Random Flavor: Restaurant Reviews

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In Search of Flavor in West Michigan

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Grand Rapids does not deserve the title “Bland Rapids” as much as it did 10 or 15 years ago, but is is still not exactly a culinary destination. We have labeled ourselves “Quasi-Gourmet” because we spend a lot of time in search of good food, especially ethnic, but we are not true gourmets (I don’t even like liver or cavier)

Unbiased Reviews…Sortof

We accept no advertising, free food or bribes. However, there is no such thing as unbiased. So read on and we will identify all of our biases up front ( well, at least the ones we are aware of )


We love flavorful things. We do not subscribe to the typical Bland Rapids mantra of Meat and Potatoes, Potatoes and Meat. We like a variety of ethnic foods. Lots of garlic. Fennel. etc.


We are coffee lovers. Strong coffee. West Michigan tends to be a coffee wasteland, where people wave the grounds over hot water and call it coffee. I personally love earthier coffees like Sumatran and Ethiopian Yrgacheffe. My wife gravitates to the milder central american coffees, but still with some oomph.


We are extremely opinionated about beer. We think the debate about standard American beers should be “Less Flavor” vs ” Tastes like water”. Again, we are searching for flavor in West Michigan. Having said that, we are kind of sissies with beers heavy on hops like most IPA’s. We like brown, red, amber and wheat beers. Bell’s Two Hearted is the hoppiest I can enjoy. We also love Porter’s and Stouts. I personally need a moderate amount of carbonation, so Guiness and Murphy’s are not my favorite.


We prefer full bodied reds and not that many whites. Strangely, we like the reds dry and the whites sweet.


We appreciate ambience, but only if it is matched by the food quality. We don’t mind paying more, but then we expect more. We also appreciate decent quality food at a good price.

Chain Restaurants

Show us a chain, we’ll show you disdain. There are certainly exceptions, but we avoid chains most of the time.

Enough Disclosures

On with the Reviews