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Grand Rapids, Mi

Grand Rapids, Mi
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  • Post #31 - November 3rd, 2017, 9:25 am
    Post #31 - November 3rd, 2017, 9:25 am Post #31 - November 3rd, 2017, 9:25 am
    seebee wrote:Ok, all good. That Downtown Market website got me thinking we could get a bowl of Pho, some q, some sushi and share it all in one place right off the highway. Of course, I was assuming it would be good.


    The BBQ place actually didn't look too bad. I didn't try it. That one is more of a stand alone restaurant in the same building as the main food court. For a quick "hit and run", your plan could work.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #32 - November 3rd, 2017, 12:03 pm
    Post #32 - November 3rd, 2017, 12:03 pm Post #32 - November 3rd, 2017, 12:03 pm
    seebee wrote:Will be driving through GR on my way to Cadillac, right around dinner time on Friday night. Anything decent not too far from an expressway?

    A single visit to Grand Rapids hardly makes me an authority, but two major strengths are beer and Bosnian.

    For a city of its size, Grand Rapids has an amazingly rich beer culture. Some of the highlights are discussed in previous posts. I love Brewery Vivant, both for the beer and the space. The bowl of duck fat ice cream I sampled suggests it could be a worthwhile place to eat as well as drink.

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    Grand Rapids has one of the largest Bosnian populations in the US. You're undoubtedly jonesin' for more Eastern European chow (loved your Czech Plaza post) so this could be right up your alley! I enjoyed the stuffed cabbage at Bosna Express (128 28th St SW). These sarma are made with somewhat-uncommon sour cabbage leaves from whole heads that the owner ferments every year.

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    We got it to go because it was near closing time, but the wood-panelled room is pleasant and their beer list extensive. Not many places you can dine on pljeskavica, then go next door to purchase a parrot. Lots more Bosnian to explore.

    JoelF wrote:Three words: "Ham + Doughnuts" -- don't skip that.

    Speaking of ham + donuts… If you go via Kalamazoo, DO NOT MISS the hot fluffed ham at The Root Beer Stand.

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    Just kidding; aside from the name it's a thoroughly ordinary ham sandwich. On the other hand, donuts at Sweetwater's Donut Mill in Kalamazoo are truly worth a detour (and I'm usually not very enthusiastic about donuts). I'm guessing they may have cider donuts right about now.

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  • Post #33 - November 3rd, 2017, 12:57 pm
    Post #33 - November 3rd, 2017, 12:57 pm Post #33 - November 3rd, 2017, 12:57 pm
    Rene G wrote: donuts at Sweetwater's Donut Mill in Kalamazoo are truly worth a detour

    +1
    Kalamazoo has two Sweetwater stores, and Battle Creek has one.
  • Post #34 - November 5th, 2017, 11:02 am
    Post #34 - November 5th, 2017, 11:02 am Post #34 - November 5th, 2017, 11:02 am
    Thanks for the replies. Didn't work out as planned. The wife DEFINITELY wants to check out Downtown Market whenever we're in the area again.

    We got a tiny bit of a late start, so we knew we'd be cutting it close, but, Friday traffic, and construction around the bend, and we passed GR right around 7:30pm, and a lot of the food options close at 7.

    Let me tell you how hungry we were. We stopped at a gas station / Arby's combo.
    After potty and a fill up, we kind of laughed and said, "Arby's?" Went for it. Let me tell you something - Fried Cajun Turkey sammich and a curly fry hit the MF spot that night. We actually would have hit the Downtown Mkt on the way back, (again, the wife is wanting to see this place,) but the inlaws audibled us into a meal somewhere around Cadillac right before our departure - standard diner fare, nothing to write home about.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #35 - July 16th, 2019, 7:55 am
    Post #35 - July 16th, 2019, 7:55 am Post #35 - July 16th, 2019, 7:55 am
    I am going to Grand Rapids for a baseball tournament this week (Thurs. -Sat.). Any recommendations for casual dining (breakfast, lunch and dinner) in a non sketchy area? I am looking for something that is not a seafood restaurant and not a dive bar.
  • Post #36 - July 16th, 2019, 8:16 am
    Post #36 - July 16th, 2019, 8:16 am Post #36 - July 16th, 2019, 8:16 am
    Rene G wrote:
    seebee wrote: I enjoyed the stuffed cabbage at Bosna Express (128 28th St SW). These sarma are made with somewhat-uncommon sour cabbage leaves from whole heads that the owner ferments every year.

