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Archive for the 'Restaurant Opinions' Category
Ruth Chris Restaurant at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, Grand Rapids, Michigan
I know – who doesn’t love a good Ruth Chris Steak House? Food Great – Service Outstanding – Location Wonderful; I agree, but have just a bit of a hair under my saddle with a Ruth Chris taking over the Elegant 1913 Room at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in downtown Grand Rapids.
A few nights ago we (my husband Guy and I) celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary at the Ruth Chris Steak House at the Amway. The food was wonderful. We started with ample glasses of Cabernet, shared Ruth Chris Chopped Salad (plenty for 2), I had the Dover Sole which was prepared very traditionally (delicious) and Guy had the Filet. We had a chance to share the entrees and both agreed they were wonderful. The side of fingerling potatoes with a cheese mustard sauce was perfect too – we shared this and certainly didn’t go away hungry.
7 years ago we dined at the 1913 Room in the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel and got engaged that evening. It was a perfect evening sitting in a quiet, elegant room that stepped you back 100 years in time and made you feel unrushed and special. Now, maybe it was because we got engaged that it was special – but I believe every time I dined at the 1913 Room I felt relaxed and pampered.
The ambiance between the 1913 Room and the Ruth Chris is vastly different. They are in exactly the same location in the hotel. The food in both is outstanding. But it’s not the same – it seemed noisy (we were seated in the dining room with the hostess stand in the front so maybe that was a distraction) – it seemed stark instead of elegant.
I know – I know – get over it. Ruth Chris is here to stay – yet, I think I would like to find an intimate elegant dining spot somewhere here in the Grand Rapids area yet – and I will. Let me know if you have a favorite or a suggestion – I’d love to try it out.
PatsPlace Grand Rapids Real Estate
Save the $$ to fly to Europe – check out this German Restaurant – Dill’s in Middleville (Yes! Really!)
February 25th, 2012
Save the $$ to fly to Europe – check out this German Restaurant - Dill’s in Middleville (Yes! Really!)
I know – I know – You really want to wait at the Kent County Gerald Ford Airport for your flight to Detroit – then spend 7 hours on a plane where you can’t move your knees – landing in Germany – spend an arm and leg on hotels, etc. just to have a great German meal!
Here’s a quick, easy and inexpensive alternative! Drive South of Grand Rapids on the East Beltline to Middleville -10 minutes from Caledonia – 20 minutes from I96 Exit – through the rolling wooded hills of SE Kent County. Turn East on Main Street and you’ll arrive at as great of a German restaurant as I’ve tasted in Germany itself - Dill’s A German American Restaurant.
Many of us long time Grand Rapidians remember the Schnitzelbank Restaurant. I was born and raised in Grand Rapids and one of my first memories of going “out for dinner” was going with my parents and grandparents to the Schnitzelbank. The fresco paintings of German Life remained the same from when I was there as a little girl, through taking my family there when they were growing up through even taking my parents there for my Dad’s 85th Birthday (where he danced with the patrons to the German music). The gorgeous coo coo clocks sang and played until the doors were closed and the “Schnitz” was closed for good.
I’ve tried various places that advertise “Good German Food” – but not until I went to Dills was I satisfied that I didn’t have to hop in a plane and fly to Germany to get my German Food Fix. We (my husband Guy Combs and I) after taking a look at a really cool home on 23 Acres with over 3000 feet of Thornapple River Frontage in the general area – were clued in by the owners about this new place in Middleville.
We had the German Platter – Weiner Schnitzel, Sauerbraten, Bratwurst, German Potato Salad (Unbelieveable!!), Sauerkraut and Red Cabbage – Ahhhhh – It was fabulous. We washed it down with some tall Hofbrau beers (they have a great German beer selection). I asked about Pork Hocks (which were always my favorite even though no one in the family could stand to watch me eat them) – and was told that they have specials where many of the German specialties get rotated in and out. I’ve friended them on Facebook so that I can stay up to date on those specials.
