What Is Grand Rapids’ Most Well-Known Food?
In the run-up to the Super Bowl, people seem to love talking about Cincinnati's affinity for Skyline Chili, which got me to thinking, what is Grand Rapids' most well-known food?
Let me begin by saying Skyline is NOT my favorite Cincinnati Chili, I'm more of a Gold Star guy, but the fact that Skyline gets mentioned in the coverage makes it the de facto Cincy treat.
What would Grand Rapids most well-known food be?
There is, of course, Faygo, Vernors and the whole Coney Dog and Better Made Chips legends of Michigan lore, but those are more Detroit legends than West Michigan legends.
Many Say Grand Rapid's Most Well-Known Food is Yesterdog
A quick poll on my Thursday morning show quickly brought up Yesterdog's, this Eastown hot dog joint where the wieners are served up with a bit of attitude. Seeing how the shop was featured in the hit movie "American Pie" makes it a standard for being a GR icon.
Was the Wet Burrito Invented in Grand Rapids?
There is also the legend that a cook at the Beltline Bar in Grand Rapids invented the wet burrito way back in 1966. Several other so-called Mexican restaurants picked up on the trend fairly quickly, and I know there were wet burritos in my hometown of Saginaw by the early seventies. But it just doesn't seem like that delicacy has been widely embraced here, although it is widely enjoyed.
Is Grand Rapids' Most Well-Known Food the Olive Burger?
Another possibility for a Grand Rapids food icon is the Olive Burger made famous by Kewpees in the 1930s. The olive burger tradition was carried forward by Mr. Fables, and now continues on at several other restaurants, including Mr. Burger, and, of course, the stellar version served up downtown at Stella's. But is it THE GR foodie item?
Is Grand Rapids' Most Well-Known Food Actually Beer?
It has also been suggested that maybe food isn't our identity and that our transition to Beer City with the microbreweries that popped up here in the early 2000s being who we are, now. That take makes me lean a little toward the Crack Fries at Hop Cat, but when they changed the name of them a few years back, they seem to lose their luster.
So what is the food or beverage identity that Grand Rapids has cultivated? The fact that there's no real quick first answer means it's certainly up for debate, so what do YOU think?
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