Page 1

237 things you love Celebrating City Life

Best of GR Readers poll

January 2011



The immigration battle » pg50 The area’s premier dining listings » pg58 Two plate: Tre Cugini

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Volume 48 Number 1



A record number of votes in the 2010-2011 Readers Poll resulted in new winners in numerous categories. ...... 40

While an estimated 70,000 people residing in Michigan came to the U.S. illegally, critics of proposed legislation argue that the issues of families already living here are not being addressed. ................ 50

2 Grand Rapids January 2011

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555 Midtowne Street, Suite 110 4693 Wilson Avenue, Suite G

Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503 Grandville, Michigan 49418

11/29/10 11:07 AM


Volume 48 Number 1

January 2011 Photography courtesy Thomas Vogel

on the cover:



In Every Issue Life & Style

Carol Roeda; mymac; Kurt Dreyer Acting Studio; Green Dog Pet Accessories. ............. 10-13 Profile

Frank DeVos knew nothing about the floral industry when he purchased Eastern Floral in 1950, but he nurtured it into a blooming success. .............. 20

Speaking Up Etc.

By Carole Valade..................... 7 Travel

By Matt Baker The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. ....................... 14 Grand Times

By Gordon G. Beld Saddlebag Swamp was located just beyond the southeast corner of today’s Meijer Gardens. .................. 18


When designing a home or business, Jeffery Roberts finds ways to reuse materials and incorporate reclaimed items. .....................................24

Critic’s Choice

By Mark F. Miller Lots O’Pots Pottery on the city’s west side. ...................26 Art Appreciation

City Guide

Jeff and Jerry Spruit of Swan Inn profiled; complete dining list; Stella’s Lounge and The Viceroy. . ........ 55-96 Calendar of Events. ............83

By Joseph Antenucci Becherer GRAM’s 100 Years – 100 Works of Art. . ..................... 28 Dining Review

By Ira Craaven Angel’s Thai Café. . .............56 Grand Vine

By A. Brian Cain Wine and beer at Salt of the Earth. ................ 71 Fresh Hops

By Jon C. Koeze No sake without koji. ......... 76 4 Grand Rapids January 2011

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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.

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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, Jon C. Koeze ContriButing writerS

Julie Burch, Kimberly Monaghan, Tricia van Zelst eDitoriaL internS

Nick Capisciolto, Colleen Keehl, Candace Price 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 DeSign & ProDuCtion manager

Scott Sommerfeld:

Tray Coffee Table

aSSiStant DeSign & ProDuCtion manager

Chris Pastotnik: art CoorDinator

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

DeSignerS/ProDuCtion aSSiStantS

Melissa Brooks: Robin Vargo: ContriButing PhotograPherS

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

Kelly J. Nugent:

Michael Buck, Jim Gebben, Jeff Hage, Jack Poeller, Johnny Quirin generaL SaLeS manager

Randy D. Prichard: aDvertiSing SaLeS ConSuLtantS

General Inquiries: Marie Barker: Kathie Manett: John Olsa: Jan Thomas: aDvertiSing SaLeS aSSiStant/CoorDinator

Karla Jeltema:

Thank you.

CirCuLation & marKeting manager

Scott T. Miller: CirCuLation & marKeting CoorDinator

Jocelyn Burkett: CirCuLation & marKeting aSSiStant

Shane Chapin:

From the day we formed Kuiper Orlebeke PC, it has been our motto to do our best, to work smarter, harder and better than everyone, every day, for every client. We’re honored and humbled that Grand Rapids Magazine readers voted us “Best Grand Rapids law firm.” Get to know the attorneys at Kuiper Orlebeke. You’ll get our best. Every day.

finanCe & aDminiStration manager

Pamela Brocato, CPA: aCCounting & CreDit aSSiStant

Bev Horinga: aDminiStrative aSSiStant

Tina Gillman: reCePtioniSt/CLeriCaL aSSiStant

General Inquiries: Alyson Mabie to orDer rePrintS

Karla Jeltema: (616) 459-4545 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

180 Monroe Ave. NW Suite 400 Grand Rapids, MI 49503 616 454-3700

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6 Grand rapids January 2011

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But wait, there’s more! BY CAROLE VALADE


THE NEW YEAR BEGINS with some excitement in Grand Rapids, as seeds planted in 2010 continue to reshape the West Michigan environment. The community can be grateful that I-196 is “fixed,” though Ottawa County residents will suffer the new U.S. 31 bypass construction. Still, for every minute not spent waiting for the Grand Haven drawbridge, there is some thanks. The downtown Grand Rapids Medical Mile developments finish up this month with the opening of the long-anticipated Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, after last fall’s celebration of the completed Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. This month, as Grand Rapids Magazine celebrates its readers’ Best of Grand Rapids choices, there is even more to look forward to: Grand Action philanthropists are ready to begin construction of an urban market, and the Gilmore Group will begin expansion of the Big Old Building. HopCat owners Mark and Michelle Sellers have enjoyed the fruits of their entrepreneurial spirits with notoriety as the planet’s third best beer bar with food, but they also last year opened The Viceroy and Stella’s at 53 Commerce. And the couple is expanding again, into the former McFadden’s Restaurant, just up the street from HopCat on Ionia Avenue. And while they wait for a liquor license transfer, they are making additional plans with another beloved entrepreneurial couple, brother and sister Jeff and Tamara VandenBerg, who own the Meanwhile Bar on Wealthy. The VandenBergs and Sellers will join to open The Pyramid Scheme at 68 Commerce next month. More than a bar or restaurant, it is morphing into a venue for bands drawing from 400 to 500 people. The moniker may raise an eyebrow or provoke a chuckle, but consider Mark Sellers’ comments, as reported in sister publication Grand Rapids Business

Journal: “When I traveled extensively, I was always interested in going into breweries and interesting bars. ... When my wife and I moved to Grand Rapids, we immediately noticed that the bar scene here was incredibly generic and boring … so we decided to change that.” Sellers added, “It seems like in Grand Rapids no one starts bars for fun. They do it for money … and nobody takes any chances. One exception is the Meanwhile. … What makes a city unique and interesting is entrepreneurs starting businesses as much for fun as money.” While there is more to look forward to, GRM readers returned a record number of ballots for the Best of Grand Rapids Readers Poll, voting for 237 individuals and establishments as unique as Marie Catrib’s or Marge’s Donut Den — and 212 of them are locally owned. Happy New Year!

Letters 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 may be edited for reasons of clarity and space. Name change: Karen Gillion, interviewed in the “Ghost Whisperers” article in the October 2010 issue, has a name change to Karen Hays. She can be reached via her website at JANUARY 2011 GRAND RAPIDS 7

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Life & Style

“Hardly a day goes by that I don’t get a request from customers for a new embellishment. It’s like scrapbooking for home décor.” — Carol Roeda » pg10 Photography byJim Gebben

Inside » Carol Roeda 10

» mymacwellness 11

» kurt dreyer 12

» kelly Boos 13

» Travel 14

January 2011 Grand Rapids 9

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Life & Style

Creating a folk art empire

The walls in Carol Roeda’s Lake Drive store is covered with examples of her designs.

Roeda has three retail stores, the original in Breton Village, a second in Ann Arbor — “my kids talked me into opening that one when they were all living on the east side of the state” — and the new East Hills store, complete with a work table for customers. She also sells her products online at Most of her time is spent in the “down

and dirty” studio where she handles the initial designs and oversees a small staff of artists who do the bulk of the painting. Two years ago, she decided to license her designs to Demdaco, a Kansas company that manufactures gifts and home décor. “It wasn’t an easy decision,” Roeda said. “But in 2008, the economy was terrible and business was bad for everybody.” She’d also been diagnosed with breast cancer. By January 2010, Demdaco launched Embellish Your Story in 3,000 stores nationwide. Luckily, she said, expanding the line hasn’t hurt her local business. “Happily, we’re all thriving.” Roeda said she likes to find opportunities to link up with nonprofits to raise money for special causes. And for ArtPrize 2010, she assembled seven 9-foot towers of her colorful icons outside Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital. “It was a rewarding experience,” she said. “Even the patients were painting flowers.” — Marty Primeau

Photography by Jim Gebben

Carol Roeda calls herself “The Queen of Magnets.” It’s a perfect title for the creator of decorative folk art, whose newest store at 1005 Lake Drive SE, next door to Marie Catrib’s, is chock full of magnetized boards and frames that can be embellished with her whimsical adornments. “I’ve always had a great love for craft,” said Roeda, a former school teacher who started working with clay in the mid-1980s. Later, as she and a few friends opened Art Folk, a 29th Street studio, Roeda experimented with metal, designing silhouettes of dancing children for home and garden. Along the way, she discovered magnets and created a whole system that allowed customers to mix and match their own creations, starting with a base and adding colorful, hand-painted pieces, from words and phrases to seasonal decorations. The icons also can be used on doors, lamps, refrigerators, mirrors — just about anywhere, she said. “I even put flowers on my husband’s black VW Beetle.” The magnets make it easy to change designs to reflect the seasons, holidays or celebrations. And she’s always coming up with fresh ideas. “Hardly a day goes by that I don’t get a request from customers for a new embellishment,” she said. “It’s like scrapbooking for home décor.”

10 Grand Rapids January 2011

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Life & Style

A little help from your friends Getting in shape tops most people’s New Year’s resolution list. Figuring out how to do it is the hard part. Consider group exercise, says Dr. Michael Kwast, a spokesman for the Michigan Association of Chiropractors. “People who exercise in groups — especially if they are with friends or have an accountability partner — are much more likely to follow through with exercise activities than if they are trying to do

At the David D. Hunting YMCA, Katie Horbogen works out; a group fitness class stretches.

it on their own,” he said. “Stuff comes up and you get busy, but if someone is counting on you to be there, it helps keep it a priority.” To make things easier, the Michigan Department of Community Health partnered with the Michigan Association of Chiropractors to launch, a website with information about free and low-cost fitness activities. On the homepage, visitors can click on locations around the state to find out what’s going on locally, from yoga classes to walking trails. The website also has videos of new types of exercise — and visitors are invited to send in their own. Nutritional advice is provided by the Michigan State University Extension Service, and there’s even a place to enter information to receive a personal health plan. Living in Michigan can make it difficult to get outside and exercise during the winter months so Kwast said offers creative ways to enjoy the season while staying in shape. “It’s giving people options and it’s no cost,” Kwast said. “You can receive an assessment and advice by going through the website.”

Photography by Michael Buck

Photography by Jim Gebben

— Nick Capisciolto

“People who exercise in groups — especially if they are with friends or have an accountability partner — are much more likely to follow through with exercise activities than if they are trying to do it on their own.” — Dr. Michael Kwast

January 2011 Grand Rapids 11

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Life & Style

Learning the acting craft “I love working with actors who want to learn. I’m really passionate about the craft. It’s not about being the next Lindsay Lohan. It’s about understanding what acting is.” — Kurt Dreyer The three-month series of classes will give acting students the tools they need and an appreciation for the hard work required. “I love working with actors who want to learn,” Dreyer said. “I’m really passionate about the craft. It’s not about being the next Lindsay Lohan. It’s about understanding what acting is.” Dreyer and crew will be auditioning this month for Actor’s Scene Study at the Park Theatre in Holland and at Dog Story Theater in Grand Rapids. The studio also will be offering “Comprehensive Techniques for Stage and Screen.” Visit for information about the classes.

— Marty Primeau

Photography by Johnny Quirin

At one time, Kurt Dreyer’s physique was plastered on every major billboard in Times Square. The tall, blond Holland native was modeling for the likes of Giorgio Armani, Versace and Ralph Lauren, often jetting around the globe to pose in exotic locations. “It was great,” he said. “The money was good and I got a taste of the celebrity life. But artistically, it was pretty lonely.” He turned to acting in 1994, studying with renowned teacher Howard Fine in Los Angeles. Since then, Dreyer has been writing, acting and producing films, including “Underestimating Jake,” an Indie film that earned several awards. Now he’s opened the Kurt Dreyer Acting Studio in Holland and Grand Rapids, teaching his craft to teens and adults. Dreyer said it was Michigan’s tax incentives that lured him home to produce “Blue Sky,” a film he’d written. But as the recession hit and his budget escalated, Dreyer put the project on hold. That experience inspired him to try something new. “When I was casting ‘Blue Sky,’ I advertised in local papers and had more than 200 people come to audition,” he said. “They had great faces and personality, but when it came to discipline in the craft, they were lacking. Some even had a hard time focusing on a line.” 12 Grand Rapids January 2011

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Life & Style

Her business is going to the dogs When Kelly Boos discovered her black lab was fetching balls that might contain lead, the dog lover was dismayed. After doing some research, she learned that not only do some tennis balls made specifically for dogs have unsafe lead levels, but also some imported chew toys are made with harmful dyes. No way, Boos said. Not for her beloved Bodie. She decided to make pet products and treats using all natural, safe materials and ingredients. The Walker resident launched Green Dog Pet Accessories in March 2009, and her online business has been growing steadily ever since. “I just wanted to make sure the dog accessories were of high quality and that I knew where the materials were coming from,” said Boos, who makes everything at home using her commercial sewing machine. For large orders, she enlists help from her mother and a few local seamstresses.

She rescued Bodie from a West Michigan shelter when he was 5 months old. “I called to ask about him, and they said he had one day left,” she said. “I told them, ‘Don’t do anything. I’ll be right there to pick him up.’”

“My inspiration comes from being a pet owner and making better products for Bodie and other pets.” — Kelly Boos Bodie has become an amazing friend and companion, she said. Now she relies on him to test her products. The black lab and his buddies chew the toys, eat the organic treats and wear the leashes to ensure everything is dog friendly. Other fun items include the Cool-Drool Bib and Wool Ball Wraps made from natural, undyed wool. Boos also volunteers at the Humane Society of Kent County, which receives a portion of Green Dog’s proceeds. “I try to be involved as much as possible,” Kelly said. “If an event is going on that promotes the wellbeing of animals and creates hope of them finding a home, I’m there.” Visit



— Nick Capisciolto


Photography by Jim Gebben

Photography by Johnny Quirin

1315 E. Fulton/Grand Rapids

Starting a business venture is nothing new for the 43-year-old entrepreneur, who founded Black Dog Productions in 2008. The company specializes in trade show, showroom and special events management. But Green Dog Pet Accessories is more than just a business. “My inspiration comes from being a pet owner and making better products for Bodie and other pets,” she said.


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Life & Style: Travel

Wizarding World secrets by Matt Baker

I should warn you that what you’ll really want in the gift shops is what’s not for sale: Props include a full Quidditch set, “The Monster Book of Monsters” (which will bite), and the oeuvre of Gilderoy Lockhart.

To commemorate the 2004 release of “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” (for those of you who aren’t fanatics, that’s the third film — Daniel Radcliffe was still young enough that we could blame his deplorable acting on his age), Celebration! Cinema held a Harry Potter banquet. No one I knew was invited. Passes were for sale, but even parents couldn’t afford them. I, however, had the good fortune of being an employee of Celebration! Cinema Catering (before this, I had always considered that to be my bad fortune). And so I was at the Harry Potter banquet, restocking the pork kebabs, green tortellini and bins of marinara. It was, quite simply, one of my wildest dreams come true. Wizards milled about. Auctioneers in striped hats hawked Harry Potter movie memorabilia. Stacks of “The Daily Prophet” were piled about. I figured it was the closest to Hogwarts I’d ever get. But I was wrong. Thanks to the folks at Universal Studios Orlando, now everyone can go to Hogwarts. I have been to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and yes, it was magical — but I’m also a bit of a Weasley, which means that while I was there, I discovered a “secret passageway” or two. Consider this article your own Marauder’s Map. Before disclosing my secrets, I have to recommend the Hilton at Bonnet Creek Resort ($200 per night). Somehow — despite its location in downtown Orlando, only three minutes from Disney World and 10 minutes from Universal Studios — the resort is tucked into several acres of what appears to be pristine wilderness. The Hilton sports three pools connected by lazy rivers, where servers offer you complimentary platters of frozen watermelon and grapes. If there’s a heaven for Dumbledore, I like to think it looks a lot like this. Now on to the Marauder’s Map. Secret Passageway No. 1: When you first get to Hogsmeade, you’ll spot a number of familiar shops: Ollivanders wand shop, the Owl Post, Honeydukes Sweet

Shop (where you can buy fudge flies, cinnamon imperials, pear drops, whipped caramels), Zonko’s Joke Shop, and Dervish and Banges (in a back alley behind Ollivander’s). You may have heard that the line for Ollivanders wand shop is several hours long. And you’ve heard right. But here’s something nobody realizes until they’re inside: The wand shop is actually connected to Dervish and Banges. So it might be possible — if, say, you were a bit of a Weasley — to wait in the Dervish and Banges line instead. All I’ll say is that I bought a wand and waited only 20 minutes. I should warn you that what you’ll really want in the gift shops is what’s not for sale: Props include a full Quidditch set, “The Monster Book of Monsters” (which will bite), and the oeuvre of Gilderoy Lockhart. Secret Passageway No. 2: You’ll buy a chocolate frog from Honeydukes. You’ll buy a cup of butterbeer (on the street, pumped from the butterbeer wagon). You’ll buy a pumpkin juice. Then you’ll realize, alas, there is nowhere to sit. Hogsmeade has two taverns — The Hog’s Head and The Three Broomsticks — but their tables are reserved for wizards who’ve actually ordered food (you’ll see kids licking huge tur-

Photography courtesy Kristen Dunn

14 Grand Rapids January 2011

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Photography courtesy Kristen Dunn

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key drumsticks as if they were ice cream cones). Others often end up sitting on the street near the Hogwarts Express. But you don’t have to sit on the street, because The Three Broomsticks has a rarely used back patio. You don’t even have to go through The Three Broomsticks to get to it. Just look for the alley with the Gringotts ATM; follow it to the shaded patio overlooking Hogwarts castle and a tiny creek frequented by (real) herons. It’s the perfect spot for a chocolate frog. (Incidentally, I got a Salazar Slytherin card in mine — the shame of it! Nobody would trade with me.) Secret Passageway No. 3: When you’re waiting in line for the Dragon Challenge, at a certain point you have to choose whether to ride the Hungarian Horntail or the Chinese Fireball. Choose the Chinese Fireball; you’ll wait five minutes instead of 60. Not that waiting is awful — you’ll spot the Goblet of Fire, Hagrid’s hut, enchanted paintings, a life-size (meaning hippo-sized) Buckbeak, a Sorting Hat as lifelike as in the films, and the Weasley’s automobile (post-Whomping Willow). Secret Passageway No. 4: If any line can rival Ollivanders’, it’s the one outside of Hogwarts castle for the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride. Inside the castle, however, you can step out of line to put your belongings in a rented locker. These lockers also are connected to the ride’s gift shop. So it might be possible — if you were really a Weasley and had zero ethics when it came to cutting — to sneak through the gift shop into the lockers and then (as if you had been in line all along and had just stepped out to rent a locker) sneak into the line itself. I’m not saying I did it. I’m just saying it could be done. I leave you here. Mischief managed. Matt Baker is a freelance writer based in Grand Rapids (and a Weasley who loves to travel).

PhotograPhy CourteSy KriSten Dunn

life & style: travel

16 Grand rapids January 2011

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Photography courtesy Kristen Dunn

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History: Grand Times

Saddlebag Swamp by Gordon G. Beld

The swamp was a popular destination for wildflower admirers in the spring, berrypickers in the summer and hunters during autumn.

In the daytime it was pleasant. At night it was scary. On one occasion it was hungry. And now it’s gone. To Grand Rapids area pioneers, it was known as Saddlebag Swamp, a name derived from its shape — much like the twin bags that were slung across the backs of horses behind their saddles. The several hundred acres of soggy terrrain was located just beyond the southeast corner of today’s Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. Soon after settlers from the east moved into the area, the swamp was a popular destination for wildflower admirers in the spring, berrypickers in the summer and hunters during autumn. In the dark, however, the area had best be crossed with caution. An early volume of Kent County history tells of the experience of a doctor returning from a house call and passing the swamp at midnight. “As he was meditating on his home and a bed,” the book says, “the horse became frightened, shied at a huge panther which crossed the trail and tossed the man of medicine from the saddle.” During daylight the principal threats were snakes, according to Grand Rapids mayor and congressman Charles Belknap. He recalled in his book, “The Yesterdays of Grand Rapids,” that when wildflower lovers went to the swamp, many wore hipboots “more as a protection against snakes than water, for everything in the line of wiggling serpents, from the harmless little garter snakes to the black water snakes, rattlers, and blue racers might be encountered there.” Berry picking at the swamp enabled Belknap to enjoy a memorable Independence Day during his childhood. Going downtown for the parade, fireworks and other festivities required a bit of money, and he had none. His

mother suggested that he go to the swamp and pick berries to sell. “I fought snakes and worked until dark,” he said, “but I got enough ripe berries to fill the basket and my hat.” He sold the berries to the cook at the National Hotel and enjoyed a happy holiday. The swamp’s gluttonous appetite became apparent in 1858 to crews laying track for the Detroit & Milwaukee Railroad, which would soon give Grand Rapids residents their first taste of travel by rail. As they moved westward from Detroit and reached the edge of Grand Rapids Township, the workers began to place rails through the Saddlebag area. However, one day they were astounded to discover that the swamp had swallowed the locomotive and cars of their construction train. The equipment and track had sunk out of site into an underground lake 60 feet below ground. The company decided to alter the route, according to historian Arthur Scott White, and the rails were laid in a half circle around the swamp. As the tracks extended westward, Grand Rapids residents first heard the sound of a locomotive whistle June 27, 1858, when a construction train neared the northeastern edge of the city. Less than a week later, the locomotive Empire steamed past the station just south of Leonard Street and Plainfield Avenue and continued on to a dock on the river at Pearl Street. It was carried across the river on a scow and placed on rails being extended to Grand Haven. Regular service between Grand Rapids and Detroit began July 13 and, according to historian Albert Baxter, newspapers pointed out that local residents “for the first time could leave their homes by a conveyance other than river steamer or stage coach.” Trains finally were able to cross Saddlebag Swamp about 20 years later when the route was altered after the 60-foot-deep morass finally was filled with sand, gravel and timbers. Gordon G. Beld has written more than 250 historical features for newspapers and magazines since the 1960s.

