck Legs and the Shells With Lobster and Scallops. We saw an order of Braised Lamb Shank go by and almost ordered a third entrée. As usual, the salads and sides are great. They talked about plans to start a farm to grow their own supplies. Interesting idea.

    Everyday People Cafe
    11 Center St
    Douglas, MI 49406
    Phone: (269) 857-4240
    Fax: (269) 857-8806
    Web: www.everydaypeoplecafe.com


    Phil's Bar & Grille – Saugatuck – So much more than "upscale bar food". The Turkey Wrap is made with meat that is roasted in-house and the steak-cut fries are terrific. They also serve broasted chicken and will let you order 2-piece or 4-piece servings in dark or white meat. And the Broasted Wings with Spicy Mango Sauce are a sweet treat with heat.

    Phil's Bar & Grille
    215 Butler St
    Saugatuck, MI 49453
    Phone: (269) 857-1555

    Marro's – Saugatuck – A garlic-lover's destination spot. The Garlic Rolls come six in a pan, drenched in garlic butter and topped with a layer of melted cheese. Very dangerous to order for only two people, but how can you pass? Fettuccine With Shrimp Scampi was another dose of good garlic to go with perfectly cooked shrimp. We might have overdone it by including fresh garlic on the pizza, but it disappeared quickly. Very pleasant evening; closing soon for the season.

    Marro's Italian Restaurant
    147 Water Street
    Saugatuck, MI 49453
    Phone: (269) 857-4248
    Web: www.marrosrestaurant.com
    Email: marroboca@aol.com

    Elbo Room – Saugatuck – Interesting menu, good execution and great views of the river. The Avocado Fries, alone, are worth the stop – slices of batter-dipped and fried avocado with a good dipping sauce. Both of our lunch sandwiches were order-again quality and we're looking forward to trying the rest of the menu.

    Elbo Room
    elboroombistro.com
    880 Holland St
    Saugatuck, MI 49453
    (269) 857-8646

    Kalico Kitchen – Douglas – Our favorite for eggs cooked just the way you like them and for very good broasted chicken. They also have good pies and a retail store for meats and bakery goods.

    Kalico Kitchen
    Blue Star Hwy.
    Douglas, MI 49406
    Phone: (269) 857-2678
    Fax: (269) 857-4079
    Web: www.kalicokitchenrestaurant.com
    Email: kalicokitchen@verizon.net

    Fricano's, Too – Holland – A niche-restaurant regional chain that serves pizza. Just pizza. One size (12"). Five toppings (anchovies, sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms and green peppers). The most popular is EBA (Everything But Anchovies) and the mushrooms are canned. Wafer thin crust, with nicely burned edge. Tasty (did I mention that the mushrooms are canned?), but not worth the trip. That's it. Oh yeah – the niche is "cheap". One pizza + two cokes = $11.00.

    Fricano's Too
    www.fricanospizza.com
    174 S River Ave.
    Holland, MI
    (616) 392-6279
  • Post #12 - September 27th, 2008, 2:45 pm
    Post #12 - September 27th, 2008, 2:45 pm Post #12 - September 27th, 2008, 2:45 pm
    Holland Farmers' Market & Ray's Tamale King

    jimwdavis wrote: . . . the Farmers Market in Holland is terrific – try the Taco Loco at Raul's Tamales stand. . . .


    Agreeing that the Holland Farmers' Market is a great place, here are some pics:

    Image
    Panorama of Market

    Image
    Fall Mums

    Image
    Great Heirloom Tomato Stand

    Image
    More Tomatoes . . .

    Image
    Apples Are Big Right Now . . .

    Image
    More Apples . . .

    Image
    As Are Peppers. . .

    Image

    Image
    You Can Eat At Ray's Tamale King At The Market, But Go Early For The Tamales . . .

