Sweetie Thai

If you’ve read any of my other entries about Thai food, then you already know what I’m going to say. Does Sweetie Thai use fish sauce? Check!

Located on 28th Street in Wyoming, I’ve visitied Sweetie Thai a couple times. They have a good selection of salads, so that was what enticed me to go there.

GREEN MANGO SALAD

Nathan and I both really enjoyed the Green Mango Salad. You should try it; I bet you’d like it too.

PAPAYA SALAD

Papaya Salad is one of my favorite Thai dishes of all time, and Sweetie Thai’s version is my favorite so far. Nathan is not a fan, but I think fish sauce and shrimp paste can be overpowering for a lot of westerners. However, I would not recommend eating the mango salad at the same time as the papaya salad. Not the best mix of flavors.

LAP GAI

Lap, aka laap, aka larp depending on how the restaurant Romanizes it. Another one of my favorite Thai dishes, and this version is great.

PAD SEE EW

Located in a strip mall, the space is small, modern, and hip. They are set up for take out, but they have tables to dine at as well. You choose your meal at the counter and pay, and then they bring your food out to you. The portions are smaller than other Thai spots. The only real negative with the food for me is that the steamed rice was quite dry every time I visited. Maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be, I don’t know.

Definitely give this place a try! It’s in my top 3, along with Thai Express and Nu Thai Bistro.

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Forty Acres Soul Kitchen

Forty Acres is described as serving authentically American southern comfort food with a modern twist.

Located on Wealthy Street, I’ve only dined here once for dinner. Something that stood out to me immediately was the atmosphere; it wasn’t just the new and modern restaurant space, but it was the staff and the overall vibe. Genuine smiles and warmth emanated from the environment.

CHICKEN SKINS

I love fat and I love chicken skin, so this was a no brainer.

BUILD YOUR OWN PLATTER

There was a little mix up with my meal. I had ordered blackened catfish, but I received blackened chicken instead. I wasn’t paying close attention as I cut into the meat, because I was dining with my friend Paul and we were playing catch up. I noticed that the chicken was dry, and that’s when it hit me that it was chicken, not catfish. I did receive the catfish after I informed the server, and while the fish was tender, it was quite salty. The mashed potatoes were delicious.

I definitely want to visit again. The environment and staff were lovely, the atmosphere nice, and they have a full bar with a fun and informational cognac menu. I’m looking forward to trying their food again as well. It was good, but as of now I think the best soul food is at Candied Yam.

Marcona on Lyon

Marcona on Lyon Street has only been open for a couple weeks now. After I looked at their menu online, I was eager to try it out.

Featuring modern Mediterranean cuisine, that means that their influences are from the countries that touch that particular sea. Italy, Greece, Spain, and North Africa.

ROASTED FETA IN GRAPE LEAVES

They don’t photograph particularly well, but this dish was fantastic.

ROMAINE HEARTS

I really liked the mint yogurt dressing, and the pumpkin seeds added a lot to the flavor to the salad.

SPANISH CLAMS & SPANISH CHORIZO

My entree was disappointing. For the price point, it seemed sparse. The chorizo was tough and dry and there were a couple of empty clam shells in there. The bread didn’t add much of anything.

VIN SANTO & RAISIN, PISTACHIO, TURKISH COFFEE ICE CREAM

For dessert I ordered the Ice Cream, and they give you small scoops of three different flavors. I loved these. I don’t know if they make these in house or not… I’m actually hoping they don’t, so there might be an off chance that I can purchase them in bulk. I’m not typically a coffee ice cream eater but holy cow the Turkish Coffee was good.

The restaurant is pretty small but nice, intimate. They have a a small bar with a full cocktail menu, and another bar right in front of the open kitchen. Service was good, and despite my unenthusiastic feelings about my entree, everything else was great. Nathan had the Hanger Steak and he really enjoyed his meal. (We were both surprised by how tender the steak was!) I’ll definitely visit again later down the road.

The Latin House

Years ago, there was a time when I thought, “Why aren’t there any South American restaurants around? That would be a great addition here.”