Photography Courtesy Strathdee

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Photography Courtesy Strathdee

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Profile: Influential

Flower power Frank DeVos knew nothing about the floral industry when he purchased Eastern Floral in 1950, but he nurtured it into a blooming success. By Alexandra Fluegel

At Eastern Floral’s peak, it employed 100 full-time and 100 part-time staff members and a fleet of 27 delivery vehicles. At that point, at age 73, DeVos was still working full-time. “I did not have any idea it was ever going to become that, but little by little, you get that big and you’ve got to bear the burden of it — and the burdens are heavy,” he said. DeVos retired in 1998 and sold the company he’d built over more than four decades, a decision he described as tough and bittersweet. “Powerful things are done with flowers. They have impacted my life in such a tremendous manner,” he said. DeVos’ impact on the floral industry and the local economy also has been tremendous, and in October, he was inducted into the Michigan Floral Foundation’s Hall of Fame. His contributions to the community have drawn praise from local governments:

Photography by Johnny Quirin


ne man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Almost. For Frank A. DeVos, a newspaper clipping he crumbled and pitched in the wastebasket became the catalyst for a multi-million dollar company whose business is beauty. When DeVos purchased Eastern Floral in 1950, he didn’t know anything about the floral business. “I wasn’t trained for it really, other than gardening,” he said. After being drafted for WWII at 18, DeVos returned home and earned a teaching degree from Calvin College “I was going to be a high school biology teacher, but when I got out, the market was flooded. There were no jobs,” DeVos explained. With a wife and a new baby to support, DeVos decided to start his own landscaping business. “It was going well, but it was only summer work. I was really getting worried,” he said. When he saw an ad in the local paper for a business opportunity — a flower shop — he cut it out. “I put the ad under my telephone for two and half weeks,” he said. And then he threw it away. But later that night, DeVos plucked the ad from the trash and called his realtor. “It’s almost a miracle how the whole thing happened,” he said. “I didn’t even have a truck. I thought, Frank DeVos ‘What am I doing Occupation: Retired owner here?’” of Eastern Floral He stuck with it, Family: Wife, Esther, and three emphasizing qualchildren: David DeVos, Nancy ity and service, and Stehouwer and Julie Vander Woude. the company found Residence: Grand Rapids its niche in floral Community Involvement: Inducted design. “Our experinto the Michigan Floral Foundation’s tise was designing. It Hall of Fame. Maintains gardens at wasn’t just a bucket Shawnee Park Church and Raybrook of flowers. We took Manor Holland Home. a great amount of pride in putting out a quality piece of work,” he said. Eastern Floral grew year after year, and DeVos learned early on that the key to long-term success was to evolve with the industry. “(Shipping via air) changed a tremendous amount of things,” he said, noting that Eastern Floral now receives product from as far away as South America and The Netherlands. Before World War II, according to Rod Crittendon, executive vice president of the Michigan Floral Association, “sources were local, attached greenhouses, but now, with overnight shipments and planes flying in and out, flowers are bought and sold worldwide every 24 hours.” 20 Grand Rapids January 2011

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Photography by Johnny Quirin

Profile: Influential

Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell and Kentwood Mayor Richard Root both attended the induction ceremony. When asked if he recalled any memorable moments, he chuckled: “Oh, I’ve got plenty of stories!” There was the week when the company provided floral arrangements for 32 weddings, he remembered, and many years’ worth of Mother’s Day weekend debacles. But DeVos said there is one time of year that is unquestionably the most stressful: Valentine’s Day. Last-minute bouquet buyers aren’t the only unpredictable factor: Michigan winters can create their own chaos. “Delivering in Michigan is quite a challenge,” DeVos said. “You can have runways that are icy, or you can get product in and have a snowstorm and can’t get it out.” One year, a shipment of Valentine’s Day roses was delayed due to weather conditions, leaving no time to inspect the product. DeVos had a choice: Tell his customers he was out of stock or put the roses up for sale and hope for the best. He went with his gut. “I hadn’t even seen them yet! I was selling roses that were in the plane coming down. Fortunately, they were beautiful, but it was scary.” Now 85, DeVos is as passionate as ever about his life’s work. Flower catalogues lay open on his dining room table next to inventory lists and landscaping blueprints. He currently designs and maintains two gardens in the community: at Shawnee Park Church, where he and wife, Esther, attend, and at Raybrook Manor Holland Home, where the couple lives. “I’ve had people stop and take pictures,” he said. “I have a lot of enthusiasm for it, and I’m grateful for that.” GR


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Design “When friends go through my projects, they’re always seeing something new that they hadn’t noticed before because there’s so much to take in.” — Jefferey Roberts » PG24 PHOtOGraPHy By MiCHaeL BuCK

iNSiDe » PEOPLE 24



January 2011 Grand rapids 23

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Design: People

Waste not, want not When designing a home, Jeffery Roberts finds ways to reuse materials and incorporate reclaimed items. By Marty Primeau


herever Jeffery Roberts travels, he searches out flea markets, thrift stores and salvage yards. It’s where he finds his best stuff. “I’m a real advocate of reusing materials,” said the designer/builder/artist who divides his time between Grand Rapids and Chicago as owner of Jeffery Roberts Homes and Jeffery Roberts Designs. “I always add a day or two to any trip. If I’m driving, I rent a van. If I fly, I figure out how to ship things.”

That passion for reclaimed items is evident in Roberts’ renovation of the Steketee mansion overlooking Reeds Lake. The home’s oak floors are timbers from an old barn in Zeeland. One fireplace surround features bricks from a street in South Bend, Ind. Lumber from a demolished school was used to build the outdoor arbor. A sofa in the living room was purchased in an estate sale and upholstered in new fabric. And slabs of old slate and granite are used as table tops in the family room. “I like the idea of finding new life for discarded items,” he said. “It’s a great challenge.” Roberts, who grew up in West Michigan, started his career as head designer at Interiors by Town & Country in Allendale, where he handled commercial and residential projects.

Jeffery Roberts often uses reclaimed wood in his projects, including a table made of timber from a Zeeland farm. Bricks from a street in South Bend, Ind., were used to build the fireplace surround in the dining room of the Steketee mansion overlooking Reeds Lake.

Photography by Michael buck

“I’ve done several different flavors or styles in interior design, but I tend to gravitate to period work — English, French and Italian. I like to do the research and seek out pieces that deal with the period I’m trying to replicate.” — Jeffery Roberts

24 Grand Rapids January 2011

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Design: People

Photography by Michael buck (top); courtesy jeffery Roberts (bottom)

Photography by Michael buck

Knotty hickory gives this kitchen a French country look. Below, Roberts purchased men’s dress shirts at a thrift store and sewed them together to make a quilt for a bedroom in the 2010 Symphony Showhouse.

“I’d say those are the two genres I really like working in,” Roberts said. “I’ve done several different flavors or styles in interior design, but I tend to gravitate to period work — English, French and Italian. I like to do the research and seek out pieces that deal with the period I’m trying to replicate.” That was the appeal of the Steketee remodel, he said. Owners Kathy and Dennis Jones moved to Grand Rapids after 12 years in Europe and wanted to create a French country farmhouse. They hired Roberts while still living overseas. “This house had been vacant for five years and hadn’t been updated since 1950,” said Roberts, who worked with the couple to incorporate their antiques, artwork and collectibles into the renovation. “I approach each project as an artist,” he said. “My goal is to see things that aren’t there and push clients beyond their comfort zones. And most tell me they’re happy I did.” For the Joneses, it was wallpaper. “We didn’t intend to have any,” said Kathy Jones, sitting in her wallpapered kitchen and describing the various rooms that now have papered walls. “But it really adds the right touch.” Another creative project for Roberts was decorating rooms in the 2010 Symphony Showhouse. Roberts tackled the old gardener’s apartment, adding several quirky touches to make the space unique. Like covering the bathroom mirror frame with old bottle caps. Or lining a bedroom wall with black-and-white photos of military and sport groups. And one of the most talked about creations — a bedspread he sewed from men’s dress shirts purchased at thrift stores. “I do tend to like rooms to be full, with a lot going on,” he said. “When friends go through my projects, they’re always seeing something new that they hadn’t noticed before because there’s so much to take in.” Roberts also pays attention to detail. At the Steketee house, he suggested a plan to keep trash cans out of sight. “I built a chicken coup,” he said with a chuckle. “It fits right in with the French country theme. The trash collectors just drive up and open the doors.” GR

“But I got bored with that,” he said. “I needed to expand my horizons, so I checked into other options.” He studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, switching his major from interior design to fashion. After graduating, he and two partners opened a fashion design company and a lifestyle fashion and furnishings gallery in Chicago. For a decade, his clothing label sold in boutiques around the world. “By the end of the 1990s, I knew it was time to get back to interior design,” he said. “Fashion is a difficult industry to continue to make money and not have the commercial side take over.” With projects in Chicago and Grand Rapids, Roberts goes back and forth, maintaining a residence in each city. His urban Chicago dwelling is a loft in a large rehabilitated factory building that he describes as “modern eclectic.” His East Grand Rapids home is a traditional English cottage with lots of character. January 2011 Grand Rapids 25

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Design: Critic’s Choice

Restoring a vintage storefront by Mark F. Miller, AIA

The diverse urban fabric of Grand Rapids is, in part, composed of single-story retail buildings that complement the city’s many multistory mixed-use structures. One such building is at 645 W. Fulton St., just west of Grand Valley State University’s downtown campus. The humble brick structure is home to Lots O’Pots Pottery, a pottery studio and gallery that has become an anchor for this west side business district. The building, constructed in the early 1920s, represents a remnant of the past commercial vibrancy of this street and provides a glimpse into its re-emergence. Originally constructed as a two-unit retail space with separate doors, the building has been reconfigured into a single space with one front door. Additionally, while the recessed entry is centered on the building, the storefront that flanks it is asymmetrical. The western frontage is nearly double that of the eastern side. The connecting walls are at different

angles, so the resulting display spaces have distinct shapes. This quirk within the storefront may have occurred because of unique requirements of the original tenants of the building. Penrod, Jurden and Clark Lumber Co., an early owner of the structure, was a veneer broker that used the larger western storefront as a display for many types of wood veneers. The company leased the eastern portion of the building to a variety of businesses, including an insurance company in the 1940s. The lumber company continued to own the building — using it as a showroom for Weather Seal of Grand Rapids — until about 1962, when it was

The humble brick structure is home to Lots O’Pots Pottery, a pottery studio and gallery that has become an anchor for this west side business district.

Photography by Michael buck

26 Grand Rapids January 2011

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PhotograPhy by Michael buck

Design: Critic’s Choice

sold to an antique store that occupied the space until the late 1970s. After more than a decade of abandonment and neglect, artist Phil Wilson purchased the 1,000-square-foot building in December 1994 to use as his pottery studio and began an extensive rehabilitation. Accomplishing much of the reconstruction himself, Wilson repaired a compromised rear roof, damaged floor and — with the help of a neighborhood facade grant program — the restoration of the storefront and transoms. The front retail space now boasts original hardwood floors and tin ceilings. Salvaged furniture and repurposed materials show off the extensive porcelain creations of the artist. The rear portion of the building acts as the production area, complete with a sprung arch car kiln in the yard that Wilson designed and helped construct. The south-facing building’s rehabilitation also incorporates many energysaving methods associated with historic retail storefronts. A canvas awning that can be rolled down in the summer to shield the interior from the sun and rolled up during cold winter days to allow the sun’s rays to come through the windows was added. Transoms above the entry are operable to allow venting of the space in the summer. Tasteful signage and sidewalk planter boxes complete the facade’s composition, including a unique projecting sign that helps advertise the store to passersby. This vintage building provides space for both the production and sale of local pottery while also incorporating proven sustainability methods of heating and cooling. It helps anchor a traditional business district while being an extension of the artist who has reinvented it as the kind of local business that gives Grand Rapids its unique sense of place. Mark F. Miller is an architect and urban designer at Nederveld and former chairman of the Grand Rapids Historic Preservation Commission.

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Design: Art Appreciation

100 Years — 100 Works of Art by Joseph Antenucci Becherer

Grand Rapids Art Museum is celebrating its centennial with an exhibition of works from the permanent collection, including “Portrait of Miss C. (Lady in Opera Cloak)” by William Merritt Chase, above, and “The Three Crosses” by Rembrandt, below right.

There is an old phrase that says, “With two you have a pair, but with three you have a collection.” We all seem to have some sort of collection, from books to bottles, china to dolls, antiques to, yes, art. In collecting works of art, we are not merely collecting images and objects, but ideas and cultures, history and, frequently, sources of visual delight. Celebrating its centennial, the Grand Rapids Art Museum has mounted an important exhibition of its permanent collection, 100 Years – 100 Works of Art, which shares many of its most beloved and important works from the 19th century to the present. The permanent collection of any museum is its mainstay and ultimate reason for being. Temporary exhibitions and loaned works come and go, but the permanent collection is a community resource and a significant part of its cultural patrimony. Now, GRAM’s exhibition brings into focus the importance of collections and collecting. The exhibition opens with several iconic works from the 19th century. Landscapes, portraits and scenes of everyday life are frequently encountered. Having such iconic works by important artists in a permanent collection is foundational. Quality allows us to approach the paintings over and again to refresh our senses and, hopefully, learn or appreciate something new. Holding court at center is a stunning portrait by William Merritt Chase (18491916), “Lady in Opera Cloak,” circa 1893.

The painter is widely regarded as among the foremost of American talents of the period, and is a central figure in what can loosely be discussed as American Impressionism. In the painting, a pale, but elegant woman is seated in the foreground. Not only does she confront the viewer, but the viewer is confronted by the dazzling brushwork and a tremendously rich sense of color. Even from a distance, one can sense the power of personality, color selections and a master’s signature application of paint. From personal experiences, I have probably encountered this particular work several dozen times over the last 20 years, and I am always taken by the fresh and vivacious strokes of the artist’s brush. The color combination of lustrous whites against luxurious blood reds never ceases to delight. Understanding this work helps elevate the understanding of works of the period. In many ways, “Lady in Opera Cloak” is of her time but also helps pave the way for later works where the figure recedes in importance and formal ideas like color and brushwork become so significant. In addition to depth, a public collection also benefits from diversity. What appeals to one person may not appeal to all, but more critical is that often we learn and grow from opportunities to compare and contrast. Two works from 1913 have been installed side

Photography Courtesy Grand Rapids Art Museum

28 Grand Rapids January 2011

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Photography Courtesy Grand Rapids Art Museum

Design: Art Appreciation by side: “Middletown, Rhode Island” by Ernest Lawson (1873-1939) and “Hercules II” by Manierre Dawson (1887-1969). The former is a more traditional landscape executed in an impressionistic manner, while the latter is a figure study in a cubist style. The difference between a landscape and a figure is interesting, but the chance to see the old guard of representational painting that was Impressionism challenged and soon to be replaced by the power of abstracting forms that was Cubism gives us the chance to witness art history. The museum’s collection has a particular strength in two-dimensional works of art. Although some very fine paintings have come into the permanent collection in recent years, perhaps the most stunning growth has occurred in its much celebrated print collection. Important acquisitions have been made both in the areas of old masters and of leading contemporary artists. Of particular merit are major prints by the Northern Renaissance master Albrecht Durer (1471-1528) and the genius of the Dutch Baroque, Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669). Such artists represent the very foundation of printmaking and are central to the history of art at large. Skipping ahead many centuries are the avant-garde efforts of masters of the new, such as Frank Stella (b. 1936). His colossal images are marvels of composition and form as well as outposts for the new boundaries that are redefining printmaking today. What wise and opportune selections the museum is making on this front. Whether for personal purposes or for public enjoyment, building a collection requires focus, persistence and resources. With auction and sales records regularly in the news, one hears a great deal about the final point. Yes, it has become increasingly difficult for public institutions like museums to collect certain things, but one cannot underestimate the power of focus and persistence. There is little doubt that this centennial exhibition at the Grand Rapids Art Museum testifies to each. As loans and exhibitions come and go, it is infinitely rewarding to know that works from a permanent collection are intended to be with us. How fortunate for the museum, but, by extension, how fortunate for us all. Enjoy. Joseph Becherer is a professor at Aquinas College and curator of sculpture at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.



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Special advertiSing Section

putting up


A far cry from beige and blasé, today’s specialty products and wall treatment options are creating spaces that


hat color a room will be has always been a concern of homeowners. “But then they tend to buy art or shop for that big screen and they forget about the canvas behind it,” observes Diane Hasso, owner of FauxReal, LLC in Grand Rapids. For Hasso — a decorative finishing artist trained to make the most of specialty products not available to the general

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public — the possibilities are limitless. “Multi-dimensional wall treatments can enhance home decorating in unique ways,” she says. “They can also solve problems and provide benefits, like absorbing sound, that make a space even more enjoyable.” “Definitely, adding a variety of textures to paint and other applications beyond it

Grand rapids | Home

awaken the senses. BY LISA M. JENSEN

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Grand Rapids | Home

Special Advertising Section

Below: Philip Jeffries, Ltd. offers several lines of textured wall treatments: Metallic Weaves in 14 shimmering shades; Tailored Linens, inspired by men’s suit textures; and Extra Fine Arrowpoint, the company’s most lustrous and durable collection of grasscloth coverings.

can make a tremendous difference,” agrees Valerie Schmieder, ASID, IIDA, a principal at Via Designs, Inc. in Grand Rapids. “It can be a subtle way of adding interest, or you can really have some fun.” The two designers, who often partner to create custom spaces for homeowners and builders that are as practical as they are appealing, offer these ideas. Create more light. Metallic paints and decorative specialty products such as mica powder added to a top coat can infuse a space with reflective properties. “Mica adds a soft shimmer that changes in different angles of light,” Hasso notes.

“Metallic products like Benjamin Moore’s Studio Finish Metallic Glaze and paints with pearlescent tints are great in small spaces, like a powder room, or as accents,” Schmieder says. “Used on a ceiling, they can add depth of color and great ambience with artificial light.” Add texture for interest and durability. Paper-backed wall coverings made of synthetic materials may look like luxurious silks, woven linens, grasscloths and other natural-fiber options (which can be ideal in a master suite), but wear longer and cost less, Schmieder notes. “Layering plasters or different products that add texture works especially well on mudroom walls,” Hasso adds. “Accidental chips look like they’re supposed to be there. Textured finishes can also hide or fix flaws caused by furniture nicks or previous wallpaper removal.” For color continuity but subtly different look in an adjacent room, consider a paintable, textured wallpaper. Absorb sound and enhance thermal insulation. “Specialty products that are com-

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Photography courtesy Faux-Real, LLC (above); Philip Jefferies, Ltd. (below).

Above: Topped by a beige specialty finish, this master bedroom’s custom-treated walls and guilded gold texture ceiling by Diane Hasso from Faux-Real, LLC resemble smooth, elegant stone.

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Special Advertising Section

prised of materials such as sand, clay and crushed seashells have insulating properties,” Hasso says. “I often layer aggregates or combine different materials for a custom finish as well.” Cork is another natural product lending sound and thermal insulation.

Photography courtesy Via Designs, Inc

Photography courtesy Faux-Real, LLC (above); Philip Jefferies, Ltd. (below).

Grand Rapids | Home

“Multi-dimensional wall treatments can enhance home decorating in unique ways. They can also solve problems and provide benefits, like absorbing sound, that make a space even more enjoyable.” — Diane Hasso

Create a theme or enhance architectural elements. Spaces like children’s play or bedrooms, media rooms, personal dens or hobby rooms are ideal spots to exercise extra creativity. Consider dry erase/ chalkboard walls, a tackable “burlap” treatment, large-patterned or fabric and suede wall-coverings, and all-over, faux-painted finishes that add subtle, multi-dimension

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interest or resemble reptile skin for bolder impact. “Stencils have become so much more developed than what people remember,” Hasso adds. “I use different products and techniques to create elaborate designs, including raised relief, embedded motif, gilded gold leafing or just a custom, allover wallpaper look without seams.”

In a lounge designed by Valerie Schmider, Diane Hasso added an espresso stain over soft-blue, crackle painted walls to enhance the space’s antiqued espresso white woodwork.

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A quaint city rooted to a rich and colorful history on the east side of downtown Grand Rapids, East Grand Rapids is an active community where pride prevails, from home ownership and academia to myriad fields of sport. BY LISA M. JENSEN


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atie Karczewski, a local real estate bro-

“They were well-prepared for the continu-

ker and partner of Keller Williams Real-

ation of their academic careers,” Karczewski

ty, has owned and lived in East Grand

shared. “For this reason and so many others,

Rapids for more than 30 years. Here, she and

it’s such a pleasure for me to share my passion

her husband, Jim, raised three sons who rev-

about this community with those searching for

eled in the value of this city’s excellent school

their own sense of place and home. ‘Selling’

system and renowned athletic opportunities.

East Grand Rapids just comes naturally!”

12/1/10 2:31 PM

Special Advertising Section


Beyond being an idyllic setting to raise

by mature hardwoods and trails, East

children, Karczewski added, East GR offers

Grand Rapids can possibly

a friendly, urban atmosphere of well-kept

be summed up best in two

homes, unparalleled city services and great

words: “Most livable,” Karcze-


wski believes.

On any given Friday night from late

East Grand Rapids is home

August through November, that energy can

to Wilcox Gardens, a site-con-

be found enlivening Memorial Field during

dominium development of new

football games, a social event rarely missed

single-family homes, the first

by area residents.

of which will be Grand Rap-

“Then you have the crown jewel of the

ids Magazine’s latest Design

city, Reeds Lake,” Karczewski said. “This

Home built. Katie’s husband,

is a treasured destination with nostalgic

Jim was instrumental in the

allure, still rich with memories from the

development of Wilcox Gar-

bygone days of Ramona Park, but abounds

dens, one of the last areas to

now year-round with community activities,

build new construction. Please

from sailing regattas in summer to cozy ice

inquire with Katie Karczewski

huts and fishing during winter months.”

at (616) 575-0119 or visit www.

Capped by an inviting Gaslight Vil- to learn more about

lage and amenities ranging from boutique

Design Home and the entire

shops and restaurants to a boat launch,



OCATED WITHIN immediate proximity to schools, shopping and recreation, Wilcox Gardens will offer the rare opportunity to build within the land-locked community of East Grand Rapids. This site-condominium development will be a combination of existing and new single-family homes. Jeffery Roberts Homes, in conjunction with Visbeen Associates, Inc., has developed several design concepts for these exceptional historic home sites. Don’t miss this opportunity to build in one of America’s most livable communities. To inquire about available lots in Wilcox Gardens please contact Katie Karczewski at (616) 575-0119.



library and plenty of green space fringed

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12/1/10 2:31 PM

Alexander Liberman. Aria (view), 1983–97. Photo by William J. Hebert.

It’s not just the masterpieces of art and nature that delight your senses. Or the surprising silhouettes and endless kaleidoscope of colors and textures that inspire you most. It’s the one, brief, shining moment of clarity about what matters most that will bring you back time after time. Plan your visit today at — located in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

UPCOMING EXHIBITIONS Jim Dine: Sculpture MAR 1– APR 30, Butterflies Are Blooming JAN 29 – MAY 9, Laura Ford: Actual, Factual Fables JAN 28 – MAY 8,

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Every Single Inch of your home should surround you with the things that make you happy

Where the only surprises are pleasant ones.

Scott Christopher Homes is honored to be recognized once again as favorite home builder by Grand Rapids Magazine.

