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637 Leonard NW • Just West of US 131 • Grand Rapids • 616.454.4439

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Volume 48 Number 12

December 2011 Features What’s up, Docs?

The number of family doctors has declined as the ranks of specialists — and subspecialists — has risen. Here’s a look at nine interesting practices in West Michigan. . .............42

The other winners

Art professionals presented six Juried Awards and two special recognition awards to ArtPrize 2011 artists. Plus, art critic Joe Becherer takes a look at “Crucifixion” by Mia Tavonatti. ....................48 Climbing Kili for Kids

Two young professionals who trekked up Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for an orphanage in Zimbabwe wrote about their adventure and triumphs. ......................58

2 Grand Rapids December 2011

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This holiday, get the tire that keeps on giving. See us today and check tires off your holiday list.

Copyright Š 2011 Michelin North America, Inc. All rights reserved.

500 Grandville Ave. SW

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Grand Rapids, MI 49503

616-459-0129 OR 1-800-632-8724

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Volume 48 Number 12

December 2011


on the cover:

Photography by Johnny Quirin


in eVerY issue life & style

The Shops at MoDiv; Eileen DeVries, the topiary lady of EGR; TheModeLife blog; Gordon Moeller; Downtown Books & Cookies. ............9-14

speaKinG up etc.

By Carole Valade .................... 7 letters

Readers’ words ........................ 7 travel


Paul Jendrasiak is a savvy entrepreneur with a passion for photography, music and helping out in the community. .......................... 18 Design

Texas natives Don and Linda Laughter built a modern, pavilion-based home in Ada featuring a spectacular view of a nature preserve. ... 23-30

By Matt Baker Performers vs. pedestrians in Key West. ........................ 16 granD times

By Gordon G. Beld Mr. Rover does Grand Rapids. .................... 20 critic’s choice

By Mark F. Miller, AIA Neglected buildings on Wealthy Street find new life. ................................. 28

city guiDe

Restaurant listings; profile of chef Elijah Lopez at CityS¯en in the CityFlats Hotel; Potter’s Log Cabin; Mustard Plug’s 20th anniversary; changes along Cherry Street; Hot Shots at local events. ......................... 63-104

Dining revieW

Calendar of Events. ...........89

fresh hops

By Ira Craaven Seoul Garden. .....................70 granD vine

By A. Brian Cain Value wines for holiday entertaining. ........................ 78 By Jon C. Koeze America’s imperial stouts. ................................... 87


4 Grand rapids December 2011

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Covering Grand Rapids Since 1964 Publisher

John H. Zwarensteyn: Editor

Carole Valade: Managing Editor

Marty Primeau: Copy Editor

Donna Ferraro: Contributing Editors

Matt Baker, Joseph A. Becherer, Gordon G. Beld, A. Brian Cain, Ira Craaven, Mark F. Miller, AIA, Jon C. Koeze Contributing Writers

Julie Burch, Alexandra Fluegel, Tricia van Zelst Editorial Intern

Timothy McAllister Design Panel

Joseph A. Becherer, John Berry, Kevin Budelmann, Jim Caughman, Timothy Chester, Sam Cummings, Oliver Evans, James Ludwig, Ray Kennedy, Henry Matthews, Wayne Norlin, Wayne Visbeen

Demi Lune Console

Design & Production Manager

Scott Sommerfeld: Assistant Design & Production Manager

Chris Pastotnik: Art Coordinator

Kelly J. Nugent:

Harbour Bay Furniture Co. Stuart, FL and Holland, MI

Downtown Holland · 212 S. River Ave., Holland · (616) 395-5554 Open Mon.–Sat. 10:00–5:30

Designers/Production Assistants

Melissa Brooks: Robin Vargo: Contributing Photographers

Michael Buck, Jim Gebben, Jeff Hage, Jack Poeller, Johnny Quirin General Sales Manager

Randy D. Prichard: Advertising Sales Consultants

General Inquiries: Emily Bernath: Theresa Henk: Kathie Manett: John Olsa: Advertising Sales Assistant/Coordinator

Karla Jeltema: Circulation & Marketing Manager

Scott T. Miller: Circulation & Marketing Coordinator

Jocelyn Burkett: Circulation & Marketing Assistant

Shane Chapin: Finance & Administration Manager

Pamela Brocato, CPA: Accounting & Credit assistant

Diane Perham: Administrative assistant

Tina Gillman: Reception/Clerical Services

General Inquiries: To Order Reprints

Karla Jeltema: (616) 459-4545

small works by

enormously talented artists

Reception Dec 1st 5-8p through Dec 31st

Grand Rapids Magazine (ISSN 1055-5145) is published monthly by Gemini Publications, a division of Gemini Corporation. Publishing offices: 549 Ottawa Ave. NW, Suite 201, Grand Rapids, MI 49503-1444. Telephone (616) 459-4545; fax (616) 459-4800. General e-mail: grminfo@grmag. com. General editorial inquiries: Periodical postage paid at Grand Rapids, MI. Copyright © 2011 by Gemini Publications. All rights reserved. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Grand Rapids Magazine, 549 Ottawa Ave. NW, Suite 201, Grand Rapids, MI 49503-1444. Subscription rates: one year $24, two years $34, three years $44, in continental U.S.; Alaska, Hawaii, Canada and U.S. possessions, one year $35. Subscrip­tions are not retroactive; single issue and newsstand $3.95 (by mail $6); back issue $6 (by mail $7.50), when available. Advertising rates and specifications at or by request. Grand Rapids Magazine is not responsible for unsolicited contributions.


audited by

833 Lake Drive SE Grand Rapids, MI 49506 • 616.451.9820

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6 Grand Rapids December 2011

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Sustained energy bY cArole VAlADe

VIEWING IMAGES FROM ARTPRIZE for this issue of Grand Rapids Magazine recaptures the sense of energy so prevalent in the city two months ago. This year, the staff elected to showcase the juried winners that some people didn’t get a chance to see. (Several residents conceded that they waited to venture into the streets until the winds and rain died down … and the top 10 had already been determined by popular vote.) While ArtPrize captures a rather intense period of time, one could say the entire year provided an enthusiastic energy of “firsts.” The Medical Mile saw completion (for now) and the grand opening of the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, bringing new pediatric practitioners and specialists to the city. As the year ends, the city is studying the impact of $1 billion in investments to that stretch of Michigan Street hill and the 4-square-mile surrounding residential neighborhood that experienced so much growth in such a short time. Grand Rapids Planning Director Suzanne Schulz (who was profiled in the July issue of GRM) recently noted some hard facts: Roughly 50,000 people now work or attend college in the corridor, and traffic volumes reach 30,000 vehicles on weekdays. Two-thirds of new residents in the corridor have moved to Grand Rapids from outside the region. “It’s the same number of people they have in Detroit’s Midtown neighborhood,” Schulz said. This year has included a performance by Lady GaGa at Van Andel Arena, the release of Curtis 50 Cent Jackson’s movie “Setup,” filmed in GR, and Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids’ first LaughFest. But no entertainment was as satisfying as the sweet, melodic revenge of a world-record-setting lip dub by Rob Bliss and Scott Erickson to the tune of Don McLean’s “American Pie.” The effort included the mayor and hundreds of “actors” who showed up on downtown streets to play along — in response to a Newsweek online report of America’s “top 10 dying cities” that put Grand Rapids at No. 10. Newsweek later disclaimed the list provided by and offered accolades in its stead. If the year held disappointment, it was in the closing of locally owned, long-time, five-star

restaurant The 1913 Room. But new endeavors in the downtown include Urban Institute for Contemporary Art’s new headquarters inside the Gallery on Fulton, a project that stood still during the recession and at long last opened in September. The new CityFlats boutique hotel, complete with a lounge offering interesting small-plate choices from a small kitchen, was chosen as one of Michigan’s top developments last month for its use of urban space. Owner Chuck Reid patiently worked through a labyrinth of challenges in restoring the abandoned Fox Jeweler’s site on Monroe Center to be historically significant and “green.” The energy of this season alights as Maya Lin’s magical “Ecliptic” installation at Rosa Parks Circle becomes yet another form of water — ice — creating a downtown skating rink in the glow of the lights of Grand Rapids Art Museum’s giant Christmas tree. Share the energy of the letters city as you celebrate the holidays.

Share the energy of the city as you celebrate the holidays.

Stormwater kudos We just wanted to thank writer Tersaem Tesseris for the fantastic article in the October magazine (“After the Storm is Over”). It’s one of the most informative pieces on the issue I’ve ever seen in a consumer publication. Really appreciate the effort you put into getting this right. Daniel Schoonmaker Communications and Member Services West Michigan Environmental Action Council Double thanks from me, as well. Really strong work! Rachel Hood Executive Director, WMEAC We welcome letters to the editor. Letters must be signed and include the writer’s name, address and phone number. Please send letters in care of: Editor, Grand Rapids Magazine, 549 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids MI 49503, or e-mail to letters@grmag. com. Letters may be edited for reasons of clarity and space.

December 2011 Grand rapids 7

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Life & Style JeWelrY And Accessories drAW cUsTomers To CHai BOUTiQUE, Which recenTlY moVed To The shoPs AT monroe cenTer And diVision in doWnToWn GrAnd rAPids. » Pg10


PHOTOgrAPHy By JOHnny Quirin










December 2011 Grand rapids 9

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Life & Style

moDiv means mo’ retail for downtown thINK oF It as a mINI-maLL with an eclectic mix of shops and boutiques located in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids. The Shops at Monroe Center and Division, a.k.a. MoDiv, was launched during ArtPrize and its concept of incubator retail has continued to grow — just in time for holiday shopping. One startup is 6.25 Paper studio, a stationery and gift shop that offers greeting cards, calendars, wrapping paper and handcrafted wedding invitations. Owner Abbey Fowler, who worked

chai boutique

6.25 Paper studio

“the idea behind moDiv was to open a space that’s affordable and flexible for small, startup businesses.” — ginny seyferth

PhotograPhy by Johnny Quirin

as a designer for Great American Publishing, has been selling online for three years under the name Syd Design. Just across the hallway, Sarah Ables opened chai boutique as a way to showcase “all the things I love.” A former visual merchandiser for ArtVan, she’s always on the hunt for unique finds, from trendy women’s fashions to repurposed furniture. Nearby, sofia bella couture sells hip clothes for infants and little girls, while Vue Design is a wedding gown retail showroom and studio showcasing designs by Shannon Gales, who previously has operated out of her Ada home. “The idea behind MoDiv was to open a space that’s affordable and flexible for small, startup businesses,” said Ginny Seyferth, owner of marketing firm SeyferthPR and a partner with Rockford Construction in the Peck Building at 40 Monroe Center. “With no upfront costs or overhead, all a retailer has to do is walk in and pay rent.” The 8,500-square-foot space is divided by glass walls made by Holland office furniture maker haworth, which opened a retail showroom with Interphase Interiors, its West Michigan dealer. Another established company, Rockford-based Wolverine World Wide, opened a concept store with a selection of shoes and boots from its many footwear brands, including Merrell, Hush Puppies and Chaco. Besides retail, MoDiv also has a U.S. Department of Agriculture-certified incubator kitchen where foodie entrepreneurs can rent space 24 hours a day to test recipes and launch new food items. Some of those products will be sold in Kitchen sinc, owned by chef and caterer Kathleen Schiefler and Seyferth. The shop also sells Michigan food products and kitchen accessories. “We’re keeping it loose so we can change and adapt,” Schiefler said. — mArTY PrimeAU 10 Grand rapids December 2011

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Life & Style

“For Halloween I do spooks, for Easter I do bunnies with eggs, Fourth of July I do the Statue of Liberty, in the winter I put out skis and in the summer golf clubs.” — Eileen DeVries

Dressing up the front yard

Photography by Alissa Lane

Photography by Johnny Quirin


ileen DeVries says she “babysits money” for a living. For 36 years, she has worked as a wealth management advisor at Merrill Lynch. In her free time, however, the senior vice president of the DeVries, Freeburg & Mraz Group can be seen dressing the bushes outside her home on Lakeside Drive in East Grand Rapids. “They’re actually topiaries,” DeVries said. She is quick to correct anyone who calls her woody friends hedges, shrubs or bushes. DeVries has been dressing the topiaries for about a decade. Her former gardener, since retired, came up with the idea. “I just do it for fun,” she said. “You have to have a sense of humor.” As the months go by, DeVries changes the outfits to reflect the seasons and holidays. “For Halloween I do spooks, for Easter I do bunnies with eggs, Fourth of July I do the Statue of Liberty, in the winter I put out skis and in the summer golf clubs,” DeVries said. It’s not all fun and games, though. “One night somebody vandalized

them. They tore off the clothes and uprooted them,” DeVries said. But, sense of humor still intact, she “sent a message” to the vandals. “My gardener replanted them and we put on bandages and crutches like they’d been to the emergency room,” DeVries said. “That was a fun one!” Aside from her own ideas, DeVries receives suggestions from friends, and quite often finds ideas on notes people leave in front of her home — along with clothing and other props. “Somebody just dropped off some broken violins; maybe I’ll do a symphony thing with them,” DeVries said. The only real challenge DeVries runs into is finding clothes to fit the topiaries. “I wanted to put a tux on one, so I went to the Salvation Army, and I had to buy a jacket in size 56. The clothes have to be very large. You need big gowns, no sizes like 2, 4 or 6 — more like size 20,” DeVries said with a chuckle. She’s always looking for ideas, so if you ever find yourself dreaming of an outfit that might look good on a bush, er, topiary, take a drive down Lakeside. You can’t miss the house. — Tim McAllister December 2011 Grand Rapids 11

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Life & Style

Three friends who launched The ModeLife blog — Chelsea Slocum, Tiffany Skilling and Diana Racek — hunt for emerald green fashions at Urban Exchange consignment boutique on E. Fulton Street.

Honest perspectives


heModeLife is more than just a blog; it’s a community of 40-plus women from across the country writing on a variety of topics. Tiffany Skilling, a Grand Rapids fashionista, launched the site in June as a

way “to create something that embodied not just fashion, but style in general.” What started as a project with a few local friends — Chelsea Slocum, Michelle Weber and Diana Racek — quickly blossomed. “All of us are professionals so we decided to involve our friends,” said Skilling, who worked in New York for several years before returning home to Grand Rapids. “We e-mailed friends who e-mailed their friends. Every week we hear from someone who wants to get involved.” Categories include beauty, entertainment, food, health, travel, parenting and more. Monthly features include Book of the Month, Mantra of the Month and Letter “We’re always looking for new and exciting topics,” Skilling said. Anyone can submit sample articles to for review and potentially become an official blogger for the site. Follow TheModeLife on Facebook and Twitter, or visit

— Kendal Pektas

Photography by Alissa Lane

to My Younger Self.

12 Grand Rapids December 2011

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Life & Style

Gordon Moeller talks to Case Visser of Visser Farms at the Fulton Street Farmers Market. The retired social worker has visited numerous markets and farms encouraging the acceptance of Bridge Cards.

Photography by Alissa Lane

Photography by Alissa Lane

Crusader for healthier living From the minute he sat down, pulling a pile of papers out of his briefcase, it was evident that Gordon Moeller loves his work. He began describing the local programs he has helped organize and the 30-plus hours he devotes to projects each week. You’d never guess he’s been retired for five years. After 38 years as a social worker, Moeller decided he had more to give. The day he retired, Moeller and his wife created the Food Security Fund at the Grand Rapids Foundation to support programs and organizations that prevent hunger and address critical nutrition issues. “My entire life has been helping people live better and be healthier,” he said. “I’m retired. I have time, I have energy and I know the agencies.” Top on his list was encouraging Bridge Card holders to shop at local farmers markets. Michigan Bridge Cards are the debit cards that have replaced paper food stamps for food assistance benefits. In 2010, Moeller discovered that of the $200 million that Grand Rapids residents receive for Bridge Cards, only $54,000 was going to local farmers. Only 30 percent was staying in West Michigan. He located farmers markets in Kent County and visited each one, advocating the Bridge Card program. Later,

he expanded to surrounding counties. Thanks to his efforts, the number of farmers and markets accepting Bridge Cards increased from six to 46 in one year. In September, Moeller received the Carol L. Townsend Land Stewardship Award. When asked about upcoming activities, his to-do list came out again as he talked about which area farmers he’s now contacting and the grant proposals he’s facilitating for local farmers markets. He also mentioned his meetings with the folks at Double Up Food Bucks in Ann Arbor, which matches up to $20 in Bridge Card purchases at markets that encourage buying locally grown, healthy food. “They have agreed in principal to add six more Kent County community farmers markets and a total of 14 more markets to the program in 2012, only if funding can be secured,” he said. Moeller will continue his crusade and doesn’t anticipate slowing down any time soon. To locate a farmers market that accepts Bridge Cards, visit find-a-farmers-market.

“My entire life has been helping people live better and be healthier. I’m retired. I have time, I have energy and I know the agencies.” — Gordon Moeller

— Michael Brooks

December 2011 Grand Rapids 13

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Life & Style

Custom Cabinets

WoodWays design Center 4265 28th St. SE Grand Rapids, MI WoodWays FaCtory & shoWroom 665 Construction Ct. Zeeland, MI


A novel idea Dakota Shayne is “bringing back storytelling.” He’s the creator of Downtown Books and Cookies, a free monthly event where books are read aloud to kids ages 5 to 8, and local bakers provide healthy treats. The dashing, dreadlocked, greeneyed 23-year-old fitness instructor and event planner initially imagined the event to be “minimal — nothing huge,” but it’s since taken on a life of its own. “Downtown Books and Cookies combines two things: books and downtown. I wanted to show families that downtown is safe and fun,” Shayne said. “Some parents have no experience with downtown — it’s a new experience for them. So we pick venues that are findable and accessible to parents.” The books range from classics to brand new titles. “The guest readers either pick a favorite book from their childhood, or one that they’ve enjoyed reading to their own children,” said Shayne, who is recruiting community leaders to read. “There should be a good connection between the book and the reader.” The treats, generally cookies and cupcakes, have been donated by Wednesday Evening Cookies and Bartertown Diner & Roc’s Cakes, using organic, vegan and locally sourced ingredients.

“Providing a healthy, delicious treat is very important,” Shayne said. Shayne, a native of Phoenix, came to Grand Rapids in 2009. “I moved here during the first ArtPrize,” Shayne said. “It was a smaller city than I was used to, but I could tell it was a progressive city. And with ArtPrize, they got me!” He hopes his program will send a message to other young people. “I want to show other young entrepreneurs that you can create your own opportunities. There isn’t a lot out there for people 18 to 30 right now. Ideas like this could create paying jobs for talent that is not being nurtured,” Shayne said. Follow Downtown Books and Cookies on Twitter and find information on its Facebook page or at www.booksand

— Tim McAllister

Photography by Johnny Quirin

Produced locally by our talented craftsmen

14 Grand Rapids December 2011

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thank you

for helping us reach

Photography by Johnny Quirin

25 years of excellence.

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Life & Style: Travel

Key West entertainers by Matt Baker

In Key West, the pedestrians win — solely because James Matthew Chapman makes so very many people so very happy.

Key West has become famous for its Sunset Celebration, a nightly festival at Mallory Square where local performers compete for tips. But during a visit, we also enjoyed another show put on (inadvertently, for the most part) by the pedestrians on Duval Street. So who’s more entertaining — the ones working for tips or the ones not even working? Before sunset, Duval Street isn’t much of a show. It’s mostly wild chickens and polydactyl cats — descendents of Hemingway’s cat Snowball — on the lam from the Hemingway Home and Museum. The Mallory Square performers, however, entertain only until sunset, so it was there our unofficial competition began. Mallory Square’s lineup was formidable to the point of being sinister — many of the performers were armed. Dale Pritchard, a 60-something local swallowed a sword nearly to its hilt. Will Soto, also 60-something, walked a tightrope while juggling flaming torches. Reid Fierheller-Conklin, a local teenager who’s been performing at Mallory Square since age 12, juggled knives, axes and flaming torches while riding a unicycle. A psychic read tarot cards. A magician performed magic tricks. Somebody was pretending to be a tree. Formidable, right? (Aside from the tree.) Duval Street’s lineup, however, redefined formidable. Enter “Spidaman Jackson,” who sauntered around in a Spider-Man costume and red sneakers. Spidaman Jackson wasn’t there to perform. Spidaman Jackson was happy to pose for pictures, but he didn’t want money. What Spidaman Jackson wanted was to walk around in a Spider-Man costume.

Duval Street’s lineup included a man so giant and with wrinkles so chiseled and dusty that even on fourth and fifth glance, he appeared to be a statue. Only by the seventh glance did we notice that the dog he was leashed to was an actual, blinking dog, and that the man was blinking, too. Also included was a man in polka-dotted pants and a polka-dotted shirt, arm-in-arm with a woman in polka-dotted pants and a polkadotted shirt. There were three bearded fellows whose T-shirt slogans were so far beyond offensive that even if the majority of their letters were replaced with asterisks, the slogans still would be unfit to print. The star of the Duval Street lineup is James Matthew Chapman (also 60-something) who claims to have known Hemingway “like a brother” and who rides up and down Duval Street on a tricycle equipped with strings of lights, blasting “Super Freak” on repeat through his stereo. Chapman also claims to have been born polydactyl. The crowds Chapman drew rivaled those at Mallory Square. He was happy to pose for pictures, but Chapman didn’t want money. What Chapman wanted was to ride his tricycle up and down Duval Street and listen to “Super Freak” hundreds of times. Needless to say, our unofficial competition was almost impossible to call. But we called it. Our verdict? In Key West, the pedestrians win — solely because James Matthew Chapman makes so very many people so very happy. Matt Baker is a former intern at Gemini Publications who loves to travel.

Photography courtesy matt Baker

16 Grand Rapids December 2011

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Profile: Influential

‘Design your own path’ Paul Jendrasiak is a savvy entrepreneur with a passion for photography, music and helping out in the community. By Alexandra Fluegel

“I’ve always been passionate about photography and music,” the avid guitar player said. “I realized I wasn’t ever going to be a rock star, so I thought it would be fun to interview them.” When asked about his most memorable interview, he responded quickly: “My first — Gene Simmons — he was a character.” Around the same time Jendrasiak began working for the magazine, life threw him a curve ball. His father (and mentor) passed away. “I always looked up to him and he always had a great deal of faith in me. That gave me a great faith in myself,” he said. That faith was key to giving him the confidence to create his own path. “I’ve been fortunate to be able to have a life that I set out to create and design for myself so I could enjoy it a certain way.” Jendrasiak eventually traded in his camera for computer software, founding SpamBully, an anti-spamming software

Paul Jendrasiak Web site: Photo blog: Residence: Grand Rapids Community Involvement: WMCAT board of directors; Grand Rapids Fourth of July planning committee.

company, in 2003. “I never thought that I’d be involved in software,” he admitted, “but again, you never know where you’ll end up.” Although Jendrasiak’s partners are located out of state, he said the advents in technology have allowed them to grow the company just as easily as if they were in a traditional office setting. He could have opted to join one of his partners in Chicago, but Jendrasiak said it was important for him to remain in his hometown. “Grand Rapids is a very

Photography by Johnny Quirin


aul Jendrasiak doesn’t go into the office every day, per se, but if you see him, chances are he’s working on something. “It’s a little bit different than what most people are accustomed to,” he explained, but he likes it that way. The Grand Rapids native has been charting his own course for nearly two decades, dabbling in everything from interviewing rock stars to computer software, and he remembers when it all began. “It was 8/8/88,” he said, describing his first job at 16, washing dishes at Metropolitan Hospital. “When you’re younger, you don’t think about what you’re going to do. It’s good to be open, it’s good to be flexible and go with the flow — see where life takes you.” Life soon took Jendrasiak out of the hospital kitchen, and he began doing concert photography and artist interviews for a local music publication. 18 Grand Rapids December 2011

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Photography by Johnny Quirin

Profile: Influential

vibrant city, there’s something for everyone and the size is manageable — not too big, not too small — and everyone has a chip in the game at some level.” Jendrasiak is one of Grand Rapids’ biggest cheerleaders, and his community involvement has made him a bit of a rock star in his own right. For the past two years, he has served on the board of directors for the West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology, a nonprofit whose mission is “to provide opportunities for people of all ages to seek, learn and grow in an environment that will inspire hope and motivate individuals to make positive social change and economic progress in their lives and community.” The organization works with a large number of students from Grand Rapids Public Schools, which resonates with Jendrasiak, who graduated from Ottawa Hills High School in 1990. “WMCAT really unlocks the creativity in these kids,” he said. “It’s great having my hand in something that’s helping kids, many of whom come from challenging situations.” He also helps plan the Grand Rapids Fourth of July celebration, which brings thousands of people into downtown. “It’s a great day of community unity,” he said. “It’s great to be involved in things in the community. If you can help effect positive change going forward, that’s important.” The 39-year-old entrepreneur also stresses the importance of finding time for creative outlets. “These days there’s so many things going on in people’s lives; people should take more time and revisit those passions,” said Jendrasiak, who recently picked up his camera after a 15-year hiatus. His photos are often used on event site, and a series he produced for ArtPrize 2009, entitled “Faces and Places,” is on permanent display at restaurant in the JW Marriot. So where does he see himself in 10 years? “I could be doing things that I never thought I would be doing,” he said, “Maybe talk radio.” For now, Jendrasiak is content with his “casual by design” lifestyle, working whenever and wherever, but always looking forward. “Success is the perfect mix of delusion, obsession and talent,” according to Jendrasiak. “Design your own path.” GR December 2011 Grand Rapids 19

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History: Grand Times

Mr. Rover does Grand Rapids by thomas r. Dilley

Editor’s note: This story is an excerpt from “Glance at the Past: An Album of Grand Rapids’ compiled by the Grand Rapids Historical Commission. The 64-page softcover booklet includes historical tales selected from a variety of sources.

business, and his secretary, Miss Mamie Lynch. Neither Wykom nor Lynch were ever seen in Grand Rapids again, but apparently had been spotted by an alert hotel clerk in Detroit, a day or so after their local disappearance, who indicated that the pair were “going east.” Mrs.

In 1907, a comic series of postcards (“Mr. Rover On His Way Through Grand Rapids”) was published and sold by the Reed-Tandler Company, a local printing/publishing company. Each of the cards, numbering 28 in all, depicted an oversize man sitting on or leaning against a different local site around the Grand Rapids area. The man who portrayed the fictional Mr. Rover in all of the cards was Harry H. Wykom, a young, and apparently successful, local insurance broker, undoubtedly attracted to the Mr. Rover role by both

the man who portrayed the fictional mr. rover in all of the cards was harry h. Wykom, a young, and apparently successful, local insurance broker, undoubtedly attracted to the mr. rover by both the social and business notoriety that his image would assure.

available at schuler’s books, literary life book store, martha’s Vineyard and gift shops at grand rapids art museum, grand rapids Public library and spectrum hospital blodgett campus. Visit to check out 100 podcasts of grand rapids stories, 50 photo essays and more than 1,500 images.

the social and business notoriety that his image would assure. The immediate popularity of the postcard series quickly proved these assumptions to be correct. But, all was not well with Harry Wykom. In the opening days of January 1908, at a time when his face had become well-known in Grand Rapids, Wykom disappeared from town, taking with him all of the cash receipts of his insurance

PhotograPhy courtesy granD raPiDs historical commission


Wykom was reported to be most shocked and dismayed by her husband’s sudden departure. It is hard to say if any of the Mr. Rover images presented an advance clue to Wykom’s plans. However, No. 26 in the series depicts Mr. Rover running to catch a train at Union Station, in very much the way Harry and Mamie might have done. No. 13 shows only Mr. Rover’s feet, running away from the local police headquarters. Thomas R. Dilley, a retired attorney, is a member of the Grand Rapids Historical Commission and a trustee of the Grand Rapids Public Library Foundation.

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B fe co ab



photography Courtesy Grand Rapids Historical Commission

At Breton Woods You Get Life Care with Your Lifestyle

Breton Woods provides the gracious and enriching lifestyle you deserve — a beautiful campus that feels like country but is minutes from downtown Grand Rapids; spacious living accommodations that come maintenance-free; a complete roster of activities designed just for you; on-site services including a bank, health center, fitness center and beauty salon; regularly scheduled worship services and more. Most importantly, you can enjoy today knowing that you don’t have to worry about tomorrow because it all comes with Holland Home’s promise of lifetime care.

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Holland Home… Serving seniors since 1892. 11/3/11 10:45 AM


Look good for goodness’ sake. Keep your skin and body looking its best this season by visiting the Bengtson Center and the transforMD Skin Care and Laser Center. In addition to the latest cosmetic surgical procedures, we also offer non-surgical solutions such as: • CoolSculpting® non-surgical, in-office procedure that freezes and permanently reduces fat cells with no downtime. • BOTOX® Cosmetic and Juvéderm® dermal fillers to create smoother skin and a younger appearance. • Liquid Facelift to contour and freshen an exhausted or drawn face, we can create natural improvements without surgery.


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555 MidTowne Street NE, Suite 110

Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503

10/31/11 8:24 AM






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Design: People

A modern tree house Texas natives Don and Linda Laughter built a modern, pavilion-based home in Ada featuring a spectacular view of a nature preserve. By Marty Primeau

24 Grand Rapids December 2011

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Design: People

phoTography by Johnny Quirin


he yellow house on Longleaf Court in Ada wouldn’t win any awards for curb appeal. And that’s just how owners Don and Linda Laughter planned it. The couple — he’s an industrial designer, she’s an interior designer and artist — built their bi-level home five years ago in the style of Hugh Newell Jacobsen, a renowned architect (and Grand Rapids native) known for his modern, pavilion-based residences. “The front of the house is obscured

The first view visitors see as they walk down the entry hall is the 26-acre nature preserve behind the two-story home. Top, the kitchen cabinets have no pulls or knobs for a sleek and modern look. below: a Lone star over the fireplace anchors the cozy décor in the lower level family room that reflects the Laughters’ Texas roots.

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Don Laughter and his son, matt, built the patio and pond in the back of the home. Don also designed the indoor greenhouse atrium with a glass roof and aluminum paneling that reflects light.

and private,” Don explained. “All the focus is on the back of the house where we live, and on the view we see every day.” That view is a 26-acre nature preserve set aside by the neighborhood to remain pristine. “It’s our penthouse in the sky,” Linda quipped. “It’s like living in a tree house.” The house has four pavilions — living area, kitchen, bedrooms and garage — all separate structures that are interconnected and linked with metal. “Each is an independent pod signifying the separate functions of the different areas,” Don said. The “front” door is located on the side, so what visitors see from the curb is the double garage. After entering and walking down a hallway, visitors have their first glimpse of the trees and foliage through the large windows in the rear of the house. The interior, designed by Linda, is minimal and contemporary. There’s no hardware, no window or door jambs. Even the kitchen cabinets, designed to be sleek and contemporary, have no pulls or knobs

for a sleek and modern look. Walls are white throughout, except in select places. “Like the bathrooms,” she said. “Those are rooms where you don’t spend much time, so I played around with some bold colors.” Artwork — many are Linda’s pieces — is scattered throughout the house. On the lower level, the Laughter’s Texas heritage shines — both are natives of the Lone Star State. The family room is outfitted with family antiques and décor such as a “Don’t Mess With Texas” sign. In designing the home, Don said he worked at getting natural light into every room in two ways. An 8-by-16-foot greenhouse atrium — where orchids, a ficus tree and other plants thrive year round — has a glass roof and aluminum paneling that reflects light. The lower level leads out to a patio and pond, built by Don and his son, Matt, an industrial designer who works with his father. Don, who served as director of product design at Haworth, left to establish his own product design firm. Linda, who works from her home office, also helps at City Art Gallery, where she is displaying some of her oil paintings. Gr

phoTography by Johnny Quirin

Design: People

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Spectacular Waterfront Dining For business luncheons, intimate dinners or appetizers and cocktails with friends, Charley’s Crab is dedicated to ensuring that your visit is excellent.

Join us in our Lounge for HAPPY HOUR Monday-Friday 4:30-7pm Photography by Johnny Quirin

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10/31/11 8:25 AM

Design: Critic’s Choice

Sophisticated renewal By Mark F. Miller, AIA

The ensemble of buildings at the southeast corner of Wealthy and Eureka streets has served an ever-changing series of businesses, including a creamery, several print companies and a gas station. The architectural language forged by these varied businesses has provided a unique framework for design and transformation, leading to a sophisticated adaptation of previously neglected buildings. This reinvention has functionally united the buildings into an elegant office for Reagan Marketing + Design while also restoring the former gas station into a hip studio for Engine Industrial Design. The husband-and-wife owners of these two distinct businesses, Bob Shapton and Mary Reagan-Shapton, combined their extensive creativity with architect Greg Metz of Lott3Metz and a team of highly skilled craftspeople to convert the formerly dark and dreary buildings into vibrant spaces. The RM+D offices are located in the three

eastern-most buildings, with the former Vonk Dairy at 912 Wealthy serving as the front door for the business, and a simple 1952 brick print shop at 916 Wealthy providing an expansive workspace. These two buildings are joined by a connector that was constructed in 1963 to cover a loading dock area. The structures, while maintaining their individual identities on the exterior, seamlessly flow together on the interior to shape an arrangement of well-proportioned, light-filled spaces. This extensive day lighting is the result of opening up previously blocked-up windows and careful space planning to ensure that all rooms in the complex (except for one restroom) have windows. The rehabilitation of the former dairy, constructed in 1935, has taken cues from its Art Deco inspired heritage with much of the reconstruction uncovering details that were part of the original building. The front entry door, which had been

Photography by Michael Buck

The design incorporates the existing glazed masonry walls, terrazzo floors and steel-framed windows into conference rooms and a sleek lobby.

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Photography by Michael Buck

Photography by Michael Buck

Design: Critic’s Choice

obscured with corrugated metal, was restored to its original condition, including the shimmering black spandrel glass and golden accent patterns that adorn the glass above the door. The interior of the building carries the same careful restoration of vintage details, while expertly adding complementary modern elements to reinforce the clean lines of the architecture. The design incorporates the existing glazed masonry walls, terrazzo floors and steel-framed windows into conference rooms and a sleek lobby. The open floor plan of 916 Wealthy continues this theme of restoration and careful insertion, with an open stair that visually connects the main level to the basement. This new stair and resulting deconstructed floor surrounding it provide a light well to illuminate the basement, making it as vibrant as the upper floors. The two buildings are joined by a nearly double-height connector nestled between the former exterior walls. Clerestory windows and a new full-height window that replaced an overhead door make this space the most dynamic in terms of natural lighting. A conference room within the adjacent building overlooks this space through the former dairy pick-up window, part of a wonderful tapestry of seemingly random windows

Clerestory windows provide natural lighting to the connector space nestled between the former exterior walls of 916 and 912 Wealthy Street. Anchoring the space is a stairway made with reclaimed wood treads. Bottom photo shows the view from the mezzanine offices.

