In an effort to broaden our restaurant options, I have decided to switch our monthly “Burger Blog” to be focused on local, unique cuisine. This will hopefully allow us to sample all of the new restaurants and eateries West Michigan has to offer!

The first destination was The Downtown Market. The Downtown Market is located just south of the Grand Rapids arena district. It has really served as a spark for re-development in the area south of downtown that has been neglected for years. The Market is a mixed-use facility that serves as a remarkable space for vendors to market and sell their products while also providing education about locally grown foods. The Market has many unique, specialty shops and boutique restaurants. A few of the eateries available are Aperitivo, Tacos El Cunado, Fish Lads, Sushi Market and Slows Barbeque.
Our group decided to eat at Slows Barbeque and had a great experience. Slows offers a large menu of barbeque favorites, from pulled pork to baby back ribs and also a large menu of specialty sandwiches and delicious sides. I decided to try “The Reason” sandwich which is made up of pulled pork, homemade coleslaw, dill pickle and topped with North Carolina BBQ sauce.  The sandwich really hit the spot and made for a very unproductive afternoon!

Gavin Anderson, another dedicated Local Lunch Extravaganza participant, wanted to share his take as well:

“My first experience at Slows was with the Triple Threat Pork (bacon, pulled pork and ham).  It was impressive, so I knew I had to go back.  This time around, I thought I would go with a different option and selected “The Yardbird” (smoked chicken, pulled apart and tossed in Yardbird sauce with cheddar cheese and topped with bacon), plus a side of macaroni for good measure.  From the first bite, I knew I had made the right choice. The Yardbird sauce had a small kick, which was perfect for someone like me who likes just a dab of spice on his food. The bacon was cooked to perfection and the Kaiser roll somehow managed to keep everything from spilling out onto my pressed white shirt. By the time I was done, I had just enough room for a treat from Sweetie-licious Bakery.  My dessert of choice was essentially a giant Oreo cookie with 2 chocolate cookies held together by a strawberry whip cream. It was the perfect amount of sweet to balance the savoriness of the Yardbird I had just devoured. The trip was so successful that I had to postpone dinner because I was so full for so long.”

I would highly recommend a visit to The Downtown Market even if it is just to walk around. It is certainly a local hotspot with tons of unique offerings that you will struggle to find anywhere else. Below is a link to their website if you would like to learn more.

http://downtownmarketgr.com/