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.
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.
Chocolate Peanut Butter
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.
Mac and Cheese
Food Dance Menu
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.
Meatballs with Polenta
Happy Hour Menu
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.
Rose Chai donut with a cup of coffee
Roots Brew Shop
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!
Al Pastor and Brussel Sprouts
I have something to share with you.
I had some concerns. I was traveling to Michigan for work and my first opportunity to eat would be near the airport in Grand Rapids(hate to say it but near the airport is usually chain-city). I asked Chowhound for some help and all options pointed me to downtown. Then I was headed to Lansing, a college town, and when I arrived at my hotel, they recommended a lot of college bars/restaurants. Would I get lucky with my options on this trip?
I googled and yelped my way to this restaurant. And I was pleasantly surprised. I am going to assume that the menu at dinner would have been more enjoyable due to the variety of entrées but I chose French Onion soup and a chicken breast sandwich and it was a good meal. If you must eat near the airport in Grand Rapids, this is a solid option.
Black Cat Bistro
Where do you eat in a college town that doesn’t have a college bar feel? The Black Cat Bistro is a great option. Although I was disappointed they were out of mussels, I opted for the flat-iron steak with chimichurri sauce and hand cut fries. It was delicious. Pair that with a Dirty Blonde Ale from the Atwater Brewery in Michigan, and you have a great meal to enjoy while sitting at the bar.
The Soup Spoon Cafe
I was told this was a great spot for lunch by Yelpers and other locals that I asked during my visit. And I am happy to say they are RIGHT! This little cafe was busy with folks and I got to sit at the bar and watch a lot of food come out of the window(and it all looked great)!. Think sandwiches, pasta dishes and of course, the main reason I made my visit, the SOUPS!! They offer a soup flight, 4 cups soups with bread for $10. My order: seafood chowder, french onion, roasted tomato and fennel, beef and cabbage. The seafood chowder was my favorite, then the fennel beef and well, I enjoyed the other two quite a bit. Next time, I will do a cup of chowder and one of the fantastic looking sandwiches!