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Design: Critic’s Choice

conference room with original dairy pick-up window in the former vonk Dairy at 912 wealthy; below, open workspace in the former print shop building.

phoTography by michaeL buck

The interior of the building carries the same careful restoration of vintage details, while expertly adding complementary modern elements to reinforce the clean lines of the architecture.

and perfectly preserved glazed masonry, replete with the remnant of the canopy over the pick-up window. The connector space is anchored by a stair that was designed by Bob Shapton. Rising off a massive plinth of concrete, its reclaimed wood treads float up to the mezzanine offices while hand-assembled steel framework and glass guardrails create juxtaposition between craft and massproduced detail. The final building in this renovation, at 900 Wealthy, is the corner gas station that was erected in 1948 as Freeman’s Sunoco. This streamlined building with it original porcelain enameled panel walls was completely restored, including transforming the corner from an uninspiring enclosed edge to an iconic plate-glass curve. The building’s attributes — including two service bays, restored showroom and single-pole hydraulic lift — lend themselves to its new use as a studio for the rehabilitation of historic wood boats. The space is filled with vintage inboard and outboard engines, some meticulously restored with parts fabricated on site. The building houses not only vintage boats and engines, but also vintage equipment that helps to rebuild these icons of watercraft design. Vision, historic preservation and creativity have coalesced to insert yet another business into the Wealthy Street corridor, a business that not only brings its 23 employees into the district, but also infuses the street with vibrancy, sophistication and eclectic design. Mark F. Miller, AIA, is an architect and urban designer at Nederveld and the former chairman of the Grand Rapids Historic Preservation Commission.

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some of the Best hands in ameriCa. While elite Plastic surgery provides an exceptionally soothing environment and compassionate care, it’s our surgeons that set our work apart. named as HealthGrades® 2010 Recognized Doctors™ – Plastic Surgery, drs. Cullen and Ford are Certified by the american Board of Plastic surgery, and are Fellows in the american College of surgeons. Compassionate care, distinguished histories, superior results… it’s who we are.

phoTography by michaeL buck

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Ronald d. FoRd M.d. | WilliaM T. Cullen M.d. | liCensed aesTheTiCians on sTaFF GRM_12.11_Sec04_PG22.32.indd 31

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Special Advertising SEction

Grand Rapids | Home Attics Remodeled A private place above it all

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Grand Rapids | Home

Special Advertising Section

If you’re in need of more living space, instead of packing up, why not expand up?

A private place above it all By J. Stapleton-Burch


f the market doesn’t favor a move and your lot or budget doesn’t accommodate a larger footprint for expansion, David Weston, partner in Think Design, LLC, suggests you think “up” and turn your attic into extra living space. There’s an air of romanticism and secrecy associated with a surprise garret that not only makes the space special, but

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also enhances its attractiveness to future buyers – and according to Weston, at a relatively affordable price. “You can take your house into another price bracket because you’re essentially adding square footage to your home and enhancing the value,” he noted. “You can change a three-bedroom home into a four-bedroom, or add office space or a rec-room — whatever you want or need. At Think

Design we listen, interpret and execute, so the first step in creating the design is to consider the purpose you want the space to serve.” As a member of the U.S. Green Building Council, Think Design can make your project eco-friendly as well. According to Weston, there are comfort options available today to combat the old limitations of cold-in-the-winter and

10/28/11 4:33 PM

Building in beautiful windows during new construction will maximize the scope of your bonus room.

Grand Rapids | Home

Special Advertising Section

vidual home, but whatever the situation, there’s always a solution.”

Existing plumbing lines can often be extended to accommodate a newly constructed attic-space bathroom, while modern skylight systems can bring in the light.

hot-in-the-summer attic space. “There are skylight systems that you can use to brighten up the space if there aren’t dormers in the room,” he noted. “With all the lovely skylights that can be put in, attic space makes perfect studio space for artists and can be turned into a beautiful workspace as well. If there are dormer windows, you can transform those areas into private little nooks, maybe with desk spaces built into them; or create little seating areas with cushion-topped window seats with hidden storage,” he continued. “If you need

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a lot of extra storage, under the eves where the roof slopes, you can square off the room and do lines of closets instead of walls. Also, if an existing bathroom is in a good location, you can tap into the existing plumbing to add a bathroom to the space, which is especially important if you’re adding a new bedroom.” Access is another consideration. “Usually the staircase can be extended up quite easily if one isn’t already in place,” Weston added. “It depends on the indi-

Tim Nagelkirk, owner of Colonial Builders, LLC, agreed. “Every house is unique unto itself and you have to grab the elements that are going to stretch your dollar as far as you can and enhance those,” he said. “We spend time upfront to research and perform the structural and mechanical due diligence to make sure that there are minimum hidden issues and that the structure will not only support what the client wants, but fit their budget as well. Most are creating a bonus room to increase the square footage of their home for less cost and to give them the greatest return for their dollar. That means you have to pick and choose what is best for each scenario, and we can help guide them through this process.” Standing behind a 36-year-plus tradition of passion in the building industry, Colonial Builders can transform your lofty vision into reality, whether it’s a remodel or new construction project. “Working within your existing framework with an attic conversion is a cost-effective way to add space to your home because you don’t have to add foundation, flat cement

10/28/11 4:33 PM

Special Advertising Section

Grand Rapids | Home

Natural wood pyramid roofing detail adds character to this loft.

work, and overhead structure/roofing,” Nagelkirk pointed out. “In today’s new construction terminology, it’s typically considered a bonus room or loft space. We’ve done everything from theater rooms and children’s playrooms to exercise areas, bathrooms, hobby rooms, or a complete guest suite. We recently completed a game/trophy room — a client’s “man cave” — with a pyramid ceiling detail layered with custom woodwork that looks incredible. You get that eclectic, “old” feel out of the attic truss, gambrel, or mansard style ceiling of a new build just like you would in the upper attic in an older home, exposing the outer roof’s natural shape by mirroring it on the interior,” he said. “They’re clipped and pitched out at different angles and commonly asymmetrical, which creates fun spaces full of character. They can be your own little getaway retreat that is up and away, totally separate from the rest of the house.” On new construction, Nagelkirk’s company builds trusses into the attics to provide a cost effective space for future expansion. “The biggest key on a new house is how you encapsulate the structures with insulation,” he continued. “I recommend to do a full foam encapsulation, creating a fully sealed space because it’s typically exposed to the elements on nearly all sides, it’s very important to do a good

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The window dormer of this attic space provides a perfect conversation nook with its cushion-topped window seat hiding built-in storage.

job with the insulation. We can do the calculations for air seepage, utility cost calculations and figure out how much gain you’re going to get for the application our clients should choose.” Nagelkirk recommends creating dormer areas to bring in good natural lighting as well as enhancing the feel of the space. Another important consideration is heating and cooling systems. “A zoned heating system would allow you to modulate the

temperature of that space separately from the home,” Nagelkirk noted. “Another idea would be to run radiant floor heating. That would be the epitome in such a space, but it goes back to weighing the costs against the advantages. It’s all about planning, organization, and turning your vision into a game plan that’s workable from both a design and the specific client’s budget.”

10/28/11 4:33 PM


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Gift Guide DAZZLE Her 

GLOWING for the Holidays

These small colourful jewels of light are the creations of a thorough knowledge of glass. The colours and thickness of the glass enriches the glow as it multiplies the flickers of the flame. The wide range of colours lets you create a cocktail of colours for every individual occasion of the year. Many colors available. Lilac, red and yellow contain gold to produce true, intense color. $15.00 to $50.00 DESIGN QUEST

Featuring over 2 carats of diamonds, this stunning ring in 14 Karat rose gold is the perfect holiday gift for the fashion forward woman in your life. Also available in a variety of gold’s and precious gemstones. CRAFT REVIVAL JEWELERS 16 Ionia Ave. SW, Suite 2 Grand Rapids, MI 616-678-3650

Fresh. GREEN. Fun.

4181 28th St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 616-940-9911 |

For that person who means the world to you: Mid-century modern vintage globes, from $34.00 - $149.00. Stop by for more earth-friendly gift ideas and gift certificates too. MINTY KEEN

125 Ottawa NW Suite 170 Grand Rapids, MI 616-551-1613


Give the gift of taste! The freshest award winning olive oils from small batch artisans, plus a variety of balsamic vinegars available for sampling in our local tasting room. Stop in and taste the difference. Customized gift boxes available. OLD WORLD OLIVE PRESS

Rockford . Plymouth . Rockford 616-884-0107 |

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Relax in this stylish chocolate brown leather sectional from Thomasville. Available in other colors. $3,999.00 NORTHWESTERN HOME FUNISHINGS

637 Leonard NW, Grand Rapids, MI 616-454-4439 |


Share the gift of fine wine and good taste. Specially selected 6-pack wine sets are great for holiday gift giving, or create your own custom gift basket for a more personal touch. Our knowledgeable staff is always happy to help you pair the perfect combination. We ship throughout the U.S.!

SHARE BREAD …  Share Moments

Share Bread. Share Moments. No Gift Wrap Required. For the hostess, for your Mom, for the moment. Our freshly baked, much loved Cranberry Walnut Panettone and Holiday Bread are wrapped and ready to give. Also, give a gift that is always well received — The reloadable Panera Card.

200 Union NE, Grand Rapids, MI 616-459-0911 |

SPLENDID in Silver



Jorge Revilla Designs, exclusively at Metal Art Studio Fine Jewelry. This Spanish designer is quickly becoming a sensation with his ground-breaking looks in 18K rose and Ruthenium on sterling. Prices from $200-$2,000 METAL ART STUDIO

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No matter what the season, giving the flavors of Authentic Italian Cuisine is an experience they will cherish, located in the heart of Grand Rapids. Gift certificates available. TRE CUGINI

122 Monroe Center Street NW, Grand Rapids, MI 616-235-9339 |

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Give the Leo's experience for the holidays. Our gift certificates are available in denominations of $10, $25, $50 and $100 to please the most discriminating individual on your list. Gift certificates also available online. LEO'S


11/1/11 5:50 PM


Voted Best Hair Salon. Voted Best Day Spa. Purchase gift cards on line, over the phone or stop by any one of our four locations. Gift Cards are available in any denomination which can be used toward any of our world class services or toward any of our products.


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POUR, LISTEN, ENJOY … Gurglepot!

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Lemon Creek produces over 24 wines, estate grown and bottled from the winery's 150-acre vineyard. Located in Grand Haven, the tasting room offers daily wine tastings and sales, gift certificates and holiday gifts. LEMON CREEK WINERY Grand Haven Tasting Room 327 N. Beacon Blvd. Grand Haven, MI 616-844-1709

FUN FOR the Holidays

Smiles guaranteed with our Fork and Spoon Art. These whimsical handmade creations make a perfect gift. Come see our full collection at our store. Only $29.50. ALEXIS DESIGNS

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ELEGANCE and Glamour

From the dining room to living room to the bedroom, the Diamond Chest from Baker Furniture is ideal for any space. Designed by Barbara Barry, it’s both functional and elegant and features silver leaf faceted dual panels that open. HARBOUR BAY FURNITURE

212 S. River in Downtown Holland 616-395-5554

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Visit our urban craft boutique and expose yourself to an unmatched shopping experience. With a paradise of uncommon goods, we welcome you to join our enthusiasm of artisans from all over the world and those in your own backyard. LAFONTSEE GALLERIES

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11/1/11 1:36 PM

Exceptional experiences Outstanding value

Enjoy an independent lifestyle in a beautiful, all-new apartment home and celebrate each day with fellowship and a full schedule of activities. Expand your horizons in an environment designed to provide a level of comfort beyond traditional retirement communities.

For more information or to schedule a tour, contact Laurie, at 616-855-1881.

Grand Rapids’ Premier Retirement Community • 1919 Boston Street SE •

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10/31/11 8:33 AM

Jihad Mustapha, M.D. Interventional Cardiologist

By Marty Primeau and Tim McAllister


Photography by Michael Buck

What’s up, Docs? The practice of medicine has become increasingly segmented into subspecialties, which are well represented in West Michigan.


here was a time when families relied on a general practitioner for all of their medical needs. Today, the number of family doctors has declined as the ranks of specialists — and subspecialists — has risen. Consider pediatrics. The number of pediatric subspecialists certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties is 20, ranging from neurodevelopmental disabilities to sleep medicine. Ditto for internal medicine, with 19 subspecialties that include nephrology, critical care medicine and transplant hepatology. West Michigan has its share of specialists and subspecialists, some of whom have become medical pioneers, improving the way procedures are done or making sure patients benefit from the latest advances in medical technology. Is there a reason the practice of medicine has become to specialized? “There are several reasons,” said Lody Zwarensteyn, president of Alliance for Health, the nonprofit health care planning agency. “One is that narrowing the scope allows some doctors to do more of the same things — and do them better. Practice makes perfect, so the more you practice, the better you’ll be.”

42 Grand Rapids December 2011

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JIHAD MUSTAPHA Saving a limb to save a life

DARA SPEARMAN, M.D. Dermatologist

Seven years ago, Dr. Jihad Mustapha gambled on a hunch. Treating a patient about to lose her leg due to severe peripheral artery disease, the interventional cardiologist decided to try a device invented for something else. It worked. He saved her leg — and perhaps her life. Now doctors and researchers worldwide come to Grand Rapids to learn techniques from Mustapha and his team at Metro Health Hospital. He also travels around the country speaking about amputation prevention. “Amputation is a barbaric way of treating artery diseases,” he said. “For many people it’s a death sentence. When a 75-yearold person loses a leg, the odds of dying within 18 months is 30 to 40 percent. It is important to keep the circulatory system intact. By preventing the loss of a limb, often you are saving a life.” When plaque builds in the arteries that carry blood to the legs, the circulation slows. Mustapha performs artery and vein catheterizations to open vessels in the limbs to improve circulation. The device he originally used was created to clear clogged arteries leading to the heart. “Back then, the technology we had was not sufficient,” he said. “I adapted it for the legs, knee and ankle. Now we are the place here at Metro where there is a new device in development,” he said. Unfortunately, he said, demand for such procedures is growing with the increase of obesity and diabetes in the United States. Mustapha’s efforts — he often works 18-hour days — have taken the specialty to a new level. “The support from my staff has allowed me to focus on patient care and to fine tune the procedure,” he said. “It also allows me to teach others. We are developing a community of physicians who are doing what we do. We are definitely making a difference.”

“There are so few dermatologists of color,” she said. “As an African-American woman, I know a lot of patients feel more comfortable with a doctor who has a similar experience and DARA SPEARMAN understands their needs.” Specialized treatment for ethnic skin While pursuing her medical degree at the University of Like most dermatologists, Dr. Dara Spearman knows all Michigan, Spearman said she researched the unique qualities of about treating skin cancers. The 31-year-old physician also keeps non-Caucasian skin. “The problems are definitely different,” she said. “Women up with breakthroughs in rejuvenation procedures. But her practice at Saint Mary’s Advantage Health Medical with darker skin have less chance of cancer than Caucasian & Cosmetic Dermatology Center has a unique twist. Spearman women, but they have more issues with scarring. Pigment changes are very common.” specializes in ethnic skin. Spearman recently had a patient come to her who had undergone laser hair removLarry McCahill, M.D. al on her face. Surgical Oncologist “You could see scarring in the shape of the laser head,” she said. “It’s about being aware and knowing the alternative procedures. At our facility, we are fortunate to have different types of lasers.” While many skin rejuvenation technologies, especially lasers, were developed for Caucasian skin, Spearman said newer therapies are proving safe for darker skin. Age-related therapies — especially the less invasive procedures — are in demand. “Most women don’t want the down time of a face lift so they are turning to fillers and smaller procedures,” she said. “And they are also doing more maintenance. I am seeing women in their late 20s getting Botox to prevent wrinkles before they happen.” December 2011 Grand Rapids 43

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Eddie o’connor, PH.D. Clinical Sport Psychologist

Her advice is to always seek out board-certified dermatologists. “Patients with ethnic skin should be sure that the clinician not only chooses devices that are safe and effective for darker skin types, but also uses appropriate settings to get maximum benefits with the least complications.”

LARRY McCAHILL Cutting edge of surgical oncology Dr. Larry McCahill is not afraid to push the envelope. He was the first surgeon to use the less-invasive laparoscopic surgery to perform a liver resection — partial removal of the liver due to cancer. “More people have gastrointestinal cancer than either breast or lung cancer,” said McCahill, who has been director of surgical oncology at Saint Mary’s Lacks Cancer Center in Grand Rapids since 2009. “And, unfortunately, we don’t have screening programs for many of these cancers, so they’re diagnosed at a later stage.” To date, he has only been called upon to perform one laparoscopic liver resection. “It was a unique situation,” McCahill said. “We cut off the blood supply to her liver six weeks before surgery. We were stepping out on a new limb there, because you’re not supposed to take out both blood supplies, but it was effective. Her liver started to grow on the other side, and after calculating that she had enough to live off, we removed three-quarters of her liver. She was home in about eight days. I was shocked that we could do that.” The short recovery time is a huge plus for laparoscopic surgery. “They can be challenging cancers, but patients can have an excellent recovery,” McCahill said. “Bodies have pretty amazing adaptive capabilities. But it’s certainly faster when you can do the whole thing laparoscopically.” McCahill said Lacks Cancer Center is doing the same procedures as Mayo Clinic and the University of Michigan. “The doctors who specialize in gastrointestinal cancer work as a team, so we’ve been able to develop some regional expertise,” he said. “It opens the door for people to get their health care regionally. People can probably get 99 percent of the things they need done in town. And I think we’re really at the forefront.”

CHRIS GLISSON Diagnosing disease through the eye You go to your ophthalmologist complaining of a vision problem. The standard diagnostic tests are run, but everything seems normal: no glaucoma, no cataracts, no macular degeneration. The doctor is stumped. That’s when some patients are referred to Dr. Chris Glisson, a neuro-ophthalmologist with Saint Mary’s Health Care’s Hauenstein Neuroscience Center, who looks through the eye to see what’s happening in the brain. “It’s a fairly new subspecialty with only about 600 in the country,” he said. “We’re considered the ‘court of last resort.’ Most patients who come to us have seen other physicians and specialists who can’t come to a conclusion.” His area of interest begins at the optic nerve and the disorders of vision that arise from central nervous system disease. The optic nerve transmits visual information from the retina to the brain. “The optic nerve is an extension of the brain,” he said. “People don’t see with their eyes; they see with the brain.” Some patients are unaware they have a disease until it begins to affect their vision. Glisson’s detailed examination — he looks at everything from medical history, diagnostic tests, a list of drugs the patient has taken and more — can detect diseases throughout the body, including brain tumors, diabetes and high blood pressure. All often are revealed in the patient’s eyes. “Most of my patients tell me the exam and consultation is probably the most exhaustive they’ve ever gone though,” he said.

Chris Glisson, D.O. Neuro-ophthalmologist

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Glisson, who teaches at Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine, said he was fortunate to be exposed to neuro-opthalmology as a medical student. “Not everyone gets a chance to understand what we do. That’s what’s so great about having the MSU College of Human Medicine in Grand Rapids. “More students will find this specialty fascinating as they are exposed to it.” Glisson was recently joined by Dr. Ronel Santos, making them the only two neuro-ophthalmologists in West Michigan. Both care for patients at Saint Mary’s Hauenstein Center.

EDDIE O’CONNOR Keeping athletes mentally strong Sometimes being in peak physical shape isn’t enough. Today’s athletes often need mental training to help them perform at their best. As a sport psychologist, Eddie O’Connor works with professional and amateur athletes to help them overcome mistakes and get through difficult times. In other words, he’s a “mental toughness coach.” At the Performance Excellence Center of Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, O’Connor sees a lot of high school athletes with issues ranging from performance anxiety to eating disorders. Some may be experiencing a slump; others may be worried about the transition from high school to college. Many feel the pressure to win. “When students come to me, they’re often frustrated,” he said. “I start out with a general description of the problem to figure out what the triggers are.” They talk about the team atmosphere, coaching relationships, and how invested the student is in the sport. “The more invested the athletes, the more nervous they can become,” he said. “The focus often shifts from concentrating on the present to worrying about the outcome. And when they start to worry about winning, they lose focus. “I help them recognize what’s going on and help them focus on their own efforts and behavior.” The benefits go beyond performing well in a game or event. “When kids are struggling, they’re not getting an enjoyment out of the sports. Playing sports can enrich the high school experience, so I want to help make it fun again.” O’Connor said he’s pleased to see the growth in sport psychology and an awareness to seek it out. “The nice thing is, once they learn how to use the tools, they can apply them to school and other situations. They are valuable life skills outside of sports.” O’Connor also is director and chief psychologist of the Pain Center at Mary Free Bed, helping patients with pain get their lives back.

“The da Vinci is awesome,” said Lane, a urologist with Spectrum Health. “It’s a surgical robot that gives enhanced visualization and magnification. It helps us see better.” Another thing that’s very helpful is that the instrumentation is “wristed,” he explained. “It’s articulated. So instead of just having the instruments go in one direction, you have nine degrees of freedom. It basically lets the instrumentation mimic what the human hand can do.” The da Vinci robot is catching on. “Now robotic surgery is expanding,” he said. “The first surgery was prostatectomy, and I do more of those than anyone else in western Michigan. But we also do kidney surgery, the gynecologists do ovary and uterus surgery, even our cardiothoracic surgeons and colorectal surgeons at Spectrum Health do robotic surgery.” Sorry, science fiction fans, but the robots will not be taking over anytime soon. “I call it robot-assisted laproscopic surgery instead of robotic surgery for that very reason,” Lane said. “When you say ‘robotic surgery,’ people think the robot is doing all the work. But the robot can do nothing without my direction.” Lane does forecast an expansion in the use of robot assistants.

BRIAN LANE Robot-assisted urology In the future, will all surgery be done using robots? Possibly. But in the here and now, Dr. Brian Lane is using the da Vinci Surgical System to perform more accurate, less-invasive procedures.

Brian Lane, M.D. urologist

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Samir hamati, M.D. Gynecological surgeon

“I think it’s going to move into just about every surgical discipline there is,” Lane said. “Because of the improved visualization, instrumentation and the magnification, it’s usable anywhere. There could even be uses in ear, nose and throat surgery for very delicate work.” Lane has even thought of using the da Vinci robot to create something for next year’s ArtPrize. “It would be a great collaborative effort between all the surgical disciplines at Spectrum who use the robot,” Lane said. “Most hospitals don’t have that.”

SAMIR HAMATI Treating a silent epidemic Pelvic prolapse is a common condition affecting as many as one in three women in the United States. Yet it’s often dubbed the “silent epidemic.” The condition occurs when muscles and ligaments supporting a woman’s pelvic organs weaken, allowing those organs to slip out of place. “Women are embarrassed to talk to their doctor about this,” said Dr. Samir Hamati, the new medical director at The Pelvic Prolapse Correction Center of Michigan in Grand Haven. “And often when a woman does go to her primary care physician, she is told that pelvic prolapse is just part of growing old. As a result, many women are suffering in silence.” Early stages can be treated with medication or such lifestyle changes as weight loss and Kegel exercises. But Hamati said that by the time most women seek help, they already are at stage three or four with symptoms that affect bladder, bowel and sexual intercourse. Surgery is often the only treatment in severe cases. While traditional vaginal surgery has had complications, Hamati has been using the da Vinci robotic surgery system since

Joe Eisenmann, PH.D. pediatric obesity researcher

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2006, achieving positive results with fewer problems. The da Vinci uses 3-D, high-definition vision and miniaturized, wristed instruments designed to help doctors take surgery beyond the limits of the human hand. “It’s much more precise and minimally invasive,” said Hamati, who has been a gynecologist for more than 25 years. “And because the hand is not inside the body, there is less trauma and adhesion — and also less hospital time for the patient.” Hamati said his goal at the center, which is part of the North Ottawa Community Health system, is to make women aware of the importance of pelvic exams. “Pelvic prolapse is something that affects a woman’s quality of life,” he said. “It should not be ignored.”

JOE EISENMANN Solving the dilemma of childhood obesity First lady Michelle Obama isn’t alone in her quest to help overweight kids. Since last year, researcher Joe Eisenmann has been investigating the problem at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Healthy Weight Center in Grand Rapids. His patients range from ages 5 to 17, with a body mass index greater than the 95th percentile in their age and sex. “Patients are referred to us from their primary care physicians,” Eisenmann said. “Their physicians should have tried some sort of intervention with them, trying to change key lifestyle behaviors such as physical activity and diet.” After the referral, the child is subject to a grueling twoday clinical assessment. “They’re measured from head to toe,” Eisenmann said. “They do a medical examination, a physical examination, and take an extensive medical history. Then there’s a psychosocial evaluation by a medical social worker and a pediatric psychologist, looking for anxiety or depression. They’re seen by a registered dietician.” Information is gathered about dietary habits, dietary patterns and consumption of certain food groups. “They’re seen by a pediatric exercise physiologist,” he said. “That person does an assessment of physical activity habits and patterns, also exploring barriers to physical activity. Then they exercise test them, test lung and heart function and do an analysis of body composition. It’s quite extensive and very comprehensive.” Overweight children can develop diabetes as adults. “A big abnormality is pre-diabetes,” Eisenmann said. “I want to know what percentage of our patients have pre-diabetic conditions, and look at associations between certain lifestyle characteristics and family behaviors.” Eisenmann’s goal is to get a little closer to finding a cause or a trigger for childhood obesity. “Not only is it a clinical program, but it’s a research program, as well,” Eisenmann said. Parents aren’t off the hook, he said. “This is really a family intervention. Parents are the gatekeepers. They make most of the decisions.”

DANIEL MAISON Relieving a patient’s suffering The good news: Americans are living longer. The bad news: Many are living with complex and serious illnesses. And those illnesses often are accompanied by pain, stress

Daniel Maison, M.D. Hospice and Palliative Medicine

and a plethora of miserable symptoms. Palliative care is a specialty designed to help such patients feel comfortable while they are being treated. “For instance, a cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy with the expectancy of healing often is dealing with nausea and fatigue,” said Dr. Daniel Maison, a palliative care specialist with Spectrum Health Group. “It’s our job to keep the patient comfortable.” Often confused with hospice, palliative care can be an option for patients at any age and at any stage of life expectancy — and it can be provided along with treatments that are meant to cure. And as people with chronic or difficult-to-control conditions face medical choices, the palliative care specialist helps both the patient and family understand everything that’s going on. “That is a big focus of our care,” Maison said. “When folks have big decisions to make, we want them to know all the options.” He said palliative care specialists rely on input from the entire medical team, including physicians, pharmacists, nurses, psychologist, social workers and others, to formulate a plan of care. “We don’t talk about right or wrong. We provide them with information.” A relatively new specialty, palliative care has been practiced in other countries for several years, said Maison. “Fifty years ago, people weren’t living as long as they are now,” he said. “Advances in medicine mean people are living longer, but the illnesses they face are more complicated.” GR December 2011 Grand Rapids 47

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Best Venue Award Site:Lab, Site:Lab and U-M School of Art & Design Selected by Reed Kroloff, executive director of Cranbrook

ArtPrize 2011


rom the moment Paul Amenta got a look inside the dilapidated building at 2 E. Fulton St., he knew it would be a perfect space to showcase art. The sculptor professor at Kendall College of Arts and Design had organized exhibitions in other vacant buildings in downtown Grand Rapids, so he jumped at the opportunity to transform the old Junior Achievement headquarters into Site:Lab, an ArtPrize venue. He faced significant challenges.

Photography by Johnny Quirin

Juried awards add a ‘layer of professional evaluation to the overall conversation.’

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Photography by Johnny Quirin

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“Artists are given an open opportunity to have their work be showcased before some of the leading professionals in their respective specialties.” — Catherine Creamer

“Disappearances — An Eternal Journey” by Shinji Turner-Yamamoto Selected by Nuit Banai, art historian and critic, Tufts University

their work be showcased before some of the leading professionals in their respective specialties.” ArtPrize also developed two Special Recognition Awards, including a Sustainability Award to the artist whose work best reflects the importance of sustainable practices and the triple-bottom line. Ox-Bow School of Art, an affiliated program of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, awarded one artist with a fiveweek residency (plus free room, board and studio space) at its location in Saugatuck. Each juried winner received a cash prize of $7,000, while special recognition winners were given $5,000. GR

Photography by Johnny Quirin

International Award

Amenta and his crew of volunteers spent seven months repairing the leaky roof, fixing holes in the concrete floors and painting ceilings in the building recently acquired by Locus Development. Meanwhile, as curator of Site:Lab, he was reviewing proposals from artists — plus teaching his classes at Kendall. “It was a lot of work,” he said, “but it was really awesome.” Art critics agreed, awarding Site:Lab the first ArtPrize Venue Award, added to the list of awards just two days before the winners were announced at DeVos Performance Hall. “I was in the audience because three or four of our artists were up for juried awards,” Amenta said. “But the venue award was a complete surprise.” Juried awards were granted in addition to the $449,000 presented to the top 10 artists chosen by the public. “These juried awards add a layer of professional evaluation to the overall conversation,” said Catherine Creamer, executive director of ArtPrize. “In addition to the public vote, artists are given an open opportunity to have

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Best use oF urBAn sPAce AwArd “Salvaged Landscape” by catie newell Selected by reed Kroloff, director, cranbrook academy of art and art museum, bloomfield hills, mich.

sPeciAl recoGnition AwArd: sustainability Award “walking home: Stories from the Desert to the great Lakes” by Laura milkins interactive performance, not shown. Selected by Susan Lyons, founding principal of Susan Lyons Studio LLc, and consulting creative director for color and materials for herman miller.

tiMe-BAsed worK

PhotograPhy by Johnny Quirin

PhotograPhy by Johnny Quirin

“remember:replay:repeat” by caroline young Selected by Kathleen forde, curator, experimental media and Performing art center, troy, n.y.

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3-D Award “Nature Preserve” by Michele Brody Selected by Glenn Harper, editor-in-chief, Sculpture Magazine

Special Recognition Award: Ox-Bow School of Art Residency Award “The Progressive Movement(s)” by Evertt Beidler Selected by Ox-Bow School of Art

2-D Award

Photography by Johnny Quirin, pages 52-53

“One Ordinary Day of an Ordinary Town” by Mimi Kato Selected by Anne Ellegood, senior curator, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles

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ArtPrize 2011 “I want to produce a fantastic ArtPrize 3 that meets and exceeds the public’s expectations.” — Catherine Creamer, ArtPrize executive director

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Art Appreciation

A connection to art history By Joseph Antenucci Becherer

One of West Michigan’s true cultural gems is the collection of prints, drawings and photographs available at the Jansma Family Works on Paper Study Room at the Grand Rapids Art Museum. The “Three Crosses: Christ Crucified Between Two Thieves” by Rembrandt (1606-1669) is a masterpiece on many levels, including the ability to suggest both the human and divine nature of Christ through the dramatic retelling of the crucifixion story. Rembrandt calls upon the art historical tradition of the scene, but in the use of light and dark, the frailty and introspection of the figures and the overall intimacy of the work welcome viewers of every background to the mystery and tragedy of the event.

Photography by Johnny Quirin (page 55); Photography by Johnny Quirin (Page 54, clockwise from center left); Michael Buck (bottom right and left)

Even today Rembrandt’s imagery is a visual guidepost for understanding artists working on religious themes, such as Maria Tavonatti. Although centuries of western tradition and innumerable images of Christ have been created, even today Rembrandt’s imagery is a visual guidepost for understanding artists working on religious themes, such as Maria Tavonatti. The Michigan-born, California-based artist produced “Crucifixion,” the winning entry in the 2011 ArtPrize. The colossal glass mosaic image of the crucified Christ measures 13 feet high. Originally intended to be installed in a church, this contemporary altarpiece calls to mind several important traditions in the western annals of art history. The subject matter, the function and even the materials and technique that gave rise to Tavonatti’s work are important to know and remember. Surprising to many, the earliest images of Christ feature an athletic, youthful figure reminiscent of ancient Greek and Roman deities that were the first models of how to depict a god. Slowly, as the classical world gave way to the Middle Ages, an increasing number of images appear of Christ on the cross. Among these, one popular tradition was to describe the figure awake and fully conscious, with the

ArtPrize 2011: 1st Place Winner California artist Mia Tavonatti was commissioned to create the stained glass mosaic altarpiece entitled “Crucifixion” for Saint Kilian’s Catholic Church in Orange County, California.

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Art Appreciation

figure seemingly juxtaposed atop the shape of the cross. The image of suffering and of death that Tavonatti has evoked does appear in the Middle Ages, but it is more frequently encountered throughout the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Through the depiction of suffering and death, artists from Donatello to Michelangelo, Rembrandt to Rubens, Zurbaran to Manet to Dali wished to focus on Christ’s dual nature, which, according to tradition, was both human and divine. Often the scene involved a great cast of onlookers like the aforementioned Rembrandt, but the singular image of the lifeless corpse on the cross was equally common, especially as an icon of devotion. Many times, artists inspired by the likes of Donatello, Michelangelo or Rubens used a very muscular and athletic model, which helped to underscore the cruel irony of loss. Tavonatti seems to have chosen this tradition. The fact that the ArtPrize winner is an altarpiece also is closely connected to an important lineage. An altarpiece was intended to be installed atop an altar in a church to provide a focal point during services and moments of quiet reflection. In much of Christian history — more specifically, of Catholic history — the priest or religious celebrant did not face the congregation, so a large altarpiece would have enjoyed even deeper significance. At this nearly cinematic scale, Tavonatti’s winning entry calls to mind the massive scale of altarpieces by artists such as Rubens, whose works on a similar scale were installed

tional tile. There are countless examples of altarpiece images that describe the crucified Christ in churches and museums around the globe. As the history of Tavonatti’s “Crucifixion” attests, it is a subject and a format still sought out today. Locally, two neighboring churches have extraordinary works of art that come to mind in this context. First are the incredible mosaics in the belltower base and foyer of Fountain Street Church. Second are the dazzling Tiffany stained-glass windows of Park Congregational Church. Like the Rembrandt, these are among the finest artistic treasures available in Grand Rapids and are worth visiting again and again. Although the work of the winners of the first two years of ArtPrize hold important historical associations to study and appreciate, this year’s winner possesses much greater and more forthright connections to earlier chapters in the history of art. Whether from the Middle Ages, Renaissance or Baroque, the masters and monuments that have inspired the faith and visual culture of so many are important to remember and revisit. So many, like Rembrandt, have the ability to speak across time and place to ever new audiences of both the religious faithful and the artistically devoted. Contributing editor Joseph Becherer is a professor at Aquinas College and curator of sculpture at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.