620 Three Mile Road, Suite A, Grand Rapids, MI 49544

GRM_01.11_Sec6_PG38.49.indd 39

616.784.4500 |

12/1/10 2:05 PM

By Jocelyn Burkett

Best of Grand Rapids Readers Poll

GR gets its vote on!

Excitement builds to a fever pitch as record amount of votes are counted and new winners replace old!


he months from June to September at Grand Rapids Magazine are heightened in activity with the onslaught of ballots for the Best of Grand Rapids Readers Poll. This year, the ballot counter is certain everyone was on steroids as the magazine received a record amount of completed tallies. Some votes were humorous; others were conservative. Many were chock full of time-honored local and national chain businesses; many were more unconventional and fresh. We always are surprised by the duality of your preferences, but we heartily enjoy seeing the diversity in your choices. Not only do we celebrate your willingness to holler for your favorites, we applaud you for tak-

ing the time to be brilliant and innovative as well as Best of cautious and universal. This 2010-11 Readers Poll was a big year with new winners in several categories. Take a look and tell us what you think. Your comments and suggestions are welcome on our Facebook page (www.face and our Twitter page (www. If you don’t find your personal favorites on the list, there’s plenty of time to design your strategy for next year. The balloting will begin again in June 2011. Cheers and congratulations to all the winners and other favorites!

40 Grand Rapids January 2011

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Photography by Johnny Quirin

25 Kitchen + Bar: 25 draft beers, 25 signature cocktails and 25 wood-fired pizzas — seriously? Is this a kitchen, a bar, a gastronomical dream come true, or all of the above?

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Best of 2010-11 Readers Poll

“Coffee, the finest organic suspension ever devised.” — “Star Trek Voyager” “Biggby, the finest coffeehouse in Grand Rapids.” — Grand Rapids Magazine Readers (Pictured: Barrista Drew Steele)

a la carte


The Best: Panera Bread Other favorites: Bagel Beanery Big Apple Bagels

Burger Via Design: One of the talented designers remarked that her dream project is to redesign the Brady House — an ambitious, lofty and entirely necessary undertaking. (Pictured: Valerie Schmieder and Brian Barkwell, principals)

The Best: Cottage Bar Other favorites: Red Robin Choo Choo Grill

Burrito The Best: Beltline Bar Other favorites: Little Mexico Downtown Trini’s

Chicken Wings The Best: Buffalo Wild Wings Other favorites: Wing Heaven Sandmann’s

Coney Dog The Best: Yesterdog Other favorites: Ritz Coney Island Dog Pit

The Best: Sandmann’s Other favorites: Sam’s Joint Famous Dave’s

Sandwich The Best: Schnitz Deli Other favorites: Panera Bread Marie Catrib’s

Seafood The Best: Leo’s Other favorites: Charley’s Crab Bonefish Grill

Soup The Best: Panera Bread Other favorites: Zoup! Bite

Steak The Best: Louis Benton Other favorites: Chop House Brann’s



Appetizer Menu

The Best: Marge’s Donut Den Other favorites: Krispy Kreme Van’s Pastry

The Best: San Chez Other favorites: Republic Bistro Bella Vita



The Best: Vitale’s Other favorites: Peppino’s Uccello’s

The Best: Wealthy Street Bakery Other favorites: Arnie’s Van’s Pastry

Eastown Antiques (facing page): Old is new again, but precious never left the building with the most amazing antique treasures in Grand Rapids.

Photography by Johnny Quirin (top); Michael Buck (left and facing page)


42 Grand Rapids January 2011

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Photography by Johnny Quirin (top); Michael Buck (left and facing page)

January 2011 Grand Rapids 43

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Northwestern Home Furnishings (facing page): A solid 70 years in business at the same location on Leonard Street NW makes this superb furniture showroom a must see when thoughts of home accents, décor or domestic embellishments are on your mind.

Best of 2010-11 Readers Poll


Romantic Dining

The Best: Wolfgang’s Other favorites: Real Food Café Omelette Shoppe

The Best: 1913 Room Other favorites: Red’s on the River Leo’s



The Best: Charley’s Crab Other favorites: Spinnaker Cygnus 27

Deli The Best: Schnitz Deli Other favorites: Cherry Street Deli Skywalk Deli

Desserts The Best: Arnie’s Other favorites: Leo’s 1913 Room

Ice Cream Parlor The Best: Jersey Junction Other favorites: Sundaes at the Cottage Cold Stone Creamery

New Restaurant The Best: 25 Kitchen + Bar Other favorites: El Barrio Erb Thai

Outdoor Seating The Best: Rose’s Other favorites: Blue Water Grill Red’s on the River

Beer/Wine Merchant The Best: Martha’s Vineyard Other favorites: G.B. Russo & Son Art of the Table

Coffeehouse The Best: Biggby Other favorites: Kava House Starbuck’s

Happy Hour The Best: Blue Water Grill Other favorites: Watermark CC Uccello’s

Microbrewery The Best: Founder’s Other favorites: HopCat Grand Rapids Brewing Co.

Nightclub/Bar The Best: The BOB Other favorites: HopCat Mojo’s

Photography by Johnny Quirin (top); Michael Buck (facing page)

Martha’s Vineyard: If there’s anything more comforting than mountains of wine, specialty beer and homemade delicacies thoughtfully prepared by a Lebanese grandmother, we’d like to know. (Pictured: wine specialist Peter Eizel)

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Photography by Johnny Quirin (top); Michael Buck (facing page)

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Best of 2010-11 Readers Poll

Bank The Best: Macatawa Bank Other favorites: Fifth Third Bank Chase

Bicycle Shop The Best: Uccello’s Other favorites: The Score Peppino’s

Restaurant Wine List The Best: Bar Divani Other favorites: Red’s on the River 1913 Room

shopping & services Animal Hospital The Best: Cascade Hospital for Animals Other favorites: South Kent Veterinary Hospital Family Friends Veterinary Hospital

The Best: Village Bike Shop Other favorites: Ada Bike Shop Freewheeler Bike Shop

Bookstore The Best: Schuler Books & Music Other favorites: Barnes & Noble Literary Life

Car Wash The Best: Southland Auto Wash Other favorites: Cascade Car Wash Waterworks

Catering Company The Best: Applause Other favorites: Panache Gilmore Collection

Children’s Clothing Store The Best: Snapdragon Other favorites: Justice for Girls The Children’s Place

Credit Union The Best: Lake Michigan CU Other favorites: Option One Kent County CU

Day Spa The Best: Design 1 Other favorites: Tanaz Vasaio Life Spa

Dry Cleaning Visbeen Associates: They don’t call these exquisitely superior domiciles “dream” homes for nothing! (Pictured: President Wayne Visbeen)

Antique Shop The Best: Eastown Antiques Other favorites: City Antiques Blue Door

Architectural Firm The Best: Visbeen Associates Other favorites: Integrated Architecture J. Visser Design

Auto Dealership The Best: Fox Motor Group Other favorites: Todd Wenzel Betten Imports

Auto Repair The Best: Community Auto Repair Other favorites: Fox Motors Veenstra’s Garage

The Best: Sheldon Cleaners Other favorites: Afendoulis Master Cleaners

Florist/Flower Shop The Best: Eastern Floral Other favorites: Kennedy’s Flowers & Gifts Modern Day Floral

Furniture Store The Best: Northwestern Home Furnishings Other favorites: Klingman’s Israels

Garden Center The Best: Fruitbasket Flowerland Other favorites: Romence Gardens Koetsier’s

Gifts/Home Accessories The Best: Wealthy at Charles Other favorites: Right at Home Kennedy’s Flowers & Gifts

Glenn Forgie/Red’s on the River: We’re thinking Chef Glenn is the reason for so many “Swarm” badges in the city of Rockford on Foursquare.

Grocery Store The Best: Meijer Other favorites: D&W Forest Hills Foods

Hair Salon The Best: Design 1 Other favorites: Coiffeteria Panopoulos Salons

Home Builder The Best: Scott Christopher Homes Other favorites: Colonial Builders BDR

Interior Design Firm The Best: Via Design Other favorites: Tom Krupansky Kathryn Chaplow

Jewelry Store The Best: Preusser Jewelers Other favorites: Herkner Jewelers DeVries Jewelers

Landscaping Company The Best: Stout Creek Other favorites: Terra Verde Kappes

Law Firm The Best: Kuiper-Orlebeke Other favorites: Varnum Miller Johnson

Men’s Apparel Store The Best: A.K. Rikk’s Other favorites: Jos. A. Banks Fitzgerald’s

Photography by Johnny Quirin (top and facing page); Michael Buck (left)

Sports Bar

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Photography by Johnny Quirin (top and facing page); Michael Buck (left)

Kuiper-Orlebeke: Stop with the lawyer jokes already! This firm is topnotch, homegrown and refreshingly dedicated to full accountability. (Pictured: Tim Orlebeke and Tom Kuiper)

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Best of 2010-11 Readers Poll

A.B! & Coconut Brown: Perhaps the most exhilarating, upbeat hip-hop/ rock musical genius to hit Grand Rapids since, well … nobody. This band is an off-the-chart blast to watch and experience.

Health Club

The Best: RE/MAX of Grand Rapids Other favorites: Keller Williams Five Star

The Best: MVP Sportsplex Other favorites: YMCA Snap Fitness Center

Resale/Consignment Shop

Live Theater

The Best: Georgie’s Other favorites: Plato’s Closet One Girl’s Treasure

The Best: GR Civic Theatre Other favorites: Circle Theatre DeVos Performance Hall

Retirement Community


The Best: Porter Hills Other favorites: Clark Home Breton Woods

The Best: Public Museum Other favorites: GR Art Museum GR Children’s Museum

Shoe Store

Outdoor Festival

The Best: DSW Other favorites: Mieras Family Shoes Van Hoecks Shoes

The Best: ArtPrize Other favorites: Festival of the Arts Celebration on the Grand

Sporting Goods Store

Place for a Reception

The Best: Dick’s Other favorites: MC Sports Gazelle Sports

The Best: Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park Other favorites: Amway Grand Plaza Women’s City Club

Women’s Boutique

Public Park

The Best: A.K. Rikk’s (AKA) Other favorites: Leigh’s Hot Mama

The Best: Millennium Park Other favorites: Riverside Park John Collins Park

getting out

Shopping Mall

Art Gallery The Best: LaFontsee Galleries Other favorites: Bergsma Gallery Perception

Golf Course The Best: Thousand Oaks Other favorites: Thornapple Pointe Cascade Hills CC

The Best: Woodland Mall Other favorites: RiverTown Crossings Breton Village

Sports Team The Best: West Michigan Whitecaps Other favorites: Grand Rapids Griffins Grand Raggidy Roller Girls

Tourist Attraction The Best: Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park Other favorites: Lake Michigan ArtPrize

people/media Band The Best: A.B! & Coconut Brown Other favorites: Mid-Life Crisis Rockit King

Bartender The Best: Jason Porter/Bistro Bella Vita Other favorites: Sam/Rose’s Cole/Bistro Bella Vita

Chef The Best: Glenn Forgie/Red’s on the River Other favorites: Eric Chaitin/Grille at Watermark Andrea McFarland/Women’s City Club

Chiropractor The Best: James Elliott Other favorites: Brian Schneider David Harrison

Dentist The Best: Chris Vermeulen Other favorites: Matthew Gietzen Rick Dayton

Dermatologist The Best: Robert Lamberts Other favorites: Richard Ashack Jack Dekkinga

Plastic Surgeon The Best: Brad Bengston Other favorites: John Renucci Francis Vargotis

Photography by Jim Gebben (top); Michael Buck (facing page)

Real Estate Company

48 Grand Rapids January 2011

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Photography by Jim Gebben (top); Michael Buck (facing page)

LaFontsee Galleries: We wish we could just push a “Like” button every time we see something at LaFontsee that we absolutely must have. (Pictured: Linda and Scott LaFontsee)

January 2011 Grand Rapids 49

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THE ISSUE While an estimated 70,000 people residing in Michigan came to the U.S. illegally, critics of proposed legislation argue that the issues of families already living here are not being addressed.

50 Grand rapids January 2011

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On a blustery afternoon last March, Raquel and Immanuel Ruiz danced in their Grand Rapids living room, stealing a few precious moments before Immanuel started his cleaning shift at a local motel. Suddenly, there was a knock at the door, and sheriff’s officers swarmed in, taking Immanuel away for a minor traffic violation. As their children screamed, Raquel struggled to retain her composure and reassure them that everything would be fine. But the situation wasn’t fine. Her husband was deported to the family’s home of Guanajuato, Mexico, within a month. “Families and homes are being destroyed by this intense and aggressive enforcement of the immigration law,” said Richard Kessler, a Grand Rapids immigration attorney. “Most of these people want to come here, earn a living and put their kids through school.” An estimated 70,000 people residing in the state of Michigan came to this country illegally. In light of publicity over proposed legislation in Arizona to clamp down on illegal immigrants, critics argue that the divisive issue does little to effectively address the millions of families already living in this country. “Deportation of a family member is a difficult situation,” said Sgt. Jack Stewart, emergency management coordinator for Kent County. Stewart’s department provides support for the federal office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “However, law enforcement officers and ICE officials are charged with enforcing the laws. We also need to consider that there is a lawful process for immigration.” But according to Aviva Chomsky, author of “They Take Our Jobs and 20 Other Myths About Immigration,” legal immigration is not a possibility for most poor, uneducated or unskilled people. “Given the numerical quotas and the preference system that privileges family members of those already in the United States, there is literally no way for all to receive permission to come here,” she wrote. “Even family members have to wait up to 20 years.” Kessler agreed. “Ninety percent of people in Mexico don’t qualify.” In July, nearly 100 people gathered in Grand

Rapids to protest the impending change to Arizona immigration law. The proposed law would allow residents to be stopped and questioned due to suspicion of illegal status. “We pray for a world where those who wish

“The disturbing thing about the immigration issue is how uncomfortable and ugly the conversations tend to quickly get. It touches deep chords in all of us and it is difficult to have friendly, objective conversations about it.” — Peter Vander Meulen

Opposite page: Maria Mendez with her children, from left, Xiomara Sarmiento, Juan and Erasmo, arrived in Grand Rapids as undocumented aliens. The Christian Reformed Church helped the family win legalized status in the courts.

January 2011 Grand Rapids 51

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to stay in their land may do so,” said Peter Vander Meulen, coordinator of the social justice office for the Christian Reformed Church. “The disturbing thing about the immigration issue is how uncomfortable and ugly the conversations tend to quickly get. It touches deep chords in all of us and it is difficult to have friendly, objective conversations about it.”

“It’s a fiscal issue for the state. The Federation for American Immigration Reform estimates that the cost for illegals’ health care, education, welfare, jails and human services is over $900 million a year.” — State Rep. Dave Agema

Vander Meulen believes that the answer to the discourse lies in comprehensive immigration reform, and he is encouraged by the stance many churches have taken. “Never has the religious establishment in this country been so unanimous on any public policy issue that I can remember. Yet not one of our strongly Christian West Michigan congressional delegation has responded to our pleas to sponsor or co-sponsor legislative action to reform our broken immigration system.” In fact, even more restrictive immigration policies are brewing in the state legislature. State Rep. Dave Agema, from West Michigan’s 74th District, is sponsoring HB 6377, legislation he describes as “like Arizona but tailored for Michigan.” Agema said he is introducing the legislation, in part, because “when illegals come here, they make a decision to break our laws and hence increase lawlessness in our society.” Agema listed other factors to justify the legislation, including security, jobs and the financial toll. “It’s a fiscal issue for the state. The Federation for American Immigration Reform estimates that the cost for illegals’ health care, education, welfare, jails and human services is over $900 million a year.” According to a 2006 study by the Pew Hispanic Foundation, the concern about jobs is one of the most common to justify the need for

a restrictive immigration policy. But the study found “no consistent pattern emerges to show that native-born workers suffered or benefitted from increased numbers of foreign-born workers.” As for security, Vander Meulen said he is bewildered by such concerns. “Do we really believe that an Arizona-style immigration bill will protect us from alleged Al Qaida cells on the east side of the state?” That’s where State Rep. Kim Meltzer, R-Clinton Township, sponsored HB 6256, a bill that would give police the authority to arrest illegal aliens who are stopped and questioned on another offense. Meltzer says she’s proposing tightening immigration laws because “we have borders in place for a reason.” In response to the proposed legislation, a coalition of organizations and individuals spearheaded by the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce released a statement which reads, in part, “We are seriously concerned that the adoption and enforcement of this legislation will result in racial profiling of the immigrant community, in particular the Hispanic community, and will promote a hostile environment against them.” Kessler said one of the worst consequences is the break-up of families. “While the figures are impossible to accurately assess, some 20,000 Michigan students are thought to be children of illegal immigrants,” he said. “While often times these children do not speak Spanish and are not familiar with their native culture, there is currently no easy path to citizenship.” One bipartisan proposal known as the DREAM Act (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) would provide an opportunity for these children. Pioneered in 2001 by U.S. senators Orin Hatch (who now opposes it) and Richard Durbin, the DREAM Act would make undocumented youth 16 and under eligible for a six-year conditional path to citizenship. The children must agree to military service or a two-year degree. Recently, DREAM was part of a defense authorization bill in the U.S. Senate, but died in a Republican-led filibuster at the end of September. Advocates are hoping to reintroduce the legislation in the near future. The Ruiz children, who were forced to leave Grand Rapids because of the deportation of their father, will never know the effect the DREAM Act may have had on their futures. Raquel Ruiz’s English teacher, Dan Hooley, a recent Calvin College grad and Arizona native, said learning about the raid on the Ruiz home and on the homes of two other students had a big impact on him. “Having some idea of what the reality of deportation meant for their lives completely changed my perspective on immigration. … I knew these people and I knew their kids.” GR Tracy Taylor is a freelance writer in Grand Rapids.

52 Grand Rapids January 2011

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ion t a r ig m im f o e er sid

The oth



ed. will be accept ness plan that t. ai w ’t d en they ar curity an a lot of times Homeland Se s to tions such as drag on for n pa for employee ca cu it sa oc vi ” es a ty d im al grante Somet “speci n n’t ysite ts is of ph ge d an g, pl de in an e er ou s. th W th ne if e to three mon k in the u.S. itecture, engi George Vand o or ch w tw ar e ct or ” fe m out a chilling ef information. medicine and n he talks ab fficient. It has ey want more su th cal sciences, agitated whe all ’s go e or to se ns have when they least a bachel tion laws. all visa petitio on companies must have at u.S. immigra en d. ” r field. e different ag really agitate the obstacles. through thre degree in thei ars ch ech fields, Immigraar -t d se gh an re hi en y nde Woude fe ng tiz an di Va Ci I, m at Va But in The foun cies: u.S. g rte tin ca pe itu ifi en e st rt th ev In lot of ce reviews ys are pr n andel that the dela tion Services Clarke said, “a director at Va aca d ac ifi d” an e al pi th ts tu qu is of d “s nt e e of scie outsid ound an ords lik the free flow son’s backgr tions happen throws out w r meone may ment of Labo as he rants so rt r ange. g” O pa ch . tin De ld ex ra e c or st ifi w th ; ru scient tions demic and “f n; in us io e nf at nc co rm rie d fo pe an ed to work in ex e ag s of mplex “The way it us handles the w have 40 year about the co ne hat w at ca t e St no th of someone ’s t s, at ar ve en th m ye ha t r d the Depart that I would gineering bu is an en ing system. Fo g te,” tin n. gree in.” travel portio foreign institu s been recrui apply from a oversees the they have a de cer warrior ha uem ey en st th th se d , e has e said ld accept archers an Clarke said sh Eventually, sh he said. “I wou scientific rese ity, . “It’s just complex e world to m e th le th eat opportun ob nd gr re pr a ou he e ar w as th s and if it w instance can solve dents from ic xt ne om . e on th es e ec at hinder courag hassle.” united St they would en requirements a lot of extra come to the t ve one doctor , he said, ha 11 come here. Bu “I 9/ t. . to e st en n nc co tio si pm d t ra an Bu gene develo ng at n in ro th ig w d s, re a le ire fo of ac m a e st in en us ob s be beca n we put up “If a company he w who is stuck the process ha y tr oan n br to establish en. Once it’s e said. “We ca red tape. chain is brok country wants decision,” sh bureaucratic GR meey have b so la t th r.” y y, bu ve m tr t, re in un ou fo it on co “One pers ken, it is gone office in this to straighten ,” to sa vi to re-file.” s they have onths for a a lot of hurdle times we have waited four m busit barriadditional en an is nm g er to present a ta h ov e ug ic “G The pr jump thro he fumed. d ge ra ou kedly disc $5,000. ers have mar ng llet Compats from applyi is nt ie rov nd rapids Ba sc ra G young Anton Kandau iMaslova and aborate port ant opportun el na rt pany sa ild po m Ok bu im Co t e to s lle es ny ha for th s d Rapids Ba at the same ging in dancer e joined the Gran e in tiv ar br e na n w r he ei d w th s an folio ties. ing from S. in 2008, com had untries who deficient in u. om foreign co ine where both fr time seriously ra Uk y e tr ob bl un pr la a co ai is av , is sa Th vi . . -1 ng ly O yi sional apply for an citizens appl danced profes t.” aordinary t fix overnigh ople with extr pe to lem you can’ , eduthat affects sciences, arts It’s a problem ability in the s. oy ic pl et hl em at ss or ichigan cation, busine many West M ts ar erial, d at an m of es ss ns sine e gather to “W ers. Several bu ra s, articles, letrely on immig cluding review in organizations h om mendation fr s to sift throug ters of recom tion attorney ns. ctors,” re tio di la gu tic re tis ar ed teachers and the complicat n visas are aro, productio Most working said John Ferr e ar ho igners w manager. limited to fore lented. and fficult when ta or d/ an It’s not too di educated her ey th e ov worked for ot ve to pr a dancer has even they ha ulm s he , ke es ta ni s pa es com proc professional qualify. That ld up ese t of times, th at often are he lo a th s ut ep “B st . id le sa tip d ting an ncers just star trative delays are young da with adminis a , rke fe mberly Clar ve to get re out, so we ha errors, said Ki d w firm. la um ous names an rn m Va fa rals from partner at obr e ar s law “Immigration schools.” needs a peer ries, and each go te ca to in The ballet also ken up e ire qu re n ai letter from th cert consultation category has artnd al ic “a us d. M ne ai of expl erican Guild am ments,” she ts es en do at the union ose requirem ists stating th sometimes th the ” in e. sue bringing nse anymor not have an is don’t make se sa vi B the H-1 For instance, artist. file it all with ign workers re fo at th “and then we requires in k or w ry mpora applying for te January 2011 Grand rapids 53

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9 Locations Throughout West Michigan!

