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  • Grand Rapids, Mi

    Post #1 - August 15th, 2013, 9:36 pm
    Post #1 - August 15th, 2013, 9:36 pm Post #1 - August 15th, 2013, 9:36 pm
    Count me as a fan of Grand Rapids, always enjoy my visits. Last week spent part of day with a college visit.

    Got over to one of my favorite neighborhoods, Eastown.

    First stop was Brewery Vivant. Awesome building, great beer, delicious frites. We had a Farm Hand (the only Vivant I had previously), a Triomphe, and a Belgian Wit. Also shared an order of garlic and parsley frites. I wish this tap room was in my neighborhood.

    On a rec from a local, we had a nice dinner nearby at the relatively new Terra GR, a farm to table restaurant. Very cool, modern space which was hopping on a Wednesday evening. Nice mix of families, couples, and a few groups of friends. We had three cocktails to start. The best was 'A Day In The Woods' (Woodford Reserve Bourbon, St Germaine, lemon juice, and Founder's All Day IPA), my wife, oldest daughter, and I all loved it. Second best was the 'Terra 75' (New Holland Knickerbocker Gin, lavender simple syrup, lemon juice, and Mawby Green sparkling) which was refreshing. Also had a beet margarita which did have a nice, subtle beet aftertaste.

    Some nice salads, a beet salad, a steak salad, and a kale Caesar. Daughters loved the fennel sausage pizza from the wood fired oven, but an overly smoky cheese overpowered a good mac & cheese with roasted cauliflower and greens. My wife had a really nice dish that had a lot going on and was very substantial, Lake Superior trout with Michigan farm raised shrimp, summer squash, cherry tomatoes, potatoes and a interesting black butter hollandaise. I loved my gigli pasta, al dente fresh yellow carrots, and fabulous braised, pastured lamb.

    Lots of interesting menu items, fair prices, I would be there often if it was in my 'hood.

    Brewery Vivant
    925 Cherry Street SE
    Grand Rapids
    616.719.1604

    Terra GR
    1429 Lake Drive SE
    Grand Rapids
    616.301.0998
  • Post #2 - August 16th, 2013, 10:05 am
    Post #2 - August 16th, 2013, 10:05 am Post #2 - August 16th, 2013, 10:05 am
    Gotta hit up Founders if you're there for a fresh pint too. The All Day IPA is a go to for me these days.
  • Post #3 - August 23rd, 2013, 11:19 am
    Post #3 - August 23rd, 2013, 11:19 am Post #3 - August 23rd, 2013, 11:19 am
    Stopped in on Founders on my way back from Traverse City. Had the crab dip, a sandwich and a couple of beers. Awesome experience! Wish I lived closer.
    Christina~~
  • Post #4 - August 23rd, 2013, 11:30 am
    Post #4 - August 23rd, 2013, 11:30 am Post #4 - August 23rd, 2013, 11:30 am
    Easttown has really come alive over the past couple of years. In addition to Vivant there is also Grove, Greenwell, Electric Cheeta, Maru Sushi, and Brickroad Pizza just to name a few. It's also currently restaurant week and most of the ET places participate. Unfortunately it ends tomorrow but if you're around there are some great deals on great food... 3 courses for $25.

    http://www.experiencegr.com/restaurants ... rant-week/

    Enjoy!
  • Post #5 - September 18th, 2013, 7:09 pm
    Post #5 - September 18th, 2013, 7:09 pm Post #5 - September 18th, 2013, 7:09 pm
    Any coney or burger recommendations in GR? I will be there next week for two days - Founders and HopCat are right down from where I'm staying. Thanks!
  • Post #6 - September 19th, 2013, 7:52 am
    Post #6 - September 19th, 2013, 7:52 am Post #6 - September 19th, 2013, 7:52 am
    I've not been because of the limited hours and distance from the burbs but the burgers here are suppose to be the best in town and it's about a 5 minute drive from where you'll be.

