Rosie's Diner's classic pink-neon sign flickered on the first episode of the Food Network's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, and the restaurant's throwback environs and savory comfort food continue to entice locals and road-trippers alike. The diverse menu brims with traditional diner delectables and family recipes whipped up from scratch. Greasers can reach for the hand-battered and finger-lickin' onion rings ($3.50 half order, $5 full order) while the Food Network–featured Cobblestone french toast can please sweet teeth with its thick slices of homemade cobblestone bread infused with cinnamon, walnuts, apples, and brown sugar ($7.75 full stack, $6.25 short stack). Long-estranged quintuplets can reunite over the family-recipe meatloaf ($10), simmering seductively alongside mashed potatoes slathered with homemade gravy. Malt-shop memoirists can nostalgify their nourishment by pairing the tasty, fresh Angus Rosie burger ($6) with a perfectly blended milkshake ($4.25).
The Dam Dogs proudly claim that you need a fork to eat one of their all-beef franks, the biggest of which, the Angus Beef, weighs in at one-third of a pound. But the silverware requirement isn't just because of the size. It also has to do with the toppings. The Rockford Dog, for example, is smothered in chili, cheese, ketchup, mustard, pickles, and onion. Other specialty items include the Rogers Dog?served reuben-style with sauerkraut, thousand island dressing, and swiss cheese. Diners can switch both of these franks, as well as anything else on the menu, with all-soy and turkey dog options that loses none of the beef dog's girth.
Built by Irish farmers in 1937 and still family-owned, Grattan Irish Pub serves its steaks, dusted perch, and house-brined kraut and corned beef with a hearty side of tradition. Deep kelly green booths dot the interior, tucked along walls covered with Irish decor. The kitchen produces authentic dishes made from carefully guarded family recipes and serves soups alongside local, hormone-free steaks that are hand cut and never marinated. On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, live music sails through the air, and a weekly burrito special is definitely not Irish but involves a burrito, so nothing else matters.
Lofty dining room windows afford panoramic views of the lush, rolling golf course that surrounds The Restaurant at Boulder Creek. Customers marvel at the scenery while sipping wine and nibbling on juicy steaks, hearty angus beef burgers, and crispy seafood dishes. On warmer evenings, they'll gather at the patio tables of the open-air deck, clinking frosty glasses of draft beer beneath the setting sun.
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.
Although Davide and Daniele Uccello were just 19 and 24 years old respectively when they opened Flo's Pizzeria Ristorante & Sports Bar, they've exceeded others' expectations with the success of their restaurant. Born in Sicily, the brothers serve a mixture of Italian, American, and Italian-American dishes, some of which incorporate ingredients from Krupp Farms, Sunrise Bakery, and other local merchants. Diners can either order separate entrees, such as seven-cheese lasagna or 8-ounce sirloins, or enjoy the weekday lunch buffet featuring Flo's signature favorites, including sausage and peppers, chicken parmesan, and pizzas topped with fresh ingredients. Ice-cold glasses of beer also complement pies crafted with a variety of crust styles, including thick, think, or Chicago-style. Meals end with sweet treats such as Nutella pizza or an after drink, such as the Triple Treat Tiramisu?a decadent blend of espresso vodka, Rum Chata, marscarpone creme, and ice cream.