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Rosie’s Diner

Herman’s Boy



OSIE’S DINER (4500 14 Mile Rd. NE) is the most famous diner in the world. Seen in commercials for Bounty paper towels in the dinosaur ages, Rosie’s

has been featured more recently on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.” While the 120-seat restaurant is a stainless steel and neon icon to America’s car culture, this is no Vegas-style recreation. Rosie’s is the real deal. “You will feel like you stepped back in time,” said Owner Jonelle Woods, when you experience the diner’s old-time ambience and are greeted by the friendly staff. The extensive menu includes classic American diner fare made with care and served with generous por- tions. The Homemade Meat Loaf is sliced thick and smothered in gravy, served with mashed potatoes and stuffing. Because you don’t order vegetables at a diner, my pets. You can also try the Bounty Burger with melted Swiss cheese, grilled ham and secret diner sauce and order the Chili Cheese Fries on the side. Get the full diner experience when classic cars, muscle cars and motorcycles descend upon Rosie’s Diner during Wednesday Cruise Nights and Thursday


Rockford is a cultural outpost, a culinary oasis, north of Grand Rapids. With tree-lined streets, cute shops and championship athletics, it is livable and sophisticated. Once you pass through Rockford, don’t bother stopping until you get to Traverse City. Trust me.

Bike Nights. During the summer, Rosie’s opens an ice cream stand with hand-dipped sundaes, cones and milkshakes that bring all the boys to the yard.

The CORNER BAR (31 North Main St.) may have even more character than Rosie’s. The bar is located in the oldest brick building in Rockford. Built in 1873, it survived the Great Fire of 1883, the Main Street Fire of 1896 and South Beach Diet of the 1980s. Originally a bootery, it transformed into a grocer, and fi- nally, a tavern. During the 1930s it was a “pool hall.” When Prohibition ended, owner Carl Hyde wanted a beer license, which meant the business had to serve food. The bar’s manager and cook put their noggins together and the Corner Bar Hot Dog was born. It’s food, right? Donnie Berg bought the bar in 1965 and cre- ated the prestigious Hot Dog Hall of Fame in 1968. More than 5,000 carnivores have found immortality by eating at least 12 dogs. The bar changed owners in 2000 when it was bought by Andy Tidey and Jeff Wolfe. They launched the Most Wanted campaign to inspire heart-attack candidates to break the record of 42 1/2 hot dogs. And on Dec. 3, 2005, Balinda Gould ate

43 hot dogs in four hours. She remains the amateur champion. The Corner Bar may be known for tube steaks, but it boasts an extensive menu. It recently made the Top 5 Best Burgers in West Michigan. Look for the Spicy Hot Cheese Cubes, the ½ Pound Sizzler and the Wet Burrito El Grande (which reminds me of my senior trip to Cancun).

by Steven Geoffrey de Polo

since the 1920s at Division and Monroe in Grand Rapids for customers such as the Pantlind Hotel. Last year, Herman’s Boy roasted 4,000 pounds of coffee for Thanksgiving, including the popular Pantlind Blend.

Head out of town and you’ll find HERMAN’S BOY (220 Northland Dr. NE). This foodie haven has filled tummies from Detroit to Chicago for more than 30 years. Herman’s Boy combines a coffee roaster, bakery and deli, candy and fudge shop, a kitchen gadget shop and an outdoor cooking shop and smokehouse. It was once located downtown and called the Melting Pot until those fondue phonies showed up. Owner Floyd Havemeier changed its name to Herman’s Boy, since his father’s name was Herman and then moved the shop to a classic farmhouse three-quarters of a mile away. Herman’s Boy is best known as a coffee roaster. Herman’s Boy bought out the Coffee Ranch, which had roasted coffee

The Bakery and Deli serves excellent food at affordable prices. “It’s good American style food. We don’t try to be too gourmet,” said Jeff Havemeier. Herman’s Boy makes almost everything in-house, including the smoked turkey and hand-boiled bagels, which keeps the prices down and the flavors up. A family can lunch there for less then $15. Don’t forget the fist-sized Jumbo Cinnamon Pecan Rolls on Saturdays and Sundays. The O’Fudge Candy shop offers Mackinac-style fudge stirred in cop- per kettles and formed on marble top tables. You can also get a rack of baby back ribs steam- ing from Herman’s Boy Smokehouse. Tell your friends you grilled it yourself. Herman’s Boy won’t say anything.

If you have a sweet tooth, head over to RUDY KAZOODY’S (54 Courtland St). Conveniently located downtown , it is the perfect place to


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