    Image
    Otherwise, have a "Taco Loco"

    Holland Farmers' Market
    8th Street (between Pine & Maple Aves.)
    Holland, MI 49423
    http://www.cityofholland.com/Brix?pageID=421
    Tel. (616) 355-1138

    HOURS OF OPERATION:
    May 14 - November 26, 2008:
    Wednesdays and Saturdays 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

    November 29 - December 13, 2008:
    Saturdays ONLY 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Post #13 - October 4th, 2008, 9:41 am
    Post #13 - October 4th, 2008, 9:41 am Post #13 - October 4th, 2008, 9:41 am
    I just had some nice fried chicken at Sonny's in Buchanan on Front street just west of downtown near Bakertown road.I think Ricky's taqueria in Niles serves some of the best Mexican food around.It is located in the strip mall on Main Street that the Secretary of States office is located.Until the end of the month don't forget Jollay orchards in Coloma for the apple pie baked in a bag.
  • Post #14 - October 13th, 2008, 4:00 pm
    Post #14 - October 13th, 2008, 4:00 pm Post #14 - October 13th, 2008, 4:00 pm
    We just got back from our trip to Douglas/Saugatuck. As I suspected, you don't go for the food.

    We got in late on Friday night and tried to go to Everyday People Cafe in Douglas. At 8:45pm there was a 90 minute wait so we decided to head into Saugatuck. We wound up at The White House which was actually a pretty fun and quirky place. I had the "Athens Chicken" which was surprisingly very good. The chicken had been marinated for several hours and was tender, juicy and flavorful. Rice and veg were straight out of a bag, but what can you do?

    Saturday night we went to the Journeyman Cafe in Fennville. Food was good (not great) but our waiter was the very definition of aloof. The highlight of the meal has a housemade charcuterie platter that included a dynamite ham hock terrine. I had a peanut butter truffle to finish off the meal that was fantastic, and made even better by the liberal sprinkling of salt on top.

    Sunday night we went back to Everyday People Cafe and this time we were seated. Again, I would describe the food as good not great (more veg right out of a bag, seriously...what's up with that?). I was struck at every meal by how either portion sizes were huge (even compared to Chicago) and how heavy all of the food was. I mentioned this to our waiter on Sunday night and he replied with a smile and a shrug, "You're in Michigan".

    On a few non-food related notes...

    We stayed at the Rosemont Inn in Douglas and I would highly recommend it. Great breakfasts each morning, and light snacks served at night. They also put together a really nice picnic for us on Sunday that we enjoyed at the beach right across the street.

    If you're looking for something fun and touristy to do, I would recommend the dune buggy ride in Saugatuck. I had never seen a dune before so I thought this was a pretty neat tour (more info here)
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #15 - October 13th, 2008, 6:45 pm
    Post #15 - October 13th, 2008, 6:45 pm Post #15 - October 13th, 2008, 6:45 pm
    Josh's post above was an amazing coincidence. Grandma Bobbi and I visited Saugatuck this past weekend too. We also went to the Everyday People Cafe on Sunday night.

    But first things first - We left Highland Park at around 7 am CDT on Sunday morning and arrived in South Haven at around 10:30 am EDT. We stopped for brunch at the Phoenix Street Cafe. The wait was going to be about 30 minutes, so I visited the bookstore across the street. Naturally the book I bought was in my personal library. (So what else is new? I've done that many times!) We enjoyed the PSC eggs Benny with crab cakes. They were better than similar dishes we've ordered elsewhere. We strolled around the three block downtown and visited a few shops and then headed to Saugatuck.

    We stayed on Sunday night at our favorite B&B - Twin Oaks on Griffith St in Saugatuck. It's located only one block from the shops on Butler St. The place has lots of history. It was originally built in 1860 for a lumber baron who subsequently stripped out most of the trees in the area. The building was last used as a men's boarding house before it became Twin Oaks.

    Jerry and Nancy Horney gutted the building and rebuilt it with the best amenities they had discovered by visiting other B&Bs. (Jerry was a former barbershop buddy of mine in the 1980s.) It's a lovely place and the new owner, Willa Lemken, has done a fine job maintaining the facility. Besides a hot tub, bikes, a massive library of video tapes, robes in each room, Willa makes an incredible French toast for a complementary breakfast. She takes cinnamon and sugar, mixes it with eggs, butter and milk and puts it into a baking dish. She then layers double slices of bread and let's it soak up the mixture and refrigerates it overnight. The next morning she bakes it along with two types of pastries. It makes for a great start to the day. We also had juice, fresh grapefruit, sausages and lots of coffee. (If you decide to visit, ask for the downstairs room #6. It has a Jacuzzi bathtub that easily holds two people!)

