Bittersweet Cafe in Holly, Michigan


If you are familiar with the downtown area of Holly, you are familiar with one of the quaintest, homiest, and most historic spots in Southeast Michigan.  It is here that you will find several boutiques and shops and for the avid antique hound, Holly is a Mecca.  Contributing to the nostalgia is the Bittersweet Cafe.

            The Bittersweet Cafe has been a mainstay in Holly for the past 15years.  Five years ago, Denise “Dee” Van Boemel stopped in for her

Bitersweet Cafe in Holly, Michigan

favorite bite, as she had on a regular basis for almost 10 years.  This particular time was different.  Noticing the “For Sale by Owner” sign, Denise followed her heart and took ownership of her favorite eatery.

            Walking into the Cafe, you will be charmed by the well maintained decor of a building that has stood since the Civil War era.  Indoor seating capacity is 32 and is matched with patio seating of 32 in the warmer months.  Since the purchase, Dee was able to obtain a liquor license, allowing the Cafe to feature a full bar of over 35 bottled domestic, imported and seasonal craft beers, wine and liquor.

            When it comes to the menu, Dee and Head chef, Matt Smith uphold meticulous standards when it comes to the quality and preparation of their ingredients.  Produce is hand picked from Banana Brothers of Fenton.  Sandwiches are constructed with the highest quality meat that is freshly sliced as ordered, no preservatives, just clean and simple ingredients.  Soups are are homemade, many are low sodium with five main ingredients.  Most of the stocks are vegetable based and made from scratch and the chili is gluten free to offer options to those with diet restrictions.

            In the morning, you may want to try the Frittata with fresh spinach and bleu cheese or maybe the 1865 Sunrise; a ham and melted swiss breakfast sandwich on a buttery croissant.

Return at lunch time and choose from an ample selection of deli sandwiches or subs.  I had the chance to sample Dee’s favorite; the Slim James.  This sandwich consists of thinly sliced ham, provolone, tomato and lettuce on a grilled sub roll.  The key ingredient to this sandwich is the homemade tartar sauce with fresh dill.  We also sampled the Turkey Reuben with a generous portion of turkey and crisp, light coleslaw.  While I was meeting with Dee, the food just kept coming.  One salad that was highlighted, and became my new favorite, was the Renaissance Salad.  It starts with mixed greens and is topped with bleu cheese, pecans, red onion and dried cranberries.  It is served with a raspberry vinaigrette dressing that gives an overall balance of sweet and savory.  Top it with grilled chicken to make it a full meal.

If you love a great but difficult to find Maurice Salad, you will find it here!  Stop by for the third time after five o’clock, Wednesday through Saturday to enjoy dinner options.  Traditional fare is offered, such as Pot Roast or Turkey open faced sandwiches, Broiled Cod, Tilapia, and Grilled Chicken.  Sesame Garlic Pork Chops, Fish Burrito or Mediterranean Chicken are healthy flavorful options.  Check Facebook for daily specials.

            Last but certainly not least are a selection of sinfully decadent desserts, perfect for sharing.  Reese’s and Snickers style cakes are made daily and supplied by Cupcakes & Kisses, just two doors down from Bittersweet Cafe.  A sweet but lighter choice is the Vanilla Creamosa.  This Italian style beverage will be the perfect accompaniment or ending to any meal.

            It’s not just the great food, it’s the great staff and the warm, nostalgia of the location that keeps the staff and regular customers.  It is easy to understand once you visit how Dee’s love for the Cafe and the community is evident in every delicious dish that is served.

Bittersweet Cafe

112 S. Saginaw

Holly, Michigan  48442

Phone: 248.328.0800

Monday & Tuesday: 8:30 – 4:00pm

Wednesday & Thursday: 8:30 – 8:00pm

Friday & Saturday: 8:30 – 9:00pm

Sunday: 8:30 – 3:00pm (Summer until 4:00pm)

Chef’s Receipe

Blue Cheese Deviled Eggs

12 eggs, hardboiled

1/4 C Mayo

1/4 C Blue Cheese Dressing

1/4 C. Crumbled Blue Cheese

1/4 C. Bacon Bits

1/2 C Chopped Spinach

1 T Franks Red Hot Sauce

Slice eggs in half, lengthwise.  Remove eggs from yolks.  Mix all ingredients with yolks, and spoon into egg halves.  Top with a dash of Franks for garnish.

(This is offered on the dinner menu as a starter and a favorite of Michigan Secretary of State, Ruth Johnson)

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