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Friday, 30 December 2016 12:47

CUISINAL CLAIRVOYANCE: Revue’s Official 2017 Predictions for the West Michigan Dining & Drinking Scene

Written by  Troy Reimink / Illustrations by Anthony Carpenter
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The collision of peak brewery, peak winery, peak cidery, peak meadery, peak ironic dive bar, peak cocktail lounge and peak distillery fever will continue to provide fleeting distraction from the horrific realities and unrelenting pain of modern life. The collision of peak brewery, peak winery, peak cidery, peak meadery, peak ironic dive bar, peak cocktail lounge and peak distillery fever will continue to provide fleeting distraction from the horrific realities and unrelenting pain of modern life. Illustration by Anthony Carpenter

Last year was a rough one for the credibility of media predictions, but here’s something we can state with absolute confidence: West Michigan’s star will continue to rise as a food destination. Or maybe it won’t! There’s no science to this, really.

Still, all signs point to the bull market continuing its upward trajectory. Thirty-seven new breweries are probably going to open. Trends that were hot in Chicago two years ago will be embraced enthusiastically here. An army of food trucks will assemble to dispense sushi burritos and falafel tacos and brisket kabobs and kimchi ice cream. And in my capacity as a dining correspondent, I will write the word “foodie” roughly 900 more times, then stick a fork in my eye.

So, in the spirit of quasi-informed speculation, Revue presents its list of Official 2017 Predictions for the eating/drinking scene in West Michigan. We stake our reputation on the inevitability of each of the following things 100 percent happening exactly as described. (Not really.) (It’s made-up.) (All of it.)

 

  • Taking the concept of farm-to-table to its logical extreme, at least one new steakhouse will follow the lead of a classic Simpsons episode and slaughter the cow of your choice in front of you and your family.

  • 2017 predictions guy fieriThe opening of Guy Fieri’s American Kitchen & Bar on Grand Rapids west side will mean a windfall for local producers of small-batch buffalo sauce.
  • When local chefs run low on other “working-class” foods to artfully appropriate, Grand Rapids restaurants will become awash in upscale takes on Spam. 

  • The trend of serving meals on unconventional surfaces — cutting boards, shovel heads, upturned Frisbees, skateboards, roof shingles, vinyl records, clipboards, hardcover books, floor tiles, cricket bats, etc. — will continue until the great plate revival of 2018.

  • Whipped, West Michigan’s new fetish-themed dessert restaurant, will fulfill customers’ long-suppressed fantasies of eating German chocolate cake out of a stiletto-heeled women’s shoe while being struck repeatedly with a riding crop.

  • The likelihood of a Twitter bio or internet dating profile including the words “craft beer lover” will hold steady at 78 percent.

  • “Kale” will go from 2016’s most popular leafy green to 2017’s most popular name for a baby boy. For girls: “Flaxseed.”

  • If you were expecting to get through the year without paying $8 for a slice of artisanal goddamn avocado toast, think again, friend.

  • Foodie meme nirvana will be achieved when a genius pastry chef tops a decadent artisan breakfast donut with locally-sourced maple bacon, which… wait, what? That’s a thing already? Jesus Christ.

  • Restaurants will begin to embrace the trendy aesthetics of the post-chair movement by seating customers on wooden crates, upside-down buckets and bales of hay.

  • Local McDonald’s franchises will attract a highbrow demographic following the introduction of grass-fed Cornish game hen nuggets.

  • President Donald Trump will visit one of Grand Rapids’ top sushi restaurants and consume nigiri off at least one naked torso.

  • A hot new restaurant will offer a radically deconstructed dining experience, wherein a meal is presented as a series of raw, separate ingredients, which you prepare and eat after purchasing them yourself.

    2017 predictions gastropub
  • A struggling restaurant will revive its fortunes after the owners add “Gastropub” to the name and do nothing else.

  • Foie gras smoothies.

  • The microbrewery down the street will promote a seasonal beer made with dandelions hand-foraged from a nearby park where neighborhood dogs regularly relieve themselves.

  • Failure to come up with a playfully suggestive name for your sausage and meatball food truck will stall your entrepreneurial ambitions.

  • No longer content with merely Instagramming their meals, diners will begin to stream entire restaurant trips — parking, putting a name in, being seated, drink order, meal order, waiting, eating, dull conversation, bathroom visit, check-splitting, argument, breakup, tearful reconciliation, leaving — via Facebook Live.

  • Still with the mason jars.

  • A new slider restaurant will delight customers who crave tiny hamburgers named for how they leave your digestive system.

  • I will continue to mispronounce the word “artisanal” out of spite.

  • An ambitious restaurant will somehow fail despite having a single-word name in all-caps sans-serif font, a slick template-driven website, a vaguely adhered-to culinary concept, a chef with big-city credentials, a menu with overly verbose explanations of simple dishes, prices listed without dollar signs and specials written on a sidewalk chalkboard in front of its location in a “gritty neighborhood primed for revitalization.”

  • The collision of peak brewery, peak winery, peak cidery, peak meadery, peak ironic dive bar, peak cocktail lounge and peak distillery fever will continue to provide fleeting distraction from the horrific realities and unrelenting pain of modern life. 

 

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