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Saugatuck, MI recs?

  • d

We'll be in Saugatuck with our 17 year old daughter for a couple of nights at the end of July. Looking for dining recs that would include local specialties and a pleasant atmosphere
. No limits on ethnicity, style, etc.

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  1. http://everydaypeoplecafe.com/index.htm

    Everyday People Cafe in Douglas is very good. Be sure to check hours, they close between lunch and dinner. There are some nice artsy shops there also, and last year there was a small farmers market right there on Saturday maybe? Maybe you'd find some delicious Michigan blueberries and peaches.
    Have fun.

    1 Reply
    1. re: xena

      Second the recommendation for Everyday People's. In my opinion this is the only really good restaurant in the area. There is a place on the Blue Star between Saugatuck and Douglas on the lake side called Blue Moon or something like that. I've had pretty good food there, but it's been a year ago. It's very non-descript on the outside - an old yellow brick motel, but fixed up very nice and artsy inside.

    2. I can second EPC in Douglas. You won't be disappointed. Also in Douglas, on Blue Star look for M&M for lunch. It's an ice cream place with a small indoor restaurant. Nice gyros selection, good price, good food. The hotspot right now is Journeyman cafe in Fennville. Tremendous food, locally produced. Take Blue Star south to M-89 (4 way stop), go East (left) on M-89 into Fennville. Restaurant's on the right before the rr tracks.

      The Blue Moon is on Blue Star in Douglas, but not between Douglas/Saugatuck as mentioned elsewhere. Popular place but I've not eaten there recently. Nice bar area though :). Enjoy the stay.

      1. I'll third the rec for Everyday People Cafe. Copper Canyon across the street from EPC was good, if pricey, but I don't know if they're still there. Marro's in Saugatuck has decent Italian. That's about it. My wife and I have gone to Saugatuck in the fall for most of the past 10 years. We find the dining scene there to be very underwhelming. Who knows? Maybe you'll find the hidden gem. Anyway, I think that your best bets are in Douglas.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Summerfield

          Copper Grill closed. They're the place that had the "Kobe" burger and split of Dom on the menu for $185 IIRC. There's a new restaurant just opened in the space, "White Dog" I think, maybe a week or so ago. One of our friends is working there. They were waiting on liquor license last I heard. And Chaps (across street from EPC) is all boarded up looking for a renter.

          In other local news, Annie's Woodshed sold and has been gutted to become Jojo's Americain, logo has a martini glass. Guess they're upgrading from the biker/local hang it always has been. Anxious to give them a try once they open.

          Everyday People is a good choice for breakfast too by the way.

          1. re: Scott D

            Thanks for the update Scott. I was looking forward to trying Chaps next time out there. Too bad. Hopefully White Dog (if it's anything like the similarly-named restaurant in Philadelphia) will turn out to be great. Pardon my ignorance but, what does IIRC mean?

            1. re: Summerfield

              IIRC = If I Remember Correctly, at least to me.

              Phil's is also a good rec - love the portabello fries and last time in I had a really good fried tomato sandwich with chipotle mayo.

              1. re: Summerfield

                Ah, the new restaurant is actually called Wild Dog. Haven't stopped to see the menu yet, but I may tonight on my way home.

            2. re: Summerfield

              And another recommendation for Everyday People Cafe. Definitely the best food in Douglas/Saugatuck area. We just moved to Colorado this past February and Douglas is one of the places in W. Michigan that I miss. Love walking around and visiting all the shops in the spring and fall. There is a (or used to be) a wonderful gelato place in the back lower level of one of the shops on the main street. You go though a courtyard to the back and down the stairs. Absolutely fantastic gelato!

            3. In Saugatuck we like Maros (Italian), Phils for lunch (looks like an old movie theater and very casual) and the Butler Hotel, which isn't really a hotel at all but is right down from Maros. Good steaks, sandwichs, etc.. The places in Douglas are everything the posters have said but I like Saugatuck places because you can walk to all of them.

