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HomeAdventureMichigan Food Adventures™A Venture Out of Our Comfort Zone: Waverly Gastropub - Holland, MI

A Venture Out of Our Comfort Zone: Waverly Gastropub – Holland, MI

Whatever restaurant my girlfriend, Jayde, and I find ourselves in, we usually will end up getting the pretzel with cheese as an appetizer. Depending on where you go, you can run into a plethora of variations on this dish. Some places offer an extremely mild cheese sauce that tastes like it came from Gordon Food Service, while other places seek to find a super unique homemade recipe. Waverly Gastropub In Holland, Michigan has to be one of the better beer cheese and pretzel appetizers we’ve come across! 

If anyone has been to Holland during winter, you know that 8th Street, 9th Street, hell any of the streets, can become quite the wind tunnel since we are right next to the lakeshore. Parking in downtown Holland is also something that you should never bank on. Be ready to walk quite a few blocks to your destination regardless of what it is. No matter the time of year, main street (8th Street) is always packed with people. We ended up parking in an overflow lot behind an Irish pub, which is considerably farther up towards the beginning of where the downtown area starts. I’d say our walk from there took about 8 min. To some, that may not seem too bad, but in West Michigan, that is a trek. We are used to parking in front of our destination and also not having to wait to get into any establishment. 

After a brisk walk, we enter and are relieved to be out of the cold. We are seated far away from the door and window, which is always a must on the super cold days here in Michigan! Now, let’s get back to the good stuff – this pretzel appetizer. I want to start off by stating how well-cooked this pretzel was. The outside was just crispy enough, while the inside remained very fluffy and still slightly doughy. On many occasions, we have been served pretzels that are way too burnt. When they become cold, they just turn into bricks. This was not the case with this one! The insides of the pretzel was so well cooked that it actually appeared to be rising out through the crust creating a beautiful two-tone look. I also loved that they went out of their way to put the sauces in the openings of the pretzel for a cool visual effect. The beer cheese dip was a super savory blend that was topped with a few added herbs and spices. Parsley was the heavy hitter that really changed the way this dip tasted – and for the better! It was sprinkled all over the cheese, and when we went dipped the pretzel, we were able to stir it in and blend it nicely to balance out the flavor. The pretzel was sprinkled with a specialized large flake salt that was peppered nicely along every twist and turn of the pretzel.

For drinks, we both opted for something on the lighter side, since it was still rather early. I opted for a light beer on tap, their only option was a Michelob Ultra. It was refreshing and crispy. I’ve never had one before, especially on tap. My girlfriend chose a nice house Moscato which was slightly carbonated and it was a perfect palate cleanser for the meal. 

We both decided to venture out of our comfort zones with this particular dining experience. I thought for the most part we both ordered fairly healthy as well. We strive to always order the best we can when we are eating out, especially since we do go out more often than not. I threw it back to my younger college days by ordering the Shrimp and Ramen bowl.

It features a homemade scallion sauce, grape tomato, red onion, zucchini, and carrots. The shrimp were ginormous but included tails. I usually like them in a dish like this without tails but found that forcing me to eat them by picking them up was the move. The Shrimp was roasted to perfection. They were bathed in a scallion sauce that only made the flavor that much more inviting on the tongue. The noodles were voluptuous and cooked to perfection. 

Jayde’s order of the basmati rice bowl caught me by surprise. I did not expect it to be such a delightful visual display! This is by far the best bang for your buck here at the Gastropub. You can customize it with your protein of choice and also top it off with other fix-ins. Jayde opted for Salmon once again and struck gold. The cut was narrow and thick. It wasn’t blackened, but it was delightfully sauteed and was complimented by a fried egg (over easy) to complete the dish. Both of our dishes included grape tomatoes that were incredibly mild and somewhat sweet tasting. There was none of that weird acidic aftertaste that usually comes with the tomato experience. Our dishes also included larger parsley leaves that were a nice touch when we mixed them into our bowls for balance. 

Next time I would love to sit up at the bar to explore some of their in-house cocktails. Their menu offers a wide variety of in-house options, and their friendly bartenders are well-informed and personable when it comes to their products. While observing the orders of those around us, we couldn’t help but feel a tinge of envy towards the delectable dishes we had missed out on trying. The most effective marketing strategy for a restaurant is to ensure that all the food on display looks incredibly appetizing, enticing customers with its visual appeal. We are extremely excited to come back and try everything else on the menu here. In the meantime, Waverly Gastropub gets a 9.8/10.

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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