Cherie Inn, Grand Rapids

After a night at the J.W. Marriott in Grand Rapids, we made the five minute drive to that magical spot where Lake Drive and Cherry Street meet. Yes, I rhymed two words there, and it sounded great. And yes (part 2), Cherie Inn is on Cherry Street. Coincidence? I think not. The web site that the restaurant is located “just west of Eastown”. Well, don’t the west and east cancel each other out, putting it in “town”? I know, I ask the hard, relevant questions.

Cherie Inn

Cherie Inn

It was a Sunday morning and we hunkered down for a 30-minute wait. My suggestion is to bring reading material – it made our wait go faster.  Or you can shop in the gallery to see how to spend a few bucks, or a few hundred, depending on your bankroll. Or you could talk to the dozen other people waiting for a table – knock yourself out.

When we were at our table perusing the menu, several items sounded good, but I decided to go with one of the three specials, the Cuban pork thingymajigger. Pork and potatoes were grilled and topped with cheese and an egg. Muy excelante, amigos. Everything was just right, It was small, and had there not been pieces of thick wheat toast served along with it, I wouldn’t have gotten filled up. But there was, so I wasn’t, and it was a happy ending.

Cherie Inn Cuban goodness

Cherie Inn Cuban goodness

As an aside, I don’t know much about restaurants in France. Do they have Mexican omelets? No idea, but Cherie Inn does. I know Paris has Filet O’Fish , but I’m unclear on their view of Mexican cuisine. There were so many great looking items, though, that this is a breakfast spot to return to many times.

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Kicker’s, Flint

I made the trip northeast to Flint on a Monday night to buy a new couch. Hey, who doesn’t? It was my second trip in a week, and I had left Flint unharmed the first time, I decided to get cocky and explore the city. And that was when I found Kicker’s, a “bar bar” on the south side of town. It had a large patio which I bypassed, being November, and took a seat at the bar. There were four large TVs right in front of me, and they were all tuned to Monday Night Football. That is how a sports bar should do it.

Kickers Nachos

Kickers Nachos

My first impression was that they should have cooked them longer – look at all that unmelted cheese. (My spellchecker doesn’t like “unmelted”, but it will just have to deal with it.) C’mon man – turn up the heat on that oven. But impression #2 was that there were a lot of chips, and that I was not going to leave hungry. And that was the half-order! So kudos to Kicker’s on their portions.

Also on the good side was their generosity with the salsa and sour cream. And the Coke – wow, it was served in a tankard. I drank three, and I’m surprised all that caffeine didn’t go to my head. Didn’t want to get a Driving Will Caffeinated ticket.

Onto the taste. The beef was decent, the chips were OK, and the queso was alright. And after all that, I really enjoyed them. It turned out that the sum of the parts was greater then the individual parts. Everything just clicked together, and they were a solid set of bar nachos. Still, a little more heat applied to the meat (and everything else) would have been ideal.

My greatest disappointment with Kicker’s was that I bought a Powerball ticket and I didn’t win. I’m thinking of suing for mental distress – I really had my heart set on winning $500 million. It was a tough blow to take.

Kickers in Flint

Kickers in beautiful Flint, MI.

So, good job on the nachos Kicker’s – I don’t want to hear snickers – about the good taste of my meal. And the half-order and Coke, both were no joke, it was quite the good deal. (Man, that was some awesome Dr. Seuss-style talk right there.)

TAP, MGM Grand, Detroit

After a Windows 8 developer event at the Renaissance Center in beautiful, friendly, and 100% safe downtown Detroit, I drove to the MGM Grand on Third for a little good natured fun at the video poker machines. After bankrupting the casino with my $1 win (yes, I came out ahead – take that!) I obeyed all the ads I saw throughout the casino and mosied on over to TAP, a new sports bar with a beautiful view of old ladies playing slot machines.

The interior of TAP in the MGM Grand, Detroit.

The interior of TAP in the MGM Grand, Detroit.