              1. The absolute best choice is just a little further afield — about 5 miles south, in the town of Fennville. The restaurant is called Journeyman Cafe. Went on a recent Friday night by recommendation and was knocked out by the menu, staff and atmosphere. So good we returned the next evening. Features the freshest, local ingredients. First rate, cool space. I've been to most area restaurants and this one strives for a different experience. You'll find them on the web.

                1 Reply
                1. re: dkonen

                  Ate at Everyday People Cafe for dinner last Thursday night. Great food, the most happening restaurant on the street. However, try to call ahead and make reservations if you can, we had to wait 40 minutes to be seated despite seeing an empty table or two within eyesight--they may have been short a waiter. The waiting area is awkward, and we did not see room at the small bar. It was a boring wait because most of the shops were closed on the street and the hostesses that night looked like teenage girls. When we did get seated, we had great food, just wish we didn't have to wait so long.

                2. Thanks for these excellent suggestions. I'm going to make advance reservations for EPC and Journeyman. They both sound like something we'll enjoy.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: dag44

                    We went to both Everyday People Cafe and Journeyman last week while on vacation in Saugatuck. They were both excellent.
                    EPC doesn't take reservations, so we had to wait. But, we were seated outside in the patio area and had a drink and a tapas platter while we waited. Mussels, tomato/boursin bisque, duck breasts and salads were all very good. The servers were friendly and hustled.
                    The next night at Journeyman was slower paced, despite the restaurant being full. I ordered fresh sardines flown in from the "Mediterranean area", roasted and served on a "preserved lemon/scallion confit" sauced pasta. The pasta was lovely, but the sardines disappointed. Unfortunately, they tasted like sardines as we know them, not some culinary revelation. My wife's quail, however, were fabulous, and not to be missed if available. And the real star for us was the appetizer platter of meats: three different artisanal salamis from Mario Batali's father, with some copa ham and country ham. There were a couple of garnishes on the plate that I can't recall, but the whole thing was satisfying for two meat lovers. The chef was willing to serve some marinara sauced pasta (not on the menu) to our daughter, but it was a miniscule portion for $9.
                    Highly recommended.

                  2. This past weekend, I took a trip to Grand Rapids. I ate at Everyday People Café in Douglas on the way there, and Journeyman Café in Fennville on the way back. This is my report.

                    Everyday People Café

                    I arrived at Everyday People Café on Thursday around 6 pm, and was immediately seated at one of the "high tops" in the front bar area. I'll describe the layout and décor more in a moment.

                    The first dish I had was the appetizer described on the menu as "Drunken Shrimp Sambuca - savory dusted shrimp, garlic, shallots, sundried tomato, Sambuca, and a touch of cream, over puff pastry" ($7). WOW!!! Fantastic. The Sambuca flavor was very subtle, and the overall flavors all blended together to make just the most delicious dish imaginable. There were three very nice-sized shrimp in it. (Minor note to EPC - since the shrimp are covered with sauce, I would suggest removing the shells from the tails before serving.) I loved this dish!

                    Entrees include a choice of soup or salad, so I had the soup, a very good buffalo bacon with vegetables and roasted corn. (Buffalo as in bison, not as in spicy chicken wing sauce.)

                    For the entrée, I ordered the "Cocoa Spiced Crusted Duck - coconut scallion corn cake, pan seared breasts, pomegranate syrah reduction" ($21). Another WOW!!! In fact, this is the best duck dish I have ever had in my life! Also the largest portion size, by far! It consisted of two breasts, cooked perfectly (my server had double-checked with me about how I like it cooked). The cocoa spicing on the outside added just the right touch of flavor (and no, it did not taste particularly sweet). The corn cake was interesting, too; it was topped with a Thai cucumber slaw (I think that's what it was - it wasn't mentioned on the menu) with a bit of spiciness to the slaw part. So this was another fantastic dish, in every way.

