On the Road Eats: Kalmazoo and Grand Rapids

Hotel: Courtyard Kalamazoo Portage
Would I stay again? Yes.  It felt like a newer hotel and the service was good.  There was an issue with my shower head not being the cleanest but had I caught it the night before, I am sure they would have addressed it quickly.

Courtyard Kalamazoo Portage

Restaurants:

Dinner(Kalamazoo): Principle Food and Drink
Would I dine again? Maybe.  The plan was to eat next door at Rustica but I flew through lunch and Principle opened 30 minutes earlier.  A colleague said it was a great spot so time for a super early dinner at 4:30pm.  I started with the octopus, then the shrimp entree and ended with the blueberry lemon dessert.  The whole meal was good but if in the area again, I would try Rustica.

Dessert(2nd time around):  Ritter’s Frozen Custard
Would I dine again? Yes.  There is always a need for ice cream and frozen custard.

Lunch(Kalamazoo): Food Dance Restaurant
Would I dine again?
Yes.  But I totally ordered the wrong thing.  Don’t get me wrong, the mac and cheese was good but I only was able to eat half since it was so heavy and I should have ordered the chicken dance sandwich.

Hotel: Courtyard Grand Rapids Downtown
Would I stay again? Yes.  It was right downtown and close enough for me to walk to my client meeting and to grab a bite to eat.  I would recommend valet since the self parking was a bit of a walk if in a rush.

Dinner (Grand Rapids): Osteria Rossa
Would I dine again? Yes.  Technically this was happy hour as I went right after a meeting because I was super hungry.  I should have ordered more as the options were great and the food was really good but I thought I would go out for a later dinner after dealing with emails back at the hotel.  Shame on me for skipping dinner.

Breakfast(Grand Rapids):  Roots Brew Shop
Would I dine again?
Yes.  Low key coffee shop with pastries from Rise.  Sometimes you just need a donut for breakfast, especially when you skip dinner.

Lunch (Madison):  Donkey Taqueria
Would I dine again? Yes.  Yes twice.  I had one al pastor taco and one brussel sprout taco.  They were awesome and the only other place I found brussel sprout tacos was in Covington, KY.  I was also told they have great margarita’s but it was too early for me to try one!

On the Road Eats: Chicago

Hotel: Sheraton Grand Chicago
Would I stay again?  Maybe.  The location was not too convenient to where my client meetings were but the room was clean, I was able to grab a quick breakfast and bottled waters in the lounge and my room had a good view of the river.

Restaurants:

Lunch: Frontera Grill
Would I dine again?
Yes.  I have walked by this restaurant so many times and always thought, I must eat here.  Well, after 10 years of traveling to Chicago I did and it was great.  It was a Tuesday so I ordered the pork milanesa lunch special – Crunchy-coated pork shoulder, roasted tomato-serrano sauce, black beans, pickled red onions served with an arugula salad. Delish!

Dinner: Portsmith
Would I dine again? No.  I was underwhelmed by my whole experience.  The restaurant was empty, my meal- shellfish risotto- was just ok and there are too many other spots to try in this city.

Lunch: Tanta Chicago
Would I dine again?
Yes.  Yes.  Yes.  My lunch was fabulous and I think it is because I was able to order a sampler and try various dishes.  Order the power lunch marino which includes criollo cebiche, calamari jaleita, and criollo rice and you will not be disappointed.

On the Road Eats: Kansas City

Hotel: Residence Inn Kansas City Downtown/Convention Center
Would I stay again? Yes. I was reserved at the joint Courtyard but they did not have any non-accessible king rooms left so they moved me “next door”.  I did go into the room and they were clean which was good to know for next time.  For me, the location was convenient and the Residence Inn gives you access to a nice lounge with breakfast or to use for a common area to work. I don’t love hotel breakfasts so I stopped in just for coffee. Room was clean and they upgraded me to a two bedroom which for one person checking in at 9pm wasn’t really an upgrade.

 

Restaurants:

Dinner: Le Fou Frog
Would I dine again? Yes.  My dinner was great. I loved that they had a whole second menu with specials and during cooler weather they had a great little outdoor section. We missed happy hour but the food specials looked good.