Michigan’s [Food] Adventure: Part 1

You all are about to get a load of a food and travel story for a place you may have never considered to visit. I highly suggest it.

As I have mentioned in my previous articles, I recently went to Michigan to visit my best friend, primarily for her 21st birthday. I met her in Belgium and I am forever grateful for this. This trip was my longest trip there but her family is honestly my second family. It was such an awesome trip! With tubing trips, bar crawls and a trip to one of my favorite places. I even fished for the first time and wore camo. You all get to hear all about it. Excuse the fact these articles are a little long. They are coming all in a clump and named for the Michigan theme park: Michigan’s Adventure, where Courtney has worked before

There is so much for me to say about the mitten!

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Rockwell Republic | This was the restaurant we tried for my best friend, Courtney’s birthday. It’s located near Heritage Hill in Grand Rapids. They have two different spaces of the restaurant, which I found interesting and cool. Not only did they serve up awesome martinis. The IDK was our martini of choice: sky passion fruit vodka, mango liqueur, fresh lemon juice, sparkling passion fruit, orange peel. If that doesn’t sound like a solid and deliciously fruity martini, I don’t know what does. Definitely a winner for my first martini.

But their grilled cheese was one of the best I’ve had, especially for a restaurant. The bread was crusty with the right amount of crunch for the grilled cheese. The cheeses were cheddar and emmentaler, which both melt well. The emmentaler cheese was featured on my cheese board from a few months ago. It is a lot like Swiss so it adds a bit of underlying smokiness to the grilled cheese. This smoky aspect paired perfectly with the smoked tomato dipping sauce that was served on the side. The flavor of this sauce was smoky, a tad spicy and basically wonderful.

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This is Courtney and I on her birthday!

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Nonna’s Cafe | This is a cafe with such a nice little Michigan charm located in Ada, which is just a bit outside of Grand Rapids. It has a soothing vibe when you walk in mostly because of the gray and white walls. Considering my recent love affair with sage, it was hard to give up trying this one once I saw it on the menu. The flavor of the sage was, of course, what pleased me the most about this dish. It could never be as good as Cafe Torino in my eyes but the ravioli seemed fresh and full of flavor.

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As for the rest of the menu, Nonna’s serves hearty salads and pastas, not to mention their coffee and tea, which seems to be their main focus. Unfortunately, they don’t have a website so it is harder for me to find out some of the insights I don’t get while I’m in the place. But they seem to change their menu often and seasonally, since it is so limited. They serve breakfast and lunch. And their pastries also look amazing. They even introduced me to having honey and cinnamon on my coffee – if you haven’t tried it, you must.


My kind-of-Michigan-Monday | Odd Side Ales serves up imaginative craft beer flavors in the heart of Grand Haven. This brewery is located across from The Kirby House, one of my features from last year, which I got to try again. Just as good, FYI. The Pronto Pup also boosts the best corn dogs there ever were. The breading isn’t too much and they are fried there on the spot. And it’s literally just a shack – cheapest rent ever – aka genius. Side note: the photo featured above is also from Grand Haven off of their beautiful pier.

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Michigan may be a place known for mostly just Detroit, giving the state a somewhat bad name. It may also be crawling with national chains. But when you find the local places, you have found some great food.

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