Despite spending several days in Holland, on our last day we found a part of town that we hadn’t ever seen before. It’s called Washington Square and is probably one of the coolest single block stretches of storefronts in the state of Michigan, if not the world. Within that stretch is a cozy and homey-feeling restaurant called The Biscuit, which may or may not have its own pet blue dragon in the cellar (you’ll have to ask someone who works there). They only serve breakfast and lunch, so we attended for the former.
It may not be the most creative thing to name a restaurant after the street that it’s on. But when that street is 8th Street in the center of Holland, Michigan, it’s not just any street. This street is the beating heart of the town and so 8th Street Grille is a name that carries some clout, as well as a bunch of American food and local beers.
Nearly every restaurant in Holland, Michigan looks amazing. It’s all pretty much made for unvegans like me. Weirdly enough, they all seem to have some sort of Olive Burger and boursin cheese makes appearances all over the place, as well. I can’t explain it, but I can’t complain either. When it came to Beechwood Grill, however, it was another type of beef between bread that called out my name.
Nothing really says “awesome” quite like “family friendly brewery.” Such places are the best of both worlds, contributing to the cycle of having babies because you drink, then drinking because you have babies. New Holland Brewing on 8th Street in Holland, Michigan is one such place. Renowned for its beer, it has a comfortable back patio for kids to hang out at and one very attractive menu.
Farm to table is a popular concept and a strong rebuke against processed foods. Of course, factory farms are still called farms, but the point is there, nonetheless. But what do you call a meal at an actual farm? I’m thinking “table on farm,” and remember, you heard it here first. So, when I paid a visit to Pond Hill Farm on the outskirts of Harbor Springs, Michigan, it was quite a delight to eat food around animals that could probably be classified as pre-food.
As you drive through the Tunnel of Trees in Northern Michigan, you get the feeling that it could go on forever, that there could literally be no end to the trees. And most likely that was actually what Michigan was like a few hundred years ago. But, the tunnel ends eventually and the light at the end of that tunnel is the Legs Inn, which feels out of place in what can easily be referred to as the middle of nowhere.
There are a few things I like to take pride in when it comes to food. The first is that it’s hard to pressure me to order something once I’ve set my mind on something else. Call it stubborn, but it’s gotten me this far. The other is that I basically avoid fish at all costs. Yet, in two sittings I managed to break both of those rules at The Villager Pub in Charlevoix, Michigan.
It’s hard to go wrong with bar food, but it’s usually pretty heavy stuff. So, when I entered East Park Tavern in Charlevoix, Michigan with a stomach that knew it needed to eat something for dinner, but wasn’t especially hungry, I hoped there would be something I could find. Instead of making my way to the full on entree menu, I went for the appetizers and the wings caught my attention.
It would have been much more convenient to go to Blue Tractor BBQ in Ann Arbor. After all, I seem to get there about once a year. The trouble is that every time I’m there I can’t help but stop at Zingerman’s, with an occasional other restaurant thrown in once every blue (or maize) moon. Instead, I went to the location a number of hours further away in Traverse City, Michigan, not far from Sleeping Bear Dunes.
The world has a few different styles of pizza: New York, Italian, Chicago, Detroit, etc. Yet, it takes a bold pizza purveyor to deliver something that doesn’t quite fit into a predetermined style. Mancino’s Pizza, which seems to have a series of somewhat affiliated locations around the midwest, has done just that. It was in Petoskey, Michigan that I snagged one of these pizzas for the first time.