grand rapids

Brewt’s Bloody Mary

If you know me, you know that I love Bloody Mary’s. It’s safe to say that I haven’t met a Bloody Mary I didn’t like. So when I got the opportunity to try out Brewt’s Bloody Mary Mix, I was excited. Emily Griffen and her partner, Luke started the biz in 2015. Emily sent me a 32 oz. bottle of the delicious stuff from Grand Rapids, MI and it was like Christmas when I got the package in the mail. You guys know how I love MI made products, too! Check it.

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I made my mom and I a Bloody Mary (because face it, who likes drinking alone) with Tito’s Vodka.

Brewt’s Bloody Mary Mix : Hand crafted with pickled  jalapenos, fresh grated horseradish, hand squeezed  lemons and limes, and fresh cracked black peppercorn. This mix was different from others I have tasted, it’s 100 % all natural, gluten free, with no added sugar. It was fresh, bold, and had a nice balance of acidity and heat. It was slightly spicy without needing to be doctored up with tabasco or hot sauce (of course, you could if you’d like). My favorite part is that it wasn’t super heavy or filling. You could really taste the quality in Emily’s and Luke’s concoction.

If you want to experience Brewt’s Bloody Mary Mix for yourself, you can purchase it on the website: http://www.brewtsmix.com/

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A big thank you goes out to Emily & Luke! You really have a great product. I look forward to hearing more if you expand your product line. Cheers!

 

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Wing Doozy

Today on the Bite Tonight: Wing Doozy

When Josh and I were in Grand Rapids, we wanted a really great wing joint. So we did our research and all signs pointed to Wing Doozy. Voted 2014 King of Wings Champions, this little, local dive place located just outside of Downtown Grand Rapids offers around 20 different sauces and rubs. See how they ranked.

Atmosphere: 3 out of 5 bites

Price: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Service: 3 out of  5 bites

Wow Factor: 1 out of 5 bites

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We got four flavors of boneless wings. We tried to choose a nice variety:

Left: Dave’s BBQ Doozy (medium heat, BBQ sauce mixed with hot wing sauce): Sweet and hot.

Right: Spicy Garlic Parmesan: Salty, nutty Parmesan with spicy garlic.

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Left: Sweet Honey BBQ: Sweet, rich, thick, sticky BBQ. Classic!

Right: Asian Ginger: Slightly sweet with a hint of ginger. Reminded me of a sesame sauce. It’s no Asian Zing, though!

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In my opinion, there are two thing that make good wings: sauce and meat. Wing Doozy has delicious chunks of lightly breaded white meat juicy chicken, but the sauce was just OK. If I could put Buffalo Wild Wing sauce on these boneless wings, they would be the best! Stop in and check em out. Keep on working on the sauce profiles and Wing Doozy can easily take over the wing nation!

Wing Doozy (2014 King of the Wing Champions) on Urbanspoon

Osaka Sushi & Steakhouse

Today on the Bite Tonight: Osaka Sushi & Steakhouse

Located on 28th St in Grand Rapids is Osaka Sushi & Japanese Steakhouse. Josh and I stopped in for an early dinner to check out the menu. See how they ranked.

Atmosphere: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Price/Quality: 3 out of 5 bites

Service: 2 out of 5 bites

Taste: 4 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 3 out of 5 bites

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Here’s a happy Josh super excited about sushi:

happy sushi josh

Mango Avocado Roll: Surprisingly satisfying. The sweet, fruity mango is dynamite with the avocado. Very tropical.

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California Roll: Cool and classic!

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Eel, Avocado, Cucumber: Always a treat! Sweet BBQ eel sauce is the perfect compliment to creamy avocado and crunchy, fresh cucumber.

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Sweet Potato Roll: Oh My! Delicious! This magnificent creation tasted like tempura battered sweet potato lightly fried to perfection. Light, sweet, and crispy. A must to order!

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I was really impressed with the sushi options, but service was lousy. So lousy that it was actually humorous. Our server was actually standing near the flat screen TV getting his daily dose. If you’re looking for a unique sushi menu with delicious sushi, try Osaka Sushi and Steakhouse.

Osaka Sushi and Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

 

 

 

Faro's Pizza

Today on the Bite Tonight: Faro’s Pizza

Faro’s is a total local dive pizza place that we found in a shopping plaza right by our hotel in Grand Rapids. The pizza was delicious though! They are famous for their edge to edge pizza sauce. See how they ranked.

Atmosphere: 2.5 out of 5 bites

Price/Quality: 3 out of  5 bites

Service: 3 out of 5 bites

Taste: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 2 out of 5 bites

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To be honest, the prices for a 2 topping medium/large pizza were not great. Then Josh noticed out of the corner of his little blue eye a summer special: Large Pepperoni for $9.99. We just couldn’t pass it up!

Pepperoni with garlic, butter cheese crust: The edge to edge pizza sauce was nice. There’s something about precision that is comforting. Delicious, cheesy, not too greasy, and a nice chewy, yet crispy crust. We asked for a spiced up crust and they hooked it up with a garlic, butter, Parmesan blend, that can definitely compete with Hungry Howie’s.

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If you happen to stay outside of downtown Grand Rapids and want a change from chain pizza, check out Faro’s. You can dine in, but the seating area isn’t very big and is more suited for resting while you wait for your pie. Stop in and see what they’re all about.

Faro's Italian Pizza on Urbanspoon

The Electric Cheetah

Today on the Bite Tonight: The Electric Cheetah.