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

Globally Influenced American Cuisine



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Thai, Japanese, Chinese

Award Winning in Cascade

Business luncheons, intimate dinners, appetizers and cocktails. Or, our award winning Sunday brunch. Charley’s Crab is dedicated to ensuring your visit is excellent. Mon - Thurs 11:30 - 10 and Fri 11:30 - 11 Sat 4:30 - 11 (no lunch) Sun Brunch 10 - 3, Dinner 4:30 - 9

to the

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

asian Cuisine

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

Open • 616.949.0570

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

Buy one dinner enTrée, geT one Free! 63 Market St., Downtown Grand Rapids 616.459.2500

(Up to $13.00) Dine in only, not valid on Holidays. One coupon per table | Expires 12-30-10

Fine Persian Cuisine 2739 BRETON ROAD SE ~ GRAND RAPIDS NW CORNER OF BRETON & 28TH ST. MI 49546 ~ Phone (616) 949-7447 For full menu & upcoming events visit

Inspiration through Fermentation. 451-HOPS (4677) . 25 Ionia Ave.


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City Guide The Viceroy and Stella’s Lounge share a building but the two clubs have very different personalities, drink offerings and menus. » pg86 Photography by Michael Buck

Inside » Dining Review 56

» Chef Profile 68

» Grand Vine 71

» Fresh Hops 76

» Clubs ’n’ Pubs 86

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City guide: Dining Review

Angel’s adds spice to downtown by ira craaVen

WHErE’S THE SPICE? It’s a question often asked by lovers of Thai cuisine as they search for a dish to challenge the taste buds. We found plenty of spice at Angel’s Thai Café in downtown Grand Rapids. This is not the fanciest restaurant, nor is it very large. There are just a handful of tables and booths and décor that can only be described as minimal. The menu, however, offers a colorful variety of traditional Thai and Thai fusion fare, from appetizers, soups and salads to more than 50 entrees divided into Noodles, Fried Rice and Signature (dinner only). Each entree may be ordered with chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, scallops, imitation crab meat, or vegetables. While perusing the options, the dining panel sipped hot, green tea ($1.25 per person) from a small teapot. No alcohol is available, but Angel’s has a nice selection of soft drinks and juices, along with Thai iced coffee and tea, and hot jasmine or green tea. The server kept the tea pot filled, along with the water glasses, offering her expertise to interpret the various dishes and making recommendations when asked. We took her recommendation to share starters of the classic crab Rangoon (5/$3.95) and crispy rolls (6/$4.95). Both were fried just right, with the crispy Rangoon chock-full of cream cheese but rather light on the imitation crabmeat. Shredded carrots garnished

ira’s rating System food: selection, variety, product quality, taste, preparation, innovation and consistency. Service: hospitable, knowledgeable and prompt.

beverages: selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. ambiance: general atmosphere; overall cleanliness. (grand rapids Magazine editors, american culinary Federation greater grand rapids chapter, grcc’s Secchia institute for culinary education instructors and beverage distributors all contributed to these established guidelines.)

PhoTograPhy by Johnny Quirin

value: Pricing, number of à la carte items, consistency.

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PhoTograPhy by Johnny Quirin

City guide: Dining Review

the top. We especially enjoyed the crispy rolls: light, rice paper wrappers packed with minced chicken breast, glass noodles, green and Spanish onions and bits of carrot, lightly fried to perfect crispness. The order came with a sweet and spicy dipping sauce, with sweet and sour for the crab Rangoon. After making our dinner selections, the server offered us bowls of a tasty rice porridge soup with chicken. Its rice-thickened, gingerinfused broth offered a tantalizing taste of sweetness. She said the soup was gratis due to our main dishes taking a little too long to prepare — an observation that was lost on us because we felt perfectly satisfied with the pace of the meal. We enjoyed our soup just the same, which the menu lists at $4.95 for two bowls. Our dinner choices included the classic Pad Thai with chicken ($9.50) from the noodle section of the menu, Pad Khing with tofu ($9.50) from the main entrée section, and the Pla Tod ($12.95) with red snapper from the signature dishes section. Our server said every dish is customized to guests’ individual palates, and she carefully explained the various heat levels. Options range from “no spice” to “extra hot” on a scale of one to 10. There was chicken aplenty in the Pad Thai. Large succulent pieces of tender breast meat were scattered throughout the considerable pile of rice noodles, stir fried with crisp bean sprouts, green onions and eggs. Finely crushed peanuts and a colorful garnish of julienne carrots and purple cabbage and lemon slices added color to the dish. One panel member noted that while the Pad Thai didn’t look authentic, “it tasted OK,” but wasn’t very innovative. Spicewise, a level “five” provided just the right amount of heat. Another diner chose a level “six” for the signature Pla Tod, a breaded and fried fillet of fish (with a choice between catfish or red snapper), topped with a generous pile of stirfried green and Spanish onions and red and green bell peppers in a flavorful ginger and garlic brown sauce. There were several large pieces of the crisp-fried snapper. The dish was a little over-breaded but full of flavor and not the least greasy. The spices in the sauce were

perfectly balanced against each other — sweet, salty, spicy with the heat of level six well within range. The flavors of the sauce played together well on the tongue before the punch of the heat kicked in with each bite. It’s an addictive taste sensation that makes you crave the next bite. The accompanying white rice was served in a plastic-bag-lined woven basket, making it easy to pull out, tie up and take home. Also served in a thick brown sauce, but minus the garlic influence and similar to a Szechwan sauce, the Pad Khing with the tofu option was packed with flavor with its stir-fried

dIners aWarded



angel’s thaI caFe 136 Monroe center nW grand rapids (616) 454-9801

We especially enjoyed the crispy rolls: light, rice paper wrappers packed with minced chicken breast, glass noodles, green and Spanish onions and bits of carrot, lightly fried to perfect crispness. mixture of black mushrooms, ginger, water chestnuts, celery, carrots and green onions. The dish was garnished with an orange slice and topped with freshly slivered carrots. This dish, loaded with fresh chunks of breaded and fried tofu (also can be ordered steamed), was ordered mild. Servings were generous, but we saved just enough room to share a single dessert. The Angel’s strawberry shortcake ($5.25) is an airy triple-layer cake with whipped cream and sweet strawberry puree on each layer. The generous piece was easily shared and provided a perfect touch to an excellent dining experience. While the décor is simple and low-key in restful blues and browns, large windows overlook the action on Monroe Center. Parking is a challenge. The adjacent parking lot is convenient, but rather pricey at $8 for our two-hour dinner. gr

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City Guide

Grand Rapids Magazine has compiled this list of selected area restaurants as a service to our readers. The recommendations and reviews in the listings are the opinions of the editors. Restaurants are included in the guide 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

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 $$

Upscale, contemporary cooking including ethnic twists on familiar standbys.

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 $

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 $-$$

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. Liquor license pending. 1015 Wealthy St SE, 451-4779. electric H, L, D, V, MC, AE, DC, 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

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) 8574240. H, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $-$$

BISTRO 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 — Cajun and Creole classics such as jambalaya, gumbo, muffeletta and Po’boy sandwiches, vegan options, market-fresh entrées, appetizers, soups, sandwiches and pizzas. Brunch 11 am-3 pm Sat/Sun. Closed Mon. 220 W 8th St, Holland, (616) 355-1994. bluehou H, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$ FBLUE 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. thebluewatergrill. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $-$$ BOBARINO’S AT THE BOB — Grill on 2nd floor of The BOB offers a wide variety, from woodfired pizza, burgers and sandwiches to pasta and up-scale entrées. Full-service bar with The BOB’s microbrews on tap. Live entertainment in Cisco’s Island Lounge. 20 Monroe Ave NW, 3562000. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $ BUTCH’S — New York-style deli by day, fine dining cuisine by night. Menu changes seasonally. More than 200 bottled beer selections and 700 varieties of wine available for takeout. Closed Sun. 44 E 8th St, Holland, (616) 396-8227. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $$

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

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 ¢-$$ REPUBLIC — Asian-influenced California cuisine, from steaks, seafood and chicken to pastas and plates to share. Multi-level, arts-inspired décor with upper-level outdoor seating and attentive bar service. Sister to adjacent Rockwell’s Kitchen & Tap. Closed Sun. 45 S Division Ave, 608-6465. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, $-$$ DS FROSE’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. H, B (weekends), L, D, C, 3, V, MC, AE, DS $

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, 8083566. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $-$$

➧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 $

GRILL ONE ELEVEN — American-with-a-twist menu, full-service bar and lounge on the lower level. 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 $-$$

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

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 $-$$

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 ¢-$$

CITYVU BISTRO — Top-floor restaurant in Holland’s eco-friendly City Flats Hotel specializing in 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 $-$$

MARCO 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 $-$$

➧COBBLESTONE BISTRO — Eclectic, globally inspired menu executed with pizzazz in attractive

MIA & GRACE BISTRO — Locally grown products creatively composed by husband/wife team

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

58 Grand Rapids January 2011

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A Table for Two Voted Grand Rapids’ Most Romantic Dining


a feast for the senses.

gold membership

The pantlind gold membership program provides you with great rewards every time you dine with us, along with many other new and improved valuable member advantages.

• $50 dining certificate to The 1913 Room upon sign-up • Buy one entrée at The 1913 Room, Cygnus 27, or The Grill at 1913 and receive one complimentary entrée every time you dine • VIP invitations to exclusive “member’s only” events and much more!*

20% ONLY



to become a member please call 616.776.6980. *Certain restrictions apply.


2 3 5 Lo u i s st r e e t N W G r a N d r a p i ds m i c h i G a N 49 5 03 6 1 6 . 24 2 .1 4 4 8

i Lov e 61 6 .co m

bring this coupon in to receive 20% off of your next bill at The grill at 1913. reserve your table by calling 616.774.2000.

Valid for dinner only. Valid January 2-31, 2010. Not valid on holidays. Does not apply with any other discounts or Pantlind Gold Membership offers. An 18% gratuity is added prior to discount.

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Look for new offerings in next month's issue!

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City guide

Hot off the grill by Julie burch

cajun cat

Caledonia continues to grow its restaurant repertoire with last summer’s opening of The Cobblestone Bistro & Banquet Center along the Cherry Valley Avenue corridor. Complete with a warming fireplace, wall-mounted water features, koi pond and globally inspired menu, the bistro now has its full liquor license and offers an extensive specialty drink menu. It’s open early on weekends for breakfast. (9818 Cherry Valley Ave. SE, 588-3223, mycobblest In Holland, experienced restaurateur Mike Karas, former partner of the ongoing Crazy Horse Steakhouse, is serving up new-American pub grub with a delicious twist at his Salt & Pepper Savory Grill and Pub. The restaurant features Michigan-sourced ingredients, along with wolverine-state-centric craft-brewed beers, wines and small-batch spirits in its full-service bar. (11539 E. Lakewood Blvd., saltandpep While in Holland, you can get your Cajun on at the Blue House Bistro, where Executive Chef “Angie K” Anderson, who co-owns the restaurant with Sara Fiorenzo, showcases her extensive Creole and Cajun culinary genius garnered through years of work in New Orleans restaurants. Entrees are changed up to reflect the best of the market, while jambalaya, gumbo and a creative steak dish are menu staples, along with appetizers, soups, sandwiches/ wraps and pizzas. Although not licensed to serve alcohol, they will deliver beer and wine to your home with food orders. (220 W. 8th St., 355-1994,

PhoTograPhy by Jack Poeller

ArE You uP For A FISH FrY? Sharing a parking lot with Walker Roadhouse, the new Cajun Cat features a variety of by-the-pound or half-pound fish and seafood selections, including catfish, cod, shrimp, lake perch and others. Fries and coleslaw round out the dinners. Owner Richard Ortiz’s Cajun-influenced menu also offers gumbo, red beans and rice, and his hand-blended Cajun spices for those who like their fish blackened and with a little sizzle. Sandwiches of spicy Andouille sausage, pulled pork barbecue, chicken salad and fried cod also grace the menu. Although aimed at the takeaway market, there is seating for eight in the restaurant. (3280 Remembrance Road, Walker, 735-2416, Facebook) Grand Rapidian craft brew lovers have three new reasons to celebrate: Former New Holland Brewing Co. partner Jason Spaulding presents Brewery Vivant in the East Hills Neighborhood at 925 Cherry St. SE, while Harmony Brewing Co., a neighborhood brewpub (with full liquor license) takes shape in Eastown; opening is targeted for early summer at 1551 Lake Drive SE. In addition, Beatnik Brewing is in development at 62 Commerce Ave. SW in downtown Grand Rapids. Forest Garden Café has opened in a redecorated old building on Plainfield Avenue offering breakfast, lunch and specialty coffees. Soups, salads, sandwiches and seasonal dishes will be prepared by Norma Gordon, owner and chef. (1503 Plainfield Ave. NE, 361-2762) Downtown Grand Rapids now boasts a new Bangkok Taste Cuisine in the Peacock Building space that formerly housed Bobby J’s. This is the second location for Ber and Mai Kue who also own the Bankok Taste restaurant near Jenison. The same Thai specialties and Vietnamese selections made popular there are now available in Central City. (15 Jefferson Ave. SE) Sushi fans who flocked to Shogun won’t be disappointed with its replacement. Reborn under new ownership as Sushi kuni, the Choi family has kicked things up a notch with more open space, minimalist décor and cutting-edge fare. The extensive menu offers creations from sushi and specialty rolls to more traditional dishes such as bulgogi that pack a contemporary twist — even some items unique to the Grand Rapids scene. Add to the experience by reserving one of the more private tatami rooms — a legacy from the Shogun days. (2901 Breton Road SE, 241-4141) 60 Grand rapids January 2011

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City Guide H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS


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 $ 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 ¢-$ ABERDEEN STEAK HOUSE — All-natural, grainfed, choice-cut aged steaks, prime rib, lamb and pork chops, Greek-style roasted chicken and halfpound burgers in refurbished surroundings. Full bar; closed Sun. 785 W Broadway, Muskegon, (231) 733-6400. H, L, $-$$ D, C, V, MC, AE, DS ACORN GRILLE AT THOUSAND OAKS — Blend of traditional and innovative cuisine, artfully presented in handsome dining room with golf course views. Open daily in season. 4100 Thousand Oaks Dr, 447-7750. H, L, D, C, 3, V, MC, AE, DS $$ 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 $$

Photography by Jack Poeller

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 $ 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. mainstreetmed B, L, D, C, 3, V, MC, AE, DC, DS, RSVP $-$$ 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-

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

L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS


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 $$

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 $-$$

BLUE PLATE — Inside downtown’s Courtyard by Marriott, menu covers all tastes. Popular Pasta Station available at lunch. Light fare in lounge. Open daily. 11 Monroe Ave NW, 242-6000, ext 6646. H, B, L, D, V, MC, AE, DC, DS $

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 $-$$

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 $-$$

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 $-$$

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 $-$$ BOSTWICK LAKE INN — Roomy, cottage-style eatery offers regionally influenced cuisine in casual surroundings. Favorites include fresh seafood, pasta, steaks and ribs. Open Tue-Sat, also Mon between Memorial Day and Labor Day. 8521 Belding Rd NE, Cannon Township, 874-7290. H, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS, RSVP $ 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 and Mexican entrees. All locations offer high-tech projection screens and sporting events. Menu tweaked to add more bar munchies. 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 SE, 285-7800; Brann’s of Holland, 12234 James St, (616) 393-0028; Brann’s of Muskegon, 5510 Harvey St, (231) 7981399; 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. H,

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. 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. 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 $-$$ DOCKERS FISH HOUSE & LOUNGE — Waterside dining on Muskegon Lake with lively summer tiki bar, seafood and land-lubber options. Full bar, dockside seating. Dockhands assist with boat tie-up. Closed Oct-Mar. 3505 Marina Point View, Muskegon, (231) 755-0400. dockersfishhouse. com. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $-$$ DUGAN’S PUB & GRILLE — Casual dining with steaks, seafood, pasta and more at The Elks at January 2011 Grand Rapids 61

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City Guide the Highlands Golf Club. Adjacent Glendevon offers banquet facilities. 2715 Leonard St NW, 453-2451. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $-$$ THE FALCON’S NEST — Creative lunch menu with a variety of hot and cold sandwiches, barbecue ribs, appetizers, chili and salads. Open 11 am-7 pm. 17000 Lincoln Ave, Grand Haven, (616) 842-4040. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE ¢-$ FALL CREEK — Appetizers, gourmet pizzas, salads, pastas, sandwiches, house-made desserts, and creative entrées. Closed Sun-Mon. 201 Jefferson St, Hastings, (269) 945-0100. fallcreek ¢-$ H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS FLAT RIVER GRILL — Casual atmosphere in turnof-century building on the river in Lowell. Al fresco dining on patio. Menu ranges from American comfort food to wood-fired pizzas. Full bar with extensive wines by the glass and The BOB’s House of Brews beers on tap. Superb brunch. 201 E Main St, Lowell, 897-8523. thegilmorecollec H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $-$$ 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 ¢-$ GRAND RAPIDS BREWING CO. — Microbrewery with extensive menu that matches the handcrafted beers and natural ales. 3689 28th St SE, 285-5970. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $ 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 $-$$ GRAND TRAVERSE PIE CO. — Bakery and café offer an extensive menu that covers breakfast, lunch and dinner, with quiche, soups, salads, sandwiches and pastries. Open daily. 3224 28th St SE, 977-7600. H, B, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$ GRAND VILLA — Longtime favorite serving prime rib, seafood, complete salad bar, full service bar. Closed Sun. 3594 Chicago Dr SW, 538-1360. H, L, D, C, 3, V, MC, AE, DC, DS $ FGREAT LAKES SHIPPING CO. — Kitchen does everything from beef, seafood, fowl and beyond in comfortable dockside motif. Patio open in summer. No lunch, but open Sun afternoons. 2455 Burton St SE, 949-9440. H, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS, RSVP $-$$ THE GRILL AT 1913 — “Kid sister” of Amway Grand Plaza’s Five-Diamond The 1913 Room.

Warm ambience and seasonal entrées featuring prime, custom-aged beef. Closed Sun. 187 Monroe Ave NW, 776-6426. the_grill_at_1913.html. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DC, 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. thegilmorecol H, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $$ GRILLE 29 — Varied menu includes salads, soups, specialty panini, pasta, pizza and variety of entrées. Full-service bar. Open daily for breakfast and dinner. Holiday Inn Select, 3063 Lake Eastbrook SE, 285-7600. H, B, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $ THE GRILLE AT WATERMARK — Innovative menu in relaxing atmosphere overlooking golf course. Open for lunch and dinner Mon-Sat; Sun brunch 10 am-2 pm. Banquet facilities. Reservations accepted. 5500 Cascade Rd SE, 949-0570. H, L, D, C, 3, V, $-$$ MC, AE, RSVP 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. Family-friendly dining upstairs. 2 Washington Ave, Grand Haven, (616) 846-3299. $ grillroom.html. 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. 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. leosrestaurant. $-$$ com. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS, RSVP LOUIS BENTON STEAKHOUSE — Upscale steakhouse with a big-city ambiance features premium Buckhead beef, wet- and dry-aged steaks, lamb, pork and veal chops, seafood and more. Superb wine list. Closed Sun. Free valet parking at Ionia entrance. 77 Monroe Center Ave NW, Suite 100, 454-7455. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DC, DS, RSVP $-$$ 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 ¢-$ 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 $ MOE’S CONEY & GRILL — Coney Island-style hotdogs and extensive menu from sandwiches to entrees. Wide-ranging breakfast menu, all at reasonable prices. Open daily; closes 2 pm Sun. 3603 S Division Ave, 514-1650. H, B, L, D, V, MC, ¢-$ DS MR. BURGER — Specialty wood-fired pizzas, ethnic salads, sandwiches, appetizers, dips, soups, desserts and coffee. Antique/garden atmosphere at the bistro near GVSU. 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 NOEL RESTAURANT — It’s Christmas year-round 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 ¢-$$ OTTAWA TAVERN — The full-service, full-menu sister restaurant sharing space with downtown’s Bite. Sports venue with weekday Happy Hour bar specials 4-7 pm. Closed Sun. 151 Ottawa Ave NW, 451-8000. ern.html. H, B, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$$ PAL’S DINER — A real diner with breakfast, lunch and dinner all day, served in fun surroundings.