                    Thanks to the large portion size on the duck, I was starting to feel quite full, but how could I pass up dessert? So I settled on the individually baked peach-apricot bread pudding topped with vanilla gelato ($6). And this was yet another WOW!!! Just a wonderful, delicious dish, with all the flavors blending together to make it taste absolutely wonderful. (Minor note to EPC - the bread pudding was somewhat warm, but the dish would have been even better if it had been hot enough to melt a bit of the gelato.)

                    After dinner I took a moment to look around the restaurant. It's HUGE, with two good-sized dining rooms in the front, another in the rear, and a large covered patio area as well. I got to chatting with the hostess and she noted that it started out as a single storefront diner (in one of the front rooms). The owner's son went to culinary school and they decided he could make something more out of it by upgrading the food, and it grew and grew, and the rest is history, so to speak. They are doing a great business, and in fact, you may need to plan your visit to avoid long waits. Everyday People Café does not accept reservations; they do call-ahead same-day seating only for groups of six people or more. Otherwise, someone has to be there to request a table (to get your name on the list), so to avoid waiting, plan to have a member of your party put in your name, then spend your time walking around the quaint town of Douglas until your table is ready. Keep in mind that the place was full on a weekday after Labor Day (after the area's summer crowds have dwindled somewhat), so you can imagine what it's like on a weekend in the summertime.

                    Note - they accept Visa/MasterCard but not American Express.

                    I like to rate restaurants on the following scale:

                    4 stars - Wow, Incredible (worth traveling long distances to dine)
                    3 stars - Very Good (worth recommending to others)
                    2 stars - Just Okay (worth visiting if you're in the neighborhood)
                    1 star - Disappointing, seriously flawed (worth forgetting)
                    0 stars - Dreadful (worth warning others away)

                    Everyday People Café gets 4 stars in my book, and I strongly recommend it to anyone visiting Saugatuck (and it's easily worth driving 20 miles from South Haven and 40 miles from Grand Rapids).

                    Everyday People Café
                    11 Center Street
                    Douglas, MI 49406

                    Journeyman Café

                    Journeyman Café is really a very different place from Everyday People Café, despite the proximity and similarity in name. In spirit, Journeyman Café is more of a coffeehouse and bakery that also serves food, rather than a restaurant with a full-service bar etc. Not that Journeyman Café doesn't do all those things too; they have a complete wine list as well as serving full meals (from a somewhat limited menu). But the feel is much more coffeehouse than restaurant. When you walk in, you will see the large coffee bar with the sign showing their coffee and tea beverages (just like that big chain from Seattle), and a rack of the day's breads and baked goods. There are a few tables facing the bar, but more in the rear of the room.

                    It was after 3 pm on Sunday, and I was more in the mood for dinner than lunch, but they were serving from their lunch menu, so I selected a few items. I had the "chicken liver and foie gras pate with capers, Pommery mustard, and pickled red onions" ($12), served with a few pieces of toast. I was considering the BLT sandwich but settled instead on the "cherry tomato salad with Mud Lake greens, smoked mozzarella, walnuts, lemon based syrup, extra virgin oil" ($10). Both were okay, but neither reached the level of "WOW". At least, not until dessert, when I had the "dark chocolate raspberry pot de crème, organic raspberries" ($7). THAT was delicious.

                    Maybe at some point I will have the opportunity to try Journeyman Café for dinner, if I happen to be in Fennville (home of the Fenn Valley winery). But for now, I'll give it 2.5 stars based on my lunch there.

                    Journeyman Café
                    114 e. main street
                    fennville, mi 49408

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: nsxtasy

                      Hey, everybody, thanks for all these postings. I spend most of my western Michigan time in Union Pier but now I'm going to head up the lake. Who knew there was such good food on that side of the state?

