Being a part of the Midwest but also surrounded by large freshwater lakes, Michigan certainly has its advantages. Beautiful scenery, a rich history of industry, both large cities and small towns. But quite importantly, Michigan has a rich array of food choices. Craving Midwestern comfort foods? Michigan has it. Craving delectable (and healthy!) seafood? Michigan has it. Looking for locally grown items? You guessed it, Michigan has it. There are abundances of restaurants in the cities and suburbs that are able to create dishes to serve every taste and the many unique flavors and foods from this great mitten state.

So before wandering abroad this summer to try the delicacies of other regions, states, or countries, take a look at what this great state has to offer. Before you know it, you’ll be gathering together friends or family for a sampling of your favorite foods at a Michigan area steakhouse or restaurant!

Let’s begin with foods that are described as quintessential Michigan-area products, many of which are sweet. Michigan Mint, which is essentially peppermint, is used not only in a number of savory dishes, but is delicious flavoring in cookies, pastries, and other dessert foods. Likewise, cherries are a Michigan staple, being included in anything from pies, tarts, and cookies to salads and sandwiches served at restaurants state and nation-wide. And of course, don’t forget about the world-famous fudge offerings!

Savory foods are also state staples. Agriculture and farming have been large industries in the Michigan area since its settling, and this allows for an array of delicious foods. Many restaurants, growing quite conscious of the importance of locally-grown produce and the high-caliber products of this great state are looking to Michigan area farmers for their needs. Cherries and berries are quite popular in the north and make picture perfect pies and dessert dishes while Michigan grown asparagus and potatoes make for the delicious sides you enjoy with family and friends at gatherings at your favorite steakhouse.

We also have the advantage of being surrounded by the Great Lakes, a treasure trove of freshwater seafood offerings. Whitefish is a particularly popular choice, often found in Lake Michigan and prepared as a tasty, light meal choice. Mixed with the freshly imported seafood options of ocean-bordering states, this creates a lovely mix of possibilities and dynamic seafood dishes at your favorite eateries.

Of course, let’s not forget that this state was settled by Europeans, particularly the French, and so many dishes are made richer by the mixture of the agriculture, seafood, and tasty French touches which remain ingrained in the recipes we love to eat today. There is also a large influence from the Dutch and Germans, and these are found in particular in the Midwestern comfort foods we know and love ranging from chicken pot pies to macaroni and cheese to roasted chicken to a nearly universal favorite, steak and potatoes.

Speaking of steak and potatoes, Michigan’s various regions have their own specialties, and in particular, the largely populated Detroit area has a sauce known for it’s perfect food pairing: steak. Zip Sauce was made famous in the Detroit area for its delectable flavor and has been the preferred sauce of regional steak-eaters and many Detroit, Michigan area steakhouses for years. Can you imagine anything better than combining a comforting meal of steak and potatoes with another area specialty?

And we can’t forget the beer. With many breweries throughout the state, Michigan has a number of offerings that pair deliciously with all of the foods mentioned above! There’s nothing better than enjoying a cold, local brew with your favorite meal. The best part though? A relaxed but slightly upscale atmosphere and relatively casual food the state is known for combine for a fantastic dining experience at many of the steakhouses and American eateries in the Michigan and Greater Detroit areas.

Whether at a banquet, a dinner with family, a night of dining out with friends, or a special event, know that while you enjoy your time and the summer weather dining outdoors or in, you will be enjoying some of the best offerings in the state. So, if you’re looking to celebrate this great state, the Midwestern region as a whole, and cuisine that is not only tasty, but that utilizes all that our region and state have to offer, look no further than our restaurants and the Summertime in Michigan specials!

Inquiring minds want to know: what are your favorite Michigan products, specialties or dishes? Is there a Midwestern comfort food that you can’t live without?