    After checking in, we strolled through the shops and galleries. That Sunday happened to be a "Gallery Walk" day and there were lots of folks around town enjoying themselves. We stopped at the White House for drinks and enjoyed a duo who did a fine job of singing and playing the acoustic guitar and drums. Then back to Twin Oaks and rest and reading until dinner.

    Recognizing the number of people in town and it being the Sunday before Columbus Day, we decided to go to the Everyday People Cafe at 5:30 when it opened. We arrived at 5:25 and there were about 20 people waiting to get in. When the doors opened we were seated immediately. Our server was attentive and polite and prompt in serving our cocktails. A young lady filled our water glasses and brought some delicious fresh rolls and poured olive oil in which we could dip the rolls.

    Since Grandma Bobbi and I have "big eyes" and "small stomachs" in our old age, we decided to skip the appetizers and just have entrees. Note that they knock $2 off the entree price if you don't have the salad or soup, which we also declined.

    Grandma Bobbi ordered the salmon fillet grilled on a cedar plank. It was accompanied by a delightful wedge of pumpkin tart and, what I thought were fresh veggies. I ordered the stuffed gnocchi with shrimp. It was served with a medley of veggies including acorn squash and cebollita onions. The grape tomatoes imparted a nice sweetness to complement the other flavors. My dish was unique and quite enjoyable. i also had a taste of Grandma Bobbi's salmon and it was just undercooked to perfection. The portions were humongous so we skipped dessert and coffee. The service was quite good and the food to our liking - good, solid Midwestern cuisine. Total cost including two drinks, the two entrees, tax and tip was $64. (The drinks cost 50% of the entree costs!)

    It's interesting that Josh and I were in the same restaurant on the same night and have different opinions. But that's one of the things that make this website forum so interesting.

    The weather was just gorgeous and I won $125 at the Four Winds Casino in New Buffalo, MI on the way home on Monday afternoon. So it was an enjoyable and relaxing two days. Tough to be back home again.

    BTW - We've been going to Saugatuck every few years or so for the past 20 years. Other restaurants we've enjoyed are
    - Chequers of Saugatuck, which is designed like an English pub, serves English pub food and has a nice selection of beers, and
    - Restaraunt Toulouse, which has continental fare and a lovely outdoor patio.

    Best regards,
    Grandpa Bob
    "It was very nice the time I was there." - my Mother whenever she was asked her opinion of a restaurant
  • Post #16 - October 13th, 2008, 7:02 pm
    Post #16 - October 13th, 2008, 7:02 pm Post #16 - October 13th, 2008, 7:02 pm
    jesteinf wrote:Sunday night we went back to Everyday People Cafe and this time we were seated. Again, I would describe the food as good not great (more veg right out of a bag, seriously...what's up with that?).


    As Grandpa Bob intimated, those veggies aren't from a bag. I can't speak for the White House, which has to vie for the worst food in Saugatuck (glad you liked your chicken, though), but at EPC, as of last weekend, my vegetable medley had cipolline onions, meticulously trimmed "real" baby carrots and sauteed fennel -- definitely not veg-in-a-bag stuff. My grass-fed rib eye was quite good, indeed, as well.

    I don't notice any significant difference in "heaviness" between food in Michigan and food in Chicago. To me, that's like the pot calling the kettle black. :)
  • Post #17 - October 13th, 2008, 7:06 pm
    Post #17 - October 13th, 2008, 7:06 pm Post #17 - October 13th, 2008, 7:06 pm
    aschie30 wrote:
    jesteinf wrote:Sunday night we went back to Everyday People Cafe and this time we were seated. Again, I would describe the food as good not great (more veg right out of a bag, seriously...what's up with that?).


    As Grandpa Bob intimated, those veggies aren't from a bag. I can't speak for the White House, which has to vie for the worst food in Saugatuck (glad you liked your chicken, though), but at EPC, as of last weekend, my vegetable medley had cippoline onions, meticulously trimmed "real" baby carrots and sauteed fennel -- definitely not veg-in-a-bag stuff. My grass-fed rib eye was quite good, indeed.

