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HomeAdventureMichigan Food Adventures™"Unbelievably Delicious": Village Baker - Spring Lake, MI

“Unbelievably Delicious”: Village Baker – Spring Lake, MI

I wanted this to be the first place that I reviewed because it is a place that I hold near and dear to my heart. The Village Baker hired me back in 2016 when I was 19 years old as a food expeditor, they fired me only one month later. I was never given a really good reason why I was fired, but I did hear from a close source (the bartender at the time) that it was because my appearance was too intimidating for the front counter. 

As you can imagine, being so young and getting fired from your first job that quickly can put a major damper on a 19-year-old’s ego. Nevertheless, I was able to adapt and overcome by finding a new occupation in retail that I held for a number of years throughout college. I’ve held a silly grudge against this place since I got canned, but knew I needed to find that closure for myself by returning to the establishment and giving it another try. 

On a cold Wednesday morning in February, the university that I work at decided to cancel school for the upcoming ice storm we were potentially going to have, so I decided to make the most of my “snow day” by getting a nice lunch. As I headed down the main drag of 104 into Spring Lake, I came across the establishment. You cannot miss it, it is a bright multi-colored building that has a silhouette of a square that has had addition after addition added onto it. It looks like a place that lots of young hipsters would eat at. To my surprise, I found a lot of old Spring Lake natives enjoying it instead! 

This restaurant has a unique parking situation that loops around to the back of the building with a HUGE lot. There are a few spots up front that you can fight for, but probably won’t be able to ever score because the regulars like to plant their butts in those early. I arrived right at the switchover from breakfast to lunch, so I wasn’t able to score myself any bougee breakfast sandwiches for my day off. I couldn’t even manage to get a seat right away, the place was packed! Fortunately, I’m a veteran at bellying up to the bar and finding an opening when there is one. 

I had a lovely bartender named Sonya, she was kick-ass, super personable, and extremely attentive in a busy environment. I told her that I needed a dish that was pretty for filming and also tasty. She persuaded me to try the Pastrami Sandwich. In all honesty, this is something that I would probably never order on my own, but I’m so glad she convinced me to try it! It featured a pretzel bun, layers of fresh pastrami, Swiss cheese, sweet hot pickles, and homemade mustard. When I lifted the bun up, the cheese was stretched like the lies you’d tell your mother when you were sixteen years old. Swiss cheese is perfect for a sandwich like this. It has a mild taste that offset the extremely salty flavor the pastrami delivers. I don’t normally come across sweet hot pickles on a sandwich, this was a great addition as well that provided a colder crunch with an enhanced sweet heat taste to an already flavorful ensemble. The sandwich also comes with homemade fries, the kind that has a little bit of the potato skin still on them. The skins gave it that homemade authentic fluffy taste that we all know and love. In addition, I ordered my signature Gin and Tonic (Tanqueray w/olive and lime). It paired super well with the meal. 

The portions that you get at Village Baker are huge! I was surprised, usually when you go to these hipster’s joints, the food is small and the price is big. I’m not a small guy either, 5 ’10 and about 200 lbs with a big appetite. Always. I have zero self-control. Speaking of small guys, I did see the manager that fired me, too! After he caught word that I was reviewing their food, he came out and treated me nicely. He floated around while I was enjoying my sandwich, he stopped by and asked how everything was in a sincere and cordial manner. 

PSA: Notify people at whatever restaurant you go to that you’re a reviewer/critic and they will exceed your expectations. 

My experience here was phenomenal. I could not believe how good this food was. It was some of the best food that I have had in a long time. I want to go back and literally try everything else on this menu. When I glanced around the restaurant and saw what everyone else ordered, it made me want to sample everything. I would recommend this place to anyone. I will be back for more reviews, they’re known for their pizza and have numerous options to pick from, I will for sure be back to try that next. 

Disclaimer: I do not have any hard feelings towards this establishment, maybe I wasn’t cut out for the food industry, and for good reason. I’m not afraid to admit that either. It is a high-paced environment that takes a super poised, patient, and smart person to navigate. The wait staff involved with my meal was awesome. They checked in, asked many questions, and ensured that I had everything I needed throughout my meal. The Village Baker gets a 10/10. I do not give out this score often.

Wolf Underberg
Wolf Underberg
A recent graduate of Western Michigan University with a Master's in Vocal Jazz Performance, Wolf has a deep-rooted passion for music and a burgeoning talent for journalism. Automotive Journalism through his Master's thesis acted as a catalyst for his love of writing and an outlet for his creative expression. It was also this path that connected him to LIVE. LOVE. LOCAL. MICHIGAN™ where he now channels his passion into covering Adventure Michigan™ and Michigan Food Adventures™. Beyond his pursuits in music and writing, Wolf finds joy in leading an active lifestyle, exploring his culinary curiosities as a dedicated foodie, and indulging in his profound interest in all things automotive.
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