Kate: Drunken Hummus and Cashew Crusted Brie
It was the last full day of vacation. And, since Paul had not been able to be with us for the whole week, we decided to disappear for a little while and explore Saugatuck/Douglas. We did a little shopping including purchasing a super cool decorative sun for our new place. We named him Ray, original, huh?
Anyway, we had gotten some recommendations from friends who frequent the Saugatuck/Douglas area. One of them was for Red Dock, which is where we headed first... and lo and behold, they are closed. On a Friday night? What!?! Well, the couple who broke the bad news (since they had just discovered it themselves) said they were going to head to the Saugatuck Brewing Co. Hum... I had been there once a few years ago, and remembered it being alright. And, it was on the list. So, yeah, let's do that.
It looked busy, based on the parking lot, but we walked in and were seated right away. We knew we were just in for a drink and appetizer (or two) so we let the server know that that was our plan. And, started looking over the menu... WOW! This stuff sounds great! In fact, we had trouble narrowing it down to only two appetizers and almost had to order a third. But, we landed on the Drunken Hummus and the Cashew Crusted Brie. Both were intriguing. Our plan to "go light" however, didn't hold up so well.
The hummus arrived first on a plate loaded with fried pita chips. The chips were delicious. A little greasy perhaps (see above note about going light), but were tasty. Now, I am not sure what makes this hummus drunken. It was loaded with stuff, oh, wait. Maybe that's it! There were roasted red peppers, artichokes, and maybe even some kalamata olives jammed into this deliciously seasoned hummus. Oh, it was so good. The flavors married really well. I couldn't stop. Oh, and there was a big hunk of artichoke right in the middle. Yum! Really good. For a hummus lover, this was right up there with some of the best hummus I have had.
Then, ladies and gentlemen, then the cashew brie arrived. HOLY COW! This stuff was INCREDIBLE.
This was, possibly, the best appetizer I have ever had. Paul described it as baklava meets brie cheese. WOW! The crust was cashews, duh, as well as honey and I am pretty sure some brown sugar. The brie was good, creamy brie. Then, there was a great balsamic reduction drizzled over the top. And, to top it all off, as if that weren't enough, the bread that they served with this brie was incredible. It was a light rye variety. Made fresh in house we discovered. Wow! I could have eaten five of these. In fact, if I could only eat one dish for the rest of my life, this would probably be it. What more can you ask for? The sweetness of the cashew crust, CHEESE, the tang of the balsamic. Wow! So GOOD.
Douglas/Saugatuck is about 50 minutes (depending on the construction on M-89) from Kalamazoo. So, it wouldn't have to be a vacation setting for us to get there. And, now that we have tasted this appetizer, we maybe be in the Douglas/Saugatuck area way more often.
BRAVO Saugatuck Brewing Co. You have found the perfect dish!
five golden forks out of five.