Great Dining Values in Grand Rapids MI
For the last month or so, my daughter, Kirstin has been joining co-workers and friends for a burger and a beer after work occasionally. She's come home with a big smile on her face, and it's not a beer generated smile! It's that they've found an amazing place where Monday through Thursday from 4-6 pm they can get a ½ pound Angus beef burger with fries and a pint of beer. And it's no domestic bottled swill, it's interesting, hand-crafted, Michigan brewed beer. The price? $5.00. How can you beat that?!?!?!
So yesterday I had a day where I was all over town, catching up on photos, getting a new battery for a Sentrilock Keybox (the first one I've had to replace, and with a small Allen wrench it was an easy task, unlike some of the competitor's boxes, but that's another story). When I looked at my watch and remembered that I'd not pulled anything from the freezer to cook for dinner, I realized it was a great opportunity to see for myself Kirstin's burger and beer heaven.
She was pretty tickled when I called and told her that I'd pick her up at work rather than at the bus stop and that there was a Hopcat visit in her immediate future.
Located in the Arena District downtown on Ionia Street, we found a parking spot immediately (more confirmation that this was a good choice). We parked right in front of the Photography Room, which is a great gallery run by Brian Kelly, a local photo genius. Next time I'll go early to browse the gallery before my burger/beer feast.
The vibe is very cool. Hardwood floors, a huge, long bar with 48-taps. Interesting and unusual artwork on the walls, and great tunes played at just the right volume. Loud enough to get my head bobbin', but not so loud that I had to shout to talk to my daughter and hear her stories from work. A great mix of songs I've not heard in years, and others that I wasn't familiar with but would love to hear again.
Kirstin selected a Poet, a New Holland Brewing Company Oatmeal Stout- (brewed in Holland Michigan where their brew pub serves the best chili I've ever enjoyed) a rich, dark brew that's become her locally brewed favorite. After much waffling back and forth, I settled on a pint of 555- I.P.A. a smooth, slightly hoppy beer brewed by The Livery in Benton Harbor, MI. Then came the burgers! Grilled to order on a fresh bakery bun, juicy and flavorful. Traveling with the burger were lettuce, tomato, onion and the normal condiments and a pile of thin cut perfectly fried "Crack Fries" billed as being so good that they're addictive. I'm not generally a huge fan of seasoned fries, but these were not overpoweringly seasoned so while I'm not addicted, I did enjoy every bite.
Our server was prompt, knowledgeable, friendly and fun.
Hopcat has a full menu of interesting dishes, seems to be run by people with a passion for beer and fun. I'm certain that when I'm downtown and in need of a bite, or a taste of high quality interesting beer, I know exactly where to go.
If you're looking for a new spot, stop at Hopcat and tell them you read about it on my blog!
Located at 25 Ionia (at the Corner of Weston), Hopcat's main floor is non-smoking, but there's a smoking lounge upstairs and a patio when the weather makes that possible.
Photos from the Hopcat website