8 Restaurants that are “hard to find” and “out of mind”

Fresh salad from Oh My Salad!

At EatGR, we frequently talk about restaurants that are “Hard to Find” or in “Locations of Death” where restaurant after restaurant disappears.  Today I am going to point my finger at 8 restaurants that I think are worthy of your investigation.  One, or more, of these could be your next personal gem.

Oh My Salad!:  (2919 28th St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512) This is the brand new salad, smoothie, and Acai bowl place that has moved into the strip mall just West of Woodland Mall.  They are off to a good start, but almost every restaurant that has been in this strip mall has failed.  The one corporate chain that was anchoring this complex just moved to a new location.  It is a challenging spot, but don’t let that stop you from finding them.

Jamaican Daves: (500 S. Division Grand Rapids, MI 49503) Serving up Jamaican food, they have been around forever, but they just moved to a brand new location that will be difficult for many to find.  This location is right next to the Family Dollar on South division and is fairly close to the downtown market.  This place is not exactly a hub of restaurant activity and could easily get lost in the shuffle.  Do not miss him in his new location.

Lebanese food from Shawarma Fresh
Lebanese food from Shawarma Fresh

Shawarma Fresh: (3772 Alpine Ave NW, Comstock Park, MI 49544) This a Lebanese buffet with all sorts of goodies including that garlic spread that everybody at EatGR goes nuts for.  Located just a couple buildings South of IHOP, they moved into a building that is nearly impossible to find and several restaurants have failed there in the last 5 years.  Now you know where they are!

Burnzie’s Kitchen:  (3097 30th street Grandville, MI 49418) They deal primarily in pizzas, subs and potatoes and are located just far enough off the major thoroughfares to make it challenging to find.  In the somewhat corporately dominated Grandville area, this is one of the few local options available to you.

Curry Nights:  (526 Stocking Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504) They are in another one of those “locations of death”, and still do not have a sign that reflects their correct name.   Serving South Indian Cuisine, it is somewhat off the beaten path across the street from Clique Lanes.  It is one of the few Indian restaurants with a liquor license, and people are definitely not finding this restaurant on the west side (which I hear is the best side).  This is owned by the same people who own the very popular Curry Kitchen on Fulton Street, so this restaurant should be a small leap for those fans of Indian Food and a weekly lunch buffet.

Blackened Catfish from Linc Up
Blackened Catfish from Linc Up

Linc Up Soul Food:  (1167 Madison Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49507) They are hard to find because, frankly, you are not driving through this neighborhood.  People seem to avoid the restaurants that occupy the center of the city, and because of that they are missing some good eats.  Blackened Catfish….that is all you need to know.

Mi Casa Restaurante:  (334 Burton St SW, Grand Rapids MI 49507) This is the new Dominican restaurant that just opened last month.  You will have a hard time finding this one because if you are driving down Burton SW near 131  all you have to do is blink and you will miss it.  They offer a solid Dominican menu and have the potential to be a successful hole in the wall type place…..if you are able to find it.

Philly Steak and Cheese Express:  (655 Eastern SE Grand Rapids, MI 49503) This is my second mention for them this year.  This is another restaurant that you will miss because you are avoiding driving through the middle of the city.  They offer some really reasonably priced food and have a pretty large delivery area. They just changed hands (but are still owned by the same family).  This is a place that I go to frequently for a Burger, Italian Beef, or a Philly Cheesesteak.  Comfort food that you can appreciate.

Cheesy Chicago style Italian beef from Philly Steak and Cheese Express
Cheesy Chicago style Italian beef from Philly Steak and Cheese Express

If location is indeed everything, these restaurants have a challenge that many others do not.  I am hoping that by showing you some of these less than obvious options that you might find a new favorite in your restaurant rotation.  I have highlighted and linked all of their locations…now all you have to do is find them.


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