Why EatGR focuses on local food discovery

Tri tips and Mac and Cheese at Pit Stop Catering

Why local only? Loosen up, dude, we want to see everything.  More is better.

Man, I have probably heard this twice already this week, but I am unmoved.

I am not going to be the one that tell you that every dollar you spend locally keeps “X” number of dollars in our community, buying local is an investment in your community, or that there is a lesser environmental impact on the community who spend more at locally business. Although these are all true, these aren’t my main reasons for only covering local restaurants. I take a different approach.

Avocado Salad at Creston Brewery
Avocado Salad at Creston Brewery

For me, local restaurants are what identify a community and make it distinctly different from the next. Some features, like the “Golden Arches” are the same everywhere. It is places like Amore, the Sovengard, or the Creston Brewery, however, that define who we are as an individual community. I can’t imagine going to another city and thinking “I can’t wait to eat at Little Ceasars”. This doesn’t mean that LC doesn’t serve its purpose, it does, but I didn’t really broaden my horizons in that city. Dropping in on Russo’s Pizza, for example, would be much more interesting. ¬†Even Slows BBQ, a regional local restaurant that we cover, says more about Detroit than it does West Michigan, especially now that we have a plethora of local BBQ in Grand Rapids.

Olive Burger at Gippers
Olive Burger at Gippers

I acknowledge that a lot of people get hung up on only promoting local and can seem a little self righteous, and hopefully that isn’t the takeaway from an EatGR. I buy food at national chains about once a week, but I don’t feel like I should be saying “Yo, check out my Arby’s roast beef.” Frankly, they have a huge advertising budget that they use to help you find them. I would rather go to Gippers, raise up a olive burger and shout “Yo, baby, this is Grand Rapids”

EatGR, keeping food discovery local for nearly 5 years.


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