Being a true city, Chicago has plenty of late-night food. On one of my nights there, a buddy took me to The Vig in Old Town after a few beers because it supposedly has an amazing fried chicken sandwich. The trouble is that they don’t have the full menu at night and that limited menu does not include the aforementioned fried chicken sandwich. There was, however, live music to make up for it and a chicken parmesan sandwich that would attempt to quench my hunger for fried fowl.
Despite spending several days in Holland, on our last day we found a part of town that we hadn’t ever seen before. It’s called Washington Square and is probably one of the coolest single block stretches of storefronts in the state of Michigan, if not the world. Within that stretch is a cozy and homey-feeling restaurant called The Biscuit, which may or may not have its own pet blue dragon in the cellar (you’ll have to ask someone who works there). They only serve breakfast and lunch, so we attended for the former.
What do you do when the best dumpling place in Chicago’s Chinatown is under construction? Generally, perhaps avoid going to Chinatown at all. But when you’re already there, the situation is a bit different. We made a decision to head to MCCB (Modern Chinese Cook Book) for some Sichuan-style Chinese food. It made the decision a lot easier when I saw the restaurant was mostly full of Asian people.
It may not be the most creative thing to name a restaurant after the street that it’s on. But when that street is 8th Street in the center of Holland, Michigan, it’s not just any street. This street is the beating heart of the town and so 8th Street Grille is a name that carries some clout, as well as a bunch of American food and local beers.
State Fairs are often an afterthought. A relic of times past when most of us lived in rural areas and guessing the weight of a pumpkin was the best entertainment of the month. They offer variations on the same rides, foods and entertainment that you find at your local Memorial Day Carnival or County Fair and, I mean, how many people even go to those? But the Minnesota State Fair is so far from an afterthought that it seems to be on the minds of Minnesotans for the 50 weeks of the year in which it is not in operation. Plans are made, new foods are devised and longed after; then, just like that, it’s over again. This year, however, the Unvegan paid a visit to see how it would all stack up.
It is easily one of the punniest names out there. Yeah, really creative to combine “eat” and “Italy” to create a restaurant and market name. But there is no doubt that judging the name of a restaurant is like judging a book by its cover. It’s what’s inside that counts and apparently the inside of Eataly has impressed enough people to open up locations in the biggest cities in the US. I paid a quick visit to the Chicago location when I was in need of a snack.
Nearly every restaurant in Holland, Michigan looks amazing. It’s all pretty much made for unvegans like me. Weirdly enough, they all seem to have some sort of Olive Burger and boursin cheese makes appearances all over the place, as well. I can’t explain it, but I can’t complain either. When it came to Beechwood Grill, however, it was another type of beef between bread that called out my name.
There are girls. There are goats. Then, there is The Girl and the Goat. It isn’t just some restaurant, but is a restaurant that still requires booking two months in advance even though it’s been around for the better part of a decade. Of course, it also happens to be in Chicago, which has a lot of people who like food. It probably doesn’t hurt that the founder and Executive Chef, Stephanie Izard, won Top Chef, went to the University of Michigan and honed her skills at the Scottsdale Culinary Institute.
Nothing really says “awesome” quite like “family friendly brewery.” Such places are the best of both worlds, contributing to the cycle of having babies because you drink, then drinking because you have babies. New Holland Brewing on 8th Street in Holland, Michigan is one such place. Renowned for its beer, it has a comfortable back patio for kids to hang out at and one very attractive menu.
I always enjoy finding places off the beaten track. It certainly helps if the places actually churn out good food, but sometimes being off the beaten track can somehow enhance that flavor. D’Railed in Idaho Falls is not just off the beaten track, it’s literally on the other side of the tracks. Yet, I had read some things about the food being d’licious and wanted to find out for myself.