An Eating Tour of Harbor Country, Michigan

Towards the end of my stay in Madrid, I got an e-mail one day from my mom saying, “I was thinking we could take a quick mother/daughter vacation to Michigan when you get back – maybe go to the beach and some wine tastings or something. Would you want to go?” Was that a real question? Who WOULDN’T want to do that?! Thus, about a week after I returned home, we set off to Harbor Country, Michigan for a couple days to be tourists in our own country.

We did the beach and wine tasting thing, which was fantastic. Thanks to lots of suggestions from friends and a crazy rain storm on our second day, local restaurants ended up being a bigger focal point of the trip than we had intended. I’m going to write this foodie-style to try distracting away from the embarrassing amount of food actually consumed. Here’s your guide to Harbor Country, MI eating.

The Casual Chef Café

This café is attached to the Pumpernickel Inn, and it offers a lot of fun combinations of flavors and vegetarian options. We intended to get breakfast here on our way in but showed up right as the menu switched to lunch time. That was sad, but then they gave us our drinks in these, and all negative feelings went away.

Our early lunch ended up being exceptionally good, too! I got half of a “Pumpernickel Inn” Veggie sandwich with a cup of the vegetarian chili while my mom ordered a Crabby Burger. Both were so good that we were more focused on inhaling everything rather than taking pretty pictures of it.

Oh, and they have gelato. We may have gone back for that later in the day.

Café Gulistan

I guess we went to a lot of cafes, huh?

Everyone in my family is a big fan of different ethnic foods, so we couldn’t possibly pass up a recommendation for a Kurdish restaurant, especially when it was one surrounded by a big beautiful garden!

In honor of my first falafel, and then the college attempt to make it better, I got… Falafel!

Words cannot explain.

Froehlich’s

The next morning was when the rain came full force. Why not take some extra time to enjoy breakfast, right? We hemmed and hawed over our options and decided on Froehlich’s, mostly because it had a funny name. Once we followed our rumbling tummies (and GPS directions) to the restaurant, we were delightfully surprised that it was on the same street where a scene in one of my favorite Christmas movies, Prancer, was filmed!

I was there. True fact.

Predictably, my hunger directed my attention away from the famous street pretty fast, and we walked into our breakfast destination.

It looks like a store, and it is, but there were some tables by the window and a counter up front where you could order food. And LOTS of coffee! The store is known for its high-quality coffee, so we couldn’t resist a cup. Or three.

I’d like a side order of croissant sandwich with that coffee, please.

On the cork board next to our table, I saw a poster advertising an upcoming concert for The Giving Tree Band. Remember them? They were the bluegrass band that played at Veggie Fest last year! They’re just taking over the Midwest, apparently. To make up for the lack of Music Video Monday this week, I present you with one of their videos.🙂

After that discovery, we meandered around the store looking at funny kitchen trinkets, decorative items, and all of the store’s own canned goods. I felt compelled to pick up a jar of pumpkin butter for my roommate as a souvenir. She’s lucky I like her.

Oink’s Dutch Treat

The rain wasn’t giving up, so we did; however, we couldn’t head out before stopping for ice cream one last time. We saved the best for last. I could also say “the most ridiculous for last”. Oink’s is more of an experience, which you find out as soon as you walk in the door.

Oh, right! We came for ice cream!

They have approximately 50 flavors, so you can imagine the stress I went through choosing just two of them. Knowing we’d only be there once, I went all out on a waffle cone with a scoop of dark chocolate and a scoop of chocolate-covered pretzel. The girl asked me, “do you want half scoops or full ones?” I didn’t even know that was an option. Half scoops sound lame. So yeah, full ones.

Full scoops = Size-of-your-face scoops

And then we rolled all the way home.

Hopefully this helps someone out who will actually be in Harbor Country, Michigan. Otherwise, I assume that this has further opened your eyes to how much I love eating. You can keep your judgment to yourself, thanks.😛

– Alexa

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