    I don't notice any significant difference in "heaviness" between food in Michigan and food in Chicago. To me, that's like the pot calling the kettle black. :)


    In fairness to the restaurant (EPC) we got there after 8 and they close at 9 so they might have just been improvising. I ordered the tuna and it came with a pretty bland mix of broccoli, carrots (not "real" baby carrots), and maybe one other. In fact, it tasted almost the same as the vegetable medley I had at the White House. I'm sure we'll return, there are worse sins in my book than lame veggies :wink: .
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #18 - October 13th, 2008, 7:18 pm
    Post #18 - October 13th, 2008, 7:18 pm Post #18 - October 13th, 2008, 7:18 pm
    jesteinf wrote:If you're looking for something fun and touristy to do, I would recommend the dune buggy ride in Saugatuck. I had never seen a dune before so I thought this was a pretty neat tour (more info here)


    Well, I'm glad you enjoyed the dune-buggy ride. FWIW, my retired neighbor drives those.
  • Post #19 - October 14th, 2008, 1:10 pm
    Post #19 - October 14th, 2008, 1:10 pm Post #19 - October 14th, 2008, 1:10 pm
    One additional comment about the White House in Saugatuck:
    As I mentioned above, Grandma Bobbi and I only stopped by for drinks. We never looked at a menu nor saw any food served since it was about 3 pm and we had sat on the porch. After reading the comments on this thread and others about the place, I wonder if the food is really that interesting. The place has signs that promote "pizza with nine toppings for only $9.99." Nuf said!
    Regards,
    GP Bob
    "It was very nice the time I was there." - my Mother whenever she was asked her opinion of a restaurant
  • Post #20 - August 7th, 2009, 2:51 pm
    Post #20 - August 7th, 2009, 2:51 pm Post #20 - August 7th, 2009, 2:51 pm
    Anyone have any new information to share about eateries, bars, (farmers') markets, grocery stores or other food-related attractions in the Saugatuck/Douglas area? We're heading over there next week, so any updates would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #21 - August 7th, 2009, 3:48 pm
    Post #21 - August 7th, 2009, 3:48 pm Post #21 - August 7th, 2009, 3:48 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Anyone have any new information to share about eateries, bars, (farmers') markets, grocery stores or other food-related attractions in the Saugatuck/Douglas area? We're heading over there next week, so any updates would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    =R=


    Ronnie-

    I'm there almost every weekend in summer. Of those places recommended above, I'll go ahead and recommend Everyday People Cafe (above) for breakfast or dinner, but mostly dinner; Phil's for lunch or dinner (it's technically a bar, but I've seen kids in there and it's smokefree), Kalico Kitchen (breakfast), Elbo Room (lunch), which has a nice view of the harbor. I'd also recommed The Corner Bar, as recommended above by BTB, which has a nice outdoor seating area as well. In Saugatuck, I'd avoid The Butler and Wally's, which tend to attract rowdier crowds, and The Mermaid, which, although family friendly and pretty, has crappy food. I'd also avoid most of the places on Blue Star Highway, except Kalico Kitchen.

    Saugatuck also has a farmer's market on Fridays.

    When are you going to be up there next week?
  • Post #22 - August 7th, 2009, 4:34 pm
    Post #22 - August 7th, 2009, 4:34 pm Post #22 - August 7th, 2009, 4:34 pm
    aschie30 wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Anyone have any new information to share about eateries, bars, (farmers') markets, grocery stores or other food-related attractions in the Saugatuck/Douglas area? We're heading over there next week, so any updates would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    =R=


    Ronnie-

    I'm there almost every weekend in summer. Of those places recommended above, I'll go ahead and recommend Everyday People Cafe (above) for breakfast or dinner, but mostly dinner; Phil's for lunch or dinner (it's technically a bar, but I've seen kids in there and it's smokefree), Kalico Kitchen (breakfast), Elbo Room (lunch), which has a nice view of the harbor. I'd also recommed The Corner Bar, as recommended above by BTB, which has a nice outdoor seating area as well. In Saugatuck, I'd avoid The Butler and Wally's, which tend to attract rowdier crowds, and The Mermaid, which, although family friendly and pretty, has crappy food. I'd also avoid most of the places on Blue Star Highway, except Kalico Kitchen.

    Saugatuck also has a farmer's market on Fridays.

    When are you going to be up there next week?

    Thanks, Wendy. :)

    We'll be there from Wednesday evening, through Tuesday morning. Maybe we should try to meet up, if you'll be there, too.