Meet the Artist is a series of events showcasing local artists . Reservations are suggested for those events where you can meet the artists themselves, discuss their art forms and have a chance to have a great meal as well.
Although the atmosphere is not the same as the Schnitzelbank (who could ever reproduce those frescos, clocks, mahogany woodwork, ?) – Dills has a more updated European feel – very sophisticated – white trim – yet old world flavor of the tin ceilings and exposed brick walls. Let’s encourage these folks and make sure Dill’s remains a staple in the restaurants of Grand Rapids.
Let me know if you have any other cool restaurants that we should review.
Electric Cheetah Restaurant – Grand Rapids, Michigan – YUMMMMMM
November 1st, 2011
The Electric Cheetah Restaurant - Grand Rapids Michigan
Every once in a while I like to try the new restaurants in town and offer my opinion along the way. Guy and I have had lunch several times but finally made it to the Electric Cheetah last week for dinner to celebrate Erin’s Birthday.
We’re very happy they now have a liquor license – although the root beer on tap was always wonderful (and still is).
The Electric Cheetah is located at 1015 Wealthy Street in an eclectic area of Grand Rapids - lots of new shops in really cool old buildings!
Here are the Top Three Things I love about the Electric Cheetah:
1. Cool Healthy Menu…even when you’re munching on comfort food
OK – some maybe not be so healthy – my favorite starter is the Southern Raw Fries w/ Balsamic Vinegar. These thinly shaved potato slices are somewhat fried (in a delicious way) and taste GREAT! The Statler & Waldorf Salad is really good…Soups are homemade and delicious…Handcut sweet potato fries with rosemary seasoning (Yumm) with interesting dipping sauces. Guy had the Ratatouille Dinner and found it healthy, interesting and good. The desserts look fabulous (didn’t try) and the ultimate comfort food of “Milk and Cookies” bring a new meaning to the words. These cookies are made from scratch and take 12 minutes to bake – so order them early in your meal and add organic milk to top it off.
2. The Decor
What an eclectic scene inside the Electric Cheetah! There is a large bar for seating overlooking the entire kitchen – so, watch the cooks and be amazed. Everything is open – plus loads of bright paintings on the walls – makes you feel like you are in Chicago or New York (huh? not GR?)
3. The Staff
Everyone – from the busboys – to the wait staff – to the manager – were all super. We had a bit of a wait when we arrived (6:30 on a Thursday night – glad to see they were busy!) so we sat at the bar and had the pleasure of meeting the manger, who got us a beer while we waited.
In addition to the Electric Cheetah – they also have a Soup Shop just down the street called Uncle Cheetah’s located at 1133 Weathy Street. Guy just had to try it and yesterday he drove to Uncle Cheetah’s and got us some soup for lunch while I was on a Webinar – It was WONDERFUL! I see from their menu they have a variety of “House” Grilled Sandwiches – Oh Boy – Can’t Wait.
Let me know what you think when you try the Electric Cheetah!
Breakfast Anyone?…Great Morning Eats in Grand Rapids
April 4th, 2011
I love breakfast…I admit it! I can eat breakfast for any meal – and although it’s not always healthy (bacon and hash browns, anyone?), that has not kept me from indulging.
Over the years we’ve tried most of the “Breakfast Spots” in town – so, I want to give you a sense of my favorites and maybe some “Not So” favorites. I’d love to hear your comments on the ones I have missed.
