For Karen Avery, owning The Toasted Pickle is about serving quality meals packed with local ingredients, while also dishing up some fun in downtown Grand Haven.
“We’re all about fun, we like entertaining,” Avery said. “We feel like we not only love to serve a great meal, but we like people to come in and have fun, and have a good atmosphere.”
The charming sandwich shop can seat 50 guests inside, and an outdoor patio will open this summer, Avery said.
The story behind The Toasted Pickle begins with a family tradition.
“One of the ‘founding fathers’ (of the restaurant) is my father, who came from Lithuania,” Avery said. “He grew all of his own cabbage, all of his own cucumbers and pickled everything in-house. We took some of his recipes and brought them into the store.”
Following her father’s tradition, Avery puts pickles on most of the menu items.
“We make very unique sandwiches that you can’t find anywhere else,” Avery said. “We make everything to order, everything is from scratch, we like to put a little spin on things.”
Top-sellers include The Crusty Cuban, a house-roasted pulled pork sandwich with bacon, sweet and spicy pickles and tangy aioli served on a hoagie roll. A Nashville Hottie, a crispy fried chicken sandwich, issmothered in sweet and spicy butter sauce, topped with spicy pickles on a house-made biscuit.
Aside from toasted sandwiches, the Toasted Pickle is known for its beer-battered, Parmesan-tossed Truffle Fries. “They have got a cult following in town,” Avery said. “People come in just for the fries.”
Salads, chilled sandwiches, fresh-squeezed lemonade, soups, fried pickle poppers and macaroni and cheese are also on the menu. Using all local ingredients, Avery said she feels a strong sense of community.
“I think it’s satisfying that we partner with other local businesses, we have a community going here,” she said. “Grand Haven is a small town, and we feel really connected to it.”