Thursday, May 29, 2014

Plank's Tavern

 The newest addition to the Harbor Shores campus in Southwest Michigan is now open!  The Inn at Harbor Shores is a brand new hotel and dining facility located port side of the St. Joseph River.  I'm originally from St. Joseph, so when I heard that this hotel was opening up, I knew I had to check out their food.  My family and I decided to celebrate Memorial Day together last Monday by having brunch at Plank's Tavern, the restaurant located inside the Inn.  To celebrate the holiday, they were running their brunch menu that is normally only available on Saturdays and Sundays.  

 The facade of the Inn is beautiful and compliments the view of the river quite well.  The interior of the Inn is equally as fabulous as the view, complete with a large glass chandelier located just inside the entry.  This glass artwork was created special for the hotel, and each glass piece was handcrafted.  Isn't it beautiful?

 The service was excellent as well.  My family is very Italian and we really like to take our time when we are gathered around a table sharing a meal and they were very kind about how long we enjoyed our view.  My parents are quite the romantics in the photo below.  My mom really enjoyed a couple blackberry bellinis.

Once our food came however, our table fell silent.  The presentation of each dish was beautiful and everyone was very satisfied with their choices.  Chef Tim Hendren does an excellent job of balancing flavors and textures on each plate.  I'm so happy that there is now a wonderful brunch spot in my hometown!

My mom ordered the Roasted Mushroom Crepes which looked so delicious that I had to try a bite! (or two)  They had mushrooms, caramelized onion, gruyere, and were garnished with a mushroom cream sauce and fried tarragon.  Sounds delicious right??  It was!

My dad ordered the Plank's French Toast which had hints of citrus and bourbon in the toast itself and then plated with a bourbon maple syrup, fresh berries, and a light mascarpone topping. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to try his dish but he raved about it!

Kenny is a classic breakfast kind of guy, so of course he orders the dish called the Classic on the menu. It came with 2 eggs, crispy bacon, fried potatoes, and toast.  Just what he wanted!

Kevin and I both ordered Eggs Benedict's, two different ways.  We love eggs Benedict so we were super excited to try it here!  Kevin chose the classic benedict, and I went for the portabello version.  Both were incredible, and were served on an english muffin, Kevin's had canadian bacon and mine had a portabello mushroom, poached eggs, and a creamy hollandaise sauce.  Mine also came with caramelized onions and roasted garlic.  

Kevin couldn't even wait to dig in before I could snap a picture!

All in all, we had a great meal and got to spend quality time with family.  If you're in the St. Joseph area for the lovely Harbor Shores golf course, or you're visiting for a weekend getaway, I would highly recommend stopping by the Plank's Tavern before you leave!

Feel free to check out the brunch menu or any of the other delicious menus on their website,


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Change of Pace

Yesterday I left my home of 18 years to go out east for culinary school.  My new address is in Providence, Rhode Island.  Johnson and Wales University has given me the opportunity to make something of myself.  So from now on, I will be exploring a new state and new food.  I hope it's delicious!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Sprinkles Cupcakes

While Michigan Man and I were in Chicago, I dragged him to the Sprinkles Cupcakes.  We had a hard time finding it because it is a tiny little store just off of Michigan Avenue. 

As I'm sure the space goes back quite a bit, the front of the store is quite cozy.  Only about 10 people could probably fit in there at one time.

Kevin really enjoyed his cupcake, and the view of the street.

I got the Red Velvet because I have heard that theirs is the best, and it was indeed very good! I highly recommend getting this cupcake if you find yourself in the neighborhood.

We got four, and since we ate two, we planned on bringing these two home to our mommas.  One of these is a pecan praline cupcakes (delish!) and the other a black and white cupcake.  Kevin and I got a little hungry while we were at the Lincoln Park Zoo...

and we only brought one cupcake back.

But I was super excited that I finally got to this store...

As you can tell from this picture.

But look how cool!! I didn't know you could get star-struck from a cupcake.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Fiddler's Hearth

Recently, my family and I traveled to South Bend.  We snagged tickets to see the amazing Blue Man Group! They were so good, I gained several new laugh lines. I highly recommend going to see them as soon as you get the chance.

We got to South Bend a little early so we decided to get a bite to eat.  My sister heard of the place called the Fiddler's Hearth.  We tried to call in a reservation, but they don't take any.  Strange....  So we found it on the map and once we found the parking garage, we spotted it right across the street!  You can almost see the parking garage in the picture above.  We had a very nice lady take our family photo outside the restaurant.

It happened by chance that we actually got a table for the five of us.  The seating is "seat yourself"and it was full when we squeezed in the door.  The group at the six-seat table was just finishing up, so we ran over to save our table.  Our server walked past and asked us if we were new, and that's how they run things.  I think it's a genius idea because then they don't have to deal with people missing reservations or stuff like that.  The atmosphere is incredible.  It's like eating a 5 star meal at your Scottish neighbor's house.  Kinda.  They have a stage for live bands and 7 tables crammed in the small dining area.  They also have a bar wherever wall space is available.  They had the White Sox game on two TVs and a soccer game on the other.

We started off our meal with Scottish Eggs.  My mom saw these in a recent issue of Food and Wine Magazine and we were feeling adventurous.

I have to tell you that I ate two out of the four that came in a serving.  For those of you who don't know, the Scottish like to prepare these hard boiled eggs by surrounding them in sausage and lamb mixture and then deep-frying the whole thing.  Wait, it gets better.  It's served with stone-ground mustard.  This was so good, I can't even put it into words.  The lamb made it so tender and the crust from the fryer was perfect.  I just might have to dust off the old deep fryer and see if I can make these.  don't you love how they plate it on top of mixed greens?  Like if you eat those too, it will counter-act the deep-fried-hard-boiled eggs?  Yeah right.

We also got an order of Pub Pretzels because after-all, we are a family of five and one appetizer just will not do.  These were the perfect combination of moist and crunchy.  They were served with a homemade rarebit cheese sauce that also paired well with the Scottish Eggs.  I love menus that can be mixed and matched.

The kitchen got a tad bit backed up with the sudden rush of diners, but soon our entrees arrived.

My Dad got the fish and Chips, which had a surprising hint of ginger.

My Mom got the Chicken Wellington which was so tender and moist and a side of kale.

Kenny got a burger, of course, but it was gone within 2 minutes so I bet it was good!

Ally got the Smoked Salmon which was delicious!

And I got the Peppercorn Crusted New York Strip Steak, with roasted green beans.  My heart was singing! This steak is how steak should be cooked.  It was a little pink in the middle but so ridiculously tender that my mouth watered the whole time.

And it was only $18.

Topped with fried onions, so good.

And then it was gone.
And I cried.

But we did have a really good time at the show!


Check out their full menu at

Thursday, April 19, 2012

New Features

I'm super excited about this new feature I have just added to my blog.  It links this blog and my Spoonful of Sugar blog all on the same page!  Just look toward the top, under the Sweet Lakes Header, and you will see the Home page and the All New Spoonful of Sugar tab.  Just click on that, go ahead try it, and you will be sent to my other blog about food, yum! Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

No Reservations

So, I have taken it upon myself to make this blog into a collection of resteraunt reviews found in southwestern Michigan and the surrounding areas.  That way, anyone visiting the area can pop on over here and instantly see the great shiny jewels of our town.  I'm not sure where to start, but stay posted.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Beginnings

Thank you to all that have or will be visiting this site.  However, I am moving my culinary adventures to a new site at this address.  Please come visit me and check out my new adventures and recipes.  Happy New Year!