    Choo Choo Grill

    1209 Plainfield Ave NE
    Grand Rapids, MI 49505

    (616) 774-8652
    Hours:
    Mon-Fri 7 am - 4 pm
    Sat 7 am - 2 pm
  • Post #7 - September 19th, 2013, 3:11 pm
    Post #7 - September 19th, 2013, 3:11 pm Post #7 - September 19th, 2013, 3:11 pm
    Also, not burgers or Coney but a pretty cool new addition to downtown is the Downtown Market... indoor is 7 days a week and outdoor is 3 days a week currently.

    http://downtownmarketgr.com/

    Pretty close to Founders too for a one two punch.

    Enjoy!
  • Post #8 - September 23rd, 2013, 11:00 am
    Post #8 - September 23rd, 2013, 11:00 am Post #8 - September 23rd, 2013, 11:00 am
    jaholbrook wrote:Also, not burgers or Coney but a pretty cool new addition to downtown is the Downtown Market... indoor is 7 days a week and outdoor is 3 days a week currently.

    http://downtownmarketgr.com/

    Pretty close to Founders too for a one two punch.

    Enjoy!


    Great info, I hadn't heard about the market. Hope to check it out this week, thank you!
  • Post #9 - September 26th, 2013, 9:56 pm
    Post #9 - September 26th, 2013, 9:56 pm Post #9 - September 26th, 2013, 9:56 pm
    First stop was Brewery Vivant. Awesome building, great beer, delicious frites. We had a Farm Hand (the only Vivant I had previously), a Triomphe, and a Belgian Wit. Also shared an order of garlic and parsley frites. I wish this tap room was in my neighborhood.


    This place is fantastic, and glad to see their beer is trickling into Chicago. Cool 'hood as well.
  • Post #10 - November 26th, 2013, 8:59 am
    Post #10 - November 26th, 2013, 8:59 am Post #10 - November 26th, 2013, 8:59 am
    Went to Harmony Brewing Co., http://harmonybeer.com/, this past weekend. Really nice selection of craft beers and GREAT woodfired pizzas and apps. We had the cheesy breadsticks which sound pretty low rent but they mix it up with a nice drizzle of balsamic and cooked in the WFO... not your run of the mill breadsticks. We also had the bacon nuts and olives, both also roasted in the WFO. Then the star of the show, besides the beer, we went with the crispy pig. Great tangy sauce balanced by the salty cured meat. This is my new favorite pizza and my favorite style in GR.

    Warning, the place was packed so plan on speanding some time there. We waited to be seated about 45 minutes but beers and cocktails made that a non-issue for me at least.

    Enjoy!
  • Post #11 - April 5th, 2014, 2:45 pm
    Post #11 - April 5th, 2014, 2:45 pm Post #11 - April 5th, 2014, 2:45 pm
    We're going to Grand Rapids for a couple days next week to do a tiny beer tour. We are planning to stop at Bells, Dark Horse, Founders, and Greenbush... and, possibly, New Holland. We are also planning to hit up Brewery Vivant for dinner one night. But I'm wondering if there is a better place to go to for dinner... maybe not beer-centric. Any suggestions?
    Christina~~
  • Post #12 - April 7th, 2014, 7:39 am
    Post #12 - April 7th, 2014, 7:39 am Post #12 - April 7th, 2014, 7:39 am
    I breifly mentioned it up thread but Grove is a great choice for dinner and it's right next door to BV. Depending on the day / time you might want to make reservations. The last time we were there we did BYOB and they were kind enough to wave the $20 corkage. The food is fantastic... the one time I agree with GR magazine they voted (or readers voted) Grove as restaurant of the year. I guess it really depends on what you're looking for but I think Grove does a great job of covering a wide range of tastes and all really well.
  • Post #13 - April 8th, 2014, 11:44 pm
    Post #13 - April 8th, 2014, 11:44 pm Post #13 - April 8th, 2014, 11:44 pm
    Grand Rapids, MI. is the host for this year's American Homebrewers' Association's National Homebrew Conference (12-14 June). I am registered for the full conference. I'll motor there on Wednesday morning, the 11th. I hope to share a room with someone at one of the major hotels in central Grand Rapids; but since there is not an official hosting hotel {the AHA is using the Convention Center as its exposition site}, I have provisionally booked a room for myself on the Grand Rapids #9 bus route (Alpine Rd.) at the America's Best Value Inn & Suites on Three Mile Rd. 8)
    The time in Grand Rapids should allow for me to get to restaurants and other beery venues, which this thread has helped identify. :)
    Thank you much.
    Learn what Bing prefers you not know: http://208.84.112.25/~pudgym29/bookmark4.html
  • Post #14 - April 9th, 2014, 8:03 am
    Post #14 - April 9th, 2014, 8:03 am Post #14 - April 9th, 2014, 8:03 am
    pudgym29 wrote:Grand Rapids, MI. is the host for this year's American Homebrewers' Association's National Homebrew Conference (12-14 June). I am registered for the full conference. I'll motor there on Wednesday morning, the 11th. I hope to share a room with someone at one of the major hotels in central Grand Rapids; but since there is not an official hosting hotel {the AHA is using the Convention Center as its exposition site}, I have provisionally booked a room for myself on the Grand Rapids #9 bus route (Alpine Rd.) at the America's Best Value Inn & Suites on Three Mile Rd. 8)
    The time in Grand Rapids should allow for me to get to restaurants and other beery venues, which this thread has helped identify. :)
    Thank you much.