                      1. re: brendastarlet

                        I knew. ;)

                        FWIW, here are some topics that talk about food in some of the other destinations along the west shore of the lower peninsula:

                        Grand Rapids - www.chow.com/topics/379217
                        Bloom (Grand Rapids) - www.chow.com/topics/388578
                        Traverse City - www.chow.com/topics/379217 (includes mention of the two wonderful places in Ellsworth, near Charlevoix; many consider Tapawingo one of the best restaurants in Michigan)

                      2. re: nsxtasy

                        We had dinner at Journeyman Cafe Sunday of Labor Day Weekend and thought it was excellent. We showed up at 6 without reservations and had to eat at the bar because the place was entirely booked. We kept it fairly simple and shared the charcuterie plate and an artichoke, olive, onion pizza and both were very, very good. The menu for heartier fare looked great as well - I was tempted by the prix fix ($24 I think) "fruit and vegetable" menu with 3 vegetarian courses that sounded great - a cantaloupe soup, "chicken fried" eggplant with curry sauce, and a potato/porcini ravioli.

                        I really like supporting places that focus on sourcing from local farms where possible given how much great produce Michigan has got growing in the area. This was a very impressive and accessible example of that, and I will certainly go back whenever I'm in the area.

                        1. re: nsxtasy

                          Journeyman during the day is more like a coffee house with really great food. You should try them at night, the menu may look limited, but it changes weekly (if not daily) and is made from the finest local and far-flung ingredients you won't find on a sysco truck. It definitely is a restaurant first! And the best in the area. Just ask Phil Vettel, he wrote a review on July 8th that was fantastic!

                          1. re: avocdoparsnip

                            Maybe I'll try them again some time, but based on my okay but hardly inspiring lunch at Journeyman, their limited (and also not particularly inspiring) menu, and my spectacular dinner at Everyday People Cafe, I can only conclude that the food at Everyday People Cafe is far, far better in every possible way than Journeyman. Unless you're overly impressed by hype about local ingredients (which most top-quality restaurants procure, just without trumpeting them). To me, what matters in food is the TASTE, not the hype. And when it comes to food that tastes absolutely delicious, Everyday People is the place that's got it.

                            And Phil Vettel thinks that *every* place is fantastic...

                            1. re: nsxtasy

                              I agree with your assessment of Journeyman. My husband and I have given the restaurant several tries based upon some stellar reviews from people that we trust. We found the restaurant to be inconsistent and out of many of the menu items during their busier times. Also, although they say that they promote local ingredients on their menu, I believe that many restaurants do a better job of obtaining local ingredients.

                              1. re: jpstrategies

                                My parents live in Saugatuck, so we have tried all the restaurants. You truly can't go wrong with Everyday People Cafe. It actually seems to get even better each year. They have a tapas platter for ~$12 that would be $30 in Chicago. Never had a bad food or service experience there.

                        2. If you're traveling to W. Michigan and are looking for a restaurant in the Saugatuck or Douglas area, please check out www.wilddogsaugatuck.com first. Thanks!

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: ulatek2007

                            I'm kind of amazed by the comparisons of Everyday People and Journeyman. My last few visits to Everyday People have been really disappointing. We live in western Michigan and spend a lot of time at the lake in the summertime. The first year or two that we went to Everyday, it was consistently amazing. The last year or so, we've had really....okay experiences there and have been kind of bummed out by the change. Service was inattentive, and the food was kind of lackadaisical, like they weren't really aiming for the fence anymore. Maybe its because our last several visits have been for breakfast or lunch. Is dinner the star attraction?

                            It's true that the Journeyman is occasionally inconsistent when it comes to lunch, but I've always been completely stunned by dinner there. And that danged seedy salty bread kills me.

                            1. re: dingey

                              Right now, I'm with you on this one, dinqey. On my last visit to Everyday People, main course was very disappointing, while last visit to Journeyman was...uplifting. My recommendation for EPC above was made before my last visit. However, I'll still reservedly recommend them if for no other reason than they are still better than anyone else in Saugatuck-Douglas, which doesn't say much about the level of cooking there.

                              On my first visit to Saugatuck 11 years ago, wife and I had a great meal at the Belvedere Inn, just outside of town. By the following year's visit, ownership had changed hands and dinner was bad. Now, they are under new ownership yet again and the on-line menu (http://www.thebelvedereinn.com/) looked good, so on next visit we might try again. It's a BYOB place and I think they've dispensed with the corking fee. The place is worth a visit because building and grounds are stunning.

