May 31, 2010


OK that title does have a story behind it but it is not that exciting, in fact it is kind of simple, and rather foolish. My husband, Kenny, nicknames everything. The people closest to him each have several of mine being that is not a synonym for in I drank too much Saki one nothing like that. Well I LOVE Sushi and when we dine out for sushi Kenny always says "Sushi Looshi?".

Weird.....I know.

A while back I put a little survey on Strawberry CAKE to see who among my readers was on my side when it came to Sushi. I did not have a great participation in the survey. So I thought lets try it again. My intent was to try every sushi restaurant in the Grand Rapids area and let you know what I thought was best.

WELL life has gotten the best of me and I have only been able to get my steadily growing behind to 4 places! (I am also on the search for the areas best hamburger too, mind you....nothing in moderation with me!)

This book has been on my nightstand, I bought it with the intentions of teaching myself how to make sushi and now I have decided I really just like going out for sushi and reading cookbooks about it. Sushi taste and technique written by Kimiko Barber and Hiroki Takemura, this is a great book if you decide you do want to take on sushi. Or if you are a big wimp like myself then it is also just a dang good read. I picked it up at Barnes and Nobles for around $20. Dorling Kindersley books are always a good bet when you need to get the scoop on something. Great pictures and detailed instructions.


The D&W Fresh Market in Grandville was my first stop. Which made sense because I buy sushi there once a week. It was fun getting to know the man behind the sushi at D&W. I asked the stores manager for "the sushi guys" phone number and gave him a call. Needless to say, he was a bit confused as to why I.....Strawberry CAKE blogger....was wanting to meet with him and put pictures of him on my blog. But he was very friendly and was happy to oblige.

The store employees call him Boss Man, but his real name is Minn. Minn was awesome, he told me he came to USA from Burma 15 years ago. He lived in NYC, that is where he began his journey with sushi. From there he traveled a bit down the east coast and then wound up in all places....Grandville Mi.

Minn makes fresh sushi daily at his sushi bar in D&W Fresh Market and at the Kirkhof Center on the campus of Grand Valley State University. They never had this kind of fare when I went to school there. In the words of my 7 year old "NO fair!".

I order sushi in a restaurants, I throw it in my cart at the grocery store. But until I stood and watched Minn work I really didn't realize ALL the prep that goes in to even the simplest of sushi.

Confession: Hi, my name is Sheila Johnson....and I have been taking sushi chefs for granted for approximately 10 years now. I am sorry. I will try to be more appreciative of all the work that goes into each mouthful.

I think Minn could make sushi in his sleep. He didn't skip a beat as he chatted with me an answered all my questions and took my teasing. I tease often, and then laugh at myself when I get nervous. Awkward. I asked him if I opened a bakery if he would consider doing sushi in the front window. Cinnamon rolls, and sushi. Something new. Something never done before in West Michigan. You never know what the new trends are gonna be. Never hurts to ask. He furrowed his brow at me.

I get that ALOT.

Bossman did the sushi for my sisters wedding 5 years was great. And beautiful. That is the thing about sushi, it is pretty too. For about 2 seconds until I throw it done my gullet!

This is what I ended up going home with the day I visited "the Boss Man", eel roll(cooked eel, seaweed wrapped in rice and teryaki sauce with sesame seeds on top), he said it was his favorite. I enjoyed it too.

I recommend if you have never tried sushi that you stop in to D&W and pay Minn a visit. It will give you a taste of sushi with out a huge commitment of going into a restaurant.


My next stop was Mirado Sushi, downtown Grand Rapids on Monroe. I have been to this restaurant many times also. It is close to where my sweet Seestor works. So I meet her for lunch there. MMMMMMmmmmm MMMMmmm MMMmmm! The service is always friendly and for the most part you can watch them make your order up at the counter. Which I have never done, because I am too busy catching up with my sis. This day we ordered our usual Spicy Tuna. My sister and I, we like spicy! Kamikaze Roll= spice tuna , avocado, kanikama and deep fried with sauce, they got me here with the spice AND the deep fried! I was afraid my digestive system might do a kamikaze with the combination.