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Located on the east side of Grand Rapids on Wealthy St. is the creative and eco-friendly Electric Cheetah. With a quirky, hipster menu using fresh, local ingredients every chance they get, the Electric Cheetah is pretty popular. They are whipping up some pretty unique mac and cheese. See how they ranked.

Atmosphere: 4 out of 5 bites

Price: 2 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Service: 4 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 3 out of 5 bites

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One of the cool things I liked what that aside from local tap beers, they offer a full list of unique root beer choices.

My first selection: Ginger Beer. Whoa! Super strong ginger taste that burned my throat. Our server told us that was the common reaction, so I picked another option.

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Root Beer: I asked for a creamy root beer and this is what I got. Nice and smooth and creamy. Delicious.

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Josh went with a Butterscotch root beer: Slightly sweet root beer. Rich and smooth.

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Westside Mac & Cheese: Our house-seven cheese-blend, smoked kielbasa, green onions, beer cheese and crispy haystack onions. The mac and cheese was creamy and the crispy onions were a hit! I was disappointed on the small portion size for the price of $13.

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Reuben Gonzalez: House-roasted corned beef brisket, caramelized red onions, spicy red cabbage dill slaw, 1000 island and Swiss on a grilled pumpernickel monkey served with kettle chips. The corned beef was fresh and delicious. The spicy slaw was outstanding. My only complain was that I would’ve asked for less dressing because the sammy was saturated and super messy.

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If you’re looking for a fresh, healthy break from brewery food, travel East to the Electric Cheetah. And if you’re not, go there anyways because they have something for everyone! Just beware of the pricey mac and cheese. Shouldn’t local be affordable?

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Electric Cheetah on Urbanspoon

 

Bistro Bella Vita

Today on the Bite Tonight: Bistro Bella Vita

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Located down the street from Founder’s Brewing Co. is Bistro Bella Vita. Specializing in Mediterranean country cuisine, they offer a menu consisting of brick oven pizza, seafood, pasta, specialty dishes, and as many made from scratch and local options as possible. Josh and I decided to celebrate our anniversary here. See how they ranked.

Atmosphere: 3 out of 5 bites

Price: 2 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 3 out of 5 bites

Service: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 1 out of 5 bites

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Four Cheese Ravioli: House-made four cheese and spinach ravioli with vine-ripened tomatoes, onions, garlic, spinach and extra virgin olive oil in a white wine-butter sauce with balsamic reduction. The ravioli were tender and home made, which I appreciated, but could’ve used more sauce. The balsamic reduction was a nice touch adding  a complex flavor, balancing out the cheeses.

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Rotini Con Pollo: Spiral shaped pasta, roasted chicken, pesto cream sauce and parmesan cheese topped with pine nuts. The pesto was overwhelming, but tasty. I didn’t like that the chicken was shredded instead of sliced. Not something I would order again for $20 a plate.

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I thought the food at Bistro Bella Vita was just OK, nothing spectacular. The overall atmosphere was nice, not too upscale with a warm ambiance. Price and portion size were poor, but service was good. Unfortunately, I’ve had better Italian at popular chain restaurants which was disappointing. However, it was still a good night. Happy Anniversary, Boo!

Bistro Bella Vita on Urbanspoon

Founder's Brewing Company

Today on the Bite Tonight: Founder’s Brewing Company.

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Located in Downtown Grand Rapids on Grandville Ave Founder’s Brewing Company is ranked one of the top breweries not only in the U.S, but also in the world. Founder’s currently offers about 20 seasonal beers on tap, a variety of deli items, live music, and a store where you can get tons of swag. See how they ranked.

Atmosphere: 4 out of 5 bites

Price: 3 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Service: 3 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 3 out of 5 bites (due to square footage)

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First of all, this place is massive! Josh and I walked in to a huge taproom/dining room. In the evening, you seat yourself, first come first serve. Lucky for us, we were able to snag a seat because loyal beer drinkers tend to congregate to the huge outdoor beer garden.

Backwoods Bastard: Dirty Bastard pulled pork, Colby Jack cheese, tangy coleslaw & Dirty Bastard BBQ sauce on toasted ciabatta. The pork was moist, but the sandwich could’ve used more BBQ sauce. The ciabatta was the perfect choice to hold up to the saucy, crunchy coleslaw.

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Detroit Ham & Cheese: Smoked ham layered with cheddar and Swiss cheese, topped with Dirty Bastard Stone Ground Mustard on a fresh onion roll. Served with a sidecar of spicy Giardiniera. The ham was juicy, smoky, and slightly sweet. The onion roll was a little on the over done side, but nothing a little cheese and mustard wouldn’t fix.

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Then it was time for dessert….

Rubaeus Raspberry Ale: Class 2, 5.7% alcohol. Strong fruity taste, not too sweet.

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Dirty Bastard: Class 1, 8.5% alcohol. Malty,  hoppy and not for us.  Josh asked our server (who closely resembled Ned Stark) for the most popular beer, and this is what he got. Looks like the locals love it!

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(Not sure if my poor cell phone flash picture quality had anything to do with the color or not.  Hey, they don’t call it dirty for nothing)!

If you love beer, then you have to check out Founder’s Brewing Company. The huge outdoor beer garden (shown in the photo below:  front, left) and the overall square footage blew my mind. Josh and I aren’t huge beer enthusiasts, but can still appreciate Founder’s. If you haven’t taken a trip to Grand Rapids, stop by this gigantic brewery and lose yourself. It’s a beer lover’s heaven.

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Founders Brewing Company on Urbanspoon