                              1. re: Summerfield

                                Cool, thanks for the recommendation. Didn't know about the Belvedere. We'll have to check it out!

                          2. Hi - heading to Saugatuck in a few weeks. Has anyone been lately and have any recs to share?

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: fromtheD

                              Just returned from a Lake Michigan exploration trip and thought I could update you on chow situation in Saugatuck... As the previous posters indicated, Everything People Cafe, in Douglas, and Journeyman and it's sister Rye, in Fennville, are stunners. We enjoyed excellent service and remarkable meals at both locations. NOTE - EPC opens at 5:30 and I would suggest being there at that time. Otherwise, it's a 45 minute wait.

                              Saugatuck has an amazing array of hamburger joints and your usual bar food bistros - but Morros for Italian is worth the wait as well as Phil's.

                              Tabor Hill Winery and Restaurant is just beautiful and the restaurant, overlooking the vineyards, has an ambitious menu - although it was closed when we visited. It's in Buchanan - not too far away. It might be worth checking out.

                              We also found that Holland has Butch's and the brand new City View which caught our eye. A bit of a drive - but both are in the center of the prime shopping district - so it might be a worthwhile destination.

                              1. re: North Oakland Gal

                                Ditto on Morros and Phil's. We also like the Butler Hotel (not really a hotel) across and east of Morro's. The Elbow Room serves a really good breakfast. The Harbor Duck is a fun ride if you get the chance. The driver is corney but funny and you'll get a lot of information re: Saugatuck and Douglas. Donna and I go every year and never get tired of the area.

                            2. Found out this weekend that Journeyman was shut down by the state for not paying taxes.

                              Journeyman Cafe and Rye, two restaurant staples in Fennville’s up-and-coming downtown, were seized Thursday, Nov. 20, by the state for failure to pay taxes.

                              “They showed up at 10 a.m. told us to clean up and get out,” Matt Millar, owner of Journeyman Cafe and Rye, said Friday, Nov. 21.

                              Both restaurants share the same address.

                              The Department of Treasury has changed the locks on 114 E. Main St. and a sign on the door reads, “Property under seizure by the State of Michigan Department of Treasury.”

                              Millar and his wife Amy now have 10 days to pay before the state holds a public auction to sell off their business piece by piece, Millar said.


                              5 Replies
                              1. re: Scott D

                                per William R. Wood | Kalamazoo Gazette Wed. December 03, 2008, 9:32 AM

                                FENNVILLE -- The Journeyman Cafe and its sister restaurant, The Rye, may be down, but don't count them out, the owners say. . . .

                                more: http://www.mlive.com/kzgazette/news/i...

                                1. re: Scott D

                                  Bummer. I hope that the Millars can secure the funds.

                                  1. re: Summerfield

                                    I am so, so sad about this. We called within the last week and there's still just a message saying that they are closed until further notice. *sigh* At least Fennville still has Su Casa until the Millars figure something out. I sure hope they do. Despite the occasional inconsistencies, Millar always seems to be pushing further than most as a chef. Most of the time the results are amazing, sometimes they're just really stinkin' good. Please please please come back to us, Journeyman!

                                    Also, I second the recommendation for the Elbo Room. I love having breakfast there, and the lunches really good, too. I've never had a bum meal there! Nice, folksy atmosphere, great scenery, and a focus on good, fresh ingredients. HOMEMADE JAM!

                                    1. re: dingey

                                      Friend of mine got this sent to him...

                                      Please listen to NPR's All Things Considered on Friday, February 13 &/or Monday, February 16th (the airing time has not been confirmed as of now)  for a story about journeyman cafe and surrounding farms...Noah Adams, a fan of the restaurant, visited us last month and interviewed Matt and I along with Mike O'brien of Providence Farms, Lee & Laurie Arboreal of Eater's Guild & Mari Reijmerink of Kismet Organics for the story of the closing of journeyman & RYE.  We haven't heard the interview yet, but our time with Noah leads us to believe it will be quite memorable.  If you miss it live, go to NPR's website and download it after 7:00 pm on the day that it airs.  Thanks for listening.