Photography by Johnny Quirin

At this nearly cinematic scale, Tavonatti’s winning entry calls to mind the massive scale of altarpieces by artists such as Rubens, whose works on a similar scale were installed in vast hall churches and noticeable even at a distance.

in vast hall churches and were noticeable even at a distance. Although most altarpieces were painted or sculpted, Tavonatti’s work is a mosaic, a genre that flourished in certain parts of Europe from the Middle Ages and is intimately associated with the Eastern or Byzantine tradition. Covering vast amounts of wall space with thousands of pieces of colored tile and other materials was both practical and purposeful. Otherwise plain and simple interiors were graciously adorned, and stories were told with great visual splendor. For her work, Tavonatti has used stained glass rather than a more tradi-

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ArtPrize 2011 “The energy and the enthusiasm and the intensity of it all will leave behind a broader, more favorable … appreciation of the visual arts in West Michigan.” — Joseph Becherer Director of Exhibitions & Curator of Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

Photography by Johnny Quirin

Photography by Johnny Quirin

Source: USA Today, quoted on Artprize website

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CLIMBING KILI FOR KIDS Mike and Rachel Mraz raised $26,000 for a children’s orphanage by combining their passion for travel, adventure and philanthropy. PHOTOGRAPHY AND STORY BY RACHEL AND MIKE MRAZ

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an we do this?”

Mike and Rachel Mraz thought long and hard. The answer was “Yes.” And with that, they launched their Climb Kili for Kids project to conquer Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania to raise money for Eden Children’s Village in Zimbabwe. Crazy? Maybe. But the Grand Rapids couple shares a passion for travel, philanthropy and adventure. “This combined all three,” Rachel said. The Mrazes had been sponsoring a child from Zimbabwe through their church, Mayflower Congregational. And when missionaries visited to talk about plans to expand the orphanage, “the idea just clicked,” Mike said. “This was an organization we could get behind.” Their goal: $25,000. “That amount wouldn’t go that far in the United States,” Rachel said. “But in Zimbabwe, it could build and provision an entire administration building for the orphanage.” They did research, created a website, posted on Facebook and hosted fundraising parties in their home. In the end, they raised more than $26,000 that went directly to Eden. “We paid 100 percent of the expenses to do the climb out of pocket,” she said. They also started working out, hiking seven to eight hours with day packs. “We even hiked the Canadian Rockies.” The actual climb was amazing, as Rachel writes in her journal. But most important was visiting Zimbabwe to meet the children. “These are kids who have no options for education,” she said. “More than 80 percent of the local population in this area of Zimbabwe is HIV positive.” They were able to meet the young girl they sponsor. “We brought her a teddy bear,” Rachel said. “She’s a really sweet little girl who loves pink and wants Crocs for Christmas.” Day 1: Machame Gate to Machame Huts The road from Arusha to Kiliman-

jaro is a two-lane highway that passes through all imaginable socioeconomic circumstances. The dirty and littered city gives way to lush tropical forests and running rivers rather than polluted streams. Small convenience stores line the road, usually with some personal store name on a Coca-Cola sign. Some of the houses look barely large enough for a cot, yet a clothesline and a cow tied out back show they are inhabited. In the country, many people are farming their own property by the road and selling the fruits of their labor on the rural stretches of road. We turned down a narrower road with a simple sign and an arrow that indicated “Machame.” On this road we had our first full view of Mount Kilimanjaro in the distance. As we entered the Machame Gate, we saw a sea of other climbers, all excited to sign the roster and begin their journey. The combination of exhaust from tightly packed safari vehicles and the “natural smell” of hundreds of porters wasn’t fabulous. We met Elly (chief guide) and Godfrey (assistant guide), and quickly hit the trail, with Godfrey going “pole, pole” (slowly, slowly). It was a very long day — a five-hour hike and 1,200 meters

in altitude gained. Machame Huts Camp was very dusty, but welcome after a long day. We felt an amazing sense of presence after the porters were chanting and singing as hikers arrived. Their ability to speed past us on the trails — always saying “Jambo” as they passed — and then set up camp and still be cheery was remarkable. We were shocked by how rapidly the temperature dropped as night began to fall. We went from warm weather hiking clothes to double fleeces in a matter of minutes, and this is only the first camp, just under 10,000 feet. The snow-capped mountain right outside of the tent door was an amazing site this evening. Once night fell, the skies gave way to the brightest, most vibrant stars we’ve ever seen. Day 2: Machame Huts to Shira Caves Camp was buzzing this morning, people milling about unpacking and repacking — a constant process with camping. If day 1 was a six-hour Stairmaster, day 2 was Dr. Seuss’ psychedelic version of nature’s Stairmaster. The path was very craggy until lunch, with steep inclines and scrambles. When we arrived at Shira

Rachel and Mike Mraz as they near the top of the Barranco Wall on their trek up Mount Kilimanjaro. The Grand Rapids couple raised $26,000 to expand the orphanage at Eden Children’s Village in Zimbabwe. December 2011 Grand Rapids 59

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“These are kids who have no options for education. More than 80 percent of the local population in this area of Zimbabwe is HIV positive.” — Rachel Mraz Caves, we relaxed for a bit before doing an acclimatization walk to Shira Huts. Shira Huts is a camp area used when taking different routes up the mountain, although it is close to Shira Caves. This evening we snapped some amazing photos as we watched the sun set through the higher level of clouds above us and beyond the layer of clouds now below us. Day 3: Shira Caves to Barranco Valley Camp, via Lava Tower We woke to visions of Kibo’s summit outside our tent — but not without cost. At 12,595 feet, there was frost on the ground and it was quite cold. As we get higher, the afternoons and evenings tend to be overcast or cloudy, but the mornings give way to bright skies and visibility. “Pole, pole, so you save your ‘energ’ for the last day” is what Elly and Godfrey kept telling us — or just so you can make it through the day. Entire books could be written about what you see on day 3. As soon as you leave Shira Caves camp, it is a gradual constant incline into the altitude. As we progressed upwards, we saw the Shira Plateau beneath us. The wind seemed to be whipping us from every direction and stinging our faces, as the plants began to thin out from the delicate flowers of the Moorlands to the more hearty plants that are able to survive. Each time we passed a ridge and hoped we were nearer Lava Tower, another presented itself. The winds were pushing the clouds up to the mountains from below, and the dance between mountains and clouds was breathtaking. The wind pushed massive clouds against the rocks, and as they collided, the clouds jumped and dissipated almost as if to say, “I’m so sorry for disturbing you.” Finally we arrived at Lava Tower for a lunch break at 4,850 meters. A minor headache is to be expected, but after five hours on our third day of hiking, so is exhaustion. Thankfully, the rest of the day was downhill. Long days on the trails lend themselves to interesting stories from the guides. William was a guide and porter for the shooting of the movie “Kilimanjaro.” When the film crew had trouble acclimatizing, some porters, including William, ended up filming parts of the

footage. Elly, who exercises by running while not on the mountain, completed the Kili Marathon, from base to peak and back, in 16 hours last year. This morning we awoke on the western side of the mountain and now were making our way toward the south and ultimately the east for our summit route. As per usual, the “short downhill walk” seemed to take an eternity, but was especially interesting as we actually walked down into the clouds and began to see unique trees and plants rather than the barren lava fields earlier in the day. There was no question that we were feeling the effects of the altitude, but that was to be expected. Despite our very high acclimatization hike today, Barranco Valley Camp is only 100 meters higher than Shira Caves. The clouds continued to push through the camp this evening but never fully cleared to reveal a good view of the Barranco Wall. While we were attempting a short nap, the porters all broke out in a rhythmic song that made us take a moment from exhaustion and, for the 1,000th time just today, revel in how incredible this experience is. And as I write and look out the window in the mess tent, a shot of blue sky finally appears through the clouds. Day 4: Barranco Valley Camp to Karanga Camp Later last evening and first thing this morning, the Barranco Wall revealed itself — much to my anticipation. Obviously, I’m writing this, so we made it, but it wasn’t without a personal psych-up. Elly recently led a celebrity climb for malaria awareness and told me, “Don’t worry, a couple cried the whole time but even they made it to the top.” Whether that is true or not, the wall was steep and narrow with technical passes. Godfrey led the way, and I was so focused on following him, I didn’t realize we had passed the hardest part where we scurried alongside the mountain face hugging a rock. The porters amazed us yet again, taking the same path but with 16-plus kilos precariously balanced somewhere on their person as they cruised right by. The remainder of the hike took us through the Karanga Valley in the clouds. A few undulating hills were a welcome

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change from steep grades, and as we came over a ridge, we could see Karanga Camp in the distance. That was too easy — a bit closer and we saw the crevasse in front of us that we had to descend and then climb to get to camp. We found ourselves on the other side in the cloud-covered campsite in time for a hot lunch of French fries and carrot soup rather than a pack lunch along the trail. The restful afternoon gave way to nightfall, which comes on very quickly and coldly on the mountain. As we walked to our tent for the night, the clouds cleared and we were able to see a spectacular view above: The stars faded all the way into the horizon, punctuated by shooting stars darting by every few moments. Day 5: Karanga Camp to Barafu Huts (base camp) We hiked up to base camp today, which sits at over 15,000 feet altitude. The camp site at Barafu is essentially on the side of the mountain, but when the clouds parted, we could see the start of the path to the summit. Clouds rolled in and out of the valley up toward the mountain, causing the same incessant clothing change from tank top to five layers. One minute you’d see the path to the summit as well as several open plateaus over the next ridge, and a few moments later, you couldn’t see the tent in front of you. As I sit at base camp, I’m absolutely overwhelmed with the emotion that we have reached a place and had an experience that few people on earth will — and

I couldn’t be more thankful. Day 6: Summit Day Summit day actually began yesterday with dinner at 5 p.m., to bed by 7 p.m. and a wake-up call at 10:30 p.m. Unfortunately, this made for very little sleep on a very big day. We hit the summit route at 11:30 p.m. with dozens of other upward-bound hikers. The stars were shockingly vibrant in the high altitude and untainted night sky, and the pattern of head lamps in a row up and down the switchbacks made for a different sort of light show. The route commenced with 30 minutes of scaling rock walls, followed by an uncountable number of inclining switchbacks, and culminated six and a half hours later with steep, loose scree (broken rock fragments) that made you feel like you were falling back a step for each step forward. Hiking through the bone-chilling night was hard, but it was punctuated by groups singing African songs, guides chatting in Swahili, and the constant rhythmic focus on breathing deeply as the altitude increased. We reached Stella Point — the first official summit of Kilimanjaro — just moments before the sunrise burst over the horizon of the African continent. Resting only a few moments, we progressed toward the highest summit: Uhuru Peak. Uhuru Peak was a 90-minute round trip from Stella Point, and it was incredibly trying after hiking through the night. This entire portion of the hike was above 19,000 feet altitude. The inner crater of

Kilimanjaro was barren, most of the glaciers having retreated significantly in recent years. After six days of climbing, hiking, acclimatizing and anticipating, at 7:30 a.m. on Sept. 10, 2010, we reached Uhuru Peak, simply marked by a weatherbeaten sign indicating it is “Africa’s highest point” at 5,895 meters (19,340 feet). Making it to Uhuru Peak was a feat we took entirely for granted, and even as much as we wanted to soak in the moment, we didn’t spend much time at the summit and headed for our next adventure — “screeing” down the mountain to base camp. By the time we got back to our tent at base camp, I was the most exhausted I’ve ever been in my life. After a quick rest, onward we went, and Godfrey led us to Millennium Camp for our final night on the mountain. The walk down to the camp was in a barren valley and we could feel our lungs refilling, as we had spent dawn at 19,340 feet, lunch at over 15,000, and were on our way down to a camp at a comparably low 12,500 feet. Needless to say, the exhausting day lent itself to a relaxing night, made complete with a little whiskey tea to celebrate conquering Mount Kilimanjaro’s Whiskey Route. Day 7: Millennium Camp to Mweka Gate The last day may very well have been the most difficult, seeing as we were exhausted and still had a four- to sixhour descent off the mountain. Despite the beauty of the Moorlands and then the rainforest, our legs were entirely shot after several hours of going down huge makeshift stairs. As we continued to walk down the Mweka Route, we re-entered the clouds at what I would assume was around 9,000 feet. This last day had more wildlife than we had seen on the entire trip, mostly monkeys frolicking in the trees. Our ears started popping as we hiked down to lower altitudes. We finally reached Mweka Gate and got to enter our names, highest point reached and sign off in the logbook. Summiting Mount Kilimanjaro is the most physically and mentally demanding thing we’ve ever done, but we agreed, even in today’s state of complete exhaustion, we’d do it all again. GR Rachel Mraz is a wealth management advisor for Merrill Lynch; Mike Mraz is vice president of development for Rockford Construction.

Opposite page: Mike Mraz signs in at the Barafu Huts base camp, the last stop before attempting the summit. Rachel and Mike at Uhuru Peak, the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro — “a feat we took entirely for granted.” After singing a welcoming song for the Mrazes as they visited the Zimbabwe village, the children relaxed with lemonade and treats. Top: Groundbreaking for the Administration Building at Eden Children’s Village. December 2011 Grand Rapids 61

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at the JW Marriott • downtown Grand Rapids

runway show december 13 A Matthew Agency Production

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doors open at 7:00 pm • runway show starts at 8:00 pm hors d’oeuvres • cash bar • silent auction tickets from $50 - $250 • general admission to ultimate VIP table seating to purchase tickets • please call 616.284.4942 or email design 1 salon spa

clothing provided by: kids clothing provided by:

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models provided by:

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PhOTOGrAPhy By JOhNNy QuiriN





» CLUBS ‘N’ PUBS 100

deCember 2011 Grand rapids 63

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City Guide: Chef Profile

Eclectic fare at CityS¯en Head Chef Elijah Lopez and his crew at the new CityFlats Hotel restaurant are creating small plates for diners to share. By Julie Burch


ince opening its doors in the new CityFlats Hotel in July, CityS¯en Lounge has been pleasing the crowds with a delightful array of small-plate offerings created by Head Chef Elijah Lopez: Beef tenderloin sliders on soft pretzel buns topped with steak butter, crispy lobster spring rolls with hot and sour dipping sauce, grilled Australian rib lamb chops with sun-dried fig chutney and balsamic syrup, and an eightounce Kobe beef burger are examples of the eclectic fare. Born in Post, Texas, but raised in southwest Michigan, Lopez is a self-taught chef. But he would be the first to defer credit to the “really great people” and well-respected chefs under whom he built his culinary skills. In the food industry since age 16, Lopez developed his banquet skills at the Holland restaurant and sports bar Longnecks, before moving on to Saugatuck where he honed his fine-dining talents at Chequers while lending a hand at Restaurant Toulouse — “just to learn more.” He worked with beer at the New Holland Brewing Co. while also working as a dietician assistant at Holland Hospital. At Martha’s Vineyard Catering and at Til Midnight, he learned about meats and charcuterie from the man who would become CityFlats Hotel’s food and beverage manager and executive chef, Shelly Rash. He also spent some time in the kitchen at the JW Marriott before he was selected for the head spot at CityS¯en.

What is it you like about cooking? I like cooking for people because I know it will make them smile — if it’s good (he laughs). Growing up with my grandma, whenever we had guests, she just got up and started cooking — whether they were hungry or not — and they’d all end up eating and laughing together. I just loved that. How would you describe your culinary style? It reflects the people that I’ve worked with, and most of the chefs I’ve worked with were taught classic French techniques, so I guess it would be French/modern-American, with a little bit of Mexican — that comes from my grandma. How would you describe the menu at CityS¯en? Our menu is a little bit of everything: We have Asian-influenced dishes, French-inspired dishes, and modern American stuff — even

Photography by Michael Buck

Growing up with my grandma, whenever we had guests, she just got up and started cooking — whether they were hungry or not — and they’d all end up eating and laughing together. I just loved that.

64 Grand Rapids December 2011

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City Guide: Chef Profile

vegan dishes. They’re all small plates so you can order as much as you want and share with friends. We want you to sit down and try a little bit of everything and figure out for yourself what you like the best — and then come back and order it again. The menu will continue to evolve with the seasons. How do you come up with ideas when creating new menu items? It’s a collaboration between me and my cooks — along with what’s in season and what’s on hand. We get together with a bowl full of spoons and keep on tasting things until we get it right. Do you have a kitchen philosophy? I’ve always been taught to be consistent and to cook the way you would cook for yourself. What five ingredients do you always keep stocked at home? I always have some kind of hot sauce, some kind of spice rub, some kind of rice and beans, and the fifth thing would be pork. There’s definitely pork in the house somewhere. What would you like our readers to know about CityS¯en?

We can seat about 75 or so, including the patio, and the area can fit 100-plus for special events if they want to rent the space for a private party. We have a variety of food suiting the meat eater, the vegetarian and even the vegan. Our bartenders come up with great signature drinks and we have plenty of wines to pair with your food. Tell us about the recipe you’re sharing here. It’s for Guinness stew. When it’s colder outside, people like to eat a heartier meal, and after working with the brewery, I like working with beer in any way. GR

Chef Elijah Lopez’s

Guinness Stew Prep Time: 30 minutes 2 pounds chuck steak (stewing beef), 1-inch dice

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 cup all purpose flour

2 cups carrots, peeled and largely diced

Salt and pepper

3 celery stalks, largely diced

Pinch of cayenne

½ pound mushrooms, sliced

4 tablespoons oil

3 potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice

Photography by Michael Buck

2 tablespoons tomato puree, dissolved in 4 tablespoons water

Photography by Michael Buck

Cook Time: 2½-3 hours

Serves: 6-8

1 medium white onion, coarsely chopped

4 cups beef broth

1 bouquet garni (parsley, thyme, bay leaf)

12 ounces Guinness

Trim the meat of fat or gristle and cut into cubes; toss with 1 tablespoon of oil. In a small bowl, season the flour with salt, pepper and cayenne, then coat the beef, shaking off any excess. Preheat sauté pan on medium-high heat and sauté the beef in three batches, adding 1 tablespoon oil each time. Once beef is browned, set aside. Using same pan, add onion, carrots, garlic and celery and sauté for 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and continue to sauté for an additional minute. Add in

tomato paste and stir constantly for one minute. Pour in 6 ounces Guinness and scrape all caramelized bits from bottom of pan. Put beef, potatoes, vegetable mixture and bouquet garni into large stockpot, along with herbs and remaining liquids. Stir, taste and adjust seasonings. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for two hours. It’s ready when beef is fork tender. Serve with crusty bread and a pint of Guinness. December 2011 Grand Rapids 65

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City Guide

Dining listings

The recommendations and reviews in the listings are the opinions of the editors. Restaurants are included by virtue of overall quality. We have created symbols to area restaurant amenities, which are defined in a legend at the end of this listing.

New American Upscale, contemporary cooking including ethnic twists on familiar standbys. 25 KITCHEN AND BAR — Dining and bar space on separate levels and a menu that offers 25 pizzas, 25 beers, 25 specialty cocktails, 25 appetizers and inventive entrees artfully presented. Open daily 11 am-2 am. 25 Ottawa Ave SW, 8055581. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $-$$ BAR DIVANI — Wine flights, large array of spirits; classy surroundings. European-inspired food with plates meant for sharing, flatbreads, sushi and a variety of entrees. Closed Sun. 15 Ionia Ave SW, 774-9463. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $-$$ FBISTRO BELLA VITA — Big-city casual; fresh French and Italian cuisine, locally sourced and prepared over a wood fire; mammoth martini bar, nice wine selection. 44 Grandville Ave SW (downtown), 222-4600. H, L, D, C, 3, V, MC, AE, DC, DS, RSVP $ BLUE HOUSE BISTRO — Neo-American Creole fusion fare from New Orleans-trained chef/owner. Entrees reflect best of market, while jambalaya, gumbo and a creative steak dish are staples. Also, appetizers, soups, sandwiches/wraps and pizzas. Not licensed for alcohol. Closed Mon. 220 W 8th St, Holland, (616) 355-1994. bluehouse H, L, D, V, MC, AE $

He’s Cuban, she’s Mexican. The concept for their Café Aromas coffee shop? “A French or Italian bistro,” said Ayin Valdes, who owns the eatery at 880 Grandville Ave. SW ( with his wife, Mabel Carrillo. They opened Café Aromas six years ago, almost as an afterthought. “We were looking for larger office space for my translation and interpretation business,” Valdes said. “My wife had grown up a few blocks from here and the neighborhood was pretty violent. We decided we could do something to fit our needs and also help the community.” They purchased the building and spent four years renovating the graffiticovered space. Café Aromas is open early for breakfast and stays open until 5:30 p.m. serving sandwiches, panini, wraps, soups and baked goods, as well as a large selection of coffee drinks, teas, smoothies and more. The place has become somewhat of a hangout for dancers and staff from nearby Grand Rapids Ballet Company. Valdes, pictured at right, said his specialty is a Cuban sandwich on a rustic French baguette. Along with the pork loin, sliced ham, Swiss cheese and sliced dill pickles, Café Aromas adds chipotle mayo and spicy mustard. “It’s Cuban with a twist,” Valdes said with a chuckle.

BOBARINO’S AT THE BOB — Grill on 2nd floor of The BOB offers a wide variety, from woodfired pizza, burgers and sandwiches to pasta and up-scale entrées. Full-service bar with The BOB’s microbrews on tap. Live entertainment in Cisco’s Island Lounge. 20 Monroe Ave NW, 3562000. $ H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS BUTCH’S — New York-style deli by day, fine dining cuisine by night. Menu changes seasonally. More than 200 bottled beer selections and 700 varieties of wine available for takeout. Closed Sun. 44 E 8th St, Holland, (616) 396-8227. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $$ CAJUN CAT — Cajun-influenced menu features by-the-pound or half-pound fish and seafood selections from catfish and cod to shrimp, lake perch and more. Gumbo, red beans and rice, sandwiches with Andouille sausage, pulled pork barbecue, chicken salad. Take-away or grab one of eight seats. Shares parking lot with Walker Roadhouse. 3280 Remembrance Rd, Walker, 735¢-$ 2416. On Facebook. H, L, D, V, MC CITYSĒN LOUNGE — A limited but tantalizing selection of soup, salads, sandwiches, and sharable small-plate creations. Happy Hour daily 4-7 pm. CityFlats Hotel, 83 Monroe Center, (866) 609-CITY. H, L, D, C, V, MC, ¢-$ AE, DS – CITYVU BISTRO — Top-floor restaurant in Hol­ land’s eco-friendly City Flats Hotel specializing in

Photography by Michael Buck

Cuban with a twist

BLUE WATER GRILL — Wood-burning rotisserie and wood-fired pizza oven allow for inspired dishes from fresh seafood to beef. Nice wine selection and The BOB’s microbrews. Lakeside views, outdoor patio with fireplace, full-service bar. 5180 Northland Dr NE, 363-5900. thegilmorecollec H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $-$$

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a steak that’s served



gift is the perfect

Photography by Michael Buck


Grand Rapids | 616.776.6426 | Inside the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel |

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City Guide creative flatbreads and small-plate fare with an emphasis on seasonal ingredients. 61 E 7th St, Holland, (616) 796-2114. H, B, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $-$$ cOBBleSTONe BiSTrO — Eclectic, globally inspired menu executed with pizzazz in attractive surroundings, complete with fireplace, waterfalls and koi pond. Full bar. Open for weekend breakfasts. 9818 Cherry Valley Ave SE, Caledonia, 5883223. H, (B), L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $ FcyGNuS 27 — Stylized décor reflects a celestial theme that matches the views from the 27th floor of the Amway Grand Plaza. Casual, seasonally driven menu encourages sharing. Open Tue-Sat eves; Sun brunch Labor Day to Mother’s Day. 187 Monroe Ave NW, 776-6425. H, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS, RSVP $$ DerBy STATiON — Sophisticated pub grub with full bar featuring an array of specialty beers. 2237 Wealthy St SE, 301-3236. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS, DC $ elecTric cheeTAh — Eclectic menu changes weekly with an emphasis on locally grown fare and creative combinations. Sandwiches, soups, salads, entrees, house-made desserts and unique Sunday brunch in modern setting. 1015 Wealthy St SE, 451-4779. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DC, DS ¢-$ eVeryDAy PeOPle cAFÉ — Changing bistro menu from appetizers through dessert. Impressive wine list with appropriate food pairings served in comfortable atmosphere. Open daily for dinner. 11 Center St, Douglas, (269) 857-4240. H, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $-$$ Gilly’S AT The BOB — Innovative takes on seafood on the 1st floor of The BOB, complete with raw bar. Seasonal menu offers cutting-edge fare from appetizers to desserts. 20 Monroe Ave NW, 356-2000. H, L (Sat), D, C, 3, V, MC, AE $-$$ GrAyDON’S crOSSiNG — English pub serves Indian food with a British influence. Full bar features impressive array of specialty beers. 1223 Plainfield Ave NE, 726-8260. graydons H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS, DC $ GreeN Well GASTrO PuB — Daily menu features comfort fare with a flare, emphasizing local and seasonal ingredients. Full bar; more than 20 rotating draught beers, many from area microbreweries. Open daily. 924 Cherry St SE, 808-3566. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $-$$ Grill ONe eleVeN — American-with-a-twist menu, full-service bar and lounge. Sunday Brunch buffet 10 am-2 pm, otherwise opens at 11 am. 111 Courtland Dr, 863-3300. H, B (Sun), L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $-$$ GrOVe — Earth-to-table concept focuses on three- and four-course meals with a tilt toward sustainable seafood in a contemporary setting. Open 5-9 pm Tue-Sat. 919 Cherry St SE, 4541000. H, D, C, V, MC, AE, RSVP (online) $$ The heriTAGe — Grand Rapids Community College culinary arts students prepare gourmet dishes from steaks to vegan fare at a reasonable cost. Menu changes weekly. Wine offered with dinner. Open Tue-Fri during academic year. Applied Technology Center, 151 Fountain St NE,

234-3700. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS, RSVP $-$$

Main St, Fennville, (269) 561-7258. saltoftheearth H, D, C, V, MC, AE, DC, DS ¢-$

FMArcO NeW AMericAN BiSTrO — Cozy dining in French-country-casual, white-linen atmosphere. Creative dinner fare and pizza with a more casual lunch menu available for takeout. Full bar, nice wine list. Closed Sun. 884 Forest Hill Ave SE, 942-9100. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS, RSVP $-$$

SchNiTZ ADA Grill — Deli by day, casual fine dining by night in cozy surroundings with full bar. Nice selection of appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, steaks, seafood, pasta and more. 597 Ada Dr, Ada, 682-4660. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$$

MiA & GrAce BiSTrO — Locally grown products creatively composed by husband/wife team chefs and owners are served in an intimate, artsy space in downtown Muskegon. Breakfast/lunch service year-round with special dinners during growing season. Bakery, too. 1133 Third St, Muskegon, (231) 725-9500. H, B, L, (D) V, MC, AE $ OliVeS — Seasonally inspired menu of creative fare and comfort foods featuring locally grown produce and hormone-free, organic meats. Full bar; two-level seating and alfresco balcony. Closed Sun. 2162 Wealthy St SE, 451-8611. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$ ONe TricK PONy — Eclectic menu with samplings of vegetarian, Mexican and European cuisines, creative lunch and dinner specials. Congenially casual surroundings; dine alfresco on street-front patio. Occasional live music. Closed Sun. 136 E Fulton St, 235-7669. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE ¢-$ PiPer — Stunning lake view, fun décor, good service and a menu with everything from appetizers, pasta and wood-fired pizza to creative entrées and homemade desserts. Closed Sun and Mon during winter. 2225 South Shore Dr, Macatawa, (616) 335-5866. H, D, C, 3, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$$ reSerVe — One of the top wine bars around with superb by-the-glass selections and ever-changing culinary options to match. Small plates to share or create your own charcuterie and cheese choices in big-city surroundings that include GR’s first ArtPrize winner, “Open Water No. 24.” Opens at 4, closed Sun. 201 Monroe Ave NW, 855-9463. H, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $-$$ rOcKWell-rePuBlic — Diverse menu emphasizing locally sourced ingredients. California cuisine, sushi, steaks, Great Lakes fish, chicken, pastas, creative comfort food, plates to share. Multi-level, arts-inspired décor with upper-level outdoor seating. 45 S Division Ave, 608-6465 or 551-3563. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $-$$ rOSe’S — Dockside dining on EGR’s Reeds Lake with a variety of sandwiches, salads, pastas, wood-fired pizzas, entrées and desserts. Comfortably casual; three-season porch seating. 550 Lakeside Dr SE, 458-1122. Takeout at Rose’s Express, 2224 Wealthy St SE, 458-4646. thegilmo H, B (weekends), L, D, C, 3, V, MC, AE, DS $

SiX.ONe.SiX — Market-fresh, contemporary American fare “with a global soul.” Interact with chefs in the mini Chef’s Lab exhibition kitchen, or visit Mixology lounge. JW Marriott, 235 Louis St NW, 242-1500. H, B, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS, DC $-$$ TAVerN ON The SQuAre — Tapas-style fare with small plate/appetizers, soups, green plate/ salads, house specialties and desserts. Full bar with wine; nice list of microbrews. Open daily; patio seating. 100 Ionia Ave SW, 456-7673. tavern H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$ The lAKe hOuSe — Laidback-yet-sophis-ticated décor, overlooking Muskegon Lake. Small plates, salads, pizzas, pastas, sandwiches, specialty burgers. Select entrees emphasize locally grown ingredients. Live entertainment. Open daily. 730 Terrace Point (between Terrace Pointe Marina and Shoreline Inn), Muskegon, (231) 722-4461; H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS, DC $-$$ TheODOre’S — Eclectic, diminutive-but-impressive menu features American/Spanish/ Mediterranean-influenced dishes in hip, stylish surroundings with large granite bar, glassed-in wine cellar and outdoor patio. Open Thu-Sat at 5 pm. In the former Till Midnight location in Baker Lofts building. 217 E 24th St, Holland, (616) 3926883. H, D (Thu-Sat), C, V, MC, AE, DS, RSVP $-$$ WilD DOG Grille — Interesting appetizers, salads, sandwiches, stone-baked pizzas and entrees marry a complexity of flavors. Desserts made in-house. Closed Mon in winter months. Fullservice bar. 24 Center St, Douglas, (269) 8572519. H, L (Fri-Sun), D, C, V, MC, AE, DC, DS $-$$ WiNcheSTer — Locally sourced menu aims to reinvent bar food; affordably priced comfort food specialties, reclaimed century-old space with shuffleboard court-patio. 648 Wealthy St, SE, 451-4969. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$

Classic American Restaurants and diners serving traditional dishes popular across the country. 8Th STreeT Grill — Entrées range from catfish Valdosta to ribs, with sandwiches, salads, burgers and pasta also on the menu. Closed Sun. 20 W 8th St, Holland, (616) 392-5888. H, L, D, 3, V, MC, AE $

SAlT & PePPer SAVOry Grill & PuB — Pubgrub with creative twists using Michigan-sourced ingredients. Full bar. Back patio for alfresco dining. Closed Sun. 11539 E Lakewood Blvd, Holland, (616) 355-5501. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $

84 eAST FOOD & SPiriTS — Neat restoration lends atmosphere; varied menu includes unique pasta dishes and thin-crust pizzas. Closed Sun. 84 E 8th St, Holland, (616) 396-8484. 84east H, L, D, V, MC, AE, DC, DS ¢-$

SAlT OF The eArTh — Rustic fare and bakery emphasize locally sourced products ranging from wood-fired pizzas to an array of affordably priced entrees. Full bar; closed Sun. 114 E

AcOrN Grille AT ThOuSAND OAKS — Blend of traditional and innovative cuisine, artfully presented in handsome dining room with golf course views. Open daily in season. 4100

68 Grand rapids deCember 2011

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Van Andel Located on the Plainfield Motor Mile Flikkema






MSRP based on Chrysler 200 Touring. Limited model shown. Tax, Title, License extra.

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City Guide: Dining Review

Spicy fare warms the ‘seoul’

by Ira Craaven

We take in the relaxing ambience of dark wood, plush booths and soft lighting in the various dining areas. Seating seems to be arranged for quiet conversation.

Diners awarded


A chilly Michigan night calls for cuisine with a dash of spicy heat. And what comes to mind is Yook Gae Jang, a peppery beef soup with vegetables and egg flower. We head to Seoul Garden. On a Saturday evening, the spacious restaurant by Woodland Mall is packed. As our party is seated, we take in the relaxing ambience of dark wood, plush booths and soft lighting in the various dining areas. Seating seems to be arranged for quiet conversation. The host — who greets many repeat customers with smiles and handshakes — takes us to our table and notes, “The sashimi is quite nice tonight,” nodding at the sushi bar where Japanese chefs prepare a variety of rolls and fresh, raw seafood. Our server is equally gracious, answering questions about the fare on the menu. And there’s certainly a wide range of Asian foods to please any palette. We start with beverages. Though tempted by the extensive saki selection, ranging from the warm house sake to the premium choices served chilled, we decide to order hot jasmine tea and a Sapporo beer. Seoul Garden’s full bar menu includes a nice

wine list, specialty martinis and international and domestic beers, including some Michigan brews. For the first course, we order Spicy Tuna Salad ($9.89), and the Ebi-Su: shrimp and cucumber in a wakame salad (greens and seaweed like you find in miso soup) topped with tosazu dressing, a tangy and creamy rice vinegar sauce ($7.95). Another diner chose the Summer Rolls ($7.69), two large rice wrappers full of fresh lettuce, cucumber and radish and loaded with fresh shrimp. This was served with a plum sauce fused with sriracha sauce for a spicy kick at the end. All appetizers were delicious. The Spicy Tuna — pureed tuna in spices atop a wakame salad with the tosazu dressing — lived up to our server’s billing. The Ebi Su consisted of four large butterflied shrimp atop a wakame salad. All portions were very generous. We also sampled a California roll from the “simple” sushi list. It was fresh and tasty, making us wish we’d been more daring and ordered off the “creative” or “executive” list. For entries, we split two Korean dishes: Beef Bul Go Ki ($ 17.99), also known as Korean


Photography by Johnny Quirin

Seoul Garden 3321 28th St. SE (616) 956-1522

70 Grand Rapids December 2011

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Traditions Aglow. Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World honors holiday traditions from across the globe. This year features celebrations of light and illumination from diverse cultures. Make Meijer Gardens part of your family’s holiday traditions. We honor the joy all families bring to one

pHotograpHy by joHnny Quirin

another when they gather in celebration. Grand Rapids, MI, 888-957-1580


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616-364-6222 on the corner of lafayette & Plainfield in Grand Rapids Since 1958

City Guide

barbeque, and Yook Gae Jang ($14.89), a peppery beef soup with vegetables and egg flower. Another diner ordered the Chinese standby, Sesame Chicken ($13.99) and a cup of Wonton soup ($3.49), brimming with pork wontons, shrimp and vegetables in a rich broth. The Sesame Chicken was covered in an almost candylike glaze with sesame seeds, and the meat was moist and tender. The server brought two bowls to divide our Yook Gae Jang. The piping hot soup is spicy — mostly a blend of peppers — but doesn’t numb the taste buds. The spoonfuls of shredded beef vegetables and bean sprouts keep the heat to a minimum. We put the Bul Go Ki in the center of the table for everyone to share. The dish was a perfect complement to the spicy soup. Bul Go Ki is a sliced rib eye beef marinated in a sweetened soy-flavored sauce and sautéed with white and green onions — reminiscent of a tasty Mongolian beef. It has a sweetness that is countered by the onion and the tender beef. Also included with our meal were bowls of Kim Chi in various forms, including the traditional cabbage and radish and some bean sprouts. All were tasty, but some diners found it a little too mild. Everyone was stuffed — serving sizes are certainly ample — so we had to pass on dessert. Our server tried to entice us with the Tempura Ice Cream: vanilla ice cream wrapped with cake and a touch of honey ($8.89). Or maybe a bowl of Green Tea Ice Cream ($4.89)? On our next visit, we’ll be sure to save room. GR

Photography by Johnny Quirin

Look Good. Feel Good.