I'm getting old....always thinking about the bowels these days.

We also tried the Philadelphia Roll, which was super. Very fresh and tasty. Salmon, avocado and cream cheese, you can't go wrong with a Philadelphia Roll. They also served us a salad and a broth soup.

I would definitely recommend you try Mirado Sushi in Downtown Grand Rapids, 47 Monroe Center. They are closed Sunday, just FYI.
There they are our spicy tuna and kamikaze rolls. Delish!

Mikado Sushi, on the corner of 28th and East Paris. This was the third place I tried on my search. I think I heard from too many people that it was their favorite, and my expectations were too high. I did, however, have great company this day.....

this is Robin, by bloggin' friend. She is a loyal(crazy) follower. Also a lover of the Pioneer we had to get together so I could give her the up close and personal skinny on my trip to visit Ree...with my new friend Karen.

We ordered a combo platter and shared it. It was picture perfect! There was a very strange couple pieces of white sashimi. To the eye they were very normal, but on the palate it was the strangest thing either one of us had EVER had in our pie holes! The texture was something like a rubbery, raw, slimy, chewy, hunk of fat...with no taste. Robin's eyes bounced out of her head after she placed it on her tongue. I was not scared I too gave it a try and my cheeks puffed out to guinea pig sized proportions! Very strange stuff. Our wait staff was pretty much not helpful in telling us what it was we were eating. It was pretty busy in there so I will give them the benefit of the doubt. Over all I would give it a B. Like I said I think maybe my expectations were too high.

44th St. @ Breton
hours M-Fri 11:30am-10pm/Sat. noon-10pm/no Sunday hours posted

Yesterday I took my oldest daughter out of shop and eat sushi. Hey, you just have to do these things sometimes. And the girl needed a new bathing suit...that was modest and fun and wasn't going to break the bank. That is no easy task. I think I would rather rip my pinkie toe nail off than bathing suit shop for myself. But for my big girl it was not too painful.

SUSHI that's what this was really about not bathing suits. So after we got ourselves good and hungry shopping we met my seester (her name is Carla) for lunch at Tokyo Grill. I had heard many good things about this restaurant. And they proved to all be true.

Word had it that they make the sushi for The Electric Eel, which is a hip new restaurant in town, in the Wealthy Street District. But I did not confirm that with "the eel" that is just "the word" on the street.

The atmosphere was cozy. check
The bathrooms were clean. check
The staff was busy but attentive. check
The menu was not lacking in choices. check
The sushi chefs were in clear view and enjoyed us watching them as they prepared sushi. check
Orbit gum with the check(that's kinda fun!). check

Did I say we were hungry? Well we went a little nuts, when we ordered, so we thought. This is what we checked off on our order sheet.

Unagi-cooked eel
Crunchy Maki
Helluva Maki-yellowtail, avocado, mayo, scallions, reversed with masago
Philadelphia Maki
Spider Maki-soft shell crab. asparagus, avocado, mayo and masago
Casey Maki- Tuna, avocado, cream cheese, scallions, reversed with masago and sesame
Vegi Tempura

Sorry about the blur...I was a bit hungry I think I was shaking from excitement. Suuusheee!

YES we are pigs. Yes we could hardly stand up after our meal was completely gone. Not one grain of rice was left.

Oink. Oh excuse me.

This is my new favorite place to eat sushi in Grand Rapids. I know there are more places to try. And I will over time but for now I would say give the Tokyo Grill a go. Everything was fresh, and displayed fabulously. Also, everything else that was coming out of the kitchen look amazing. We are going to give it a try with all of our kiddos soon.

So now whether you live nearby or far away will you let me know what your stance on sushi is. Don't you love polls? Check it out there under my Ranch Count Down.


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May 27, 2010

Mac and Cheese

No pun intended. We have all been trying to get used to our new computer. Going from a PC to a Mac has been a tiny learning curve, but really nothing tooo crazy. Except my oldest son thought this new computer was going to be his saviour our something. Last night he threw a hissy fit (please tell me your 13 year old sons throws hissy fits) because his Ipod wouldn't sync. EEE-gads child! Just because we have a new computer, unfortunately that does not fix our internet dilemma. Which I am working on.....kinda...oh I can be a procrastinator. It is not something I like to admit but.....well I just did. SO now it's out there. I on the other hand I am pretty much loving the Mac. So that's all that really matters.......

