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Bar Louie is coming to Grand Rapids


Alex
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"Woodland Shopping Center will get a new eatery when Bar Louie moves into the former Max and Erma's site..."

Their director of operations talked about their other mall locations being "open for shoppers during the day" and a "destination point in the evenings." I wouldn't count on that destination point thing here in GR, but maybe they know something I don't.

Any opinions about the food?

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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Any opinions about the food?

It isn't exceptional but several of their sandwiches like the Blackened Chicken Muffletta, The Luigi and the Vesuvio Melt are well-conceived and tasty. Those and a few other, less memorable sandwiches are all I've tried sampled at Bar Louie.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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I'll second Ronnie's opinion that it's nothing more than better than average bar food. There are a couple of good sandwiches (the spicy chicken & black bean wrap is VERY spicy) and I've always liked the liked the fish tacos, but this isn't anything special from a culinary perspective.

As an aside, I just looked at the Bar Louie website, and was surpirsed to see that it's in several states now. I had no idea that it was anythig other than a Chicago place.

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As an aside, I just looked at the Bar Louie website, and was surpirsed to see that it's in several states now.  I had no idea that it was anythig other than a Chicago place.

I spotted a BL in Champaign, IL (~150 miles from Chicago) a couple of weeks ago so I knew something was up but, like you, I had no idea how much they'd expanded until I visited their web site.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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  • 1 year later...
Is there anything to eat in Grand Rapids that doesn't come from a chain?  I am not being snarky.  I am going to be in town for several days starting next week and I have never been.

Yes, there's lots of good stuff. This is not your father's Grand Rapids.

The Green Well

Naya

Restaurant Bloom (Chowhound thread)

Marie Catrib's (local GR web site)

Bistro Bella Vita

Tuscan Express (restaurant.com info)

San Chez and Mezze

Leo's

Zeytin (Turkish food -- Chowhound thread)

The Heritage at GRCC is closed next week, otherwise I'd highly recommend it.

There also are various Vietnamese, Thai, Japanese, etc., restaurants.

Where will you be staying? Will you have a car?

I'll be glad to provide more specific info and/or personal opinions and recommendations. Just ask...

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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Is there anything to eat in Grand Rapids that doesn't come from a chain?  I am not being snarky.  I am going to be in town for several days starting next week and I have never been.

Yes, there's lots of good stuff. This is not your father's Grand Rapids.

The Green Well

Naya

Restaurant Bloom (Chowhound thread)

Marie Catrib's (local GR web site)

Bistro Bella Vita

Tuscan Express (restaurant.com info)

San Chez and Mezze

Leo's

Zeytin (Turkish food -- Chowhound thread)

The Heritage at GRCC is closed next week, otherwise I'd highly recommend it.

There also are various Vietnamese, Thai, Japanese, etc., restaurants.

Where will you be staying? Will you have a car?

I'll be glad to provide more specific info and/or personal opinions and recommendations. Just ask...

Thanks, Alex. You've given me a lot to choose from. I'm going to be at either the Amway Grand or the JW Marriott. I will have a car. I would be very interested in a good Vietnamese restaurant.

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Is there anything to eat in Grand Rapids that doesn't come from a chain?  I am not being snarky.  I am going to be in town for several days starting next week and I have never been.

Yes, there's lots of good stuff. This is not your father's Grand Rapids.

The Green Well

Naya

Restaurant Bloom (Chowhound thread)

Marie Catrib's (local GR web site)

Bistro Bella Vita

Tuscan Express (restaurant.com info)

San Chez and Mezze

Leo's

Zeytin (Turkish food -- Chowhound thread)

The Heritage at GRCC is closed next week, otherwise I'd highly recommend it.

There also are various Vietnamese, Thai, Japanese, etc., restaurants.

Where will you be staying? Will you have a car?

I'll be glad to provide more specific info and/or personal opinions and recommendations. Just ask...

Thanks, Alex. You've given me a lot to choose from. I'm going to be at either the Amway Grand or the JW Marriott. I will have a car. I would be very interested in a good Vietnamese restaurant.

