Crap. One of my Co-Workers knows about the blog and is actively trying to get me to as many new places as possible. Don’t get me wrong, I still love finding new places to eat and I’ve never hidden that I write this blog…but I don’t necessarily advertise it either.
Somehow we ended up with a little bit longer of a lunch break than normal. Both of us were hungry and I was sort of in the mood for a burger. C.W. is not a burger eater, but she brought up Stella’s Lounge. She’s never had a burger there…but remembered they were named “Best Burger in America” by GQ Magazine…well, to be fair, the deputy editor of GQ Magazine said it during an interview on Morning Joe while talking about things America does well. It wasn’t actually in the magazine.
Stella’s Lounge is on Commerce Avenue in downtown Grand Rapids between Weston and Oakes Streets. Parking is along the street if you can find it, but there’s also a ramp across the street accessible from Weston Street. That’s where we ended up parking. The hour lunch break cost us two bucks to park.
We walked in and found a small dining room up front with a sign that said to seat yourself. We walked through this dining room to the bar area which has a row of pub tables that share a really long bench opposite the bar. There was an open table all the way at the end so that’s where we sat down.
A waitress came over with a couple menus and took drink orders. Since we were on a lunch break, I ordered a Pepsi while C.W. ordered a Diet Pepsi. Had we not been at work, Stella’s has a ridiculous whiskey list as well as a decent craft beer selection. HEck, even the “Soup of the Day” is “whiskey.”
My eyes went straight to the burger section of the menu. So many of them looked so incredibly delicious I changed my mind 100 times before I finally blurted out The Queso Jalapeno. This delicious creation is stuffed with jalapenos and pepperjack cheese then topped with a house made spicy queso dip and pickled jalapenos. As you can probably imagine, the sandwich is hot, but it’s not so hot that you can’t taste anything. There was still a fresh meaty taste and I’m fairly certain, but not 100%, an onion flavor coming from somewhere inside the burger. I kind of fixated on that for a while trying to figure out what the flavor was. It wasn’t enough to turn me off though. All of the spicy really brought this thing back. The sandwich came with Chronic Fries and they were delicious. There was a spicy mustard that came with the sandwich and I used it on the fries. The potato sticks are already coated in dehydrated Frank’s Red Hot. They’re delicious on their own, but being a guy that grew up on fries and mustard, the spicy mustard made them just a little better.
C.W. the Grilled Cheese. They have two grilled cheese sandwiches on the menu. One has bacon on it…lots of bacon apparently as it’s listed on the menu twice. C.W. doesn’t like bacon, so she went with the classic Grilled Cheese. The sandwich is pepperjack cheese and white cheddar on french bread and topped with pesto, spinach, onion and tomato. With a little less onion, C.W. would have really liked the sandwich, but she said there was a little too much onion. Her sandwich also came with Chronic Fries and she ate them without my mustard….and she said they were delicious.
Each of our meals came in right around $10 and we had plenty of time to enjoy a leisurely meal on a lunch break and still make it back to work in time.
Stella’s Lounge is a really cool place. Not only do they have great food and an amazing whiskey selection, but in the back of the bar, there’s a huge classic arcade. I didn’t poke my head back there to see what games they had, but I could see some classic cabinets from where I was sitting. As for “Best Burger,” good, but too much onion for me. That happened with Red Coat Tavern with me too and I got blasted for that one….don’t get me wrong, I would eat a burger from Stella’s everyday if I could, they are still incredibly delicious….just missing this one for me by just a hair.