Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Smokin' Goodness

Three happy customers
On Saturday, October 29, 2011, my family and I made a trek to Roselle, IL to visit our good friends, the Sahlis. Why? Willie recently opened his own restaurant and we wanted to try it out. Its called Smokin' Will's-"Smokin'" because he cooks all his meat in a smoker. We went for a late dinner. Smokin' Wills is a barbecue restaurant. He has Italian sausage, Vienna hotdogs, pulled pork, beef brisket, and ribs, all smoked to perfection. Well, maybe not the hotdogs. He created his own 3 signature barbecue sauces named after 2 of his employees and his wife Margaret. I tried "Sweet Caroline." Sweet Caroline is the base sauce. It is made up of 8 pounds of brown sugar, and molasses and other things I can't remember. A batch makes about 4 gallons. It is good and sweet. There is "Lindy Sue" which is a spicier version of "Sweet Caroline" and "Brazen Hussy" which is very spicy and is named after Margaret. Dad tried and enjoyed all three. I had the pulled pork combo with sweet potato fries and potato salad. My fries were covered in cinnamon sugar. Fantastic! I put "sweet caroline" on my sandwich and fries. I had the sweet potato fries and potato salad, but you can also get regular fries, onion rings or spicy cowboy pinto beans. Their candy dish is a spittoon. The decor is very Texan. There is a longhorn skull and antlers hanging on the wall. There are old record covers from old bands hung as pictures that have cowboys and indians on them. The walls are three different shades of orange. The bottom of the walls are covered in corrugated metal. The menu is written on a huge chalkboard next to the counter. The service was pretty quick. Not a long wait at all. I give 5 stars for Smokin' Wills because everything was excellent. I hope it really takes off and I can enjoy many more meals there.

the famed longhorn rack

the sauces

The menu

Smokin' Will in the Flesh, and I know him

I have enjoyed blogging, but I'm moving on. I hope you've enjoyed reading my posts. Maybe I will take up blogging in the future. Thank you everyone for following me so faithfully.

Monday, August 1, 2011

"I can be your Gyro, Baby..."

Been a while since I've posted on my blog. But on Sunday, July 24, after church I went to Mr. Gyros. Mr. Gyros is a new drive through on Alpine Avenue. The owner used to ow East Town Cafe. I reviewed them a couple months ago. Mr. Gyros is a restaurant that serves Greek and American food. They claim to have America's best hummus and gyros. I tried both out. I had the regular gyro. This is beef/lamb gyro meat, cucumber sauce, tomatoes, and red onion wrapped up in pits bread. It was finger-lickin' delicious. I had to lick drips of saucy goodness off my fingers. I'd have to agree that its the best gyro in America. I also had a pita with hummus. The hummus was garlicy, with a nice amount of lemon. It was pretty good. I'd say its the second best in America, because my mom is actually known for her amazing hummus. You can also order baklava, hotdogs, greek salad, greek fries, onion rings, and platters. They have falafel, stuffed grape leaves, tabbouleh. You can make your gyro into a meal by adding fries and a drink. You can drive through, have it delivered, or walk up and order at the window. There is a couple tables outside that you can eat at. Price wise, it is kind of expensive for a drive through, but pretty average for Greek food. I think I will go again-maybe on my birthday. I give 5 stars for Mr. Gyros. If you live in Grand Rapids, especially on the westside, you shouldn't miss this one.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Maggie's Mexican

On Saturday I went to Maggie's Kitchen for my blog. I went with my family. Maggie's Kitchen is a local, 8 time award winning, Mexican restaurant. So I figured it should be good. It is located on Bridge Street on the northwest side of Grand Rapids. It is run by Maggie. We were waited on by her son. She was cooking behind the counter. It isn't a very big restaurant. It has interesting decor. The are maps of Mexico that have words in Spanish. There is a juke box which plays music. You have to pay and pick your song. It is an unusual juke box. It plays Mexican music. There is a painting that had an eagle eating a snake on a cactus on an island in a puddle. It is a picture of the legend of where they should build Mexico City. There was a circle wood carving of Aztec symbols. Everything was painted in bright citrus colors. I had a taco, spanish rice, fried vegetables, and refried beans. My taco had lettuce, tomato, guacamole and chicken. I also had a pineapple flavored Mexican pop. I tried some of mom's pork burrito. Ethan and Elsie had the same thing as me. I also had chips and salsa. The salsa was medium-not too spicy. It was all delicious. I would like to go again. It was kind of expensive though. And there is no kid's menu. It is a unique experience, well known in and around Grand Rapids. I give 5 stars for Maggie's Kitchen.

