Karl and I went to Grand Rapids this past weekend for a mini baby-moon. He took Friday off and we dropped the little man off at my mom’s first thing that morning. As much as I hate leaving Ricky behind, taking the time as a couple is always worth it. Everything I have ever read about parenting has emphasized that the parents’ relationship with each other directly affects the child’s sense of security as well as sense of self. I digress- what I really want to tell you about is how much fun we had and share my GR recommendations!
We had such a blast! Not to be a broken record, but because of Ricky’s allergies (I know, I know- I talk about it a lot. Bear with me here) we don’t eat out very often. This is especially unfortunate because Karl and I love food and eating out was one of our favorite past-times pre-kids. We didn’t have any plans for our weekend away except eating at a lot of delicious restaurants and taking our good, sweet time. Here are some of my favorites:
- Founders– This is probably one of the most obvious stops in Grand Rapids, but it has become popular for a reason! With a huge patio area and an indoor area that can be opened up in good weather, the atmosphere is perfect for relaxing with a beer (or lemonade in my case). Karl really enjoyed their beer selection- the favorite being a unique raspberry beer entitled Rubaeus. I highly recommend the In Spite of the Club sandwich- a little spicy and oh so delicious.
- Wolfgang’s– Well known in GR for their breakfast, this place might not look like much but it is 100% worth the stop. It’s located in Eastown, so if you are staying downtown you’ll have to drive, but trust me, it’s worth it. We had the best waitress who suggested the Vandermeer (sub mushrooms for asparagus) and she knew what she was talking about. Side note- I love asking the waiter/waitress for their best suggestion when you can’t decide because they are almost always spot on. We also had some strawberry & whip cream waffles to subdue the sweet tooth- it was the perfect combo of savory and sweet!
- San Chez– A tapas place located downtown with a killer breakfast. We only went for breakfast, so I can’t speak to the rest of their menu, but everything we had was delicious. We split both the Breakfast Empanadas and the Cinnamon French Toast. At first glance their menu looked like all the standard breakfast options, but once you read the descriptions you realize each of them is really unique and has a special twist.
- Cygnus 27– We stayed at the Amway and this is the restaurant located on their top floor. Karl LOVES a good hotel bar or restaurant and I loved that I could wear high heals to our fancy dinner out and not worry about trecking it across town. Surrounded by windows, this restaurant gives you excellent views of the city no matter where you are seated and the food is delicious. This is the definition of a date-night restaurant- plan to take your time and enjoy a few courses.
We also spent a day in Holland, walking around the shops and enjoying a drink at New Holland Brewing Company. Unfortunately it was a really gray weekend, but the sun came out just long enough for us to enjoy a few hours at Tunnel Beach. I am an East-sider, born and raised, but there is no denying the best beaches are on the West side of the state. This beach was pretty much built to be in a “Pure Michigan” commercial- clean, sandy with beautiful views of Lake Michigan.
If you ever get the chance, Grand Rapids is a great destination for a long weekend getaway. There is plenty to do, lots of good restaurants and everyone is so nice! For what it’s worth, I highly recommend it.