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.
We 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.
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.
The 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
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.