Whether you're in for a quick stop or a casual dining experience, Marie Catrib's has a decadent variety of fresh, flavorful foods in combination with exceptional service. With knowledgeable, kindhearted employees and a warmly inviting environment, checking out this restaurant is a must. As Marie Catrib herself established it, there lies a history in the restaurant. Born in Lebanon, moved to the U.S., where she did at-home experimenting in the kitchen, expanding to local entrepreneurship and eventually this fabulous dining experience of Grand Rapids, Marie never gave up her dreams. The passion is evident in every bite of the food, and attention to detail surely is put first at Marie Catrib's.
We dined in for breakfast on a rainy morning, and enjoyed the warmth and light of Marie Catrib's despite the dreary skies. With our moods lifted, we thoroughly enjoyed even our beverages while exploring the menu. One beverage being their freshly brewed iced tea with mint and lemon infused throughout, the flavor was unbeatable and refreshing. This restaurant makes a fine pot of coffee as well, and offers many dairy/non-dairy options for a creamy cup of joe. Even better, if you love your beverage so much you want to enjoy it from home or on the go, Marie Catrib's offers a take-home iced tea or coffee--- just another reason their service is personable and unique.
One dish we chose was their Parfait, artistically presented and hard to take the first bite it was so beautiful. The Parfait includes homemade honey yogurt, bananas, strawberries, Marie's granola, and can be enjoyed with toast or one of their fresh muffins. This time, we gave one of their gluten-free muffins a try, topped with honey butter to your liking. Absolutely amazing and perfectly crumbly. The muffin offered this day had a lovely vanilla flavor swirled within, and went great with the Parfait, which was a perfect size to start your day off right. The strawberries bordered around the bowl and bananas hidden beneath came together in a spoonful for a phenomenal breakfast bowl.
The other two dishes carefully picked together were a great combination of a creative breakfast and an early lunch. First was the Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Pancakes, also offered with their tasty honey butter on the side if desired. These not so traditional pancakes are made of sweet potatoes as well as dried cranberries and are accented with true maple syrup. Next to these fun flapjacks was their Breakfast Burrito, specially prepared as a taco by request. Again offered gluten-free, this dish begins with vegan hash and is topped with avocado, shredded greens, and garlicky veganaise. It is available on a Las Brazas corn or flour tortilla. Colorful, flavorful, and everything you dreamed of, the Breakfast Burrito was a spicy spin on a sweet breakfast, tying all the plates together.
All in all, you're missing out big if you haven't checked out this convenient, reasonable, local business. We encourage you to enjoy a unique experience where every detail matters. Enjoy Marie Catrib's like we are confident you will. You won't regret it!
Where is East Hills?
Nestled between Heritage Hill and Eastown you will find the East Hills neighborhood and its distinct shopping district off Cherry Ave, running along Eastern to Diamond... if you're foodies like us, then you'll know this area by it's popular eateries: Brewery Vivant, Maru Sushi, & The Green Well.
Birthdays, holidays, or "just because," here are some fantastic local boutiques for all of your gift shopping needs...
At this locally owned shop, you can find unique handcrafted jewelry for your loved ones. With the work of both local and national jewelers available there lies opportunity to find whatever you're looking for including unique, custom designs.
Adored Boutique gives back a portion of their proceeds to organizations with missions they believe in. This company strives for synergy and the empowerment of women and offers home goods, clothing, and accessories. Even better, this shop was recognized as the Neighborhood Business Alliance "Outstanding New Business" of 2017!
Offering Michigan Made & USA Made products, Hopscotch provides items for children up to 12 years old! From games to books to clothing, this shop is perfect for finding gifts for the darling kids in your life.
An outstanding neighborhood bookstore, Books & Mortar has a great selection of must-reads. With an emphasis on encouraging community, the owners have a passion for their store's shoppers. This charming bookstore is identified as "Grand Rapids' proudly progressive, consciously curated, and fiercely independent neighborhood bookstore." Plus, Books & Mortar is open 7 days a week, making your shopping convenient!
A very chic shop, Iris Boutique offers a variety of accessories for personal styling. The owner of Iris aims to assist customers in self-expression and confidence by offering her product line. Scarves, shoes, and more from this darling boutique will make the perfect gift!
Family owned and driven by passion, get your loved ones a sweet treat from Le Bon Macaron. You will be amazed by the tasty, decadent French desserts offered in a seemingly endless list of flavors. Be it Salted Caramel, Lemon, or Green Tea, these cookies are irresistible. Plus, the macarons can be beautifully packaged--- great for gift-giving!