    I see the event is being held at Devos Place which is nearly dead center downtown GR. There are a few hotel options within EASY walking distance... Amway Grand, Courtyard, City Flats, JW Marriot, and Holiday Inn (A little longer walk or taxi). Anyway, I'm sure the room you have is fine but just a little warning that the surronding area has little to offer.
  • Post #15 - April 19th, 2014, 2:19 pm
    Post #15 - April 19th, 2014, 2:19 pm Post #15 - April 19th, 2014, 2:19 pm
    Thanks, Jaholbrook!

    We ate so much at our first two stops, Bells' and Dark Horse. We had made plans to go to Brewery Vivant and were planning to have a small dinner there too. Unfortunately, they were sold out of nearly half the menu at 6:30 on a sunday night. We ended up walking across the street and having a great meal at The Green Well. I'll bookmark the Grove for our next trip.
    Christina~~
  • Post #16 - July 28th, 2014, 9:33 am
    Post #16 - July 28th, 2014, 9:33 am Post #16 - July 28th, 2014, 9:33 am
    Great weekend celebrating 7 yrs. of wedding bliss down town with my lovely bride!

    Highlights included:

    We're not a huge sushi town but some of the best can be found at Maru Sushi in eastown. We went for lunch and had Hamachi and tuna sashimi, unagi nigiri, spicy tuna and crunchy shrimp rolls, and of course a couple of ice cold Sapporos to wash it all down. I would not call it destination sushi but fresh and tasty!

    Ruth's Chris for a later than normal steak dinner. I know the steak house rep in Chicago so I won’t try to convince anyone how good this is but for GR it was a home run. I had the fillet which pretty much melts in your mouth, the au gratin potatoes (guilty pleasure, and Caesar. If money is not too much of an issue they have a pretty great wine list as well.

    Sunday afternoon we headed to the Grand Rapids Downtown Market to window shop and hit by far the best seafood in town at Fish Lads. This was really the best meal of the weekend. We started off with a dozen Kumamotos... so fresh and tasty! I love these little guys and the mignonette and curry cocktail sauce really play well off the brininess of the oyster liquor! We also shared the Halibut and chips. Great fish, crispy (not heavy) batter, and what I assume are fresh cut chips. We also had the Dungeness crab cakes... a little spice and loaded with PNW crab! The owner here worked for several years at Pike Place in Seattle... not as a salmon tosser!! He has connection out there with several of the fishermen so if you know Seattle seafood you know this is a winner.

    http://fishlads.com/

    I see a lot of Illinois plates at the market every time I go so I hope some of you LTHers have had a chance to check it out!

    http://downtownmarketgr.com/

    Enjoy!
  • Post #17 - October 22nd, 2014, 7:57 am
    Post #17 - October 22nd, 2014, 7:57 am Post #17 - October 22nd, 2014, 7:57 am
    FYI...