Here are Five of my Favorites (in no particular order):
Now – You can only get breakfast on the weekends – but Mmmmm – It’s spectacular! My personal favorite is the French Toast – which is Huge and Delicious – and comes like an Island in the middle of a Maple Syrup Lake. The coffee is great and the view overlooking Reeds Lake is beautiful all year round. Rose’s is a Gilmore Restaurant located in the heart of East Grand Rapids on Reeds Lake
2. Cherie Inn
A small intimate mid-town favorite located aptly on Cherry St. near Diamond. This restaurant has been around a LONG time – 84 Years according to my stats (my late husband and I would go there for lunch while attending Calvin College in the mid-60’s). The bathrooms and the West wall still have the mahogany remnants of the classic look. I think they’ve taken my favorite breakfast off their menu – but I asked for it the last time I was there and – Viola – they fixed it for me. The mushroom and cream cheese omelet is GREAT and I’m sure they’ll make it for you too. They serve breakfast all day and are open only for breakfast and lunch.
I know – I know – It’s hardly gourmet and not very upscale – but, holy cow, the portion sizes are HUGE!, the service is quick and the food is good. Since you get so much food, this is a favorite of Guy (my husband) and mine for a good quick stop after church before heading to Open Houses on Sunday afternoons. We rationalize the huge portions by combining breakfast and lunch together so we won’t gain weight (reality is – we usually bring something home to have another day). We usually share – he gets the waffle with strawberries (no whipped cream, healthy remember!) and I get the Columbian Au Naturel (Veggie) Omelet with potatoes. You would think you were feeding a family of four when you see these plates. We recommend the 28th Street location between I-96 and Cascade Road.
Even though it’s looking a bit worn, the Gathering Place on the corner of Cascade Road and Thornapple River Drive has been a favorite breakfast place for the “Cascade” crowd for a good long time. The basic breakfast is great there – you can’t go wrong by starting your day with two eggs, bacon, hash browns and home make wheat toast! Lunch tip – their pies are fabulous – but you can’t eat pie for breakfast (or can you??).
This restaurant is a bit out of the way – yes; it’s in Cadillac – but worth the drive up. Along M115 just past the State Park between Lake Mitchell and Lake Cadillac is this little gem. Don’t let the name fool you – the restaurant is a very new log building – very clean and inviting. The menu for breakfast is fantastic and my favorite is the special lemon filled pancakes. Picture this – pancake on the bottom – special lemon cream sauce in the middle – pancake on top with lemon sauce drizzled over the whole thing – hmmmm – I’m having a cake attack right now. It is so special it isn’t even on the main menu – it’s their specialty menu – You’ll have to ask for it!
Let me know what I’ve missed: I know that Wolfgang’s in Eastown is well known as a great breakfast spot – but I haven’t been there so won’t comment. I’ve seen lots of little cafes around town that look wonderful. The Place on Plainfield (used to be Sweetlands) is wonderful and I could probably put it on my list.
Rose’s Restaurant – Grand Rapids Waterfront Dining
April 30th, 2010
What a great way to spend a spring evening – overlooking Reeds Lake in the middle of East Grand Rapids. Birds singing, water lapping on the shore, ducks swimming quietly, a full moon coming up over the lake…what could be more charming than an anniversary dinner (yes, Guy and I are celebrating our 4th anniversary) at Rose’s in East Grand Rapids? Take a look.
As a kid growing up in Grand Rapids, I came here when it was Ramona Park – a fabulous amusement park located in the heart of what is now East Grand Rapids. I still remember my dad taking me to ride the roller coaster (old wooden rickety one) one last time before they tore the park down.
While in college, one of our favorite hang-outs was Rose’s Hot Dog stand – right in the same building that now has this sophisticated restaurant. We would come over from Calvin College at noon, walk around the park in East Grand Rapids and then have a hot dog and some carmel corn (home made) at Rose’s. There were picnic table on the back porch of the restaurant – right where the deck is now.
What is really cool is carmel corn still plays a major part in this place - above the fireplace in the main dining room is the brass carmel corn kettle used in the original Rose’s. When your bill comes, there are two little cups of carmel corn – to sweeten you up, I’m sure – homemade at Roses.
For me – it’s nostalgia. For you – come take a look at the pictures of the old Ramona Park on the walls – taste the great food (we split the walleye and it was Fantastic) and get into the spirit. Rose’s is the place to be on a warm spring evening!