Rainbow Grill – Hudsonville
So this week has been pretty crazy. I’m working 10 out of 11 days. My normal weekends at my part-time job and three days during the week at a freelance job.
The best thing about the freelance work (other than the more than double hourly wage) is that I almost always get a free lunch out of it. Most of the time it’s a pretty fancy restaurant that I couldn’t afford on my own, but when we’re in small towns, we find what we can.
We started out the morning in Martin, but our second stop of the day was going to be in Hudsonville. We didn’t think we’d even have time for lunch, but we ended up getting to Hudsonville almost an hour ahead of schedule, so we decided to find someplace to eat.
Neither of us really knew the area, so I pulled out my phone and started looking for someplace to eat. I found the place with the most reviews and that’s where we decided to go to lunch.
The Rainbow Grill in Hudsonville is just to the south of I-196 on 32nd Avenue. The building sort of sits on a hill off the road. You actually have to pass it and turn down a side street then double back to get in the restaurant parking lot.
The parking lot was pretty full when we pulled in a little after 11:00. It seems like the Rainbow Grill is the meeting place for the community. Most of the patrons were older, but there were definitely some construction workers and office workers from a nearby credit union who stopped in for lunch.
The Rainbow Grill is somewhat of a local legend in the area. The original store in Grandville has been around for many years. The newer store in Hudsonville has been open since 2007.
The entrance to the Rainbow Grill is on the backside of the building. It’s pretty plain from this point of view. There are no signs or anything to tell you where your at, but if you’ve made it this far, you have a pretty good idea of what you’re walking in to.
The lobby area is pretty large like they expect huge crowds and I’m sure they do on weekend mornings. There’s a cash register off to the right and a display case with all of their home made pies.
We were met by a hostess who took us to a booth in the large dining room that is accented with oak trim. There are photos of historic Hudsonville on the walls. The area is pretty open and you can even see back into the kitchen area which provided me with a pretty funny moment later in the meal.
I started the meal with a Coke while my employer just got a water with lemon slices. I have been pretty short on sleep lately so getting that caffeine and sugar provided a pick-me-up that I would need to finish off the day.
I looked over the menu and found the typical diner comfort food. My dining companion is used to eating in higher end restaurants so comfort food is more of a treat to her. She gravitated towards the dinner entrees while I stuck to sandwiches.
On our way in, I saw a special board with a French Dip sandwich. It wasn’t on the menu and specials were never read to us, but I ordered it anyway and the waitress knew what I was talking about. The sandwich was served on a toasted poppy seed sub bun. There were thin slices of roast beef, Swiss cheese, and grilled red onions on it as well as a large cup of au jus for dipping. I didn’t realize the onions came on it, but they were neatly placed in between layers of roast beef so they were pretty easy to pick out and not destroy the integrity of the sandwich. The toasted bun made all the difference as it added a layer of crunch to the tender roast beef. I’m a big fan of soggy beef sandwiches, so I took advantage of all the au jus. My sandwich came with fries that were standard restaurant fries that needed a little more salt.
My employer ordered the Pork Roast dinner. The dinner entrees come with choice of two sides. She got the cole slaw and green beans. The slaw came out first and she said it was very tasty. It was a mayo based slaw which didn’t look good to me, but I don’t like mayo. The beans came out with the roast. She was a pretty surprised to see gravy on the pork since it wasn’t listed on the menu. She tried to eat it, but when the waitress came back to check on it, she did ask if she could send it back and get the pork without the gravy. The waitress was very apologetic and came back with a new plate of roast. After the switch, she seemed to be very happy with the roast and even took the leftovers home for a later meal.
The cost of our meal was a little over $17 which is paid back at the cash register near the entrance. I was really happy with my lunch. My employer seemed to like it, but diner’s like this aren’t typical stops for her. To me, the Rainbow Grill seems like the type of place where people congregate in the morning before the start of the workday and that feels like home to me.