David and I decided to celebrate spending half a decade with each other by going away for a romantic weekend in nearby Michigan. We stayed and a pleasant B&B in South Haven, but took a day to toodle around the surrounding area. One of their recommended restaurants was Everyday People Cafe in Douglas, just 20 minutes away. As the first item on their menu was pork belly, it was pretty much a done deal that we’d be visiting.
They don’t take reservations, and as we were there on a Friday night, there was a bit of wait for a table. We happily installed ourselves at one of the bars (it’s a fairly extensive space) and enjoyed bubbles and beer. It definitely had a different crowd then we were use to in Chicago–primarily middle aged “urbanites”, whom David suspected were wealthy vacationers staying in the area. So we enjoyed our usual game of people-watching before being seated at a romantic little table (well, it was all pretty romantic since the lighting was extremely dim, which is why the food photos below are so exceptionally noisy).
The menu was stocked with a variety of delicious-sounding options–a lot of local, fresh meat, cheese and produce. David, naturally, ordered braised local pork belly with a jalapeño reduction, apple-quincy chutney and baby arugula to start. I ultimately decided on risotto with pumpkin, candy onions, wilted spinach, five spice butternut squash and fried sage. The risotto was delicious–creamy, rich and full of earthy flavour. I’ve decided I really do love roast pumpkin and squash. David noted that the jalapeño reduction was oily and creamy and flavourful, but not too hot. The pork was divine–both crispy and tender. I somewhat ambitiously ordered the gorgonzola pork chop, a 12 0z chop roasted with a caramelized onion marmalade, gorgonzola cheese and demi glace with garlic mashed potatoes. David, going for a pork theme (unsurprisingly), went with achiote rubbed pork shoulder with black bean, corn, roasted tomato and onion, spinach and chipotle broth. I guess I hadn’t really conceptualized how much 12 oz of meat really is because it was a whopper of a pork chop–probably the thickest pork chop I’d ever eaten. It was delectable, though; the strong gorgonzola cheese paired with the sweetness of the caramelized onion over a bed of creamy potatoes. I desperately struggled to eat as much as humanly possible, as I was already quite full the appetizer and salad. David enjoyed the pork shoulder as well though was similarly full to the brim.
Upon leaving, we discovered an event the restaurant holds on Saturdays called “Bubbles and Bites”, basically consisting of bottomless bubbles and a bite to eat for $20, which sounded like an absolutely brilliant idea. So we returned the following day for a bit of day-drinking. I was pleasantly surprised to have actual French Champagne, which was suitably delicious. David couldn’t resist half a dozen oysters on the half shell, while I went with Belgian waffles with mascarpone, bourbon maple sauce and fresh fruit. It was a very giggly afternoon, as we downed a good three glass of bubbles apiece. The waffles were just perfect, and David’s oysters were delightful. He commented that one of the oysters he ate embodied all of the reasons why he loved oysters–reminding him of his childhood on the Oregon coast. Two great experiences in two days from this place. Highly recommend it!