                                      Stay tuned.

                                2. I know this is an old thread but any updates? My bf and I are trying to figure out our plans for 4th of July weekend and are thinking about staying at a B&B in Saugatuck.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: Elyssa

                                    New place opened a couple weeks ago called Hercules Hot Dogs, where Loaf and Mug used to be (Lake St just past the 4way stop signs). All manner of dogs and wurst type things. Reliable source said it's good, not great. Prices and portions are reasonable, complete overhaul of the building which looks terrific. Apparently breakfasts are nice as well, with the Omelet with Hoagie meat as a direct recommendation.

                                    Douglas is getting a new addition in the old Chaps building on Center St.: Sea Wolf, which is in S Haven is opening a new venue, but I don't have a date. They've been doing a TON of work on the building. Guessing menu similar to S Haven location.

                                    And, Matt from Journeyman has moved to New Holland Brewery as head chef, I believe. But afaik the menu has not changed, although it really doesn't need to, I guess.

                                    Parking, as usual, is crazy. Town was absolutely insane this past weekend.

                                    EDIT: Forgot about Saugatuck Brewery in Douglas, which is now serving food, although I've not tried it, yet. General pub grub from what I hear.

                                    And a new building going up just across Blue Star from Saugatuck Brewery is purported to be a new "family dining" place, as yet un-named and no announced date yet either. Possibly up and running by the time you get here.

                                    1. re: Scott D

                                      I'd still recommend Everyday People for any meal, Elbo Room for alcohol-free breakfast or lunch, and for the love of Mike, drive to Fennville and get some dinner at Su Casa. Still hands-down the best mom and pop authentic Mexican food I've ever had. ANYWHERE. Plus they now have a liquor license AND the Palozallo's (local, gourmet) gelato stand out front, along with the meat counter and saint candles and tejano-drenched jukebox. Extremely reasonably priced and delicious. May I recommend the TRADITIONAL pork tostadas (not suizas--which are more cubed-meat and cheese-melty)? They slow-cook the pork in the most astounding red sauce until it's falling apart like mom's pot roast. GAAAAH. I love the mole special on the weekend, too.

                                      OH! We've had some pretty decent stuff at the bowling alley, too, believe it or not. Nothing fancy, but reasonably priced and tasty.

                                      Also tried the Wild Dog (? I think? It was where Copper used to be) recently and were pretty pleased. The taxidermy was a bit overwhelming, though.

                                      1. re: dingey

                                        Completely forgot about the bowling alley, which we hit every once in a while. Love that it's smoke free. Although the waits for food can run a little longer than what you might expect.

                                  2. Journeyman Cafe and Blue Moon are closed. Everyday People is good but you can only get dinners. In Saugatuck Phil's, Maro's and the Butler Deck are good. Also Mermaid is excellent and right on the water. The very best restaurant around is called Hawks Nest, and is located just south of Fennville. 17 year old might like to go out to Red Dock which is between Saugatuck and Douglas....just a fun thing to do and the sandwiches are good.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: jazzblues

                                      YEAH! We tried to go to Everyday People this Sunday for breakfast after finding that the road to the Elbo Room was completely torn up. I was bummed that they're only serving dinner at the moment. Ah, well. Also, Su Casa is apparently expanding into South Haven and have shut down their Fennville Palozollo's gelato stand in favor of relocating it to South Haven. Should be open in July. Hopefully they'll still have their custom flavors like horchata. Su Casas RESTAURANT is still open in Fennville, they've just closed the front end with the gelato counter.

                                      Also saw (and have seen good rec's on here) for ANOTHER Mexican place on the main drag through Fennville, though I haven't tried it yet.

                                      Thanks for the Hawk's Nest tip! We'll check it out next time we're over there....

