Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Winter Inn - Greenville

    Upon entering  the Winter Inn in Greenville,  you will be instantly transported back in time. The Winter Inn was "The" place to stay for visitors to the area at the turn of the century.  The train was only 3 blocks away, and the Inn had already established a good service policy by providing a stagecoach to transport their guests to their nearby location.
   In 1978 renovations began to bring this old building back to glory and by 1980 it was open for business. Recently the new owners, Wade, Becky, and Barry Thornton, completed another remodel.  The lobby at the front door takes you into the bar. You will see a  large gas pump and other memorabilia including a hand- crank telephone. Walking through the bar, you can't help but notice all of the beautiful wood and the tin ceiling. There is a parking lot in the back and you can also enter through that door taking you directly into the restaurant and hotel check in, thereby avoiding the bar altogether. Again,  there are  pictures of days gone by and a beautiful carved oak check in area where we were greeted warmly and led right to our table. We had to pass through a dining area where there was a large group gathered, perhaps a family party. Then passing through a gorgeous archway, we went into the front dining area;  there is so much to look at, I almost forgot I was there to eat. The floral carpet and light fixtures overhead are correct for the time period of the building. You can tell great care was taken in this remodel.
   So let's see what the food experience was. After seeing the great care that was taken to preset the tables, I was expecting a lot. Sparkling glasses, cloth napkins,  pretty little square plates were already on the table; a large pitcher of ice water was delivered immediately.  I was beginning to see that the Winter Inn knows what service is all about.

   We were with an out of town guest, so the three of us shared  an appetizer Sampler Plate for $12.99; this included mozzarella sticks, onion petals, jalapeno poppers, and potato skins with four different dipping sauces. We polished that off quite quickly. Everything was great!  Then the salads and soups that came with our meal arrived.

   Our server, Sandy, was right there when we needed her and seemed to quietly disappear keaving us to our conversation, only to reappear at the perfect time once again. How did she do that?

   Our visitor form Florida, ordered a 7 oz. Filet Mignon, a salad, and a bowl of soup for $21.99.  He enjoyed every bite and told us that his steak was cooked just as he had ordered it; it was medium rare and tender and juicy.

   Mike's choice was the Alaska Cod which came with two sides  for $11.99.  He had the choice of broiled or beer-battered, which is what he went for.  For the sides he selected a salad and baked sweet potato. He was pleasantly surprised to see the brown sugar and butter on the side. Although he loves the sweetness, this is something that he now has to watch for his health. The potato was huge and the cod serving was large, also. When Mike first began, he said "Well, I can see what I will be having for my next meal," but it was so good, he soon discovered that he had cleaned his plate. You can see in the picture how light and crunchy that beer batter was.  I'm a fish lover, too, so I began to get a little jealous when I first saw his plate.  Why do I always order something different? Because my next favorite thing in the world is pasta - pasta of any kind.

   So my choice was Stuffed Portabella Ravioli, with salad (or soup) and garlic bread for $12.99. I could choose between the marinara or Alfredo sauce.  Unfortunately Alfredo sauce never photographs very well on a white plate but I only wish you could smell it. As soon as it was set down in front of me, I knew I would be very happy. With my first bite I was glad I had made the selection I did. My meal is described as lightly seasoned pasta, stuffed with Portabella mushrooms, onion, cream cheese, and white wine. As you can see it was lightly sprinkled with green onion. There was a lot there, I had to take some home, but if I could have I would have finished it in one sitting.  Maybe it was that great sampler plate that did me in.
  I almost forgot to mention my raspberry iced tea. I usually hold my breath waiting to see if it is pre-mixed.  This time I was happy to taste fresh-brewed tea with a touch of sweet raspberries. I didn't ask but I think it was home brewed right on site. It will be my beverage of choice the next time I visit.
   Overall, it was a fabulous day and a fantastic dinner with our house guest;  we'll even have a story to tell in years to come, because when we went back to our car, Mike had accidentally left the emergency flashers  on and our battery was dead. There was  a 45-minute wait for the tow truck to give us a jump start, and then we were on our way.  Even the tow truck driver gave great service and was friendly and courteous.  Maybe there's something in the water in Greenville.  I can't wait to go back!

Here are our notes:
Seating Time -- we did not have a wait
Server -- very good
Main Course -- very good
Food Temperature -- perfect
Beverages -- refilled
Salad -- crisp, fresh and cool
Cleanliness -- 100%
Music -- none
Decor -- Victorian, and elegant
Web Presence -- yes

Winter Inn
100 N. Lafayette St.
Greenville, Michigan 48838
(616) 754-7108

Come back again to see where we'll be Grabbin' A Bite! Feel free to leave a comment of your own; we'd love to hear from you. You can also find us on our Facebook Page.

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