The Michigander IV
I’m reevaluating my diet to accommodate more veggies, but I’m still skeptical of how vegetarian or vegan options can compare to the hearty dinners and sugary, buttery sweets I’ve always loved. Still, I’m open to trying new things [as long as those things aren't mushrooms or olives]. Last month my good friend Elyse introduced me to Bartertown Diner to try a yummy [meatless] meal.
Bartertown is a new restaurant in town that is worker-run and boasts a delicious, albeit small, changing menu of vegan and vegetarian options that are locally sourced, and in-season:
“Tomatoes don’t grow in West Michigan in January so why does every place have them? We as Chefs want to take back the food and serve it to you the way it was meant to be: fresh and local.”
Their hours aren’t the best, but the prices are right and the staff is really friendly. You can grab one of Roc’s Cupcakes
(vegan) for dessert earlier in the day and you’ll understand why they go so fast. My red velvet cupcake was so soft and, honestly, I couldn’t tell it apart from a cupcake made with dairy ingredients. The only real difference was that it was sweet, but not too heavy.
I’ve had the Michigander IV twice – Elyse’s personal favorite. It’s a black bean and cherry burger topped with grilled onions, spaghetti squash, maple-garlic aioli and vegan or dairy cheese. It’s a hefty sandwich, but I didn’t feel gross and lethargic as I do when I indulge in a big, greasy ground beef burger. I’ll definitely be back for more, especially for those addictive cupcakes!
As a child the idea of raw meat & fish really turned me off. After living in Rome, I developed a mild addiction to eating entire packages of smoked salmon at a time and devouring prosciutto every which way (on melon, panini…by the handful). Rare ahi tuna & bloody steaks were also a favorite. I figured sushi might be the next step.
I didn’t warm up to the idea of trying for myself until, in the heat of summer, I couldn’t bear the idea of cooking in my kitchen. It was time to take my palate on an adventure (see: cheap date).
The wait wasn’t so bad when we arrived at XO Asian Cuisine in the late afternoon one Tuesday (half off sushi night), but it’s typically packed out the door any later during the warmer months. I was pleasantly surprised by the tuna and avocado roll with cream cheese, and the sweet potato roll made my day. The presentation wasn’t stellar, but I didn’t mind given the unbeatable prices.
Last week, Diana and I went on a roommate date to Marado Sushi, across the street from XO. The line at XO was long, and we heard Marado had some tasty fried sushi. Our service was excellent, and we had complimentary salad (iceberg lettuce, boo) and soup. The Crazy Boy roll was yummy! Mine had salmon, avocado and cream cheese and one roll was plenty. We’ll certainly go back!
My purple sweater loves to go out to eat
This is the third time I’ve posted food from Rose’s. I swear I’ve been to plenty of other wonderful restaurants! Diana had yet to experience brunch there and all else seemed closed Easter morning, so we sat down for a late brunch. We even saw a cute little bunny fussing around in the grass outside our window!
For Lent, Diana decided to go vegan. A life without butter, cheese, ice cream, steak and bacon would be an absolute nightmare for me. I know there are great vegan recipes out there, although I could never adapt to it as a lifestyle. I applaud Diana’s perseverance, but I was excited to accompany her for her first tasty, meat and dairy filled meal:
They can’t serve alcohol before noon on Sundays here. The last couple of times I visited I was disappointed I couldn’t enjoy a mimosa with breakfast. Thankfully sloth paid off this afternoon when we dragged ourselves out for brunch at 1p.m.
I’m not sure how she isn’t drooling after 40 days of torture.
My “grilled cheese” was pretty tasty. Pancetta, mixed greens, sharp white cheddar &tomatoes were stuffed inside and served with root chips and pasta salad. I wasn’t crazy about the bread, but pancetta can do no wrong.