Small break from sarcasm: If you have not seen in, the interior of the MGM Grand is beautiful. I walked in and thoguht I was in Vegas, not Detroit. The décor was amazing, with trendy bars all over the place, and people were smoking like crazy. I love casinos, and now I want to fly to Vegas.

Back to the sports bar. TAP was a slick place to eat. There were a plethora of huge TVs and an appetizing menu . Before I say what I had, care to guess?……… Nachos! You probably guessed that if you have read a few of my previous posts.  But not just any nachos. These were the “Detroit House Nachos”, not to be confused with the “BBQ Beef Nachos”.

The chips were excellent, salty and crispy and worthy of praise. But, the ones near the bottom were limp and soggy from the destructive power of beans and queso, so have that fork and/or straw handy as you near the end of your adventures in nachos. Speaking of, the cheese sauce (because that is what queso is) was the cheesiest, and though I prefer normal melted cheese, I couldn’t complain. I can complain, though, on the fact that there was no salsa. What? Nachos without salsa? Who thought that was a good idea?

Nachos at TAP

Nachos at TAP

The beef (because I’m at war with cows – it’s them or us) had some kick, and I was happy with both the taste and quantity. And to kick things up ever further, there were plenty of jalapenos lurking about. Good stuff there, people. I devoured my nachos as I listened to an IT guy (of which I am one) give tips on the IT industry to a waitress. Fascinating – some people talk just to talk regardless of the interest (or lack thereof) from others.

OK, the bad side – the Coke. Not the taste, like I mentioned at Shark Club. No, this time it’s the price. $3.50 for a Coke. Yes, $3.50 – I wrote it twice so you wouldn’t think it was a typo. When I saw the price on my bill, I actually cursed out loud. (Not a really bad curse, just a minor one.) Shame on me – I went with a pop to avoid the slightly inflated beer prices and they got me anyways.

I give a thumbs up to TAP, and would definitely go there again. I’ve go my eye on the BBQ Beef Nachos, so when I next visit the MGM Grand, I hope to double my winnings and try new nachos. What a night that will be.

Shark Club, Howell

I almost missed the Shark Club because it looked nothing like a shark. Who knew? And just as it looked nothing like a shark, it barely resembled a restaurant – I thought it was some kind of big blue store as I was passing by it. But luckily, the owners thought to put a sign announcing that it was, indeed, the Shark Club. Very helpful.

Though I was there for lunch, it would have been a great place to watch a game. There were TVs almost everywhere.  I picked a seat by the window and there was still a TV right in front of me. Crazy. And pinball fans would love it – there were a scazillion machines to choose from.

Onto the food. Guess what? I had nachos. Yes, this seems to be a pattern with me, and I didn’t want to disappoint those who sit up nights wondering if I had nachos for dinner. I hope my admission puts your mind to rest.

Nachos at the Shark Club

Nachos at the Shark Club

Right out of the kitchen, they looked interesting. Normally, the chips are stacked horizontally for optimal surface coverage. These were all askew with the good junk on top to go wherever it was going to. Interesting. And the portion sizing was good – I didn’t leave hungry.

Because cows are evil and must be destroyed, I had the beef nachos. The meat was spicy in the good and tasty way, and there was the added bite bonus of white onions, big chunks of them. I limited my intake of the latter because I didn’t want my wife to suffer the consequences. There were no complaints later, so I must have chose correctly. I even enjoyed the queso, which I don’t normally like that much, so “good on you” for that. (A little New Zealand lingo.)

Only one itty bitty thing marred by enjoyment: The Coke sucked. Maybe it was their way of telling me that I should have had a beer, or maybe they needed to adjust the carbonation levels in their pop. (I’m in the Midwest, and we say pop here, not soda.)

I was happy with my visit to the Shark Club, and would hang out there more often if it wasn’t 40 minutes from home. They delivered just the right amount of good-tasting nachos for me, but be advised that heavier appetites will probably need a beer or two to go with their nachos to fill up.