I had a nice, relaxing day in Grand Haven. Not a enjoy the beach relaxing, but as relaxing as it can be when I’m at work.
A co-worker I rarely work with were assigned to a project all day in Grand Haven. We spent the morning working then headed downtown to find something for lunch. We both knew we wanted to sit down and enjoy a meal for once since we had time. I was thinking of an old hotel downtown. He was thinking of a place that had a great basil lemonade. Turns out, we were thinking of the same place.
The Kirby House is part of the Gilmore Collection and one of three restaurants in the old building on the corner of Washington and South Harbor Drive in Downtown Grand Haven. The name “Kirby House” is what the whole building is called which includes the main restaurant. There is also The Grill Room and K2 Pizzeria within the Kirby House. There’s also a nighclub in the basement called Dark Room, but they don’t serve food. Obviously, this is a big space in downtown Grand Haven.
The 140 year old hotel is a perfect place for a restaurant in this Michigan beach town. When you walk through the revolving door, you come to a hostess station for the main dining area of the Kirby House. The Grill Room is off to the right and the K2 pizzeria is upstairs. Being lunch on a Monday, only the Kirby Grill was open. We really needed a table near a power outlet to charge some equipment, so the hostess let us sit in the front area near the stage. The tables are all four top pub tables and we chose a couple in the corner. We used one for equipment charging and one for lunch. The rest of the space is taken up by a huge floating island bar and a dining room with regular sized tables in the back. I really can’t stress how great the feel is in this old building.
Once we were settled, the waitress came over for drink orders. I ordered a Pepsi while my C.W. tried to order that Basil Lemonade. The waitress had no idea what he was talking about so he just got a water. After she left, I grabbed the cocktail list and noticed a Mint Basil Vodka Lemonade. That’s what he was looking for…minus the vodka. When she got back, he asked about that only to find out they were out of the basil syrup. She offered up a fruit lemonade and took that instead.
Once we were squared away with drinks, we put in the order for lunch. Even though he was charging lunch to the company, I ordered the Kirby Burger…because, damnit, I like burgers. The sandwich is served with pepperjack cheese, haystack onions, tomato, and lettuce on a fresh bakery roll. I was really hungry by the time the meal came out, so it didn’t take me long to dig in. I took most of the haystack onions off. I’m just not an onion fan. I want to be and haystack onions seem to be pretty standard on burgers anymore….but I just can’t do it. The sandwich was a little messy with a lot of BBQ sauce, but it was a delicious messy. The beef was slightly pink in the middle and the bun was soft and flaky. It was a pretty solid burger.
The sandwich came with house made potato chips made with Yukon gold potatoes. I meant to upgrade to the Bistro Fries, but I forgot. The fries were still pretty good, but I would have preferred fries instead.
Co-Worker went with something I never would have ordered. He chose the Mahi & Shrimp Rice Bowl. The big bowl of jasmine rice is served with edamame, bell pepper, shiitake mushrooms, and cilantro in a sweet chili broth along with the Mahi and Shrimp. What is it they say about ordering seafood on Monday? Yeah, that appeared to be the case. He said it was a little bland. He still ate it, but I think he was a little disappointed. When the waitress asked what he thought he hesitated and the waitress figured out he wasn’t a huge fan. He never made a big deal out of it and didn’t send it back even though she offered to get him something else.
When the bill came, C.W. noticed his entrée had been taken off. He stopped the waitress and told her that wasn’t necessary, but wouldn’t take the check back and change it. My sandwich, a strawberry cheesecake for dessert and a couple of drinks cost us a little over $24. C.W. made it up to the waitress with a rather large tip.
The Kirby House is a great place in downtown Grand Haven. I love the space. I mean, seriously, it’s such a great old building and they’ve kept the charm of the place while updating with flat screen TV’s and all the modern conveniences you expect from these big tourist spots. They have a really great, huge menu with something for everyone and even though one of our entrees missed, my gut feeling is that was just a fluke…and they handled really well. I’m sure it’s crazy during the summer, but during the offseason, this is a great place for a relaxing meal or a couple of drinks.