There is anxiety in Restaurant Industry Thinkpiece Land about a looming food bubble. This is the concern now trickling outward from the big cities, where some dining scenes have grown so large, so fast that there are neither enough customers nor enough qualified workers to sustain them.
Whether they like it or not, craft breweries need to pair good food with their beers if they want to attract a diverse clientele. Ask a craft brewery owner these days and they’ll say that while they may lure people in with libations, they often earn repeat customers by pairing the liquid with interesting and well-executed food offerings.
Revue decided to visit three local neighborhood breweries who are doing just that, to sample their beers and food and see how well that pairing is working.
The air of mystery around Matchbox Diner & Drinks finally has been dispelled. Since Brandywine’s Eastown location closed, residents and passersby have wondered what the little spot at 1345 Lake Dr. SE would hold next.
With new restaurants opening all the time in Grand Rapids, the city continues to put new pins in its global cuisine map. From Bosnian to Ethiopian, restaurateurs make it easier every year to taste what the world has to offer without stepping foot on a plane. Here’s just a small handful of the many local establishments helping us expand our horizons.
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.
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.)
During this year’s ArtPrize, downtown Grand Rapids was filled with the expected sights — oversized artwork, misused crosswalks, the guy riding a fish bicycle. But there was a surprise greeting visitors who flocked to the eighth-annual event: Food trucks. All over the place. With lines in front of them.
This week, Rockford Brewing Co. took its new kitchen for a test drive with a multi-day soft opening.
Just a few years ago, most breweries could get away with treating their food menu as a greasy afterthought — maybe a few token appetizers or sandwiches to keep the regulars warming the barstools.
But breweries in Beer City and throughout West Michigan are learning, sometimes the hard way, that a successful operation needs more than just good beer to distinguish itself in 2016.
There’s no shortage of primo fish to reel in from our state’s tens of thousands of inland lakes (including four of the largest lakes in the world) and 300-plus rivers. And yet, nothing compares to an oceanic jewel like fresh king or coho salmon. That’s where Fish Lads comes in — purveying only the finest fillets in Grand Rapids’ own Downtown Market. We talked with Jeff Butzow, owner of Fish Lads, about his aquatic philosophy and plans for the new meat emporium, Carvers, set up just a few feet away.
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