Fast forward to now, and hello there Latin House!

CHURRASCO

I ordered the Churrasco. It was delicious, but I actually preferred my friend’s dish, the one pictured below.

LOMO SALTADO (WITH SIDE CHICHARRÓN)

My friend Ha ordered the Lomo Saltado and added chicharrón. While I liked his dish even more than mine, he liked mine more than his!

PAPA RELLENAS

We shared Papa Rellenas for an appetizer. The filling was good but I wasn’t a fan of the breading. On the contrary, Nathan and Ha really liked it.

JASMINE SILVER NEEDLE, GOLDEN FLOWER, PU-ERH SPICE

They don’t serve alcohol as of now, and hopefully that will change in the future because it’s the only thing this restaurant needs. They do have a great selection of non alcoholic drinks, like fresh juices, coffee, and teas! Nathan was excited to see Pu-erh tea on the menu because he had been wanting to try it. I liked it, but I have a weakness for jasmine teas. The Silver Needle was really good.

Located on Leonard Street in Walker, Latin House is inside a very nondescript building in a very nondescript area. They didn’t have a sign yet, so it’s easy to miss. It’s very small and intimate inside, and would make a fantastic spot for a romantic occasion. That’s not to say that you should only go for date night. The three of us went for lunch on a Saturday and we had a great time and experience.

The food was delicious! Their menu features dishes from Argentina, Peru, and Columbia. I can’t speak for the authenticity of the dishes since I have never traveled to any of those countries, but I have an inkling that Latin House is legitimate. Service was great; our server was dressed up and formal, polite and helpful. The pace here is laid back, which is fitting for a Latin themed restaurant.

Overall a great experience, and a very nice change for the food scene in GR. Definitely check it out!

Vintage Prime Seafood

Several months ago was Nathan’s birthday. He didn’t want any gifts, so I took him out for a nice dinner at a steakhouse instead. It was our first time at Vintage Prime Seafood, which is located inside Cork Wine & Grille, which is located inside a golf course club in Cascade.

AMUSE-BOUCHE

Um, whatever this was, it was fantastic.

CEVICHE

The Ceviche was wonderful. Very fresh and balanced, and the plaintain chips weren’t stale at all.

COMPLIMENTARY BREAD & SPREAD
BONELESS FILET WITH ROASTED MUSHROOMS & GARLIC SPREAD

Hell yes garlic spread.

MASHED POTATOES & CAULIFLOWER AU GRATIN

The sorbet was just okay.

Nathan and I really enjoyed our dinner and time here. The food was great, as was the service. The space itself is quite small, quiet and intimate, with maybe only eight tables or so. As far as upscale steak and seafood houses go, Vintage and Ruth’s Chris are my favorite.

Linear

Located on the riverfront in GR on Monroe Avenue, Linear is one of the newest restaurants in town that features modern American cuisine. Seasonal and local ingredient use is a focus here.

SPECIAL FEATURE

For my entree I ordered off their Feature Menu. It was delicious, but I’m sorry to say that I can’t remember all the specifics. I recall it featured three different types of potato…that’s all I’ve got.

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HOUSE SALAD

The dressing was quite good but besides that, I thought the salad was lackluster.

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CHERRY BREAD PUDDING ALMOND AND BRANDY GELATO

I love bread pudding. All the puddings. This one was great, although the amount of gelato seemed a little scarce.

The food and service were both good. The atmosphere brand new and modern, and it’s nice to be close to the river. They have a creative cocktail menu and the two drinks I tried were fun and tasty!

Georgina’s

Georgina’s is a newer restaurant located on popular Wealthy Street. This one is the second location, with the first one being based in Traverse City. The menu features the owner’s heritage, so it’s a fusion of Latin and Asian inspired food.

DUMPLINGS
SALMON TACOS

I came here with my friend Paul, who actually is a fan of their Traverse City location! I was a little surprised about the differences on the menu from the two restaurants. There wasn’t a menu for the GR spot online, so there were a couple of things I wanted to try from TC and I was disappointed that I didn’t find them here. However, their menu has a lot going on so there were plenty of options to choose from.