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #23 - August 7th, 2009, 8:53 pm
    Post #23 - August 7th, 2009, 8:53 pm Post #23 - August 7th, 2009, 8:53 pm
    Also be sure to stop in and get coffee and a pastry at Uncommon Grounds in Saugatuck. They do small batch roasting on site and use organic, fair trade coffee whenever possible. It is fantastic coffee. I always take a bag to go home with me; I really like their Ethiopian Harrar and Sumatra. (They also are the supplier at Hot Chocolate in Bucktown.)

    Uncommon Grounds
    127 Hoffman St
    Saugatuck, MI 49453
    (269) 857-3333
  • Post #24 - August 8th, 2009, 11:19 am
    Post #24 - August 8th, 2009, 11:19 am Post #24 - August 8th, 2009, 11:19 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Anyone have any new information to share about eateries, bars, (farmers') markets, grocery stores or other food-related attractions in the Saugatuck/Douglas area?
    =R=


    My favorite place in Saugatuck/Douglas is Blue Star Cafe--it's on Blue Star Highway just past the entrance to downtown Douglas. It's half ice cream joint, half diner and serves a great breakfast all day (my fav potatoes anywhere) and decent lunches and dinners with nothing like the wait at many Saugatuck places. (Ida Reds in Saugatuck is also good for breakfast if you don't mind the wait.)

    M&M Ice Cream/Blue Star Cafe
    141 W. Blue Star Highway, Douglas, MI
    269-857-1030
    http://www.saugatuckdouglas.com/memberpages/MM.html


    A nice dinner with a lake view is 15-20 minutes north at The Piper on Lake Macatawa in Holland. Just had a great meal there with friends last week (I would compare the food to Journeyman). You can call ahead 30 minutes to "get in line" for a table.

    Piper Restaurant

    2225 South Shore Drive, Macatawa, MI
    616-335-5866
    http://www.piperrestaurant.com/[/color]

    I second the Uncommon Grounds suggestion. They are actually a nice lunch stop with homemade soup and small lunch stuff. Their French Guiana (a latte with Ground Chocolate, Cayenne Pepper, Cinnamon & Whipped Cream) is amazing.
  • Post #25 - August 10th, 2009, 8:50 am
    Post #25 - August 10th, 2009, 8:50 am Post #25 - August 10th, 2009, 8:50 am
    aschie30 wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Anyone have any new information to share about eateries, bars, (farmers') markets, grocery stores or other food-related attractions in the Saugatuck/Douglas area? We're heading over there next week, so any updates would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    =R=


    Ronnie-

    I'm there almost every weekend in summer. Of those places recommended above, I'll go ahead and recommend Everyday People Cafe (above) for breakfast or dinner, but mostly dinner; Phil's for lunch or dinner (it's technically a bar, but I've seen kids in there and it's smokefree), Kalico Kitchen (breakfast), Elbo Room (lunch), which has a nice view of the harbor. I'd also recommed The Corner Bar, as recommended above by BTB, which has a nice outdoor seating area as well. In Saugatuck, I'd avoid The Butler and Wally's, which tend to attract rowdier crowds, and The Mermaid, which, although family friendly and pretty, has crappy food. I'd also avoid most of the places on Blue Star Highway, except Kalico Kitchen.

    Saugatuck also has a farmer's market on Fridays.

    When are you going to be up there next week?