Find more gorgeous and affordable ways to accessorize at Lennon & Willow! Online purchases can also be madehere, making it extra easy to get your gift shopping done! Check out their beautiful interior if you can!
As homeowners we understand your yard and driveway require maintenance. Here's some of our top local service providers to help you out, coming from Grand Rapids and its surrounding cities:
These companies should have everything you need for adjustments to seasonal transitions as a homeowner. We are happy to help!
Attention GR foodies... GR has a tasty new spot downtown called New Hotel Mertens!
Named after the hotel that opened in the building in 1914, New Hotel Mertens is a French Brasserie with a relaxing but elegant setting. The restaurant serves traditional French cuisine, French vintage beer & wine, as well as a large selection of Michigan beer & wine. Their express service features coffee, espresso, & pastries made locally by Field & Fire. They look forward to being open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch, & dinner.
I dined with them during their soft opening... and here's what you need to know about it!
Honoring the building's history, the first element that immediately popped out to me was the original flooring which is full of vintage character & charm. A popular installation in the early 1900s, the complex mosaic pattern flows throughout the entire restaurant beginning from the moment you enter the main door.
Restoring many features of the original hotel's interior, such as the beautiful tile floor, you also see many areas of exposed brick and raw plaster that has aged over time. The mix of old and new filled me with a warm feeling of nostalgia. I couldn't help but envision what the busy city center of Grand Rapids was once like as I sat in the very same space that had once welcomed many patrons & travelers years ago.
With so much history in the details surrounding the space it was a challenge focusing on the menu... BUT trust me, it was an amazing menu! Let's now dig into the food part of the evening! :)
The first course consisted of PEI mussels in a white wine sauce with shallots & herbs, and a side of Field & Fire bread. I also tried the braised pork belly served on top of macerated plumbs and wild endive. The bitter crunch of the endive paired with sweet notes of plum and the crisp & buttery pork belly melted together so well covering the palate with layers of amazing flavor. The mussels were perfectly steamed in a broth so delicious one would think picking up the bowl and guzzling down the broth was totally acceptable! I typically always order seafood over pork, but this pork gave the mussels a run for their money, even with the best broth I've ever tasted... I will surly be ordering both again, very very soon, and yes I will continue to keep my table manners in check :)
The main dishes included a French classic, coq au vin. A red-wine braised chicken with roasted mushrooms & young potatoes. And the steak frites. The flatiron steak was perfectly cooked to order and topped with their in house butter, served with house-cut frites, and an arugula-herb salad. Both dishes were melt in your mouth amazing, upholding similar layers of rich flavor that I enjoyed in the first course.
And last but not least, for dessert their chocolate torte and croquembouche for dessert. Yes that is a tower from dessert heaven made up of vanilla-bean cream puffs placed together with crispy caramel. Both rich in flavor without an over the top sweetness.... the perfect ending to a wonderful dinning experience at The New Hotel Mertens.
Next time you're out for a foodie adventure filled with local history and classic French cuisine, this IS your spot. Located at 35 Oaks (on the corner of Commerce Ave & Oaks Street) this location is perfect for pre or post dinner & cocktails when you're downtown for events at either the Van Andel Arena or 20 Monroe Live, both venues are within a 5 minute walk! Or if you are looking for a date night destination, a cozy dinner spot with friends, or just foodies like me who like to explore the GR food scene, New Hotel Mertens staff is welcoming for anyone who walks in. We promise you will get a unique and delicious experience like no other in GR.
Follow NHM on Facebook & Instagram to keep up with the latest foodie news and announcements! And stay tuned with more GR happenings here!
A peaceful and beautiful environment, instantly welcoming as you enter Mazzo Cucina D’Italia of Grand Rapids. Self proclaimed culinary and cultural experience like no other... as your Grand Rapids living specialists we certainly agree with them! Offering both outdoor & indoor seating options, our go to pick during warm weather is the patio and during cooler months we like to sit inside and warm up with a nice glass of red ;) Located off Monroe Center across from Rosa Parks & The Grand Rapids Art Museum this location is the perfect spot to immerse yourself into the buzz of the downtown Grand Rapids city scene!