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City Guide Thousand Oaks Dr, 447-7750. thousandoaks H, L, D, C, 3, V, MC, AE, DS $$

roundings. Open daily in the Amway Grand Plaza, 774-2000. H, $ B, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DC, DS

ARBOREAL INN — New England-style inn offers fresh whitefish, Alaskan king crab, tournedos Oscar and more. Cozy atmosphere with dining and bar area. Portion of menu requires 24-hour notice. Closed Sun. 18191 174th Ave, Spring Lake, (616) 842-3800. H, D, C, 3, V, MC, AE, DS, RSVP $$

BIL-MAR RESTAURANT — Beachfront dining with a great view of Lake Michigan; a wide selection of fine-dining entrées. Full bar; open daily. 1223 S Harbor St, Grand Haven, (616) 842-5920. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS, DC $$

ARNIE’S BAKERY & RESTAURANT — Uniquely GR. Breakfast, sandwiches, baked goods and desserts; dinner menu too. Open daily. 3561 28th St, 956-7901; 710 Leonard St NW, 454-3098; 777 54th St SW, 532-5662; 34 Squires St, Rockford, 866-4306. H, B, L, D, 3, V, MC, AE $

THE BISTRO — Formerly Blue Plate in the Marriott Downtown Courtyard Hotel; offers warm, urban décor with large-screen TVs, wraparound bar and barrista serving Starbucks. Casual menu covers all tastes from breakfast through dinner. Open daily. 11 Monroe Ave NW, 242-6000, ext 6646. marri H, B, L, D, V, MC, AE, DC, DS $

Aryana Restaurant & Bar — Comfortable dining room in the Crowne Plaza Hotel offers breakfast buffet, lunch and fine dining selections from an extensive seasonal menu. Open daily. 5700 28th St SE, 957-1770. mainstreet B, L, D, C, 3, V, MC, AE, DC, DS, $-$$ RSVP

BOATWERKS WATERFRONT RESTAURANT — Vintage motorboat ambiance overlooking Lake Macatawa. Spacious outdoor patio and two menus: casual dining in main dining room, bar and patio, with another room for fine dining. 216 Van Raalte Ave, Holland, (616) 396-0600. boat H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS, $-$$ DC

BEAR LAKE TAVERN — Historic North Muskegon tavern offers favorites that include yellowbelly lake perch dinner, BLT burger and hand-cut onion rings. 360 Ruddiman Rd, North Muskegon, (231) 744-1161. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$ BENTHAM’S RIVERFRONT RESTAURANT — Upscale selections served in casually elegant sur-

BONEFISH GRILL — Offers fresh-from-the-seas fare. Casual, white-linen dining. Seafood selections augmented by innovative sauces and toppings; also chicken, beef and pasta dishes. 1100 East Paris Ave SE, 949-7861. $-$$ H, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS BONFIRE GRILL & PUB — Muskegon smoke-

house in the former Sardine Room space. Rotisserie chicken, ribs and brisket are the claim to fame; also an extensive menu filled with interesting items like lobster tacos, alligator snaps, creative “samiches,” specialty dogs, burgers and full gamut of entrees. 2536 Henry St, Muskegon, (231) 760-5204; H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $-$$ BOULDER CREEK RESTAURANT — Boulder Creek Golf Club restaurant serves an affordable selection of appetizers, sandwiches and salads as well as fowl, seafood and beef for dinner. Enjoy golf-course views from inside or on the deck. 5750 Brewer Ave NE, Belmont, (616) 363-1330, ext 2. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$ BRANDYWINE — Pleasant café atmosphere serving extensive breakfasts, innovative lunches with vegetarian choices and salads, and dinner selections from Mexican to beef Wellington. 1345 Lake Dr SE, 774-8641; 2844 East Beltline Ave NE, ¢-$ 363-1723. H, B, L, D, 3, V, MC BRANN’S SIZZLING STEAKS AND SPORTS GRILLE — Famous sizzler steaks with grill items and salads, baskets, Mexican entrees and bar munchies. All locations offer high-tech projection screens and sporting events. Brann’s of Grandville, 3475 Fairlanes, Grand Village Mall, 531-6210; Mike & Johnny Brann’s Steakhouse & Grille, 401 Leonard St NW, 454-9368; Tommy Brann’s Steakhouse & Grille, 4157 S Division Ave, 534-5421; John Brann’s of Cascade, 5510 28th St

Your family is our family! West Michigan Obstetricians and Gynecologists is one of the oldest and largest private practice OB/GYN groups in Michigan. Our facility permits women to receive most of their care without having to travel elsewhere. Specialty services available at our office include a board certified specialist in maternal-fetal medicine and on-site genetic counseling as well as board certified physicians specializing in da Vinci Robotic® surgery. Other services include in office sterilization and endometrial ablation, bone densitometry, medical massage treatment and laboratory services.

Photography by Johnny Quirin

We are also committed to delivering and maintaining open, trusting relationships with our patients along with an emphasis on keeping patients informed of our services, treatment options and the importance of preventative care for you and your family in the future!


221 Michigan St., Suite 600 Grand Rapids, MI 49503

4249 Parkway Place Grandville, MI 49418


David A. Kreuze, M.D. Stephen F. Rechner, M.D. Andrew J. Van Slooten, M.D. Renee J. Elderkin, M.D. Russel D. Jelsema, M.D.

Susan L. VandenBosch, M.D. Jeffrey J. Dodd, M.D. Susan K. Hicks, D.O. Jane K. Cottingham, D.O. Fred A. Rohn, M. D.

Michael S. Werkema, M.D. Marka J. Steensma, M.D. Emily E. Dietrich, M. D. Cathe E. Reigle, NP-C Lani S. Cantu, NP-C

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City Guide SE, 285-7800; Brann’s of Holland, 12234 James St, (616) 393-0028; Brann’s of Muskegon, 5510 Harvey St, (231) 798-1399; Brann’s of Portage, 700 Martin Luther King Dr, (269) 321-8852. H, L, D, C, 3, V, MC, AE, DC, DS $ BULL’S HEAD TAVERN — A dozen appetizers from brie to pot stickers. Lunch menu showcases salads, soups and sandwiches. Dinners include warm bread and chef-selected sides. 188 Monroe Ave NW, 454-3580. thebullshead $ H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS C.F. PRIME CHOPHOUSE & WINE BAR — Prime NY strips and some all-natural beef selections. Gourmet treatment from starters through salads, plus seafood, vegetarian options and desserts made on-site. Impressive wine list, full-service bar. Closed Sun. 950 W Norton, Muskegon, (231) 737-4943. H, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS, RSVP $-$$ CASCADE ROADHOUSE — Relaxed atmosphere with a diverse menu from fish and chips and gourmet burgers to fine-dining appetizers and entrées. Good bar, wine list. Closed Sun. 6817 Cascade Rd SE (at Old 28th St), 949-1540. H, L, D, C, V, AE $-$$ CHARLEY’S CRAB — Fresh seafood from a menu that changes nightly. Located on the Grand River. Early menu (4:30-6 pm daily), Sun brunch. GR Steamer Bar has its own menu. 63 Market Ave SW, 459-2500. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DC, DS, RSVP $-$$ CHARLIE’S BAR & GRILL — Well-rounded menu features dinners ranging from ribs, steaks and seafood to kielbasa and kraut. Also Mexican fare, sandwiches and more. Full-service bar. 3519 Plainfield Ave NE, 364-0567. H, L, D, C, V, MC, ¢-$ AE FTHE CHOP HOUSE — In the tradition of the best American chophouses with aged prime beef and more. A la carte sides are big enough to share. Great wine list. Downstairs is La Dolce Vita dessert and cigar bar. Closed Sun. 190 Monroe Ave NW, 451-6184. thechophouserest H, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS, DC $$ COUSIN’S TASTY CHICKEN — A 25-year local alternative to the chains with some of the tastiest fried chicken and side dishes around. Also serving seafood and other fried fare. Closed Sun. 1209 Leonard St NE, 456-5244. H, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$ CRAZY HORSE STEAK HOUSE & SALOON — Holland’s family-friendly eatery, renowned for steaks and prime rib. Saturday night special is prime rib and lobster. 2027 North Park Dr, Holland, (616) 395-8393. crazyhorsesteakhouse. com. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $$ DEE-LITE BAR & GRILL — Nice selection of appetizers, house-made soups, salads and sandwiches. “Fresh-Mex” dinner selections, plus seafood, chicken, steak and pasta. Live music and martinis in the Theatre Bar. Open daily; Sun brunch. 24 Washington Ave, Grand Haven, (616) 844-5055. lite/. H, B, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DC, DS $ THE DINING ROOM AT CLEARBROOK — New entrées daily feature locally grown products. Known for hand-cut steaks, double-cut lamb chops, Canadian walleye. More casual dining in The Grill Room. Open daily in summer. Clearbrook Golf Club, 6594 Clearbrook Dr (just north of Saugatuck), (269) 857-2000. clearbrookgolfclub.

com. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS, DC, RSVP


DOCKERS FISH HOUSE & LOUNGE — Waterside dining on Muskegon Lake with lively summer tiki bar, seafood and land-lubber options. Full bar, dockside seating. Dockhands assist with boat tie-up. Closed Oct-Mar. 3505 Marina Point View, Muskegon, (231) 755-0400. dockersfish H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $-$$ DUGAN’S PUB & GRILLE — Casual dining with steaks, seafood, pasta and more at The Elks at the Highlands Golf Club. Adjacent Glendevon offers banquet facilities. 2715 Leonard St NW, 4532451. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $-$$ THE FALCON’S NEST — Creative lunch menu with a variety of hot and cold sandwiches, barbecue ribs, appetizers, chili and salads. Open 11 am-7 pm. 17000 Lincoln Ave, Grand Haven, (616) 842-4040. H, L, D, C, V, ¢-$ MC, AE FALL CREEK — Appetizers, gourmet pizzas, salads, pastas, sandwiches, house-made desserts, and creative entrées. Closed Sun-Mon. 201 Jefferson St, Hastings, (269) 945-0100. fallcreek H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$ FIREROCK GRILLE — Sunny, bistro-style atmosphere, nightly features and extensive menu of imaginative fare that includes FireRock options: cook your own on a 500-degree stone. Open daily. Sun brunch 10 am-2 pm. Stonewater Country Club, 7177 Kalamazoo Ave SE, 656-9898. stone $ H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE FLAT RIVER GRILL — Casual atmosphere in turnof-century building on the river in Lowell. Al fresco dining on patio. Menu ranges from American comfort food to wood-fired pizzas. Full bar with extensive wines by the glass and The BOB’s House of Brews beers on tap. Superb brunch. 201 E Main St, Lowell, 897-8523. thegilmorecollec H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, $-$$ DS FLEETWOOD DINER — Extensive diner-style American menu with Greek influences. Famous for Hippie Hash. Open 6:30 am for breakfast (8 am-4 pm Sun), serving dinner until 8 pm MonThu, 9 pm Fri-Sat. Outdoor patio. 2222 44th St SE, 281-2300. H, B, L, D, C, V, MC, AE ¢-$ FOREST HILLS INN — A casual neighborhood favorite with a broad menu, excellent pizza. Closed Sun. 4609 Cascade Rd SE, 949-4771. H, $ B, L, D, C, V, MC, AE FRY DADDY’S FRESH FISH — Fried fresh fish, wing-dings, walleye, orange roughy, catfish, blue gill, perch, smelt and shrimp, by the pound or in baskets with French fries in pleasant surroundings or to go. Closed Mon. In Kentwood’s Trinity Plaza, 1720 44th St SE, 455-FISH. H, L, D, V, MC ¢-$ THE GRAND SEAFOOD & OYSTER BAR — In Grand Haven’s former Grand Theatre. Oyster and sushi bar, seafood and steaks. Open daily. 22 Washington Ave, Grand Haven, (616) 847-8944. H, D, C, V, MC, $-$$ AE, DS, DC GRAND TRAVERSE PIE CO. — Bakery and café offer an extensive menu that covers breakfast, lunch and dinner, with quiche, soups, salads, sandwiches and pastries. Open daily. 3224 28th St SE, 977-7600. H, B, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$ GRAND VILLA — Longtime favorite serving prime

rib, seafood, complete salad bar, full service bar. Closed Sun. 3594 Chicago Dr SW, 538-1360. H, L, D, C, 3, V, MC, $ AE, DC, DS GREAT LAKES SHIPPING CO. — Kitchen does everything from beef, seafood, fowl and beyond in comfortable dockside motif. Patio open in summer. No lunch, but open Sun afternoons. 2455 Burton St SE, 949-9440. H, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS, RSVP $-$$ GRILL HOUSE & ROCK BOTTOM BAR — Allegan’s grill-your-own steakhouse with grillmasters on call. Bottomless salad bowl and potato bar; tasty desserts. Rock Bottom Bar opens 11 am daily; Grill House opens 5:30 pm weekdays, 11 am Sundays. 1071 32nd St (M-40), Allegan, (269) 686-9192. H, L (downstairs), D, C, V, MC, AE, DS, RSVP (weekends) $-$$ THE GRILL ROOM — Aged steaks/chops, fresh seafood and fine wines in top chophouse tradition, served in an unpretentious atmosphere. Closed Sun during winter. Kirby House, 2 Washington Ave, Grand Haven, (616) 846-3299. thegilmoreollect H, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $$ GRILLE 29 — Varied menu includes salads, soups, specialty panini, pasta, pizza and variety of entrées. Full-service bar. Open daily for breakfast and dinner. Holiday Inn Select, 3063 Lake Eastbrook SE, 285-7600. holiday H, B, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $ THE GRILLE AT WATERMARK — Innovative menu in relaxing atmosphere overlooking golf course. Open for lunch and dinner Mon-Sat; Sun brunch 10 am-2 pm. Banquet facilities. Reservations accepted. 5500 Cascade Rd SE, 949-0570. H, L, D, C, 3, V, MC, AE, $-$$ RSVP HANDSOME HENRY’S — Smartly decorated, bigcity vibe dining room and sports-screen-packed bar offer tasty options with signature twists. Extensive menu ranges from appetizers, pizzas and from-scratch soups to perch, fall-off-thebone ribs and hand-cut, aged steaks at reasonable prices. 3065 Henry St, Muskegon, (231) 747-8583. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $ HONEY CREEK INN — Daily specials are the highlight, mixed with traditional fare that earns rave reviews from patrons. Closed Sun. 8025 Cannonsburg Rd, Cannonsburg, 874-7849. honey H, L, D, C, V, MC ¢-$ HUDSONVILLE GRILLE — Steaks, chops, chicken, soups, salads, sandwiches, Mexican favorites and breakfast, as well as fish specialties. Full bar; closed Sun. 4676 32nd Ave, Suite F, Hudsonville, 662-9670. H, B, L, D, V, MC, DS ¢-$ J BAR — The BOB’s steakhouse restaurant caters to those with a penchant for meat and potatoes with style and expertise. Open 5-11 pm; closed Sun. 20 Monroe Ave NW, 356-2000. H, D, C, local 3, V, MC, AE $$ JACK’S — Breakfast and lunch, plus dinner menu with appetizers, wine by the glass and a wide range of entrées, located on the Grand River at Grand Haven Waterfront Holiday Inn. 940 W Savidge St, Spring Lake, (616) 846-1370. higrand H, B, L, D, C, 3, V, MC, AE, DS $-$$ KIRBY GRILL — Casual side of the Kirby House offers more than an average grill with innovative touches to the American menu. Familyfriendly dining upstairs. 2 Washington Ave,

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City Guide Grand Haven, (616) 846-3299. thegilmorecollec L, D, C, V, MC, AE $ KOPPer TOP — Uniquely GR. Raw copper tops the bar and tables at this GR staple with a longstanding tradition of seasonal decorations. Entrées with a homemade taste. No lunch Sat, closed Sun. 638 Stocking Ave NW, 459-2001. On Facebook. L, D, C, 3, V, MC, AE ¢ The lANDiNG — Nautical décor with windows overlooking the Grand River. Menu features American favorites and German specials. Live music and dancing in the lounge. 270 Ann St NW (Radisson Riverfront Hotel at US 131), 363-7748. H, B, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DC, DS $ OleO’S — Combines fine dining and casual comfort with great service, impressive wine list and full bar. Fresh seafood is the specialty, but steaks and other dishes are just as good. Street level in parking ramp at Ottawa and Louis. Closed Sun. 60 Ottawa Ave NW, 454-6700. leosrestaur H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS, RSVP $-$$ lOuiS BeNTON STeAKhOuSe — Upscale steakhouse with a big-city ambiance features premium Buckhead beef, wet- and dry-aged steaks, lamb, pork and veal chops, seafood and more. Superb wine list. Closed Sun. Free valet parking at Ionia entrance. 77 Monroe Center Ave NW, Suite 100, 454-7455. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DC, DS, RSVP $-$$ ➧The lyON DeN — Bakery, deli and convenience store with breakfast burritos, fresh fruit, daily baked goods and pastries, salads, sandwiches, 10-inch hotdogs, pizza bar and cotton candy in family-friendly surroundings with free WI-FI. Also gluten-free and sugar-free selections. Open daily. 200 Ionia Ave NW, 805-5692. H, B, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS ¢ MAiN STreeT PuB — Casual restaurant and sports bar offers large-screen TVs and varied menu of appetizers, salads, soups, sandwiches and nice entrée selections. Open 11 am daily, with breakfast 8 am Sun. 11240 University Parkway, Allendale, 895-1234. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$

Made in West Michigan circa 1955 BUILD SECURITY... LIVE SECURELY EPS Security is headquartered just a few blocks from where we originally opened our doors in Grand Rapids 56 years ago. Our burglar alarms, fire alarms, card access systems, and video surveillance systems are monitored locally by operators that live in the neighborhoods we serve.


MAXFielD’S — Vast lunch and dinner menus are enhanced by daily feature buffets. Open Tue-Sun. 11228 Wyman Rd, Blanchard, (800) 550-5630. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $$ MeADOWS reSTAurANT — GVSU’s professional and student-staffed restaurant; patio and dining room overlook golf course. Full menu offers everything from burgers to NY strip steak. Seasonal hours; closed Sun. 1 W Campus Dr, Allendale, 895-1000. H, L, D, C, 3, V, MC, AE, DS, RSVP $-$$ MiDDle VillA iNN — Weekly prime rib specials, salad bar, casual atmosphere, occasional live bands; in Grand Rapids call 891-1287 for restaurant info. Open daily. 4611 N Middleville Rd, Middleville, (269) 795-3640. middle-villa-inn. com. H, L, D, C, 3, V, MC, DS $ Mr. BurGer — Longtime favorite serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. 2101 Lake Michigan Dr NW, 453-6291; 5181 Northland Dr NE, 363-3888; 2300 28th St SW, 538-4439; 1750 44th St SE, 4558604; 950 44th St SW, 538-0363; 5835 Balsam Ave, Hudsonville, 662-5088. H, B, L, D, V, MC ¢ NOel reSTAurANT — It’s Christmas year-round

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Asian Dining Award of Excellence 4 years in a row!



• Full service Sushi Bar

(Half-price every Tuesday, dine in only).

• Beer and Wine & Spirits Available

ASIAN CUISINE 58 Monroe Center Phone (616) 235-6969

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City Guide at this restaurant in a former church and parsonage family-style dinners, lighter fare on lunch menu. Gift shop on lower level. Hours now by reservation only; parties of 10 or more preferred. 2371 Riley St, Jamestown, 896-6427. noelrestaur H, L, D, V, MC, RSVP ¢-$$ OTTAWA TAVERN — The full-service, full-menu sister restaurant sharing space with downtown’s Bite. Sports venue with weekday Happy Hour bar specials 4-7 pm. Closed Sun. 151 Ottawa Ave NW, 451-8000. H, B, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$$ PAL’S DINER — A real diner with breakfast, lunch and dinner all day, served in fun surroundings. No alcohol served. Closed Sun. 6503 28th St SE, 942-7257. H, B, L, D, V, MC, DS ¢ PEARL STREET GRILL — Bright, airy restaurant in the downtown Holiday Inn (formerly Days Hotel). Breakfast, lunch and steaks, pasta, chicken and fish for dinner. Open daily. 310 Pearl St NW, 2357611. H, B, L, D, C, V, MC, AE $ POP’S FAMILY RESTAURANT — Family-friendly spot serves breakfast all day long, along with classic American comfort food and Mexican specialties. Open daily. 1339 Walker Village Dr NW, 453-9339. H, B, L, D, V, MC ¢-$ RAINBOW GRILL — Longtime favorite offers breakfasts, homemade soup, chili, steak sandwiches, daily luncheon specials, chicken, fish and other dinner staples. Closed Sun. 4225 32nd Ave, Hudsonville, 896-0033; 4158 Chicago Dr SW, Grandville, 534-8645. H, B, L, D, 3, V, MC, AE, ¢-$ DS RED JET CAFÉ — Gilmore Collection restaurant in the former Creston Heights library. Coffee bar along with breakfast, omelets, crepes, soups, salads, sandwiches, paninis, specialty pizzas and more in casual, upbeat surroundings. Full bar; opens 7 am. 1431 Plainfield Ave NE, 719-5500. H, B, L, D ¢-$ (Tue-Sat), C, V, MC, AE, DS FREDS ON THE RIVER — Located on the Rogue River, Reds combines casual sophistication with Tuscan sensibilities. Varied menu, good wine list. Lunch served 11-4 pm; closed Sun. 2 E Bridge St, Rockford, 863-8181. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS, DC $-$$ RIO GRAND STEAK HOUSE & SALOON — Texasstyle barbecue ribs, steaks and more are offered at these Western-style Schelde restaurants. Open daily. 5501 Northland Dr NE, 364-6266; 1820 44th St SW, 534-0704. H, L, D, C, $-$$ V, MC, AE, DS ROSEBUD — Sandwiches, soups and pizza for lunch; steaks, ribs, pasta and more pizza for dinner. Live music Thu-Sat. Open daily. 100 Washington Ave, Grand Haven, (616) 846-7788. H, L, D, C, 3, V, MC, AE, DC, DS ¢-$ RUSH CREEK BISTRO — Diverse menu of starters, soups, salads, sandwiches, pizzas, generous entrees and desserts, all done with flair in handsome, club-like surroundings. Weeknight and happy hour specials. Sunnybrook Country Club, 624 Port Sheldon Rd, Grandville, 457-1100. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $ RUSS’ RESTAURANTS — Fast service, family friendly, inexpensive fare. Closed Sun. 3966 Plainfield Ave NE, 381-7545; 2750 28th St SE, 949-8631; 2340 28th St SW, 538-3410; 531 Alpine

Ave NW, 784-2230; 6444 S Division Ave, 2812790; 4440 Chicago Dr, Grandville, 531-1146. B, L, D, 3 ¢ ➧RUTH’S CHRIS STEAKHOUSE — The classic American steakhouse now in the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel’s fully renovated former 1913 Room location offers a la carte menu and top-quality steaks. 187 Monroe Ave NW, 774-2000. amway H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS, RSVP $$ SAM’S JOINT — Award-winning ribs and unique décor of antiques and memorabilia. Extensive menu includes Mexican selections; full bar. 2412 Briggs Rd, Gun Lake, (269) 795-3965; 7449 68th St, Dutton, 698-1833; 107 E Main St, Caledonia, 891-1128; 19 N Main St, Rockford, 866-3324; 6618 Old Grand Haven Rd, Norton Shores, (231) 7987155; 15520 48th Ave, Coopersville, 837-8558; 1665 Viewpond SE, Kentwood, 455-2111. H, L, D, C, 3, V, MC $ SANDI’S FAMILY RESTAURANT — Home-cooked meals, family-friendly dining in casual surroundings. Daily specials; all-you-can-eat ocean perch on Fri. Senior discount Mon-Tue. Closed Sun. 6597 S Division Ave, 281-3160. sandisfamilyrest H, B, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$ SPINNAKER — Upscale menu features large selection of seafood and landlubber entrees in a nautical themed dining room. Open daily, Sun brunch. 4747 28th St SE (Hilton Grand Rapids Airport), 957-1111. H, B, L, D, C, 3, V, MC, AE, DC, DS, RSVP $-$$ SUNDANCE GRILL — Breakfast-and-lunch spot also offers a dinner menu in the California/ Southwestern tradition. Selection of steaks, salmon, salads and pasta, along with a margarita bar. 5755 28th St SE (Esplanade Plaza), 956-5644; 40 Pearl St NW (breakfast and lunch daily, dinner Tue-Sat), 776-1616. H, B, L, D, C, $ 3, V, MC, AE, DS SWAN INN RESTAURANT — Home-cooked meals such as pot roast, Salisbury steak and meatloaf, daily specials, and burgers, chicken, seafood and more. Huge breakfasts. Cygnet Lounge offers cocktails and nibbles as well as dinner menu. 5182 Alpine Ave NW, 784-1245. swan H, B, L, C, D, V, MC, DS ¢-$ TERRACE GRILLE AT BAY POINTE INN — Casual gourmet dining, impressive wine list, martini bar and lakeside dining on terrace. Seasonally changing menu includes seafood, steaks, pasta and specials emphasizing regional fare. Open daily. Sun brunch 10 am-2 pm. 11456 Marsh Rd, Shelbyville (off US 131), (269) 672-5202 or (888) GUN-LAKE. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS, DC, RSVP $-$$ THAT PLACE ON PLAINFIELD — Classic American diner food, along with some surprises like Filipino and vegetarian dishes, in diner-style surroundings at reasonable prices. Closed Sun. 2162 Plainfield Ave NE, 365-6669. H, B, L, D, V, MC, DS ¢ TILLMAN’S — Uniquely GR. Chicago-style chophouse that’s been “hidden” in a warehouse district for more than 25 years. Known for steaks but something for every taste, from liver and onions to frog legs and escargot. Closed Sun. 1245 Monroe Ave NW, 451-9266. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DC, RSVP $-$$ TIMBERS INN — Menu ranges from appetizers, gourmet salads, sandwiches and charbroiled burgers to wild game offerings and

lumberjack meat ’n’ potatoes fare in lodge-like surroundings. Open daily. Sun omelet bar til 2 pm. 6555 Belding Rd NE, 874-5553. timbers ¢-$ H, L, D, C, 3, V, MC, AE TULLYMORE — Restaurant at Tullymore Golf Club offers seasonally inspired menu with layers of flavors and artful presentations in beautiful surroundings. Expansive views, large patio for outdoor dining. 11969 Tullymore, Stanwood, (800) 972-4837. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS, RSVP $-$$ TWISTED ROOSTER — Classic dishes with unexpected twists. Full bar featuring 18 beers on tap, local beers/wines. Open daily. 1600 East Beltline Ave NE, 301-8171. H, L, D, V, MC, AE ¢-$$ VILLAGE INN PIZZA PARLOR — Longtime favorite for pizza, pasta, burgers, chicken, soups, salads, Mexican and more. Karaoke nights Thu-Sat. Full bar. Open daily; weekday lunch buffet. 2215 44th St SE, Kentwood, 281-1444; 934 Washington St, Holland, (616) 392-1818. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE ¢-$ WALLDORFF BREWPUB & BISTRO — Microbrewery with menu of soups, salads, sandwiches, barbecue specialties, small plates, steaks, pork and lamb chops, duck, pastas and wood-fired pizzas. 105 E State St, Hastings, (269) 945-4400. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$ WEST COAST GRILLE — Daily breakfast buffet, hearty lunch fare and dinner menu ranging from quesadillas and burgers to prime rib to seafood, inside Holland’s Doubletree Hotel. Open daily. 650 E 24th St (just off US 31), Holland, (616) 3940111. H, B, L, D, C, 3, V, $ MC, AE, DC, DS WHITEFISH LAKE GOLF AND GRILL — Menu offers hand-cut steaks, barbecued ribs, fresh seafood and other dining specialties grilled over an apple-wood fire. Open daily. 2241 Bass Lake Rd, Pierson, (616) 636-5260. whitefishgolfand H, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS $-$$ WINTER INN — Seafood, steaks and prime rib along with such specialties as seafood au gratin and pan-fried walleye in historic inn. Convivial bar. Banquet facilities. 100 N Lafayette St, Greenville, (616) 754-7108. H, L, D, C, 3, V, MC, AE, DC $ WOODY’S PRESS BOX — Pulled pork with pizzazz in a restaurant complex that includes two bars, a patio and bowling. Menu offers sandwiches and shrimp as well as barbecue fare. Open daily (breakfast and lunch only Sun). 5656 Clyde Park Ave SW, 530-3242. H, $ B, L, D, C, 3, V, MC

Daytime casual Eateries that specialize in breakfast and lunch. ANNA’S HOUSE — Family dining offers great breakfast fare. Open daily for breakfast and lunch until 2 pm. 3874 Plainfield Ave NE, 361-8500. H, B, L, V, MC ¢ CHERIE INN — Café is relaxed setting for upscale breakfasts and innovative specials, served until 3 pm. Closed Mon. 969 Cherry St SE, 458-0588. On Facebook. B, L, 3, V, MC, AE, DS ¢ FAT BOY BURGERS — Uniquely GR. Legendary

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City Guide burger joint in the Cheshire neighborhood offers breakfast 6-11 am weekdays (7 am Sat) and lunch until 3 pm in newly renovated surroundings. Closed Sun. 2450 Plainfield Ave NE, 361-7075. H, ¢ B, L, V, MC THE GATHERING PLACE — Cozy setting and country décor complement an imaginative menu. Terrific homemade soups, dessert selections. Open daily until 2 pm. 6886 Cascade Rd SE, 949$ 3188. H, B, L, V, MC, AE, DS OMELETTE SHOPPE & BAKERY — A plethora of omelets, along with baked-fresh daily pecan rolls, cinnamon pastries and more. Open daily til 3 pm. 545 Michigan St NE, 726-5800; 1880 Breton Rd SE, 726-7300. H, B, L, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$ REAL FOOD CAFÉ — Open early for breakfast and lunch, with everything made fresh from scratch by chef owners in cheery surroundings. Second location on the northeast side. Open until 2 pm; closed Mon. 2419 Eastern Ave SE, 241-4080; ¢ 5430 Northland Dr NE, 361-1808. H, B, L

BUD & STANLEY’S — Mirrored bar and TV sets galore. Mexican and Italian dishes, burgers, starters, salads and sandwiches. Main entrées range from homemade pasties to one-pound Texas cut sirloin. Takeout available. Open daily. 1701 4 Mile Rd NE, 361-9782. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE ¢-$

GP SPORTS — Sports bar and restaurant with three big screens and 40 flat-screen TVs. Menu features create-your-own pizzas and burgers, along with salads and sandwiches. Closed Sun. Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, 776-6495. amway H, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS $

CASCADE SPORTS GRILL — Not your average sports bar: calamari, crab cakes, potstickers, stuffed ’shrooms, sandwiches, chicken, steak and more. Sizable bar with 10 brew taps and extensive martini menu. Pool tables, dartboards, TVs and other amusements. Live DJ Sat night. Cascade Centre, 6240 28th St SE, 974-3338. On $ Facebook. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS

GRAND WOODS LOUNGE — Year-round alfresco dining complete with fireplace. Eclectic menu selections mix with upscale takes on comfort foods. Live entertainment, pool tables, spacious bar. 77 Grandville Ave SW, 451-4300. grandwoods H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $-$$

CHEERO’S SPORTS & SUSHI GRILL — The place to go if you’d like some sushi or other Japanese fare with that pizza, burger and microbrew. Six big-screen TVs and 20 small. Banquet space, spacious outdoor patio next to Michigan Athletic Club. Open daily. 2510 Burton St SE, 608-3062. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$

RED GERANIUM CAFÉ — Popular spot is known for its specialty omelets, homemade soups, breads and desserts. Two locations: 6670 Kalamazoo Ave SE, 656-9800; 5751 Byron Center Ave. 532-8888. H, B, L ¢

CHEERS — Popular neighborhood spot with something for everyone: munchies, salads, southof-the-border favorites, fish, steaks, burgers, breakfast fare, omelets, served daily in a log-cabin environment. 3994 Plainfield Ave NE, 363-1188. H, B, L, D, C, V, MC, AE ¢

SUSIE’S CAFÉ — Coffees, baked goods, breakfast served through lunch. Sandwiches, homemade soups and burgers from the grill. Malts, shakes, smoothies and ice cream. Walk-up window open late in summer. Open daily. 1120 Knapp St NE, 363-1530. H, B, L ¢

CHEQUERS — Creative cuisine with a British flair ranges from beef tips Sherwood to Welsh rarebit, fish and chips, shepherd’s pie and imported beer served in an English pub atmosphere. Open daily in summer. 220 Culver St, Saugatuck, (269) 8571868. H, L, D, V, MC, AE $

WOLFGANG’S — Popular spot renowned for breakfasts. Menu includes omelets, Belgian waffles, salads, sandwiches. Private meeting rooms available. Open 6:30 am-2:30 pm daily. 1530 Wealthy St SE, 454-5776. H, ¢ B, L, 3

CORNER BAR — Rockford’s much-loved spot for a brew and a chili dog, with hall-of-fame status for quantity gorging. Bar fare includes burgers, sandwiches, soups, nibbles, etc. 31 N Main St, Rockford, 866-9866. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE ¢

Vegetarian GAIA CAFÉ — Innovative, totally vegetarian fare served in a cozy atmosphere. Closed Mon. 209 Diamond Ave SE, 454-6233. On Facebook. H, B, L, D, V, MC, AE ¢ LITTLE AFRICA CUISINE — Humble storefront café with dining area offers vegetarian dishes only. Hearty vegetable stews; sauces and fixings are served on Ethiopian flat bread. Sample other Ethiopian specialties. Cash or checks only. Open daily. 956 E Fulton St, 222-1169. On Facebook. H, ¢ L, D, 3