When mom is happy the whole family is happy. Or should be.

Macaroni with cheese makes me quite happy too! So I thought I would share my borderline criminally cheesy mac and cheese recipe with you. Yes in should be outlawed it's so cheesy and sometimes I even add more cheese.

1 stick of butter
1/2 cup flour
1 clove of garlic finely minced
3 cups milk
3 cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded
1 cup of pepper jack cheese shredded
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup of Gruyere cheese shredded
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt **taste your cheese sauce before adding, it may not need salt
1/2- 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 cup of crushed cheddar jack Cheez-its
1 box of Cellentani or Cavaltoppi noodles (any noodle that is curly with a good ridge on it to hang on to all that ooey-gooey cheese)

preheat oven to 375
1. boil noodles in salted water until al dente. DO NOT OVER COOK! Noodles should be firm to the bite.
2. Melt butter in a 6 quart sauce pan. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute.

3. Add flour and whisk into butter let it get all bubbly and start to brown then add milk gradually whisk well as you add. It will get thick, but you don't want it too thick. If it gets too thick add more milk a 1/4 cup at a time until it is about at thick as syrup, you want it to coat the back of a spoon.

4 Remove from heat and add your dry mustard and ground pepper, now add your cheese. You don't want to wait, because you want the sauce hot so it will melt the cheese. If the cheese does not completely melt that's OK it will in the oven.

Now stick your finger in the cheese sauce....get a big glob on your pointer finger and TASTE. Does it need salt? If yes then salt it 1/2 teaspoon at a time. Be careful not to over salt. Cheese sauce will now be quite thick and gooey.

5. Add noodles to the cheese sauce and fold them in.

6. Butter a 9x 13 baking dish generously. Or you can Pam it if you are into her.
Spread your criminally cheesy mac-n-cheese into the pan. Sprinkle the Cheez-its on top.
7. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until bubbly and yummy looking!

There you have it! I took pictures. BUT I could not find them. I searched for....oh a half an hour! Then I had a hissy fit like my son. Where could they be in I photo. They have to be there somewhere! I am sure it is user error.

Oh well!

I did find these photos......

My baby as Tina Turner in the school lip-sync. She sang Proud Mary. It was a scream. The video didn't turn out or she would be famous on YouTube right now.

Oh my! And this would be my seestor. And the man? Well we are not sure...this was the week before she got married and he showed up at her bachelorette party wanting her to leave Skidder and come back to him. He said he still loved her and was very sorry. Apparently she thought this was hilarious. She obviously laughed him off and married Skidder. Thank the Lord.
Look-E-here. This was in my creative birthday party days. My third son had a Scooby Doo party and I made the Mystery Machine out of a refrigerator box that Lowes gave me. WOW those days are over. Who was that mom? These days its bowling and cupcakes......sorry kids, mom spent her creativity on the Mystery Machine 5 years ago.

Donkey boy. He cried his eyes out when I made him wear this costume, for manger day at preschool. Once we arrived at preschool and he saw he wasn't the only donkey boy....he was fine and forgave me and is not scarred for life of anything. In case you were worried for him. (FYI Manger Day is the much anticipated day the kids get to dress like a animal or person from the manger scene.) Hey his sister was a chicken the year she did it. Was there a chicken at Christs birth? I bet there was, she just didn't get in any of the nativity scenes because she was squawking around and being a nuisance.

So aren't you glad that I couldn't find my Mac-n-Cheese pics? Now you know SO much more about me and my family.

We will be cheering my sons team on in the Irish Cup Soccer Tournament this weekend in South Bend, Indiana! If you know of any good family friendly places to eat in South Bend....Hey let me know....much appreciated! Go Georgetown Rangers!!!!

Have a great Memorial Day weekend!


