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The Grind Cafe

October 31, 2014

  • The Grind2728 W. Michigan Avenue
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49006
  • (269) 459-8401
  • Website
  • Menu

I seem to have this vision in my  head of college towns being rich with late night and 24-hour food joints.  It just seems to make sense that, near campus, there would be places open late to serve the drunk , after-the-bar-closes crowd, but apparently, very few in Kalamazoo actually want to serve that population.

Working second shift in Grand Rapids gets me home pretty late.  The earliest I get home is about midnight, but some nights it’s much later and most nights, I’m really hungry.  Actual lunch breaks are rare in my profession and eating fast food gets really old.

There has been a little movement lately with a couple places staying open later, so I have been fed a little bit better lately, but I was really excited when I noticed a 24-hour cafe just opened near campus and the kitchen is open the whole time too.

The Grind opened just a few months ago on the corner of Howard and Michigan near WMU.  It’s not in Campus Pointe though.  It’s actually in the smaller strip mall behind Campus Pointe that is also home to Blaze Hookah Lounge and The Mix Kzoo.  It takes up the corner space closest to the Wendy’s on Michigan Avenue.

I braved a Thursday night…and not just any Thursday night, the Thursday night before Halloween, and ventured in to territory were I knew I would be way out of p lace.  Being a big party night, the parking lot was pretty full and the line to The Mix was out the door and about a 45 minute wait.  I found a spot to park over by the old Sliders Burger & Fries.

The cafe is pretty large and right on the door they tell you there is a one item minimum to sit in their spacious cafe and take advantage of their free wi-fi.  I was a little surprised to see a handful of students in the cafe on their laptops (mostly Mac’s) trying to get some work done as the bass blared through the wall from the nighclub next door.

I headed to the order counter and grabbed a menu.  They have a large drink menu , but I just wanted something to eat.

I was pretty hungry and didn’t think a panini would be enough for me, so I ordered both a panini and a flatbread.  I chose the Chicken Parmesan Panini and the Notorious P.I.G. flatbread.  I asked for the meal to be wrapped up to go after paying the $13 tab.

I sat for a little over five minutes before the bag containing my food was handed to me and I headed back to the car.  I was starving and the food smelled good…it was tough to wait until I got home before breaking open the boxes.

I was wrong about the panini.  It would have been more than enough to satisfy my hunger.  The sandwich was huge.  It took up almost the whole to-go box.  Between the two slices of bread were grilled chicken breast, marinara sauce, pepperoni and cheese.  It was actually quite tasty for such a simple sandwich.  The bread had really nice grill marks and was super toasty.  If hadn’t already bought the flatbread, I would have been more than satisfied with the panini which comes just with a pickle slice.

The flatbread is pretty much a pizza with a fancy name.  The small, round dough is topped with red sauce, pepperoni, ham, and bacon.  I didn’t want it to go to waste, so I took a bite of one of the slices.  The bottom crust was nice and crispy and all the pig meat gave it a salty taste.  J found the box in the fridge and took a slice to work with her then I had the last two slices as a snack after trick-or-treating.  The flatbread was delicious, but on it’s own, wouldn’t have been enough for a hungry second-shifter.

The Grind was a little more than I was expecting.  I really thought I was just walking in to a coffee house for WMU students that did food to make a little extra money, but both of the items I had off their small menu.  I’m happy the options for late night meals is growing in Kalamazoo and hope the trend continues.

The Grind

Chicken Parmesan Panini

The Grind

Notorious P.I.G. Flatbread

Grind Cafe on Urbanspoon

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 1, 2014 6:13 pm

    Great review…my son lives at Campus Court and I’ve driven by the Grind. We typically have breakfast at East Egg. We will have to give it a go.

    • SW Michigan Dining permalink*
      November 7, 2014 4:48 pm

      I’m a big fan of East Egg too..I just like that The Grind is 24 Hours.

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