Uncle Cheetah&#x2019;s Soup Shop
HopCat 25 Ionia SW. 616-451-4677 TAVERN. Rated the 3rd best beer bar on the planet by Beer Advcoate, HopCat&#x2019;s spin on its food is thus: &#x201C;It&#x2019;s the food your Mom would feed you, if your Mom loved beer.&#x201D; That&#x2019;s specifically true for HopCat&#x2019;s beerbar cheese, cheese ale soup and porter braised beef, but mom would also love the Hippie wrap (it&#x2019;s vegetarian), the crack fries (they&#x2019;re not real crack), and the Killer Mac and Cheese. Because what mom doesn&#x2019;t like mac and cheese?
GO THERE FOR: Widest variety of beers, crack fries. &#xBB; SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days.
J Bar 20 Monroe NW. 616-356-2000 STEAKS. Highly lauded and oft-awarded as Grand Rapid&#x2019;s top steakhouse, featuring grass-fed beef selection plus an ample selection of seafood, chops and house specialties. Extensive wine cellar and tastefully upscale ambiance that&#x2019;s comfortable rather than stuffy.
on Sunday. GO THERE FOR: Choice-cut prime rib, 10-oz. Baseball Filet, 14-oz. Top Sirloin.
&#xBB; SERVING: Dinner OPEN ON: Closed
Leo&#x2019;s 60 Ottawa NW. 616-454-6700 SEAFOOD. With high ceil- ings, wood floors and nautical murals, Leo&#x2019;s just feels like an upscale-but-casual place for a business dinner or a special date. The menu features a broad selection of seafood, from perch to scrod to swordfish, as well as pasta, chicken, beef and vegetarian options.
Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Closed on Sunday. GO THERE FOR: Seafood.
Louis Benton Steakhouse 77 Monroe Center NW. 616-454-7455 STEAKS. Award- winning big-city steakhouse with rich mahogany wood, tapestries, and a warm fireplace as backdrop to white linen, candlelit tables. Features USDA prime and all- natural steaks, plus fresh seafood. Great selection of appetizers.
Sunday. GO THERE FOR: Steaks and service.
Lumber Baron Bar 187 Monroe Ave. NW. 616-774-2000 LOUNGE. Historic bar with fireplace, leather club chairs and a large se- lection of premium drinks and appetizers.
Dinner OPEN ON: T W Th F Sa. GO THERE FOR: Scotch or brandy after a Symphony concert.
Maggie&#x2019;s Kitchen 636 Bridge St. NW. 616-458-8583 MEXICAN. The store- front restaurant on GR&#x2019;s west side has quietly built a reputation as one of the best places in town for authentic Mexican food, especially its tacos and breakfast items like huevos a la Mexicana (scrambled eggs with onions and jalapenos). >> SERVING: Breakfast Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: T W Th F Sa Sn. GO THERE FOR: Tex-Mex.
Marie Catrib&#x2019;s 1001 Lake Dr. 616-454-4020 ECLECTIC. The East Hills eatery has one of the most hard-to-categorize menus in West Michigan, but here&#x2019;s a line from its website that begins to do owner Marie Catrib&#x2019;s menu justice: &#x201C;a twist of Lebanese, a hint of Yooper and yen for unique pastries.&#x201D; Everything is made from scratch with local ingredients, and there are plenty of items suited for vegetarians and vegans. Get there early for lunch, as there is almost always a wait.
OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Salads, soups and sandwiches.
&#xBB; SERVING: Breakfast Lunch Dinner &#xBB; SERVING:
The Melting Pot 2090 Celebration Dr NE. 616-365-0055 FONDUE. The Knapp&#x2019;s corner restaurant has established a reputation as an intimate and romantic dining spot, with private booths and decadent cheese, chocolate and entr&#xE9;e fondues. Of course, the art of fondue is highly sociable, making the Melting Pot a great spot for small groups, and couples get-togethers.
7 days. GO THERE FOR: Fondue.
&#xBB; SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open
Noto&#x2019;s Old World Italian Dining 6600 28th St. SE. 616-493-6686 ITALIAN. A mainstay of GR&#x2019;s restaurant scene for three decades, Noto&#x2019;s is a family owned business that delivers on it&#x2019;s promise of &#x201C;Italian fine dining&#x201D; with a casually elegant ambiance and an extensive-but-not-overwhelming menu of Old World Italian favorites. The restaurant&#x2019;s Wine Cellar, stocked with 900- some varieties of Italian wines, is one of the region&#x2019;s most unique settings for a group dinner.
Dinner OPEN ON: Closed Sunday. GO THERE FOR: Old World Italian cuisine and award-winning wine cellar.
