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June is finally here. Thank you, Michigan: the Seasonal Affective Disorder has finally worn off for the time being, and I’m starving mad for wondrous late-spring/early-summer fare like a lovely little patch of crab grass. While you can, take a plate of what fills you up the way you like to be filled up — food-wise that is — and take it outside. Remember, mosquitoes cannot quite flap in winds more than five miles per hour — so forget the Off Spray and put a little more extra-hold in your hair and head for the great, finally non-gray outdoors … and don’t forget the napkins.

by Matt Simpson Siegel W

HENEVER I CAN, I like to dine and catch the Tigers and ogle drunk, com- petitive volley ball-bashing women. I’d like to think I could score some- thing more than a few free pinball credits at THE SCORE RESTAURANT &

BAR (5301 Northland Dr. NE, Grand Rapids), but so much for wishful thinking. Snack – yes, snack – on the Tenderloin Medallion Dinner saturated in a peppercorn sauce with a pile of steak fries and fresh veggies shoved next to it and a pile of onion straws tossed upon it. For the burger-impaired, chow on the Hang-Over Burger, a half-pound of Black Angus with peppered bacon, American cheese, and a fried egg. Dang Fine Dining Deal: Any five appetizers for $5 or five dinners for $5.99 — choose from a hand-tossed pizza with two toppings or boneless wings as a prelude to building your own burger with two toppings or calzone with three fillings.

22 | REVUEWM.COM | JUNE 2011 GET YOUR BEACH ON: Palm trees, sand and a lake view at The Score

This former Michigan red clay brick library branch has its fair share of librarian look-a-like hipster ladies that pop up spontaneously at a magic dining witching hour; I don’t even want to tell you where this Gilmore gem is located (1431 Plainfield Ave.). Of course, I’m forced to explain RED JET CAFÉ. Crepes are taken seriously here, such as the Mixed Berries with Mascarpone peppered with powdered sugar or the wood oven-roasted Chicken and Portabello ‘shroom sen- sation with spinach and a garlic alfredo. Hang outside under the awning alongside Coit and dose up on the 99-cent Free Trade Organic coffee in the morning or a couple of $1.99 Cosmos or well drinks during the 2–6 p.m. happy hour for a late liquid lunch. Luncheon pizzas for the insatiable: the El Cubano features a barbecue sauce pulled pork ecstasy of ham, swiss, red onions, pickles, mayo and mustard; the age- less Bobbi with a simple herb oil undercoating aged cheeses, fresh mozzarella, roma toms and fresh basil.

Take in a lovely sunset and steak sitting on the open air deck at BIL-MAR RESTAURANT (1223 S. Harbor Dr.) on the beach of Lake Michigan in Grand Haven. The deck menu offers Mac-N- Cheese Wedges, Breaded Mahi Mahi Tenders, Foil Grilled Lake Trout and more standard bar fare perfect for afternoons like the Beachcomber — a spinach wrap of smoked turkey, provolone, lettuce and tomato. Although the deck menu differs from inside, drop in on a rainy day and dine on Steak d’Alaska, a nine-ounce sir- loin “crowned” with crabmeat and hollandaise, or the Bacon


Wrapped Turkey Tenderloin Kebab — a decadently grilled skewer of turkey swaddled in bacon, encrusted with garlic and herbs over orzo in a Dijon cream sauce. Storms com- ing from over the lake at dusk from the main dining room can produce some awe-inspiring quiet dinners. Suggested signatures of the house: Salmon Trout in a Bag, poached in parchment with seasonal veggies, butter and herbs; Spinach Cobb Salad of onions, tomatoes, egg, cheese, avocado, and a blissful bacon dressing.

See more in our dining section on page 69!

If you have yet to uncover the outdoor air of Kalamazoo, hit up BELL’S ECCENTRIC CAFE (355 E. Kalamazoo Ave.). Enjoy Greensky Bluegrass with guest Great American Taxi on June 3 and order every appetizer for a variety pack to keep your table happy. Dig into some spicy feta dip, horseradish cheese or Bell’s own Porter Mustard with a soft pretzel or some pretzel rods to kick off your evening. Veggie sticks and buttermilk ranch dressing will keep your cholesterol down a touch and have you sweat less on those more humid nights when the Oberon gushes like a broken sludge pipe. If you’re in a more veggie- friendly entrée sandwich state of much-needed nourishment, the Black Bean Burger is as good as it gets this side of Kent County. Keep an eye out for (and on) the scantily clad darlings

and OK-looking men at Super Happy Funtime Burlesque when they visit for the umpteenth time in July. Eccentric Eats: Roast Beef and Bleu Cheese Sandwich, Class Reuben, Peanut Butter and Jelly for the kids. n


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