About Me

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Lansing, Michigan, United States
I am a Lansing townie, lawyer, and restaurant reviewer for the City Pulse. I love traveling, reading, yoga, and baking, but my favorite hobby is stuffing my face.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Amore in Grand Rapids

My sweet friend Kelly has been telling me about her favorite restaurant in Grand Rapids for a while. So, the last time I had an appointment in GR, I headed over a few hours early so I could stop for lunch. The place? Amore Trattoria Italiana.

Let me be honest with you. The place is not in a great location. As a matter of fact, from the outside, it kind of looks like a dump. Ignore that. The inside is decorated in Italian stuff. Just a ton of stuff, you know? It's not appealing to me, a lover of simplicity, but whatever. Do your thing, Amore.

I asked my waitress what she recommended for lunch and she started talking about sandwiches and lasagna. I wasn't in a sandwich mood and I do not like lasagna at all (way too much cheese), so I pretty much ignored her suggestions and got exactly what I thought I was going to get after doing preliminary research on the menu.

I started with the mista salad. It was everything I like in a salad- greens that are NOT romaine or iceberg, dressed in vinaigrette. The dressing was fantastic. It was covered in a layer of cheese, which I didn't love, but I flicked most of it off easily.

The waitress brought a bread basket. I wasn't impressed. Something in the bread was eerily reminiscent of Pizza Hut, which, try as I might to forget, it apparently a flavor profile that is going to stay with you. The bread also came with a bowl filled with dipping oil and about a metric ton of shredded cheese. Seriously, I know people love cheese, but I beg of you. Take it easy.

My entree was spaghetti with meat sauce. For the most part, I am rarely impressed with pasta. I think it's essentially foolproof and pretty difficult to screw up. In turn, it's difficult to knock my socks off.


This pasta was exceptional. I took a bite and honestly thought to myself "This is how you do al dente." There was a bite to it- the pasta was cooked perfectly. After my first few bites, I noticed something odd. The meat sauce wasn't ground beef only, it actually had pieces of chopped steak in it. Heaven.

My bill was $7.42. $7.42! Get there quick.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Heartburn City

There comes a day in everyone's life when you're going to eat something that you're not necessarily proud of. I don't care if you've been to Le Cirque, you've eaten your way through Paris, and you've gone to Scotland mainly for the sole purpose of eating lunch. There will come a day when you forget all of that, and I only hope that you enjoy your ill-gotten calories as much as I did.

For me, this day came last Friday. Ironically, I was on the treadmill when I decided what I was going to have for dinner that night. I've gotta say, it's been a long time since I had a fast-food dinner. On my way home from the gym, I stopped at Wendy's. Well, I didn't really stop, because I decided to go all-in and not even walk into the place. I hit the drive-thru.

Do you know what sent me in the Wendy's direction? Of course you do. It's the only thing that sets Wendy's apart. Behold-

The Frosty. Why else would anyone go to Wendy's? Nobody goes there for the fries. The fries are a supporting act for the Frosty, so you can do this-

Since I also wanted some protein, and since the chicken nuggets are delicious and $1, I got some. Figured I would go whole-hog (and then remind myself of one, as I laid on the couch in a Wendy's coma.)

I mixed ketchup and mayonnaise on the side. I've heard some people call this "California Ketchup." Anyone else? Why do people say this? I call it French-style, because it sounds fancier. Oh yes, I like to be as fancy as possible. That's why I demolished my Frosty with an iced-tea spoon.

Incidentally, when did Wendy's get rid of those yellow waxed paper-like Frosty cups? Those were the best. And this meal was delicious. I'm not going to make it a part of my repertoire, but it was good while it lasted. Now I'm going to go to six hours of hot yoga.