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Best Bites: Nov. 6, 2018

November 7, 2018

Soon the Southwest Michigan fall foliage will be turning to snow. Ski lovers will be heading in that direction to enjoy slopes and all that is offered. Whenever we get a chance, we stop at one of my personal favorite places to dine — Salt of the Earth.

The wines, the homemade breads and the entrees are several reasons to go. This is a rustic food experience with fresh ingredients all grown within a 50-mile radius of Allegan County. The foods change with the seasons, making each experience a new adventure.

For an appetizer, Dave chose the confit pork belly, deliciously prepared with roasted pear puree, smoked walnuts, pickled pears, apple and sprinkled with bleu cheese. Our server, Becky, recommended the carrot and celery root soup which was outstanding — creamy and delicious.

For my dinner entrée, I selected the pressed chicken with Mexican street corn, cotija cheese, cilantro aioli and smoked peppers. It was a tough choice between the chicken or their grilled hanger steak with roasted potatoes, heirloom tomatoes and cilantro chimichurri.

Dave stayed with the 14-ounce prime Delmonico steak with balsamic roasted onion and smoked bleu cheese. The steak was fabulous, tender and savory with perfect seasonings.

The entrées are delightful, and they do offer nightly specials. In addition to their menu, the wine list is amazing. They serve wine from the local Fenn Valley Winery as well as imports. The Fenn Valley port is a must after-dinner drink.

The breads are baked in their wood-fired ovens. The restaurant sells these beautiful breads in the store and at several businesses located in the community.

For dessert, Dave ordered the dark chocolate tart, 72 percent couverture (a rich glossy dark chocolate), served with walnut crumble and a graham crust. I opted for an after-dinner coffee — De La Vega, with Olmeca Altos Reposado tequila, cold extract coffee liqueur, Fernet Valet and Aztec chocolate bitters with orange peel; hot, spicy and wonderful.

I highly recommend Salt of the Earth when you are visiting southwest Michigan.

For reservations, call 269-561-7258 (SALT). Check out their website for hour changes, menus and events at saltoftheearthfennville.com

Hours are 5 to 9 p.m., Wednesday through Friday; 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday; and 5 to 9 p.m. Sundays. It’s closed Monday and Tuesday.

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It’s hard to believe Thanksgiving is right around the corner. If you’re already stressed out thinking about what to do, I have a suggestion: Call Jim Johanek, Jimmy Jo’s BBQ, and he can cater your entire dinner.

Jimmy Jo’s BBQ, will have applewood smoked turkey with homemade cranberry relish — a medium bird will serve six to eight people ($54.95); large, 10 to 12 people; ($79.95) or half a turkey breast serving six to eight ($47.95).

Johanek also has a smoked pork loin with beautifully roasted apples that will serve 10 to 12 guests for $44.95. A little less traditional but impressive is his smoked prime rib — one of my favorites — this prime rib is delicious and succulent because it’s been slowly smoked over hickory and apple wood and served with au jus and horseradish sauce; $179.95 for 10 to 12 guests.

Don’t worry about the sides. Johanek has the traditional dishes such as sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole and cornbread stuffing. Make sure you call and place your order soon. Orders can be picked up from noon until 2 p.m. Thanksgiving Day.

Jimmy Jo’s BBQ is at 665 N. Convent St., Bourbonnais. Call 815-933-7500. Check out its website at jimmyjosbbq.com.

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Coyote Canyon never disappoints when it comes to a variety of tasty Thanksgiving foods. They’ll be serving a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with turkey, dressing, fried chicken along with mashed and gravy and so much more. Don’t forget the salad bar and the delightful bakery and dessert bar.

Thanksgiving dinner is only $14.59 for adults, $13.59 for seniors, and 70 cents per year for kids age 3 to 12. Dinner is served from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Call 815-936-0120. Coyote Canyon is at 1359 Locke Drive, Bourbonnais.

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The Bennet Curtis-House in Grant Park is having Thanksgiving Day from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. On the menu is the traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings.

Begin with a stuffed puff pastry as an appetizer; choose between pumpkin soup or a garden salad served with fresh baked rolls.

The dinner will be served family style right to your table, including turkey and all the homemade sides — mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, cranberries, sweet potatoes and more. If you don’t like turkey, ham is available.

The dinner is $21.95 for adults; $10.95 for kids 10 and under. Prime rib is available by preordering for an additional charge.

Reservations are necessary. Call 815-465-2288. The Bennett-Curtis House is at 302 W. Taylor St., Grant Park.

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