Everything was enjoyable except the tacos. I hate to complain about generous portions, but there was so much slaw and creamy sauce on them that it was overwhelming. Not just trying to eat it, but in flavor as well.

The service was good, the space new and a little more intimate and cozy. I’ve only been once, so I’d like to go back and try something from the Latin side of the menu!

Nu Thai Bistro

I’ve been on a mission to find a favorite Thai spot in town. It’s not that there’s a lack of options in GR; it’s the fact that so many don’t use fish sauce. WHY??? Fish sauce is a staple of Thai cuisine! It makes food delicious! Use it!

Another reason I’ve been on the hunt is because of my friend, Joe. He’s Thai, and we used to work together years ago. He would always make real Thai food and it was amazing. My favorite. As years go on, I still haven’t found a place that serves food as delicious as his.

I recently visited Nu Thai Bistro, which is located on 28th Street in GR. What do you think, has my quest finally ended?

YUM WOON SENE SALAD
CHICKEN LAAP

The best part of Thai cuisine are the salads, as pictured above. They were great. I always try laap when I go to a Thai restaurant, and this one is my favorite. I order steamed rice to eat with it. The Yum Woon Sene Salad took me by surprise because of all the lime. When you eat all the components together, the chicken with the cilantro and onion and noodles, it evens out. That’s what I love about authentic Thai food; it’s all about the balance of flavors and senses. Spicy, sour, sweet, bitter, and never too heavy. Also, portions here are large, so keep that in mind.

When I was here, it seemed that there was only one person in the kitchen. The dishes took a while but I didn’t mind. I will always wait for good food. However, reading over reviews, wait times for meals seems like a common complaint. You probably shouldn’t come if you’re in a hurry. Hopefully the only one cook issue isn’t a permanent one.

So, was the food as good as Joe’s? No, but it’s the closest that I’ve found. So, along with Thai Express, I can safely say that Nu Thai Bistro is one of my new favorite Thai restaurants. And yes, they use fish sauce!

Mr. Burger

Mr. Burger is a restaurant that I was always curious about when I would drive by it. There are a couple locations, and Nathan lives nearby this one in Kentwood, on 44th Street. I finally got to check it out and I was not expecting how old school it is!

MUSHROOM SWISS BURGER WITH FRIES, PECAN PIE AND CHOCOLATE CREAM PIE
MR. BURGER

Mr. Burger was first started back in 1951. When you walk in and order your food, you can tell that not a lot has changed in the last several decades. Which I think is so cool. I loved it! It was a little confusing for me at first because I wasn’t sure how to order. You grab a tray, give your hot food order to a guy behind the window, and along the way you can pick out sides and desserts from display cases to add on. At the end of the line, they ring you up and call your number when your meal is ready.

The food was great and I really enjoyed dining here. I loved my burger, but they have a lot of other items as well. It’s a typical American diner menu. This location also has a drive-thru. The majority of the employees I saw were older, and I couldn’t help but be curious about how long they’ve all worked there. I’m glad to see that they still do business here, because it can be rare to see older spots in bigger cities survive when so many new and trendy places pop up.

Oh, and with the old school food and style, they also have old school prices!

La Lotería

La Lotería has been around for a year now, but I only discovered it recently. A Mexican ice cream and snack shop, it is located on 28th Street in Wyoming.

LA FRESA MICHOACANA
LA FRESADA

While the La Fresa Michoacana was really good, I actually preferred this one more. The sorbet was really good and the whole thing was more complex; sweet, tart, and spicy. I really enjoyed the tamarind candy, although my tongue was raw when I was finished with it. I couldn’t put it down!


There is so much offered at La Lotería, and it’s not restricted to only sweets.

I’m unsure if they make their own ice cream, which they have a large assortment of, but I do know that their many varieties of la paleta de cremas (popsicles) are homemade.

I really like this place, and there’s much more that I want to try. I’ve only been twice now, and both times I received friendly and fast service. I have read that they can get quite busy though, and they have a stack of numbers for waiting in line. Make sure to snag one if needed!