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“great food, but expected better service”
Review of Great Lakes Shipping Co. - CLOSED

Great Lakes Shipping Co.
Price range: $15 - $20
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Local cuisine, Romantic, Business meetings, Special occasions, Bar scene
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Michigan
Level Contributor
69 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“great food, but expected better service”
Reviewed June 28, 2013

We dined at this restaurant last week with each of us ordering the salad bar and one each a beef dish and a chicken dish. I was pleased with the salad bar and enjoyed our meal. I really think they presented top notch food as they should for the $25-$28 entrees. However, I was disappointed with the service. The attire of the wait staff seemed rather casual (shorts and polo shirts) and their attitude matched. There was no polish in their presentation. The staff and other patrons presented like a sports bar yet the prices of the menu suggested fine dining. I was a little confused as to what type of restaurant this was.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank captain_parrot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

78 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    24
    20
    20
    8
    6
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • Any
English first
West Michigan
Level Contributor
90 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Fabulous food, and excellent service.”
Reviewed June 13, 2013

Something must have changed since earlier reviews, because the place was teeming with wait staff last Saturday night. We had excellent service and the food was incredible. We too were there because of a Groupon - - it had been a hundred years since we'd been to Great Lakes and the Groupon pulled us back in. EVERY thing we ate was five star: shrimp cocktail, salad bar, prime rib, risotto (OK the risotto was only four stars), and key lime pie. Everything was fresh, hot, and amazing.
Granted - the average age there is a little higher than some other restaurants, but with food that good I guess the older folks are smart.
The prime rib, and key lime pie, were some of the best we've ever had.
Overall it was an excellent experience, and we'll be back again soon.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Trixien
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Plainwell, Michigan
Level Contributor
81 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Table by the fireplace”
Reviewed May 11, 2013

My husband and I always reserve the table by the fireplace at Great Lakes Shipping Co. in Grand Rapids as it is very romantic. Not only do they have the best prime rib in town, but the salad bar is absolutely wonderful! We have always received service that is attention to detail and the cocktail waitress has always suggested just the right wine to compliment our meals. The restaurant is very busy on Friday and Saturday evenings so I would suggest reserving a table ahead of time.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Kathy K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saugatuck, Michigan
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Expensive Mediocre Food, Terrible Service...”
Reviewed April 8, 2013

The title says it all.... Our first time at The Great Lakes Shipping Company (January 2013), we were searching for a great dinning experience in GR, a City new to us. Oh my!!! what a bad choice, a total disappointment. We knew that we would never return even if a 75%+ discount was offered (we paid full price)!!! We left hoping this wasn't the best that GR has to offer!!!

Oh Well... just a few months later (April 2013) we were invited there for an "upscale business dinner". We were so glad that we weren't the ones who decided on The Great Lakes Shipping Company, to "empress the new customers", however we were optimistic. From beginning to the end, our "upscale business dinner" was total disaster!!! Even though we had dinner reservations, after we were seated (so were many other tables) there was no waitstaff to be seen, until someone went to search for them. Then, from cocktails served without the liqueur, "oops, sorry... I forgot your appetizers", the wrong wines were served with our dinner, under cooked seafood, improper temperature steaks, missing side dishes and the desserts... Oh well...
Our optimism sank... we had drowned...!!!

With all of the corrections that were needed, we were there all night. We all made the very best of this very bad experience. It was a good thing, that we all got along very well and had a lot to talk about. I know for sure that all of us in attendance that night and that everyone we know, will never waste time or our reputation's at The Great Lakes Seafood Company. Completely an awful mess!!!

We never did share our "prior" dinning experience there with the other business owner. They were already way too embarrassed... OUCH!!!

None of us could understand why they had a decent business??? An obviously older crowd (sorry, maybe taste buds just aren't the same) same old place? Because of the high menu prices everyone just assumes that they are getting the best around? NOT! Popular?? Why?! They have been around for a long time???... Why??? None of us could wrap our head around this one...

We had never checked out their website or any reviews until this negative experience, just a few days ago. I see we weren't the first that were very disappointed, I'm sure we are not the last of the innocent. I wish we would have known. Our opinion... is that if the food is great, the service supreme and the ambiance is attractive, then this place, any place that has been around for a while, wouldn't be offering 20% off coupons and 50% off Groupons with a "fixed menu (always exclusions)" and then you are forced to order alcoholic beverages (some don't, some can't drink alcohol) to "get their deal" is just to lure the unknowledgeable customers in the door... Buyer Beware!!!! Read their fine print "18% Gratuity Added "Prior" To Discount". Well, I guess in the end you'll save the price of the gratuity... Check out their menu, then do the math. Explains the high menu prices!!! Hope you don't get sick on dinner and you have plenty of patience! Think First then Enjoy a Great Dinning Experience Some Place Else, they do exist, even GR!!!

FYI: New places in their first year or so, offering Coupons, Groupons and the like are "worth taking a chance on" for a "New" pleasant dinning experience. However, always avoid offers with a "fixed menu". Remember it's your money, your dinning experience not just the time to clean out an over abundance of foods in their freezer... Really....

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank UniqueRwe2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Holland
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Amazing food, AWFUL AWFUL service.”
Reviewed April 4, 2013

If this is the only review you read, don't go here. Just don't do it. I've never written a review for anything before but this deserves it. The service here was TERRIBLE!!! TERRIBLE TERRIBLE TERRIBLE. My boyfriend and I came here for our anniversary, hoping to have a special night out, and we felt completely unwelcome. First, we were definitely the youngest ones in the restaurant (22-23) and it was really awkward. Second, our waitresses DIDNT EVEN CRACK A SMILE! Seriously?!? We had an option to sit in a crowed corner by the window but I said something and asked for a fire place (really, not too much to ask). We were literally back to back with the table behind us which consisted of a group of elderly folks.... I didn't have any room to move. At one point I had to scoot my chair in because my hair was touching the woman behind me.... The restaurant was empty. Why were there so many tables??

The only reason we came here was because of a groupon. The food is pricy but amazing. So so good. Some of the best I've had in fact. Would I come back? Absolutely not. I can pay that much for a restaurant who actually cares about their customers and doesn't charge 18 % GRATUITY that isn't even deserved! I mean toward the end of our meal, the waitress placed the dessert menu on our table and literally didn't say anything and walked away. Ridiculous. This review is getting an "Average" only because of the food.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Brittany K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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