    Cynthia and I went to the Midwestern History Conference in late May, which included a stop at Bosna Express.

    They had at eight variations of Gyros on their menu. Never having been offered anything but a Gyro, I inquired if these variations are influenced by a trend in Bosnia. Indeed it was trendy in Bosnia, so I ordered their garlic Gyro featuring garlicky tzatziki, cucumber slices, spinach and feta cheese (I likely ordered onion, too). Their gyro is made with baked daily leginja bread, which they open up to form a pocket and stuff. This is a very large gyro.

    For a side, I ordered their Jaeger sauce, which was mushrooms and onions in sour cream. I love that combination very much and would order it again.

    I believe Cynthia ordered a gyro's salad.

    Yes, I would come back here in a flash.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #37 - July 16th, 2019, 8:33 am
    Post #37 - July 16th, 2019, 8:33 am Post #37 - July 16th, 2019, 8:33 am
    shorty wrote:I am going to Grand Rapids for a baseball tournament this week (Thurs. -Sat.). Any recommendations for casual dining (breakfast, lunch and dinner) in a non sketchy area? I am looking for something that is not a seafood restaurant and not a dive bar.

    You live in Chicago, yes? Then GR has no sketchy areas. Depending on what you like there are several newish places on and around Bridge st. West of the Grand River. Really the down town area has a lot of interesting offerings.
  • Post #38 - July 16th, 2019, 12:44 pm
    Post #38 - July 16th, 2019, 12:44 pm Post #38 - July 16th, 2019, 12:44 pm
    jaholbrook wrote:
    shorty wrote:I am going to Grand Rapids for a baseball tournament this week (Thurs. -Sat.). Any recommendations for casual dining (breakfast, lunch and dinner) in a non sketchy area? I am looking for something that is not a seafood restaurant and not a dive bar.

    You live in Chicago, yes? Then GR has no sketchy areas. Depending on what you like there are several newish places on and around Bridge st. West of the Grand River. Really the down town area has a lot of interesting offerings.
    Shorty lives in Kildeer which is nothing like living in the city and definitely could understand the concern for avoiding sketchy areas. However in my opinion when it comes to food there are no sketchy areas.
  • Post #39 - July 16th, 2019, 2:22 pm
    Post #39 - July 16th, 2019, 2:22 pm Post #39 - July 16th, 2019, 2:22 pm
    Ram4 wrote:
    jaholbrook wrote:
    shorty wrote:I am going to Grand Rapids for a baseball tournament this week (Thurs. -Sat.). Any recommendations for casual dining (breakfast, lunch and dinner) in a non sketchy area? I am looking for something that is not a seafood restaurant and not a dive bar.

    You live in Chicago, yes? Then GR has no sketchy areas. Depending on what you like there are several newish places on and around Bridge st. West of the Grand River. Really the down town area has a lot of interesting offerings.
    Shorty lives in Kildeer which is nothing like living in the city and definitely could understand the concern for avoiding sketchy areas. However in my opinion when it comes to food there are no sketchy areas.

    I tried to go to Hammerheads in Louisville a couple of months ago. We drove right by the restaurant and we never made it into the restaurant because my family thought that the area looked too sketchy.
  • Post #40 - July 16th, 2019, 3:27 pm
    Post #40 - July 16th, 2019, 3:27 pm Post #40 - July 16th, 2019, 3:27 pm
    I haven't been to Grand Rapids in a while, but one of my favorite places we went was Brewery Vivant. It's a cool brewery in an old funeral home which they have updated to make it as environmentally friendly as they can. They make a lot of different types of beers (a lot of focus on farmhouse and belgian style beers) and have a slightly upscale pub food and they have a kids menu if that is needed . I like their beer a lot and the building is definitely unique.