&#xBB; SERVING: Lunch
Olive&#x2019;s Restaurant 2162 Wealthy St. SE. 616-451-8611 ECLECTIC. The Gaslight Village restaurant is a mainstay for Easties looking to have a cocktail and casual dinner. The menu is surprisingly broad, with innovative starters (e.g., Napoli fritters, Paella cakes) and diverse entr&#xE9;es like Southern meatloaf, braised short ribs and mobu tofu.
Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: A broad selection.
&#xBB; SERVING: &#xBB; SERVING: Dinner OPEN ON: Closed on
One Trick Pony 136 E. Fulton. 616-235-7669 AMERICAN. The downtown eatery is a favorite for downtown theatre and music go- ers looking for a nice dinner before the show &#x2013; except, of course, when One Trick is hosting its own live music events (ie, &#x201C;Acoustic Stew&#x201D; and &#x201C;Hat Trick&#x201D; concerts). Good selection of beers and wines to accompany its pastas, pizzas and entr&#xE9;es.
Closed on Sunday. GO THERE FOR: Great food and great live music.
&#xBB; SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON:
Ottawa Tavern 151 Ottawa NW. 616-451-8000 AMERICAN. Downtown hot spot for lunch and happy hour, featuring varied entr&#xE9;es and a &#x201C;build-your-own burger&#x201D; menu with more than 50 toppings to choose from. As name suggests, OT has a tavern casual feel, with lots of plasma big screens for watching games. A favorite during March Madness for downtown business people.
OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Build your own burger.
&#xBB; SERVING: Lunch Dinner
The Pita House 1450 Wealthy St. SE/Monroe Center (downtown)/28th Street. 616-454-1171 MEDITERRANEAN. Gyros so big you can club someone with them, the smoothest hummus in town and a variety of other Mediterranean fare, including kibbe, kafta and falafel. Additional locations on 28th Street and Kalamazoo SE. Gyros and other sandwich wraps are made to order with fresh vegetables and ingredients.
SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Fresh pita wraps.
Pietro&#x2019;s Italian Ristorante 2780 Birchcrest SE. 616-452-3228 ITALIAN. A local tradi- tion for more than 30 years, serving a range of regional Italian cuisine at a variety of price points. From fresh- made pasta to stromboli to gourmet and Chicago-style pizzas, Pietro&#x2019;s has introduced Grand Rapids to a variety of
TOP 5Soup &#xBB; 834 Cherry St. SE, Grand Rapids / cherrydeli.com
, (616) 459-6182 &#xBB; 5051 West Main St., Kalamazoo / bwicheddeli.com
PHOTO: STEVEN DE POLO
&#xBB; 1133 Wealthy SE SE, Grand Rapids / electriccheetah.com/uncle-cheetahs-soup-shop
, (616) 451-4780
UNCLE CHEETAH&#x2019;S SOUP SHOP Not only are the soups at Uncle Cheetah&#x2019;s homemade, but all the ingredients come from local sources, which are listed at the shop and on its website. The selection is updated daily, with 12 soups on rotation. The shop also serves salads, grilled cheese (of course), and desserts.
&#xBB; 2660 28th Street SE, Grand Rapids, (616) 942-2561 / 3165 Alpine Ave., Walker, (616) 647-0999 / 40 Fountain NW, Grand Rapids, (616) 459-7750 / schulerbooks.com
CHAPBOOK CAF&#xC9; Schuler Books and Music has got the right idea. There&#x2019;s nothing more satisfying than a good book and a big bowl of hot soup. The soups at Schuler&#x2019;s Chapbook Caf&#xE9; are homemade and prepared fresh every day, then simmered in order to meld the flavors.
CHERRY DELI Not only does Cherry Deli feature a near-endless supply of sandwiches, but it has a different variety of homemade soups every day. Chef Scott Schulz mixes up a traditional favorite with his spin on the Deli&#x2019;s famous white chicken chili, and blends unique ingredients such as his turkey mushroom artichoke.
B&#x2019;WITCHED DELI Made from scratch &#x2013; along with everything else on this deli&#x2019;s menu &#x2013; the soups at B&#x2019;witched change daily and cost $3.79. The soups range from staples such as French onion, broccoli and cheese, and New England clam chowder, to more signature items like chili con carne and baked potato with bacon and scallion.
PASTRAMI JOE&#x2019;S If you want comfort food during the cold winter, Pastrami Joe&#x2019;s is the place for creamy, hearty soups. With homemade soup choices that change daily, and range from chicken n&#x2019;dumpling, old fashioned chicken noodle and creamy tomato bisque, you&#x2019;ll forget about the brisk weather.
&#xBB; 35 W. Jackson Street, Battle Creek, (269) 963 - 8800 / 105 N. Jefferson St., Marshall, (269) 781-8800 / pastramijoes.com
&#x2014;Lindsay Patton-Carson REVUEWM.COM
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