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May 23, 2010


Did you know that I am going to visit Ree Drummond on her ranch somewhere in the north east corner of Oklahoma?

You didn't?

WHERE have you BEEN?

For the LOVE of all things chocolate...please tell me by now you at least know who Ree Drummond is. NO!

OK please go here.

HI! You're back. So you visited Ree's blog/website.

Yes I am going to the Ranch with a van load of other women. New friends, old's gonna be a blast. I met my new friend Karen for lunch today. We had burgers(I will write about that later). We could hardly eat our burgers we were in such a yack fest over this whole trip.

It's gonna be THE BOMB! Do people still say that? THE BOMB. Well it is. It is going to be the best! I can't wait.

AND I can't wait to share it with all of you!

I am gonna post so many pictures you are going to feel like you were there with me. I promise!

ALSO, I am working on a fantabulous GIVEAWAY that involves P-Dub. So stay tuned for that!
I should know the details SOON!

OK, now I am going to stand up click my heals three times, because I can't quite contain my excitement.


Next time I will just clap my hands or maybe do a small "happy" dance.

I LuvYA!

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May 20, 2010

saturday morning TRADITION

At the request of my third child we have started the tradition of always having a big breakfast on Saturday mornings. YES he actually said "mom can we have a Saturday morning tradition of always having a big breakfast?", I said "um yes son, that sounds like a grand idea!". And from that day forward we have done our darnedest to have a "big breakfast" on Saturday mornings.

Sometimes that can get tricky with soccer games, and softball, and just life in general. But we do our best to not let a Saturday morning pass with out a "big breakfast". Which means nothing out of a box, and ALWAYS having bacon! Sometimes the bacon is accompanied by eggs, and breakfast taters, or Swedish Pancake, or my Buttermilk Pancakes, Challah French Toast.

My youngest Cece calls pancakes, "panahcakes". And eggs are "iggs". I hope she never grows up. I need her to stay 7 forever!

In case you were in need of a tradition that includes bacon OR if you just need a good breakfast recipe or two, or three.....WELL then you are in luck my friend! I have all of the above for you below.

1LB thick cut bacon
2 cookie sheets
tin foil
preheat oven to 425 degrees.

1.Cover cookie sheets with tin foil, you can skip this step if you want BUT it will save you time scrubbing your pans.

2.Lay bacon out on pans.

3.Baked 15 minutes. Less if you like limp, wiggly bacon, more if you like crispy charred bacon.

Yes, your oven will get splattered with bacon grease, and eventually after years of baking bacon, your oven will not look new and shiny again no matter how hard you try. And yes your house will smell like bacon! (I happen to know some people who will not cook bacon because it smells up their house. (Hmmmm, not quite sure what I think of the never cooking bacon philosophy.) My motto is "WHO THE HECK needs a clean oven and a lemony fresh smelling house?!".

In fact IF by chance you are in need of a new perfume, just dab a bit of bacon grease on your wrist and rub together....ooooh smell that maply, salty smell. Just watch out for your dog, you may get licked to death.


makes 10 medium sized cakes
2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 stick of butter melted
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk ( or you can use 1 cup regular milk, 1cup buttermilk)
** if you don't have buttermilk on hand you can add 1 tablespoon of distilled white vinegar to just under 1 cup of want the vinegar and the milk to add up to one cup.

1. preheat griddle (300degrees is what I put my griddle at) or frying pan

2. mix dry ingredients together

3. in a large measuring cup measure out milk, crack eggs into the mixture and mix together with a fork

4. add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients

5. add butter and mix until just combined

Batter will be very thick and lumpy. If you want to thin it out with a little milk that's fine, but don't go crazy.
Plop your batter down on the griddle, you can spread it out a little if you need to with your spatula. Now wait...wait..wait do you see little bubbles starting to form on the top of the pancake, do the edges look dryish? FLIP IT!

We always add mini chocolate chips in our pancakes. I sprinkle them on after I plop the batter on the griddle, then kinda poke them in a little bit with your spatula, so they don't sit on top and then when you flip them you will have burnt chocolate on one side of your pancake...not delicious.

