May 12, 2010

Salt of the Earth - A Mother's Day Delight

My wife's perfect Mother's Day celebration is to take a leisurely drive to the Lake Michigan towns of Douglas, Saugatuck and Holland, enjoy a wonderful meal at a fine local restaurant, have mimosa's and bloody mary's and walk the sidewalks of these well preserved lakefront communities.  Nothing extravagant; just good family time.

For the past couple of years, we have been celebrating Mother's Day at Blue Moon restaurant in Douglas. We loved the home style cooking, the colorful decor and the spicy bloody's. Unfortunately, Blue Moon closed last year, which left  us with no other restaurant on the lakeshore worthy of the important celebration. While there are several worthwhile restaurants, our choice for Mother's Day must be perfect. Definitely, no easy task for this well traveled family.

I've heard many good things about Salt of the Earth restaurant in Fennville - a sleepy farming town south of Douglas with one stop light and a winery. Located on "main" street Fennville, this rustic American eatery and bake shop located in the former footprint of Journeyman restaurant, did not disappoint. In fact, SOTE is truly a remarkable joint with hints of Chez Panisse in Berkeley - wooden banquettes, a garden fresh scent permeated in the dining room, a rustic setting with incredibly well crafted food. 

My wife and I started with the Rustic Bloody Mary, a house infused vodka with scratch made house tomato mix and veg garnish ($8). Unfortunately, they ran out of the Banana Walnut Cinnamon Roll so my kids reverted to the Chocolate Croissant and Fresh Baked Muffin which were both fabulous. My son enjoyed the croissant so much, he ordered a second helping. Francesca, our youngest, ordered two eggs over easy ($4.25) with a side of house bacon ($3). Our son, Jules,  ordered the SOTE hash with redskin potatoes, green onions and fresh herbs ($7) with a side of bacon and two eggs over easy. Margaux, our oldest, and most adventurous of the three, devoured the SOTE Signature Grass Fed Burger with egg buns, aged white cheddar and a fried egg. In her own words, everything tastes delicious with a fried egg. I agree!

My wife had the Hippie Scramble with local asparagus (in season), tomato, white beans, feta and scallions ($12). I couldn't refuse the Pork Belly Hash! It came with baby redskins, sweet corn, fire roasted peppers ($8.5) and yes, topped with two eggs lightly basted. Both items were cooked to perfection - though I would have preferred a little more pork belly than potatoes. Nevertheless, two wonderful dishes.

Before leaving, our friendly server presented my wife with a sage plant, a perfect alternative, I thought.

Great food, family conversations, friendly atmosphere, world class cuisine, and a smoky bloody - what else could you ask for?

To find out more, visit the Salt of the Earth webiste.

Pork Belly Hash with two eggs basted
A barn door and Eames chairs add to the elegance
Yum, grass fed burgers with a fried egg!

Bloody Mary
Hippie Scramble
Fresh Baked Muffin
Simple, yet elegant
Chocolate Croissant Bread
Bread service. Loving it!
Simple banquette adds to the charm
Sage plant to go
My wife unwrapping her Mother's Day present
A main street destination


Traci Wickett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Traci Wickett said...

You have perfectly captured that special Salt of the Earth vibe in your words and photos. It truly is a hidden treasure, and if you loved your brunch you'd really love dinner. I'm from the other end of the country, but I've been lucky enough to be at SOTE once for dinner, and I'll never forget it. Thanks for sharing this and helping me to remember that special evening.

Virginia Wieringa said...

What a lovely post! We've enjoyed dinner and music at the Salt, but the brunch is new. Thanks for sharing what you experienced. We'll be sure to make it there for brunch!

My Hotel Life said...

Thanks for the comments. I am looking forward to experiencing dinner. Truly a worthwhile restaurant.

Werner Absenger said...

Mr. Aquino, love your blog! Salt of the Earth does an outstanding job. Their food is quite outstanding. Now that I am taking a sabbatical from Sunday Brunch I have to check out their brunch.

Thanks for sharing...