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Bomba’s BBQ Tex Mex

April 7, 2022

  • 2814 Portage Street
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49001
  • (269) 359-7100
  • Website
  • Menu

Sometimes the quickest way to get from downtown Kalamazoo to Portage is to take Portage Street.  I know a lot of people complain about the one way streets and the speed along many of Kalamazoo’s streets but there really isn’t a good way to get downtown. 

Most cities have an Interstate that run through the heart of downtown.  Not Kalamazoo….and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  It just takes a little longer to go from North to South and sometimes, the most obvious route isn’t the fastest.  

I don’t know why but I seem to be going to the airport area a lot lately for work.  There are a couple of ways I could get there but I’ve been taking Portage Street a lot.  

Those trips up and down Portage Street kept bringing me by a restaurant in progress and mouth watered each and every time I drove by.  

A few weeks ago, I finally saw that OPEN sign lit up.  

Bomba’s BBQ Tex Mex isn’t new to the area.  They’ve been a pretty successful food truck and they even opened up a drive thru joint in Lawton.  They’ve made the move in to a brick and mortar restaurant by taking up a building on Portage Street just north of that weird Y intersection with Lovers Lane in Kalamazoo’s Milwood Neighborhood.  The business is an old Wendy’s but between the demise of Wendy’s and now, it’s also been an East Egg and, most recently, Ramen and Rice.  

I didn’t take pictures inside when we ate in this building when it was East Egg so I had to go back to Google for reference. My old blog says they used the original Wendy’s order counter as a waitress station. Google Pictures confirm that was the case.

I never ate at the restaurant when it was Ramen and Rice so I also had to go to Google to see how much work had been done when Bomba’s took over.

Bomba’s uses the the old Wendy’s order counter as their order counter so the space is kind of set up like a fast food restaurant. The menu boards are behind the cash register but there is also a chalkboard off to the side with daily specials.

The restaurant now looks very similar to the online pictures of Ramen and Rice. The dining room still has a sort of fast food feel to it with colorful leather covered booths and wooden chairs with bright leather backs. The design of the building is the old Wendy’s with the sunroom so there is a lot of natural light that is let in to the building.

Every single thing on the menu sounded amazing. I picked Da’ Bomb Texas Brisket sandwich. This thing is a fresh bun with brisket, pickled jalapeno, sweet onions, and BBQ sauce. I left the onions off because onions are gross and this sandwich doesn’t need it. The brisket is so tender and it’s covered in a thick, sweet sauce. There’s a little bit of heat in the sauce but the pickled jalapeno slices add a little extra kick. It’s not an overpowering but it’s something you definitely feel.

The sandwich comes with the choice of one side and once again, almost everything on the sides list looked kind of amazing. I went kind of boring and picked the French Fries. You don’t have to be boring. There are plenty of sides they say are made from scratch daily. If you are boring, the fries are pretty solid. They’re fresh cut, skin on fries. They would have been fantastic with some extra BBQ sauce to dip them in but on their own, they were still pretty tasty fries.

The cost of my meal was just a little over $14 which is really hard to argue with knowing the price of BBQ right now. My to-go container was packed full of food and I definitely didn’t walk away hungry.

Somehow, Bomba’s food truck is probably the only BBQ food truck I’ve never been to in Kalamazoo. They used to park up on East Main Street and I must have missed them there. I have seen them at Lunchtime Live in the past but, honestly, I’ve spent a lot of Friday’s the last couple years ordering from Teresa’s Kitchen at Lunchtime Live.

There’s no excuse anymore. Bomba’s BBQ Tex Mex takes all the guesswork out of where to find them when the craving for Tex Mex inspired BBQ hits.

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