With an entire side of the menu dedicated to wine and spirits, we enjoyed crafted beverages & specialty wines to start. For appetizers we ordered the brussels sprouts with a blood orange gastrique - a caramelized sugar, deglazed with vinegar. The arugula salad with gorgonzola, fig, & red onion, and a half a dozen oysters. Hands down some of the best oysters we have had in town, paired with the caramelized brussels & perfectly dressed salad our meal wast a hit right out of the gate.
For our main courses we ordered two Italian staples, spaghetti with meatballs and wood fire pizza! Both were amazing, the spaghetti topped with the mother of all meatballs which was flavorful and cooked to perfection! The Nduja pizza was topped with a spicy sausage spread, prosciutto, capicola, salume, and fresh mozzarella. If you're a meat lover who enjoys a little spice to your life this is the perfect pie for you!
Ending the night with tiramisu and a double espresso ....
Quick foodie tip, if you dine here Monday-Friday between 3-6pm and 9-11pm, as well as Saturdays from 9-11pm, enjoy $5 select wine and beer, $4 appetizers, $10 wood-fired pizzas, along with weekly features and cocktail discounts!
The much anticipated Kingma’s Market in Ada, 444 Ada Drive, became a reality as scores of customers streamed into the visually stunning building, featuring an abundance of natural light and the feel of an open market, and is set to become a game-changer in the grocery shopping experience.
The 14,000-square-foot destination market offers a more intimate shopping experience with features such as a full-service kitchen, Rowster Coffee café with baristas, a Fish Lads counter with world class seafood and much more. Kingma’s, will offer an extensive local and domestic craft beer selection and hundreds of varieties of Michigan, domestic and international wines, along with a sommelier. There will also be an oyster and sushi bar and a multi-season patio with heaters, allowing customers a place to sip, savor and dine. Kingma’s renowned meat counter also offers all-natural, local, high-end and custom-cut meats and poultry.
Kingma’s is also focused on sourcing through local and Michigan-based businesses with over half of their inventory coming from Michigan businesses. More than just a market, Kingma's in Ada offers a full service kitchen with lunch & dinner items made from scratch. Next time you're in Ada village go check them out... until then here's a sneak peak from our visit during their grand opening party, cheers!
The Grand Rapids Downtown Market announced today that Pho 616, an authentic Vietnamese eatery, will open in the Market Hall later this summer. Pho 616, owned by Ty Nguyen and Han Lee, will focus on 3-4 traditional recipes, to keep the menu accessible for newcomers to traditional Vietnamese cuisine. They’ll also package all their food for easy carry out, paying homage to its heritage as Vietnamese “street food,” and making it a quick to-go meal option.
If you are new to pho, this traditional dish is a broth-based soup with noodles, beef and pork, garnished to taste with a combination of lime, basil, bean sprouts, chives, jalapeno, hoisin and sriracha. Our favorite part of this new venture is the use of Nguyen's family recipes! Passed down through three generations, patrons are sure to get a true taste of traditional Asian culture and the passion behind the bowl.
“We want to keep the menu simple without too many variations, because Vietnamese cuisine gets its amazing complexity from all the ingredients working together, blending the flavors and aromas,” said Han Lee, co-owner. “There’s so much texture and nuanced taste in each bite, and we want people to experience that authentic version, exactly as it was meant to be.
The space will also have a retail and grocery area consisting of merchandise such as Asian produce, sauces including Hoisin, Sriracha and fish sauce, bottled beverages including coconut water and soy drinks, locally-made ceramic pho dish sets, Vietnamese coffee sets, branded merchandise and more. The Asian produce selection will be seasonal, but will include fresh mangosteen, pomelo, jackfruit, dragonfruit, starfruit, lychee and durian.
Pho 616 plans to open later this summer, and will be open until 9 p.m. each night. The restaurant will have counter seating inside, as well as a patio area with a few outdoor tables, and plans to offer catering services in the future.
For more info and updates on Pho 616: facebook.com/Pho616GR
Someone said something about today being national doughnut day... and we were so pumped because we can finally enjoy these tasty pastries thanks to a local company who specializes in allergy friendly (vegan & GF) baked goods - Rise Grand Rapids!
You can find their baked goods all over town at coffee shops like Ferris, Sparrows, Lantern, Global Infusion, and Lightfast. Even if you don't have food allergies these bad boys taste just as good, if not better, than the regular ones! Trust us... once you try one you'll be hooked too ;)
GR Food Blog
One of my passions, besides real estate, is food! Not just any food but fresh or locally sourced ingredients, and the people that make up GR's food community.
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