If you’re anything like me, then I’m sure most of you are unaware of how awesome the city of Grand Rapids is. Seriously, this place rocks!
Thanks to a couple of incredibly generous millionaire families, Grand Rapids is home to amazing cultural arts, medical facilities and just plain ‘ole awesome folks…. My fave fall festivity: three week long art walk called Art Prize. Artists enter their pieces and they place them all over the city. These things are absolutely incredible! And, did I mention it’s free??
They not only have really amazing places to experience culture and art, but my favorite part about the city: the restaurants.
I know, you’re shocked aren’t you? Me, liking food. This. Is. Crazy.
Side note: While visiting the lil dive I’m about to tell you about, I told J that I’m pretty sure I could be a food critic and be happy the rest of my life… I’d also have to invest in a treadmill/gym membership, but it’d totally be worth it.
I was on my way out of the office on Tuesday to go work in G.R. when a friend of mine from that area literally almost begged me to try this restaurant.
“You HAVE to go to Marie Catrib’s. Like Seriously, if you don’t go I’m not sure if we can be friends”
With a threat like this, I definitely was going… before I could officially assure her that our friendship was secure, she had already Google Mapped our destination and printed off directions..
This. was. serious. business.
This is Marie… Don’t you just love her already?
Marie is from Lebanon and boy-howdy, can she cook! Well, I didn’t actually eat what she cooked, but her recipes rocked. Unfortunately, Marie wasn’t there when J and I stopped in on Tuesday afternoon.
Tuesday at 2:30p.m.
You know a place is good when it is still slammed at 2:30 p.m. on a Tuesday.
J and I managed to find two seats at the counter and waited for service. Let me just tell you, the service was amazing.
On her website, they say, “We are excited about building strong relationships with everyone we interact with: our customers, our community, and our suppliers.” As far as from the customer stand point, they did this very well. They interacted with us great as well as the “usual’s” who seemed to find their way in and were always greeted like Norm off of Cheers.
Their menu. Two words: it rocks! They do very similar things to what the bakery does here and I appreciate that. They buy local, grow what they can and try to focus on solely organic. Check this out: THEY DO GLUTEN-FREE!! They also do Vegan as well… not that I’m a vegan.
What did we eat? J ordered the Rushin’ sandwich on challah bread with a side of Moroccan split pea soup. I ordered the Cranberry Chicken sandwich on Gluten Free Branny Oat and a side of tomato soup with spinach and quinoa.
It was amazing at how fresh the food was and how big the portions were. The pea soup had curry in it which was an incredible addition and the quinoa in my soup, well you’ll see how it inspired me next week.
All in all, we rolled out of there, with our top button on our jeans undone and our wallets a little, but not too much, lighter. We did, however, miss two important things that are staples to the Marie Catrib’s visit: dessert (specifically chocolate pudding) and the Turkish coffee.
If you are ever in Grand Rapids, PLEASE, I’m begging you…go see Marie. I understand where my friend, Amy, was coming from now… I’m not sure if we can be friends if go to G.R. and you don’t go visit Marie.
For now, I’ll leave you with their motto:
(Note: All pictures taken from Marie Catrib‘s website)