Re Vietnamese food, a recent sort-of review in the GR Press liked Dong Phuong very much. (Take 131 South to 28th St, turn left on 28th to Division, turn right on Divi sion; restaurant is on the right.)

Bistro Bella Vita, San Chez/Mezze, and Leo's are within walking distance of both hotels. Also within walking distance, on Monroe Mall, is Tre Cugini. A couple of doors from Tre Cugini is Four Friends Coffee House, with the best espresso-based beverages in the city, imho. Of course, the Amway Grand has Cygnus 27 and The 1913 Room. I haven't been to either in a long, long time, so I hesitate to comment.

I forgot to mention Wealthy Street Bakery, a very short drive from downtown (on Wealthy near College). The Green Well, Restaurant Bloom, Marie Catrib's and Gaia Cafe (simple vegetarian) are close to each other and also are pretty close to downtown (Fulton to Lake Drive to Diamond/Cherry). Naya is about a 10-minute drive, Tuscan Express and Zeytin about 15.

I don't know how much time or inclination you'll have for non-dining recreation, but two places to consider are the new Grand Rapids Art Museum (right by the hotels) and the spectacular Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park (allow at least 2-3 hours).

Edited by Alex (log)

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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  • 2 weeks later...

My three favorites are Leo's (which I adore - not necessarily the most creative food, but very fresh seafood and I love their preparations), Bistro Bella Vita (more bistro than Italian, very good) and Bloom (see my review in the link in Alex's post). Best of all, if you don't mind driving 40 miles to a place that doesn't accept reservations, is Everyday People Cafe in Douglas.

You mentioned staying at the Amway Grand. Two of their restaurants, Cygnus and the 1913 Room, are very highly regarded. I have not been to either one. Yet.

As for Bar Louie's, which we have here...

I'll second Ronnie's opinion that it's nothing more than better than average bar food.

iagree.gif

Edited by nsxtasy (log)
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Restaurant Bloom is moving downtown (and finally getting their liquor license).

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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Restaurant Bloom is moving downtown (and finally getting their liquor license).

Good for them! I think it will be a great move, partly because of the additional space (their former space was very small) and because of the additional visibility of a downtown location.

I wouldn't say that I was overwhelmed by their cuisine - I give them high marks for creativity, but I didn't think the food was as delicious as it ought to be, given those aspirations - but I give them credit for offering leading edge cuisine that is not readily available elsewhere in GR, as well as for their independent, couple-run enterprise. I'm very happy for them and wish them every success in their new, bigger location.

I think it's funny that link says that their cuisine is similar to Cafe Solace, whose space they are taking over. While I haven't been to Cafe Solace, a quick review of their menu makes it sound very mainstream Americana, not at all like what Bloom serves.

Now, if Bloom could just get around to creating a website (which would also help their visibility)... It's so easy and relatively inexpensive to create a website for a restaurant, and it's reached the point where almost every decent place has one, I'm really surprised that they haven't done this.

Edited by nsxtasy (log)
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  • 11 months later...

This past weekend I went on my annual pilgrimage to Grand Rapids. On Friday night, I ate at Red's on the River, in Rockford, northeast of GR. It was very good, with a contemporary American menu, and a nice view of the river. My favorite dish was the pear and stilton salad.

On Saturday night, I joined Alex for dinner at Leo's, and I was once again reminded why I LOVE this restaurant so much. There's just something about it - I'm not sure whether it's the freshness of the fish, or the delicious preparations, or the unusually spacious (tables far, FAR apart) dining room with its elegant, contemporary decor - whatever it is, it is really a favorite of mine. My favorite dish this time was one whose name I forget (it's not on their current website menu - it had a name like a seafood hotpot or stockpot or something like that). It consisted of lobster, scallops, and filet fish in a cajun cream sauce, served over rice. This was FANTASTIC. What was really unusual about it was that the sauce was spicy and tasty, but didn't overpower the fish in it; the lobster chunks tasted like lobster, and the scallops tasted like scallops. Yum.

Now, if Bloom could just get around to creating a website (which would also help their visibility)...  It's so easy and relatively inexpensive to create a website for a restaurant, and it's reached the point where almost every decent place has one, I'm really surprised that they haven't done this.

Bloom has a website! Click here.

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