Designed to encourage residents to “Taste the City,” the seventh annual Restaurant Week GR kicks off today.
The 10-day event highlights participating restaurants that offer a special $28 three-course meal — either for one person or two — through Aug. 21. All menus are designed to showcase the creativity of local chefs who are asked to prepare dishes that are both unique and use local seasonal ingredients.
More than 60 area restaurants are participating with most of the restaurants being downtown. I did take a few minutes to glance through the list. There are two restaurants in the Kentwood area ] participating in this year’s event, FireRock Grille, 7177 Kalamazoo Ave. SE., and Ganders Grand Rapids, located in the DoubleTree by Hilton, 4747 28th St. SE.
FireRock Grille offers traditional American food. Within its three-courses, the restaurant has a number of options featuring items from such Michigan companies as Grand Rapids’ Founders Brewing Company, Detroit’s Corridor Sausage Co., New Buffalo’s Green Spirit Farms and Scottville’s Myopia Mushrooms.
Ganders Grand Rapids is know for its Michigan-themed menu with its three-course offerings following that theme. There are Michigan Bacon Burger Sliders along with a salad featuring Michigan blueberries and among the desserts you could select the Beer Brownie Bells featuring Two Hearted Chocolate Caramel Brownie from Kalamazoo’s Bell’s Brewery paired with Ashby’s Sterling’s Michigan Pot Hole Ice Cream along with peanut brittle and cream.
Right on the border of Grand Rapids and Kentwood is Taqueria El Rincon Mexicano, 2055 28th St. SE which is featuring Mexican-themed three-course selections. Those selections includes Chicken Breast in Poblano Sauce, Lomo Saltado and vanilla and chocolate churros with mango ice cream. Also close by is Crowne Plaza’s Aryana Restaurant and Bar, 5700 28th St. SE, which offers American cuisine.
There are no restaurants in Wyoming participating in this year’s Restaurant Week GR, however I did find the nearby Mi Casa Restaurante, 334 Burton St. SW. This is a Dominican-themed restaurant and so its three-course selections are just that. Selections include the Dominican stew Sancochito, Cusco con Camarones, Shredded Beef with Twice Fried Green Plantain (Ropa Vieja con Tostones), Smashed Green Plantain with Pork Crackling and Fried Pork Rib Belly (Mofongo de Chicharron de Puerto) along with rice pudding, flan and sweet beans.
A couple of other Restaurant Week GR restaurants that are close to Wyoming and participating are FireRock’s sister restaurant Rush Creek Bistro, 624 Port Sheldon SW, Grandville, and Byron Center’s Railside Bar & Grille, 2500 76thSt. SW. Both offer American-style cuisine.
If you plan to participate in Restaurant Week GR, here are few suggestions:
1. Review the restaurants and menus at RestaurantWeekGR.com. Select about five or six you would like to visit.
2. Some places fill up quickly, so make reservations at the restaurants you are interested in.
3. Come about 5 – 10 minutes in advance of the reservation. If you did not make a reservation, plan to arrive 30 minutes to an hour earlier than when you plan to eat as there may be a wait.
4. Ask for the Restaurant Week Menu as well as the regular menu.
For complete menu details, directions and other restaurants, visit www.restaurantweekgr.com.