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: Michigan

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?

Euro Bistro
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.

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Black Cat Bistro
imageWhere 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
imageI 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!

 

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