A couple of weekends ago I met up with four sorority sisters on a Girlz Weekend in Saugatuck; we rented a house on Lake Michigan and had a great time. I hadn’t been to that area in many years but had done some advance work on where to dine and everything I read, everyone I talked to and every source I checked recommended Everyday People Cafe in beautiful downtown Douglas, which is next to Saugatuck.
The spot had been a restaurant called the Douglas Dinette; in 1997 it was transformed into the Everyday People Cafe and is owned by the mother and son team of Margaret and Matt Balmer. Matt is also a chef; head chef is Michael Bild.
We gals arrived at 7:30 on that Friday evening to learn there was a two-hour wait for a table. “Definitely worth it, but get here at 5:30 when it opens,” a young couple in line recommended. They were regulars and willing to wait it out; we wanted to get comfy and gab, so we opted for another restaurant.
On Saturday at an antiques mall someone talking about Everyday People Cafe said, “I’d put it up against anyplace in Chicago. The pork chop stuffed with gorgonzola is to die for.”
Our group didn’t make it to the raved-about restaurant. My sorority sisters headed for home on Sunday afternoon but I had planned to stay an extra day to do some more exploring so, although I was suffering from a cold, I had another opportunity to see what was so extraordinary about Everyday People Cafe.
I was there when they opened the doors at 5:30 on Sunday and got off to a fabulous start with a nice glass of reasonably priced wine, warm rolls, and a creamy squash soup that had a bit of a kick to it; perfect for clearing up the sinuses.
Though I didn’t have much of an appetite I just had to taste the Gorgonzola Pork Chop. If I’d been up to it (and had someone to share it with) I would like to have tried the Drunken Shrimp Sambuca; it seemed every other table was enjoing the “Savory dusted shrimp, garlic, shallot, sundried tomato, sambuca, basil & a touch of cream in a puff pastry.”
My waiter said both of those items are among a handful of dishes that have been on the menu for 13 years. The balance of the menu changes with the season.
A couple of bites into the pork chop and perfectly done fresh vegetables and I could tell, despite my dulled senses, that it was delish.
I ended up taking most of the meal home and vacating my table quickly, to the joy of the crowd waiting in the adjoining bar room for their names to be called by the hostess.
Everyday People Cafe deserves its applause. The staff was personable and professional, dining room decor simple and pleasing and the menu creative. But the real test came the next day when the leftover entree—heated up at home—proved it was no everyday pork chop.
Visitor Info Clicks: Saugatuck/Douglas
Travel Michigan: Pure Michigan