Friday, June 3, 2011

East of GR

On May 23, 2011, at lunchtime, I went to Eastown Cafe. It is s little restaurant around the corner from Yolanda's office. I went with mom, Ethan and Elsie. This restaurant has been around for 6 years. It is run by a husband and wife. They serve sandwiches, paninis, kid's meals and breakfast all day. I had the chicken pesto panini which has a layer of tomatoes, cheese, chicken, and of course, pesto. It is made in a grill like a waffle maker. I had Barq's and chips too. They make their own chips. They are thicker than normal chips. They are delicious. Mom had the steak hoagie, which is a steak sandwich on a long bun like a hotdog bun. The restaurant is a lot like Panera Bread where you stand and order but here they bring the food to you. It is small with seating for only 30 people. The food was really good. They were not busy when we were there. Actually we were the only people there, but we went early. We were able to visit with the owners while we ate. That was nice. I will go again. They are putting in an ice cream shop and French pastry shop this month. I give 5 stars for Eastown Cafe.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Gettin' Filled Up

On Saturday, May 7, 2011, I went to the Wealthy Street Station, a local burger joint. I went with my family. The location used to be a gas station. This restaurant is famous for their "wealthy station burger", which is what I had. It has been called the best burger in town. They are so popular, you often have to wait 15 minutes or more for them! The burger weighs at least half a pound when cooked. It is topped with lettuce, tomato, deep fried onions and deep fried japalenos. There is a sauce made of something like thousand island dressing and maybe cayenne pepper to spice it up. I don't know what is in the sauce (maybe it's a secret recipe), but it compliments the burger perfectly. This is all sandwiched on a toasted pretzel bun. It's amazingly delicious. And very filling. I also had french fries and A & W root beer. If you go away from here hungry-it is your own fault. I was stuffed. My dad had a western style burger with barbecue sauce. They also serve Polish and Mexican food. Since it was a gas station, space is limited. There are 2-3 tables inside, and a few more outside. We always sit outside. Only the lucky few eat there. Everyone else has to take their burgers home. The decor inside is interesting. There are race car trophies of many colors. The walls are brown. There are advertisements of all kinds-drinks, instruments, tobacco, and other country things. I will say that the burgers are a bit pricey for fast food. But the burgers are delicious, and the experience is fun so it is worth it. I give 5 stars to Wealthy Street Station.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

An Outback Barbie

Wow, I haven't blogged for a while because I haven't been to any new restaurants. But, I went to Outback Steakhouse on Saturday, April 16, for dinner. Outback is a nickname for Australia, like "down under." I went with my family. I ran into Mr. and Mrs. Quigley, who is a good friend of my mom. There was lots of interesting Australian decor. There were several boomerangs painted red, blue and yellow. By the door, there was a black wooden thing that looked like a snake. There were also paintings of different criminals and constables from Australia. There was a poster with the Australian pledge and pictures of Australian animals. It was loud because it was busy. I, being at a steakhouse, had a joey (kid's) sirloin, a vegetable mix of summer squash, carrots and peas, bread and butter, and bloomin' onion. A bloomin' onion is vidalia onion wedges battered and deep fried. We dipped it in a spicy chipotle sauce. I washed it all down with Sprite. Mom and Ethan had burgers, dad had steak and shrimp, and Elsie got her chicken fingers. Everyone got what they wanted. The food was all very good. I liked Outback because of all the boomerangs, and the juicy sirloins. I waited only about 20 minutes to be seated. That wasn't bad for a Saturday night. The service was good. It was rather expensive. Kid's meals cost between $5 and $8. But it is worth going for a special occasion. I give 5 stars for Outback.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Perks at Perkins

On Saturday, February 27, 2011, at breakfast time, I went to Perkins, a restaurant on Alpine near Target. Perkins is a family restaurant with locations across the United States. It is famous for its pies and baked goods. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. A Perkins "perk" is that kids eat free. I went with Grandma and Grandpa, Aunt Kathryn, my family, Uncle Josh and Aunt Renee and Abby and Ruthie. We went because Grandma, Grandpa, and Aunt Kathryn were going back to Texas. It was a goodbye party for them. The restaurant has cheery decor. The walls were a light yellow and the ceiling was white. There are windows between rooms with pictures of grapes etched on them. There is a painting of some red and yellow flowers. There is also a horse shaped tricycle. There were plants too. I had a french toast tower, (which is 6 french toast sticks) with a syrup of your choice, sausage links and orange juice. Ethan had rainbow pancakes-two pancakes with sprinkles and whipped cream. Elsie had scrambled eggs, a pancake and bacon. Our waitress was very friendly-even when Elsie spilled her apple juice. I give 4 stars for Perkins. The food is good, but its not really anything to write home about. (just to write a blog about.=))