Pubs & Taverns Restaurants that prefer to be known as “bars that serve food.” 84th STREET PUB AND GRILLE — Broad menu offers pub grub and American fare from pizzas to steaks in modern, laidback surroundings with flat-screen TVs and full bar service. 8282 Pfeiffer Farms Dr, Byron Center, 583-1650. 84thstpub. com. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$ BAR LOUIE — Urban décor at Woodland Mall, with sandwiches, appetizers, burgers and hearty entrées. More than 20 beers, along with a nice wine selection and specialty cocktails. Outdoor seating. 3191 28th St SE, 885-9050. barlouieamer H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $-$$

THE COTTAGE BAR — Longtime favorite since 1927. Famous Cottage burgers and fries, signature chili, house-made soups and sandwiches, daily specials, imported beers, full bar and cordial atmosphere. Closed Sun. 8 LaGrave Ave SE, 4549088. L, D, C, V, MC, AE ¢ THE CURRAGH — Downtown Holland traditional Irish pub features all the fun foods, spirits, music and environment of Old World Ireland. Enjoy a pint and authentic Irish fare from a full menu. Outdoor seating, live entertainment, valet parking. 73 E 8th St, Holland, (616) 393-6340. curraghhol H, L, D, C, V, MC ¢-$$ ELBOW ROOM BAR & GRILL — Cozy neighborhood watering hole with bar food to match: burgers, sandwiches, nachos, salads, chicken fingers, etc. Open daily 10 am-2 am. Play darts, Golden Tee or the jukebox. 501 Fuller Ave NE, 454-6666. H, L, D, C, V, MC ¢-$ FLANAGAN’S — Popular Irish pub. Imported beers, 20 on tap. Homemade soups and stews, specialty sandwiches, munchies and entrées with an Irish influence. Frequent live music. Closed Sun. 139 Pearl St NW, 454-7852. flanagansgr. com. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS, DC ¢ FOUNDERS BREWING CO. — Sip microbrew samples in the spacious taproom, serpentine bar and stage for live music Thu and Sat. Expanded menu features sandwiches and light pub fare. Covered (heated) porch. 235 Grandville Ave SW, 776-1195. H, L (11-2 MonFri), 3, V, MC, AE, DS ¢

THE HOLIDAY BAR — Classic 40-foot horseshoe bar with nine HD TVs, 12 beers on tap, a variety of appetizers and homemade “porter” pulled pork. Fun atmosphere with pool tables, darts, Golden Tee, Nudgemaster and Club Keno. 801 5th St NW (at Alpine Ave), 456-9058. On Facebook. H, L, D, c-$ C, V, MC, AE, DS HOLLY’S BACK DOOR BAR & GRILL — Fullservice menu and good selection of munchies at the bar in the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel. Opens 5 pm; closed Sun & Mon. 255 28th St SW, 241-1417. H, B, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DC, $ DS HOPCAT — Crafted brews with close to 50 beers on tap and 150 bottled. Full bar, and tasty fare including appetizers, salads, sandwiches and entrées from meatloaf to mussels. Open daily. 25 Ionia Ave SW, 451-4677. H, L (SatSun), D, C, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$ HUB’S INN — Sandwiches, burgers, wet burritos and thin-crust pizza. Closed Sun. 1645 Leonard St ¢ NW, 453-3571. H, L, D, C INTERSECTION CAFÉ — Roomy entertainment venue offers sandwich wraps and panini, great burgers, quesadilla selections, soups, salads, appetizers, flatbread pizza, vegetarian options. Full bar. 133 Grandville Ave SW, 459-0977. H, L, D, C, V, MC ¢ JD REARDON’S — Restaurant and lounge in The Boardwalk offers American, Southwest, Thai and more, with nibbles, soups, sandwiches, dinnersize salads, steaks and other appealing entrées. Banquet facilities; outdoor seating. 940 Monroe Ave NW, 454-8590. H, B, L, D, C, $-$$ V, MC, AE, DC, DS J GARDELLA’S TAVERN — Massive antique bar is matched by gargantuan menu ranging from homemade chips to build-your-own burger. Three floors of seating. Open Sun for arena events. 11 Ionia Ave SW, 459-8824. jgardellas H, L, D, C, 3, V, MC, AE, DS ¢ LOGAN’S ALLEY — Free popcorn complements a premium-libation special in these cozy digs. From two Reubens to a garden burger, the 18-item sandwich-and-appetizer menu even lists pizza rolls. Seasonal deck seating. Open daily. 916 Michigan St NE, 458-1612. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$ MILL CREEK TAVERN — Comstock Park’s cozy eatery offers appetizers, from-scratch daily soups, sandwiches, wraps, burgers and wet burritos, as well as full dinner options. Full bar with separate dining room. 3874 West River Dr, 7843806. H, L, D, C, V, MC, DS ¢-$ MOJO’S — Lively dueling piano bar and restaurant open for dinner at 5 pm Wed-Sat, with starters, pastas, sandwiches, salads and reasonably priced entrées, plus late night “munchy menu.” RSVP for dinner early, show starts at 8 pm Wed-Thu, 7 pm December 2011 Grand Rapids 77

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City Guide: Grand Vine

Good values for the holidays By A. Brian Cain

Valued-priced whites 2010 Robert Mondavi Private Selection Riesling, Calif., $11. Crisp, ripe and fresh, the soft, lowacid texture is reminiscent of juicy pears. Points: 14.7. 2010 Brys Estate Old Mission Riesling, Mich., $18. The classic German-inspired Riesling nose is very floral with subtle, wet stone nuances. On the palate, sweet ripe apples dominate, with an echo of minerals in the finish. Points: 15.4. 2010 Cupcake Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand, $13. The water white color (typical of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc) perfectly prepares one for the brilliantly fresh, appetizingly light mouth feel. The nose captures the essence of mango chutney, lime marmalade, gunflint and crushed rosemary. The palate is nothing but juicy grapes picked in

the vineyard. Points: 18. 2009 Franciscan Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc, Calif., $17. Maraschino cherries and orange peel waft up through the glass while hints of sweet lemon liquor and ripe, ruby red grapefruit linger on the palate. The balance is impeccable. Points: 17.5 2009 Big House Unchained Naked Chardonnay, Calif., $10. The clean, herbal, fresh smell and refreshingly brisk, clean, dry finish is very appealing. Points: 14.7. 2008 Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Chardonnay, Calif., $20. Lemon, cream and subtle buttery nuances make drinking this wine a luxurious experience. The classy, elegant structure melts on the tongue. Points: 15.2. 2010 Bogle Chardonnay, Calif., $10. This was the biggest surprise of the evening. Hailing from the upper Sacramento River delta, this value-priced Chardonnay offers up sweet oak, baked apples, cardamom and nutmeg with a smooth, creamy, lemonchiffon-like texture. Points: 17.

Value-priced reds 2009 Blackstone Sonoma Reserve Pinot Noir, Calif., $18. I am disappointed that there isn’t much difference between this and the $11 Pinot Noir following. I realize it is difficult to make good cheap Pinot, but at $18, one would hope for a bit more depth. Don’t get me wrong, it is a very pleasant, soft, cherry-scented, finely balanced red wine, but I would like to see more complexity and more emphatic Pinot character. It is very light on its feet for a 14.5 percent alcohol Pinot. Points: 14. 2010 Robert Mondavi Private Selection Pinot Noir, Calif., $11. Nice black-cherry-like nose leads into a soft, easy, slightly jammy mouth feel. It has surprisingly persistent legs on the glass suggesting a rich ripeness that one does not find in spite of its 13.5 percent alcohol. In the finish, the hint of earth and truffle is fleeting. Points: 13.5. 2009 Ravenswood Vintners Blend Zinfandel, Calif., $10. Good clean expression of Zinfandel, with a simple, straightforward ripe cherry fruit with hints of smoke and bacon. Points: 14.5. 2009 Mandolin Central Coast Cabernet Sauvignon, Calif., $12. Soft, simple and supple with bell pepper and berry. A subtle earthiness carries through to the short finish. Points: 13.8.

Photography by Johnny Quirin

When entertaining this holiday season, be assured that most guests will enjoy a well-chosen $10 bottle of wine just as much as a $20 bottle.

Earlier this year, Tasters Guild conducted a tasting entitled “Does Price Matter?” comparing $15 and $30 wines of the same type to see if anyone really preferred the more expensive wines. The results were inconclusive. So we recently gathered some friends to see what would happen if we tasted similar wines of varying prices with savory foods in the comfort of our dining room. Again the results were inconclusive. With the exception of a $90 Cabernet that we compared to a $12 and a $26 Cabernet, most of the wines were pretty much a mixed bag. The takeaway message: When entertaining this holiday season, be assured that most guests will enjoy a well-chosen $10 bottle of wine just as much as a $20 bottle. On the other hand, when trying to get the biggest bang for the buck, Pinot Noir may not be the best choice. Really good Pinot Noir is never cheap. This is a list of some of the less expensive bottles we tasted. All, regardless of price, would be considered “awardwinning” wines. The score is the group average on a 20-point scale. A Brian Cain is a certified wine educator and freelance wine writer.

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City Guide Fri-Sat, DJ, dancing, pool tables, VIP Room and flat-screen TVs on 2nd floor. 180 Monroe Ave NW, 776-9000. H, D (Wed-Sat), C, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$ NEW HOLLAND BREWING CO. — Munchies, salads, pizza and sandwiches augment a wide array of handcrafted beer. 15-minute lunch menu. Beer and wine only. Closed Sun. 66 E 8th St, Holland. (616) 355-6422. H, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$ NITE CAP BAR & GRILL — Roomy and bright with outdoor patio, pool tables, video games, bigscreen TVs, Keno and karaoke Thu-Sat evenings. Daily drink specials, soups, salads, sandwiches, subs, flame-broiled burgers, Mexican selections and dinners. 801 W Fulton St, 451-4243. nitecap ¢ H, L, D, C, V, MC O’TOOLE’S PUBLIC HOUSE — Pub grub includes appetizers, sandwiches and burgers served on
 a mountain of fries. Open daily. 448 Bridge St NW, 742-6095. H, L, D, C, V, MC, ¢-$ AE PEPPINO’S RISTORANTE PIZZERIA AND SPORTS LOUNGE — Contemporary ambience, separate sports bar. Italian specialties and pizza, char-grilled Sicilian-style steak and chicken, burgers, etc. 5053 Lake Michigan Dr NW, Allendale, 895-1615. Family-friendly Peppino’s Sports Lounge in downtown GR, 130 Ionia Ave SW, 4568444. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, ¢-$$ DS

GRAND RAPIDS LIGHTING CENTER Serving West Michigan for over 40 Years!

3800 29th Street S.E. Grand Rapids, MI 49512

(616) 949-4931

PUB 43 — Cozy atmosphere caters to all, but is especially popular with artists and the gay crowd. Board games, more than a dozen TVs, fully stocked bar with usual bar fare from burgers to more upscale items. Jukebox, occasional live entertainment. Open daily at 3 pm. 43 S Division Ave, 458-2205. H, D, C, V, MC ¢-$ QUEEN’S PUB SPORTS BAR — Adjacent to Bombay Cuisine in Eastown with English pub grub, full bar and lots of beers on tap. Big-screen TVs, pool table, dart boards, wireless connection. 1420-1424 Lake Dr SE, 456-7055. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$ QUINN & TUITE’S IRISH PUB — One of the largest selections of Irish whiskies in the area and Guinness on tap. Traditional Irish music, Celtic rock, open mic Fri eves, live bands Sat. Typical bar fare includes burgers, brats, sandwiches, munchies. 1535 Plainfield Ave NE, 363-8380. quinnand ¢-$ H, L, D, C, V, MC

Photography by Johnny Quirin

ROCKY’S BAR & GRILL — Burgers, appetizers, fried fish baskets, sandwiches and more. Art Deco bar, pool table. Kitchen open late; check for evening entertainment. Open daily, Sun at 5 pm with $1 beer specials. 633 Ottawa Ave NW, 356-2346. H, L, D, C, V, MC ¢-$ SAZERAC LOUNGE — New Orleans-style lounge featuring bar food with a Cajun bent. Live entertainment Sat nights. Open for lunch Tue-Sat, Mon at 4 pm. 1418 Plainfield Ave NE, 451-0010. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE $ THE SCORE — Restaurant and sports bar with a wide-ranging menu that includes pizza, ribs, hand-cut steaks, seafood, chicken and comfort dishes like meatloaf. 5301 Northland Dr NE, 3010600. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$ SHAMROCK BAR & GRILL — Small but interest-

Audio Video interiors is West Michigan’s leading resource for quality Audio and Video components and installation. this year why not give your loved ones a gift that will last for years to come. Make sure to plan a visit to our “Lifestyle” showroom which is packed full of great gift giving ideas and make sure to ask about the new Pioneer elite flat panel tV’s. | (616) 942-1000 1830 Breton Ave. SE, Suite 1900 Grand Rapids, MI 49506 December 2011 Grand Rapids 79

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City Guide ing menu offers choices such as coconut shrimp and house-made tortilla soup in addition to burgers and steak. Open daily at 11 am. 2501 Wilson Ave NW, 735-3888. H, L, D, C, V, MC ¢-$ SHEPARDS GRILL & TAVERN — Affordably priced appetizers, salads, burgers, signature sandwiches, fresh lake perch and Kobe top sirloin in attractive surroundings. Open daily. Weekday happy hour drink specials 3-6:30 p.m. Cascade Center, 6246 28th St SE, 350-9604. On Facebook. H, L, D, C, V, MC, DS ¢-$ STELLA’S LOUNGE — Mostly vegan menu but a stuffed burger for carnivores. Advertises strong drinks and more than 200 whiskies. 53 Commerce Ave, 742-4444. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DC ¢-$ TEAZERS BAR & GRILL — Burgers and pastas, sandwiches, salads and Southwestern bites. Kids menu. Look for live music on the stage. Open daily. 819 Ottawa Ave NW, 459-2481. teazersbar. com. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE ¢-$ VITALE’S SPORTS LOUNGE & PIZZERIA — Serving pizza and pasta plus legendary panini sandwiches and wraps in sports-centric surroundings. Multiple screens, outside deck, live entertainment, 29 beers on tap. Open daily. 3868 West River Dr NE, Comstock Park, 784-2526, takeout 784-5011. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE ¢-$ WEST SIDE BAR — No-frills neighborhood tavern with bar-food menu that includes the Hog Burger, a half-pound burger made fresh daily and stacked with a choice of ham or bacon and all the fixings. Live entertainment weekends. 1568 Broadway NW, 459-1240. H, L, D, C, V, MC ¢ Z’S — Sports-themed eatery known for its ribs. Soup-salad-sandwich lunches. Features 43-foot bar and multiple TVs. Carry-out available. 168 Louis Campau Promenade NW, 454-3141. zsbar. com. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE ¢-$

Delis, Dogs & Bagels Places that serve sandwiches, bagels and/or hot dogs. BAGEL BEANERY — All locations bake a variety of bagels and serve great breakfast and deli sandwiches. Vegetarian options, soups, salads and specialty coffees. Catering, kids meals, free Wi-Fi, outdoor seating. 455 Michigan St NE, 235-7500; 2845 Breton Rd SE, 245-4220; 5316 Clyde Park Ave SW, Wyoming, 249-9500. H, B, L, D, 3, V, MC, AE, DC, DS ¢-$ BIG APPLE BAGELS — Fresh bagels and 15 cream cheese mixtures. Choose your bagel to wrap around the sandwiches or breakfast options, or build your own from the deli. 3915 Plainfield Ave NE, 364-1919; 2058 Lake Michigan Dr NW, 7352390; 6670 Kalamazoo Ave SE, 554-7915. bab H, B, L, D, 3 ¢

Ottawa Ave NW, 451-8000. thegilmorecollection. com/bite.php. H, B, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$$

Forest Hill Ave SE, 285-1695. On Facebook. H, B, ¢ L, 3, V, MC, AE, DS

BITTER END — Full array of specialty coffee drinks, bagels, muffins, pastries and deli sandwiches in atmosphere of a 1930s French café. Free Wi-Fi. Open 24/7. 752 W Fulton St, 451-6061. H, B, L, D, V, MC, AE ¢

KAVA HOUSE — Uniquely GR. Popular Eastown spot with bakery items (known for the scones) and java served in bowl-sized cups. Plenty of seating (outdoors, too). Bakery includes homemade pizzas, spinach pies, sausage rolls and soup. 1445 Lake Dr SE, 451-8600. On Facebook. H, B, L, D, 3, V, MC ¢

BOARDWALK SUBS — 20 huge Jersey-style subs using family-recipe Italian dressing and specialty meats such as capicola and prostitini in addition to familiar choices. Also soups, chili, salads, chips, fresh-baked cookies, ice cream and kids meals. Take out or eat in. Catering and delivery. Open daily. 5422 S Division Ave, Kentwood, 724-2492. H, L, D, V, MC ¢ CAFÉ SCALA — Tre Cugini’s cousin in the Ledyard Building offers sandwiches and other Euro nibbles at reasonable prices. Open 11:30 am-2:30 pm Mon-Fri. 125 Ottawa Ave NW, 235-9115. trecugini. ¢ com. H, L, V, MC, AE, DS, DC CHERRY DELI — Extensive menu offers more than 50 sandwiches, a dozen salads, five soups, with catering and takeout options. Outdoor patio; closed Sun. 834 Cherry St SE, 459-6182. cherry H, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$ CORNUCOPIA — Bakery, sandwich spot, pizzeria, take-home specialties, lunch buckets, freshground coffees, one-of-a-kind wine selection. Open daily. Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, 776-6428. H, B, L, D, 3, V, MC, AE ¢-$ CRAZY CHARLIE’S — Coney Island-style dogs plus a daily soup, chips, shakes, slushies, fountain drinks and soft-serve ice cream service with walkup window on Bagley Ave in warmer months. 2184 Wealthy St SE, 451-6720. H, L, D, V, MC ¢ DAM DOGS — On the dam in downtown Rockford serving everyone’s favorite variation on the hot dog theme in old-time surroundings, plus ice cream. 51 E Bridge St, Rockford, 863-9565. H, L, D ¢ THE DOG PIT — Every variation on a hot dog, with house-made chili topping a specialty. Large variety of condiments. Also daily soups. Closed Sun. 132 Monroe Center NW, 988-1508. On Facebook. H, L, D ¢ FERRIS COFFEE AND NUT CO. — Breakfast and light lunch items in Plaza Towers on West Fulton. Both locations feature global gourmet coffees, nut selections and sweet treats. Gift baskets available at Winter Ave location. 235 W Fulton St, 227 Winter Ave NW, 459-6257. H, B, ¢ L, D, V, MC, AE THE GRAND CONEY — Home-style dinners, burgers, salads, sandwiches, Mexican fare, desserts and all-day breakfast in addition to authentic Coney Island hot dogs. Open 24/7. 809 Michigan St NE, 776-5580. On Facebook. H, B, L, D ¢

BIGGBY COFFEE — East Lansing-based chain offers specialty coffee and non-coffee drinks, fresh-daily selection of baked goods, fruit cups, yogurt parfaits, bagel sandwiches. Wi-Fi, seasonal outdoor seating. More than a dozen locations in West Michigan (see website): ¢

JONNY B’Z DOGS AND MORE — Southern-style, all-meat chili dogs on Texas-toast-style buns: fatty’s (all beef), skinny’s (all turkey) hotdogs, house-made gumbo, burgers, “cajon” sausage, smoked brisket, sandwiches, vegan dogs, vegetarian chili; lots of toppings; modern-retro ambience. Closed Sun, open until 2 am Thu-Sat. 638 Wealthy St SE. On Facebook. L, D, V, MC, AE, DS ¢

BITE — Deli side of Ottawa Tavern features daily soups, big wraps, salads and build-yourown burgers. Weekday Happy Hour drink and appetizer specials 4-7 pm. Closed Sun. 151

JW’S — Art gallery meets coffeehouse with rotation of local artists’ works. Specializing in light, health-conscious lunch fare, plus every coffee drink under the sun. Closed Sun. Free Wi-Fi. 850

LOCAL MOCHA — Downtown location offers favorite coffee specialties and smoothies as well as grilled breakfast and lunch sandwiches. Closed Sun. Free Wi-Fi. 96 Monroe Center NW, 459¢ 0082. H, B, L, V, MC, AE MAMA’S PIZZA & GRINDERS — Busy spot in Thornhills Plaza offering large grinders (halfsize available), pizza, salads and pasta selection. 6504 28th St SE, 954-1964. mamaspizza H, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS ¢ NUNZIA’S CAFÉ — Combo specials of soups, chili, salads, sandwiches, pasta and Italian dishes. In Merrill Lynch building by Calder Plaza. Open 11 am-3 pm weekdays. 250 Monroe Ave NW, No. 140, 458-1533. H, L, V, MC, AE, DS ¢ OLGA’S KITCHEN — Greek-style wrapped sandwiches, salads and desserts, with uniquely flavored fries, appetizers, smoothies and desserts. Open daily. 2213 Wealthy St SE, 4560600; 3195 28th St, 942-8020; 3700 Rivertown Parkway SW, Grandville, 531-6572. olgaskitch H, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS ¢ ONE STOP CONEY SHOP — Hot dogs plus salads, sandwiches, fries and house-made original condiments in downtown GR. Open 11 am-9 pm Mon-Sat. 154 E Fulton, 233-9700. onestop H, L, D, V, MC ¢ RAMONA’S TABLE — EGR deli with selections made from scratch: soups, sandwiches, salads, baked items and meals from 8 am-8 pm Mon-Sat; takeout and catering. 2232 Wealthy St SE, 4598500. H, B, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$ RICO’S DELI — Large array of breakfast and lunch items, smoothies, coffees and teas. Vegetarian, vegan-friendly. Closed Sun. 940 Monroe Ave NW (in The Boardwalk), 451-0225. On Facebook. H, B, ¢ L, D, V, MC RITZ KONEY BAR & GRILLE — Hot dogs, gourmet sandwiches, burgers, wraps and salads plus chicken fingers, nachos, wings and fries. Full bar with limited wine list. Closed Sun. 64 Ionia Ave SW, 451-3701. H, L, D, ¢-$ C, 3, V, MC SCHNITZ DELICATESSEN — Deli with a German flair. Sandwiches, creamy potato salad and fudgy brownies. All available for takeout. Closed Sun. 1315 E Fulton St, 451-4444; Schnitz East, 597 Ada Dr SE, 682-4660; Schnitz South, 1529 Langley St SE, 281-5010. H, L, D, 3, V, MC ¢-$ URBAN MILL CAFÉ — Deli-style, grilled and baked specialty sandwiches on freshly baked breads. Top-notch soups, salads, desserts, baked goods. 629 Michigan St NE, 855-1526. H, B, L, D, V, MC, AE ¢-$ VANILLAS COFFEE TEA CAFÉ — Gourmet coffees, teas, smoothies and pastries. Special-order bakery for cakes, cookies, cupcakes. Check out the dollar menu. Closed Sun. 3150 Plainfield Ave NE, Plainfield Plaza, 447-0080.

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City Guide Croswell SE, 233-0123. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $

Old-fashioned Christmas feast

BELLA MIA PIZZERIA & ITALIAN GRILL — Italian dishes and New York-style pizza (even dessert pizzas) in roomy, window-fronted dining room. Daily lunch buffet. 6333 Kalamazoo Ave SE, Suite ¢-$ 450, 554-9930. H, L, D, V, MC

Noel Restaurant & Gifts embodies the Christmas spirit year-round with its steadfast holiday décor and greatfind gifts selection. The restaurant section offers a fun, down-home, familystyle dining experience that would be a perfect way to relax after a day of hectic holiday shopping — but be sure to call ahead. Noel, located at 2371 Riley St. in Jamestown, feeds the masses by reservation only for lunch and dinner, Monday through Saturday. Owner Phyllis Sjaarda books guests quickly during the holiday season. However, the same reservations-only rule applies throughout the rest of the year, as well. So if you need a little reminder of Christmas cheer in the middle of a scorching summer, Noel is there for you May 1 through Dec. 31. Housed in a former church dating from the early 1900s, Noel has hosted many a wedding in its quaint chapel. The former church parsonage, Holly House, can accommodate private

H, B, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS


WEALTHY STREET BAKERY — Fresh breads, cinnamon rolls and pastries in reclaimed, roomy location, with sandwiches and daily soup specials. Club, specialty and vegetarian sandwiches on fresh-baked breads. Free Wi-Fi. Closed Sun. 608 Wealthy St SE, 301-2950. wealthystreetbakery. com. H, B, L, V, MC, AE, DS ¢

Photography by michael Buck

WG GRINDERS — Oven-baked gourmet grinders, excellent variety of deli and signature salads, soups and desserts. A few hot pasta selections. Catering, delivery and takeout. Closed Sun. Esplanade Center, 5769 28th St SE, 974-3354. H, L, D, 3, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$ WINDY CITY GRILLE — Authentic Chicago-style sandwiches: gyros, Italian beef, Chicago dogs and more. Greek and chicken salads, soups and, with 24-hour notice, will make tabbouleh to suit. Cozy atmosphere peppered with Chicago photos. Closed Sun; will cater. 5751 Byron Center Ave. SW, Wyoming, 261-2489. On Facebook. H, L, D, V, MC, (AE w/$50 purchase), DS ¢ WIRED ESPRESSO BAR — A gamut of coffee concoctions, baked goods, sandwiches and more in Creston Business District. Free wireless Internet and occasional live weekend entertainment. 1503 Plainfield Ave NE, 805-5245. H, B, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS ¢ YESTERDOG — Uniquely GR. The city’s favorite

BRICK ROAD PIZZA — A nice selection of pasta, pizza, salads, desserts and vegan specialties. Buffet available at lunch. Meatball crust specialty. Open daily. 1017 Wealthy St SE, 719-2409. brick ¢-$ H, L, D, V, MC FLORENTINE PIZZERIA & SPORTS LOUNGE — Spacious location features Italian fare with American and Mexican choices in addition to thincrust pizzas. Ten beers on tap. Big-screen TVs, pool tables, darts, video games, Foosball. 4261 Kalamazoo Ave SE, 455-2230. florentinespizza. com. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$ FLORENTINE RISTORANTE — Italian and American cuisine. Pizza and pasta served in the lounge until midnight; full-menu dinner 4-10 pm. Closed Sun. 3245 28th St SW, 534-5419. florentin H, L, D, C, 3, V, MC, AE, DC $

parties up to 50. Gift shop hours coincide with restaurant operation, so gather your gal pals, your children, or bring the whole extended family to enjoy a very Christmas-like, old-fashioned feast. Check it out at www.noelrestaur

hot dogs in a fun, nostalgic Eastown setting. Try the Ultradog. Closed Sun. 1505 Wealthy St SE, 262-3090. L, D ¢


FRANCO’S PIZZERIA — Spaghetti, manicotti, lasagna, stromboli plus pizza and subs with fresh ingredients. Limited seating, takeout available (delivery offered). Cash only; open daily. 2103 Alpine Ave NW, 361-7307. H, L, D ¢-$ FRANKIE V’s PIZZERIA & SPORTS BAR — Roomy space with pool tables, jukebox, covered patio. Appetizers, subs, stromboli, pizza, pasta entrées, plus burgers and Mexican. Weekday lunch buffet. Tap your own 100-ounce beer tower. 1420 28th St SW, 532-8998. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$ FRED’S PIZZA AND ITALIAN RESTAURANT — Long-time favorite offers Italian fare, including fresh pasta and gourmet pizza. Full-service bar. Closed Sun. 3619 Plainfield Ave NE, 361-8994. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE ¢-$ FRICANO’S PIZZA RESTAURANT — Famous for its thin-crust pizza. Also, pasta dinners with a sauce that has made its way to the retail market. Closed Sun. 5808 Alpine Ave NW, Comstock Park, 785-5800. H, D, C ¢-$

ALPENROSE — European-inspired restaurant with fare ranging from Certified Aged Black Angus steaks to poultry and fish dishes. Five private dining rooms, banquet facility, bakery and café. Award-winning Sun brunch buffet. 4 E 8th St, Holland, (616) 393-2111. alpenroseres H, B, L, D, C, 3, V, MC, AE, DC, DS, ¢-$$ RSVP

G.R.P.D. — Grand Rapids Pizza & Delivery offers award-winning traditional, stuffed and specialty pizzas emphasizing fresh ingredients. Delivery Thu-Sat until 2:30 a.m. Open daily, with a handful of tables for dining in. 340 State St, (616) 7424773. H, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$

AMORE TRATTORIA ITALIANA — Authentic regional Italian dishes using local produce, meats and cheeses as well as Italian imports. House-made desserts. Banquet facility available. Closed Mon; no lunch Sat. 5080 Alpine Ave NW, Comstock Park. 785-5344. amoretratto H, L, D, C, V, MC $

MANGIAMO — Historic mansion houses family-friendly Italian eatery. Steaks and seafood in addition to pasta and pizza. Open daily for dinner; extensive wine list, evening entertainment. 1033 Lake Dr SE, 742-0600. thegilmore H, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS, DC $-$$

ANGELA’S ITALIAN RESTAURANT & PIZZERIA — A Sparta favorite since 1983 for authentic Italian dinners, pizza, stromboli, subs and desserts in comfortable surroundings. Lunch buffet, full-service bar. Delivery and catering available. Closed Sun. 240 E Division, Sparta, (616) 8871913. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$

MARINADE’S PIZZA BISTRO — Specialty woodfired pizzas, ethnic salads, sandwiches, appetizers, dips, soups, desserts and coffee. Open daily. 2844 Lake Michigan Dr NW, 453-0200; 109 Courtland St, Rockford, 863-3300; 450 Baldwin, Jenison, 457-7400. H, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS ¢

BIG BOB’S PIZZA — A local favorite pizza parlor in EGR’s Gaslight Village with wine and beer on tap in comfortable surroundings, or to go. 661

MARRO’S — Authentic Italian fare and housebaked goods, extensive array of pizza toppings. Open mid-April through autumn; closed Mon. 147 December 2011 Grand Rapids 81

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City Guide Waters St, Saugatuck, (269) 857-4248. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $-$$ MONELLI’S RESTAURANT AND SPORTS BAR — Southern Italian cuisine from the folks who own Monelli’s Pizza. Spacious sports bar with big screen TVs; family-friendly dining room with fireplace. 5675 Byron Center Ave, Wyoming, 5309700. H, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$ NOTO’S OLD WORLD ITALIAN DINING — Elegant decor, extensive menu and impeccable service. Offerings include appetizers, soups, salads, pasta, veal, fish and desserts. Special wine cellar dinners in unique surroundings; lounge menu features light fare. Closed Sun. 6600 28th St SE, 493-6686. H, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS, RSVP $-$$ PEREDDIES — Italian fine-dining and a deli with baked breads, salads, meats, pâté, desserts and imported food. Wine list, full bar, wine to go. More casual fare in Scusi lounge. Closed Sun. 447 Washington Ave, Holland, (616) 394-3061. H, L, D, C, 3, V, MC, AE, DC $-$$ PIETRO’S ITALIAN RISTORANTE — Regional and contemporary Italian cuisine. Fresh-baked breads, Tuscan wines, desserts and cappuccinos. Nightly features. Kids menu, meeting room and takeout available. 2780 Birchcrest Dr SE, 452-3228. H, L, D, 3, V, MC, AE, $ DS RESTAURANT TOULOUSE — Seasonally inspired menu with French classics such as cassoulet and bouillabaisse. Delectable appetizers and desserts. Award-winning wines. Hours vary seasonally; private parties can be arranged. Sun brunch during summer. 248 Culver St, Saugatuck, (269) 857-1561. restauranttoulouse. $$ com. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, RSVP SALVATORE’S ITALIAN RESTAURANT — Sicilian and southern Italian fare using family recipes. Separate sports bar; patio seating. Weekday lunch buffet. All menu items, beer and wine available to go. Delivery and catering. Closed Sun. 654 Stocking Ave NW, 454-4280. salva H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$ SAN CHEZ, A TAPAS BISTRO — Legendary downtown hotspot offers Spanish bill of fare focusing on tapas-style appetizers, side dishes and entrées. Extensive wine and beer list includes Spanish varieties and sherry. 38 W Fulton St, 7748272. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, $-$$ DC, DS SEASONAL GRILLE — Hastings’ Italian-themed eatery features fresh, locally sourced, creative fare in handsome surroundings. Full bar, craft cocktails, nice wine list. Open daily. 150 W State St, Hastings, (269) 948-9222. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $ TRE CUGINI — Authentic high-end Italian menu, impressive wine list, fresh daily pastas and risotto specialties, plus beef, veal, lamb, chicken and seafood dishes. Outdoor seating in mild weather. Closed Sun. 122 Monroe Center, 235-9339. trecug H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $-$$ TWO TONYS TAVERNA GRILLE — Italian, Greek and American specialties with full-service bar, extensive wine list. Menu includes wood-fired pizzas and nightly specials. Artsy ambience, open kitchen and large patio. Closed Sun. 723 E Savidge Rd, Spring Lake, (616) 844-0888. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $

UCCELLO’S RISTORANTE — Pizzeria, grill and sports lounge with Italian cuisine, American dishes and an array of freshly baked pizzas. Open daily. 2630 East Beltline Ave SE, 954-2002; 4787 Lake Michigan Dr NW, 735-5520; 8256 Broadmoor SE, 891-5958. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DC, DS ¢-$ VITALE’S — The original. Traditional Italian ristorante serving regional dishes from family recipes since 1966. Open daily. 834 Leonard St NE, 458-8368 (Vitale’s Sports Lounge next door, 458-2090), takeout 458-3766. theoriginal ¢-$ H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE VITALE’S OF ADA — Multi-regional, upscale, from-scratch menu in the trattoria style of modern-day Italy. Family-friendly atmosphere; microbews to martinis in separate sports pub. Open daily. 400 Ada Dr SE, Ada, 676-5400. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE ¢-$ VITALE’S PIZZERIA — Multiple locations serving pizza and pasta from original Vitale family recipes. 59 W Washington St, Zeeland, (616) 772-5900,; 4676 32nd Ave, Hudsonville, 662-2244, (no alcohol served); 5380 S Division Ave, Kentwood, 5308300. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE ¢-$