This would be the "Pour syrup all over the stack Party".

This would be the more conservative "Syrup around the edge Party".

OK. Now for the BIG question.

Which side are you on?

I would tell you which side I am on but then I would have to kill you.

Not really...that's just what my son would say.

I will tell you later......

I am not Swedish. My heritage is German and Irish. But my boys LOVE Swedish I do my best. I found this recipe in a church cookbook. Thanks Nancy Tournell for sharing your recipe with the boys are forever indebted to you!

serves our family perfectly 2 adults and 4 hungry kiddos
3 eggs
2 1/2 cups milk
1 cup flour 1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter

Beat eggs, milk, and butter together. Gradually add sugar and flour, using a wire whisk. Heat a large frying pan to medium and lightly grease for the 1st pancake only. *** I actually use a crepe pan. Put 1/3 of a cup batter in pan to make 1 pancake. When the edges look brown give it a flip and cook a minute more. I make several ahead of time and keep them warm in a cake pan in a warm oven. If you have any leftovers they warm up nicely the next day in the microwave.

birds eye view of me making Swedish "panahcakes".

you can eye ball the 1/3 cup thing

There ya go that looks perfect, give it a flip!

Then when it's done fold it up, like so. They love it when you do this....

Ahhh so warm and cozy.

We enjoy our Swedish pancakes with many condiments. I ESPECIALLY like mine with Nutella!
When I lived in Germany, I could not pass up a crepe' vendor with out getting me a Nutella crepe. The most heavenly thing on this to eat a Nutella Crepe while walking the streets of Flensburg, Germany.

This recipe was born one Saturday morning when my oldest son had a passel of friends spend the night and they were all lined up at the counter forks in hand, when I realized much to my TERROR that I had seven kids licking there chops and NO syrup!

After a million scenarios went through my head...none of which were pretty. I took a deep breath, said a prayer, and VOILA! Owdhas syrup was invented.

1 cup of corn syrup
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon maple flavoring (if you don't have this then....I am so sorry for you)

1. melt the butter in a 2 cup glass measuring cup
2. add 1 cup corn syrup
3. whisk in the maple flavoring
4. heat on high for 15 to 30 seconds, whisk again making sure that the ingredients are combined well
There you have it Ooops We Don't Have Any Syrup syrup!
(oops I forgot to get a picture....go figure.)


I buy my Challah bread from a very yummy little eatery in Grand Rapids, called Marie Catrib. If you have never had Challah, it is sweetened with honey so it has a mild sweetness to it, and it is a very heavy, dense bread. It is lovely for French Toast. But if you can't get your paws on this type of bread, then a thick cut of white bread or Texas toast will do. (However, Marie does sell you could get the very same bread as me...YIPPEE!)
8 thick slices of Challah
1 cup of milk
1/2 cup half-n-half
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
Whisk ingredients together well....dip your slices of bread in the egg mixture and fry it up in a lightly buttered fry pan or griddle. Let it get good and brown before flipping. When browned on both sides cut into cute little triangles and dust with powdered sugar...unless you are in the "NO powdered sugar Party".

In that case........I will forgive you.

And this goes without saying......I love me some java Joe.

Have a great morning,

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Yoohoo down here....

In case you wondered I am in the "Syrup around the edge Party". I hope we can all be friends and accepting of one anothers choices.

Thank you.

May 18, 2010

Skidders FAVorite salad

OK, so now I learned how to copy paste on my new computer, and I have only had one call into the tech center at Apple....

I now have a new friend. Hi Sheldon. You were lovely and helpful. And now my mousy knows where it is and is all connected and such.

So YES I am getting used to my computer and calming down about all the new technology in my life. My girl Dee told me I need to get the "girlfriends guide to Twitter" or some such book. "Holy Crap", I said to her, "who the heck has time to read such a thing." And for that matter who had time to write it. Well to each his own, something for everyone, that's what makes the world go round. Right? Right!

Yesterday was my dads 70th birthday. Why do I feel older today? Yesterday my father stepped into another decade, not me.


I was like"wow oh my gosh you are grandpa agish".