    I just found out last night that Slows Bar BQ is opening at the Downtown Market in the Spring! I've not been to the Detriot location but I'm looking forward to giving it a try in 2015.

    http://slowsbarbq.com/

    Enjoy!
  • Post #18 - April 20th, 2015, 11:05 pm
    Post #18 - April 20th, 2015, 11:05 pm Post #18 - April 20th, 2015, 11:05 pm
    Hi,

    I am going to Grand Rapids next for the Finding the Lost Region: A Conference on Rediscovering the Midwest, America’s Most Common Ground.

    Any additional ideas on dining in Grand Rapids?

    Thanks!

    Regards,
    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 #19 - April 20th, 2015, 11:38 pm
    Post #19 - April 20th, 2015, 11:38 pm Post #19 - April 20th, 2015, 11:38 pm
    Well...

    Hopcat
    25 Ionia Avenue
    Grand Rapids, MI

    http://hopcatgr.com/photos/grand-rapids

    I was in Grand Rapids last fall.. I didn't see that many places to eat, but a lot of places to drink.

    I asked someone at the art museum where I went and most of the staff recommended I go and visit HopCat.. which some consider to be one of the best craft beer bars in the country. Some even say in the world.. not sure how they know that.

    It was close by so I went and visited it. It had a very nice atmosphere and it was crowded. The menu is basically bar food. Burgers, fish and chips, appetizers.

    I ordered one of the sharables.. the pretzel bites and then had the mac and cheese where you can add one meat and one vegetable. I had mac and cheese with smoked bacon and mushrooms. The person I was with had a featured special that was a type of mac and cheese dish with gouda and broccoli.. not sure if they have that as a regular menu item.

    I had a raspberry lambic as my drink.

    Most of the nicer places to eat were in the hotels and they seemed pretty boring and empty.

    If you have time.. the GR art museum is very nice. It is small but very nice.
  • Post #20 - April 21st, 2015, 9:24 am
    Post #20 - April 21st, 2015, 9:24 am Post #20 - April 21st, 2015, 9:24 am
    Hop Cat is a good call. It's been rated world's best beer bar (and/or top 3) by multiple authoritative beer sites and publications. Not unlike the nuts who travel from across the globe for Dark Lord Day in Munster, IN, lots of folks who know something about beer make their way to Hop Cat in GR, which isn't as random as it might sound because GR itself is a recognized beer Mecca and gets lots of beer tourists. They just have a ton of great, sometimes obscure beer on tap.

    Apart from its beer cred, the few times I've eaten at Hop Cat I thought it was great for pub food. Another nice option is the Founders brewery pub, especially if it's warm enough to eat outside. Vivant is another brewery pub with a Belgian focus similar generally to Hopleaf.
  • Post #21 - April 21st, 2015, 11:56 am
    Post #21 - April 21st, 2015, 11:56 am Post #21 - April 21st, 2015, 11:56 am
    The other place I wanted to go to but it is open for breakfast and brunch is.

    Real Food Café
    2419 Eastern Ave SE
    Grand Rapids, MI 49512


    Hopcat is open for lunch and dinner and has a wide menu.
  • Post #22 - April 21st, 2015, 1:27 pm
    Post #22 - April 21st, 2015, 1:27 pm Post #22 - April 21st, 2015, 1:27 pm
    jane franklin wrote:The other place I wanted to go to but it is open for breakfast and brunch is.

    Real Food Café
    2419 Eastern Ave SE
    Grand Rapids, MI 49512


    Hopcat is open for lunch and dinner and has a wide menu.


    I strongly second Real Food Café for breakfast. It's very reminiscent of The Coffee Pot in Kenosha. It's a must visit any time I'm in GR. Breakfast & lunch only (Hint: Stick with breakfast).
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #23 - October 17th, 2015, 11:26 am
    Post #23 - October 17th, 2015, 11:26 am Post #23 - October 17th, 2015, 11:26 am
    I had lunch at One Stop Coney Shop last week. The Bacon Egg Burger completely hit the spot, but I was wowed by the Belgian fries, double fried in beef tallow. Excellent. Followed that up with a glass of porter at Founders Brewery not far away. Perfect stop in the GR.