Asian Including Thai and Indian fare. ABACUS — Mandarin and Szechuan cuisine; buffets at lunch, dinner and all day on weekends. Nice cocktail selection. Open daily. 2675 28th St SW, 530-3300. H, L, D, C, V, MC, DS, DC ¢-$ AKASAKA SUSHI — Sushi plus Korean and Japanese offerings in low-key atmosphere in the Cascade Centre. Occasional sushi classes offered. Closed Sun. 6252 28th St SE, 977-0444. H, L, D, V, MC ¢-$ ➧AKITA BUFFET — Across from RiverTown Crossings Mall, with sushi bar, hibachi grill, salad and dessert bars and Chinese buffet with set price for lunch and dinner. Open daily. Liquor license pending. 3540 Rivertown Point Ct. SW, 257-7777. H, L, D, V, MC, DS, AE ¢-$ ALPINE TERIYAKI AND SUSHI — Sushi selections with some deep-fried roll options, shrimp tempura and more, all masterfully presented. Pleasant, diminutive surroundings; closed Sun. 4089 Alpine Ave NW, 647-9935. H, L, D, V, MC, DS ¢-$ ANGEL’S THAI CAFÉ — Extensive Thai fare; menu includes a your-choice stir-fry option from a long list of ingredients. Vegetarian-friendly, fromscratch sauces. Pleasant surroundings. Open daily. 136 Monroe Center NW, 454-9801. angelsth H, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS, RSVP ¢-$ ASIAN PALACE — Chinese and Vietnamese fare with extensive menus for each cuisine. Family owned and operated. Try the “Bo 7 Mon” specialty, a seven-course beef sampling. Closed Mon. 825 28th St SW, 534-7770. H, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS, DC ¢-$ BANGKOK PALACE — Wide selection of traditional Thai, noodle and curry dishes with vegetarian, chicken, seafood, beef, pork, duck and chef specialty selections (and name-your-spice-level options). Closed Mon. 1717 28th St SW, Wyoming, 534-5010. H, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$ BANGKOK TASTE — Features fresh Thai fare at

reasonable prices. Nice lunch buffet, with Pad Thai, Thai curry and Thai fried rice prepared fresh daily. Closed Sun. 674 Baldwin St, Jenison, 6678901; 15 Jefferson Ave SE, Grand Rapids, 3565550. H, L, D, V, MC ¢-$ BANGKOK VIEW — Thai food and Chinese fare. Lunch buffet. Closed Mon. 1233 28th St SW, 5318070. L, D, V, MC ¢-$ BEIJING KITCHEN — Extensive menu featuring Hunan, Szechuan and Cantonese cuisines at reasonable prices. Cashew chicken is a specialty. Lunch specials priced at $5.95. Open daily. 342 State St SE, 458-8383. H, L, D, V, MC ¢-$ BLUE GINGER ASIAN KITCHEN — Extensive menu is vegetarian-friendly. Noodle-based Thai dishes, chicken, seafood, beef and pork entrees, curries. Open daily. 5751 Byron Center Ave (Bayberry Market strip mall), 261-8186. blue H, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$ BOMBAY CUISINE — Indian fare includes tandoori and vindaloo dishes spiced to diner’s satisfaction. Naan (bread) is cooked to order. Full bar service, eight beers on tap, live music ThuSat eves. Takeout available. Closed Tue. 1420 Lake Dr SE, 456-7055. On Facebook. H, L, D, C, V, MC $ CHINA CHEF — Family-style Chinese restaurant in Standale strip mall with some innovative dishes. Szechuan-style entrées are popular. Hunan choices, too. Closed Mon. 4335 Lake Michigan Dr ¢-$ NW, 791-4488. H, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS CHINA CITY — Nice selection of Chinese cuisine. Lo mein is a specialty, along with Hong Kong-style chow mein noodles. Lunch prices all day Tue; free soup and egg roll Sun; closed Mon. 5299 Eastern Ave SE, 257-7038. H, L, D, V, MC, DS ¢-$ CHINA GOURMET BUFFET — Daily lunch and dinner buffets with more than 100 items to choose from. Dinner buffet served all day on weekends; discount for seniors; special prices for children 10 and under. Open daily. 2030 28th St SW, 2521379. H, L, D, V, MC ¢-$ CHINA INN — Menu includes Mandarin, Szechuan, Hunan and Cantonese cuisine; cocktails served at West Shore Drive location only. Open all week at two locations: 2863 West Shore Dr, Holland, (616) 786-9230; 1080 Lincoln Ave, Holland, (616) 395-8383. chinainnrestaurants. $ com. L, D, V, MC CHINA PALACE — Chinese eateries with all the amenities; large selection of popular dishes. Open daily. 3330 Alpine Ave NW, 785-9668; 3633 Eastern Ave SE, 246-9966. H, L, D, V, MC, AE, $ DS CHINATOWN RESTAURANT AND JAPANESE STEAK HOUSE — Chinese and Japanese cuisine with tabletop, Benihana-style meals available. Lunch and dinner buffets. Full bar service. Open daily. 69 28th St SW, 452-3025. chinatowngrand H, L, D, C, V, MC ¢-$ CHINA WONG — No-frills ambience serving authentic Chinese fare from spicy Hunan and Kung-Po dishes. Open daily. 6719 S Division Ave, 281-8816. H, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$ CHINA YI WANG — Chinese dishes including seafood, beef, poultry and chef specialties, combination plates and spicy Hunan dishes. Open daily. 1947 Eastern Ave SE, 241-3885. H, L, D, V, ¢-$ MC

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City Guide

The Gift of Giving

EAST GARDEN BUFFET — Cantonese, Hunan, Szechuan cuisine in Kentwood. Open daily with buffet and large menu selection. 6038 Kalama-zoo Ave SE, 698-8933. H, L, D, V, MC ¢-$ EMPIRE CHINESE BUFFET II — Full scale, all-youcan-eat Chinese buffet served all day. More than 80 freshly made items, reasonably priced. Special seafood buffet Sat-Sun. Delivery available. 4255 Alpine Ave NW, 785-8880. H, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$

Wine Merchants

EMPIRE WOK BUFFET — More than 150 daily selections of fresh Chinese food, complete with Mongolian barbecue and sushi stations. Open daily. 4176 28th St SE, 940-9928. H, L, D, V, MC, $ AE, DS ERB THAI — Traditional Thai roots. Appetizers, soups, salads, noodle dishes, stir-fried rice, curries, chicken, beef, pork, tofu, shrimp, scallops and crab; desserts, kids’ menu, bubble tea smoothies. Will accommodate special diets: vegetarian, gluten-free, no MSG, etc. Simplistic surroundings. Open daily. 950 Wealthy St SE, Suite ¢ 1A, 356-2573. L, D, V, MC, AE, DS, DC FAR-EAST RESTAURANT — Serving Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean dishes; vegetable-oilonly cooking. Carryout and catering available. Open daily. 3639 Clyde Park Ave SW, 531-7176. L, D, V, MC, DC, DS $ FIRST WOK — Mandarin, Hunan, Szechuan cuisine. Dine-in and take-out seven days a week. Three locations: 2301 44th St SE, 281-0681; 3509 Alpine Ave NW, 784-1616; 6740 Old 28th St SE, 575-9088. H, L, D, C, 3, V, MC, $ AE, RSVP FUJI YAMA ASIAN BISTRO — Attractive surroundings offer seating at hibachi grill tables with show-chef preparations, or in the dining room with Chinese, Japanese and Thai selections. Full bar. Open daily. 1501 East Beltline Ave NE, 7191859. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, ¢-$ DS

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200 Union NE • 616.459.0911 •

Custom clothing looks and fits so much better!

FORTUNE CHEF — Chinese cuisine and a range of American fare from sandwiches to pork chops and steak. Opens 6 am weekdays, 8 am weekends with breakfast served all day. 9353 Cherry Valley Ave SE, Caledonia, 891-1388. for H, B, L, D, V, MC ¢-$ GOLDEN 28 — Szechuan, Hunan, Mandarin cuisine complemented by a Vietnamese menu. Seasonal specialties and family dinners, served in an elegant atmosphere. Closed Mon. 627 28th St $ SW, Wyoming, 531-2800. H, L, D, V, MC, DS GOLDEN DRAGON — Chinese, Mandarin and Japanese cuisines with Japanese steakhouse, occasionally excellent. Closed Sun. 3629 Plainfield Ave NE, 363-1318. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DC $ GOLDEN GATE RESTAURANT — Tasty Chinese fare in pleasant, roomy surroundings, affordably priced. All-inclusive lunch combination plates, tasty egg rolls, great sweet-and-sour dishes with some hot and spicy choices. Takeout, too. 4023 S Division Ave, 534-7087. H, L, D, V, MC, AE ¢ GOLDEN WOK — Knapp’s Corner eatery offers wide variety of lunch and dinner options, including Hunan-spiced dishes along with other favorites in a cheery dining room. Open daily. 1971 East Beltline Ave NE, 363-8880. H, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$ GRAND LAKES — A wide selection of Chinese dishes and specialties, along with daily lunch

Designed and created by Sean Chalfin & Gina Vescolani

West Michigan Custom Clothing Company 616-644-0704 | December 2011 Grand Rapids 83

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City Guide combination plates. Take out or dine in, next to Breton Village D&W. Open daily. 1810 Breton Rd SE, 954-2500. H, L, D, V, MC, DS ¢-$

appetizers, soups, and Thai salads to fried rice, curries and noodle dishes with options to add chicken, tofu, vegetables, beef, pork, shrimp scallops or seafood. Also seafood and duck specialty plates. 2055 28th St SE, 452-0065. H, L, D, V, MC, ¢-$ AE, DS, RSVP

THAI PALACE — Holland’s authentic Thai restaurant offers a full gamut of Thai selections. Closed Mon. 977 Butternut Drive, (616) 994-9624. thai H, L, D, V, MC ¢-$

HIBACHI GRILL & SUPREME BUFFET — PanAsian cuisine from sushi to buffet, offering 200plus Chinese, Japanese, Mongolian and American dishes at reasonable prices. Watch chefs prepare specialties at the glassed-in hibachi grill. 785 Center Dr NW (Green Ridge Shopping Center), 785-8200. H, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS ¢

PALACE OF INDIA — Indian cuisine with a sizeable menu that includes 20 vegetarian-friendly selections. Lunch buffet 11 am-3 pm. Open daily. 961 E Fulton St, 913-9000. H, L, D, V, MC, ¢-$ AE, DS

HONG KONG EXPRESS — Szechuan and Cantonese cuisine for dine-in or carry-out. Allyou-can-eat lunch buffet; reasonable prices. Open daily. 150 E Fulton St, 235-3888. H, B, L, D, V, ¢-$ MC

PHO SOC TRANG — Vietnamese cuisine in large, windowed dining room. Variety of appetizers and soups, plus vermicelli and rice plate options. Open daily. 4242 S Division Ave, 531-0755. H, B, L, D, V, ¢ MC, AE, DS

HUNAN — Full menu of Chinese options, house and family dinners for groups, efficient service in pleasant surroundings. 1740 44th St SW, 5303377; 1263 Leonard St NE, 458-0977. hunangr. $ com. H, L, D, 3, V, MC, RSVP

RAK THAI BISTRO — Thai-fusion fare with Chinese and Japanese influences and a sliding scale for spiciness. Appetizers, soups, salads, stir-fries, curries, pad Thai noodle dishes and more. No alcohol, but try the fruity, milkshake-like bubble tea. 5260 Northland Dr NE, 363-2222. H, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS, RSVP ¢-$

WEI WEI PALACE — Chinese seafood restaurant features huge menu of Cantonese cuisine, dim sum and barbecue. Fresh lobster and crab. Superb selection of dim sum at lunchtime, with tasty selections from the barbecue pit, as well. Open daily. 4242 S Division Ave, 724-1818. H, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS $

RED SUN BUFFET — All-you-can-eat international buffet: sushi, Chinese, American, Italian and Japanese selections along with soups, salads, desserts and more, plus a menu of house specialties. Open daily. 4176 28th St SE, 940-9999. H, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$

WILD CHEF JAPANESE STEAKHOUSE — Watch the teppanyaki chefs create your meal on hibachi grills or order from the sushi and Japanese menu. Kids menu available. Open daily. 3303 Alpine Ave NW, Walker, 785-6099; 2863 West Shore Dr, Holland, (616) 399-8398. wildchefrestaurant. com. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS, RSVP ¢-$$

INDIA TOWN — Indian fare in a humble but cozy atmosphere. Tandooris are especially good. Closed Tue. 3760 S Division Ave, 243-1219. india H, L, D, V, MC, AE, DC, DS ¢-$ JADE GARDEN — Extensive menu of Chinese cuisine, limited selection of American dishes, children’s menu and an array of tropical drinks. All dishes cooked with vegetable oil, no MSG. Open daily. 4514 Breton Rd SE, 455-8888. H, L, D, C, V, ¢-$ MC, AE, DS, RSVP JU SUSHI & LOUNGE — Large selection of sushi and sashimi selections as well as Japanese specialties of hibachi, tempura, soups, salads and entrees in elegantly comfortable surroundings. Open daily. Takeout, catering and banquet space. 1144 East Paris Ave SE, 575-5858. H, ¢-$ L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS, RSVP

-SEOUL GARDEN — Chinese and Korean cuisine with full bar, elegant surroundings. Banquet and catering facilities available. Closed Sun. 3321 28th St SE, 956-1522. H, L, D, C, $-$$ 3, V, MC, AE, DS, RSVP

LAI THAI KITCHEN — Vietnamese, Thai and Japanese fare. Closed Sun. 1621 Leonard St NE, ¢-$ 456-5730. H, L, D, V, MC

SHANG HAI ICHIBAN — Authentic Chinese and Japanese cuisine served in two distinct areas. Food prepared tableside in the Japanese area by hibachi chefs. 3005 Broadmoor Ave SE (at 29th St), 773-2454. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DC, RSVP $-$$

MARADO SUSHI — Sushi bar in downtown GR also offers a wide selection of Japanese fare along with a few Korean specialties. 47 Monroe Center, 742-6793. Closed Sun. H, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS, DC ¢-$

SOC TRANG — Chinese and Vietnamese restaurant in Caledonia with a wide selection of offerings representing both cuisines. Open daily. 1831 Market Place Dr, 871-9909. H, L, D, V, MC ¢-$

MIKADO — Separate menus for sushi and sashimi à la carte; lunch specials served with soup and rice. Dinners offer a full range of Japanese cuisine. Closed Sun. 3971 28th St SE, 285-7666. H, L, D, 3, V, MC, RSVP ¢-$

SPICES ASIAN CAFÉ — Byron Center eatery serves authentic Chinese fare with create-yourown stir fry options, Korean dishes, vegetarian options and broasted chicken dinners and buckets to go. Open daily. 2237 84th St SW, 878-0109. H, L, D, V, MC, DS ¢-$

MING TEN — A mixture of offerings from one of the biggest all-you-can-eat buffets: Japanese, Chinese, sushi bar, hibachi grill cooking and American selections. Full range of a la carte sushi options. No liquor. Open daily. Reduced prices for children. 2090 Celebration Dr NE (2nd floor), (616) 365-3989. H, L, D, ¢-$ V, MC, AE, DS MYNT FUSION BISTRO — Classy surroundings with a fusion of Asian fare that includes Thai, Korean and Chinese. Renowned for its curries: blue, peanut or yellow. Closed Sun. 800 W Main St, Lowell, 987-9307. H, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$ NING YE — Family-owned Chinese restaurant in Ada also serves Korean fare. Closed Sun during winter months. 6747 E Fulton St, Ada, 676-5888. H, L, D, V, MC, AE $ NU-THAI BISTRO — More than 70 options from

Sushi Kuni — Authentic Japanese and Korean cuisine including sushi, teriyaki, hibachi, tempura, bulgogi and more, and fusion fare. Private groups can eat in traditional (shoe-free) Japanese tatami room. Closed Sun. 2901 Breton Rd SE, 241-4141. H, L, D, V, MC, AE, RSVP ¢-$$ SZECHUAN GARDEN — Diverse Chinese menu of beef, chicken, pork, seafood and vegetable dishes in Eastown. Lunch specials daily 11 am-4 pm. Open daily. 1510 Wealthy St SE, 456-9878. H, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$ THAI EXPRESS — Humble storefront belies the quality of these made-in-front-of-you Thai specialties, spiced to specification. Popular curry dishes, great noodles and affordably priced lunch specials. 4317 Kalamazoo Ave SE, 8279955. H, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS ¢

THREE HAPPINESS RESTAURANT — Cantonese, Mandarin and Szechuan regional fare, affordably priced with daily lunch and dinner specials. Call ahead service. Open daily. 3330 Alpine Ave NW in Target Plaza, 785-3888. H, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$ TOKYO GRILL & SUSHI — Japanese-style tatami rooms, sushi bars and atmosphere. Menu includes hibachi, teriyaki, Udon, tempura and fresh sushi. Hot and cold sake, Japanese and American beer and wine. Closed Sun. 4478 Breton Rd SE, 455-3433. H, L, D, C, 3, V, MC, AE, DC, DS ¢-$

FXO ASIAN CUISINE — Upscale Thai, Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine in downtown GR. Vegetarian dishes available; lunch specials MonSat. Full-service bar. Open daily (free valet parking with $30 purchase). Will deliver. 58 Monroe Center, 235-6969. H, L, D, C, $-$$ V, MC, AE, DS YUMMY WOK — Combo platters, sweet and sour dishes, Cantonese, Hunan and Szechuan dishes, chow and lo mein, chop suey, tofu and Peking sizzling dishes. Open daily. 4325 Breton Rd SE, 827-2068. H, L, D, V, MC ¢-$

Middle Eastern/ Mediterranean MARIE CATRIB’S — Eclectic eatery in bright surroundings in East Hills Center. “Care-free food” includes Middle-Eastern-leaning fare. On-site bakery; seasonal specialties; Turkish coffee. Breakfast 7 am Mon-Fri, 8 am Sat, with lunch/dinner starting at 11 am weekdays, noon on Sat. 1001 Lake Dr SE, 454-4020. mariecat H, B, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS, DC ¢-$ MEDITERRANEAN GRILL — Gyros, kabobs, shwarma, falafel, fattousch, hummus, kafta. All meats are halal, in accordance with Islamic requirements. Cozy, attractive dining room with handpainted murals. Closed Sun. Cascade Center, 6250 28th St SE, 949-9696. raadmediterranean H, L, D, V, MC $ OSTA’S LEBANESE CUISINE — Authentic Lebanese cuisine, from grape leaf appetizer and tabbouleh to shish kebob, falafel and baklava. Takeout and full-service catering. Closed Sun-Mon. 2228 Wealthy St SE in EGR, 4568999. H, L, D, C, 3, V, MC, DS ¢-$ PARSLEY MEDITERRANEAN GRILLE — Mediterranean appetizers, salads, soups, pitas, lunch

84 Grand Rapids December 2011

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City Guide

Cookie lovers rejoice!

CAFÉ SAN JUAN — Puerto Rican, Mexican and Cuban menu offers bistec, chuletas and pollo dishes along with appetizers, soups and sandwiches. Open daily. 3549 Burlingame Ave SW, 530-2293. H, B, L, D, V, MC ¢-$ CANCUN RESTAURANT — Neighborhood eatery specializes in Mexican seafood dishes but offers a full range of fare. Open daily. 1518 Grandville Ave SW, 248-2824. H, L, D, V, MC ¢-$ CANTINA — Extensive menu of Mexican specialties in an authentically decorated setting with full-service bar. 2770 East Paris Ave SE, 9499120. H, L, D, C, V, MC, DS, AE $ CHEZ OLGA — Caribbean and Creole fare. Red beans and rice, gumbo, fried plantain, Creole chicken, pork ragout and more. Vegetarian/vegan options. Lunch specials. Open until 2 am Fri-Sat, closed Sun. 1441 Wealthy St SE, 233-4141. L, D, V, MC ¢ CINCO DE MAYO — Mexican eatery offers fajitas, tacos, burritos and enchiladas, carnitas and steak asada. Full bar service. Open daily. 123 Courtland St, Rockford, 866-3438; 114 Monroe Center NW, $ 719-2404. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS


onica’s Gourmet Cookies now are sold individually at several D&W stores: Knapp’s Corner, Cascade, Breton Village, Gaslight Village,

Caledonia and Rockford. Monica Mitidieri’s popular cookies — including

her unique Signature Chocolate Chip that is mounded, dusted in powdered sugar and looks half-baked — are made from scratch in her Cascade commercial kitchen. The local baker has developed more than 20 varieties that she delivers around

West Michigan and ships anywhere in the world. The cookies also are available at Big Bob’s Pizza in East Grand Rapids, Keystone Pharmacy, 4021 Cascade Road or online at

Photography Courtesy Monica’s Gourmet Cookies/Monica Mitidieri

and dinner combos of chicken, beef, seafood and vegetarian entrees, kabobs and more. Open daily. 80 Ottawa Ave NW, 776-2590. H, L, ¢-$ D, V, MC, AE, DS THE PITA HOUSE — Gyros with all the trimmings, chicken salad with cucumber sauce and other Middle East specialties. Open daily. 1450 Wealthy St SE, 454-1171; 3730 28th St SE, 940-3029; 4533 Ivanrest Ave SW, 261-4302; 134 Monroe Center NW, 233-4875. H, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS ¢ FSHIRAZ GRILLE — Fine Persian cuisine: firegrilled kabobs, beef, chicken, lamb, seafood and rice dishes, khoreshes (delicate stews), vegetarian options and desserts. Full bar, fine wine list, martinis. 2739 Breton Rd SE, 949-7447. shirazgril H, L (Sun), D, C, V, MC, AE, DS, RSVP $ ZEYTIN — Turkish-American cuisine reflects influences from the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern regions, including saganaki, borek, dolma, shish kebab, falafel, baba ghanoush, tabbouleh. Extensive beer and wine lists. 400 Ada Dr SE, Ada, 682-2222. $ H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS

Latin American/ Caribbean 7 MARES — Mexican meals and specialty dishes that go well beyond the norm. Excellent seafood selections, along with Friday fish fry by the pound. Super breakfasts. 1403 Kalamazoo Ave SE, 3018555. On Facebook. H, B, L, D ¢-$$ ADOBE IN & OUT — The usual Mexican offerings served quickly (Grandville location is drive-through only). Open daily. 617 W Fulton St, 454-0279; 1216 Leonard St NE, 451-9050; 4389 Chicago Dr, Grandville, 257-7091. H, L, D, V, MC ¢ FBELTLINE BAR — Longtime local favorite. Big wet burritos are the claim to fame from the Americanized Tex-Mex menu. The Big Enchilada curbside service: call in your order and have it delivered to your car. 16 28th St SE, 245-0494. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE $ CABANA TRES AMIGOS — Large menu of authentic Mexican fare: daily specials, children’s menu, à la carte items, full bar, take-out service and nice vegetarian selection. Spacious surroundings with fireplaces and Mexican décor. Open daily. 1409 60th St SE, 281-6891. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE ¢-$

➧CORAZON — Authentic Mexican food on the Avenue for the Arts in the former Pikositos location. Fresh tacos, quesadillas, burritos and other Mexican fare in stylish surroundings. Closed Sun. 122 S Division Ave, 454-3847. H, L, D, V, MC, AE, ¢ DS COSTA AZUL — American/Latin fusion and fresh-made Mexican fare in the former JoJo’s Americana Supper Club space. 107 Blue Star Highway, Douglas, (269) 857-1523. On Facebook. H, D, C (wine/beer), V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$ DON JULIO’S — Mexican restaurant and bar offers a wide variety of specialties, combination plates, vegetarian options and specially priced dinners-for-two. Open daily. 5039 28th St SE, 575-9171. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$ DOWNTOWN TRINI’S — Sparta’s destination for Mexican food. Traditional taco, fajita and wet burrito offerings are augmented with other creative dishes. Gigantic portions; full bar. Closed Sun and Mon. 134 E Division Ave, Sparta, 887-2500. ¢-$ H, L, D, V, MC, DS EL ARRIERO — Authentic taste of Mexico in an airy location near Woodland Mall. Extensive menu offers favorites and specialty dishes, with à la carte selections for smaller appetites. Mexican and domestic beers, great Margaritas. 2948 28th St SE, 977-2674. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$ EL BARRIO MEXICAN GRILL — The downtown, upscale sister of the Beltline Bar, with tasty and creative twists on otherwise-traditional Mexican food, made fresh and fast. Full bar. 545 Michigan St NE, 301-0010; H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$ EL BURRITO LOCO — More than 70 authentic, affordable Mexican selections in contemporary surroundings. Complimentary chips and salsa; beer, wine and good margaritas from the full bar. Open daily. 1971 East Beltline Ave NE, 447-0415; 4499 Ivanrest SW, 530-9470; 4174 Alpine Ave NW, 785-4102. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$ EL GRANJERO — Generous portions of tasty Mexican fare, from steak and shrimp dishes and dinner platters to à la carte selections and traditional menudo on weekends. No alcohol but tasty December 2011 Grand Rapids 85

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City Guide virgin coladas. Open daily. 950 Bridge St NW, 458-5595. H, B, L, D, V, MC ¢

Fine Persian Cuisine

Restaurant and Banquet  Banquet room available for private parties, corporate events and wedding receptions  Fire-grilled kabobs, gourmet stews, variety of rice and vegetarian dishes  Full bar with unique martinis and a large wine selection  Lunch, Dinner & Take-Out  Weekly entertainment: Violin, Middle Eastern Dance, and Monthy Wine Dinners

EL SOMBRERO — Offers the wet burrito, and dry ones too. Weekly specials. Closed Sun. 527 Bridge ¢ St NW, 451-4290. H, L, D GRAND VILLA DUNGEON — Mexican food is the specialty. 40-inch TV screen broadcasts satellite programs and sporting events. Closed Sun. 3594 Chicago Dr SW, 534-8435. H, L, D, C, 3, V, MC, AE, DS $ JAMAICAN DAVE’S — Jerked, fricasseed or curried chicken; curry goat, oxtail, beef and chicken patties; jerked wings; salt fish and spicy “escoveitched” fish; tofu-with-veggies; plus Jamaican fruit cake. With only a couple tables, takeout is the best bet. 1059 Wealthy St SE, 458-7875. H, L, D, 3 ¢ JOSE’S RESTAURANTE — Authentic Mexican fare in a low-key locale with jukebox, pinball and a video game. Patrons crave their chalupas, burritos and tostadas. Open daily. 3954 S Division Ave, 530-7934. H, L, D ¢ LAS CAZUELAS — Opens for breakfast at 10 am, serves lunch and dinner seven days a week. Genuine flavors from Hispanic kitchen features chalupas, tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas, carne asada, fajitas, tampiquena and more. 411 Wilson Ave NW, Walker, 726-6600. H, B, L, D, V, MC ¢ LINDO MEXICO — Daily specials, including tacos de barbacoa, tripitos or lengua. Enchiladas, burritos, combo plates and more. Open daily. 1292 28th St SW, 261-2280. lindomexicorestau H, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS, DC ¢-$ LITTLE MEXICO CAFÉ — Traditional Mexican food and cocktails. Favorites include fajitas, burritos and margaritas. Open daily. 401 Stocking Ave NW, 456-0517. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $

Dining Guide Legend GRAND RAPIDS MAGAZINE has created these sym-

bols to area restaurant amenities as a service to our readers.

“Where you will find cultural richness intertwined with small-town ambiance.”

MONDAY CLOSED TUESDAY - THURSDAY 11:30 AM-9:30 PM FRIDAY 11:30 AM - 10:30 PM SATURDAY 12:00 NOON - 10:30 PM SUNDAY 12:00 NOON - 8:30 PM

2739 BRETON ROAD SE ~ GRAND RAPIDS NW CORNER OF BRETON & 28TH ST. ~ Phone (616) 949-7447 For full menu, upcoming events and specials, visit our website at

H — Handicapped accessible B — Serves breakfast L — Serves lunch D — Serves dinner C — Cocktails 3 — Checks accepted V — Visa MC — MasterCard AE — American Express DC — Diner’s Club DS — Discover Card RSVP — Reservations preferred ¢ — Inexpensive (under $10)* $ — Moderate ($10-$20)* $$ — Expensive (Over $20)* * Prices based on average entrée. - — Reviewed in this issue ➧ — New listing . — Listing update O — GRM’s 2010 Restaurant of the Year F — GRM’s 2010 Award of Excellence — Chef Profile in this issue

MAGGIE’S KITCHEN — Authentic Mexican food, homemade with a lighter taste in bright café setting. Breakfast, too. Cafeteria-style ordering. 636 Bridge St NW, 458-8583. H, B, L, D ¢ MEXICAN CONNEXION RESTAURANTE — Mexican favorites in large, inviting surroundings. Open daily. 131 S Jefferson St, Hastings, (269) 945-4403. L, D, V, MC ¢-$ MICHOACAN — Restaurante y taqueria offers a huge selection of Mexican dishes plus seafood, chicken and steak dishes. Open daily at 9 am. 334 Burton St SW, 452-0018. H, B, L, D,V, MC ¢-$ MI TIERRA RESTAURANT — Tacos, burritos, enchiladas and other traditional Mexican dishes. Eat in or drive through. 2300 S Division Ave, 2457533. On Facebook. H, L, D, V, MC ¢ SU CASA — Full array of Mexican choices with burritos especially popular. Breakfast served beginning at 8:30 am; open daily in the Super Mercado, 306 W Main St, Fennville, (269) 5615493. H, B, L, D, V, MC ¢-$ TACO BOB’S — Fresh-Mex tacos, burritos, quesadillas, taco salads and the “funny taco,” a hardshell taco wrapped in a soft shell, with nacho cheese in between. 250 Monroe Ave NW, 4581533. H, L, V, MC, AE, DS ¢ TACO BOY — Burritos, tacos, enchiladas, tostadas to combination plates. 3475 Plainfield Ave NE, 363-7111; 6539 28th St SE, 956-3424; 509 44th St SE, 257-0057; 2529 Alpine Ave NW, 365-9255; 180 Monroe Ave NW, 233-0701. H, L, D, V, MC ¢ TACOS EL CAPORAL — Two locations serving generous portions of Mexican fare with menudo served Sat and Sun. Open daily; quick takeout. 1024 Burton St SW, 246-6180; 1717 28th St SW, Wyoming, 261-2711. H, B, L, D, V, MC ¢ TACOS EL RANCHERO — Mexican fare in low-key surroundings to eat in or take out. Cash only. 1240 Burton St SW, 245-6514. H, L, D ¢ TRES LOBOS GRILL & BAR — Lobster fajitas and parrilladas. Full-service bar has 10 Mexican beers, top-shelf tequilas. Lunch ’til 4 pm daily in GR; closed Mon in Holland. 825 28th St SE, 245-5389; 381 Douglas, Holland, (616) 355-7424. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$

Additions, corrections and/or changes must

be submitted for the editors’ consideration by calling Grand Rapids Magazine, 459-4545, or write: The Dining Guide, Grand Rapids Magazine, 549 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids, Ml 49503.

86 Grand Rapids December 2011

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City Guide: Fresh Hops

America’s imperial stout By Jon C. Koeze

When discussing stout beer, it is difficult — perhaps impossible — not to mention the world’s most famous stout: Guinness Draught. Now that we have that out of the way, recall that stout is a family of brewing styles that includes oatmeal stout, milk stout and Russian imperial stout to name a few. The Irish stouts, such as Guinness, Bemish and Murphy’s, are distinctive in that they tend to be more hopped up than most others, at least in Europe. For this reason, they are referred to as dry stouts. Russian imperial stout, or simply imperial stout, shares this “dry” characteristic but with a more extreme flavor profile and higher alcohol content. Russian imperial stout was developed in 18th century England as an export to the Russian court of Catherine the Great. It was highly hopped and highly alcoholic, as most exported beer had to be for the flavors to survive a long sea journey. The style is now enjoying a resur-

gence in America. Our infatuation with hops has produced a new style of imperial stout that is higher in alcohol and hops than the original European recipes. Today’s imperial stout is very dark. No sunlight gets through due to the use of deep roasted malts. It is quite dry, slightly carbonated, and weighs in at 8 to 12 percent alcohol by volume. You will notice fruit flavors like raisins or plums, bitter chocolate and coffee notations and very rich roasted malts. Listed below are American versions from Siciliano’s Market, 2840 Lake Michigan Drive NW. All are great paired with cold weather. Pour one and hunker down for a long, cold winter. Contributing Editor Jon C. Koeze is cable television administrator for the city of Grand Rapids. He has made and tasted beer since 1980.

All of these beers are great paired with cold weather. Pour one and hunker down for a long, cold winter.

Photography by Johnny Quirin

American imperial stouts Siberian Night, Thirsty Dog Brewing Co., Akron, Ohio, $1.99 per 12-ounce bottle, 9.7 percent abv. The label professes it to be the “Grand Daddy of all Stouts.” It poured dark, rich and syrupy with very little carbonation and a slight dark brown head that quickly disappeared. A good beer but over the top in flavors, it may not appeal to everyone. Storm King Imperial Stout, Victory Brewing, Downingtown, Pa., $2.39 per 12-ounce bottle, 9.1 percent abv. Very approachable. I would offer this beer to those not committed to the intensities of this beer style so they will know what to expect. Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout, North Coast Brewery, Fort Bragg, Calif., $2.59 per 12-ounce bottle, 9 percent abv. I think this beer can be used as a baseline for imperial stout — at least the American version of it. It is very rich and hoppy, with a not-so-subtle chocolate taste in the back of the mouth. The last taste is the very obvious black patent malt finish. If you only try one beer mentioned here, try this one. Night Tripper Imperial Stout, New Holland Brewery, Holland, Mich., $8.99 per 22-ounce bottle, 10.8 percent abv. New Holland offers this beer in its High Gravity Series — a collection of beers with wine level alcohol. Like all finely crafted beers from

this great brewery, Night Tripper delivers flavor in big quantities. Note the hints of chocolate and finish of astringent fruits. I don’t usually get too hung up on judging a beer based on the style declared on the label. A real Russian imperial stout would not have anything like oak chips in the fermentation process. I really liked these last two beers — not because they were true to style but because the additives seemed to fill a hole in the flavor profile that enhanced the barley/hop/yeast flavors without taking them over completely. Belgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout, Stone Brewery, Escondido, Calif., $7.59 per 22-ounce bottle, 10.5 percent abv. This is a limited edition beer made with anise (a licorice-flavored herb), oak chips and Belgian yeast. The anise works quite well and fills a sweet spot on the tongue after the barley but before the hops. It is quite delicious. Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout, Great Divide Brewing, Denver, Colo., $12.89 per 22-ounce bottle, 9.5 percent abv. This one also has oak chips, with the addition of coffee, and is aged in oak barrels. Wow. The full-flavored coffee (my second-favorite drink) mixes wonderfully well with the barley. I don’t think it’s decaf either. This was my favorite. December 2011 Grand Rapids 87

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9 Locations Throughout West Michigan!