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City Guide 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 $ 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 ¢-$ REDS 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 $-$$ RIO GRAND STEAK HOUSE & SALOON — Texasstyle barbecue ribs, steaks and more are offered at these Western-style Schelde restaurants. Open daily. 5501 Northland Dr NE, 364-6266; 1820 44th St SW, 534-0704. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $-$$ ROCK FIRE GRILLE — Entrees include fresh seafood, steaks, wood-fired pizzas, pasta, stellar desserts in casually elegant surroundings. Full bar, extensive wine list, specialty cocktails. Closed Sunday. Open M-F for lunch. 1144 East Paris Ave SE, 977-9900. H, L (except Sat), D, C, V, MC, AE $-$$

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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 ¢-$ ROSIE’S DINER — The original 1946 Paramount diner made famous by paper towel commercials continues the tradition of classic homemade diner fare. Open daily. Half-mile east of US 131. 4500 14 Mile Rd, Rockford, 866-3663. rosies ¢-$ H, B, 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, 281-2790; 4440 Chicago Dr, Grandville, 531-1146. B, L, D, 3 ¢ 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 $

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City Guide 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. sandisfamilyrestau H, B, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$ SAYFEE’S — Uniquely GR. Longtime favorite with well-rounded lunch and dinner menus. Chateaubriand served tableside; luscious dessert cart; early-dining specials. Live music and dancing Wed-Sat eves. Deck open in summer. Closed Sun. 3555 Lake Eastbrook Blvd, 949-5750. say H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DC, 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), 9565644; 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. 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. 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

with an “outside the box” menu. Open daily. 2055 28th St SE, 452-8544. H, B, L, V, MC, AE, DS, DC ¢-$

VICTORY CLUB — Ada’s “sports dining destination” with spacious dining room and lounge, fireplaces, TVs and sports-centric décor. Menu offers standard fare plus out-of-the-norm pizzas, some Mexican dishes and comfort food, desserts and Michigan wines. 396 Pettis Ave SE, 4257050. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $-$$

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

VILLAGE INN PIZZA PARLOR — Longtime local favorite for pizza, pasta, burgers, chicken, soups, salads, Mexican and more, with 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. vipizza. net. 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

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 locale in Alger Heights. Second location on the northeast side. Open until 2 pm; closed Mon. 2419 Eastern Ave SE, 2414080; 5430 Northland Dr NE, 361-1808. H, B, L ¢ 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 ¢ 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 ¢

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

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

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. B, L, 3, V, MC, AE, DS ¢ FAT BOY BURGERS — Uniquely GR. Legendary 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 ¢ GARDEN ROOM CAFÉ — Cheery spot in Grand Central Plaza offers great breakfast and lunch

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. H, L, D, 3 ¢

Pubs & Taverns

Restaurants that prefer to be known as “bars that serve food.” 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 $-$$ 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 ¢-$ CAMBRIDGE HOUSE — Wash down fish ’n chips with a pint of John Courage at this pub, complete with pool tables and dart board. Hoagies, Reubens and burgers; appetizers (served until 11 pm) satisfy snackers. Lots of liquor choices

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City Guide


and good-size wine list. Takeout available. 600 Monroe Ave NW, 356-1622. cambridgehousegr. com. L, D, C, 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. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $ CHEERS — Popular neighborhood spot with something for everyone: munchies, salads, south-of-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 ¢ 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) 857$ 1868. H, L, D, V, MC,AE


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 ¢ THE COTTAGE BAR — Uniquely GR. 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, 454-9088. L, D, C, V, MC, AE ¢

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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. curragh 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, includes Guinness stout. Homemade soups and stews, specialty sandwiches, munchies and entrées with an Irish influence. Frequent live music. Closed Sun. 139 Pearl St NW, 454-7852. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS, DC ¢


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FOUNDERS BREWING CO. — Sip microbrew samples in the spacious taproom with vaulted M ceilings, serpentine bar and stage for live music Y Thu and Sat. Expanded menu features sandwiches and light pub fare. Covered (heated) porch. CM 235 Grandville Ave SW, 776-1195. foundersbrew H, L (11-2 Mon-Fri), 3, V, MC, AE, MY DS ¢ CY GP SPORTS — Sports and entertainment venue patterned after ESPN’s Zone and Dave and CMY Buster’s, with interactive sports games, giant video screen and TVs. Menu features createK your-own pizzas, burgers, salads and such. Closed Sun and Mon. Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, 776-6495. H, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS $

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City Guide 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 $-$$ HOLLY’S BACK DOOR BAR & GRILL — Fullservice menu and good selection of munchies at the bar in the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel. Opens 5 pm; closed Sun & Mon. 255 28th St SW, 241-1417. H, B, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DC, DS $ HOPCAT — Downtown pub offers crafted brews with close to 50 beers on tap and 150 bottled. Full bar, and tasty fare including appetizers, salads, sandwiches and entrées from meatloaf to mussels. Open daily. 25 Ionia Ave SW, 451-4677. H, L (Sat-Sun), D, C, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$ HUB’S INN — Sandwiches, burgers, wet burritos and thin-crust pizza. Closed Sun. 1645 Leonard St NW, 453-3571. H, L, D, C ¢ INTERSECTION CAFÉ — Roomy entertainment venue offers sandwich wraps and panini, great burgers, quesadilla selections, soups, salads, appetizers, flatbread pizza, vegetarian options. Full bar. 133 Grandville Ave SW, 459-0977. H, L, D, C, V, MC ¢ JD REARDON’S — Restaurant and lounge in The Boardwalk offers American, Southwest, Thai and more, with a nice selection of nibbles, soups, sandwiches, dinner-size salads, steaks and other appealing entrées. Banquet facilities; outdoor seating. 940 Monroe Ave NW, 454-8590. jdreardo $-$$ 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. jgardellastav 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, 784¢-$ 3806. 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 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, big-

screen 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 ¢ 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, 456-8444. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$$ O’TOOLE’S PUBLIC HOUSE — Pub grub includes appetizers, sandwiches and burgers served on
 a mountain of fries. Open daily. 448 Bridge St NW, 742-6095. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE ¢-$ PUB 43 — Cozy atmosphere caters to all, but is especially popular with artists and the gay crowd. Board games, more than a dozen TVs, fully stocked bar with usual bar fare from burgers to more upscale items. Jukebox, occasional live entertainment. Open daily at 3 pm. 43 S Division Ave, 458-2205. H, D, C, V, MC ¢-$ QUEEN’S PUB SPORTS BAR — Adjacent to Bombay Cuisine with English pub grub, full bar and lots of beers on tap. Big-screen TVs, pool table, dart boards, wireless connection. 14201424 Lake Dr SE, 456-7055. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$ QUINN & TUITE’S IRISH PUB — One of the largest selections of Irish whiskies in the area and Guinness on tap. Traditional Irish music, Celtic rock, open mic Fri eves, live bands Sat. Typical bar fare includes burgers, brats, sandwiches, munchies. 1535 Plainfield Ave NE, 363-8380. ¢-$ H, L, D, C, V, MC ROCKWELL’S KITCHEN & TAP — The more casual kid sister adjacent to Republic restaurant. Classic American pub features comfort foods with a twist; upper-floor outdoor balcony seating. 45 S Division Ave, 551-3563. rockwellsgrandrap H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $-$$ 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 interesting menu offers choices such as coconut shrimp and house-made tortilla soup in addition to burgers and steak. Nice children’s menu. Open daily at 11 am. 2501 Wilson Ave NW, 735-3888. H, L, D, C, V, MC ¢-$ 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 ¢-$ TAPHOUSE LOUNGE — Renovated historic surroundings with dozens of beers on tap. Sports bar menu runs the gamut from appetizers, soups, salads and sandwiches to entrées such as ribs, perch and steak. Atrium cigar lounge. Open daily until 2 am. 8 Ionia Ave SW, 774-3338. taphouse H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS, DC $ TEAZERS BAR & GRILL — Burgers and pasta entrées, sandwiches, salads and Southwestern bites. Kids menu. Look for live music on the stage. Open daily. 819 Ottawa Ave NW, 459-2481. teaze 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. bagelbeanery. com. H, B, L, D, 3, V, MC, AE, DC, DS ¢-$ BIG APPLE BAGELS — Fresh bagels and 15 cream cheese mixtures. Choose your favorite 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, 735-2390; 6670 Kalamazoo Ave SE, 554¢ 7915. H, B, L, D, 3 BITE — Deli side of Ottawa Tavern features daily soups, big wraps, salads and build-your-own burgers. Weekday Happy Hour drink and appetizer specials 4-7 pm. Closed Sun. 151 Ottawa Ave NW, 451-8000. H, B, L, D, C, 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, 4516061. H, B, L, D, V, MC, AE ¢ 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

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City Guide meals. Take out or eat in. Catering and delivery. Open daily. 5422 S Division Ave, Kentwood, 7242492. 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, 2359115. 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. 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 ¢ FRENZ COFFEE HOUSE — Besides tea and coffee specialties, menu offers soups, salads and wrap sandwiches. Closed Sun. Musicians on Fri. Free Wi-Fi. Local artists display and sell their work. 8 E Bridge St, Rockford, 863-8750. frenzcoffee H, L, D, 3, V, MC, AE, DC, DS ¢ 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. H, B, L, D, Cash only ¢ JERSEY JUNCTION — Sandwiches, ice cream treats, candies and hot dogs served in old-fashioned “soda shop” atmosphere. Open daily in season beginning March 1. 652 Croswell Ave SE, Gaslight Village, EGR, 458-4107. jerseyjunction. com. H, L, D ¢ 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, turkey or ham sandwiches, vegan dogs, vegetarian chili; lots of toppings, artisan salts; modern-retro ambience. Closed Sun, open until 2 am Thu-Sat. 638 Wealthy St SE. Facebook. L, D, V, MC, AE, DS ¢ 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

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AREA’S NICEST SELECTION OF BICYCLES, CARDIO FITNESS EQUIPMENT, CLOTHING & ACCESSORIES 4 Grand Rapids locations visit our website at January 2011 Grand Rapids 67

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City guide: Chef Profile

Not fancy and that’s fine


or more than five decades, the family-owned Swan Inn restaurant has stood on the corner of Alpine Avenue at 6 Mile Road NW offering hearty American fare from breakfast through dinner. Bernard and Jane Spruit built the restaurant in 1955, back when M-37 was the main drag to “up north.” By early 1960, the Spruits had added a motel, and the Swan Inn became a fixture on the

The Swan inn’s

honey-apple chicken breast makes: 4-6 servings

prep time: 30 minutes

4-6 8-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied and pounded to thinly flatten 2-3 cups of your favorite stuffing

bake time: 1 hour

1-1½ cups chopped apples, dried cherries or cranberries apple cider Cinnamon

Make your favorite stuffing recipe and add 1-1½ cups chopped apples, cherries or cranberries (amount to your taste). Roll up about ½ cup of the stuffing in each flattened chicken breast; place seam side down in baking pan. sprinkle breasts lightly with cinnamon. add a little apple cider (water or chicken broth may be substituted) to cover bottom of pan. bake at 350 degrees for about an hour or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Top with Cider-honey sauce to serve.

cider-honey Sauce: 1 quart apple cider ½ cup honey 1 tablespoon cornstarch 2 tablespoons cold water 1 cup raisins or dried cranberries Combine apple cider and honey in a saucepan and heat to low boil. Mix cornstarch and water together and stir into pan; continue to cook and stir until sauce thickens. stir in raisins or cranberries and remove from heat. Pour over stuffed chicken breasts.

city’s northwest side. There was a brief interlude in its 55-year history when the devastating 1965 Palm Sunday tornado flattened the site. Pictures at the entry to the dining room display the destruction. But that didn’t dampen the Spruit spirit. They rebuilt and were soon back in business. A true family enterprise, all six of the Spruit offspring worked at the Swan throughout high school. “We pretty much grew up right here on this corner,” recalled son Jeff Spruit. “We’ve been here all our lives.” In the mid-’80s, the elder Spruits made plans for retirement. Even though their children had started their own families and taken separate paths, one by one they came back to take ownership and management responsibilities. Today, siblings Jeff and Jerry Spruit and their sister Lori Stadt carry on the tradition of home-style comfort-food cuisine, perfecting such classics as pot roast, meat loaf, Swiss steak, and liver and onions. Sister Brenda Terrian waits tables on a part-time basis, while brothers Ken and Andy manage the motel side of the business. In 2004, the siblings added the Cygnet Lounge to the property, appropriately naming it after a baby swan, and the Swan Inn was complete. To what do you attribute the Swan’s 55-year longevity? Jeff: I don’t really know. I guess because we’re putting out really good food that people want to come back for. Jerry: We’re all hard workers — our parents taught us that — and that’s what it takes to be successful in this business because it involves a lot of hours. Jeff: And we all get along really good. We put our differences aside when it comes to business. Jerry: That’s something we learned at an early age. Working together as a family all these years, we learned to put our own personal problems aside to work together. How would you describe the menu at the Swan? Jerry: We try to stay

PhoTograPhy by Michael buck

SiblingS JeFF anD Jerry SPruiT anD lori STaDT carry on The TraDiTion oF hoMe-STyle coMForT FooD aT SWan inn reSTauranT. by JulIe burch

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City Guide: Chef Profile

Photography by Michael buck

Photography by Michael buck

“We try to stay focused on comfort food. That’s stayed the same over all the years we’ve been in business. Some styles in food come and go, but everybody always loves comfort food.” — Jerry Spruit focused on comfort food. That’s stayed the same over all the years we’ve been in business. Some styles in food come and go, but everybody always loves comfort food. Jeff: A lot of our dishes are just like Mom made. They’re her recipes and we try to keep our food based on home cooking, made from scratch. Some of what we offer could be bought pre-made, but it just doesn’t taste as good as homemade. Jerry: We edit things that are on the menu over the years. We used to only do fried chicken, but now we have grilled chicken because people are more healthconscious than they were when we were growing up. How do you come up with the daily specials? Jeff: We have a big cookbook back in the kitchen, and over the years, we’ve tried several recipes and developed a list of favorites that we rotate. Jerry: When we try a new recipe, the whole family eats it to see if we like it enough to make the menu. Besides being owners and managers, you also do the cooking? Jerry: We don’t do the main entrée cooking. We’re always on the line. Karen Miller is our head chef and she takes care of most of the main dishes on the menu. What is it you like about cooking? Jeff: It’s in our blood. Jerry: I like being a short order cook because I like the fast pace and want to keep things moving all the time. Do you have a business or kitchen

philosophy that guides you? Jeff: Quality, home-cooked food. Jerry: Work hard, provide good home cooking made from scratch, and give a persistently good product. A lot of places change chefs all the time and change up their recipes, but we want to be consistent. What would you like our readers to know about the Swan? Jeff: It’s a relaxing, family atmosphere, locally owned with 55 years experience, and still going strong. Do you have any advice for the home cook? Jeff (laughing): Why cook at home when you can have great home-cooked meals at the Swan? Jerry: And at such good prices. Is there a signature dish at the Swan? Jerry: I’d have to say it’s the Swiss steak. We’ve had it for years and people seem to like that a lot. It’s on the menu every day, and on Wednesday, it’s on special. Jeff: And believe it or not, we sell a lot of liver and onions. Tell us about the recipe you’re sharing with us here. Jerry: It’s for honeyapple chicken breast, which we run as one of our specials. We’ve put apples in this one but you can also make it with dried cherries or cranberries. GR

Jerry and Jeff Spruit with their sister Lori Stadt head up the family-owned Swan Inn restaurant, built by their parents, Bernard and Jane Spruit, in 1955.

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City Guide continued from page 67 Forest Hill Ave SE, 285-1695. H, B, L, 3, V, MC, AE, DS ¢ 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. Facebook. H, B, L, D, 3, V, MC ¢

KAVA HOUSE BY GEORGE — Separately owned store in Gainesville Township offers bakery items and light lunch fare like wraps and seasonally inspired soups and chili. Full array of coffees. Free Wi-Fi. 6633 Kalamazoo Ave SE, 971-4560. H, B, L, 3, V, MC, AE, DC, DS ¢ 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 (half-size available), pizza, salads and pasta selection. 6504 28th St SE, 954-1964. mamaspizzaandgrinders. com. H, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS ¢ MUSEUM CAFÉ — Deli-style sandwiches, soups, salads, desserts and beverages on the second floor of the Van Andel Museum Center with a view of the riverfront. Closed Sun. 272 Pearl St NW, 456-3977. H, L ¢ 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, 456-0600; 3195 28th St, 942-8020; 3700 Rivertown Parkway SW, Grandville, 531-6572. 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. onestopconey 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 daily; takeout and catering. 2232 Wealthy St SE, 4598500. H, B, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$ 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 ¢-$ TASTE OF THE GARDENS CAFÉ — At Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. Deli selections, soups and fresh-baked pastries. Brunch on second Sun of month by reservation only. 1000 East Beltline Ave NE, 977-7691. H, L, 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 ¢-$

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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. 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 ¢

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City guide: grand vine

Wine, beer and local fare

PhoTograPhy by Johnny Quirin

by a. brian cain

LAST WINTEr, I discovered a series of wine and beer dinners at Salt of the Earth, a restaurant located in Fennville, in the heart of Southwest Michigan’s thriving agricultural region. Salt of the Earth specializes in using local, fresh ingredients, so it was not a stretch for owner Mark Schrock and Executive Chef Mathew Pietsch (protégé of “Iron Chef” Michael Symon) to put together a pairing of local food and local wine or beer. My wife and I attended all of the wine dinners but had to rely on others to validate that the beer dinners were every bit as delicious. This year, the series begins Jan. 19 with “Michigan vs. France,” presented by Jim Lester, artisan winemaker at Wyncroft Winery. His vineyard near Buchanan is in one of those remarkable micro-climates capable of producing world-class vinifera. If you attend this tasting, I am certain you will come away with an appreciation that, on small select sites, Michigan can make Cabernet/Merlot/Cab Franc blends that not only compete but can beat out comparably priced French Bordeaux. No one questions that Michigan’s Rieslings can compete with the best of Europe, but Jim’s Rieslings are the best in the state and among the best in the world. His 2008 semi-dry Riesling shown at last year’s dinner was stunning. The portions at Salt of the Earth are not large, so it is easy for the chef to pair four or five courses with various wines and still leave room for a dessert course. Every course at every meal was a treat. On Feb. 9, Mark is bringing in Larry Mawby to show a selection of great sparkling wines. Wine Spectator Magazine named L. Mawby Vineyards the best sparkling wine producer in the Midwest. Its best cuvées not only mimic the best attributes of French Champagne, but also capture the essence of northern Michigan in every bottle. The handcrafted wines will be paired with rustic canapés and shared plates. For the second event, March 9, Northwest Michigan’s Short’s Brewing Co. will bring the beer and Pietsch’s staff will bring the barbecue. When I first tasted Short’s Huma Lupa Licious IPA, my craving for “in your face” bright-bitter Cascade hops was piqued. This is a brewery that knows how to make beer that tastes better

with every sip. On April 20, Coenraad Stassen from Brys Estate Vineyard on Old Mission Peninsula will host “Michigan versus South Africa.” I am particularly interested to see how Stassen, a native of South Africa, will compare the wines from his two “homes.” Last year, we were treated to a delicious presentation of spring lamb with Brys Estate’s limited release Artisan Cabernet Franc. The lamb, the sauce, the garnish — everything was just right. The Cabernet Franc paired perfectly. When I tasted this monumental wine, I thought it was a shame that it was a limited release. I wish it was as plentiful as the great wines of South Africa. At the final tasting May 11, Larry Bell —who has been producing great beer in Kalamazoo for the better part of three decades — will present Bell’s Brewery’s tasty brews, famous for depth of flavor and persistence of aroma all the way to the finish. Count on Salt of the Earth to come up with a pairing to make his beer show even better. His Two Hearted Ale is one of the richest and, at the same time, hoppiest beers I have tasted. It is very wine-like and an obvious choice to serve with savory food. For specific menu and cost information, visit Brian Cain is a certified wine educator and freelance wine writer.

Michigan can make Cabernet/Merlot/ Cab Franc blends that not only compete but can beat out comparably priced French Bordeaux.

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Your partner in technology! “These guys are awesome!” — Kevin Matthews WLAV Radio Personality

City Guide 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 ¢-$ WIRED ESPRESSO BAR — A gamut of coffee concoctions, espresso-based beverages, 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 ¢

The AVI Group is a collective of professionals providing unsurpassed levels of performance in both audio and video system design, integration and installation. Our mission statement is simple, when “Good Enough” just won’t do. | (616) 942-1000 1830 Breton Ave. SE, Suite 1900 Grand Rapids, MI 49506

YESTERDOG — Uniquely GR. The city’s favorite hot dogs in a fun, nostalgic Eastown setting. Try the Ultradog. Closed Sun. 1505 Wealthy St SE, 262-3090. L, D ¢

European FTHE 1913 ROOM — AAA Five-Diamond rating. Innovative, French-inspired fare, excellent wine list and superb desserts, lavish French décor and impeccable service. Closed Sun. Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, 187 Monroe Ave NW, (800) 2533590 for reservations desk, 776-6426 for restaurant. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DC, $$ DS, RSVP ALPENROSE — European-inspired restaurant with fare ranging from Certified Aged Black Angus steaks to poultry and fish dishes. Five private dining rooms, banquet facility, bakery and café. Award-winning Sun brunch buffet. 4 E 8th St, Holland, (616) 393-2111. H, B, L, D, C, 3, V, MC, AE, DC, DS, RSVP ¢-$$ 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. amoretrattoriaitaliana. com. H, L, D, C, V, MC $$

Voted “Best Pizza” Thank you Grand Rapids!

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 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 $ 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 ¢-$

Open 7 Days | 400 Ada Dr. SE (in the Thornapple Village) | (616) 676-5400

FRANKIE V’s PIZZERIA & SPORTS BAR — Roomy space with pool tables, jukebox, covered patio. Appetizers, subs, stromboli, pizza, pasta

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City Guide 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 ¢-$

ally; private parties can be arranged. Sun brunch during summer. 248 Culver St, Saugatuck, (269) 857-1561. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, RSVP $$

FRED’S PIZZA AND ITALIAN RESTAURANT — Longtime 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

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. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$

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 ¢-$ MANGIAMO — Historic mansion houses familyfriendly 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. mangiamo.php. H, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS, DC $-$$ MARINADE’S PIZZA BISTRO — Specialty woodfired pizzas, ethnic salads, sandwiches, appetizers, dips, soups, desserts and coffee. Open daily. 2844 Lake Michigan Dr NW, 453-0200; 109 Courtland St, Rockford, 863-3300; 450 Baldwin, Jenison, 457-7400. H, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS ¢ MARRO’S — Authentic Italian fare and housebaked goods, extensive array of pizza toppings. Open mid-April through autumn; closed Mon. 147 Waters St, Saugatuck, (269) 857-4248. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $-$$ 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 BACK DOOR PIZZERIA — Tucked behind Pietro’s Restaurant off 28th Street, featuring Chicago-style, thin-crust, Sicilian pan and wood-fired pizzas. Also skillet pastas, paninis, appetizers, salads and desserts. Kids menu. 2780 Birchcrest Dr SE, 452-7488. pizzeria/. H, L, D, C, 3, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$ 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 season-

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 $-$$ ➧SEASONAL GRILLE — Hastings’ Italian-themed eatery features fresh, locally sourced, creative fare in handsome surroundings. Full bar, craft cocktails, nice wine list. Open daily. 150 W State St, Hastings, (269) 948-9222. seasonalgrille. $ com. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS FTRE CUGINI — Authentic high-end Italian menu, impressive wine list, fresh daily pastas and risotto specialties, plus beef, veal, lamb, chicken and seafood dishes. Outdoor seating in mild weather. Closed Sun. 122 Monroe Center, 235-9339. tre H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $-$$ 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, 4582090), takeout 458-3766. 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. vitales 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 ¢-$


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 January 2011 Grand Rapids 73

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City Guide 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 ¢-$

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 ¢

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 ¢-$

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 $

-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. angels H, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS, RSVP ¢-$

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 28th St SE, 5759088. H, L, D, C, 3, V, MC, AE, 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 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. bluegingergr. com. 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 Thu-Sat eves. Takeout available. Closed Tue. 1420 Lake Dr SE, 456-7055. 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 ¢-$

Mikado 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. chinatowngr 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 ¢-$ EAST GARDEN BUFFET — Cantonese, Hunan, Szechuan cuisine in Kentwood. Open daily with buffet and large menu selection. 6038 Kalamazoo 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 ¢-$ 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,

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 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 ¢-$ 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 ¢-$ 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 $ 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 ¢-$

Photography by Johnny Quirin

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

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. fortunechefcaledo H, B, L, D, V, MC ¢-$

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City Guide KOBE JAPANESE STEAK HOUSE — Chefs entertain behind giant grills as they slice, dice, toss, grill and flambé filet mignon, shrimp, chicken, salmon, scallops and lobster. Separate à la carte sushi counter. 3434 Rivertown Point Ct, Grandville, 301-8696. H, L (Sat/Sun), D, C, V, MC, AE, DS ¢-$$

Dance with someone Special… you may Never Let Go!

