The Great Create-Your-Own-GR-Bar-Crawl
Hop Cat | I thought this bar was a Grand Rapids native place. Turns out, Hop Cat is a small restaurant chain much like Jack Brown’s in Michigan, Wisconsin, even Kentucky. Most of them being in Michigan, the first location was in Grand Rapids in 2008. Their main goal is to bring you great beer but they also boost some solid munchies.
We visited Hop Cat on Courtney’s birthday and then again for Courtney, Rachael and my create-your-own-GR-bar-crawl. The decor is wacky with bikes in the ceiling and all those old fashioned liquor ads, even on the ceiling. A very laid-back vibe, much like Michigan itself. The beer list is just about a mile long and when one runs out, the words “no beer for you” get stamped across the description. It made me giggle on multiple occasions.
Now to the food. The three of shared all of these yummy goodies. So get ready for the low down.
Meat Head Pizza Rolls | One word: delicious. Something about pizza toppings wrapped up in a wonton and fried is just marvelous and tasty in my mind. I mean, think about it. The melding of most people’s guilty pleasures – pizza and Chinese. Anyways, the cheese is melty and the wonton is crunchy. Seriously good.
Pretzel Nuggz | Talk about some solid drunk food. Not that I was drunk, but I would imagine they would be great when I in that state. My much loved pretzels cut into little balls, fried per usual, and drenched in butter. Holy jeez, pass them over. Served with beer cheese, keep it coming. Or drink it, like Rachael did. If these pretzels had been in normal pretzel form, it would have one of the best I’ve ever had. Just salty enough, light and moist.
Quesadilla | Cheesy with all the flavors a quesadilla should have. The black bean dip in the filling pairs perfectly with the house cheese blend. But really, who doesn’t like bean dip, especially when it’s on a cheesy quesadilla. the added spinach makes you feel seemingly healthy with all this cheese involved.
Crack Fries | These fries are rightfully named. I don’t say this often, but they are some of the best fries outside of Belgium. They are not at all the same style as my beloved Belgian frites. But the spices are on point. They are also fried to what I consider fry perfection, which can be explained by the beer batter they are drenched in before frying. These puppies are also served with the beer cheese – like I said before, keep the cheese coming.
Stella’s Lounge | Being the burger woman I am, when I heard the supposed best burger in the US was around the corner in Grand Rapids, it was hard to not make the case to go. The burger was really good. But I have to say it was not the most amazing burger I have ever had. It was moist and juicy, as a burger should be. And the flavor was up there, one of the best. But in my opinion, it’s hard to judge all burgers on the same playing field because of the different types of beef. I have to be honest when I say that their fries were not nearly my favorite. They had an odd seasoning, which basically killed it for me.
Stella’s also boosts this ridiculously strong variation of a Long Island Iced Tea. It even comes in its own souvenir glass.
Needless to say, if you happen to find yourself upon a Hop Cat or in GR at Stella’s, I dare you not to go in and make your belly a happy one.