Restaurant of the Month: Two Beards Deli
Open seven days a week from 7a.m. until 10 p.m., the younger bearded brother of the Cherry Deli and cousin to the recently closed 4th Street Deli serves up several dozen of the city's exquisitely stuffed sandwiches and decadent salads. As for options, you can't have too many more to choose from without causing irreparable brain damage and memory loss. The menu is split up into the sandwiches' major stuffings, featuring turkey, ham, roast beef, corned beef and pastrami, chicken, sausage, vegetarian, vegan and salad wraps, all of which are named after bearded icons.
For poultry picks, don't pass up The Zappa, a wheat panini packed with pulled barbecue turkey, muenster cheese, red onion, pickle shreds and a tangy medley of barbecue mayo and Dijon mustard. The Yosemite Sam satiates the most rootin' and tootiniest spicy appetites with jalapenos and sriracha sour cream, watercress, jalapeno jack cheese, tomato and red onions laid out over juicy roast beef on a fresh-made jalapeno sub bun. For vegans, Charles Darwin sits in an avocado spread black bean salsa bâtard baguette, contemplating Cajun-seasoned tofu, cucumber, red pepper, grilled squash and zucchini. I implore the eating of Ewoks as well—a hot, grilled Polish sausage, red skin potatoes, caramelized onions and horseradish. Simply put: it's pretty damn awesome and I couldn't receive a straight answer on the sausage's composition.
Not to be overlooked, breakfast is served until 11a.m. and offers 12 of the best breakfast sandwiches in town. Served on English muffin bread or croissants, these will start your day or fill an early lunch perfectly. For the hungriest, Teddy Roosevelt is a fat helping of ham, turkey, sausage, chicken, kielbasa and bacon with Swiss and cheddar cheeses ... and tomatoes, onions, green peppers, and parsley because why not? Two Beards Deli, 38 Commerce Ave. SW, Grand Rapids; (616)719-3802, twobeardsdeli.com
Cheap Eats: The Crow's Nest
If it's 3 a.m. and you've got hunger pangs and little cash, this locally owned and affordable café (nothing costs more than $9) stays open 24 hours a day on the weekends. Ever-changing daily specials (posted conveniently on their Facebook) like The Lumberjack omelet, stuffed with bacon, pulled-pork, cheddar cheese and sautéed onions. Top it off with house barbecue sauce. For something sweeter, order the coconut French toast, a rotating special that is drizzled in chocolate syrup with raspberry coulis. It's not just eggs and toast over here, the smoked turkey sandwich will put that store brand, pre-sliced deli meat nonsense in your lunchbox to shame. On toasted bread with red bell peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, herb aioli and smoked turkey (obviously), this is just one of many burgers and sandwiches to choose from, which run $6-$8.50. 816 S. Westnedge, Kalamazoo; (269) 978-0490
Downtown Market Outdoor Farmers Market Opening, May 4
If you hadn't heard about the $30 million project nestled in the crook of US131 and Wealthy Street on Ionia Avenue, you can go back to your dumpster. On Saturday, May 4, the force descends upon Grand Rapids in the form of fresh fruits, vegetables and meats and more by the hands of local farms at the grand opening of Downtown Market. Grab your tote bags and head in early as the best cuts and picks will be gone before long. The proposed hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Grand opening of the indoor market will be later this summer. Downtown Market, 435 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids; (616)805-5308, downtownmarketgr.com