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

Step out tonight and step into the fun. $ 2500 introductory private lesson. CALL NOW! 3089 29th St. SE Grand Rapids, MI (616) 940-9894

4485 Plainfield NE Grand Rapids, MI (616) 363-7632

OYSY TEPPANYAKI AND SUSHI BAR — Korean and Japanese fusion fare with a single-priced allyou-can-eat lunch from the sushi buffet or teppanyaki grilled fried rice and vegetable option with chicken, steak or shrimp choices. Closed Sun. Centerpointe Mall, 3665 28th St SE, 575-8110. 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 ¢-$ PEKING WOK — Cheery window-fronted Chinese eatery, affordably priced, in the Cascade Centre. Closed Sun. 6264 28th St SE, 956-6525. H, L, D, V, MC ¢-$

Photography by Johnny Quirin

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 ¢ 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 ¢-$ RED SUN BUFFET — All-you-can-eat international buffet: sushi, Chinese, American, Italian

continued on page 79 January 2011 Grand Rapids 75

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City Guide: Fresh Hops

No sake without koji by Jon C. Koeze

Sake is a curious drink. Like wine, it is fermented from a single ingredient, generally noncarbonated, and finished at about 12-15 percent alcohol by volume. But like beer, sake is made from processed grain sugars and diluted with water. Sake is different from all other alcoholic drinks because it contains koji, an ingredient necessary to alcohol production and for its distinctive flavor. There is no sake without koji. The single fermented ingredient in sake is rice. Humans have made alcohol from grains for ages, but the problem with fermenting grains, as opposed to fruit or honey, is that grain contains a lot of starch but little sugar. Yeast must have sugar to ferment alcohol, so something is needed to convert the grain starches to sugar. In the beer-making process, barley is malted and then brewed to activate an enzyme call amylase that performs this starch conversion. Rice does not contain an enzyme to assist in this process. Koji is a kind of mold (aspergillus oryzae) and is used to activate the starch conversion process for sake. So what about taste? I sat down with sake enthusiast Cliff Thomas, who picked out several bottles of fine sake to sample and then provided background on this amazing drink. He advised me that sake is typically served in small (1-2 ounces) porcelain or cedar cups. It is usually served at or slightly below room temperature, and occasionally it is served warm, such as in an Oriental restaurant, but this is not common with high quality sakes. The rule for drinking is to “never pour your own glass and never let another’s glass stay empty.” Unless otherwise noted, the sakes below were purchased at G.B. Russo & Sons International Grocery, 2770 29th St. SE. Hakutsuru — Junmai: Like a good wine, a sake bottle has a lot of information about the beverage inside. When you see “junmai,” you know it is pure sake, made with only fermented rice, water and koji with no adjunct

Photography by Jack Poeller at Shang Hai Ichiban

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Ice & Snow? Ready, Set, Go!

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2600 28th Street SE 616-949-1140  1-800-552-2339   

The GX 460

     2550 28th Street SE 616-949-1010  1-800-551-5398

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Photography by Jack Poeller at Shang Hai Ichiban


R I A F F A Y R A N I L U C D N A R G 1 1 20


A N s d R o E o T F N t e e Str


Featuring the 31st Annual Grand Rapids Magazine Dining Awards February 16, 2011 | 6pm - 9pm For more information, contact Secchia Institute for Culinary Education, (616) 234-3690 Proceeds for this event benefit students at the GRCC Secchia Institute for Culinary Education. January 2011 Grand Rapids 77

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City guide: fresh hops


2pm-6pm 7days a week . $1 Blatz cans & $1 Rolling Rock drafts . $2 Mixed drinks . $8 Pitchers of Sangria . $6 Stuffed Burgers + Veggie Burger

53 Commerce Ave, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 ph. 616-356-2700

adam beasley phone 616 446 4735

adam beasley phone 616 446 4735

i sat down with sake enthusiast cliff Thomas, who picked out several bottles of fine sake to sample and then provided background on this amazing drink. The difference in flavor is immediately obvious. Without the harsher kernel flavors, I could taste slight fruity and grape flavors, very smooth and delicious. You will pay more for the polished rice; this one cost $8.99 for a 300 ml bottle and is a little less alcoholic at 14.5 percent abv. Serve chilled to slightly below room temp. The flavors will change as it, or you, warm up. Hakutsuru — Sayuri Nigori: Nigori is an unfiltered variety with a natural effervescence in the pour much like Champagne. There is a large amount of white sediment in the bottom of the bottle from rice particle sediment that has fallen from being suspended in the liquid. I was intrigued with the milky color and the amazing floral and fruity flavors both in the bouquet and in the whole mouth. It sells for $10.29 for a 300 ml bottle at B&B Liquors at 2440 28th St. SE and is 12.5 percent abv. Momokawa — Diamond Junmai Ginjo: This is an American sake. Momo-

Client: Stella’s Lounge/MarkSellers, Garry Boyd Publication: Grand Rapids Magazine Ad size: 2.25” x 9.875” with 1/8” bleed Design questions: or 616-446-4735 Billing questions: Garry Boyd, 356-2700,

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ingredients or fortifications. This sake is the baseline for the others we sampled. It has the classic sake flavor and a smooth, refreshing, full-mouth experience. Hakutsuru ($11.96 for a 720 ml bottle) is a popular brand in America. This one had 15 percent alcohol by volume and is best served at slightly below room temperature. Hakutsuru — Junmai Ginjo: When you see the word ginjo, you know it is a step up in quality. All sake is made with polished rice (the husk of the kernel is rubbed off to provide a cleaner flavor). The more it’s polished, the more grain needed to produce a bottle of sake. The rice in Junmai Ginjo has had 40 percent of the kernel polished off.

kawa is making an authentic recipe sake in Forrest Grove, Ore. This one is a highly polished pure sake, but I was surprised by the difference in flavor between this and the Hakutsuru. The label mentions a cedarlined koji room, and cedar was the first flavor I noticed. It was a little drier with a slightly tannic astringency and finished with a hint of green tea on the back of the tongue. Highly recommended. The cost was $11.69 for a 750ml bottle (on sale); it’s 14.8 percent abv. ozeki Dry: Also an American sake, the very dry, in-your-face flavors of Ozeki Dry contrast with the delicate and sublime flavors of the sake above. This is the sake I am used to drinking from a warmed carafe in an oriental restaurant. At $3.79 for a 180 ml bottle (14.5 percent abv), this would be good to enjoy warmed on a cold winter evening. Ozeki is made in Hollister, Calif., but the company is an old Japanese sake manufacturer. I consulted the Internet for much of the information in this article and learned a lot about koji, sake and the Japanese language. I was surprised to learn that the Japanese word sake, or o-sake, is a general term for all alcoholic drinks. Nihonshu is the word for Japanese sake, and to toast, you raise a glass and proclaim: “Kanpai!” Jon C. Koeze is cable television administrator for the city of Grand Rapids. He has made and tasted beer since 1980.

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City Guide continued from page 75 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 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 $-$$ SHANG HAI ICHIBAN — Authentic Chinese and Japanese cuisine served in two distinct areas. Food prepared tableside in the Japanese area by hibachi chefs. 3005 Broadmoor Ave SE (at 29th St), 773-2454. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DC, RSVP $-$$ 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 ¢-$ 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 ¢-$

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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, 827-9955. H, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS ¢ 616.940.0001

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THAI HOUSE RESTAURANT — Broad-ranging menu, from three-alarm spicy to subtle. Lunch and dinner specials. Try the Thai banana pie. Closed Sun-Mon. 6447 28th St SE, 285-9944. L, $ D, V, MC 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 ¢-$ 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 ¢-$ 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

We cultivate relationships one landscape at a time.

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City Guide tasty selections from the barbecue pit, as well. Open daily. 4242 S Division Ave, 724-1818. H, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS $

Latin American/ Caribbean

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 $-$$

7 MARES — Full-scale 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, 301-8555. Facebook. H, B, L, D ¢-$$

YEN CHING/ROARING ’20s — Expertly prepared entrées served amid elaborate décor, a perennial favorite. 4605 28th St SE, 773-1587. H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DC, DS $$

ADOBE IN & OUT — The usual Mexican offerings served quickly at drive-through or seated (Grandville location is drive-through only). Open daily. 617 W Fulton St, 454-0279; 1216 Leonard St NE, 451-9050; 4389 Chicago Dr, Grandville, 2577091. H, L, D, V, MC ¢

YUMMY WOK — Combo platters, sweet and sour dishes, Cantonese, Hunan and Szechuan dishes, chow and lo mein, chop suey, tofu and Peking sizzling dishes in nice surroundings. Open daily. 4325 Breton Rd SE, 827-2068. H, L, D, V, MC ¢-$

BELTLINE 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 $

Middle Eastern/ Mediterranean

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 ¢-$

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. H, B, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS, DC ¢-$ MEDITERRANEAN GRILL — Mid-East fare: gyros, kabobs, shwarma, falafel, fattousch, hummus, kafta. All meats are halal, in accordance with Islamic requirements. Cozy, attractive dining room with hand-painted murals. Closed Sun. Cascade Center, 6250 28th St SE, 949-9696. 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 SunMon. 2228 Wealthy St SE in EGR, 456-8999. H, L, D, C, 3, V, MC, DS ¢-$ PARSLEY MEDITERRANEAN GRILLE — Mediterranean appetizers, salads, soups, pitas, lunch 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 a variety of other Middle East specialties. Open daily. 1450 Wealthy St SE, 454-1171; 3730 28th St SE, 9403029; 6333 Kalamazoo Ave SE, 698-8722; 134 Monroe Center NW, 233-4875. H, L, D, V, MC, AE, DS ¢ SHIRAZ 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. zeytinturkishrestau H, L, D, C, V, MC, AE, DS $

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 fullservice bar. 2770 East Paris Ave SE, 949-9120. 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, 2334141. L, D, V, MC ¢ CINCO DE MAYO — Mexican eatery offers fajitas, tacos, burritos and enchiladas, as well as 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 $ COSTA AZUL — American/Latin fusion and fresh-made Mexican fare in the unassuming former JoJo’s Americana Supper Club space, 107 Blue Star Highway, Douglas, (269) 857-1523. Facebook. H, D, C (wine/beer), 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 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 virgin coladas. Open daily. 950 Bridge St NW, 458-5595. H, B, L, D, V, MC ¢ 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. grandvillarestaurants. com. H, L, D, C, 3, V, MC, AE, DS $ GRINGO’S GRILL — Latin American-inspired fare such as scallop or sticky-shrimp tacos, burritos, empanadas, chiles rellenos, chicken and seafood dishes and filet medallions served with polenta and fried goat cheese. Open daily at 11 am. 2863 West Shore Dr, Holland, (616) 994-9722. gringos H, L, D, C, 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 feature true Mexican fare, including specials such as tacos de barbacoa, tripitos or lengua. Enchiladas, burritos, combo plates and more. Open daily. 1292 28th St SW, 261-2280. H, L, ¢-$ D, V, MC, AE, DS, DC LITTLE MEXICO CAFÉ — All new space at its original location offers some of Grand Rapids’ most beloved 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 $ FMAGGIE’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. Jukebox and flat screen TV. Open daily at 9 am, breakfast options. 334 Burton St SW, 452-0018. H, B, L, D, V, MC ¢-$

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City guide MI tIerra restaurant — Tacos, burritos, enchiladas and other traditional Mexican dishes from spanish-speaking staff whether dining in or driving through. 2300 s Division ave, 245-7533. h, l, D, v, MC ¢



san Marcos — Mexican grill with extensive menu. Top-shelf tequilas, complimentary chips/ salsa, kids menu, lunch specials, desserts and veggie plates. Mariachi band plays monthly. open daily. 9740 Cherry valley ave se, Caledonia, 8912511. h, l, D, C, v, MC ¢-$$

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, 3659255. 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 ¢

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taco bob’s — fresh-Mex tacos, burritos, quesadillas, taco salads and the “funny taco,” a hard-shell taco wrapped in a soft shell, with nacho cheese in between. 250 Monroe ave nw, 4581533. h, l, v, MC, ae, Ds ¢

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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 ¢-$

tacos el ranchero — Mexican fare in lowkey 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. treslobos h, l, D, C, v, MC, ae, Ds ¢-$

STUDIO DUO architecture + interior design

dining guide legend grand rapIds MagaZIne has created these symbols to area restaurant amenities as a service to our readers.

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 2009 restaurant of the year F — grM’s 2009 award of excellence — chef Profile in this issue 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.

We don’t have a look. We help you find yours.

616.656.2182 January 2011 Grand rapids 81

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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 Jan 2 - NITE LITES: Experience the wonder of more than 1 million lights at this drive-thru Christmas light show with two miles of animated displays. Open every night 6-10 pm. Fifth Third Ballpark, Comstock Park. $12/car. 292-1434, Thru Mar 6 - ICE SKATING AT ROSA PARKS CIRCLE: Outdoor ice skating rink designed by Maya Lin in the heart of downtown. $1 admission; skate rentals free with picture ID (available Mon, Tue 6-9:30 pm; Wed, Thu, Sun noon-9:30 pm; Fri, Sat noon-10 pm). Monroe Center at Monroe Ave. (Events). Jan 1 - KENT COUNTY CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT: Birders of all skill levels can join Grand Rapids Audubon Club for a fun day of identifying and counting birds. The National and Michigan Audubon societies use the data to track longterm population trends. Registration: (616) 8749299 or www. Jan 7 - WINE ABOUT WINTER: Downtown Grand Haven hosts an evening art and walking tour featuring wine tasting at participating stores. www. Jan 7-8 - GR BRIDAL SHOW: One-stop-shopping for brides, plus a fashion show of wedding gowns, tuxedos and flowers. 6-9 pm Fri, noon-5 pm Sat. DeVos Place. Tickets TBD. Jan 7-8 - HOLLAND ICE SCULPTING COMPETITION: Downtown Holland and the National Ice Carving Association host a collegiate competition in the streets of downtown Holland, where 300-pound blocks of ice are turned into art. www.

IT’S ALL ABOUT ICE Downtown Rockford will be transformed into a winter gallery this month with ice sculptures lining the streets. The Second Annual Ice Festival Jan. 8 will feature everything from miniature golf to a scavenger hunt throughout downtown. Onlookers can vote for their favorite ice sculpture while sipping hot cocoa in the heated pavilion. The award-winning Ice Gurus of Ice Sculptures Ltd. in Grand Rapids will wield their chainsaws from noon to 4 p.m. on the deck at Reds on the River. Last year’s festival attracted more than 6,000 spectators and organizers expect an even bigger turnout this year. Other family activities will include a sports wall for shooting hoops and an area for building snow structures and decorating snowmen. Area businesses will offer shopping and dining deals. See Special eventS

Jan 8 - JUICE BALL INITIATIVE: Chef Tommy Fitzgerald celebrates his birthday with a Big Top Tommy Circus theme including cash bar and entertainment. Benefits Kids’ Food Basket’s initiative to provide free juice boxes to kids yearround. 7 pm. JW Marriott. $14 (www.kidsfoodbas

PhotograPhy By JeFF hage/green Frog Photo

Jan 8 - ROCKFORD ICE FESTIVAL: Free family fun includes craftsmen carving giant blocks of ice, ice mini-golf, scavenger hunt, shopping and hot chocolate. Noon-4 pm. Downtown Rockford. Jan 8-9 - GR ANTIQUES MARKET: More than 130 antique dealers, appraisals, furniture delivery, restoration demonstrations and presentations on local history topics and popular antiques. 9 am-7 pm Sat, 10 am-4 pm Sun. DeVos Place. $8 weekend pass, children 12 and under free. www. Jan 14-16 - CAMPER, TRAVEL & RV SHOW: A dozen West Michigan RV dealers showcase 125 RV lines. Noon-9:30 pm Fri, 10 am-9 pm Sat, 11 am-6 pm Sun. DeVos Place. $8 adults, $3 ages 6-14. (800) 328-6550 or www.grandrapids for info. Jan 17 - MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. CELEBRATION: GRCC’s 25th annual “Inherit the Dream”

community-wide program. Keynote speaker: Dr. Randal Pinkett. 6:30-8:30 pm. GRCC’s Ford Fieldhouse.

live entertainment. 6:30-9:30 pm. The BOB, 20 Monroe Ave NW. Tickets TBD. www.soupsonfor

Jan 18 - STORY SPINNERS: Hear folk tales and original stories. All ages. 7 pm. Terraces of Maple Creek, 2000 32nd St. Free.

Jan 28-30 - HUNTIN’ TIME EXPO: Includes seminars, products, taxidermy displays, clothing and hunting equipment. 3-9 pm Fri, 9 am-6 pm Sat, 10 am-5 pm Sun. DeltaPlex. Tickets TBD. www.

Jan 21-22 - WINTER BRIDAL SHOW OF WEST MICHIGAN: One-stop wedding shopping expo. 5-9 pm Fri, 10 am-4 pm Sat. DeVos Place. $6 (at door). Jan 24 - SOUP’S ON FOR ALL: God’s Kitchen 13th annual benefit includes soups, desserts and

Jan 29 - BIDDING FOR THE SAKE OF GOD’S CHILDREN: CLC Network hosts an auction of household items, vacations, restaurant certificates and more. 6 pm. Calvin Christian Middle School, 3740 Ivanrest, Grandville. More January 2011 Grand rapids 83

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City Guide

Ancient Chinese circus traditions are the focus of Cirque du Soleil’s newest arena show, Dralion, performing Jan. 12-16 at Van Andel Arena. The international cast features 52 acrobats, gymnasts, musicians, singers and comedic characters. “People come to see people doing amazing things,” said Sean McKeown, artistic director. “And they will not be disappointed.” Expect plenty of tumbling, juggling and aerial moves that require extraordinary strength and flexibility. Some artists will balance on top of a stack of chairs. Another will juggle up to seven balls simultaneously. And in the hoop diving act, 10 male artists dive and throw themselves like arrows through small wooden hoops stacked on top of each other. Which act is McKeown’s favorite? “Not fair,” he said. “That’s like asking a parent to pick a favorite child. They’re all amazing.” See Special Events info: 245-8388 or Jan 29 - GRCC GIANTS AWARDS & BANQUET: GRCC salutes 13 African-American individuals and organizations for their contributions to the community. Contributions support the Milo Brown Memorial Scholarship Fund. 6 pm. DeVos Place. Tickets TBD (234-3390 or giants). Jan 29-30 - GRAND HAVEN WINTERFEST: Events include a Family Dog Pull and Cardboard Sled Race at Mulligan’s Hollow. The Luau Extravaganza (ages 21 and up) includes music 8 pm-midnight Jan 29 in the Grand Haven Municipal Marina Parking Lot. Kids Day is Jan 29; see Children’s Creation Centers in Kidstuff. www. Jan 29-30 - TULIP CITY GYMNASTICS INVITATIONAL: Fourth annual women’s gymnastics competition. West Ottawa High School, 3685 Butternut Dr, Holland. $10 adults, $7 kids and seniors, 5 and under free. www.tulipcityinvitation

Music Jan - FRIDAY NIGHTS AT GRAM: GR Art Museum hosts live music, social games, cash bar and dinner options 5-9 pm every Fri. January theme: fashion. Jan 14 Suzanne Eberle, art history professor, Kendall College of Art & Design. $5 nonmembers, members free. Jan - THE INTERSECTION: Nightclub hosts local and national music. Jan 2 High School of Rock: Battle of the Bands. Jan 8 Mega 80s. Jan 27 Dirty Rotten Imbeciles. Jan 28 Mega 80s. See website for updates. Ticket prices vary (Beat Goes On, Purple East, Vertigo Music, Intersection box office

or Ticketmaster). 133 Grandville Ave SW. www. Jan - MUSIC AT MID-DAY: Free concerts 12:1512:45 pm Tues. Jan 4 Larry Biser, organ. Jan 11 Diane Biser, soprano. Jan 18 Marilyn Ossentjuk, organ. Jan 25 Phyllis Miner, harp and piano. Park Congregational Church, 10 E Park Place NE. www. Jan - ONE TRICK PONY CONCERTS: Restaurant offers live music. Jan 1 Natchez Trace. Jan 13 Junior Valentine and the Aces. Jan 15 Tony Reynolds. Jan 22 Lazy Blue Tunas. 8 pm. See website for updates. One Trick Pony, 136 E Fulton St. Jan 4, 18 - FARM MUSEUM JAM NIGHT: Bring your guitar, fiddle or other non-electric instrument. Singers and listeners welcome. 6-9 pm, doors open 5 pm. Coopersville Farm Museum, 375 Main St, Coopersville. Free with admission ($4). Jan 5 - TAIZE SUNG PRAYER SERVICE: Taize worship consists of repeated choruses, often accompanied by instruments, vocal solos. 7 pm. First United Methodist Church, 227 E Fulton St. Jan 6-8 - “SCHUBERT’S UNFINISHED”: GR Symphony’s Rising Stars presents music by Bartok, Haydn, Gabriela Frank and Schubert. 7 pm Thu, 8 pm Fri at St Cecilia’s Royce Auditorium. 8 pm Sat at DeWitt Auditorium, Zeeland East High School. $18-$28 (Symphony box office or Ticketmaster). Jan 14 - MAJIC CONCERT SERIES: Musical Arts for Justice in the Community hosts Ralston Bowles. 7 pm. Bethlehem Church Sanctuary, 250 Commerce Ave SW. $10 suggested donation; pro-

ceeds benefit GR Coalition to End Homelessness. Jan 14-15 - ST CECILIA CONCERTS: 7 pm Jan 14, Concert Orchestra features honors middle school student band playing traditional and original works by local musicians. 5 pm Jan 15, Sinfonia and Concert Orchestra Concert features beginning and intermediate-level string orchestras playing classical and traditional music. 8 pm Jan 15, Philharmonic Concert features piano concerto competition winner with full orchestras performing works from the classics to movie scores and Broadway. $10, kids 10 and under free (459-2224). Jan 14-15 - STRAVINSKY’S “THE FIREBIRD”: GR Symphony presents fiery ballet music with pianist Markus Groh and guest conductor Danail Rachev. 8 pm. DeVos Performance Hall. $28$77 (Symphony and DeVos Place box offices or Ticketmaster). Jan 15 - CALVIN COLLEGE ALUMNI CHOIR: Calvin alumni presents a concert. 8 pm. Covenant FAC, Calvin College. Ticket TBD (526-6282). Jan 15 - JAZZ VESPERS: Live jazz by Orange Nature. 6 pm. First United Methodist Church, 227 E Fulton St. Free. Jan 15, 22 - ACOUSTIC SATURDAY NIGHTS: Grand River Folk Arts Society hosts singers and songwriters Sat nights at 8 pm. Jan 15 Malinky, Wealthy St Theater, 1130 Wealthy St SE. Jan 22 ChickenFat Klezmer Orchestra, Temple Emanuel, 1712 E Fulton St. $12 adults, $10 students and seniors, $9 members, $3 children (at door). www. Jan 17 - JAZZ GUMBO: West Michigan Jazz Society presents cabaret concerts every third Monday. 6:30-8:30 pm. Kopper Top Guest House, 639 Stocking Ave NW. $12 includes gumbo or chili; other food available. Cash bar. Jan 22 - CATHEDRAL CONCERT: GR Symphony presents music originally conceived for cathedral settings. 8 pm. Cathedral of St Andrew. $22 (Symphony and DeVos Place box offices or Ticketmaster). Jan 22 - NATURALLY 7: A “vocal play” concert featuring R&B music with extensive beat boxing created solely by human voices. 7:30 pm. Forest Hills FAC. $26-$40 (in person at box office or Ticketmaster). Jan 27 - CLAREMONT TRIO: Hope College Great Performance Series presents twin sisters Emily and Julia Bruskin on violin and cello, with pianist Donna Kwong. 7:30 pm. Dimnent Memorial Chapel, Hope College, Holland. $18 adults, $13 seniors, $6 children (Hope College DeVos ticket office or 616-395-7890). Jan 27 - DAVE HOLLAND QUINTET: St Cecilia’s Jazz Series features a quintet led by bassist and composer Dave Holland. 7:30 pm. St Cecilia Music Center. $30-$35 adults, $10 students; preconcert wine and appetizer reception $15 (4592224). Jan 28-30 - “A SALUTE TO JOHN WILLIAMS”: GR Symphony presents music from “Star Wars,” “Indiana Jones,” “Harry Potter,” “E.T.” and more. 8 pm, 3 pm Sun. DeVos Performance Hall. $28$77 (Grand Rapids Symphony and DeVos Place box offices or Ticketmaster). www.grsymphony. org. Jan 29 - “THE MUSIC OF THE BEATLES”: Glenn Bulthuis and the Tonedeafs recreate 25 Beatles

Photography Courtesy Cirque du Soleil

Dralion — Cirque du Soleil

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City Guide classics. 7:30 pm. Van Singel FAC. $14 adults, $8 students (878-6800, Jan 30 - SACRED SOUNDS OF ST MARK’S: Gravitacion Vocal Ensemble performs Medieval and Renaissance vocal music. 5 pm. St Mark’s Episcopal Church, 134 N Division Ave, www. Free.

