July 7, 2018

The Most Important Meal of the Day

No matter if you are an experienced conventioneer or a first-time attendee, one concern everyone shares is where do I go to eat? Visiting a new city, where few know the lay of the land, can be intimidating. People often stick with the hotel’s restaurants, which is fine. For StokerCon 2019™, the Amway Grand Plaza offers a Starbucks® (located inside the hotel), The Kitchen Counter by Wolfgang Puck, the more expansive The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck, Rendezvous, Ruth Chris Steakhouse, GP Sports Bar for burgers and beers, and, for a high-end experience, Cygnus27. We would encourage everyone to partake a time or two at these fine establishments.

That said, we also know from experience that hotel restaurants can be a bit…pricey. For those on a budget, or those who might fancy a bit of adventure, downtown Grand Rapids is chock full of eateries, brewpubs, and gastropubs. When you arrive, one item in your swag bag will be a list of restaurants and brewpubs within walking distance of the hotel, along with their addresses and their websites. Check them out. See what looks interesting. And go exploring.

Over the next few months, this blog will feature a few of the more prominent places to eat and drink. Today is the first of those blog entries. And being the first, we figured we would start with breakfast.

The top two breakfast eateries within walking distance, in this writer’s humble opinion, are the Sundance Grill & Bar and San Chez Bistro. If you want to Uber it, then Marie Catrib’s Gastropub will serve you well. Be warned, though. Marie Catrib’s is on the smaller side, fills up quickly, and they are closed Sundays.

Sundance Grill & Bar is a five-minute walk from the hotel. Popular with the locals, you may find a short wait for breakfast. The food is excellent, as is the atmosphere. If you are hungry, go for a skillet breakfast. A favorite is the Taos, which includes chorizo, jalapenos, green chilis, Sundance potatoes, salsa roja, and cheddar cheese, topped with two eggs ($11). Another favorite, if you don’t mind a little day drinking, is the BLT Bloody Mary: a large Bloody Mary, a BLT half-sandwich, and the “shorty,” a 4oz shooter of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer ($10). There are, of course, other menu items, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Check out their website here.

San Chez Bistro is a couple minutes farther, but well worth the additional steps. The restaurant offers a blend of European, Mediterranean, and Latin American food. Also popular with the locals, you may want to get here early, or make a reservation. The breakfast empanada is to die for: scrambled eggs, bacon, chorizo, sausage & goat cheese folded in an empanada shell with Manchego cheese on top. Served with a side of harissa sour cream, salsa & patatas bravas ($12). You can also get less fancy breakfasts, like a toasted English muffin topped with avocado and two eggs ($6) or a classic cinnamon French toast breakfast ($7). I will return to San Chez Bistro and their tapas menu later, when we discuss dinner options. Check out their website here.

Marie Catrib’s Gastropub is roughly a fifteen-minute drive from the hotel. We are adding this for the more adventurous StokerCon attendees. The food is divine, but the seating is limited. Check out the menu and see what interests you here.

StokerCon 2019™ is roughly ten months out. Keep checking this blog for information, tips, and hints.