A Dose of West Coast [Michigan]

I might have been traveling most of the summer. But my trip to Michigan to see my best friend was even more of a vacation than I had imagined. We went camping, tubed down the river one day and just relaxed. Not to mention all the delicious food we ate.

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The Kirby House is a rustic restaurant bar on the corner right next to the river in Grand Haven, which we visited my first night in town. The funniest thing about the place is the what seems like miles of brick walls covered in the signatures of customers past.

We opted for the create your own pizza with herb oil sauce, house blend cheese with Boursin, caramelized onions and roasted peppers. The taste of the pizza was like a brick oven pizza with a crusty bottom but the combination of flavors on top was divine. The Boursin was the perfect topper to this pizza. It added just the right amount of garlic and flavor. In combination with the herb oil sauce, I don’t know if it gets much better. Not to mention the peppers were roasted, adding some heat, and the onions were perfectly caramelized.

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The Hearthstone Restaurant in Muskegon. Juxtaposed on the corner next to a Meijer, Michigan equivalent of Wal-Mart, this restaurant seems random but it is a true gem of Muskegon. As we sat outside, we remarked on the beautiful landscape and the lights in the trees. Such a romantic setting.

We had planned to go to Mackinac Island, one of my favorite places in the US, and have the Grand Hotel brunch, also known as all I can eat lox. Because of the weather, we opted not to go. But nonetheless, once I saw the Lox Plate on the menu, I couldn’t pass it up. The flavor pallets on this dish were on point. Instead of the normal cream cheese and dill on the side, they instead combined the flavors to make a dill sour cream drizzle. And it truly made this dish. Topping each piece of nicely toasted focaccia made for a pleasing appetizer for the even better main course.

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Although the menu claims Steak and Frites (fries) to be a French specialty, the Belgians boasts of some of the most perfectly made Steak and Frites around. This place almost put even the Belgians to shame, served with creamed spinach that I was a tad skeptical about. The meat was so tender and juicy. I had sworn they may have put the filet mignon on my plate. I seriously could not stop eating it. Although the Belgians do a much better job with frites, they made the dish. The creamed spinach was not how I normally find it cooked, and was truly delicious.

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My trip to Michigan almost felt as comfortable as going home. And with all the delicious food, how could I not be?

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