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Posts from the ‘Restaurant Reviews’ Category

Review of Ottawa Beach Inn in Holland Michigan

Ottawa Beach Road is a lovely winding street that leads west to Lake Michigan and Holland State Park. In the summer, the road is a steady stream of people walking, biking and driving to and from our beautiful lake and its white sand beaches.

In the winter, a much smaller pedestrian group can be found on the beach and on the boardwalks. Many are taking pictures of the waves and our beloved Big Red.

Ottawa Beach Inn (or OBI to locals), is a “nautical-themed eatery with a retro vibe that specializes in seafood and American fare.” Hours are limited in the off-season, but OBI is one of a few places open in the winter along the stretch of road between Suite Retreat Holland and Lake Michigan.

20190110_173006We arrived early on a weekday evening and were promptly greeted and seated near a cozy fire along the west wall. Lake Macatawa is just across the road, making for a pretty background even in the winter, and most diners choose seats with a view of the lake. The parking lot is fairly small and frequently full. A good sign for a restaurant!

Dark wood planks and lighter beadboard walls are decorated with paper cut outs of boats labeled with names. The wooden chairs have anchors cut out of the backs. Wonderful vintage black and white photos of places like Waukazoo Inn and Macatawa Park Hotel are grouped together in several locations.

Adriana was our server. She told us about the Daily Feature (there is one each weekday) and helped us choose items from the Platters and Entree sections of the menu.

We ordered Cheddar Biscuits, side salads, the Perch Platter, the Smothered Chicken, house wine and draft beer. 20190110_172309

Our appetizer and drinks were delivered within minutes. Wine pour was generous and hard to beat for the price. The Cheddar Biscuits were hot and served with honey butter.

Side salads were basic fare, much the same as you see in most casual dining restaurants.

The perch was lightly breaded which allowed the flavor of the fish to come through. It is served with tartar sauce, fries and coleslaw.

20190110_172413The chicken and it’s smother of white sauce were really hot which is always a positive. The button mushrooms sprinkled on top had a unique flavor; extremely good.

Serving sizes for everything were good and prices were reasonable, but the meal itself did not have a lot of flavor.

However, we saw several appetizers and burgers delivered to tables around us that looked really good. Could it be that appetizers and burgers are OBI’s specialty?

We decided we should visit again in the future and give the burgers a try.

Ottawa Beach Inn
2155 Ottawa Beach Rd, Holland MI 49424
(616) 399-9220
https://ottawabeachinn.com/

We rate eateries in a three-step process.

First, we use a percentage scale:
• 10% atmosphere/ambiance (cleanliness, comfort, accommodations)
• 20% service (communication, efficiency, knowledge)
• 70% food (includes presentation, look, taste, price and value for $, bar selections)

Second, we employ the Michelin Guide:
• * a very good restaurant in its category
• ** excellent cooking, worth a detour
• *** exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey

Third, we ask ourselves two questions:
1. Would we return here?
2. Would we recommend this restaurant to our guests?

Our rating for Ottawa Beach Inn:

Score: 65% of a possible 100% and a half star (for this visit)

Would we return here? yes, we think it’s worth a second try
Would we recommend this restaurant to our guests? not yet, possibly in the future

We love the location of Ottawa Beach Inn and its view of Lake Macatawa. The atmosphere is perfect for casual dining. The staff was friendly, knowledgeable and efficient. The Perch Platter and Smothered Chicken were a bit bland, but OBI’s focus may be on other menu items. It’s definitely worth a second look.

Review of The Biscuit in Holland Michigan

20181223_085555_LILocated in Washington Square on Holland’s south side, The Biscuit is an eclectic family-friendly spot for breakfast and lunch.

Their website describes it best, “Down-home eatery dispensing inventive breakfast & lunch fare & locally roasted coffee drinks.”

20181223_085012We arrived early on a Sunday morning and were greeted with smiles and “Good Morning” from the staff near the door. We were seated in the smaller front room near a large window painted with a colorful scene from The Grinch*.

The floor in this room is old; wooden, creaky, and full of character. The walls are vertically hung shiplap painted yellow, blue and brick-red giving the space a cozy friendly feel.

Local art hangs on the walls and is available for purchase. Square wood tables and 16 wooden chairs fill the space comfortably. A larger carpeted room beyond can accommodate more diners.

Our server Aniela was friendly and knowledgeable about the menu and the restaurant. My husband’s eyes lit up when she told us the specials.

He ordered the Scramble and I ordered the Salmon Biscuit. Within minutes, Aniela brought us two cups of hot coffee and glasses of cold water.

20181223_082346The Scramble is three eggs scrambled with Dubliner cheese and topped with a smoked chicken sundried tomato sausage and scallions. It is served with potatoes and toast or a biscuit.

The Salmon Biscuit is a fresh baked biscuit topped with smoked salmon, roasted tomatoes and two eggs, capers and house-made fines herbes Hollandaise sauce.

My husband, who has made sausage for years, was impressed with the flavor of the smoked chicken sundried tomato sausage. He very much enjoyed the homemade jam Aniela brought for his toast.

