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Louis Benton Steak House 35 Ionia Ave NW. (616)-45-GRILL STEAK. Grand Rapids’ premier steak house offers a variety of different steaks, along with soups, salads, seafood and starters. This fine dining restaurant also has a variety of drinks and desserts to choose from and valet parking.

Lunch and Dinner. OPEN ON: Closed Sundays. GO THERE FOR: A good steak.


» SERVING: Breakfast Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: T W Th F Sa Sn. GO THERE FOR: Tex-Mex.

Marie Catrib’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 this line from its website begins to do it justice: “a twist of Lebanese, a hint of Yooper and yen for unique pastries.” Everything is made from scratch with local ingredients, and there are plenty of items suited for vegetar- ians and vegans. Get there early for lunch, as there is almost always a wait.

Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Salads, soups and sandwiches. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch Dinner OPEN ON:

Noto’s Old World Italian Dining 6600 28th St. SE. 616-493-6686 ITALIAN. A mainstay of GR’s restaurant scene for three decades, Noto’s is a family owned business that delivers on it’s promise of “Italian fine dining” with a casually elegant ambiance and an extensive- but-not-overwhelming menu of Old World Italian favorites. The restaurant’s Wine Cellar, stocked with 900-some varieties of Italian wines, is one of the region’s most unique settings for a group dinner.

Sunday. GO THERE FOR: Old World Italian cuisine and award- winning wine cellar.

» SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Closed

Olive’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 entrées like Southern meatloaf, braised short ribs and mobu tofu.

Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: A broad selection. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON:

Ottawa Tavern 151 Ottawa NW. 616-451-8000 AMERICAN. Downtown hot spot for lunch and happy hour, featuring varied entrées and a “build-your-own burger” 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. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Build your own burger.

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.

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Maggie’s Kitchen 636 Bridge St. NW. 616-458-8583 MEXICAN. The storefront restaurant on GR’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).

Pietro’s Italian Ristorante 2780 Birchcrest SE. 616-452-3228 ITALIAN. A local tradition 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’s has introduced Grand Rapids to a variety of regional Italian cuisine. Mangia Bene Paisano (“Eat Well, My Friends”).

SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Freshly made pasta.


Red Jet Cafe 1431 Plainfield Ave. NE. 616-719-5500 ECLECTIC. The funky restaurant in Creston’s old library is the kind of place you’d find in Chicago’s hip neighborhoods, offering non-sequitur menu items that somehow seem to work. Seriously, how many other places in town can you find that serve high-end organic coffees, crepes, wood-fired pizzas and artisan baked goods. Is it a bistro? Is it a coffeehouse? Does it matter?

SERVING: Breakfast Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Crepes.


Rose’s On Reeds Lake 550 Lakeside Dr. SE. 616-458-1122 ECLECTIC. The East Grand Rapids landmark is one of those places that has a different feel in each season. In the summertime, it’s a great spot to hang on the decks and have cocktails and light appe- tizers; when the snow is falling, it’s a warm and cozy spot for a hearty meal and big glass of wine. The menu draws from a multitude of influences including Mediterranean, Italian, and Casual American.

ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Root Chips. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch Dinner OPEN

Sandmann’s 1200 Wealthy St. SE. 616-459-0900 BARBECUE. The smell of barbecue wafts through the air at Wealthy and Fuller, making it hard to drive by and not want to stop at this perpetual award winner for GR’s best barbecue. Great ribs, chicken and rib tips, plus Soul Food Sundays for down-home southern goodness.

W Th F Sa Sn. GO THERE FOR: Barbecue Ribs and Chicken. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: T

Schnitz Deli 1315 E. Fulton. 616-451-4444 DELI. Locally owned New York-style deli. Sandwiches on the Schnitz’s fresh baked bread featuring slow cooked pastrami, corned beef, roast beef and other deli meats, cheeses and condiments. Hearty soups, salads and desserts made from scratch daily.

SERVING: Lunch OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Awesome deli sandwiches.


» SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Vegetarian and vegan bar food.

Stella’s Lounge 53 Commerce Ave. 616-356-2700 TAVERN. The Chicago- style whiskey bar has more than 200 varieties of distilled spirits, old-school video games, a superexcellent jukebox stocked with rock and punk classics, and a menu filled with vegetarian and vegan bar food – and stuffed burgers. Did we mention you can sip cans of PBR, Blatz and other clas- sic beers, as well as sangria, out of a mason jar? REVUE’s British ex-pat David Smith, the limey bastard who writes “Emails to Blighty” calls Stella’s his favorite bar in the world.


hose transitioning from an omnivo- rous lifestyle to veganism can also find leaving certain comfort foods

behind a daunting task. Just the idea of eschewing biscuits and gravy or Philly cheese steak for greener pastures will leave some in pallor. The ubiquitous veggie burger has

done its damage to the common percep- tion of veganism, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t decent vegan substitutes for those good ol’ American dairy and meat- laden favorites. At STELLA’S (53 Commerce Ave.

The Score 5301 Northland Dr. NE. 616-301-0600 SPORTS BAR. Multi- faceted restaurant and sports bar has a lot to offer, including expansive menu with discount options, happy hour specials, countless big screen and projection TVs broadcasting big games and pay-per-view UFC matches, outdoor beach vol- leyball and live music in the summertime … the list goes

SW, Grand Rapids) the Poor Man’s “Chicken Wings” and Blessed Black Wings are about as close as you can get to a fried drumstick. They come with hot, barbecue or mild sauce and in the right setting you can almost hear the play-by-play coming from a dozen flat screen TVs. For breakfast, the CROW’S NEST

(816 S Westnedge Ave., Kalamazoo) serves up tofu scrambles short-order cook style all day long. The dish is ac-

cented with peppers, spinach and spice you’d often find in a Denver or Western omelet—without the ham or cheese. LEMONJELLO’S COFFEE SHOP (61 E

9th St. in Holland) serves up vegan chili in a town that isn’t especially known for its vegetarian options. Despite the fact that it’s summer, the black beans, kidney beans and cayenne in its chili can sustain your metabolism and keep you from bonking out in the heat. And if you’re lucky enough to

be at MARIE CATRIB’S (1001 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids) on a day when the kitchen is replete with Larry David fixins — a lentil, wild rice, tomato, onion and spice mix typically found in the sand- wich of the same name — you might find the Larry David Lasagna being served as well. In this dish, the Larry David mix is used in lieu of ground beef and tofu instead of ricotta cheese. Spinach and garlic bread crumbs also add to the flavor, but there’s no denying its Sunday supper-ness. —Matthew Russell

Poor Man’s “Chicken Wings” at Stella’s


VEGETARIAN SPOTLIGHT: Vegan Substitutes for Omnivore Dishes


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