In the 1960s, when trade officially halted between the U.S. and the new island republic, virtually all the sights, smells and sounds of Cuba remained unchanged. Visit Havana today and you will still see vintage Chevrolets rolling down the old streets, the buildings left squat and unchanged in the last 60 years compared to its capitalist neighbor. And all for the better, in my opinion.
Restaurants today aren’t afraid to “elevate” a classic food staple. In Grand Rapids, you can find a fresh, local burger with fries for $5 at your favorite takeout joint or a gourmet burger with cheese for $16 at your neighborhood brewery. With such a wide gamut before us, we decided to investigate the difference between chicken wings that are $1 apiece versus twice that price.
Jell-O salads, 44-oz. drinks, Wish Bone Italian dressing, John Cheever — these seemingly disparate items conjure up nothing if not our preconceived image of the suburbs, in all its milquetoast glory.
Now in its ninth year, Restaurant Week Grand Rapids has more than 60 restaurants participating in the 12-day event. Each eatery creates a menu specifically intended to branch out and create something new while staying true to its core concept. It’s a chance for newcomers to try new restaurants and regulars to try new dishes, and it’s happening at nearly every restaurant in the Greater Grand Rapids area.
It’s no doubt that ice cream steals the spotlight on those hot summer days. Cool off and treat yourself to some quality scoops from a few of the best local ice cream parlors. Here’s some (but not all) of our favorites.
Serving up Great Lakes fish is something Trevor Bethke had always wanted to do as a chef. But because of some rather Byzantine laws regarding wild-caught fish, food safety and distribution, it has long been difficult to do what seems so simple: see fish, catch fish, serve fish.
In Michigan, “patio” is its own season. At the first sign of 65-degree weather, we open the back door, sweep off the remaining dead leaves (and sometimes snow) and break out the camp chairs. Really, does anything beat drinking a cold beer on the back porch with a cool breeze cutting the humidity, listening to your favorite summer jams? Probably not.
On a recent weeknight at Little Bird, smack-dab in the heart of Monroe Center, I had the place virtually to myself.
Desserts may not be synonymous with summer in West Michigan, but they should be. True dessert devotees have long considered summer the peak sweets season. Why? The Midwest is in bloom once again and you can taste the difference. Fresh, locally sourced berries can once again top our ice cream and froyo. Of course, if you’d rather blanket your ice cream in graham cracker dust and rainbow sprinkles, we won’t judge.
Earth is a vast and wildly varied place, yet every culture we’ve ever come across has something in common: delicious food.
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