Nov 25, 2013
Timothy's Restaurant at the Gordon Beach Inn is in a building that opened in 1924. Very cool atmosphere in this old fashioned inn. Tim Sizer is a well trained and well traveled chef that has a unique philosophy to cooking which combines contrasting features of color, texture and flavors to make your meal an experience. He was runner up in Best Chef America. I started with the homemade clam chowder which was excellent. They are also known for their fire roasted tomato bisque. They have appetizers like crab cakes, calamari and bang bang shrimp as well. My entrée choice was fish which was a horse radish crusted Michigan whitefish with balsamic glaze and lemon aoli. My wife had the salmon with an Asian sesame sauce. My friend had the walleye with strawberries and a sauce I can't recall. This really is unlike any other fish place I have been. Not that fish is all they do. Also, try the ribs, lamb, duck, steaks, chicken or pasta dishes. All are served uniquely in Tim Sizer style. Other fish offerings include scallops, sea bass or grouper(coconut macadamia nut crusted)! I will try the grouper next time. They have sandwiches, salads and a full bar with a decent wine list. All desserts are made in house. Special 10 entrée's for $10 are offered in the off season so...no reason not to make the trip. The hours are limited off season so be sure to check the guide for more details.
Oct 21, 2013
Centre Street Tap House is similar to the Central City Tap House located downtown Kalamazoo connected to the Epic Bistro. Portage has more room than downtown and easier parking. Great atmosphere and lots of TVs to watch the game. I like the lamb sliders or the bangers and mash. Nice burger selection along with many other sandwiches. Lots of great appetizers including tater tots and deviled eggs. For entrees, try the gourmet mac and cheese or the flat iron steak. Like craft beer? Large selection with both local and international quality beers both on tap and in bottles. The wine lovers can buy by the glass and they even have wine on tap! This place did a good job for us the second day they opened, so it looks like a nice addition to Portage.
Oct 3, 2013
Grand River Marketplace evolved from Sleeping Bear Winery and Bad Bear Brewing Co. which was at the Concord exit. The new place is large and able to accommodate their new deli, winery, brewery and restaurant all under one roof. They also have room for a nice stage for live entertainment. This place has very good food made with top quality ingredients that you can see or buy many of from the deli. They are probably best known for their pizza, which is very good. The brewpub also offers some very nice deli sandwiches and burgers. The winery has a tasting area and a large selection. I am a big fan of porters and this brewery offers a constant rotation of several porters which have all been good so far. They brewer is very creative and has several other unique beers for you to try. This is the indoor area next to the Jackson Farmers Market. Check out more details in the guide.
Sep 9, 2013
Maestro's Pizza at 12th Street and Milham Road by Wedel's Nursery has moved from being a take out place in the nearby party store since 2011 to their own space in the nearby strip mall. The local owners are Matt and Deanna Watson who run this sit down pizza and sandwich place with a full bar. Excellent thin crust pizza cut in triangles so you can fold it and eat it New York style. The dough, sauce and Italian sausage are all homemade. The mushrooms are fresh, not from a can. I am looking forward to my next visit to try the salads and a calzone with a frosty mug of beer. Great location, local owners and excellent food make this a winner. Check out the guide for more details.
Aug 9, 2013
Latitude 42 Brewing Co. is a first class effort by Joe Stafford and co. to offer great beers and excellent food to go with them. The atmosphere is very nice. Set up like a cross between a sports bar and a brewpub. I had the burger on the second night they were opened. I had to wait a little for it which was expected, however, I got a very good burger cooked the way I ordered with hot crispy fries. Great job handling a "quiet" opening that resulted in as much as a two hour wait for a table due to the crowds! I tried the powerline porter and the milk of amnesia stout which were both very good. I had tried the red beard before at a city of Portage outdoor concert. The red beard is a good summer beer. Nice place with good beer and good food. I noticed familiar employee faces from around the area. They also did a good job of hiring an excellent staff. Their brewer from Hawaii also knows what he is doing. I am sure more good things will come from this group! Check the guide for more details.
Aug 3, 2013
New in 2011. This place near Gun Lake in the former O'Neil's Restaurant has quickly become a favorite. Called Sand Bar & Grill, they have renovated this place inside and out including a very nice outdoor deck. It is both a family welcoming restaurant with a kids menu and a nice place for drinks in the comfortable bar area. They patty their own burgers including one made with Italian sausage. These are served on a pretzel bun. Try the housemade white chicken chili which has won several awards. They have a long list of appetizers including a meatball bucket, sliders or thick cut onion rings. We tried the all meat skewers in a bucket. We ordered 3 with shrimp and 3 with steak. On a second visit my wife had the shrimp and chicken. The bucket was filled with grilled veggies and the meat was quality and cooked perfectly. I highly recommend these. They have lots of other sandwiches, wraps and paninis as well as steaks and pastas. Nightly specials and a full bar with several craft beers makes this worth a trip. Nice place and nice people! The owners work there everyday. Check out the guide for more details.
Jun 30, 2013
El Gallo Blanco on Portage Road. This is very authentic Mexican food with unique offerings like fried cactus. I like the Alambre dish made with ham, bacon, shredded pork, onions, peppers and cheese. I also like the Steak Bistec. They have your favorites like tacos and burritos, but they offer some items not found on our "Americanized" Mexican restaurant menus. They also make their own soft drinks like horchata and hibiscus. This place is worth a drive if you like the real authentic experience. Check the guide for more details.