Located downtown near the Grand River with the White Pine Trail leading to its back door, Mad Dogz invites guests to stroll, bike, or mash potato in and enjoy a menu boasting 19 gourmet hot dogs. A place where regulars are greeted by name, the friendly frankfurter maestros slather the all-beef or veggie dogs in chili and cheese and get adventurous under a pile of chili, peanut butter, pickles, and Fritos crumbles. All franks can be prepared extra fiery, as the bun-fillers turn up the heat to “insane,” “unstable,” or “psychotic”. During clement weather, Mad Dogz seats guests out on the patio to relish a juice box or iced tea along with views of squirrels playing kickball at Dwight Lydell Park across the street.
At Take 5 Catering, chefs make midday feasts fresh daily, transforming ingredients from local farms into sandwiches, salads, soups, and signature cakes. Every house-made menu item jumps off the pages of recipes created by master chef Angelo Darin and master baker Kelly Bordeaux, including the signature italian meatloaf sandwich, made with braised meatloaf stuffed with mozzarella and spinach.
Caterers deliver orders of $20 and up free of charge and ferry lunches to diverse locations such as homes, offices, and disembarking blimps within 45 minutes of order placement. Clients can solicit their meals by phone or email, and party-throwers can spruce up spreads with custom-frosted sheet cakes.
The chefs at Vitale's whip up homemade sauces for a menu of classic Italian family recipes, which diners enjoy on the eatery's newly remodeled patio or in a comfortable dining room featuring more than 40 TVs. Meals can kick off with the diners' choice of soup or salad, or an appetizer such as shrimp scampi or italian nachos, which drown golden-brown fried cheese ravioli with creamy alfredo sauce and mozzarella cheese before sending the mouthwatering concoction to the oven to bake to gooey perfection.
The owners of Marinades Pizza Bistro have given their loyal customers a tough choice: either fall back on the familiar taste of gourmet wood-fire pizzas, or branch into uncharted territory at Grill One Eleven, which is right next door. Reviewers for On the Town and The Grand Rapids Press did not regret their decision to venture into Grill One Eleven, each one praising chef John Butler's seafood-stuffed grouper, swimming in chive-onion-butter sauce.
Like a king disguised as a lowly archduke, the two-story restaurant's ambiance is both elegant and approachable, with rich, hardwood floors and earth-toned walls surrounding diners as they feast on chicken risotto or roasted portabella burgers. Local craft beers flow freely at the granite-topped bar, pairing well with rib eyes and sirloins hot from the wood grill. Large windows shed sunlight on desserts of carrot cake and creamy lemon tart, which can also be enjoyed beside fireplace of the upper-level lounge area.
Perched across the road from the gleaming waters of Bostwick Lake, the eponymously named bakery and coffee shop serves up a menu of fresh donuts, treats, and cups of coffee. Bostwick's conjures all species of carb-laden comfort foods, from donuts and glazed twists to apple fritters and long johns. Light off the lake dances in through dining-room windows, as a trinity of chocolate, buttercream, and butterscotch cinnamon rolls vies for counter space with the realpolitik power moves of a freshly baked bismarck. Cookies nest in glass-enclosed cases, fashioned in flavors of frosted sugar, snickerdoodle, date, and molasses. Savory lunch fare rounds out the menu with choices including cheeseburgers and chili.
Florentine Pizzeria Ristorante and Sports Bar's chefs concoct robust Italian entrees from scratch, and servers deliver them in a lively interior dining area lined with 12 TVs. Opt for a pizza from Florentine's extensive menu, which catalogs personalized pies ($7.99+), piled with fresh toppings and buttressed with Chicago-style, hand-tossed, or gluten-free crust. Alternatively, diners can dive into a seafood grilled pizza ($9.99), topped with a trio of seafood and crisped over an open flame. Imported Italian pasta, such as seven-cheese lasagna ($10.99)—with one cheese for each European who stays home during the World Cup—tangos passionately with attention-hungry cutlery, and stuffed chicken scallopini protectively bear hugs capicola ham and melted cheese. Florentine rounds out its savory selection with thick subs and eclectically topped burgers, including a pesto-kissed bruschetta burger ($8.49).