                                    2. Happy to report a new mexican restaurant in Douglas called Costa Azul. It's a mom and pop operation, kids bus and serve, mom mans the bar and waits tables, dad's the cook. Not a huge selection. I had carne asada: tasty, decent propotions, good rice and beans. The guac was very good, chips hot from the fire.

                                      They're in the building that used to be JoJo's (Annie's Woodshed before that) on Blue Star. In fact, the JoJo's sign is still up and their new one is tiny so a lot of folks might miss it. They haven't been open too long and the "crowd" isn't yet. Hopefully with some word of mouth and consistency we'll have a good place closer to home. Service is a little shaky. They're only doing dinner right now and open at 4 pm.

                                      107 Blue Star Highway
                                      Douglas, MI 49406

                                      7 Replies
                                      1. re: Scott D

                                        Cool, thanks, Scott D! We're going to be lakeside next week. Do you know if the Elbo Room is open, or is there still a ton of construction in that stretch of town?

                                        1. re: dingey

                                          I'm on the Douglas side, and I don't go down Holland St that much, but the big barricade is down (next to the chiropractors) so I think it's open. And the Elbo Room stayed open through the whole ordeal even though it was almost impossible to get to :)

                                          Oh, btw, Costa Azul changes their specials menu every Friday. 5 new meals every week. Lots of seafood this week and spicy tequila ribs. Can't wait to see what's coming next. Heard excellent reviews on Barbacoa, unfortunately they were out the night we went.

                                          1. re: Scott D

                                            Costa Azul sounds good. We will be in Saugatuck On Aug 2-3, but won't be able to dine anyplace fancy, due partly to budget but mostly because we will have two big dogs with us the whole time. Anyplace else good in the area that's more downscale? Especially nice would be if there's outdoor seating and we could have the dogs with us. PS we'll probably be staying in Grand Haven so any place along there would do.

                                            1. re: johnb

                                              Think it's mentioned above, but M&M is an ice cream place on Blue Star right across the parking lot from Costa Azul that also serves lunch/dinner. Good casual dining place with picnic bench seating. Saugatuck Brewery also has outside patio but not sure if they allow dogs on it.

                                              1. re: Scott D

                                                WOW! Weekly menu changes?! I'm getting more fascinated by this place every minute! My husband's a barbacoa freak, so it shouldn't be hard to convince him to stop by.....what are the prices like?

                                                1. re: dingey

                                                  specials ran from $11-14. Didn't really pay attention to ala carte items, but I think my kids taco plate (3 + rice/beans) was $7 or 8.

                                                  1. re: Scott D

                                                    Heck, that'll work! Thanks, ScottD!!

                                      2. I learned this weekend that a new restaurant, Salt of the Earth, is opening in the former Journeyman location in Fennville. A shop in Saugatuck that carried Journeyman breads will be getting 4 of the original Journeyman loaves beginning this Friday, Seedy Salt, 7 Grain, Sandwich white and one that escapes me right now. There's no official (or even imagined) opening date for the restaurant yet, but the breads are baked by the same hands that made them for Matt and Amy. I'm thinking this is a good thing. Time will tell.

                                        7 Replies
                                        1. re: Scott D

                                          YESSSS! We happened to be in the area just in time to score a loaf of Seedy Salt. Man, it was good to taste that again. From what I saw, the restaurant is supposedly going to open in mid-August. It's the baker and a name that I didn't recognize as head chef. They've got a bare-bones website up with some info if you google "salt of the earth fennville." Can't wait to see what they come up with!

                                          1. re: dingey

                                            I know this post has been going for a while but it seems some of you know the area well. We are travelling by boat to Saugatuck this weekend. We won't have a car, so what are the best places to eat, drink within reasonable proximity to the harbor? No worries on cuisine or price... just want the best quality we can find. (If you happen to know any good lodging accomodations, would love to know that too. Not sure we want to sleep in the harbor!) Thanks!

                                            1. re: mcjuga

                                              I was there with a group this past weekend. We tried Wickes Park which was nice. We've also liked Phil's and Marros. Nothing is spectacular, but it's not bad. We use Lakeshore Lodging - they are pretty helpful and will rent for less than one week.

