Tag Archives: Grand Rapids

Sunday Funday

souce: Tumblr

source: Tumblr

I love when Sundays begin slowly, creeping through our drapes just after 7a.m. so that I reach for my silk eye mask and wait for the sound of the dogs at the bedroom door to start the day. Today, I read in the living room and sipped on my tea and a smoothie to hold me over until brunch (or “devil’s meal” as my best friend calls it) with friends at Cygnus 27.

Cygnus 27
Cygnus 27
Neil and I love a leisurely weekend breakfast. Anna’s House, the Westsider Cafe and San Chez are among our most frequented spots. For exceptionally beautiful spring beginnings like today, Cygnus 27 Sunday brunch was great.  (Also here).

Tyler & Emily
Spencer & Chelsea

Wednesday night (half off signature martinis) happy hour there is also wonderful, but the several dinners we had there weren’t so great. Brunch is what really shines, especially with the city in full sunlight and tables of pastries.

Cygnus 27
Best Coffee

Mimosas, Bloody Marys, Bailey’s in your coffee…such a perfect start to the afternoon. All of the small plates are included, there’s an omelette or sushi bar, bruschetta, and always a massive table of desserts to satisfy my sweet teeth! My favorite is the coffee crème brûlée. In fact, my usual Sunday ritual of baking all afternoon is sitting out in favor of food coma and Kindle time.

After Brunch
I never thought I’d have shoe envy for a boyfriend’s shoes. Neil’s new Cole Haan suede shoes from A.K. Rikks are crispy!
Cole Haan

Have a great week!

Bartertown Diner

Bartertown Diner
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!

Diane & Diana Meet Sushi

XO Asian Cuisine Sushi

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!

Marado Sushi Grand Rapids

Diane Teall at Marado Sushi Grand Rapids
My purple sweater loves to go out to eat