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The Toasted Pickle

March 6, 2018

  • 112 Washington Avenue
  • Grand Haven, MI 49417
  • (616) 414-7990
  • Website
  • Menu

I don’t get over to Grand Haven much anymore.  When I worked out of Grand Rapids, I was there every couple of weeks.  I love their downtown and waterfront area but it’s too far of a drive from Kalamazoo when we have South Haven and St. Joseph.

My Kalamazoo colleague  was off a couple of days last week so I got moved back to the Grand Rapids office.  By the time I got there, the only assignment left was on the lakeshore.  It was an easy one that would also give me a chance to grab lunch before heading back to G.R.

When I got down with my assignment on U. S. 31 just outside of town, I decided to head downtown.  The last time I was there was 4th of July.  I didn’t have time to eat then, but I remembered seeing a sandwich shop that I thought looked good.  I assumed it was still there but you never know in the winter.

The Toasted Pickle is on Washington Avenue just east of 1st Street in Grand Haven’s downtown.  The street is a traditional “Main Street” with old brick buildings all in a row connected to each other.  The Toasted Pickle is run by the family that also runs The Pump House just a few blocks away on Harbor Drive.  They set up their sandwich shop in the building that was vacated by Downtown Dogs in early 2016.

The owners of Toasted Pickle did a fantastic job with the aesthetics of this space.  The building takes advantage of exposed brick walls, dark hardwood floors, and low lighting to really give this building the feel of a place that has been around for decades.  On one wall, they painted a retro ad for Papa Zeke’s Artisan Pickles….which is a tribute to the owner’s father and his pickles which inspired this restaurant.

There are two dining areas separated by a wall that looks to have previously divided the store in to two different storefronts.  The side you walk in has solid wood tables and metal chairs while the other side has booths and a sandwich shop counter that is popular in places like Chicago.

The order counter is in the back of the space.  There’s a menu board on the wall as you’re walking back there, but I missed that and instead used a laminated menu that was next to the register.  There is a wide variety of sandwiches to choose from as well some delicious looking French Fries and Chips….but stupid me, I never looked at the side section.  I just looked at sandwiches.  It wasn’t until I saw a huge bowl of home made chips come out of the kitchen that I realized my mistake.

I put in my order for The Italian Bomber.  This sandwich is a hoagie roll filled with salami, Michigan Ham, “Local Bologna,” provolone, giardianara, and  a tangy aioli.  The menu says the sandwich is “grilled upon request,” so I requested to do so.

There were a lot of sandwiches on the menu that sounded good but it was the giardianara that really sold me on this one.  The bologna was also something that grabbed my attention.  I grew up on the cheap Oscar Meyer stuff so my worldview of bologna is kind of skewed.  I’ve had “artisan” bologna a couple times as an adult and it’s always been delicious.  The bologna from Toasted Pickle was delicious as well.  It kind of dominated the meat flavors of the sandwich just because it is so much thicker than the other meats that were on the sandwich.

The sandwich set me back a little under $10 before tip.  I really wish I had ordered fries or chips but I just wasn’t paying attention.

The Toasted Pickle is such a great little sandwich shop in downtown Grand Haven.  They have a great space with a great sandwich menu.  As someone who comes to town only a few times a year, I appreciate places like this that give you that local flavor but do so quickly.  If I lived in Grand Haven, I would appreciate a shop like this when I needed a quick lunch but didn’t want a fast food sub sandwich.

Toasted Pickle Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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