Trillium Haven (Facebook / @TrilliumHaven)
1429 Lake Dr. (map it!)
Grand Rapids, MI 49506
Open Mon-Fri, 11a-3p & 5-11p; brunch served Sat & Sun, 10a-3p
Accepts cash & credit/debit
Vegetarian/vegan/gluten free? Y/N/N
Date of Visit: Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 10:00 a.m.
Although we have a favorite breakfast in Grand Rapids – Real Food Cafe – we’re always trying to explore the new options around town. Grand Rapids has a growing food scene, with new cafes and breweries and coffee shops popping up in every neighborhood. One other development is an increase in farm-to-table dining, which means restaurants responsibly sourcing their ingredients from local farms, roasters, wineries, butchers, bakers, and maybe even candlestick makers, too. Enter Trillium Haven.
Trillium Have is set up at a three-way juncture in Eastown, one of Grand Rapids’ hipper neighborhoods. The name derives from Trillium Haven Farm, about 15 minutes outside of Grand Rapids. A trillium, by the by, is a three-petaled perennial; it’s illegal to pick them from public land in Michigan. Hence, the farm name Trillium Haven.
The very tall and bright space echoes the natural character of their menu: lots of smooth wood accents, warm lighting, creams and reds, greenery. Just the restaurant space itself is worth a visit.
The restaurant is split in half with an open bar; on the right you’ll find a large seating area plus an open kitchen. On the left is more seating, with curtains indicating even more space for larger parties.
This type of menu is designed to make a breakfast- or brunch-lover drool. Try reading some of it aloud: hash with coffee-smoked pork belly and root vegetables. Kale eggs benedict with Canadian bacon and brown butter hollandaise. Frittata with black beans, ancho chilis, and squash.
Coffee is locally sourced from Rowster New American Coffee, about a mile away. Inspired by Trilium’s menu, we visited Rowster after brunch. Trillium offered a nice coffee setup, with pottery mugs and dishes, and a carafe left on the table.
This is the pork belly hash, complete with slices of the belly (smoked with Rowster coffee), root vegetables, brussel sprouts, a white cheese, and a couple eggs to order. It’s all drizzled with a little maple syrup. It’s a really interesting contrast of flavors: smokey and salty in the pork belly, earthy notes from the veggies, a little tart from the cheese, and then a sweetness from the maple syrup. This certainly isn’t a traditional hash, but there’s a lot to like about it, although oddly enough the syrup sometimes overpowers the other elements.
Mrs. Bfast w/Nick’s favorite breakfast is pretty much anything with good smoked or salted salmon, so she ordered the smoked salmon scramble. It’s an open-face scramble served over toast and featuring the expected salmon accoutrement: capers, red onions, cream cheese. Overall, a really solid breakfast.
Pork belly hash in progress.
What’s brunch without a good Bloody Mary? Trillium’s was rich and heavily spiced.
And you can’t pass up a good breakfast pizza. This one featured potatoes, bacon, greens, hollandaise, and a fried egg for dipping. A very good representation of breakfast in pizza form.
The meal ended with a nice little touch: recipe cards given with your bill. This helps you continue your dining experience by recreating some of the dishes you’ve tried at the restaurant.
Our overall experience at Trillium Haven was a good one and I certainly recommend it as a brunch spot, although at times the farm-to-table descriptions can be overwhelming. I appreciate the attention to detail, but sometimes being given the low-down on everything from even the dab of butter to the glob of jam next to your toast can amount to so many details you can’t keep them straight. If you’re a person who prefers the simple eggs-and-bacon breakfast, Trillium may prove to be sensory overload. All the same, they offer a solid brunch with some really creative plates, attentive service, and a really beautiful space.