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Oakwood Bistro

July 18, 2011

  • 3003 Oakland Drive
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49008
  • (269) 344-5400
  • Website
  • Menu

I finally got a chance to sleep.  The last two week at work have been pretty hectic.  I won’t be complaining at all when my check comes on Friday, but I will say that I was very happy to sleep without the chance of being woke up early.

Needless to say, I was still in bed when J got home from work.  She joined me, but joined me because she wanted to get my lazy ass out of bed to go to lunch.

I did eventually get up and we headed towards Oakwood Bistro.  Our list of new places to eat in Kalamazoo and Portage is getting pretty short.  Although, if I actually had a physical list, we probably wouldn’t have waited so long to go to the few places left. There are still a couple of the well known restaurants that we haven’t been to yet.

J has actually eaten at Oakwood Bistro in the past.  She had a lunch meeting there one day when I was out of town.  She liked it that day and figured I would as well. 

Oakwood Bistro is on Oakland Avenue in the Oakland Plaza.  It sits right next to Sawall Health Foods in the strip mall.  The restaurant is one of those “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” kind of places.  Yes, it’s in a pretty generic shopping center, but behind those bland walls, they have a really intimate dining experience.

When you walk in, you come to a bar area.  There are a few tables there, but the main dining room is a little farther back.  You have to walk through the bar area to host station.  We were met by a host who also turned out to be our waiter.  He took us to a booth near the back of the space.  Along the way, you pass through the kitchen area and they had pans and pans of bacon cooling which just added to my hunger.

The waiter went over the specials while we looked over the new menu.  They have a pretty extensive wine and drink list, but being lunch, I stuck with a Coke and J got an Iced Tea.

It was very easy to see what I wanted.  The Bell’s Burger combines two things I love.  Beer and burgers.  The Angus beef patty is braised in Bell’s Amber Ale and topped with lettuce, tomato, red onion.  It is then served on a French bun.  The waiter gave me the option of adding cheese and bacon.  After seeing….and smelling, the trays of crispy bacon, I should added a couple slices, but I stuck with just smoked Cheddar cheese.  The sandwich was incredibly delicious.  It was very tender, very juicy, and had just a hint of the bitter taste from the beer.  My only complaint about the burger was the size.  J remarked that it sort of looked like a slider.  The sandwich was so good I really wanted more.  The burger was served with Parmesan potato wedges.  These were large wedges of potatoes fried golden brown and covered in Parmesan cheese.  They had a crispy outside and a soft, potato-y inside.  There was a very generous dusting of Parmesan cheese.

J ordered the same sandwich she got on her last trip to Oakwood Bistro.  The Chicken Club is a naturally raised chicken breast served on a house made pretzel roll with apple wood smoked bacon, Swiss cheese, Dijon aioli, lettuce, tomato, and onion.  She loved the sandwich which is why she didn’t even consider anything else on the menu.  The chicken, though much thicker than she normally likes it, was very tender and juicy.  The pretzel roll was a perfect compliment and held up well to the Dijon aioli.  Her sandwich came with Bistro fries which were fresh cut and fried to a deep golden brown.

Our bill for lunch was just over $27 so it’s not a cheap meal, but you wouldn’t expect it from a place like the Oakwood Bistro.  Our meals were both very delicious, but I was a little disappointed in portion size.  My burger seemed a little small and I know J would have liked more fries than what she got.  Other than that minor complaint, we were both very happy with our lunch will definitely be back once we finish off the few remaining restaurants on “the list.”

Bell's Burger w/Parmesan Potato Wedges

Chicken Club w/Bistro Fries

Oakwood Bistro on Urbanspoon

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 20, 2011 2:48 am

    I used to cook here for awhile and Chef Ryan is always making interesting changes to the menu. Definitively try something other than a burger and you may be surprised by a great meal especially the many different specials that change daily

    • SW Michigan Dining permalink*
      September 21, 2011 3:09 am

      I was pretty happy with the burger. Definitely something I would order again….but I’m sure next time I’ll try something else.

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