                                              1. re: fromtheD

                                                We stopped in at Phil's last week and really enjoyed our lunch. Coming from an area that also thrives on tourism, we know that dining in such places can be a bit disappointing, but Phil's seems to keep the quality in check. Also went to Marro's while we were there and got the Spicy Sicily pizza. Liked the thin crust. The garlic rolls were delicious! Actually, we were drawn to Marro's at lunch time when we walked by and got smacked in the face with that delicious smell that says pizza is baking somewhere. Alas, it was just a tease! Their dining room is only open for dinner; take-out only at lunch.

                                              2. re: mcjuga

                                                Marro's is within walking distance of the harbor. They have good Italian-American and things seem to be fresh. Hopefully ScottD will weigh in--I suspect he's more of a true local than I am. There's a new place called Wick Park Bistro (?) within walking distance that looks very promising, but I haven't tried it yet...Elbo Room is actually right on one of the boat slips just north of downtown. Their food is super-fresh and good, and they do breakfast,lunch, and dinner. I think they try to source a lot of their produce locally. I may be wrong, but that's my impression. They do NOT have a liquor license, however. Everyday People is over in Douglas. You could take the Harbor Duck over there maybe! ;) There's new-ish businesses all the time there, it seems, so I don't really know everything that's right downtown--we actually do a lot of cooking at the cottage while we're over there, so there's always stuff that we discover in town that we feel like fools for overlooking for years! The Butler's kind of fun, but the food's way too expensive for the kind of commissary-based grub they serve, at least from my past experiences....

                                                1. re: mcjuga

                                                  Guessing this is probably too late, but on the off chance you meant this coming weekend not yesterday and the day before.... otherwise, let us know how you fared. :)

                                                  You're really not missing out on anything that's not within walking distance of the harbor, other than the shops and restaurants in Douglas. Not sure whether Brent runs the Duck Boat as a shuttle or not but the Douglas pickup point is right across the street from Everyday People. There's always dial a ride for $1. It'd be worth the effort to get there.

                                                  Ship 'n Shore is right on the river with it's own dock, might be worth a try for lodging although on short notice might be too late. I'd get on the phone soon and try to line something up. Town has really been busy since July 4 weekend.

                                                  1. re: Scott D

                                                    At the Ship 'n Shore, you can also stay on your boat and just use the showers, pool, etc. You don't have to rent a room. It's a neat place; Donna and I go there every year the week after Labor day.

                                            2. Salt of the Earth (former location of Journeyman) set to reopen end of the month. Website has a little information. Insider information sounding like Aug 25.


                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: Scott D

                                                I just drove by there a couple of days ago. Didn't stop for a close look, but from the street you could see they still had big power tools around. Maybe they'll make it by the 25th, but if I were a betting man..........

                                                1. re: johnb

                                                  Should have posted this earlier, where's my head? They've been open since maybe 25/26. Haven't tried it or talked to anyone who has yet, but the menu (posted on their website) looks interesting. And the bread's still great.

                                                  1. re: Scott D

                                                    I've somehow managed to be over in that area to eat there twice at this point. REally, really REALLY good. I've gone with pizza both times, though my husband got the corned pork sandwich and declared it amazing. We'll be trying full-on entrees shortly for our anniversary dinner. I'll let you know! So far, TOTALLY well-pleased by the food. The service is still getting its bearings, but they also appear to be really busy already, which is GREAT news.

                                                2. re: Scott D

                                                  We have been to Salt of the Earth three times since it opened, and have enjoyed every meal. Very interesting food, very well prepared. Prices are fair for the quality. Very pleasant atmosphere. Excellent breads. Desserts need a bit more work. Good (and interesting) cocktails. Energetic service. It has drawn very nice crowds, even after Labor Day. The cuisine is not as inventive as Journeyman nor as good as J. at its best, but not as bizarre (avant garde) as J. and with fewer misses and better prices.

                                                3. whats new nowadays? going for vacation in a couple of weeks...