Art Jan - AQUINAS COLLEGE GALLERY: Jan 16-Feb 11 Katherine Sullivan; reception 2-4 pm Jan 16. Aquinas Art & Music Center (enter off Fulton St), 632-2408,

and tea at 3:30 pm). 7-8:30 pm Jan 10 cocktail reception with Charles Spencer, Princess Diana’s brother, $75, $50 members. 7-10 pm Jan 17 Ladies Night, includes wine, chocolate and admission to exhibit, $30. Thru Feb 27, Selections From 100 Years/100 Works of Art. 10 am-5 pm Tue, Wed, Thu and Sat; 10 am-9 pm Fri; noon-5 pm Sun; closed Mon. General admission: $8 adults, $7 seniors/students with ID, $5 children 6-17, 5 and under free. 101 Monroe Center, 831-1000, Jan - GVSU ARTISTS: Jan 10-Apr 29 Cyril

Lixenburg: Selections from the Print and Drawing Cabinet, Kirkhof Center, Allendale campus. Jan 10-Apr 29 GVSU Print and Drawing Cabinet: A Decade of Collecting, Eberhard Center, Allendale Campus. Jan 10-Feb 25 50th Anniversary Alumni MultiMedia Invitational, 5-7 pm Jan 13 reception, PAC, Allendale. Jan - HOLLAND MUSEUM: Thru Mar 19, Be Prepared! Celebrating a Century of Scouting. Dutch Galleries exhibit 17th- to 20th-century Dutch paintings and cultural objects. Also see Museums & Attractions. continued on page 88

Jan - BETHLEHEM LUTHERAN CHURCH GALLERY: Thru Feb 7, Musical Arts for Justice in the Community presents “I’m One of Those Americans,” a photo essay on the culture of garage sales in Michigan by David McGowan. 250 Commerce Ave SW, 456-1741, Jan - BETTYE CLARK-CANNON GALLERY: Thru Jan 31, dichotomy by Marlan Cotner and Christi Dreese-Carter. Frauenthal Center, 425 W Western Ave, Muskegon, (231) 722-2890, www. Jan - CALVIN CENTER ART GALLERY: Jan 5-Feb 5 Presence/Absence, new work by Bruce Herman; reception 6-8 pm Jan 28. Thru Feb 5, Florence Portfolio: Sacrifice. Calvin College Covenant FAC, 1795 Knollcrest Circle SE, 5266271, Jan - DEPREE GALLERY: Jan 14-Feb 11 End of the Line: An Exhibition of Drawing. Hope College, Holland, (616) 395-7500, Jan - DESIGN QUEST GALLERY: Thru Jan 16, Motawi Tileworks, handcrafted by Ann Arbor artisans. 4181 28th St SE, 940-0131, www.d2d2d2. com. Jan - FIRE AND WATER GALLERY: Jan 1-31 Patti Sevensma, Beautiful Children and other portraits, plus local art, jewelry, sculpture and photography. 219 W Main St, Lowell, 890-1879, Jan - FOREST HILLS FAC: Jan 6-26 Kathleen Kalinowski, pastels and oil; reception 6-7:30 pm Jan 13. 600 Forest Hill Ave SE, 493-8965, www. Jan - FREDERIK MEIJER GARDENS & SCULPTURE PARK: Thru Jan 2, sculptors celebrate the legacy of Fred and Lena Meijer. Jan 28-May 8 Jim Dine: Sculpture. Permanent exhibits include more than 100 world-class sculptures indoors and in the 30-acre park. See Museums & Attractions.

Photography Courtesy BODIES Exhibition

Photography Courtesy Cirque du Soleil

Jan - GAINEY GALLERY: Jan 4-Feb 10 dis/array, prints by Alicia Wierschke; and Reverto Ut Terra, mixed media by Jamin Rollin. Van Singel Fine Arts Center, 8500 Burlingame SW, Byron Center, (616) 878-6800, Jan - GALLERY UPTOWN: Thru Jan 31, Artist’s Invitational; reception 5:30-8 pm Jan 7. 201 Washington Ave, Grand Haven, (616) 846-5460, Jan - GRAND RAPIDS ART MUSEUM: Thru Feb 16, Diana: A Celebration includes 150 personal objects including her royal wedding gown, 28 designer dresses, family heirlooms, personal mementos and home movies. Admission (includes regular GRAM admission): $20 adults, $18 seniors/students, $15 children 6-17, 5 and under free. Special events: 2 pm Jan 9 Afternoon Tea, $40 (includes admission to the exhibit


Bodies Revealed inspires lifestyle changes

eed inspiration to quit smoking or to drop those extra pounds? Check out Bodies Revealed at the Grand Rapids Public Museum. The traveling exhibition has helped thousands of people rethink their bad habits, said Dr. Roy Glover, chief medical director. “A lot of people leave their cigarettes in a container after they see the exhibit,” he said. “In Las Vegas, we collected more than 3,000 packs. When people see what smoking does to their lungs, they’re ready to make the commitment.” Bodies Revealed, which runs through May 1, features whole and partial body specimens — real ones — that have been dissected and preserved. Visitors can get an up-close look inside skeletal, muscular, respiratory, circulatory and other anatomical systems. “They see how lifestyle choices directly affect their health,” said Glover, a Calvin College graduate who earned a master’s degree and doctorate in anatomy at Ohio State University. He spent 35 years as a teacher and researcher at the University of Michigan Medical School. Glover said the exhibit also points out the consequences of overeating. “Over 65 percent of health-related diseases that are life-threatening have to do with what we eat. Obesity leads to diabetes, heart disease and cardiovascular disease.” While Bodies Revealed will make visitors aware of what bad behavior can do, Glover said it also shows how “awe-inspiring the body is.” Visitors can experience the galleries in any way they choose. Audio and video components have been added so people can learn in a way that makes sense. Regional experts will provide updates on local health care initiatives and breakthroughs in the Topics in Health Care Lecture Series held select Tuesday evenings and Saturday afternoons throughout the run of the exhibit. Dr. Asghar Khaghani, who heads up Spectrum Health’s heart transplant team, kicks off the series Jan. 18 with a presentation on “Surgery of the Heart.” For details and a full list of lectures, visit www. See Museums & Attractions

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City Guide: Clubs ’n’ Pubs


The Viceroy has a speak-easy theme while Stella’s, below, has an urban vibe.

Same place, different vibes Stella’s Lounge and The Viceroy share a building but the two clubs have very different personalities, drink offerings and menus. by Erin Price

Photography by Michael Buck


ike two sides of the same coin, Stella’s Lounge and The Viceroy share an address — but the vibe is quite different. “The concept of both places is the same. We wanted to offer a unique downtown neighborhood bar experience where the focus is about good drinks, good conversation and just hanging out with friends,” explains Garry Boyd, general manager and self-described “ringleader” of both bars. The bars were opened in May 2010 by Mark and Michelle Sellers, owners of the successful beer bar HopCat. Patrons approach the unmarked entrance of Viceroy at 53 Commerce Ave. SW and enter the secret “pass code” (found online) on a keypad to get in. This unusual entry gives a hint of the theme inside, where a modern-day “speak-easy” awaits. The ambiance is inviting, done in an ultra-hip, retro style, with glossy red walls and black accents. The menu is small — mostly shareable plates and appetizers. The music is generally old jazz and blues favorites, but The Viceroy does feature a variety of live bands on Thursdays that play everything from rockabilly to soul. “I describe it as upbeat, good drinkin’ music,” said Boyd. The drink selection at Viceroy does not disappoint. The spotlight is on old-school cocktails, and there are so many options, it’ll make your head spin, including Manhattans, side-cars and Rob Roys — and, of course, old-fashioneds. “They’re the kind of drinks your grandfather would appreciate,” said Boyd. “And the bitters and tonic are all homemade.” There are plenty of unusual selections, as well. For example, the list of infusions, a blend of fresh flavors and spirits ($7-$9), includes a habanero and pineapple-infused tequila and a gingerhibiscus rum. The martinis ($7-$11) sport highly creative names 86 Grand Rapids January 2011

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City Guide: Clubs ’n’ Pubs such as Viceroy Green Vesper, Last Word or Corpse Reviver No. 2. The menu lists “equatorial drinks” ($7-$9) that include Mai Tai, Sky Juice and Singapore Sling, and the Viceroy Specialties ($8-$11) have names like Cherry Rumble, Devil’s Dishwater or The Cowgirl Lucy. Tuesday nights are absinthe nights, featuring specials and fun twists on this infamous liqueur. Like a rebellious younger sibling, Stella’s Lounge, whose entrance is off the side alley, has a vibe all its own. The décor is mostly black, livened up with colorful graffiti-style painting on the walls and tables. Music reflects Stella’s urban theme with jukebox selections that are mostly old-school alternative and punk. In the back are dozens of classic arcade games like “Frogger,” “Tetris,” “Ms. Pacman” and “Centipede” for 25 cents a game. Stella’s also offers a varied menu featuring mostly vegan and vegetarian options, with a small selection of burgers and other carnivore-friendly choices. A whiskey enthusiast’s dream, Stella’s offers more than 200 types of whiskey ($2-$37), as well as a large selection of beer at bargain prices — even 40 ounces of malt-liquor served in a paper sack. Nightly specials include “Metal Mondays” featuring drink specials and heavy metal music. Tuesdays are “Mug Club” nights; customers are encouraged to bring their own drinking vessel (up to 32 oz.) and have it filled with draft beer for the price of a pint. Wednesday is “Whiskey and Wings” night; wings are just 50 cents and select whiskies and whiskey cocktails are half off. GR

the viceroy and Stella’s lounge location: 53 Commerce Ave. SE Hours: Viceroy: 4 p.m.-2 a.m. daily. Stella’s: 11:30 a.m.-2 a.m. Mon.-Sat., noon-2 a.m. Sun.

PhotograPhy By MiChael BuCK

contact: Viceroy: (616) 774-VICE, www.viceroy Stellas’s: (616) 444-SHAG, www.stella Both are also on Facebook. Features: Viceroy: Happy hour 4-8 p.m. Mon.-Sat., live music Thu. Stella’s: Happy hour Mon.-Fri. 2-6 p.m. drink prices: The Viceroy: Cocktails $5-$11, wine $5-$9/glass, beer and cider $4-$8/glass, ports/sherries $6-$13, brandies/cognacs $8-$35. Stella’s: Whiskey $2-$37, canned/ bottled beer $1.75-$4, drafts $4-$8, cocktails $4-$8, sangria $4/glass. January 2011 Grand rapids 87

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City Guide

Fine Persian Cuisine

Lunch, Dinner & Take-out  New banquet room available for small to medium groups; private parties, corporate events, wedding receptions. Call 616-949-7447 for more details.  Open fire-grilled kabobs  Unique variety of rice and vegetarian dishes  Refined gourmet stews  Full bar with unique martinis and a large wine selection

A truckload of juice for a good cause Tommy Fitzgerald will celebrate his birthday Jan. 8 with the second annual Juice Ball benefiting Kids’ Food Basket. This year’s party features a Big Top circus theme at the JW Marriot. Fitzgerald, chef and owner of Café Stella, said he started the initiative last year as his 40th birthday approached.

“I decided that instead of the quintessential Vegas trip or splurge on a big ticket item, I realized that there were better things I could do,” he said. “Kids’ Food Basket is near and dear to my heart.” The ticket price of $14 will buy two cases of 100 percent fruit juice boxes that the nonprofit organization adds to sack suppers distributed to 3,200 children per day in the greater Grand Rapids area. In 2009, KFB distributed 404,000 such suppers. The 2010 Juice Ball raised enough money to buy a semi-truck load of juice. “The need continues to go up,” said Christine M. Lentine, KFB community outreach coordinator. “This year the number of children has increased by 40 percent.” For more information, see www.tommyfitzger

Tommy Fitzgerald, Mary K. Hoodhood and Bridgit Clark Whitney at last year’s event.

See Special Events

continued from page 85

“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 3:30 PM - 10:30 PM SUNDAY 3:30 PM - 8:30 PM 2739 BRETON ROAD SE ~ GRAND RAPIDS NW CORNER OF BRETON & 28TH ST. MI 49546 ~ Phone (616) 949-7447 For full menu & upcoming events visit

Jan - KENDALL GALLERY: Jan 4-Feb 1 Annual Grade 7-12 Scholastic Exhibition. Jan 10-Feb 5 Them, Jim Crow Travel Exhibition, Ferris State University Collection. Kendall College of Art & Design, 17 Fountain St NW, 451-2787, www.kcad. edu. Jan - LOWELL AREA ARTS COUNCIL: Jan 11-Feb 2 Art That Speaks; reception 2-4 pm Jan 16. 149 S Hudson St, Lowell, 897-8545, www.lowell Jan - MUSKEGON MUSEUM OF ART: Thru Jan 23, Splendid Threads, Secret Messages: The Language of Japanese Kimonos. Thru Jan 16, The Enduring Gifts of Martin A. Ryerson. Jan 13-Mar 13 We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball. Jan 27-Feb 3 Postcard Salon. Special event: Jan 8 Super Tornado Saturday with screenings of “Wizard of Oz” at 10 am and 1 pm, guided tours and crafts (free). 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, www. Jan - SAUGATUCK CENTER FOR THE ARTS: Jan 7-Feb 28 prints from the collection of Chris

Spencer, dedicated to the memory of Dr Paul Fried, including lithographs, mezzotints, kabuki woodblock prints, copper engravings, serigraphs and steel engravings from the 16th-20th century. 9 am-5 pm Mon-Fri. 400 Culver St, Saugatuck, (269) 857-2399, Free. Jan - TERRYBERRY GALLERY: Thru Jan 30, The Good Stuff Show, oil and pastel by Connie Kuhnle and Kathleen Putnam. Lower floor, St Cecilia Music Center, 24 Ransom Ave NE, 459-2224,

Stage Jan - DR GRINS COMEDY CLUB: Stand-up comedians perform Thu at 9 pm, Fri and Sat at 8 pm and 10:30 pm. Jan 6-8 Pete Lee. Jan 13-15 Steve Byrne. Jan 20-22 TBD. Jan 27-29 Jon Reep. The BOB, 20 Monroe Ave NW. $5 Thu, $10 Fri and Sat (356-2000, Jan 4-9 - “IN THE HEIGHTS”: Broadway Grand Rapids presents the award-winning musical about chasing dreams and finding a true home. 7:30 pm Tue-Thu, 8 pm Fri, 2 pm and 8 pm Sat, 1 pm and 6:30 pm Sun. DeVos Performance Hall. $32-$62 (DeVos, Van Andel and Broadway GR box offices or Ticketmaster). Jan 7-8 - CONTENTS UNDER PRESSURE: Master Arts Theatre comedy improv team performs. 7 pm. Master Arts Theatre, 75 77th St SW. $5 (4551001, Jan 8, 22 - RIVER CITY IMPROV: Calvin College alumni improv team weaves skits, games and songs with audience suggestions. 7:33 pm (doors

Photography Courtesy Motley Cat Studio

Jan - KALAMAZOO INSTITUTE OF ARTS: Thru Apr 24, Ukiyo-E Redux: Contemporary Japanese Prints. Thru Apr 10, Familiar Surroundings. Jan 15-Apr 17 The Wyeths: America’s Artists. Interactive gallery for kids. 10 am-5 pm TueSat, noon-5 pm Sun, closed Mon. $8 adults; $6 students, seniors; $4 members. 314 S Park St, Kalamazoo, (269) 349-7775,

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City Guide open 6:30 pm). Ladies Literary Club, 61 Sheldon Blvd SE. $8 (at door or Calvin box office). www. Jan 12-16 - CIRQUE DU SOLEIL: “DRALION”: 52 acrobats, gymnasts, musicians, singers and comedic characters perform in Cirque du Soleil’s newest production, drawn from two main symbols: the dragon, representing the East, and the lion, representing the West. 7:30 pm Jan 12-13, 3:30 pm and 7:30 pm Jan 14-15, 1 pm and 5 pm Jan 16. Van Andel Arena. $37.50-$97.50 (Van Andel and DeVos Place box offices or Ticketmaster). Jan 14-30 - “THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK”: Grand Rapids Civic Theatre weaves newly discovered writings from the diary of Anne Frank with survivor accounts to create the story of people persecuted under Nazi rule. 7 pm, 2 pm Sun. $14-$25 (Civic box office or Star Tickets). www. Jan 15 - CAPITOL STEPS: Troupe of Congressional staffers-turned-comedians satirizing their old jobs, presented by Rockford Education Foundation. 8 pm. Rockford Fine Arts Auditorium, 4100 Kroes St. $35 (616-863-6317). www.rockfo Jan 16 - “THE DOOR”: Hearts in Step Dance Ensemble presents an original ballet based on the parable of “The Ten Bridesmaids.” 3 and 7 pm. DeVos Center for Arts and Worship, 2300 Plymouth Ave SE. $12 adults, $6 students (box office or www.heartsinstepdance. org. Jan 20-30 - “ALWAYS … PATSY CLINE”: Muskegon Civic Theatre presents a musical about the country singer and her friendship with Houston housewife Louise Seger. 7:30 pm, 3 pm Sun. Beardsley Theater, 425 W Western Ave, Muskegon. $20 (Frauenthal box office or Star Tickets). Jan 22 - “DRIVING MISS DAISY”: Master Arts Theatre presents the story of the friendship between a widowed 72-year-old Jewish woman and her African-American chauffeur. 3 pm. First United Methodist Church, 227 E Fulton St. Freewill offering. Jan 22 - “LAST COMIC STANDING”: Finalists from the TV show perform. 8 pm. Miller Auditorium, Kalamazoo. $15-$35 (box office, 269-387-2300 or

Photography Courtesy Motley Cat Studio

Jan 23 - RUSSIAN NATIONAL BALLET THEATRE: “Chopiniana” and “Romeo and Juliet.” 3 pm. Miller Auditorium, Kalamazoo. $15-$35 (box office, 269-387-2300 or www.millerauditorium. com). Jan 26 - “CHURCH GIRL”: Touring musical drama about the seemingly wholesome daughter of a prominent pastor who is seduced by the charms of a worldly life. 7:30 pm. DeVos Performance Hall. $34.50-$41.50 (DeVos Place and Van Andel box offices or Ticketmaster).

Auditorium, Calvin College. $9 Thu, $10 Fri and Sat, $5 students (Calvin box office, 526-6282). Jan 28-Feb 6 - “NINE SINATRA SONGS”: Grand Rapids Ballet Company presents a production choreographed by Twyla Tharp that includes Sinatra’s “Strangers in the Night” and “One for my Baby!” Also, “Moor’s Pavane,” choreographed by Jose Limon, and “Paquita.” 7:30 pm, 2 pm Sun. DeVos Performance Hall. $30 adults, $25 seniors, $20 children (ballet box office or Ticketmaster). Jan 29 - CHICAGO TAP: Presented by Hope College. 8 pm. Knickerbocker Theatre, Holland. $10 adults, $7 seniors, $5 children (Hope College DeVos ticket office or 616-395-7890). www.hope. edu.Film

Film Jan - UICA: Urban Institute for Contemporary Art shows independent, foreign and documentary films. $4-$7. Opening Jan 14 “Mesrine: Killer Instinct” and “Mesrine: Public Enemy No. 1.” Opening Jan 28 “Marwencol.” Complete schedule, times, prices: 454-7000 or Jan 8 - METROPOLITAN OPERA LIVE IN HD: Calvin College presents on the big screen Giacomo Puccini’s “La Fanciulla Del West” by the Metropolitan Opera. 1 pm. Celebration Cinema North, 2121 Celebration Dr NE. Tickets TBD (5266282). Jan 15 - “DESPICABLE ME”: Family Flix at GR Public Library, 111 Library St NE. 2:30 pm. Free.

Museums & Attractions Jan - AIR ZOO: More than 50 rare aircraft, plus exhibits and educational activities, full-motion flight simulators, 4-D Missions Theater, Magic Planet, Space Ball, Zero G, Michigan Space Science Center. 9 am-5 pm Mon-Sat, noon-5 pm Sun. 6151 Portage Road, Portage, (269) 3826555, See website for prices. Jan - BLANDFORD NATURE CENTER: 1-3 pm Jan 8 Winter Survival ($5). 6-7:30 pm Jan 13 Owl Moon ($3). 2-3 pm Jan 22 Anishinabe/open cabin ($3). 143 acres of diverse ecosystems, trails, exhibits, Heritage Buildings (log cabin, blacksmith shop, one-room schoolhouse, etc.). Interpretive Center open 9 am-5 pm Mon-Fri. Trails open daily dawn to dusk. 1715 Hillburn Ave NW, 735-6240, Free. Jan - CAPPON & SETTLERS HOUSE MUSEUMS: Restored Cappon House is the Italianate Victorian home of Holland’s first mayor. Tiny Settlers House recalls hardships faced by early settlers. Noon-4 pm Fri and Sat. For admission prices, see Holland Museum. Cappon House, 228 W 9th St, Holland. Settlers House, 190 W 9th St, Holland, (616) 392-6740,

Jan 27-Feb 5 - “OPUS”: Actors’ Theatre presents the story of musicians struggling to perform among rising passions and personality clashes. 8 pm. Spectrum Theater, 160 Fountain St NE. $24 adults, $20 students and seniors (234-3946).