    I have to chime in as a summer resident of the area. I must preface by saying that I dearly miss the breadth of dining options back in the city and I find it to be a struggle finding real, thoughtfully prepared food in the area. I have favorites here and there, but with the absence of Journeyman/Rye, I cannot say that there is a single gem amongst the bunch up here that puts out menu-wide consistency.
    My favorite new spot to eat is Pizza Mambo, which was opened this summer by one of the owners of Everyday People. They have a limited menu of pizza, sandwiches, and salads and I also must add that their location in a strip mall sandwiched between a tanning spa and movie rental is not Saugatuck's most picturesque. All said, though, they turn out a delicious product with high quality ingredients and a clearly considerate touch. The pizza is surprisingly maybe best compared to tavern style, with a thin crisp crust. It has an slight chew in the crust though and the cornmeal dusting set it apart from this style as well as the offering of more gourmet toppings.
    As for the rest of the bunch- I love the Elbo Room for brunch. The crab, havarti, and spinach omelet with hollandaise is my go-to for a lovely, day- off breakfast overlooking the river. The farmer's omelet packed with bacon and cheddar and enveloped in thin cut home fries can't be beat. Great benedicts as well. The room has a slight geriatric feel, but in a kind of cozy way and a spot on the screen porch on the river cannot be beat for a tranquil repast. I have not tried them for dinner, but the menu looks interesting.
    Downtown, I like Phil's for broasted chicken and perch, but some of the overly creative "upscale" pub grub options are a little heavy handed- no
    "pad thai" at a bar for me please. And something I must say that is symptomatic of the entire area is a tendency of inconsistent service from the spaced- out, couldn't care less types to overly attentive and chipper meal-ruining service.
    I find that Wally's at the right moments- say midafternoon- is an alright spot for a burger, a pint, and people watching on the front patio. The Yankee pot roast sandwich is a tremendously indulgent gut bomb.
    Wendy, please don't hold this against me, but I have had some pretty lousy experiences at Everyday People lately. The service I mention above has been an issue. It seems like they have become too high volume to produce consistent plates at this point as well, rubbery, fishy mussels, dry pork chops, not so good. As a maybe once a year since they opened customer, I must say that the menu has remained remarkably unchanged and is getting pretty stale. The only menu item that is 100% on for me is the tapas platter, which as a glorified cheese plate really speaks very little of the kitchen's skills. My friends like Wild Dog across the street better, but I haven't been.
    The Saugatuck Brewery now offers food with their pretty-dang good beers now as well.
    Holland has more interesting options. The farmer's market is definitely a beacon of the amazing agricultural bounty in the area- open Wednesday and Saturday mornings. And after a brief hiatus from patronage at the Ray's Tamale King vending, I stand completely behind the taco loco. My local friends mention many tucked away taquerias in the area, but I haven't explored these options in a few years. I think I might make a point of putting in some serious legwork in this department before the summer's end, will post as I explore. Su Casa in nearby Fennville is somewhat worth the picturesque drive eastbound on M89, maybe with a stop for pie or doughnuts at Crane's Pie Pantry. Su Casa is no where near Chicago standards, but their enchiladas poblanas are great as are their salsas and guacamole. I know the owners and they are delightful folks.
    Back to Holland, the former chef of the Journeyman now heads the kitchen at New Holland Brewing, which puts out some real dang good brews and a progressively more upscale bar food/ pizza menu. Haven't ate there since the transition, but my money's on the pizza at Pizza Mambo. The space really irks me too- kind of a corporate feeling, frat bar vibe.
    There is also a significant southeast Asian population in the area and there are a few spots for Vietnamese and Thai cuisine. My favorite is the restaurant section of a family owned stripmall, called Huyhn Plaza which also houses a surprisingly well stocked Asian grocer that makes definitely passable banh mi. In between the grocery and restaurant is an obnoxious and smoky pool hall called Shooter's. I love the bun at the restaurant and think it compares to similar bowls on Argyle. The pho is okay- no Tank Noodle, but hits the spot in a pinch.
    So, chiming in with my (seasonally) local perspective, its pretty pick and choose up here- don't expect the range of amazing grub back at home. But, above all enjoy the lake, woods, and all the natural beauty of the area!
    Enjoy,
    Eric

    Pizza Mambo
    3465 Blue Star Hwy
    Saugatuck, MI 49453
    (269) 857-4400

    Saugatuck Brewing Co.
    2948 Blue Star Memorial Hwy
    Douglas, MI 49406
    (269) 857-7222

    Su Casa
    306 W Main St
    Fennville, MI 49408-9219
    (269) 561-5493

    Huynh
    143 Douglas Ave
    Holland, MI 49424
    616-394-9200
  • Post #26 - August 10th, 2009, 9:34 am
    Post #26 - August 10th, 2009, 9:34 am Post #26 - August 10th, 2009, 9:34 am
    Jefe wrote:\Wendy, please don't hold this against me, but I have had some pretty lousy experiences at Everyday People lately. The service I mention above has been an issue. It seems like they have become too high volume to produce consistent plates at this point as well, rubbery, fishy mussels, dry pork chops, not so good. As a maybe once a year since they opened customer, I must say that the menu has remained remarkably unchanged and is getting pretty stale. The only menu item that is 100% on for me is the tapas platter, which as a glorified cheese plate really speaks very little of the kitchen's skills. My friends like Wild Dog across the street better, but I haven't been.


