We are fortunate to live in Newaygo County, deep in the woods and overlooking the Muskegon River. Because home cooked food and the view while dining is hard to beat, we eat out only occasionally unless we are traveling. But when we do decide to leave home for a casual meal, Smugglers is where we usually wind up. After reviewing another area restaurant, I happened to see the reviews of Smugglers and just had to make a few comments. To those who think the decor is cheesy and/or needs an update, I'd just say that if you are looking for a classy, updated restaurant, this isn't your place. But if you want a place where service can't be beat, people are always having a great time, boaters can dock out front and walk in wearing their cut-offs, hard working folks can come straight from work and sit near someone dressed up for the night - you will love this place. This is not a pretentious place - it is Northern Michigan casual and it is "come as you are." I have never had a bad meal here. The best value on the menu is the fish on the low carb menu. Two or three pieces of fish - fried is best - and a great little salad with home made dressing. Smelt isn't on the menu but is almost always available (just ask) and is super good. Burritos are great. French fried cheesy Broccoli makes a great vegetarian meal for a light eater. There are specials every night and they are always good.
The service is fantastic, the waiters all cover for each other to make sure everyone has fresh drinks (free refills on soft drinks), etc., and Marty the owner is always there and taking care of people right along with the wait staff (and someone actually criticized them for doing this on a slow night. Seriously?) For entertainment, watch the bus boys on a busy night. You will never see tables cleaned more rapidly and efficiently, which is why locals don't mind it when the waiting area is full - you know you won't have to wait more than 5 or 10 minutes and if by chance you do, the food is worth the wait.
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