Arnie’s Bakery & Restaurant – Wyoming
After a little over a week off, it was time for me to go back to work. There was one little wrinkle in that plan though. My work needed my company car last week so they came and took it. That mean I was either going to have to leave my personal car in Grand Rapids for a while until we had an opportunity to get it home or J was going to have to take me to work.
We chose the latter since J’s mom was in town. It is the longest trip J would take in over a month and we’d get to try out another restaurant in the Grand Rapids area.
Things have changed a little bit with a baby. We now have to think about what would be a good place to be if she started crying. Since it was our first trip out of the house, we really had no idea how she was going to act.
We decided to play it safe and go to a family restaurant. What better family restaurant in the Grand Rapids area than Arnie’s Bakery & Restaurant?
The Arnie’s Bakery has been part of Grand Rapids since the early 1900′s. The restaurant opened in the 70′s in Rockford and that location is still open today. There are three other locations in Grand Rapids. There’s one near Centerpointe Mall, a new store on Leonard and one in Wyoming.
Since we were coming from the south, we chose the Wyoming location on 54th Street and Clyde Park.
This Arnie’s location has all the makings of typical casual dining restaurant when you pull in to the parking lot. If you weren’t from the area, you’d probably take one look at the place an assume it was a chain.
Inside, you’ll run in to something totally different. The hostess station doesn’t come up until you walk completely through a full service bakery which fills your nose with all those delicious smells you crave when walking in to a bakery. They do sweets. They do breads. They do just about anything you would want.
We were tortured a little bit by the hostess who didn’t notice us right away. We had to continue to stand next to some fresh baked tortes with our mouths watering.
When the hostess finally did see us, she took us to a booth in the back corner of one of the two dining rooms. She put us at a nice big table which is exactly what we wanted with our eight day old baby in a car seat. J took the bench seat along the wall and scooted in. I set L down next to her then J’s mom and I sat down in the chairs across from her.
The menu is pretty much what you’d expect from a casual dining chain. We all found something on the sandwich menu which isn’t unusual for us.
I ordered the Double BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger. It was much more than I needed…I easily could have gotten by with a single. the double is two 1/3 lb USDA choice ground sirloin topped with Cheddar cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and crispy onion straws. The BBQ sauce is served on the side, but I dumped pretty much the whole little container on top of the burger. The meat at Arnie’s is fresh ground daily which was very noticeable. The burger was juicy with just a hint of pink in the middle. The home made bun really makes this sandwich stand out. Fresh meat, fresh bread….doesn’t get much better than that. Everything else on this burger is just a bonus.
I upgraded my side to crinkle cut fries. There was a large portion on the plate and I didn’t even come close to finishing them all. The fries were really nothing special. Typical crinkle cuts with a dusting of salt.
J settled on the Sweet Maple BBQ Chicken sandwich featured on the Multi-Grain Sourdough section of the menu. The grilled chicken tenderloins are covered in a home made Sweet Maple BBQ sauce then topped with provolone cheese, lettuce, and tomato. J said the chicken was fantastic, but the bread didn’t hold up to the BBQ sauce. She had a soggy mess before she even attempted to pick it up. That part was a little disappointing because the chicken was so good she really wanted a sturdy bread to round out the sandwich.
J’s mom picked The Reuben. This classic sandwich is corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Thousand Island dressing on thick cut Old Mill Kimmel Rye Bread. Not much was said about the sandwich, but she happily boxed up the second half of her sandwich for later.
Both J and her mom upgraded their sides to the Potato Dippers. J stuck with crinkle cut while her mom chose the Sweet Potato. They both got the Sweet Maple BBQ dipping sauce and J also got the Housemade Ranch. For the most part, the dippers are just fries, but they come with up to two dipping sauces.
The best thing about Arnie’s is that dessert is included. Sure, they have a delicious looking dessert menu, but as long as you buy a sandwich, you get a free gourmet filled cupcake. Both J and I got Triple Chocolate Mackinac Fudge cupcakes which come with a Chocolate Butter Cream filling. J’s mom got the Chantilly Cupcake which is filled with custard. The cupcakes were a fantastic ending to a terrific meal. I sort of had to force it down because I was so stuffed, but I really, really wanted that cupcake.
Our bill was just over $41 which J thought was a little high, but we all had upgrades to our sandwiches. The dippers added almost $2 each and me getting the double cost a few bucks more than normal.
To our surprise, our first sit down restaurant meal with our child went incredibly well. She slept through the entire thing and didn’t disturb anyway. We chose Arnie’s because we figured we wouldn’t be too out of place with a small child. The pleasant surprise, which, in all honesty, really wasn’t a surprise, was that the food was really good. It’s hard to beat made from scratch food and that’s exactly what Arnie’s specializes in.