Wednesday, 06 May 2015 13:01

Weird, Weird West: Strange plates in our area

Written by  Nolan Krebs
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Roasted Bone Marrow at Brewery Vivant Roasted Bone Marrow at Brewery Vivant Photo: Paul Bomers

By now you’ve heard of all the delicious, albeit common, things to eat around West Michigan. But for the intrepid eaters out there, it’s time to get weird. Revue has compiled a list of the stranger bites around West Michigan.

Roasted Bone Marrow
Brewery Vivant, 925 Cherry St. SE, Grand Rapids
While you’re sipping on a delicious French or Belgian beer, take a stab at Brewery Vivant’s fennel-roasted bone marrow. Humans have been cracking open bones to get at the fat-rich marrow for centuries, so it’s not exactly a fad, and word around town is these guys do it right.

Tripe Tacos
Taqueria San Jose, 1338 S. Division Ave., Grand Rapids
The tacos at this South Division joint are to-die-for. They keep it simple, offering your choice of protein, onions and cilantro. But among the choices for aforementioned proteins are goat, tongue and tripe (i.e. stomach). The goat is delicious, but the tongue and tripe call for a slightly elevated caliber of daring.

Rabbit and Rattlesnake Sausage
Fandango Tapas Bistro,
247 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo
Not entirely sure how these two meats ended up in the same casing, but Fandangos Tapas Bistro in Kalamazoo serves rabbit and rattlesnake sausage. The dish is sautéed with a sherry salsa espagnole.

Oxtail
Jamaican Dave’s, 1059 Wealthy St. SE
#7, Grand Rapids
Oxtail might not be the choicest cut, but there’s no sense in letting good food go to waste. Because it’s bony and contains a lot of gelatin, oxtail typically is stewed or braised. Stewed oxtail is popular in West Indian cultures and Jamaican Dave’s in Grand Rapids serves it up alongside other delicious Caribbean fare.

Beef Cheeks
Mia and Grace, 1133 3rd St., Muskegon
This is strange food in a fine-dining setting, but the beef cheeks at Mia and Grace in Muskegon is a slightly atypical dish. The tender cut is served with orecchiette, red wine braise, mirepoix, fried Spanish chorizo, parsley and garlic toast. Yum.

Roasted Pig’s Head
The Winchester, 648 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids
If you’re hyped on the new season of Game of Thrones, get in character and snag some roasted pig’s head at The Winchester in Grand Rapids. I’ve heard it described as “the best pulled pork you’ll ever have.” Plus, there’s some pig brains in there somewhere.

Dim Sum Menu
Wei Wei Palace, 4242 S. Division Ave. #2, Kentwood
Wei Wei Palace prides itself on authentic Chinese seafood dishes and also serves Cantonese cuisine and dim sum. The dim sum menu has some pretty out-there options, including shark fin dumpling, steamed chicken feet, egg tart, beef tripe and baby curried squid.

Taqueria
Supermercado Mexico, 1160 Chicago Dr. SW, Wyoming
Taqueria in Wyoming has some interesting menu items to get you out of your chicken-or-beef frame of mind. Among the options for tacos are: head meat, tongue, tripe, and chicarron or pork skin.

Fresh Oysters/Raw Bar
Thirsty Perch Fish and Oyster House, 272 Broadway, South Haven
Slurping down raw oysters isn’t that bizarre, but it can be a hard-to-find delicacy when you don’t live near a body of salt water. The Thirsty Perch Fish and Oyster House in South Haven has a whole bunch of weird shellfish including East and West coast oysters, clams, prawns and crab.

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