Award Winning in Cascade

The best that Italy has to offer in the heart of Grand Rapids... AWARD WINNING

LUNCH Mon - Fri 11:30-4:00 PM DINNER Mon - Thurs 4:00-10:00 PM Fri 4:00-11:00 PM Sat 5:00-11:00 PM

Open to the Public

Mon-Thur 11:30-10 | Fri-Sat 11:30-11:30 | Sun 10-8 • 616.949.0570

Business luncheons, intimate dinners, appetizers and cocktails. Or, our award winning Sunday brunch. Charley’s Crab is dedicated to ensuring your visit is excellent.


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63 Market St., Downtown Grand Rapids 616.459.2500

THAI, JAPANESE, CHINESE • Sushi Bar half price every Tuesday (Dine-in only) • Full service bar

Fine Persian Cuisine Restaurant and Banquet

2010 Dining Award of Excellence NW corner of Breton & 28th St. • Grand Rapids

(616) 949-7447 For full menu, upcoming events and specials, visit our website

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58 Monroe Center • Grand Rapids Phone: (616) 235-6969 ContaCt Karla at

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City Guide

Photography by Johnny Quirin

Ch-ch-ch-changes on Cherry Things are hopping along Cherry Street in East Hills, the urban neighborhood billed as the “Center of the Universe.” New places have opened and old favorites have moved, making for an eclectic shopping and dining experience. All will be on display Dec. 1 during the annual Uptown Holiday Shop Hop. Participating businesses in the four shopping districts of East Fulton, Eastown, Wealthy Street and East Hills will offer promotions, refreshments and entertainment 4 to 9 p.m. Free trolley rides will transport shoppers to all four areas. John and Susan Walborn, owners of YT Galleria and pioneers of the retail renaissance along Cherry Street, Swirls opened their first store nine years ago. They recently consolidated their three shops “A blend of classical, into one, “taking the best” trendy and urban.” from Yours Truly and David & Bathsheba and moving everything into the 1,800-square-foot YT gallery at 966 Cherry. Custom furniture is gone, but the store is filled with jewelry, home accessories, greeting cards and more. “We’re working with a group of a dozen local artists,” Susan said. “We come up with design ideas, and they make unique, affordable gifts.”

John Walborn hangs a Christmas ornament at YT Galleria.

Other changes include a new boutique, Swirls, at 963 Cherry. Owner Cindy Steenstra is carrying clothing and accessories — “a blend of classical, trendy and urban” — for men and women. Inventory ranges from hats, handbags and hosiery to coats. Meanwhile, Hop Scotch, specializing in locally made stuff for kids and parents, moved from 963 to 909 Cherry. Co-owners Rachel Zylstra and Chris Grand will continue to host parenting workshops, entertainment and educational classes in the larger space. Grove, the latest eatery by Essence Restaurant Group, which owns The Green Well Gastro Pub and Bistro Bella Vita, opened in September at 919 Cherry with an “earth-to-table concept.” The menu features primarily foods sourced from local, family and sustainable farms in a classy atmosphere where guests can talk and relax. Grove And there’s plenty more hopping in East Hills. Sight Optical Boutique, offering eclectic and hard-to-find eyewear, opened earlier this year at 924 Cherry, where women’s clothing store Muse used to be. Muse owner Brynne Roberts closed her doors to open Rock Paper Scissors, a women’s consignment boutique at 145 Diamond Ave. SE just north of Cherry Street (most recently occupied by Nest, a home, garden and gift shop that moved into the back of Bluedoor Antiques at 946 E. Fulton). For a full list of participating businesses and activities in all four neighborhoods, visit See Special Events

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City Guide

Calendar of Events

Grand Rapids Magazine is pleased to provide this extensive list of area events. commonly requested venue and ticket outlet information is at the end of this listing.

Special Events Thru Dec 10 - HOLIDAY KERSTMARKT: Open-air European Christmas market with gifts and Dutch holiday treats, including greenery, trees, wreaths, hand-knit clothing and accessories, wooden boxes and toys, pet items, ornaments, handmade jewelry, snacks and beverages. See website for hours.

150 W Eighth St, Holland. www.downtownholland. com. Thru Dec 25 - HOLIDAY ROAD: 360-degree holiday light show incorporates 14 houses and 200,000 lights synchronized to music. View the show from your car and listen to the music on

your radio. Free; donations accepted. 6-9 pm Tue-Thu, 6-10 pm Fri-Sat. 16204 Heather Ct, Spring Lake. Thru Jan 1 - NITE LITES: Drive-thru Christmas light show with more than 1 million lights and two miles of animated displays, plus Santa’s House (photos with Santa) and Santa sleigh ride. Open every night 6-10 pm. Fifth Third Ballpark, Comstock Park. $12/car. Dec - SANTA ON THE LOWELL SHOWBOAT: Visits with Santa and a tour of the decorated showboat, with hot cocoa and cookies. 5:30-7 pm Dec 7, Dec 9, Dec 14, Dec 21; 10:30 am-1 pm Dec 3, Dec 10, Dec 17. Riverwalk Plaza along Flat River. Dec 1 - FELT MANSION CHRISTMAS TREASURES: Tour the decorated mansion, plus wine, appetizers, fine art and seasonal items for purchase. 5-9 pm. 6597 138th Ave, Laketown Twp. $20 adults, $10 kids under 12. www.feltmansion. org. Dec 1 - FESTIVAL OF WREATHS: Holland Garden Club presents live music, wine, hors d’oeuvres and designer-decorated wreaths for auction. 5:30-8 pm. Holland Area Arts Council, 150 E 8th St, Holland. $15. Dec 1 - MEIJER GARDENS HOLIDAY GALA: Horse-drawn carriage rides through the sculpture park, cultural trees and displays exhibit, globally inspired cuisine and roaming entertainment. 7 pm. Meijer Gardens, 1000 East Beltline Ave NE. $125 (975-3168). Dec 1 - UPTOWN HOLIDAY SHOP HOP: Stores in East Hills, Eastown and on E Fulton and Wealthy St offer shopping deals with free trolley service between neighborhoods. 4-9 pm. www.facebook. com/uptowngr. Dec 1 - WYOMING GIVES BACK: Free holiday festivities include photos with Santa, hot chocolate and cookies, entertainment, raffle. Benefits Toys for Tots; donations requested. 6-8 pm. Rogers Plaza on 28th St. Dec 2 - COOPERSVILLE SANTA CLAUS PARADE: Floats, decorated vehicles and fire trucks along Main Street, plus Santa visits, reindeer petting zoo, train rides, free roasted chestnuts and hot chocolate, and community bands/choirs. 7 pm.

There’s something magical about ice skating at Rosa Parks Circle, which opens for the winter season Dec. 2 — the same date of the lighting of the Grand Rapids Art Museum’s Christmas tree. Maybe it’s floating in the glow of “Ecliptic,” the sculpture designed by renowned artist/architect Maya Lin. Or just the idea of skating on West Michigan’s first refrigerated outdoor rink. Skates are available 6-9 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, noon to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, and noon to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, on the ice at the corner of Monroe Center and Monroe Avenue in downtown Grand Rapids. Skating is $1 and skate rentals are free with a picture ID.

See Special eventS

Dec 2-Mar 4 - ICE SKATING AT ROSA PARKS CIRCLE: Outdoor ice skating in downtown GR. Skates available 6-9:30 pm Mon-Tue, noon-9:30 pm Wed-Thu and Sun, noon-10 pm Fri-Sat. $1 skating, skate rentals free with picture ID. www. Dec 3 - CLASSIC TOY AND COMIC ExPO: Home School Building Bookstore and Library hosts 150 dealers and collectors of vintage and collectible toys, plus food and door prizes. 9 am-3 pm. Home School Building, 5625 Burlingame Ave SW, Wyoming. $3 adults (early bird admission 6-9 am $10), kids 12 and under free with adult. Dec 3 - JINGLE BELL PARADE: Grand Haven’s nighttime parade features lighted floats and

PhotograPhy by Johnny Quirin

Skating under the stars

Dec 2 - SINTERKLAAS EVE PARADE: In true Dutch tradition, Sinterklaas arrives on his white horse surrounded by mischievous Zwarte Piet helpers. Begins 7 pm at 8th St Market Place (Holiday Kerstmarkt), travels to Central Ave and then Centennial Park where the mayor officially “welkoms” Sinterklaas. www.downtownholland. com.

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City Guide Santa and Mrs. Claus. Parade route thru downtown ends at Central Park for tree lighting. 6 pm. Dec 3 - LOWELL CHRISTMAS FESTIVITIES AND PARADE: Daytime activities include ice sculptures, Santa visits, Rudolph’s craft workshop, pancake supper and A Cup of Christmas Tea. 5:45 pm lighting of Christmas tree, 6 pm parade beginning at fairgrounds and traveling east on Main St, ending at First United Methodist Church. Dec 3 - LUMINARY LANE: Lights, carolers, refreshments and visit from Santa and his elves. 6-8 pm. Beery Field, Center St, Douglas. Dec 3 - MUSKEGON HOLIDAYS IN LAKESIDE: Visits from Santa, carriage rides, carolers, community bake sale, merchant sales, holiday movies and hula hoop lessons and demonstrations at Harbor Theater. Sponsored by Lakeside Business Association. 11 am-5 pm. www.lakesidedistrict. com.

Dec 13 - DESIGN 1 FASHION EVENT: Kids and adults fashion show, silent auction, cash bar, hors d’oeuvres and more, benefits Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. 7 pm doors open, 8 pm runway show. JW Marriott, 235 Louis St NW. $75, $200/4 people, $100 VIP seating (361-0733). Dec 13 - STORY SPINNERS: Folk tales and original stories for all ages. 7 pm. Meijer Gardens Café, 1000 East Beltline Ave NE. www.storyspinners. net. Free. Dec 16-18 - BROOKSIDE LIVING NATIVITY: 16th annual telling of the Christmas story with actors, animals and music. Hot chocolate and cookies. Shows at 7 pm, 7:30 pm and 8 pm. Brookside Christian Reformed Church, 3600 Kalamazoo Ave SE. Free.

Dec 3 - ROCKFORD SANTA PARADE: 68th annual parade through the streets of downtown Rockford. 11 am.

Dec 17 - HOLLAND SHOPPING JAM: Stores in downtown Holland offer early morning savings. 7-10 am.

Dec 3 - SAUGATUCK CHRISTMAS PARADE: Saugatuck-Douglas CVB sponsors annual parade. 1 pm.

Dec 22 - WYCE BUBBLE BASH: Sample 12 sparkling wines and champagnes, hors d’oeuvres, pizzas, fruits and chocolates, plus a raffle with prizes to benefit WYCE. 6 pm. Crush at The BOB. $25.

Dec 3 - WHITE LAKE CHRISTMAS PARADE: Parade travels from Whitehall City Hall to Montague. 2 pm. Dec 3 - WYOMING-KENTWOOD SANTA PARADE: Bands, mascots, floats and Santa. 10 am. S Division Ave starting at 34th St and heading south to Brann’s. Dec 3, 10, 17 - CARRIAGE RIDES: Carriage rides in downtown Douglas and Saugatuck every Sat. Dec 4 - FORD OPEN HOUSE: Gerald R Ford Museum’s annual holiday open house includes a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus (and a few of his reindeer) and holiday stories from Jenifer Strauss. 1-5 pm. 303 Pearl St NW, 254-0400, Free. Dec 7 - ARC HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE: Anxiety Resource Center hosts family-friendly event with live music, refreshments and door prizes. 6-8 pm. 312 Grandville Ave NW. www.anxietyresourcecenter. org. Free. Dec 8 - HOLLAND MUSEUM HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE: Music, refreshments and holiday merriment in the lobby of the Holland Museum. 5:307:30 pm. 31 W 10th St, (888) 200-9123, www. Free. Dec 8-9, 15-16 - ROCKFORD CARRIAGE RIDES: Free horse-drawn carriage rides thru decorated downtown streets. 5:30-8:30 pm. Rides start at Custard by the dam, 25 Squires St.

Photography by Johnny Quirin

dinner with entertainment by high school choirs. 6 pm social hour, 7 pm dinner. 254 E Fulton St. $40 (reservations required: 459-3321).

Dec 29 - NIGHT AT YOUR MUSEUM: Inspired by the movie, guests tour all three floors of the museum as characters from the exhibits come to life. Dinner buffet, souvenir flashlight and honorary security guard badge included. 6-9 pm. GR Public Museum, 272 Pearl St NW. $20 (456-3977 or Dec 31 - IRISH NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY: Fenian’s Irish Pub hosts a celebration with traditional Irish musicians and instruments. 6 pm. 19683 Main St, Conklin, Free. Dec 31 - NEW YEAR’S EVE DANCE: Dancegr hosts a ballroom dance party with prizes, appetizers, midnight toast. 8 pm-1 am. Social Dance Studio, 4335 Lake Michigan Dr NW. $20 in advance, $25 at door. Dec 31 - SAUGATUCK FIREWORKS: New Year’s Eve fireworks at midnight over Saugatuck Harbor.

Music Dec - FRIDAY NIGHTS AT GRAM: GR Art Museum hosts live music, social games, gallery talks, cash bar and dinner options 5-9 pm. Dec theme: Holidays and Cabarets. Dec 2, Tree Lighting Ceremony and Colescott Cabaret. Dec 9, Dec 16 and Dec 23, museum closes at 5 pm. Dec 30, Snow Search: Permanent Collection Scavenger Hunt. See website for details. 101 Monroe Center. $5 adults, members free.

Dec 9 - UP ON THE ROOFTOPS TOUR: Tour upper floors of homes and businesses in the historic buildings of downtown Holland decorated for the holiday season, followed by appetizers and drinks at Fifth Third Bank. 6-9:30 pm. $20 (Downtown Holland Principal Shopping District Office, 44 W Ninth St).

Dec - GR CHOIR OF MEN AND BOYS: Christmas Lessons & Carols. 6 pm Dec 4 at First Congregational, Fremont. 7 pm Dec 10 at All Saints Episcopal, Saugatuck. 6 pm Dec 11 at St Paul’s Episcopal, Muskegon. 7 pm Dec 16-17 at Cathedral of St Andrew, Grand Rapids. www. Free.

Dec 10 - GRAND HAVEN CAROL SING: Christmas carols, hot chocolate and donuts around a bonfire, and visit from Santa. 6 pm. William Ferry Park, Grand Haven.

Dec - THE INTERSECTION: Nightclub hosts local and national bands. Dec 2, Mega 80s. Dec 9, Donna the Buffalo. Dec 18, Unearth/Chimaira. Dec 23, Verve Pipe. Dec 30, Mustard Plug. Dec 31, Mega 80s. See website for updates. Ticket prices vary (Beat Goes On, Purple East, Vertigo

Dec 10, 13, 16, 19 - BOB CRATCHIT DINNERS: Women’s City Club hosts a seven-course holiday

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City Guide Music, Intersection box office or Ticketmaster). 133 Grandville Ave SW. Dec - MUSIC AT MID-DAY: Free concerts 12:1512:45 pm every Tue. Dec 6, GR Christian HS Chamber Chorale. Dec 13, EGR HS Madrigal Choir. Dec 20, Phyllis Miner, harp, and Carol McNally, organ. First Park Congregational Church, 10 E Park Place NE. Dec - ONE TRICK PONY: Downtown restaurant features live music 8-11 pm. Dec 1, Drew Nelson. Dec 3, Troll for Trout Trio. Dec 8, Nick Thomasma & Bandwagon. Dec 10, The Trace. Dec 15-16, Lazy Blue Tunas Christmas Show. Dec 22, The Weatherheads. Dec 29, We Know Jack. Check website for updates. 136 E Fulton St. Dec - THE PYRAMID SCHEME: Pub and music venue in Heartside. Dec 8, Stepdad. Dec 9, Frontier Ruckus. Dec 22, Retro D’Luxe. See website for updates. Ticket prices vary (Vertigo Music or 68 Commerce SW. pyra Dec - SUNDAYS AT GRAM: GR Art Museum hosts classical chamber music 2-3 pm every Sun. Dec 4, Rich Ridenour. Dec 11, Robert deMaine. Dec 18, Gregory Maytan and Nicole Lee. See website for details. 101 Monroe Center. Free with admission. Dec 1 - THE LETTERMEN: Pop music vocal trio famous for songs such as “The Way You Look Tonight,” “When I Fall in Love,” “Put Your Head on My Shoulder” and “Hurt So Bad.” 7:30 pm. Van Singel FAC. $39.50 adults, $22.50 students (878-6800 or Dec 1-3 - SINGING CHRISTMAS TREE: Mona Shores HS Choir presents an annual tradition, a 67-foot decorated “tree” holding 300 students, accompanied by the school’s 50-piece orchestra. 7:30 pm Thu-Sat, 3 pm Sat. Frauenthal Theatre, Muskegon. $13 (Star Tickets Plus or Frauenthal box office).

TWO STAGES, 10 BANDS, and commemorative t-shirts — mustard Plug will celebrate its 20th anniversary with an epic ska extravaganza at the intersection Dec. 30. it would be difficult for a local music fan to have avoided hearing the band live at some point. they’ve played just about every local venue, bar, living room, basement, festival, fraternity house, vfW hall — anywhere you can fit six guys and their instruments. they’ve toured the country, toured the world and ridden the ’90s ska revival wave. they’ve stuck together through good times and bad, and ended up lasting longer than most marriages. they’re still finalizing the line-up, but Dave kirchgessner, lead singer of the band since it started in 1991, offered tantalizing hints of what’s to come. “We’re going to do two stages,” he said. “there’s going to be a stage in the front room and then the main stage, as well, and we’re going to have like 10 different bands.” kirchgessner hopes to fill out the bill with a mixture of national and local bands. “the other main headliner is flatfoot 56, this irish punk band from chicago,” kirchgessner said. “and so far we have the crabs, which is sort of a punk rock institution, and the amoebas — basically, our favorite local bands from grand rapids.” kirchgessner says the event will be a blowout. “We want to give it the feel of a party — a big anniversary celebration — more than just another show.” for more information, visit

Dec 3 - GR WOMEN’S CHORUS: A winter concert and reception. 7 pm doors open, 7:30 pm concert. Trinity United Methodist Church, 1100 Lake Drive SE. Free; $10 suggested donation. Dec 3 - “SACRED DIMENSIONS”: GR Symphony Chorus and Youth Chorus perform sacred selections from Handel, Bach, Corelli, Rutter and Vivaldi. 8 pm. Cathedral of St Andrew, 301 Sheldon Blvd SE. $22 (box office; 454-9451, ext 4; or Ticketmaster). Dec 4 - GCA CHRISTMAS CONCERT: Girls Choral Academy sings songs of the season. 3 pm and 5 pm. Orchard Hill Church, 1465 3 Mile Rd. Free. Dec 4 - “LESSONS AND CAROLS”: Calvin College Campus Choir and Women’s Chorale perform songs, hymns and scripture readings. 3 and 6 pm. LaGrave Ave Christian Reformed Church. Free. Dec 4 - “SONGS FOR THE HOLIDAYS”: GRCC choral ensembles present a free concert. 2 pm. St Cecilia Music Center, 24 Ransom Ave NE. Dec 5 - “AN EVENING WITH BARRAGE”: Highoctane fiddlefest with an international cast performing eclectic music, song and dance. 7 pm. Forest Hills FAC, 600 Forest Hill Ave SE. $15

PhotograPhy by aDam birD

Epic extravaganza

Dec 2-3 - HANDEL’S “MESSIAH”: Calvin Oratorio Society performs with the Calvin orchestra, directed by Joel Navarro. 7 pm. Calvin FAC. $22$30 (526-6282 or

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City Guide adults, $10 students and seniors (box office or Dec 5 - “GLORIA: MUSIC OF THE HOLIDAY SEASON”: GVSU’s Fall Arts Celebration includes a concert of Vivaldi’s “Gloria.” 8 pm. Fountain St Church, 24 Fountain St NE. arts. Free. Dec 5 - HANDBELL ENSEMBLE: Calvin College Handbell Ensemble and the Valenti Handbell Ensemble of Aquinas College present a free Christmas concert. 7:30 pm. Calvin FAC. Dec 6 - GVSU CONCERT: The University Singers, Cantate Chamber Ensemble and Select Women’s Ensemble perform a free concert. 8 pm. First Congregational Church, 10 E Park Place NE. www. Dec 6, 20 - FARM MUSEUM JAM NIGHT: Bring your guitar, fiddle or other non-electric instrument. Singers and listeners welcome. 5 pm doors open, 6-9 pm jam. Coopersville Farm Museum, 375 Main St, Coopersville. Free with admission ($4). Dec 7 - SIDEWALK PROPHETS: Christian music concert with opening act Altar*d Life. 7 pm. Allendale High School Ceglarek FAC, 10760 68th St, Allendale. $10-$15 (892-5593). Dec 7 - TAIZE SUNG PRAYER SERVICE: Repeated choruses accompanied by instruments and vocal solos. 7 pm. First United Methodist Church, 227 E Fulton St.

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Dec 9 - “A CAPELLA CHRISTMAS”: Calvin’s Capella choir presents Christmas music, holiday sweets and silent auction to benefit its tour to Asia in Jan 2012. 7:30 pm. Calvin Prince Conference Center. $35 (526-6282 or www.calvin. edu/boxoffice).

Style for your windows, savings for you. With their beautiful colors, fabrics and designs, Hunter Douglas window fashions are always a smart choice for creating inviting, attractive spaces. And now through December 12, mail-in rebates let you enjoy select styles at a savings of $25 to $300 per unit.* Purchase and install their energy efficient Duette® Architella® Honeycomb Shades before the end of this year, and you may qualify for a federal tax credit of up to $500.** Ask us for details.

Dec 9 - “GAITHER CHRISTMAS HOMECOMING”: Grammy award-winning artist Bill Gaither presents Christian music. 7 pm. Van Andel Arena. $29$39 (Van Andel Arena box office or Ticketmaster). Dec 9 - MAJIC CONCERT SERIES: Musical Arts for Justice in the Community hosts pianist Sergei Kvitko with narrator Ken Beauchler. 7 pm. Bethlehem Church Sanctuary, 250 Commerce Ave SW. $10 suggested donation; proceeds benefit GR Coalition to End Homelessness. www. Dec 9 - OVER THE RHINE: Calvin College presents a concert. 8 pm. Covenant FAC Auditorium. $20 adults (Calvin box office, 526-6282). Dec 9-10 - WEST MICHIGAN SYMPHONY: “Sights and Sounds of the Season” Holiday Pops concert featuring Muskegon Chamber Choir and Grand Haven HS Chamber Choir. 7:30 pm. Frauenthal Theater, Muskegon. $15-$42 adults, $5 students (231-726-3231 or www.westmichigan

Photography by Adam Bird

Dec 10 - “CHRISTMAS JUBILATION”: Schubert Male Chorus presents its holiday concert. 7:30 pm. EGR High School PAC. $17 (752-7470 or Dec 10 - GR SYMPHONIC BAND: A concert with special guest Embellish Handbell Ensemble presenting holiday music, seasonal favorites and sing-alongs. 7 pm. Grandville HS Auditorium, 4700 Canal Ave SW, Grandville. $10 adults, $7 seniors, $5 students, $25 family (www.grsymph Dec 10 - HOLLAND SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: Holiday celebration concert. 3:30 and 7:30 pm.

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City Guide Dimnent Chapel, Hope College, Holland. $18 adults, $15 seniors, $5 students (796-6780, www. Dec 10 - “SLEIGH RIDE TO TINSEL TOWN”: Calvin College’s Wind Ensemble presents its annual Christmas pops concert, with a visit from Santa. 3 pm. Calvin FAC. $5, $25 family (5266282 or Dec 10, 17 - ACOUSTIC SATURDAY NIGHTS: Grand River Folk Arts Society hosts acoustic concerts. Dec 10, Andro. Dec 17, David Mosher. 8 pm. Wealthy St Theater, 1110 Wealthy St SE. $12 adults, $10 students and seniors, $9 members, $3 children (at door).

Gaze, chuckle and wonder at this unique collection of favorites from the Museum’s archives! Free with general admission

November 12 - December 31, 2011 272 Pearl St. NW • Grand Rapids 616.456.3977 •

Dec 11 - FOREST HILLS ADULT COMMUNITY BAND: A free holiday concert by 75-member concert band led by Greg Christensen. 2:30 pm (small ensemble pre-music begins 2:10). Forest Hills Eastern HS, 2200 Pettis Ave NE. Dec 11 - “MUSIC FOR THE SEASON: FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT”: First United Methodist Church choirs and ensembles perform music by Palestrina, Bach, Mendelssohn and Rutter. 7 pm. 227 E Fulton St. Free. Dec 11 - SACRED SOUNDS OF ST MARK’S: A Service of Lessons and Carols. 5 pm. St Mark’s Episcopal Church, 134 N Division Ave. www. Free. Dec 11, 15 - METROPOLITAN CHOIR OF PRAISE: Two holiday concerts: 7:30 pm Dec 11 at First Byron Center CRC, 2450 85th St SW, and 7 pm Dec 15 at Holland Home Raybrook, 2121 Raybrook SE. Dec 13 - “‘TIS THE SEASON TO EMBELLISH”: Embellish Handbell Ensemble concert celebrates the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. 7:30 pm. Mayflower Congregational Church, 2345 Robinson Rd SE. $10 adults, $7 students (915-0134 or or $12/$10 (at door). Dec 15-18 - NESTLE GERBER HOLIDAY POPS: GR Symphony’s pops concert features traditional and popular holiday favorites, songfest singalong, visit from Santa and Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus.” 7:30 pm Thu, 8 pm Fri, 3 pm and 8 pm Sat, 3 pm Sun. DeVos Performance Hall. $18$90 (Symphony and DeVos Place box offices or Ticketmaster). Dec 16 - TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA WINTER TOUR: Symphonic rock concert. 4 and 8:30 pm. Van Andel Arena. $32-$62 (Van Andel and DeVos Place box offices or Ticketmaster).


Dec 16-17 - MIGHTY WURLITZER CONCERTS: GR Public Museum’s theater organ concert featuring Lance Luce. 7-9 pm Fri, 2-4 pm Sat. 272 Pearl St NW. $10 adults, $8 members, $5 children 3-17 (ticket counter or 456-3977).

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Dec 17 - JAZZ VESPERS: Live jazz by MacNaughton Blvd. 6 pm. First United Methodist Church, 227 E Fulton St. Free.

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Dec 18 - EDELWEISS CHRISTMAS CONCERT: Presented by Grand Rapids Edelweiss Club choir. 3:30 pm. St Mary’s Church, 423 1st St NW. www. Free. Dec 18 - “MESSIAH SING-ALONG”: Chamber Choir of Grand Rapids concert. 7 pm. Aquinas College’s Kretschmer Recital Hall, 1607 Robinson Rd SE. Free. Dec 21-23 - “CIRQUE DE NOEL”: GR Symphony’s Symphonic Boom concert includes jugglers,

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City Guide acrobats and aerialists combined with holiday music. 7:30 pm Dec 21-22, 8 pm Dec 23. DeVos Performance Hall. $32-$90 (Grand Rapids Symphony and DeVos Place box offices or Ticketmaster). Dec 31 - “MOTOWN’S GREATEST HITS: I HEAR A SYMPHONY”: GR Symphony presents favorite Motown songs from the 60s and 70s. Benefits Rotary Club of Grand Rapids Charities Foundation. 7:30 pm. DeVos Performance Hall. Tickets start at $18 (DeVos Place and Van Andel box offices or Ticketmaster).

Art Dec 1, 8 - GRAND VALLEY ARTISTS: 7:30 pm Dec 1, Artist Critique Night. 7:30 pm Dec 8, Program Night. Free and open to public. 1345 Monroe Ave NW, Ste 130, Dec 2-3 - UICA HOLIDAY ARTISTS’ MARKET: One-of-a-kind works by regional artists, plus snacks and drinks and a children’s workshop. 5-9 pm Dec 2, 10 am-9 pm Dec 3. UICA. $2, members and kids 12 and under free. Dec 3 - ROGUE RIVER ARTISANS ARTS & CRAFTS: More than 120 artists sell sculpture, pottery, jewelry, photography and more. 9 am-4 pm. Lowell High School, 11700 Vergennes Rd. $1. Dec 10 - HAPPY ELVES CRAFT SHOW: More than 100 booths to browse, plus food. 9 am-4 pm. White Pines Middle School, 1400 S Griffon, Grand Haven. Dec - AQUINAS COLLEGE GALLERY: Thru Dec 16, New Forms Class Exhibit. Aquinas Art & Music Center (enter off Fulton St), 632-2408, www. Dec - CALVIN CENTER ART GALLERY: Thru Dec 17, Light Work by Rebecca Cummins, and A Nickel and a Kopek, photographs by Bill Franson. Calvin College FAC, 1795 Knollcrest Circle, 526-6271, Dec - CALVIN (106) GALLERY: Dec 2-Jan 6, Art Education Exhibition; artist reception 6-9 pm Dec 9. 106 S Division Ave. Dec - CASCADE GALLERY: Dec 1-31, Annual Holiday Show. 2840 Thornapple River Dr SE at Cascade Rd, 949-4056. Dec - DEPREE GALLERY: Dec 2-16, Juried Student Art Show. Hope College, Holland, (616) 395-7500, Dec - FIRE AND WATER GALLERY: Thru Dec 31, Virginia Wieringa, mixed media. 219 W Main St, Lowell, 890-1879, Dec - FOREST HILLS FAC: Dec 1-15, FHPS Staff and Community Services Exhibit; reception 6-7 pm Dec 8. 600 Forest Hill Ave SE, 493-8965, Dec - FREDERIK MEIJER GARDENS & SCULPTURE PARK: Thru Dec 31, Sculpture Today: New Forces, New Forms. Permanent exhibits include world-class sculptures indoors and in the 30-acre park. See Museums & Attractions. Dec - GALLERY UPTOWN: Dec 1-31, Holidays at 2nd and Washington; artist reception 5:30-8 pm Dec 2. 201 Washington Ave, Grand Haven, (616) 846-5460, Dec - GRAND RAPIDS ART MUSEUM: Thru Jan 15, Warrington Colescott: Cabaret, Comedy and Satire. Thru Jan 15, Inside Jokes: The Tradition December 2011 Grand Rapids 95

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City Guide

Sex, spies and a documentary President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Vandenberg became one of his chief allies, and later helped charter the United Nations. The most salacious story in the film is the relationship between Sen. Vandenberg and a British spy named Mitzi Sims, but you’ll have to watch the film for the juicy details. “There is a bit of sex in the film,” Grass said. The documentary was produced in association with the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies at Grand Valley

of Satire in Art. Thru Jan 22, Director’s Choice: A New Perspective. Thru Jan 28, Prophets, Priests and Kings: Woodcuts by Chris Stoffel Overvoorde. See Music for Friday Nights at GRAM and Sundays at GRAM. 10 am-5 pm Tue, Wed, Thu and Sat; 10 am-9 pm Fri; noon-5 pm Sun; closed Mon. $8 adults, $7 seniors/students with ID, $5 children 6-17, 5 and under free. 101 Monroe Center, 831-1000,

Dec 17-Mar 4, The Strange Life of Objects: The Art of Annette Lemieux. 10 am-5 pm Tue-Sat, noon5 pm Sun, closed Mon. $8 adults; $6 students, seniors; $4 members. 314 S Park St, Kalamazoo, (269) 349-7775,

Dec - GR ART GROUP: Thru Dec 15, works by Carol Vandernat, Patti Wisniewski, Meghan Cook, Otis Wilson and Peg Olaf; artist reception 5:30-8 pm Dec 8. 1054 W Fulton, 233-8320, www.grart Dec - GVSU ART GALLERY: Thru Dec 9, Rudy Pozzatti: The Twelve Labors of Hercules on loan from Normal Editions Workshop, Illinois State University, West Wall Gallery, Eberhard Center. Thru Dec 9, Tjukurrpa: Aboriginal Dream Paintings from the GVSU Permanent Collection, Faculty/Staff Dining, Kirkhof Center. Thru Dec 9, Celts, Copts and Abyssinians: Photographs by Michael McClellan, Red Wall Gallery, Lake Ontario Hall, Allendale Campus. artgallery.

Dec - LAFONTSEE GALLERIES: Dec 1-Jan 2, Small Works by Enormously Talented Artists; reception 4-9 pm Dec 1. 833 Lake Dr SE, 4519820, Dec - LEEP ART GALLERY: Thru Jan 3, Boundless by Lydia Larson. Pine Rest, 300 68th St SE, 2224530. Dec - LOWELLARTS!: Thru Dec 23, Sleigh Bells and Holly: A Gallery of Fine Arts and Gifts by more than 30 artists. 149 S Hudson St, Lowell, 8978545, Dec - MERCURYHEAD GALLERY: Thru Dec 31, Landscapes by Mary Thompson and Rex Tower. Also works by George Peebles, Richard Brinn and Barbara Munro. 962 E Fulton St, 456-6022.

Dec - HOLLAND MUSEUM: Dutch Galleries exhibit 17th- to 20th-century Dutch paintings and cultural objects. See Museums & Attractions.

Dec - MUSKEGON MUSEUM OF ART: Thru Jan 15, Process and Revelation: The Textiles of Frank Connet. Thru Feb 19, Tiny Treasures: Small Scale Works from the MMA Collection. Dec 11-Jan 29, Pictures of the Best Kind: The First 100 Years. Noon-4:30 pm Sun; closed Mon and Tue; 10 am-4:30 pm Wed, Fri and Sat; 10 am-8 pm Thu. $5 adults (Thu free); members, students, kids under 17 free. 296 W Webster Ave, Muskegon, (231) 720-2570,

Dec - KALAMAZOO INSTITUTE OF ARTS: Thru Dec 4, Turning Point: Japanese Studio Ceramics in the Mid-20th Century. Thru Dec 4, Off the Wall: Art in Three Dimensions. Thru Jan 22, Kirk Newman Art School Faculty Review. Dec 3-Mar 18, Infrared Photography by Christopher Light.

Dec - RIVERTOWN ARTISTS GUILD: Thru Dec 3, Wendy Gretzinger and John Knight, Wyoming Library, 3350 Michael St. Thru Dec 30, Sara Pearson, GR Association of Realtors, 660 Kenmoor SE. Thru Jan 6, Mary E Andersen, Walker Library, 4293 Remembrance Rd.

Dec - HOLLAND AREA ARTS COUNCIL: Thru Jan 2, Sacred Art, Sacred Acts. 150 E 8th St, Holland, (616) 396-3278,

State University. Executive producer Hank Meijer, Mike Grass and Gleaves Whitney, director of the Hauenstein Center, will lecture and show segments from the film at 7 p.m. Dec. 6 in Loosemore Auditorium in DeVos Center, GVSU downtown campus. A similar program will be presented at 7 p.m. Dec. 12 at the Grand Rapids Public Library’s main branch downtown. Visit for more information.