    I won't hold it against you :), but I have to strenuously quibble with your assertion that EPC's menu hasn't changed since they opened. I mean they opened in the '70s as a diner - you surely don't mean to imply that the menu hasn't changed since then? Also, in the three or so years I've been eating there, the menu has changed seasonally (although I won't say that they serve "seasonal" food per se), and sometimes, quite drastically. I agree that the kitchen can be wildly inconsistent, sometimes turning out Chicago-level dishes on the one hand, and on the other hand, failing to execute others. I do note that they have been dealing with an increased volume beginning with, well, the departure of Chaps a couple years ago, following up with the Journeyman. I don't know if that accounts for some of the inconsistency (the amount of covers they do on a weekend night is astounding).

    As for Wild Dog, after eating there numerous times, I've never really warmed up to the place. I'll go in from time to time to eat one thing - a chicken club with avocado that they do quite well. The sweet potato chips they serve are the best rendition I've ever had. Otherwise, for a place that specializes in sandwiches they use the most atrocious Sysco bread, which is often mispaired with the sandwich fillings, such as a whole wheat roll with a Cuban-style sandwich. Their burger is not good either. But the one thing that really bugs about Wild Dog is their atrocious wine list. They have this gorgeous wine cellar in the restaurant, you'd think they'd use it stock some nice bottles. It is a pretty space and the outdoor area is nice.

    I am keeping my eye on Pizza Mambo. I've not had a pizza from there yet, but I agree that what I've had has been caringly prepared, with Margaret actually doing the cooking.

    Oh - and yes, thanks - I didn't think to warn against some of Phil's odd menu items (I think I tune out the entire bottom half of the menu). If you stick with the classic bar food - salads, appetizers, sandwiches and their broasted chicken, which is quite good, you'll do fine.

    I look forward to your posts on the Holland taquerias. I've driven by a few myself, but have never stopped in. I think it's probably an area worth mining.

    (P.S. Jefe - I totally agree that New Holland's brewery is a tragedy, considering the quality beer they output. I *hear* that the original brewery was really downscale, that when you went in to taste, you were basically standing in the middle of the room, leaning against the tanks. Did you ever get out to the old tasting room?)
  • Post #27 - August 10th, 2009, 12:37 pm
    Post #27 - August 10th, 2009, 12:37 pm Post #27 - August 10th, 2009, 12:37 pm
    I was in Michigan this weekend. At Silver Beach (St. Jospeph), they have a pizzeria where the Amtrak station is. We finally decided to try it Saturday. It's called Silver Beach Pizza, but then you open the menu and it says "featuring Gelsosomo's Pizza." Gelsosomo's is a NW Indiana pizza joint with a couple of locations. What was even weirder was that it was a clone of Aurelio's right down to the tray they serve the pizzas on. I never had, or heard of Gelsosomo's before. It was very good pizza, not as good as Aurelio's, but nice to have right at the beach. My sister's boyfriend loved it.

    Two weeks ago I reported here that I tried the New Buffalo location of Villa Nova Pizzeria -- totally recommended. Classic Chicago tavern style thin crust.

    Silver Beach Pizza
    410 Vine St
    St. Joseph, MI 49085
    269-983-4743

    Villa Nova Pizzeria
    134 W Buffalo St
    New Buffalo MI 49117
    269-469-0200
  • Post #28 - August 10th, 2009, 12:49 pm
    Post #28 - August 10th, 2009, 12:49 pm Post #28 - August 10th, 2009, 12:49 pm
    aschie30 wrote:I won't hold it against you :), but I have to strenuously quibble with your assertion that EPC's menu hasn't changed since they opened. I mean they opened in the '70s as a diner - you surely don't mean to imply that the menu hasn't changed since then? Also, in the three or so years I've been eating there, the menu has changed seasonally (although I won't say that they serve "seasonal" food per se), and sometimes, quite drastically. I agree that the kitchen can be wildly inconsistent, sometimes turning out Chicago-level dishes on the one hand, and on the other hand, failing to execute others. I do note that they have been dealing with an increased volume beginning with, well, the departure of Chaps a couple years ago, following up with the Journeyman. I don't know if that accounts for some of the inconsistency (the amount of covers they do on a weekend night is astounding).

