Schnitz Ada Grill
The small, unincorporated village of Ada in Eastern Kent County has always sort of been a drive through place for me. I don’t really have much business in the area, but I take Fulton Street (M-21) quite a bit on my way out to Lowell or Ionia. Fulton is so fast that you don’t really see much other than Amway on the way through town. What you’re missing is a quaint, bustling “downtown” area that is rapidly expanding with the redesign of the village’s layout.
A co-worker and I met up at the McDonalds Express in Ada to meet a client. We had a short meeting in the parking lot (I swear to God this is not a drug deal even though as I typed that last sentence, that’s all I could picture you thinking about) and then we were heading back to the office. C.W. ran inside to McDonalds, but I knew there had to be something else in the area so I did a Google search on nearby restaurants.
I found a familiar name but an unfamiliar concept just a few blocks from where I was parked. The name Schnitz instantly makes my mouthwater and that was the name that was staring back at me from my phone.
The Schnitz name is most commonly associated with the Schnitz Deli in the Fulton Heights Neighborhood in Grand Rapids. The sandwiches at Schnitz are just like you’d get in a New York deli. The unfortunate thing for me….they close at 3:00…which is when my shift starts.
The Schnitz that was popping up on my map in Ada is the Schnitz Ada Grill. During the day, they’re a deli, but at night, they’re a full service restaurant. That worked out great for me because I was actually craving a burger.
Schnitz Ada Grill is on Ada Drive SE near the intersection with Bronson Street. The restaurant is on the second floor of a building above the Ada Bike Shop of the Grand Rapids Bicycle Company.
The restaurant has an entrance to the side of the building next to the bike shop. You then go up a couple of flights of stairs to get into the dining space. There’s a bar and dining room to one side which also has a great little porch/patio connected to it. On the other side, there’s what looks to be the deli during the day when they do counter service. At night, this space is used more by the servers running back and forth to the kitchen.
The hostess station is right at the top of the steps and I told her I had a carry-out order. She headed to the kitchen and grabbed the bag off the counter. I ordered the Build Your Own Burger with cheddar cheese and bacon plus an order of fries (they did not come with the burger). The total was just a little over $13. I paid cash to make it easy on the hostess then grabbed my bag and headed back to the shop.
I was able to pop open the container with the fries as soon as I got in the car. For some reason, they put the sandwich and fries in separate Styrofoam containers. At a guess, it was to keep the fries from getting soggy, but it seemed a little wasteful as neither component of the meal took up very much of the container.
The fries were scorching hot right out of the fryer. They were skin on fries with just a little salt. I’m still up in the air on whether these were fresh cut or not. They didn’t look like it, but they did taste better than typical frozen french fries. As I mentioned, fries do not come with the meal and cost an extra $2.25. The interesting thing here is sandwiches come with chips. Fries cost $2.25 if you don’t order them with a sandwich…but by ordering fries, I didn’t still get the chips. I know nobody really needs that much deep fried potato, but ordering the fries with the sandwich actually doesn’t save you anything.
I had to wait until I got back to the office to get a hold of the burger It was hard to wait after popping open the container before I left the restaurant. The sandwich I got was a 1/2 pound burger patty topped with cheddar cheese and bacon. Once again, the bun really stole the show. The soft, buttery, brioche bun was so perfect with the juicy burger. That bun just soaked up everything that was coming out of the burger letting no flavor go to waste. When I called Schnitz, I was craving a good burger and they delivered with a delicious burger from bun to bun.
Schnitz Ada Grill doesn’t invoke the same passion for me as the deli does, but it’s still a damn tasty place for dinner. The pricing of the fries was the only thing that really bugged me. The food was all delicious and a solid pub meal. I didn’t get a chance to eat in the restaurant, but I really liked the vibe of the place when I was in there picking up my food. The porch was full and on a nice night, really looks like a great place to eat, but even the vibe in the bar had me wanting to come back for more.