Jan - COOPERSVILLE FARM MUSEUM: Thru Jan 8, photo/art contest exhibit: Folk Music and Instruments of Rural America. Thru Jan 29, Lynda Foley. Regular exhibits include tractors from 1930 to present, an 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,

Jan 27-Feb 5 - “THE WEDNESDAY WARS”: Calvin Theatre Company presents the story, set in 1968, of seventh-grader Holling Hoodhood who feels the world is against him. 7:30 pm. Gezon

Jan - DEGRAAF NATURE CENTER: 18-acre preserve includes Interpretive Center, indoor pond, animals, SkyWatch (images of earth and the universe) and more than 240 plant species. See webJanuary 2011 Grand Rapids 89

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City Guide

The 2010 Grand Rapid’s Antique Market will offer some new features along with the old. “A nice variety of every interest,” said Cecily Near, program director of the Jan. 8-9 event to be held at DeVos Place. Several local authors, including Robert H. J. Schirado, Lisa Barker Plank, Kern Kuipers, Norma Lewis and Jay de Vries, will be signing books. Also new this year is a lecture series with topics such as Decorating with Antiques, Repairing Old Records and Rush Weaving of Wicker Furniture. A Vintage Fashion Show will be held 4-6 p.m. Saturday. More than 100 antiques dealers of fine jewelry, furniture and military antiques are expected, Near said — “and wonderful investments.”

See Special Events

site for activities. 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. Jan - FREDERIK MEIJER GARDENS & SCULPTURE PARK: Thru Jan 9, annual Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World exhibit. Outdoor exhibits include Children’s Garden, Michigan’s Farm Garden, 30-acre sculpture park, boardwalk nature trail, tram tours, themed gardens. Indoors has sculpture galleries, tropical conservatory, carnivorous plant house, Victorian garden, café and gift shops. 9 am-5 pm Mon-Sat, 9 am-9 pm Tue, 11 am-5 pm Sun. $12 adults, $9 seniors and students with IDs, $6 ages 5-13, $4 ages 3-4. 1000 East Beltline Ave NE, 957-1580, Jan - GERALD R. FORD MUSEUM: Thru Feb 27, special exhibit Betty Ford: An Extraordinary Life. Permanent exhibits include The 1970s, An Overview; video history of the Watergate scandal; replica of the White House Oval Office; New Mood at the White House, a holographic presentation. 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.fordlibrary Jan - HOLLAND MUSEUM: Cultural attractions from the “old country” and exhibits that explore local history: Lake Michigan maritime, shipwrecks and resorts; agriculture and manufacturing; religious foundation of the Holland Kolonie. I Spy Adventure and activities in Mark’s Room for children. 10 am-5 pm Mon, Wed-Sat. $7 adults, $6 seniors, $4 students, children 5 and under free, members free. 31 W 10th St, Holland, (888) 2009123, Jan - KALAMAZOO NATURE CENTER: 1,100 acres of forests, prairies and wetlands. See website for activities. 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,

Jan - KALAMAZOO VALLEY MUSEUM: Thru Jan 16, Identity and the American Landscape: The Photography of Wing Young Huie. Permanent exhibits include simulated mission to space, 2,300-year-old mummy and Science in Motion. See website for planetarium shows ($3) and scheduled 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, www.kalamazoomus Free. Jan - LAKESHORE MUSEUM CENTER: Thru Feb 15, Four Legged Friends Display, photographs of animals from the late 1800s-1960. Permanent exhibits include Michigan Through 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, Free. Jan - 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, Jan - MEYER MAY HOUSE: Frank Lloyd Wright 1909 prairie-style house, meticulously 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, 2464821, Free. Jan - PUBLIC MUSEUM: Thru May 1, Bodies Revealed, human skeletal, muscular, nervous, digestive, respiratory, reproductive and circulatory systems (admission plus $15). Permanent exhibits include: Streets of Old Grand Rapids; Newcomers, The People of This Place; Anishinabek, The People of This Place; 1928 carousel ($1). 9 am-5 pm Mon, Wed-Sat, 9 am-8 pm Tue, noon-5 pm Sun; open until 9 pm Jan 17-21. $8 adults, $7 seniors, $3 ages 3-17. Van Andel Museum Center, 272 Pearl St NW, 456-3977,

Jan - ROGER B. CHAFFEE PLANETARIUM: Stateof-the-art, 3-D, Digistar-powered shows. 2 pm daily, 7 pm and 8 pm Tue and 1 pm Sat and Sun “Our Bodies in Space.” 3 pm Sat and Sun “Under Starlit Skies.” Museum admission plus $3 (3 pm show free with admission). Van Andel Museum Center (see Public Museum). Jan - TRI-CITIES HISTORICAL MUSEUM: Exhibits include a train depot display, Michigan Logging and Early Pioneers. 9:30 am-5 pm Tue-Fri, 12:305 pm Sat and Sun. 200 Washington Ave, Grand Haven, 842-0700, Free.

Lectures & Workshops Jan - BALLETMORE REGISTRATION/AUDITIONS: Open enrollment for ballet, pointe, lyrical, musical theater, jazz/hip hop, modern body sculpting ballet and dance your butt off classes that begin Jan 24. Auditions available, by appointment, for “Cinderella” production in May. Balletmore, 2335 Burton St SE. 307-3561. Schedule and registration: Jan - CALVIN JANUARY SERIES: Free lectures from 12:30-1:30 pm (doors open 11:30) in Calvin College’s Covenant FAC; also at many remote sites, see website. Jan 5 “Einstein’s God: Conversations about Science and the Human Spirit” by Krista Tippett. Jan 6 “Faith and Freedom in Contemporary China” by Kelly Clark. Jan 7 “Daughter of the Killing Fields” by Theary Seng. Jan 10 “All Kinds of Minds: The Importance of Developing Each Person’s Unique Strengths” by Temple Grandin. Jan 11 “Playing God: Creativity and Cultural Power” by Andy Crouch. Jan 12 “Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion” by Father Greg Boyle. Jan 13 “Mission to Heal” by Dr. Glenn Geelhoed. Jan 14 “First Person: Seeing America” by Ensemble Galilei with NPR’s Neal Conan and Lily Knight. Jan 17 “Beyond Multi-Culturalism to True Community” by Nikki Toyama-Szeto in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Jan 18 “The Price of Stones: Building a School for My Village” by Twesigye Jackson Kaguri. Jan 19 “John Muir and the Religion of Nature” by Donald Worster. Jan 20 “The Keys to Perseverance” by Cal Ripken Jr. Jan 21 “Harnessing the Power of Perspective: the Kiva Story” by Jessica Jackley. Jan 24 “The Future of Education” by Sajan George. Jan 25 “The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement” by Jean M Twenge. january. Jan - ENHANCEFITNESS: Seniors Neighbors offers a fitness program for seniors that increases strength and endurance and improves balance. Varying times and locations throughout Kent County. Complete schedule at (616) 233-0283 or $2 suggested donation. Jan - GRAND RIVER FOLK ARTS SOCIETY: Dance instruction events. 7:30 pm Jan 7, First Friday Dance with Celery City Sodbusters and caller Laurie Pietravalle, 5th St Hall, 701 5th St NW, $8 adults, $7 students/seniors, $6 members. 7 pm Jan 14, Second Friday International Folk Dance, Wealthy Theatre, 1130 Wealthy St SE, $5. 7 pm Jan 28, 4th Friday Contra Dance with music jams, 5th St Hall, 701 5th St NW, $6. www. Jan - GRAND VALLEY ARTISTS: 7:30 pm Jan 6 Artist Critique Night. 7:30 pm Jan 13 Program Night. Free and open to public. GVA Gallery, 1345

Photography courtesy Vukmanov Simokov

Mixing old and new

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City Guide Monroe Ave NW, Jan - GR PUBLIC LIBRARIES: Adult computer classes, History Detectives, book clubs and kids activities (see Kidstuff). Complete schedule at GRPL Main Library, 111 Library St NE, or www. Free. Jan - GR TANGO: Beginner and intermediate dance lessons 8-9:30 pm every Thu, followed by free practice 9:30-10:30 pm. Richard App Gallery, 910 Cherry St SE, $12 drop-in. Jan - KENT DISTRICT LIBRARIES: Programs include book discussions, computer classes, Early Childhood Essentials, writers groups and kids activities (see Kidstuff). Thru Feb 28 - LITERARY LIFE POETRY CONTEST: Literary Life Bookstore is accepting submissions for its third annual poetry contest. Participants can submit up to two poems, with a cover sheet with name, address, phone number and email. Deliver by hand or mail to 758 Wealthy St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. $5. Jan 6-Feb 3 - HYPNO-BIRTHING CHILDBIRTH CLASS: Breathing, relaxation and self-hypnosis class. 6:30-9 pm Thu. Baby Beloved, 555 Midtowne St NE, Ste 100, 977-5683, $199. Jan 9 - ACTORS’ THEATRE WORKSHOP: “Designs on Contemporary Theatre” by designers Jessica Frymire and David Miller. 1:30 pm. Location TBD. $20 ( Jan 14, 21 - INSTITUTE FOR HEALING RACISM: Two-day workshop focuses on becoming positive agents for change and allies in building an inclusive and anti-racist community. Interactive exercises, dialogue, videos and story-telling let participants create a safe place where diverse views and experiences are validated. GRCC Diversity Learning Center. $200-$300 (234-4497, www.

Ethnic Dining Awards of Excellence 2007, 2008, and 2009 Grand Rapids Magazine “Dining Awards”

Jan 15, 17 - TOPICS IN HEALTH CARE LECTURE SERIES: GR Public Museum presents two lectures and discussions: 1 pm Jan 15 the DaVinci surgery robot, allergies, and a visit from local EMTs. 7 pm Jan 18 “Surgery of the Heart” by Dr Asghar Khaghani. Free with admission. www.

Photography courtesy Vukmanov Simokov

Jan 17 - PASSPORT TO ADVENTURE TRAVEL SERIES: “Italian Lakes Adventure” by Stan Walsh. 7:30 pm. Covenant FAC, Calvin College. $5 adults, $2.50 students (Calvin box office or 526-6282). Jan 18 - DYSLEXIA SEMINAR: New Chapter Learning offers info on thinking styles, learning differences and gifts of visual thinkers. 6:30 pm. Grandville Public Middle School, room 104, 3535 Wilson Ave SW, Grandville. Registration: 5341385. Free. Jan 18 - NOURISHING WAYS OF WEST MICHIGAN: “Don’t be Chicken about a Whole Pastured Chicken” by Jana Deppe. 7-8:30 pm. St Mark’s Episcopal Church, 134 N Division Ave, Free. Jan 20-22 - MICHIGAN MUSIC CONFERENCE: Workshops and performances for music educators. DeVos Place and Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. $145, $120 members. www.michiganmusicconf Jan 22 - DANCEgr: One-hour dance lesson followed by social dance that includes East and West Coast swing, salsa, tango, waltz, cha cha, rumba, foxtrot and more. 7-8 pm lesson, 8-11 pm dance. Women’s City Club, 1449 E Fulton St,

The perfect combination! Beautiful art work and Italian cuisine at its finest. 122 Monroe Center St., NW Grand Rapids, MI 49503


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City Guide $10 lesson, $11 dance, $16 both.

Open through May 1

Jan 27-29 - CALVIN SYMPOSIUM ON WORSHIP: Worship planners, pastors, musicians, artists, scholars and worshipers in dialogue from more than 30 denominations and 25 countries, hosted by the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and the Center for Excellence in Preaching at Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary. $100/one day; $190/two days; $270/three days; $25/$35/$45 students.

Photo from Bodies Exhibit

Jan 29, Feb 5 - SECRETS FOR SUCCESSFUL MARRIAGE: How to grow your relationship in preparation for marriage. 8:30 am-12:30 pm. Pine Rest Postma Center, 300 68th St SE, Cutlerville. $100/couple (455-5279). Jan 31 - GR AUDUBON CLUB: “Night Flights: Magic of Nocturnal Bird Migration” by Caleb Putnam. 7 pm social, 7:30 pm presentation. GR Theological Seminary Auditorium, Cornerstone University, 3000 Leonard St NE. Free. www.glsga. org/grac.

272 Pearl St. NW • Grand Rapids, MI 616.456.3977 • Check for extended evening and weekend hours.

A GrAnd rApids trAdition since 1927

Look Your Best...

Sports Jan - GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS: Grand Rapids’ American Hockey League team, primary affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings. Home games: Jan 1 vs Peoria Rivermen. Jan 5 vs Hamilton Bulldogs. Jan 21-22 vs Chicago Wolves. Jan 28 vs Rockford IceHogs. Times vary. Van Andel Arena. $13-$30 (Van Andel box office, Meijer or Star Tickets). Jan - MUSKEGON WINTER SPORTS COMPLEX: Luge, cross-country skiing on lighted ski trails, ice-skating and snowshoeing. More info: (231) 744-9629 or 442 N Scenic Dr, North Muskegon.

credit: diAnne cArroil Burdick

Jan 23 - HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS: “4 Times the Fun” world tour showcases family entertainment. 2 pm. Van Andel Arena. $18.50-$92.50 (Van Andel and DeVos Place box offices or Ticketmaster). Jan 29 - 131 SHOWDOWN: Grand Valley State vs Ferris State Men’s & Women’s Basketball. 6 pm women’s, 8 pm men’s. Van Andel Arena. $10$100 (Van Andel and DeVos Place box offices or Ticketmaster).

Kidstuff Jan - ALL DAY WITH THE ARTS: GR Art Museum offers family programming every Sat, including art-making activities, family activity guides and garden room art stations. Kid-friendly tours 11 am and 1 pm. Free with admission.

Time to cuddle up with an Old Favorite ... The Cottage Bar Longtime “People’s choice for Best Burger” in GR Recently recognized as the “Best Burger in Michigan” by USA TODAY

18 LaGrave SE | 454-9088

...with DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen. Complete remodeling, from design to finish.

Jan - 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. Jan - FINE ART FOR KIDS: Drop into Cynthia Hagedorn’s studio for themed fine art time for kids in kindergarten and older. 194½ S River Ave, Holland,



4658 West River Drive Comstock Park, MI 49321

Jan - GRAND RAPIDS CHILDREN’S MUSEUM: Thru Jan 20, To The Rescue safety exhibit with Lil’ Red Fire Truck No. 5, Rescue Helicopter, Fire Safety House and Rescue Med Center. Permanent exhibits include Rainbow Run, Buzzy Beehive, Mom and Pop Store, Funstruction. Toddler Tue

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City Guide

Look Good. Feel Good.

for ages 3 and under (10 am-noon). Thu Family Nights (5-8 pm) $1.50 admission. 9:30 am-5 pm Tues-Sat, until 8 pm Thu, noon-5 pm Sun, closed Mon. $6.50, under 2 free. 22 Sheldon Ave NE, 235-4726, Jan - GRAND RAPIDS GYMNASTICS: Events include: 6-9 pm Jan 8 Parents Night Out and 9 am-4 pm Jan 17 School’s Out, We’re In. No registration required. 1601 Galbraith Ave SE, Ste 301, 975-2992, Jan - GR PUBLIC LIBRARIES: Literacy classes for babies, toddlers and kids include storytelling, music, dramatic play and art activities. Times and locations vary. Complete schedules at any branch or Free. Jan - GYMCO: Events include: Jan 17, Jan 27 and Jan 28 GymTime Day Camp. Gymco Sports, 2360 Camelot Ridge Ct SE, 956-0586, www.gymco. com. Jan - KENT DISTRICT LIBRARIES: Story times for young children, Max and Ruby Party, Crafts Around the World, Lego Party, book sales and Experience Egypt. Teen programs include Gaming and Manga. See for dates and locations. Jan - 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 Jan - SMALL TALK FOR KIDS: Language classes in Spanish, Mandarin Chinese or French at six locations for up to age 5. $195 (990-2591, www. Jan - STORY TIME WITH A TWIST: Caledonia Dance Center hosts free preschool story times with music, dance, rhymes, instruments, finger plays and more. 9:30-10 am Mon. 131½ E Main St, Caledonia, 891-1606, www.caledoniadance Jan 3-28 - AMERICAN GIRL PARTY REGISTRATION: Home School Building Bookstore and Library will host an American Girl party for moms and daughters (6 and older) with crafts, historyfocused games, snacks and a doll parade Feb 22 from 6:30-8 pm. 5625 Burlingame Ave SW, Wyoming. Registration required by Jan 28: 5329422, ext 6, or resourcecenter@homeschoolbuild

Botox | Facial Fillers | Laser Hair Removal | IPL | Sclerotherapy Clinical Facial Treatments | Latisse | Jane Iredale Mineral Make-Up 6290 Jupiter Ave Suite D Belmont MI 49306 616-301-2503 Dr. Rose Ramirez MD, Dr. Lisa Hoekstra MD

Thank you Grand Rapids! Voted Grand Rapids Magazine Best Bakery five years running.

Jan 8 - MOTHER/DAUGHTER CINDERELLA TEA: Afternoon tea and admission to the Diana: A Celebration exhibit. 11:30 am. GR Art Museum. $50 adults, $35 children. Jan 8, 22 - YMCA KID ZONE DATE NIGHTS: Activities, movies, swimming and gym time for age 2 months to 12 years. 5-10:30 pm. Visser Family YMCA, 3540 Fairlanes SW, Grandville. $15 child or $30 family members, $20/$40 nonmembers. 530-9199, Jan 14-16 - MARTIN LEADERS WEEKEND: youth conference for more info: 526-6749, pre-college/mlk.

LUTHER KING YOUNG Calvin College hosts a ninth-12th graders. For

Jan 17, 28 - HOPE COLLEGE VISIT DAYS: Prospective college students and families can tour campus, attend classes and receive information; complimentary lunch in dining hall. Preregistration requested (616-395-7850 or www. Begins 8:30 am. Maas Conference Center, 11th St and Columbia Ave, Holland. Free.

610 Wealthy SE · Grand Rapids, MI 49503 Phone (616) 301-2950 · Fax (616) 301-3080 Monday – Saturday 6:30 am to 9:00 pm WSB_GR_Mag_Ad_11_09_PRINT.indd 1

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Fine Wines, Beers and Specialty foods

2869 Knapp St. NE; Suite A Grand Rapids, MI 49525 Phone (616) 719-2518

Shop Around Expose your business to over 48,000 readers each month! To advertise, call (616) 459-4545

Eastown Antiques

City Guide Jan 22 - “PETER AND THE WOLF”: GR Symphony’s Lollipop concert is a 45-minute musical story with accompanying dance, performed by GR Ballet Company, perfect for kids ages 3-6. 10:15 am and 11:30 am. Sunshine Community Church, 3300 East Beltline Ave NE. $5 (GR Symphony box office or Ticketmaster). www. Jan 28-Feb 6 - “BEANIE AND THE BAMBOOZLING ADVENTURE MACHINE”: Youth Theatre Production about a boy’s book machine that unleashes fairytale characters, presented by Lowell Area Arts Council’s Thebes Players. 7 pm Fri and Sat, 2:30 pm Sun. Lowell Performing Arts Center, Lowell High School. $6 (897-8545 or or $8 (at door). Jan 29 - CHILDREN’S CREATION CENTERS/ RACE OF KINGS: As part of Grand Haven’s Winterfest, kids can enjoy entertainment, face painting, balloons and creative projects. Plus a hamster/gerbil race (bring your pet and gerbil ball). Also see Grand Haven Winterfest in Special Events. 2-5 pm. Grand Haven Community Center, 421 Columbus.

Featuring many fine items including furniture, vintage jewelry, linens, glassware and pottery.

Calendar Legend Commonly requested venue and ticket outlet information follows.

Voted Best Antique Store 4 Years in a row! 1515 Lake Drive SE | M-F 9-6, Sat. 9-5, Sun. 10-4 |

from Simple to Extradordinary See it before you buy it with our 3D Décor Creator Software


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, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, 1000 East Beltline Ave. NE, 957-1580 (main), 975-3147 (class registration line), Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM), 101 Monroe Center, 831-1000, Grand Rapids Civic Theatre, 30 N. Division Ave., 222-6650, Public Museum, 272 Pearl St. NW, 456-3977, 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), 41 Sheldon Blvd. SE, 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,

Ticket Outlets

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 March calendar no later than Jan. 15. E-mail, fax (616) 4594800 or mail to Grand Rapids Magazine, 549 Ottawa Ave. NW, Suite 201, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.

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City Guide: Hot Shots





Events help seniors and newborns


Senior Neighbors honored business leader and philanthropist Ralph Hauenstein at the Twilight Shines gala Nov. 9 at the Public Museum. The third annual event was a fundraiser for the nonprofit organization that is dedicated to helping 4,000-plus seniors in Kent County remain healthy and independent. A sold-out crowd attended Grand Rapids Signature Chefs Auction Nov. 8, raising 1. Tina and Fred Bowman about $243,000 to help the West Michigan 2. Sue Swain, Dr. Mark and March of Dimes in its mission to keep babies Susan Armstrong healthy. Ranked in the top 10 nationally for 3. Linda Kappes and four years, the gourmet extravaganza feaChristina Rosloniec tured food from 19 restaurants. Guests bid on 4. Jenna Troyer and packages ranging from vacation getaways to Nadira Kharmai fine wine. 5. Lux and Brian Vander Ark 6. Brian and Cindy Klaver 7. Dr. Madeline Chadehumbe, Beth Leffingwell and Rod Chadehumbe


Photography by Johnny Quirin (1-3); Michael Buck (4-7)


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City Guide: Hot Shots




Saluting young leaders; assisting families Grand Rapids Business Journal honored 40 talented young professionals at the 40 Under 40 reception Nov. 4 at the Goei Center. The class of 2010 was selected from 132 nominations submitted by co-workers, bosses, business partners, nonprofit board members and friends. D.A. Blodgett-St. John’s 46th Annual Guild Charity Ball Nov. 13 at Thousand Oaks Country Club raised about $120,000 to fund programs that help children and families. The agency reaches 3,000 children every year through family 5 counseling, parenting classes, foster care, adoption, residential treatment, specialized mentoring and more.

1. Rachel Mraz and Sara DeMann 2. Ryan Slusarzyk, Abigayle Sloan and Chris Barbee


3. Marnique Harris and Steven Rust 4. Natalie and Chris Visner, and MaryKay Bethune 5. Richard Beal and Jill Wiltzer 6. Amy and Brad Slywka, and Dawn Jarvis 7. Sister Sue Tracy


Photography by Johnny Quirin


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Voted Best Soup In Grand Rapids! Thank you for making Panera Bread your choice for Best Soup in Grand Rapids. We offer a wide variety of wholesome soups with flavors that are uniquely our own. Next time, try your favorite soup in one of our sourdough bread bowls. Like all of our baked goods, our sourdough bread bowls are baked fresh every day by expert bakers. GRM_01.11_Sec01_CVRS.indd 3

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January 2011 - GRM  

Featuring the "Best of Grand Rapids" readers poll results!

January 2011 - GRM  

Featuring the "Best of Grand Rapids" readers poll results!