    As for Wild Dog, after eating there numerous times, I've never really warmed up to the place. I'll go in from time to time to eat one thing - a chicken club with avocado that they do quite well. The sweet potato chips they serve are the best rendition I've ever had. Otherwise, for a place that specializes in sandwiches they use the most atrocious Sysco bread, which is often mispaired with the sandwich fillings, such as a whole wheat roll with a Cuban-style sandwich. Their burger is not good either. But the one thing that really bugs about Wild Dog is their atrocious wine list. They have this gorgeous wine cellar in the restaurant, you'd think they'd use it stock some nice bottles. It is a pretty space and the outdoor area is nice.

    I am keeping my eye on Pizza Mambo. I've not had a pizza from there yet, but I agree that what I've had has been caringly prepared, with Margaret actually doing the cooking.

    Oh - and yes, thanks - I didn't think to warn against some of Phil's odd menu items (I think I tune out the entire bottom half of the menu). If you stick with the classic bar food - salads, appetizers, sandwiches and their broasted chicken, which is quite good, you'll do fine.

    I look forward to your posts on the Holland taquerias. I've driven by a few myself, but have never stopped in. I think it's probably an area worth mining.

    (P.S. Jefe - I totally agree that New Holland's brewery is a tragedy, considering the quality beer they output. I *hear* that the original brewery was really downscale, that when you went in to taste, you were basically standing in the middle of the room, leaning against the tanks. Did you ever get out to the old tasting room?)


    I have heard great things of the legendary Dinette, but this incarnation of EPC predates my tenure up this way (and frankly my age as well). When did it become Everyday People? I can remember eating there as far back as 2002. As far as the seasonality of the menu, I suppose I only ever eat there in the summer, but much of the menu has not seemed to deviate over the years. To their credit, I know that they buy high quality seasonal ingredients, I see them at the Holland farmer's market twice a week. I just wonder if they are hiring cook and wait staff that can keep up with the booming volumes of clientele. I just haven't had a great experience there in two or three years.

    And yeah, the old New Holland was grassrootsy and chill, much more suited to laid back beer drinking. They still use the facility I believe for brewing or storing.
  • Post #29 - August 10th, 2009, 1:47 pm
    Post #29 - August 10th, 2009, 1:47 pm Post #29 - August 10th, 2009, 1:47 pm
    I highly agree with the two pizza recommendations made by Ram4 above. Silver Beach pizza in St. Joseph is considered by many to be the best in all of southwest Michigan and is indeed very similar to the great Aurelio's of Homewood, IL, as well as Sanfratello's of Glenwood, IL (http://www.sanfratellos.com/). But the St. Joe pizzeria has it's own special and unique character and flavor, tho. Definitely worth a visit to try out if you are a lover of great pizza. Very nice old railroad setting overlooking Lake Michigan. See http://silverbeachpizza.com/sbp_menu/SBP-Menu.pdf One small drawback is, however, that they seem to put very little sauce on the pizza, so I recommend that you order a little extra sauce if you like it that way.

    Also very good -- most say excellent -- is the new Villa Nova pizzeria, which is an offspring of the great cracker crust pizzeria that has been known and super successful for many decades in I think its Stickney, IL. It is very different from Silver Beach's pizza, but absolutely fantastic also. I was so surprised to see them open up such a "traditional" Chicago style crispy thin crust pizzeria so far away from their home roots, but in my couple of visits there have been very happy that they did. Very different from the neapolitan style pizza available at the specialty pizzeria down the road in Indiana, just across the state line, of which I am not a big fan.
    Last edited by BTB on August 15th, 2009, 8:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #30 - August 10th, 2009, 2:51 pm
    Post #30 - August 10th, 2009, 2:51 pm Post #30 - August 10th, 2009, 2:51 pm
    Another couple of Western Michigan mentions for pizza.

    Mr. Scrib's - I had this in Muskegon one night last fall. It was nice and thin, crispy, with quite of bit of oily cheese on it, but it was pretty tasty from what I recall. They've been around for a long time, which is always a good sign. There are a few Mr. Scrib's around Muskegon.

    Fricano's - They have a handful of locations, including the original in Grand Haven. I have not tried it yet, but I am looking forward to trying it - hopefully by Labor Day. Another really thin, crispy crust joint from 1949 that seems to have a devoted following.

    Fricano's locations:
    Grand Haven
    Comstock Park
    Holland
    Muskegon
    Kalamazoo
    http://www.fricanospizza.com/

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