Corned beef, cabbage signify St. Patrick's Day in America
Corned Beef (Metro Graphics / December 9, 2012)
Northern Michigan will enjoy its share of these delicacies this weekend to celebrate St. Patrick's Day and all things Irish.
Ironically, the Irish do not consider corned beef a native dish. Historically, beef was too expensive for the average Irishman, so they stuck with pork. Irish immigrants substituted beef for pork in America because it became affordable.
Despite its less-than-Irish heritage, corned beef still reigns supreme in the United States for St. Patrick's Day.
Last year alone, The Side Door Saloon in Petoskey sold 154 corned beef and cabbage dinners during their St. Patrick's Day event.
This year's celebration is Saturday, March 16.
The Side Door Saloon has hosted its annual St. Patrick's Day bash for the past 16 years, since Frank and Barb Gotts became owners of the restaurant.
"We do it because it's fun," said Frank Gotts. "It's the biggest party of the year... It's bigger than New Year's Eve for us."
"We make it fun and we provide a great meal."
The party starts early at The Side Door. It is the only day of the year that the restaurant is open for breakfast. From 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., corned beef hash, eggs, potatoes and Irish banger sausages are served with authentic Irish soda bread.
The main attraction, however, is their corned beef dinners. Available 11 a.m.-10 p.m., the dinner includes portions of corned beef brisket, rye bread, and boiled cabbage, carrots and redskin potatoes.
"We do everything traditionally," said Gotts. "We boil the corned beef, and the carrots, cabbage and potatoes are all cooked in broth."
Guinness, as well as green beer, will be available to wash down the meal. Other features include "Lights of the Emerald Isles" green ice cubes, Irish car bomb drink specials and chocolate mint brownies.
Gotts encourages patrons, Irish or not, to check out The Side Door Saloon's St. Patrick's Day celebration. Not only is the food delicious, but "it's a good party atmosphere."
The Side Door Saloon is open 9 a.m.-midnight on Saturday, March 16. Breakfast special is $7.95; corned beef and cabbage meal is $10.99.
For more information, call (231) 347-9291 or visit the restaurant at 1200 U.S. 31 North in Petoskey.