" Ahhh yeh, my dear....I have been grandpa agish sense you made me a grandpa 13 years ago."

This is what my dad was thinking:
Why is my daughter talking like she's back in 1987 again.
Then he furrowed his brow at me and I am sure he was thinking who are you, strange lady, and what have you done with my daughter.

Anyway....needless to say. Yesterday was a weird strange day for me. My dad turning 70 and all.

My dad is a simple man. He does not ever want my sister or I to buy him ANYTHING. Every year before Christmas he calls us and says (in a yelling voice) "I don't want you GIRLS TO BUY ME ANYTHING, I don't need anything......blah, blah, blah". So as you know I am a giver, I love to give stuff away. I love to give little gifts. So it is very hard for me to NOT get my dad something for his birthday and at a milestone birthday at that. But I obeyed. Cause I am a good doo-Bee.

I did make him a dinner full of his favorites. Which mainly constisted of one thing....

Obscene amounts of beef.

We had hamburgers and all the fixens. Steak, AND steak kielbasa!, along with oven roasted potatoes. Then I made my brother-n-law Skidders favorite salad, which now my dad says is HIS favorite salad. This salad says, summer and grillin out. I never make this salad in the winter. Just never occurs to me to make it when it's cold outside.
It is fantastic. It is always a hit.
A friend told me the other day her family calls it Sheila's Salad. But I didn't make it up, I found it in a church cookbook, and tweaked it a little. So I guess after the tweaking and all I could take some credit.

Napa Cabbage Salad....or Skidders Salad
1 large head nappa cabbage
1 bunch green onions
2 pkg. Ramen Noodles
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1 (6oz) pkg. sliced almonds
1 stick of butter
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper (more if you like pepper)
1. in a sauce pan melt butter. crunch up Ramen Noodles in the package, (you can throw away the flavor packet). Keep heat medium. Add the crunched up noodles to the melted butter, move around until they start to brown then add in the almonds and sesame seeds. Keep moving this around, you don't want it to burn, you just want it to get nice and brown.

Set the crunchy stuff aside.
2. Now wash cabbage and onions and dry. Shred/cut cabbage very thin. Slice the green onion very thin also. Put in a large bowl . Set aside.

3. Now you can mix up your dressing. Combine the oil, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, and pepper in a salad dressing shaker or a large measuring cup. Whisk well or shake....

"shake your groove, thang, shake your groove thang yay! yay!'
Sorry had a lil' song pop in my head there.

4. Now you DO NOT want to mix it up early. ONLY mix it up right before you are going to eat it. So if I am bringing it some where. I do all the prep, put the stuff in Ziploc bags and containers separately, set it in the bowl and then toss it together just before the dinner. NOT a half an hour before the dinner JUST before the dinner. The only undesirable thing about this salad it that it doesn't keep well. BUT there are never left overs so that hasn't been too much of a problem.

I hope you enjoy this salad as much as Skidder does!
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May 17, 2010

the hunt for the BEST hamburger PART I

A few weeks back I put out a comment on my facebook asking "where I could find the best burger in West Michigan/Grand Rapids". Hokey Pete, with in minutes I had responses and by the next day I had me a list of 20 places I needed to try!

I found out I got me some facebook friends that are passionate about their burgers!

Oh Lord help me, I don't think I will make it througt this challenge wearing the same sized stretchy pants are going to become my best friend.

I realize a great many of you are not in West Michigan...but Hey! if you ever find yourself in the great state of Michigan you will KNOW where to find a burger! And YOU will thank me. You might even want to come find me and take me with you. Just a suggestion.

I didn't think I could slap all of them on you at one time so I will give them to you in nice small doses.


This was my first stop. And whoever recommended it was right on! This burger is the real deal! Thick and juicy. It was like a homemade burger. Not a thin, sorry excuse for a burger. I got the impression that they hand formed each burger. They didn't seem all preformed and dethawed from a box. But the real kicker was the bun. Oh Mi Amigo.....this was what clenched the deal. The bun was generous in size and grilled so it was buttery and crispy, not soggy. I would most definitely recommend you try the Dungeon Burger at the Grand Villa in Grandville.

