Save the $$ to fly to Europe – check out this German Restaurant – Dill’s in Middleville (Yes! Really!)

Dill's RestaurantSave 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.