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.

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!

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!

Candied Yam

Candied Yam is a southern cuisine restaurant located on 44th Street in Kentwood, inside a strip mall that is slowly filling with life again.

I have to admit, I was surprised by how enjoyable my meal there was. I’ve always thought of southern cuisine and soul food as being quite heavy, which is something that my body doesn’t appreciate as years of my diminishing youth keep trekking on.

I ordered the fried chicken meal with dark meat, which came with cranberry cornbread and your choice of two sides. I tried their mac and cheese and homemade dressing, and added on a side of garlic mashed potatoes with gravy on the side.

Heavy looking, isn’t it? I still really enjoyed it! All the sides were great. The potatoes may be the best I’ve ever had. I’ve never liked gravy, but theirs was good! The cornbread muffin was a favorite too. My least favorite was the fried chicken, actually. I was a little surprised, but it didn’t seem very seasoned, a little bland. However, they have hot sauces on every table, and the green hot pepper one was fantastic on the chicken.

The service was very friendly, and Nathan and I felt quite welcomed. Definitely check this place out!

Anna’s House

Anna’s House is a very popular “retro diner” that features unique dishes for breakfast and lunch. According to their website, they currently have seven locations, but I believe the original started on Plainfield Avenue here in GR. I have only been to the newest (GR) one, right off the East Beltline.

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HIPPIE HASH
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AMERICAN FRIES
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VEGGIE QUESADILLA

At Anna’s there is a large focus on using local and quality ingredients. They also cater to popular dietary restrictions as well.

Chances are, there will be a line and at least a half hour to forty five minute wait when you get here. They tend to get packed! Regardless of the crowd, I’ve always received good service and have never waited long for my meal.

Carolina Low Country Kitchen

Carolina Low Country Kitchen opened recently on Wealthy Street, located in the quaint Gaslight Village of East Grand Rapids. The restaurant features fare inspired by Low Country, which is the coastal region of South Carolina.

CORN FRITTERS

Corn fritters are served to you in the beginning of your meal, and it’s on the house. They were good, and the mustard was a great pairing with them.

SHE CRAB SOUP
PO’BOY WITH FRIED CHICKEN

The She Crab soup made with lump crab and crab roe was good, although I wasn’t really a fan of the creme fraiche in there. I ordered the fried Chicken Po’boy for my entree, and I enjoyed it. The sandwich was good but I was surprised at how tasty the Cole slaw was! That may have been my favorite part of the plate.

RAMOS GIN FIZZ
ABSINTHE FIZZ

The space is nice and new. They have a large menu of crafted cocktails that are fun to look over and try, like the ones pictured above. Definitely worth checking out!

Butcher’s Union

Butcher’s Union on Bridge Street has been very popular from the moment they opened!. Meat and whiskies is what this hot spot is all about!

HOT ELOTE CORN DIP

ROASTED PORK BELLY

My friend Paul ordered the Roasted Pork Belly, as I’ve cut back on eating pork drastically. However, I have to say that this dish was good. I appreciated the authentic Asian flavors in it as well.

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BUTTERMILK BIBB SALAD
CHARRED FLANK STEAK

The stars of this dish is definitely the garlic green beans and the steak.

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This unnamed dessert doesn’t seem to be on the menu, but I’m pretty sure my friend Hector and I ordered it here. Right….??

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I’m a fan. The food is good, and their large cocktail menu is fun, delicious, and reasonably priced! The ambiance makes it a nice spot to spend time in.

Squibb Coffee & Wine Bar

I’m not a big coffee drinker. If I do feel like partaking in the culture, I’ll have an iced Americano or just an iced brew. So as one would assume, I’m not one to frequent coffee shops often. However, I did like this place enough to want to post a little entry about it!

Newer and located in Uptown on Wealthy Street, Squibb is unique in the area because they also serve wine and beer. Along with that, you can find baked goods and a selection of different cheeses and meats.

SQUIBB’S CHEESEBOARD

I actually enjoyed this cheese board. I say that because I’m not typically a cheese or meat person. But bread, good crackers and those delicious bread pickles with mustard on there? I’ll eat all day long. However, the entirety of this selection was great and even though I wasn’t the one who ordered it, I couldn’t help but keep nibbling on it, even after I told my friend Alex that I was done eating his food.

CAPPUCHINO

This is actually a photo of Alex’ drink, as mine was just an Americano and not nearly as fancy looking. Tastewise though, mine was good! I was trying to be a responsible adult that day, so I didn’t get to look over or try any of their wines. Next time!

Justagrainofsalt’s Rating

Food: 4.5/5

Drinks: 4/5

Service: 4/5

Ambiance: 5/5

One Bourbon

At this point, saying that the west side of GR is booming will probably sound like an understatement. Bridge Street, specifically. When I go there now it’s almost incredible how different the area looks, and more importantly, feels.

There are new places popping up left and right. One of the newest ventures is called One Bourbon, and they are bringing the whiskey and bourbon movement with farm to fork dining to Grand Rapids.

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PICKLES & CHEESE

For an appetizer Nathan and I shared the Pickles & Cheese plate, which we both enjoyed. The bread was fantastic, and I liked nearly everything on the plate (I’ve never been a fan of olives).

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LOADED MAC ‘N’ CHEESE

The cheese for this dish was milder, which was good. The chicken was very tender and fatty, so uh, I loved it. I also loved the fresh jalapenos in there, and the generous amount of it. The only thing I wasn’t wild about was the bbq glaze over everything. The dish would have been more enjoyable if the sauce was only over the chicken, or if there was a smaller amount of it.

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CHOCOLATE MOUSSE PIE ALA MODE

For dessert, they have rotating kinds of pie, so we went with the Chocolate Mousse with vanilla ice cream on the side. Good stuff!

The service we received was great. Nathan and I went on a Saturday evening during prime dinner time, and we put our names in for a forty minute wait. The hostess let us know that we could grab a drink at the bar and head upstairs, where they have a large, sort of lounge area? There is also another bar in a separate room, but that didn’t look completely finished yet. The hostess came upstairs each time to let people know that their table was ready, which I thought was a nice touch. Our server did a good job as well. 

 The ambiance of the atmosphere is nice,  although the restaurant doesn’t appear to be completely finished yet. Be prepared,  the noise level on a full night is intense. It’s something that I don’t typically notice but Nathan did immediately. 

Overall I enjoyed my time here. I don’t think they’ve been open for even a week yet, so I’m interested in going back again when some time passes and see what it’s like then!