20181223_082309As for the Salmon Biscuit, I cleaned my plate in an embarrassingly short amount of time. The sweetness of the biscuit combined with flaky salmon, perfectly cooked over-easy eggs and salty capers was one thing, topping all that goodness with a special Hollandaise sauce was a marriage made in heaven.

It’s no wonder this brick building is often circled by people waiting for a seat at one of the wooden tables inside. The ambiance, the service, and the food speak for themselves.

*All the storefronts in Washington Square were decorated with scenes from the Grinch. It made wandering around the Square after breakfast very enjoyable.

The Biscuit
450 Washington Avenue, Holland MI 49423
(616) 396-1005
http://thebiscuitcafe.com/

We rate eateries in a three-step process.

First, we use a percentage scale:
• 10% atmosphere/ambiance (cleanliness, comfort, accommodations)
• 20% service (communication, efficiency, knowledge)
• 70% food (includes presentation, look, taste, price and value for $, bar selections)

Second, we employ the Michelin Guide:
• * a very good restaurant in its category
• ** excellent cooking, worth a detour
• *** exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey

Third, we ask ourselves two questions:
1. Would we return here?
2. Would we recommend this restaurant to our guests?

Our rating for The Biscuit:

Score: 100% of a possible 100% and three stars.

Would we return here? yes, as often as we can
Would we recommend this restaurant to our guests? we highly recommend it

We loved the friendly atmosphere of The Biscuit. It is worth a wait to be seated when they are busy (go early!) because of the staff, the menu and the ambiance. The Biscuit has all the ingredients of a great place to frequent and to share with family and friends. We look forward to our next visit!

Weekends are for Adult Beveraging

2018 12-28 adulting 1In the mood for a craft beer, finely crafted cocktail, locally made wine or other spirits?

Holland Michigan has a seat at the bar waiting for you! 😎

Some of our favorite places to get together with friends for a drink include Seventy Six, Brew Merchant, Itty Bitty Bar, the Curragh, Butch’s Dry Dock, Hops at 84 East, Big Lake Brewing, Our Brewing Co and New Holland Brew Pub.

Cheers!

Enjoy a Suite Retreat in Holland and tour Michigan like a local. Book your stay today at Suite Retreat Holland

 

Review of Salt and Pepper Savory Grill and Pub in Holland Michigan

Recent guests visited Salt and Pepper Savory Grill and Pub after reading good reviews on Facebook, Tripadvisor and Yelp. Our guests were noncommittal when describing it to us afterwards however, so we decided to check it out for ourselves.

Salt and Pepper is in the center of a small strip mall on Lakewood Blvd. The restaurant was quite busy on the night we visited. The bar area, tables, booths and high tops were all occupied and there was a line of people waiting to be seated.

The décor is decidedly masculine, warm, tastefully appointed. Lighting is soft. The walls are brick and barnwood shiplap with dark wood doors and accents. The ceiling and exposed heating ducts are painted black. There is an enormous collection of salt and pepper shakers subtly displayed around the entire restaurant.

Our server Jen stopped by and introduced herself within minutes of our being seated. She was friendly and welcoming. Jen was knowledgeable about the menu, offered suggestions for drinks, and checked back with us a couple times before our food arrived.

20181215_164804My husband ordered the ‘build your own flight’; four 5oz drafts for $6. I ordered the martini of the month. Jen delivered the martini and several minutes later a male server delivered the beer flight.

There was no way to tell which of the 5oz glasses held which beer and it was some time before we were able to get Jen’s attention. When asked about the flight she said the gentleman who delivered it usually brings an explanation sheet.

20181215_165549For dinner we had salads, Papa’s Olive Burger and the Prime Rib Dip. Everything looked amazing, but unfortunately nothing was.

Jen was MIA for nearly all our remaining time in the restaurant. We waited for the replacement of a missing utensil. We waited for the beer flight sheet (which never arrived). We waited to place a second drink order. We waited to get the check. We waited to pay the bill.

Salt & Pepper Savory Grill and Pub
11539 E Lakewood Blvd #50, Holland, MI 49424
(616) 355-5501
https://www.saltandpepperpub.com/

We rate eateries in a three-step process.

First, we use a percentage scale:
• 10% atmosphere/ambiance (cleanliness, comfort, accommodations)
• 20% service (communication, efficiency, knowledge)
• 70% food (includes presentation, look, taste, price and value for $, bar selections)

Second, we employ the Michelin Guide:
• * a very good restaurant in its category
• ** excellent cooking, worth a detour
• *** exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey

Third, we ask ourselves two questions:
1. Would we return here?
2. Would we recommend this restaurant to our guests?

Our rating for Salt and Pepper Savory Grill and Pub:

Score: 20% of a possible 100% and one-half star.

Would we return here? probably not
Would we recommend this restaurant to our guests? no

We loved the ambiance of Salt and Pepper and its initial feel. It appeared to have all the ingredients of a great place to frequent and to share with family and friends. Then the disappointing food arrived, and our server disappeared.