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Westside Social in Grand Rapids, Michigan's Best Local Eats, specializes in comfort food and seasonal cocktails

Westside Social in Grand Rapids, Michigan's Best Local Eats, specializes in comfort food and seasonal cocktails

GRAND RAPIDS, MI Westside Social in Grand Rapids is a neighborly location for locals, as well as rustic dining with emphasis on comfort food and sophisticated cocktails.

The restaurant, located at 2802 Lake Michigan Dr. NW, is promoted as a "An American Tavern With A Hint of Genius," urging people to "think American Tavern, reimagined."

Since its opening in January 2018, Westside Social has provided the opportunity to serve up specialties, including chicken and waffles ($16), featuring house spice fried chicken tenders served over brown sugar waffles, topped with ancho maple syrup and Alabama white sauce.

The gnocchi stroganoff ($18) is a popular item for a chilly winter evening. It comes with wild mushroom cream, truffle oil, sirloin beef tips, potato gnocchi and Manchego cheese

The restaurant is known for its signature cocktails as well as seasonal cocktails that are always happy hour favorites.

We have a tequila cocktail for the winter that we run, which ends up being the top seller, said Christopher Minarik, president of Westside Social since March 2019. It is called the Winter La Granada, which means, pomegranate of winter.

The Winter La Granada ($11) is comprised of Espolon tequila, Pama pomegranate liquer, pineapple juice, orgeat, lime juice, and garnished with fresh rosemary.

One of Minarik's favorite menu items is The Parkside ($14) which is a sandwich featuring beer-braised sauerkraut, Michigan-made bacon lardons, and swiss cheese aioli atop a ciabatta bread.

The tavern offers a broad variety of food options, including the Moroccan Steak Bites ($12), unique burgers like the Mac Daddy Burger ($13) and skillet Mac n Cheese like the Lobster Mac ($16) with house-made five-cheese sauce.

Stone said that we wanted to have good burgers on there that would appeal to someone who wants to go out for an anniversary.

Ed Stone, the proprietor of the Shawmut Inn for 39 years, acquired it before being bought out by the Peppino's Hospitality Group in August 2017.

Katie Stone, a general manager of Westside Social, said she worked with my uncle when it was the Shawmut Inn for about six months. I kind of helped him with managerial tasks so he could focus on what he needed to," she said.

Stone wanted to keep the atmosphere of the Shawmut's casual dining while conserving the restaurant's focus on Mexican cuisine.

Stone said that we wanted the menu to have entrees on there that would appeal to someone who wanted to go out for an anniversary. But we also wanted to have good burgers on there that would appeal to someone who wants to eat or just getting out of work.

By incorporating higher-end tavern foods with a freshness to it, Westside Social's goal has always been to collaborate with local businesses for fresh ingredients like Sobie Meats and Michigan Crafts.

We try and do as much local as possible, said Stone. Everything here is prepped daily, so if we run out of something, were really out of it; thats kind of our signature here, that everything is fresh, local and produced daily.

The tavern is open from 15:00 to 20:00 pm on Monday, 11:00 to 10:00 pm on Sunday, and the hour ending at 8:00 pm is free. Orders can be made in house or by calling 616-453-5877.

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