Saugatuck / Douglas / Holland - good experiences
Just got back to DC from a week's vacation in Douglas Michigan ... we saw only a few up-to-date rec's on this board so wanted to share our experiences for what they were worth ...
The good: great food, vibe, and beer at Saugatuck Brewing Co. and New Holland Brewing. The waitress at SBC in particular really knew her stuff and recommended their porter, which was just about the refreshingest thing ever after a hot day at the beach. Had the zucchini fritters appetizer which was really memorable, can't remember the entree but it was find. Wish I could go back to New Holland a few more times to try their whiskey cheddar appetizer and other fun looking appetizers that people around us had.
Dessert: Crane's Pie Plate in Fennville was totally worth the 20 minutes or so to drive for the cherry pie. And the fresh cider really does taste different/better than store bought. They re-fill your cider like places in the South do iced tea, gotta love that.
Breakfast: there are so many frou frou options to be had, but we really just kinda loved the Way Point restaurant behind M&M's carryout. Pancakes = homemade, seemed to have a little hint of buckwheat in them, coffee = hot and good, bacon = crispy, fed three of us for about $15, they warmed our syrup before they brought it out, what more can you ask.
What we lacked: despite several attempts we had no luck finding great carry-out. A beach town needs a GREAT sub shop with real Italian meats/cheeses, maybe there is one in Saugatuck but we did not find it.
Places that piqued our curiosity but we ran out of time: the What Not Inn ... looked like a ghost town most of the week, then on Friday seemed to perk up a bit. Same with Mary Olive's in Douglas ... I couldn't tell it was still in business and then on Saturday it was jammed. I get that there are a lot of weekenders but other places were busy every nite (Everyday People Cafe, etc.) Would love to know which of the above are worth checking out.
Definitely check out Everyday People Cafe. Get there around when they open to avoid long waits, otherwise it's worth the wait, however long it is. It's too bad they don't accept reservations.
If you're back in Fennville, Salt of the Earth is very good for dinner too. I ate there a couple of weeks ago and posted a detailed report in the Saugatuck/Douglas topic at www.chow.com/topics/861337 If you're in Fennville but not at dinnertime, you can buy the excellent breads from Salt of the Earth at the Fennville Main Street Market across the street from the restaurant.
And don't miss a visit to Fenn Valley, the winery in Fennville!
If you want a great carry out sandwich, go down to the convenience store just down from the Ship 'n Shore "boatell", next to the tackle store. In the back, they have a fabulous deli and will make you just about anything you want. There are no fast food outlets in either Saugatuck or Douglas. There's also a hot dog and ice cream place up by Coral Gables. Check across from the Ship 'n Shore. There's a little burrito stand that has some really good stuff. For breakfast, Ida Red's is popular, though they're closed for the week after Labor Day which is the week we always go. The Elbo Room also has good breakfasts. (All of these places are in Saugatuck)