    One Stop Coney Shop
    145 E Fulton
    Grand Rapids, MI
    616-233-9700
    Closed Sunday
  • Post #24 - October 17th, 2015, 3:45 pm
    Post #24 - October 17th, 2015, 3:45 pm Post #24 - October 17th, 2015, 3:45 pm
    Choey wrote:I had lunch at One Stop Coney Shop last week. The Bacon Egg Burger completely hit the spot, but I was wowed by the Belgian fries, double fried in beef tallow. Excellent. Followed that up with a glass of porter at Founders Brewery not far away. Perfect stop in the GR.

    One Stop Coney Shop
    145 E Fulton
    Grand Rapids, MI
    616-233-9700
    Closed Sunday


    Brian DeGalan, owner/operator of the One Stop Coney Shop is a proud graduate of Hot Dog University.

    CSD
    Mark A Reitman, PhD
    Professor of Hot Dogs
    Hot Dog University/Vienna Beef
  • Post #25 - November 2nd, 2017, 10:44 pm
    Post #25 - November 2nd, 2017, 10:44 pm Post #25 - November 2nd, 2017, 10:44 pm
    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? Assumption: should we be able to do well with Middle Eastern food? For some reason, I equate lower Michigan with a decent Middle Eastern "scene." We eat anything and everything, no "need" for fancy. Love dives. Anyone got anything cool?
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #26 - November 3rd, 2017, 7:52 am
    Post #26 - November 3rd, 2017, 7:52 am Post #26 - November 3rd, 2017, 7:52 am
    I was in GR a couple weeks ago and had a very nice dinner at Bistro Bella Vita, located in an area of downtown that was very reminiscent of the West Loop, both architecturally and vibe wise. There were lots of other interesting looking restaurants in the immediate area, too. Didn't see much middle eastern stuff, though.

    Bistro Bella Vita
    44 Grandville Ave SW
    Grand Rapids, MI 49503
    (616) 222-4600
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #27 - November 3rd, 2017, 9:46 am
    Post #27 - November 3rd, 2017, 9:46 am Post #27 - November 3rd, 2017, 9:46 am
    Wait a minute. Is this Downtown market just a bunch of indoor "stalls" with tables, like a food court?????? If so, holy balls - except it appears most of the places close at 7pm. Looks like it's right off of 131 / 121 too?
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #28 - November 3rd, 2017, 10:02 am
    Post #28 - November 3rd, 2017, 10:02 am Post #28 - November 3rd, 2017, 10:02 am
    seebee wrote:Wait a minute. Is this Downtown market just a bunch of indoor "stalls" with tables, like a food court?????? If so, holy balls - except it appears most of the places close at 7pm. Looks like it's right off of 131 / 121 too?

    IIRC, the tables were all off in one corner, not clustered by each stall, and a lot of the stalls were more market-y than restaurant-y (tea & spices, housewares, etc.). Then again, I think I was mainly there for donuts to stock the hospitality suite we put together for my son's wedding.

    Western MI is a lot more whitebread than the Huron side of the state, I don't recall much middle eastern at all. You really can't go wrong at the Vandermill Cidery, though. We did the rehearsal dinner there. (I swear I'd posted about it, can't find it)
    505 Ball Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
    Food is great (chef is formerly of Publican, at least a year ago -- don't know if it's still the same). Three words: "Ham + Doughnuts" -- don't skip that.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #29 - November 3rd, 2017, 10:04 am
    Post #29 - November 3rd, 2017, 10:04 am Post #29 - November 3rd, 2017, 10:04 am
    seebee wrote:Wait a minute. Is this Downtown market just a bunch of indoor "stalls" with tables, like a food court?????? If so, holy balls - except it appears most of the places close at 7pm. Looks like it's right off of 131 / 121 too?


    The downtown market is not all that great. Just a bunch of food stalls, and not very good ones at that. I was talking about freestanding restaurants in an area of downtown that ought to have a snappy neighborhood name, but doesn't. When I asked my server what this area was called, she looked at me blankly and said, uh... downtown.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #30 - November 3rd, 2017, 10:20 am
    Post #30 - November 3rd, 2017, 10:20 am Post #30 - November 3rd, 2017, 10:20 am
    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.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.

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