Dec - TERRYBERRY GALLERY: Dec 1-Jan 30, Kathleen Putnam and Connie Kuhnle, oil and pastel. Lower floor, St Cecilia Music Center, 24 Ransom Ave NE, 459-2224,

Film Dec - CELEBRATING THE CLASSICS: Film reviewer John Douglas introduces the 3 pm and 5:45 pm Tue and Thu screenings of Hollywood classic films, which show at 12:15 pm, 3 pm and 5:45 pm Tue and Thu, plus 1:30 pm Sat and Sun. Thru Dec 1, “Miracle on 34th Street.” Dec 3-8, “Babes in Toyland.” Dec 10-15, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Dec 17-22, “White Christmas.” Celebration Cinema North, 2121 Celebration Dr NE. $4. www. Dec - UICA: Urban Institute for Contemporary Art shows independent, foreign and documentary films. 2 W Fulton St, 454-3994, $8, $4 members.

Stage Dec - COMEDY MONDAYS: Dog Story Theater presents improv, standup, sketches, films, music, puppets, magic, one-act plays at 8 pm and 9 pm, and a free, open improv jam at 10 pm. 7 Jefferson Ave SE. $5. Dec - DR GRINS COMEDY CLUB: Stand-up comedians perform 9 pm Thu, 8 pm and 10:30 pm Fri and Sat. Dec 1-3, Michael Kosta. Dec 8-10, The Stagebenders. Dec 15-17, John Dicrosta. Dec 22-23, Dave Landau. Dec 29-31, Mike Green. See website for updates. The BOB, 20 Monroe Ave NW. Ticket prices vary (356-2000, www.thebob. com). Thru Dec 4 - “LES MISERABLES”: Broadway

PhotograPhy courteSy mike graSS

International intrigue, sex scandals, spy rings, partisan politics and wars — both hot and cold. It sounds like a James Bond movie, but it’s actually a new documentary film, “America’s Senator: The Unexpected Odyssey of Arthur Vandenberg.” The name isn’t well-known today, but once upon a time, Grand Rapids native Vandenburg was one of the most powerful men on the planet. The film, based on Hank Meijer’s forthcoming biography of Vandenberg, will debut on WGVU-TV at 8 p.m. Dec. 7, the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. “Vandenberg was a strict isolationist,” said Mike Grass, producer and writer of the documentary. “After Pearl Harbor, he immediately became an internationalist.” Today, we crucify politicians for changing their minds, but Vandenberg saw it as a virtue. At one time a bitter enemy of

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City Guide Grand Rapids presents Cameron Mackintosh’s 25th anniversary production of the hit musical. 7:30 pm Tue-Thu, 8 pm Fri, 2 pm and 8 pm Sat, 1 pm and 6:30 pm Sun. DeVos Performance Hall. $34.50-$72.50 (DeVos Place, Van Andel and Broadway Grand Rapids box offices or Ticketmaster).

Escape t o Your

Tranquil Ret reat

Thru Dec 10 - “THE SOUND OF MUSIC”: Master Arts Theatre presents a classic favorite. 7:30 pm, 2 pm Sat. Master Arts Theatre, 75 77th St SW. $17 adults, $15 seniors and students (455-1001, Thru Dec 11 - “THE NUTCRACKER”: Grand Rapids Ballet Company presents the timeless holiday classic. Music performed by Grand Rapids Symphony. 2 and 7:30 pm Nov 25-26, 2 pm Nov 27, 7:30 pm Dec 9, 2 and 7:30 pm Dec 10, 2 pm Dec 11. DeVos Performance Hall. $20$53 (ballet box office or Ticketmaster). www. Thru Dec 18 - “THE WIZARD OF OZ”: Grand Rapids Civic Theatre presents the family musical with Dorothy and her friends. 7:30 pm, 2 pm Sun. 30 N Division Ave. $16-$30 adults, $16 students (Civic box office or Star Tickets). Dec 1-11 - “THE 1940’s RADIO HOUR”: Cornerstone University presents a Christmas musical with songs such as “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” and “Merry Little Christmas.” 7:30 pm, 2:30 pm Dec 4 and Dec 11. Matthews Auditorium, Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, 3000 Leonard St NE. $12 adults, $10 seniors and students (5160000 or

Visit our showroom at 620 Leonard St. NW | Grand Rapids

Dec 1-17 - “SPRING AWAKENING”: Actors’ Theatre presents a musical about the unforgettable journey from youth to adulthood. 8 pm. Spectrum Theater, 160 Fountain St NE. $24 adults, $20 students and seniors (234-3946). Dec 3, 17 - RIVER CITY IMPROV: Calvin College alumni improv team weaves skits, games and songs with audience suggestions. 6:30 pm doors open, 7:33 pm show. Ladies Literary Club, 61 Sheldon Blvd SE. $10 (at door or Calvin box office). Dec 5-6 - STUDENT DANCE CONCERT: Presented by Hope College. 8 pm. Knickerbocker Theatre, Holland. Free. Dec 9-10 - “THE NUTCRACKER”: Presented by Hope College Ballet Club. 8 pm. Knickerbocker Theatre, Holland. Tickets TBD (395-7890).

PhotograPhy courteSy mike graSS

Dec 9-11, 16-18 - “A CHRISTMAS CAROL”: Dickens’ Christmas tale featuring Ebeneezer Scrooge, ghosts and lovable Londoners is brought to life by community performers. 8 pm Fri, 2 pm and 8 pm Sat, 7 pm Sun. Saugatuck Women’s Club, 303 Butler St, Saugatuck, (269) 857-6193. Tickets TBD. Dec 10-11, 18 - “THE NUTCRACKER”: West Michigan Youth Ballet presents the complete ballet. 1 and 4:30 pm Dec 10, 1 pm Dec 11 at Forest Hills FAC. 3 pm Dec 18 at Frauenthal Theatre, Muskegon. Tickets TBD ( Also, Nutcracker tea 11:30 am Dec 10 ($12). Dec 16-20 - “THE PROMISE”: Turning Pointe School of Dance presents a ballet that weaves the Christmas story together using scripture and music. 7 pm Tue and Fri, 2 and 7 pm Sat and Sun. Knickerbocker Theatre, Holland. $16 adults, $12 students (Hope College Ticket Office, 395-7890); $18/$14 (at door). December 2011 Grand rapids 97

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City Guide

Scenes of Christmas past The Voigt House will be decked out for Christmas and open for tours two weekends this month. Visitors can learn about Victorian holiday traditions as they walk through the three-story brick mansion built in 1895 on College Avenue. The Voigt family, successful Grand Rapids merchants and flour mill entrepreneurs, lived in the house for 75 years. Ralph Voigt, the youngest child and a bachelor who lived in the chateauesque mansion his entire life, died in 1971. He left the house to the Grand Rapids Foundation; it later became the property of the Public Museum. The house contains an amazing amount of original furnishings, including the carpeting and silk and tapestry wall coverings, and hundreds of personal belongings of the family. See MUSeUMS & attRactiOnS

Dec - BLANDFORD NATURE CENTER: Dec 10, Homestead Holiday. Dec 17, Evergreen Tree Spree. Dec 22, Solstice Celebration. 143 acres of diverse ecosystems, trails, natural history exhibits, Heritage Buildings (log cabin, blacksmith shop, one-room schoolhouse). Interpretive Center open 9 am-5 pm Mon-Fri. Trails open daily dawn to dusk. 1715 Hillburn Ave NW, 735-6240, Free. Dec - CAPPON & SETTLERS HOUSE MUSEUMS: Dec 10-11, Victorian Christmas Tea. Restored Cappon House is the Italianate Victorian home of Holland’s first mayor, 228 W 9th St, Holland. Tiny Settlers House recalls hardships of early settlers, 190 W 9th St, Holland. Noon-4 pm Fri and Sat; closed for season Dec 17. For admission prices, see Holland Museum. (616) 392-6740, www.holland

Metal Art Studio

Dec - COOPERSVILLE FARM MUSEUM: Thru Jan, Photo and Art Contest and Exhibit: Great American Barns II. Ongoing, Annual Community Christmas Tree Decorating. Regular exhibits include tractors from 1930 to present, eclipse windmill, 100-yearold barns, interactive kids area. 10 am-2 pm Tue, Thu and Sat. $4 adults, $3 seniors, $2 children 3-18, under 3 free. 375 Main St, Coopersville, 9978555, inc.

fine jewelry Tu-Fr 10-5 Sat 12-4 616-459-5075 820 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids details at

Dec - DEGRAAF NATURE CENTER: Dec 10, Homestead Holiday. 18-acre preserve includes Interpretive Center, indoor pond, animals, SkyWatch and more than 240 plant species. Trails open daily dawn to dusk. 9 am-5 pm Tue-Fri, 10 am-5 pm Sat, closed Sun, Mon and holidays. 600 Graafschap Rd, Holland, (616) 355-1057, Free. Dec - FREDERIK MEIJER GARDENS & SCULPTURE PARK: Thru Jan 8, Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World features international-themed trees and displays, strolling carolers,

horse-drawn carriage rides, and Railway Garden, a model train that travels past familiar Grand Rapids’ landmark buildings. Dec 6, 13 and 20: 5-8 pm Santa visits and 6-8 pm Original Dickens Carolers. 6-8 pm Dec 6, 13, 20-23 and 26-30, art activities for families. 1-4 pm Dec 3, 10 and 17, Roof Top Reindeer (photos and petting). 5:30-9 pm Dec 6, 13 and 20-23, Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides ($50 up to four members, $80 up to four nonmembers; reservations required: 975-3151). 5:30-9 pm Dec 20-23, Sing-Along Trolley Rides ($8 adults, $5 children). 9 am-5 pm Mon-Sat, 9 am-9 pm Tue, 11 am-5 pm Sun. Extended holiday hours: until 9 pm Dec 20-23 and 26-30. $12 adults, $9 seniors and students with IDs, $6 ages 5-13, $4 ages 3-4. 1000 East Beltline Ave NE, 9571580, Dec - GERALD R. FORD MUSEUM: See Ford Open House in Special Events. Thru Jan 8, Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World explores the multi-faceted man and his achievements. Permanent exhibits include The 1970s; Watergate scandal; White House Oval Office; New Mood at the White House. 9 am-5 pm daily. $7 adults, $6 seniors, $5 college students, $3 kids 6-18, 5 and under free. 303 Pearl St NW, 254-0400, www. Dec - GRAND RAPIDS PUBLIC MUSEUM: See Night at Your Museum in Special Events and Snowflake Break in Kidstuff. Thru Dec 31, Big Stuff from the Permanent Collection and American Seating Celebrates 125 Years in Grand Rapids. Thru Feb 29, All Dressed Up: 1950s Style. Thru Jun 11, Thank God for Michigan!: Stories from the Civil War. Permanent exhibits include Streets of Old Grand Rapids and 1928 carousel ($1). 9 am-5 pm Mon, Wed-Sat, 9 am-8 pm Tue, noon-5 pm Sun. $8 adults, $7 seniors, $3 ages 3-17. 272 Pearl St NW, 456-3977, Dec - HOLLAND MUSEUM: See Holiday Open House in Special Events. Cultural attractions from the “old country” and exhibits that explore local

PhotograPhy courteSy granD raPiDS Public muSeum

Museums & Attractions

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City Guide history. I Spy Adventure and kids activities in Mark’s Room. 10 am-5 pm Mon, Wed-Sat, noon5 pm Sun. $7 adults, $6 seniors, $4 students, children 5 and under free, members free. 31 W 10th St, Holland, (888) 200-9123, www.holland Dec - KALAMAZOO NATURE CENTER: 1,100 acres of forests, prairies and wetlands. 9 am-5 pm Mon-Sat, 1-5 pm Sun. $6 adults, $5 seniors 55 and over, $4 children 4-13, children under 4 free. 700 N Westnedge Ave, Kalamazoo, (269) 381-1574, Dec - KALAMAZOO VALLEY MUSEUM: Thru Jan 1, CSI: Crime Scene Insects. Thru Jan 22, Fractals: Mathematics and Science as Art. Permanent exhibits include simulated mission to space, 2,300-year-old mummy and Science in Motion. See website for planetarium shows ($3) and activities. 9 am-5 pm Mon-Thu and Sat, 9 am-9 pm Fri, 1-5 pm Sun. 230 N Rose St, Kalamazoo, (800) 772-3370, Free. Dec - LAKESHORE MUSEUM CENTER: Thru Jan 31, Hooker/De Jong Architects and Engineers: Celebrating 75 Years. Exhibits include Coming to the Lakes; Michigan: From the Depths of Time; Body Works: It’s All Up to You; Habitats and Food Webs; Science Center; and Voices of Muskegon. 9:30 am-4:30 pm Mon-Fri, noon-4 pm Sat-Sun. 430 W Clay, Muskegon, (231) 722-0278, www. Free. Dec - LOWELL AREA HISTORICAL MUSEUM: Exhibits about Lowell history, and a Victorian parlor, dining room and porch. 1-4 pm Tue, Sat and Sun, 1-8 pm Thu. $3 adults, $1.50 children 5-17, under 5 free, families $10 max. 325 W Main St, 897-7688, Dec - MEYER MAY HOUSE: Frank Lloyd Wright 1909 prairie-style house restored by Steelcase in 1986-87 features many original furnishings. Open for guided tours 10 am-2 pm Tue and Thu, 1-5 pm Sun (last tour begins one hour prior to closing). 450 Madison Ave SE, 246-4821, meyermayhouse. Free.

Photography Courtesy Grand Rapids Public Museum

Dec - ROGER B. CHAFFEE PLANETARIUM: Stateof-the-art, Digistar-powered shows. Sky Shows thru Dec 31: “’Tis the Season” and “Under Starlit Skies.” Laser Light Shows thru Dec 31: “Holiday Magic,” “Dark Side of the Moon” and “Radiohead.” GR Public Museum, 272 Pearl St NW. See website for times and prices. Dec - TRI-CITIES HISTORICAL MUSEUM: 1-6 pm Dec 3 and 1-5 pm Dec 4, Classic Holiday Home Tour. Exhibits include train depot, Michigan Logging and Fur Trading. 9:30 am-5 pm Tue-Fri, 12:30-5 pm Sat and Sun. 200 Washington Ave, Grand Haven, 842-0700, www.tri-citiesmuseum. org. Free. Dec - VOIGT HOUSE VICTORIAN MUSEUM: Decorated for the season and open noon-5 pm Dec 3-4 and Dec 10-11. 1895 home of the Carl Voigt family features three floors of original furnishings and personal possessions. 115 College Ave SE, 456-4600, GR Public Museum members free, $5 adults, $3 children.

Lectures & Workshops Dec - ENHANCEFITNESS: Senior Neighbors fitness program increases strength and endurance and improves balance. 11:30 am Mon, Wed and Fri. Baxter Community Center, 935 Baxter Ave. December 2011 Grand Rapids 99

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City Guide: Clubs ’n’ Pubs

Cozy as a cabin If you’re looking for a place to relax, catch a game, and maybe sing a few songs to a receptive crowd, Potter’s Log Cabin is a safe bet. By Alexandra Fluegel


If you’re looking for karaoke, stop by Monhere aren’t too many establishments in the area days and Wednesdays, and ladies, all your where the owner cooks your food and pours drinks are half off on Tuesday nights. your drinks. If you’ve been to one, you No matter when you stop in, samknow it adds a little something extra to pling a bit of the fare should be a top the experience. priority. The Log Cabin doesn’t try Potter’s Log Cabin in Wyoming has that to be something it’s not: You won’t something extra. Located on South Division find any quinoa here, but you will since 1938, the Potter family has owned the find generous portions at reasonbusiness since 1979, and chances are, if you able prices. A monster serving of come in, Matt Potter himself will be tending bar nachos, the infamous Bistro Burger and making burgers to brag about. and a few beers cost our group just Sometimes neighborhood watering holes can $20 combined, and as previously menhave a “members only” feel, but that is definitely tioned, the service was top-tier. not the case here. Friendly regulars fill the seats at When it comes to bars and restauthe octagon-shaped bar and are more than happy rants, Grand Rapids has something for to recommend items off the menu and reassure If you’re looking for a everyone. If you’re looking for a place you that singing karaoke is a great idea, no matter to relax, catch a game and maybe sing how tone deaf you may be. After all, a sign behind place to relax, catch a a few songs to a receptive crowd, Potthe bar reads “What Happens at the Cabin, Stays ter’s Log Cabin is a safe bet. And just at the Cabin.” game and maybe sing think, after your visit you can brag that Now that your fear of being shunned as a nona few songs to a recepyou know the owner. regular has been quelled, the question is when to GR go. Thursdays are one of the better nights to check tive crowd, Potter’s Log it out. There’s half off all drinks under $5 — which Cabin is a safe bet. includes most of the selections — from 8 p.m. until midnight, while bands from all over come together for The Log Jam, the bar’s live jam session.

Potter’s Log Cabin Location: 2401 S. Divison Ave. Hours: 11 a.m.-2 a.m. MondaySaturday; noon-8 p.m. Sunday

Photography by Johnny Quirin

Contact: (616) 245-4394;

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City Guide (616) 233-0283 or $2 suggested donation.


Dec - GRAND RIVER FOLK ARTS SOCIETY: Dance instruction events. 7:30 pm Dec 2, First Friday Dance, 5th St Hall, 701 5th St NW, $8 adults, $7 students/seniors, $6 members. 7 pm Dec 9, Second Friday International Folk Dance, Wealthy Theatre, 1130 Wealthy St SE, $5. 7 pm Dec 23, 4th Friday Contra Dance with music jams, 5th St Hall, 701 5th St NW, $6.

Dec - ALL DAY WITH THE ARTS: GR Art Museum offers drop-in art-making activities in the Education Studio 10 am-3 pm every Sat. Dec theme: Greetings with GRAM. Kid-friendly tours 11 am and 1 pm. 101 Monroe Center. Free with admission.

Dec - GR PUBLIC LIBRARIES: Programs include adult computer classes, reading clubs, America’s Senator: The Unexpected Odyssey of Arthur Vandenberg and kids activities (see Kidstuff). Complete schedule at GRPL Main Library, 111 Library St NE, or Free. Dec - GR TANGO: Beginner and intermediate dance lessons 8-9:30 pm Thu, followed by free practice 9:30-10:30 pm. Richard App Gallery, 910 Cherry St SE, $12 drop-in. Dec - KENT DISTRICT LIBRARIES: Programs include book discussions, computer classes, career transition workshops, Early Childhood Essentials and kids activities (see Kidstuff). Complete schedule at Dec 1 - ABOUT IT! SERIES: Saugatuck Center for the Arts presents “Grand Rapids Ballet: 40th Birthday Celebration with ‘The Nutcracker,’” with ballet executive director Glenn Del Vecchio and members of the troupe. 7 pm. 400 Center St, Saugatuck. Dec 2 - POETRY READING: Literary Life Bookstore hosts Patricia Clark, author of “She Walks Into the Night,” and Keith Taylor, poetry editor for “Michigan Quarterly Review.” 7 pm. 758 Wealthy St SE. Free. Dec 3, 5 - MASTER ARTS THEATRE AUDITIONS: Auditions for “Rehearsal for Murder,” (runs Feb 2-25). 10 am Dec 3 and 6:30 pm Dec 5. 75 77th St SW. Dec 5, 15 - MOTHERS AND MORE: Greater Grand Rapids Chapter of Mothers and More hosts two free events 7-9 pm: Dec 5, Holiday Warm Up, restaurant TBD; Dec 15, Wrap n’ Chat, St Thomas Catholic Church, 1448 Grace Dr. 389-5376, www.

Dec - GRAND RAPIDS CHILDREN’S MUSEUM: See New Year’s Early Eve below. Thru Jan 20, To The Rescue safety exhibit. Permanent activities include Mercantile Wee Bank, Spin Table, Buzzy Beehive, Mom and Pop Store, Funstruction. Toddler Tue for ages 3 and under (10 am-noon). Thu Family Nights (5-8 pm), $1.50. 9:30 am-5 pm Wed, Fri-Sat; 9:30 am-8 pm Tue, Thu; noon-5 pm Sun, closed Mon. $7, under 1 free. 22 Sheldon Ave NE, 235-4726, Dec - GR PUBLIC LIBRARIES: Literacy classes for babies, toddlers and kids include storytelling, music, dramatic play and art activities. This month: Hoppy Holidays: Celebrate Rabbit’s Gift with Mrs Claus, and Crafteens: Holiday DIY Special. Times and locations vary. Also, thru Dec 31, Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic and Medicine Exhibit. Complete schedule at any branch or Free. Dec - GYMCO: Noon-2 pm Mon-Fri, Lunch Bunch. Noon-1 pm Mon-Sat, Open Gym. Dec 9, Kids Night Out. Dec 21 and Dec 28, Kids Day Away. See website for prices. Gymco Sports, 2360 Camelot Ridge Ct SE, 956-0586, Dec - HOP SCOTCH CHILDREN’S STORE: Free events 10:30 am Mon. Dec 5, Wrap It Up: Make Your Own Wrapping Paper. Dec 12, Story Time with Jeffrey Schatzer. Dec 19, Hang It Up: Make Your Own Ornament. 909 Cherry St SE, 2334008,

Dec 13 - TORCH CLUB: “Veterans Administration: The Scars of Our Soldiers” by Harriet Christensen. 5:30 pm social hour and dinner; program to follow. Reservations required. University Club, 111 Lyon St NW. $28 (

Dec - JAVA GYM: Children’s entertainment center with four levels of soft play, toddler area and party rooms; coffee and free wi-fi for parents. 9 am-5 pm Mon and Wed-Fri, 9 am-8 pm Tue and Sat, 10 am-5 pm Sun. 2211 East Beltline Ave NE (near Knapp), 361-9800, $7 ages 3 and up, $3 ages 2 and younger.

Dec 17 - PHOTOGRAPHY CLASS: Improving Your Basic Photography Skills. 10 am-noon. Will Fields Photography, 1415 Plainfield NE. $120 (745-5497 or

Dec - KENT DISTRICT LIBRARIES: Story times for young children, Project Sleuth and Snow Parties for Kids. Teen programs include Wii games. See for dates and locations.

Dec 31 - GR AUDUBON CLUB: Kent County Christmas Bird Count for birders of all skill levels. More info: Ranger Steve at 696-1753 or www.glsga. org/grac. Photography by Johnny Quirin

Dec - DEANNA’S PLAYHOUSE: 15,000-squarefoot play environment includes art room, imagination village, performing arts stage, music room, infant-parent area, café and more. 10 am-3 pm Mon-Sat. 11172 Adams St, Holland, (800) 5777661, $5 per person, under 1 free.

Sports Dec - GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS: Grand Rapids’ American Hockey League team, primary affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings. Home games: Dec 2 vs Toronto Marlies. Dec 3 vs Chicago Wolves. Dec 14 vs Rockford IceHogs. Dec 21 vs Abbotsford Heat. Dec 30 vs Peoria Rivermen. Dec 31 vs Milwaukee Admirals. Times vary. Van Andel Arena. $13-$30 (Van Andel box office, Meijer or Star Tickets).

Dec - KINDERMUSIK: Playgroup for ages 2-4 with music, stories, crafts and snack. 9-11:30 am or 12:30-3 pm every Wed. $63 for four weeks (4506995 or Dec - SMALL TALK FOR KIDS: Language classes in Spanish, Mandarin Chinese or French at six locations for up to age 5. $195 (990-2591, www.

Grand Rapids 616-791-1616 Harbor Springs 231-526-8399

Thru Dec 24 - SANTA’S HOUSE: Visit Santa in his downtown Holland home on Eighth St. Times vary: see Free. Thru Dec 30 - AMERICAN GIRL PARTY REGISTRATION: Home School Building Bookstore and Library hosts an American Girl party for moms and daughters (6 and older) with crafts, historyDecember 2011 Grand Rapids 101

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City Guide focused games, snacks and doll parade. Party is 6:30-8 pm Jan 10, Home School Building, 5625 Burlingame Ave SW, Wyoming. Registration: $5 per child (532-9422, ext 6, or resourcecenter@ Thru Dec 31 - SNOWFLAKE BREAK: GR Public Museum offers holiday games “Where’s Santa?” and “Elf Hunt” all month. Plus seasonal games and craft activities from noon-4 pm Dec 17-24 and Dec 26-31. Free with admission: $8 adults, $7 seniors, $3 ages 3-17. 272 Pearl St NW. www.

warming hearts one bowl at a time

Dec 3 - BREAKFAST WITH SANTA/CHRISTMAS FOR THE ANIMALS: Join Santa for pancakes, eggs and sausage at John Ball Zoo 8:30-10 am ($15 adults, $12 children 12 and under, 2 and under free; members $13/$10). Reservations required: 336-4326. Then join the zookeepers 10 am-1 pm as they demonstrate the importance of animal enrichment. If you donate an item for animal enrichment (see website for list), admission is free. John Ball Zoo, 1300 W Fulton St, 3364300,

A benefit for the food & pantry programs of God’s Kitchen

Dec 3 - FIRST SATURDAY FOR KIDS: Literary Life Bookstore hosts a special holiday storytime. 11 am. 758 Wealthy St SE, 458-8418, www.literary

SOUP’S ON FOR ALL! A program of Catholic Charities West Michigan

Monday, January 23, 2012 | 6:30–9:30 P.M.

At The B.O.B. | 20 Monroe NW, Grand Rapids Advance tickets are available for $50 at Schuler Books & Music, God’s Kitchen, Michigan Church Supply at Cathedral Square, and online at ($60 at the door). Contact Catholic Charities West Michigan with event questions at 616.551.5659 or Soup’s On Along the Lakeshore! is Thursday, February 23 in Muskegon.

Dec 3 - “NUTCRACKER LITE”: Balletmore Dance Studio presents a 45-minute family-friendly version of the holiday classic. 2 pm. Wealthy Elementary Pioneer Auditorium, EGR. $10, $5 with non-perishable food item (benefitting GR homeless shelters). Dec 3 - ST NICHOLAS FESTIVAL: Music, storytelling, crafts, wooden shoe decorating and visit from St Nick. 11 am-1 pm. Central Reformed Church, 10 College Ave NE. Free. Dec 3-4, 10-11, 17-18 - SANTA TRAIN: Coopersville & Marne Railway offers weekend train rides with Santa and his elves and a storytelling princess. All children receive a present. 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm Sat; 1 pm and 3 pm Sun. 311 Danforth St, Coopersville. $14.50 adults, $13.50 seniors 60 and over, $11.50 ages 2-12, under 2 free (9977000). html. Dec 7, 14 - SANTA VISITS: Rockford hosts Santa; reindeer also on Dec 14. 6-8 pm. Rotary Pavilion. Dec 9 - KPO CHILDREN’S CONCERT: Kent Philharmonia Orchestra presents a concert of holiday songs for children. 7:30 pm. St Cecilia Music Center, 24 Ransom Ave NE. $5 adults, $3 seniors and students, kids 12 and under free.

Statement of ownerShip, management and CirCulation (Required by PS Form 3526)

1. Title of publication: Grand Rapids Magazine 2. Publication number: 0997-340 3. Date of filing: September 30, 2011 4. Issue frequency: Monthly 5. Number of issues published annually: 12 6. Annual subscription price: $24.00 7. Complete mailing address of known office of publication: 549 Ottawa Ave. N.W., Ste. 201, Grand Rapids, MI 49503-1444. Contact: Scott Miller. Telephone: (616) 459-4545. 8. Complete mailing address of headquarters or general business office of Publisher: Same as #7 9. Publisher: John H. Zwarensteyn, 549 Ottawa Ave. N.W., Ste. 201, Grand Rapids, MI 49503-1444. Editor: Carole Valade. Managing Editor: Marty Primeau. All addresses same as above. 10. Owner: Gemini Corporation; John H. Zwarensteyn, both addresses same as #7. 11. Known bondholders, mortgages and other security holders owning or holding 1 percent or more of total amount of bonds, mortgages or other securities: none. 12. Tax status (for completion by nonprofit organizations authorized to mail at special rates): Has not changed during the preceding 12 months.

13. Publication title: Grand Rapids Magazine 14. Issue date for circulation below: October 2011 15. Extent and nature of circulation: Average no. copies each issue during preceding 12 months/actual no. copies of single issue published nearest to filing date. a) Total number of copies (net press run): 15,000/15,000. b1) Paid/requested outside-county mail subscriptions stated on Form 3541: 1,523/1,470. b2) Paid in-county subscriptions stated on Form 3541: 5,090/5,133. b3) Sales through dealers, carriers, street vendors, counter sales and other non-USPS paid distribution: 3,205/3,090. b4) Paid distribution by other classes of mail through USPS (e.g. 1st Class Mail): 0/0. c) Total paid distribution: 9,818/9,693. Free distribution by mail: d1) Outsidecounty: 137/0. d2) In-county: 393/0. d3) 0/0. d4) Free distribution outside the mail: 3,636/4,055. e) Total free distribution (sum of 15d section): 4,166/4,055. f) Total distribution (sum of 15c and 15e): 13,984/13,748. g) Copies not distributed: 1,016/1,252. h) Total (sum of 15f and 15g): 15,000/15,000. i) Percent paid and/or requested circulation (15c divided by 15f times 100): 70.21%/70.50%. 16. Publication Statement of Ownership publication required. Will be printed in the December 2011 issue of this publication. 17. I certify that the statements made above are correct and complete (signed): Scott Miller, Circulation & Marketing Manager, 9/30/11.

Dec 10 - SANTA’S POOL PARTY: Underwater pictures with Santa, holiday games and prizes, special guest Maranda and float-in movie “The Search for Santa Paws.” 6-8:45 pm. Holland Aquatic Center, 550 Maple Ave, Holland. $5. Dec 10-11 - “THE NUTCRACKER”: Caledonia Dance Center presents the seasonal favorite. 8 pm Sat, 5 pm Sun. Duncan Lake Middle School PAC, Caledonia. $12-$25 (www.caledoniadance Dec 13 - AMERICAN GIRL PARTY: Home School Building Bookstore and Library hosts an American Girl party for moms and daughters (6 and older) with crafts, history-focused games, snacks and a doll parade. 6:30-8 pm. Home School Building, 5625 Burlingame Ave SW, Wyoming. Registration: $5 per child (532-9422, ext 6, or resourcecenter@

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City Guide Dec 18 - “KIDZ KRINGLE CHRISTMAS”: One hour KidZ Fellowship Stage musical theater performance presented by the KidZ Central members and Joyful Noise KidZ Khorus. 11 am. Central Reformed Church, 10 College NE. Free. Dec 31 - NEW YEAR’S EARLY EVE: Grand Rapids Children’s Museum hosts a party from 6-8 pm with live DJ, snacks and drinks, kids activities and crystal ball countdown and drop at 7:30 pm with confetti and balloons. Tickets TBD. www.

your vacation memories Come up to the Petoskey Area of northern Michigan. Three major ski areas with a total of nearly 160 runs, exceptional lodging choices and outstanding après ski. The memories you’ll share will send spirits soaring. 800.845.2828 

Free Brochure


VENUES aquinas performing arts center, 1607 Robinson Road SE, 456-6656 the Deltaplex entertainment & expo center, 2500 Turner Ave. NW, 364-9000, Devos place (Devos performance Hall), 303 Monroe Ave. NW, 742-6600, Forest Hills Fine arts center, 600 Forest Hill Ave. SE, 493-8966, Frauenthal center for the performing arts, 425 W. Western Ave., Muskegon, (231) 722-9750, St. cecilia Music center, (Royce Auditorium, Dexter Ballroom), 24 Ransom Ave. NE, 459-2224, Spectrum theater, 160 Fountain St. NE, 234-3946 Urban institute for contemporary arts (Uica), 2 W. Fulton St., 454-7000 (film hotline 454-3994), van andel arena, 130 W. Fulton St., 742-6600, van Singel Fine arts center, 8500 Burlingame Ave. SW, Byron Center, 878-6800,



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Grand Rapids Symphony office, 300 Ottawa Ave. NW, Suite 100, 454-9451, Star tickets, (800) 585-3737, ticketmaster, 456-3333,

list your event calendar items must be submitted two months prior to the magazine issue date. Please send submissions for the February calendar no later than Dec. 15. e-mail, fax (616) 4594800 or mail to grand rapids magazine, 549 ottawa ave. nW, Suite 201, grand rapids, mi 49503. December 2011 Grand rapids 103

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City Guide: Hot Shots 1



Locovore gala; ArtPrize celebration

1. Nunana and Lindsey Nyomi

2. Marilyn Hughes, Laura and Emily Lewakowski

MORE THAN 300 hungry locovores swarmed into Romence 3. Tom Sherwood and Gardens Oct. 12 for Fork Fest, a new Eat Local challenge ben Carolyn Affholter efiting Local First. Twenty-six area restaurants, farms, grocers, 4. People at Rosa Parks Circle bakeries, breweries and wineries handed out food and beverage watch the ArtPrize winners samples inside the spacious Fulton Heights’ greenhouse. Fare being announced. included everything from organic veggies to miniature cupcakes. 5. Dave Adams Fauxgrass Quartet provided musical entertainment. “It was the 6. Karen Fryling, biggest Eat Local event so far and we hope to do it again,” Local 4 Cindy Hodges and First spokesman Dan Truel said. Karen Schneider Suspense was palpable at the ArtPrize 2011 Winners 7. June Hall and Announcement ceremony at DeVos Performance Hall, where Virginia Jaeger artists and the general public gathered 5 Oct. 6 to hear the results of the third open art competition in Grand Rapids. In Rosa Parks Circle, hundreds gathered to watch the announcements on a giant screen, while inside the Grand Rapids Art Museum, members toasted the winners with St. Julian sparking juice. ArtPrize collaborated with Grand Rapids Ballet, Broadway Grand Rapids and North American Choral Company to feature performances by all three organizations.


Photography by Johnny Quirin


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Sharing the Joy of the Holidays

Leo’s Gift Certificates

This holiday season, give that special someone on your list an experience they’ll remember at Leo’s. Gift certificates available in $10, $25, $50 and $100 denominations. Also available online at Leo’s Restaurant invites you to join us during the festive Season and in the winter months ahead. Fresh seafood, Certified Black Angus Beef, New Zealand Rack of Lamb and innovative desserts served in an elegant, yet casual atmosphere, makes us the perfect choice for this very special time of the year. “Restaurant of the Year”

60 Ottawa NW | Downtown Grand Rapids | 616.454.6700 |

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Grand Rapids Magazine 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010 “Dining Awards”

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the baker’s Way

As Panera® bakers, this is our promise to you: To bake fresh breAd from fresh dough every night in every bakery-cafe. To uphold the time-honored tradition of ArtisAn baking. To honor our crAft by committing to excellence in every loaf. At Panera, baking fresh bread is our passion. It’s what makes everything on our menu, and every day, better.

head baker

Make today better ©2011 Panera Bread. All Rights Reserved.

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December 2011 - GRM  
December 2011 - GRM  

Festive Holiday Event Calendar