Thomn and I headed to one of our favorite cities this past weekend to spend time with some of our best friends H & J. Grand Rapids, MI is home to not only our friends, but also some fantastic restaurants. As J mentioned this weekend, you know it is a day out with the Bells when it includes a stop at Hopcat. They have super delicious French Fries called “crack fries” because they are that addictive, as the menu says. Also, for my friends that are not gluten free, be sure to try their Framboise Beer, or really any of their beers. They have an extensive menu that is ever-changing and of course Thomn’s favorite part about going there.
We had a relaxed evening which called for Gluten Free Pizza from Vitales, along with Gluten Free Cheese Bread. I had mentioned in an earlier post how much we love Jet’s Pizza and it has been a really long 6 weeks without seeing the pizza delivery guy at our house. I was so excited to be able to order a gluten free pizza without the hassle of making one of my own.
If you are ever in the Grand Rapids area, San Chez Restaurant is a must. San Chez is a tapas bistro with amazing food – on their Bistro side of the restaurant each item on the menu is served on a small plate with the intent you order at least 3 and come with a party to be able to share with each other. This is open for lunch and dinner, but they also have their cafe which is available for breakfast and lunch. Each side is equally delicious, just different foods available at each. We went to the cafe on Sunday for brunch and I had the most fabulous sandwich. Pork Belly with a Jalapeno Honey Mustard sauce topped with an apple cabbage slaw on a gluten free sub bun. Heaven. I should have taken a picture of it so you could understand how delicious this was, however, I devoured it so fast I didn’t even think to take one. The best part was they sell the gluten free sub buns so they can be enjoyed at home as well (4 for $10) – seriously, what a steal!
We went to GR with the intent to not only see H & J, but also to see Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert. They had a performance at DeVos Hall called: A Conversation with Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert – Good vs. Evil. If you are familiar with Anthony Bourdain, or Tony, as he referred to himself on Sunday, you know that he hosts two shows on the Travel Channel: No Reservations and the Layover. He is well know for speaking his mind, being sarcastic, and a bit crass. He entirely lived up to the expectations I had in my head for him and was every bit as funny. Eric Ripert proved to be a bit more of a gentle soul. Owner of La Bernardin restaurant in New York City, he spoke of the future of food and how we are all responsible for making this life as sustainable as possible. A meal at his restaurant may cost $350 for one person, but I can promise after seeing his performance I will be saving my pennies…or at least making my way there for a $75 lunch.
I mentioned just three of the fabulous restaurants in Grand Rapids, but let me assure you that there are many more! It has become a city that has great food around every corner as well as an abundance of good local beers. Maybe the next time we are in town, I will see you at Hopcat!