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 ;)
There is so much to love about the Downtown Market. A mixed-use facility focusing on local food innovation and healthy living, the year round market is also LEED gold certified. Stop by and check out the array of innovative elements like a green roof, live walls, and rain gardens... and don't forget about the FOOD! There are so many wonderful food vendors at the Downtown Market, but here are 3 of our favorite picks for under $10!
Each week Aperitivo offers the Meltdown - just under $10 you get a rotating grilled cheese sandwich with sweet or savory spread on toasted Field & Fire bread. Pictured below is tetilla and marieke gouda with a sweet pepper jam... come experience the best grilled cheese of your life without breaking the bank! During warmer months dine outside on their main level patio or sit at the wine bar and pair your sandwich with a delicious beverage.
We visited the Downtown Market to celebrate its newest tenant, Madcap Coffee! The location marks the second cafe for this locally owned company. Serving up similar beverages found at their shop off Monroe, Madcap's cafe in the market will also offer new signature drinks including an espresso milkshake! Yes that is correct... espresso & ice cream! You may jump with joy :) but wait, one more thing... Madcap is collaborating with another local favorite, Loves Ice Cream which is located across from Madcap in the north west end of the market.
While Madcap is offering a limited menu this week during their soft opening you can expect to see their full menu roll out over the weekend. If you are out and about this Saturday or Sunday, head downtown and check them out! This may be the best excuse you'll ever have to drink a milkshake in the morning ;)
Want to live Downtown?
Next time you're looking for a date night location stop by New Holland's Knickerbocker located off Bridge St on the West Side of Grand Rapids. The main level hosts a large bar serving up New Holland's craft beer, large dinning areas & an outdoor beergarden. If you're looking for craft cocktials and a more intimate scene, they have you covered... just head up to the second level and into their cocktail lounge, The Zeppelin. We stopped by there for a nightcap and were pleasently suprised with a packed house and live music. The staff were prompt, friendly and accomodating, even with a full house the atmosphere was comfortable and enjoyable. Offering live jazz every Friday and Satruday nights, The Knickerbocker offers it all -- great food, beer AND hand crafted cocktails... the trifecta of date night locations ;)
From fermentation to distillation you witness the process as soon as you walk in the doors with large glass windows overlooking the production area. Transparency in their process creates a platform for conversation, allowing open lines of communication and education with their customers about what is behind the production of a true craft spirit. Along with the authentic admiration these guys have for their products and the process, the personal connections and education they offer creates the type of atmosphere that the Grand Rapids community prides itself upon - friendly, local, outstanding quality.
Gray Skies is trailblazing the newest trend in adult beverages - creating craft spirits! With traditional methods, and a touch of innovation, they are producing flavor forward spirits from quality grains you can actually taste. Their Barrel Finished Hopped Gin is a perfect example of their unique twist on an old classic tipping its hat to the well established craft beer scene in Grand Rapids. Proudly showing that their spirits are offering something tasty and new, but also standing up to many well known, national, brands. Gray Skies is the perfect spot in Grand Rapids for a unique tasting experience. Learn more @ www.grayskiesdistillery.com
Grand Rapids may be known as Beer City, but we are also pouring some of the best organic smoothies and juices around! Across the nation the demand for healthier food and beverage alternatives had spiked in the recent years. Sip Organic Juice Bar was created by a Michigan native living in our area who saw this demand in Grand Rapids as people were actively seeking products and services related to healthy living & clean eating.
The Cottage Bar, originally “The Cottage” first opened in 1927 and is the oldest operating bar and restaurant downtown Grand Rapids. We like to call it one of GR’s hidden gems, located off LaGrave Avenue just South of Fulton, tucked away behind its sister restaurant - One Trick Pony. With the Art Deco mahogany bar, and the warm/casual ambiance, you can feel years of history within the walls.
Enjoy an array of mixed drinks or a local brew with one of their many mouthwatering burgers or sandwiches. Our top pick is the classic pulled pork sandwich with a side of homemade slaw, and their crunchy sweet potato fries... For extra "yum factor" make sure you get them with a side of cinnamon yogurt dipping sauce :) Other popular menu items include their wet burrito, the cottage burger, and the cottage wedge fries. A great place for a casual lunch or dinner, a gathering with friends, or a late night burger while you hop around town. Their convenient location near the heart of downtown puts you within walking distance of many of GR's popular bars on Ionia Street, Van Andel Arena, as well as the Urban Institute for Urban Art, and the Civic Theatre.
For more information on the Cottage Bar click here.
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