Gull Landing, Pentwater

So imagine having a really good fish dinner. Now, take away the “good”. You just have fish, and that is the best I can say about the food at Gull Landing in Pentwater. I decided on the Mahi Mahi, the fish so nice they named it twice. And then they went and cooked the hell out of it – by the time they were done, it was down to just one Mahi. Perhaps the chefs had problems with their Mahi (x2) rising from the dead and wanted to be sure it stayed dead. If that was the case, mission accomplished.

Mahi Mahi

Mahi Mahi

The garlic mashed potatoes were filling. And they were potatoes. After some salt, they were OK. Not as good as the fried asparagus, though, which was prepared nicely. It had been a cool spring / summer, so asparagus season was still hanging around, lucky for us. The breading was a little heavy, but it came off easily, and didn’t taste too bad.

Fried Asparagus

Fried Asparagus

I also had the misfortune of trying my wife’s perch, which was even worse than my Mahi Mahi. The breading was thick and unappealing, which differed from the perch, which was thin and unappealing. I’m savaging it because 1) it wasn’t any good and 2) we were at Bortell’s the night before and had some excellent perch.

Time for a kindler, gentler review (you’re welcome, George H.W. Bush). The deck of Gull Landing was a great place for drinks. My Oberron was reasonably priced, as was my wife’s wine. The deck had a nice view of Lake Pentwater and the Sunday night jazz was entertaining. So I give it high marks for atmosphere.

Gull Landing, Pentwater

Gull Landing, Pentwater

To do it differently, I would, first off, not have gone there. But ignoring that first piece of advice, I would have had the Reuben – the people at the next table over had it, and it looked excellent. I also her positive reviews about the burger. if you learn of a decent dish, or are there for drinks, then it’s a nice spot to enjoy a pleasant evening. But avoid the fish.

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Birchwood Restaurant, Farwell

Sometimes you want to go where nobody knows your name. That was the theme song from Cheers, or at least very close to it. Or maybe it was exactly the opposite. In any case, you now have that song going through your head, so you’re welcome.

Coming home from a 4th of July weekend up north, we stopped at Farwell for dinner, partly to avoid fast food, and partly to avoid the crowds that would be at said fast food restaurants. So instead of jumping on US 10 from M 115, we stayed on 115 an extra mile and ended up at Birchwood Restaurant. It appeared like your average small town family restaurant, and that was what we were looking for.

Birchwood, Farwell

Birchwood, Farwell

I had a hard time deciding between the fish sandwich and the olive burger. I went with the fish sandwich, and even before I got it, I regretted. There, on the board which I hadn’t noticed before, was the 1st place award for having the best burger in town. I don’t suppose Farwell has a lot of options, but still, I could have had an award-winning burger.

My fish sandwich was a solid “OK”. The breading was a little soggy, but the fish tasted alright. There were two pieces of fish between the buns, so there was no danger of running out of sandwich filler. I ordered it with the crinkle fries, and you can’t go wrong with crinkle fries. After all, they were crinkled and cripsy. My wife ordered the meatloaf, which was surprisingly good – I liked it better than what I ordered. My daughter ate up her kids dinner of spaghetti quite quickly, so everyone was happy.

Fish sandwich

Fish sandwich

As an honorable mention, they had one of those “IQ Tester” games, which are shaped like triangles and you have to try and clear out all the pegs. Whatever distracts the attention of a 7-year old for a few minutes is fine with me. And it didn’t take long at all to get our food. Sam, the waitress, was working hard for the money – Donna Summers would have been proud – as she was the only waitress working despite having quite a few tables to manage.

If you’re looking for the anti-tourist restaurants, then Birchwood is for you. For all you coming home on Sunday nights during the summer, go the extra mile (literally) for some homemade food.