    Brewery Vivant
    925 Cherry Street
    Grand Rapids, MI
  • Post #41 - July 16th, 2019, 3:52 pm
    Post #41 - July 16th, 2019, 3:52 pm Post #41 - July 16th, 2019, 3:52 pm
    Strongly recommend the Vandermill Cidery for dinner or lunch.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #42 - July 26th, 2019, 7:46 am
    Post #42 - July 26th, 2019, 7:46 am Post #42 - July 26th, 2019, 7:46 am
    The Sovengard is my favorite restaurant in Grand Rapids.
    443 Bridge St NW Suite 1, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

    Real Food Cafe is a breakfast institution in Grand Rapids
    3514 Plainfield Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525

    City Built Brewing has some interesting Puerto Rican inspired choices
    820 Monroe Ave NW #155, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

    Some other options
    Slow's BBQ
    435 Ionia Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

    Butcher's Union
    438 Bridge St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

    Nantucket Baking Co.
    615 Lyon St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

    Cherie Inn
    969 Cherry St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506

    The Winchester
    648 Wealthy St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

    Grove
    919 Cherry St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506

    Balinskis Polish-American Cuisine
    4255-4331 Alpine Ave NW, Comstock Park, MI 49321
  • Post #43 - July 26th, 2019, 8:38 am
    Post #43 - July 26th, 2019, 8:38 am Post #43 - July 26th, 2019, 8:38 am
    Field & Fire Bakery is located in Downtown Market.

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    I recommend stopping here if you are in the area. I brought home a ham and cheese croissant, a kouign amann, and a gougere. The cardamom bun that I sampled was also good.
  • Post #44 - July 26th, 2019, 8:57 am
    Post #44 - July 26th, 2019, 8:57 am Post #44 - July 26th, 2019, 8:57 am
    Last week we went to Real Food Cafe because I saw that the reviews were good. It is a diner style restaurant on the outskirts of town. Since I only came here with my son, we weren't able to split many dishes. The menu had a wide variety of items. The kitchen split our raisin bread and South of the Border Scramble when we said that we were sharing. We also had a cinnamon roll which was gigantic (I included a spoon in the picture for scale). If I were in the area again, I would come back to this restaurant for brunch.

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    Dessert case:
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    Bakery items:
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    South of the Border Scramble and raisin bread (split for two):
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    Cinnamon roll:
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  • Post #45 - July 26th, 2019, 9:28 am
    Post #45 - July 26th, 2019, 9:28 am Post #45 - July 26th, 2019, 9:28 am
    The only time we could make it to Brewery Vivant was at 3 pm. It was an odd time to eat, but we made it happen. A lot of the Brewery Vivant beers can be sampled. I sampled three beers and brought home three cans (Cherry Saison, Coconut Love Shadow, and Imperial Saison). It is unfortunate that we did not have enough appetite to split more dishes. Here are the dishes that we ordered:

    Parisian Gnocchi (rainbow carrots, asparagus, pea pesto, almond gremolta):
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    Cake and Currants (olive oil cake, whipped ricotta, red currants, whey caramel):
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    Chocolate Board (malted milk cake, strawberry truffles, frozen white chocolate and peanut mousse pop):
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    If I were in the Grand Rapids area again, I would try to bring the rest of my family here. The dishes that we ordered were excellent.
  • Post #46 - July 3rd, 2021, 7:57 pm
    Post #46 - July 3rd, 2021, 7:57 pm Post #46 - July 3rd, 2021, 7:57 pm
    JoelF wrote:Strongly recommend the Vandermill Cidery for dinner or lunch.

    No longer. Their Blackbird alum chef must have left, gone us the gastropub menu, now it's just basic bar food. When we saw the menu had changed, we didn't go into Grand Rapids at all, so can't report on the quality.
    I'm gonna miss Ham and Donuts (prosciutto, Parm, apple butter and donut holes)
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang

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