1209 Plainfield Ave, Grand Rapids (616) 774-8652

The best thing about this place, for me, was the atmosphere. This is a diner, you could even call it a dive.

My friend Dee and I went to check it out. We sort of stuck out like a piece of sashimi tuna in a vat of ground beef.

NO one was talking they were all hunkered down to their food, hunched over, moaning and groaning and wiping the grease from there chins. And well Dee and I had some stuff to talk about so we got some looks, because it took us a minute to order...well because we were chattin'.

FINALLY we ordered...olive burgers, mine with swiss, Dee's with cheddar. She got onion rings (love that girl), I ordered the fries. We had ourselves some soda's to wash it down. The burger was just OK. There was a very generous amount of olives. But I want to taste the burger...and I didn't really get enough meat. I am a growin girl after all... The bun was more of the wonder bread soggy sort. If you grew up in these parts and were a fan of Mr. Fables then you would love the olive burger at the Choo Choo Grill. And the root beer in a frosty mug was a BIG bonus.

If you have train loving boys, they would love all the train memorabilia.
Definitely worth trying, just not my personal favorite. It came down to the lack of a great bun.

3381 Remembrance Rd NW, Walker (616) 453-7095

This burger search is going to either make or break some friendships for me. This one showed me that I have a true friend in my gal 'Chelle. She met me at Buds on Remembrance in Walker.

I have been by this burger joint at least a thousand times in my life and never noticed it. But then many of YOU on facebook said I had to go there. Was this a bad joke? Do you really not like me?

You should have told me to take a shower after I ate there, not just before.

GREASE or GREEEEZE is a better term. It was thick in the air. Oh my land-a-Goshen! Bud (all 80+ years of him) was cooking up a storm, with a very bad ventilation system. And mind you at the time we ate here, the Michigan's smoke free law was not yet in effect, so we had the smoking thing going on too!. (we weren't smoking, silly, other people were) I was told I needed to order the "Lithuanian burger" it's not on the menu...but the waitress knew what I meant.

The Lithuanian turns out is a burger with an equal sized slab of onion to burger ratio. The onion slice is grilled to caramely perfection. The bun was also grilled on this burger. Which for me is a thumbs UP. I like me a grilled bun!

There it is the slab-o-onion burger. Oh I needed some TUMS after this burger.

This was Chelle's choice of burger....I think it was the deluxe.

I would recommend that you give Bud's a try, but next time I would do take-out.

on the corner of Wealthy and Fuller in Grand Rapids (616) 451-0238

OK this place is in the lead! It seriously needs to be on Diners/Drive Ins/and Dives!

First of all they serve, American, Mexican, and Polish food. That is slightly unusual, but it seems to work.

This is another place I have driven by far too many times and never stopped.

This burger was undeniably the best thing I have eaten on a bun, so far in my search for the "areas best burger". My Kenny took me that made it super romantic. Bar-b-que dripping down my chin, bread stuck in my teeth. And of course I had to order the sweet potato fries and the fried okra. I am so sexy.

This place had kinda the south of the border polish thing going on.

Kenny ordered the Station Burger, which is a 1/2 lb burger with cheddar cheese, deep fried jalapeno and onion strips and smothered with their homemade chipotle sauce served on a pretzel bun! DANG! That there is one crazy burger. I had the Western burger. It was fantasticO! Pepper jack cheese, bacon, onion rings and LOTS of BBQ sauce. DOUBLE dang!

The staff at this joint were sassy too, I love a sassy waiter. Makes things interesting.

Can you tell I liked this place, well like I said this one is in the lead so far
....I do have about 15 more to try sooo we'll see how it fares against the upcoming competition.

This was the aftermath....... that was zer GUT! So good my German speaking self came out. Ach du leibe! Das Schmeckt!

Many places have a burger on their menu, but I am trying to stick to "joints" that are well known for their burgers and also not a chain. NO chains in this search.

What's next on the list? Hmm Wolfgangs.....The Daily Grill ....Franks...

Come owwn back now ya hear!

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