Jersey-style subs may be Boardwalk Subs’ food forte, but the staff’s true specialty is its attention to customer service, as showcased by its nomination for the Grand Rapids Celebrated Service award. In between friendly smiles and polite conversations, the kitchen crew at the family owned eatery focuses its attention on handcrafting 25 types of toasted or grilled subs and pairing them with fresh-baked cookies and warm soups. After baking fresh bread each day, cooks slice open each 15-inch roll before stuffing it with savory meats, such as salami, capicola, and roast beef, and seven kinds of colorful vegetables. The sandwich artists then top the savory layers with one of 12 sauces and seasonings such as celery salt and italian spices.
For more than four decades, Mr. Burger has sated carnivorous cravings with a menu of juicy burgers and other toothsome classics for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A patron's day can begin at any hour with the breakfast combo of pancakes, toast, an alarm clock, any-style eggs, and sizzling bacon or sausage links ($3.90). For sturdier eats, dig into a double meat ($2.80–$5.05) or a Mr. Triple burger ($4.50–$6.75)—both made quadruply delicious when paired with one of the succulent sides, such as french fries, onion rings, and coleslaw—or plunge incisors into a chicken pita ($3.99–$6.24), gyro ($3.50–$5.75), or fried chicken sandwich ($3.85–$6.10). Postmeal fanatics can indulge their inner child or find out that they're someone else's inner child with old-fashioned desserts including fresh strawberry pies, cream pies, and creamy shakes and sundaes.
Fazoli's expeditious culinary team assembles gondolas of oven-baked pastas and chopped salads for a palatable odyssey through comestible canals. The basil pesto-drizzled tortellini and sun-dried tomato rustico ($5.99) plants a garden of artichoke hearts in the belly, and the country Caesar salad tucks sleepy bacon and breaded chicken into a bed of lettuce, crispy onions, and mozzarella ($5.49). Diners can nosh on traditional Italian flavors with a plate of spaghetti in meat sauce or fettuccine alfredo ($4.99). Fazoli's bountiful menu also bursts at the seams with pizzas, sweet treats, and a supply of breadsticks that's as bottomless as a trapdoor in the Oval Office.
In an impressive display of fire and finesse, the chefs at Wild Chef Japanese Steakhouse Grill & Bar prepare a spread of steak, shrimp, and salmon on individual teppanyaki tables, all right before the eyes of their customers. The restaurant's expansive menu extends into sushi, tempura, and teriyaki dishes, and its party packages make it a delectable destination for birthdays and anniversaries.
At Little Mexico Cafe, corn and flour tortillas enfold steak, chicken, and vegetables to create traditional Mexican fajitas, enchiladas, and chimichangas. Homemade sauces slather cheese-laden creations spiced up with jalapeños and racy limericks, and chefs also charter a course toward sautéed, grilled, or stuffed jumbo shrimp. The two-story restaurant showcases bright Aztec-themed murals by artist Roli Mancera, and banners of papel picado flutter overhead in the sunny, yellow upstairs dining room. After a devastating fire in 2008 that burned the original Little Mexico Cafe to the ground, resilient restaurateurs Enrique and Consuelo Ayala rebuilt the eatery for a 2010 reopening, where the community revelry was covered by The Grand Rapids Press.
The father-and-son team of Steve and Jason Jenkins took on a big task when they decided to turn an old bar on the northwest side into a friendly neighborhood beer-and-burger sports joint. A laid-back crowd now shares laughs over burgers and cold brews at The Pubb seven days a week.
The menu incites stomachs to rumble with its spread of American pub food, from fried pickles and crisp BLTs to meaty Double Pubble burgers, stacked with two third-pound beef patties. During their extensive remodeling job, the owners installed six big-screen TVs and a slightly brighter, more welcoming lighting setup. The Pubb also entertains with keno and shuffleboard.
Joe V’s Sports Bar builds a menu of pub fare and Chicago-style pizzas on a foundation of homemade dough, sauce, and Italian cheeses. Pizzas are constructed with the clean lines of minimalist cheese ($9.29 for 12”) or the ornately decorated Super Deluxe pizza ($16.79 for 12”), which brings along its entourage of pepperoni, sausage, ham, mushrooms, onions, olives, and green peppers to shower it in flavor and compliments. Homemade potato chips ($2.99) crisp just quietly enough to avoid interrupting the sounds waves of live music or karaoke as they dance through the air. An olive-swiss burger ($7.99) is made from a half pound of Black Angus beef and paired with fries. Strewn liberally with televisions, Joe V’s lives up to its title of sports bar by displaying games and spontaneously producing basketballs every evening.