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The Garden Grille & Bar (Kalamazoo)

February 28, 2023

  • 303 N. Rose Street
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49007
  • (269) 382-4000
  • Website
  • Menu

Like I said in my last post, last week was wild.

The ice storm that came in Wednesday really screwed up my week….I know…it screwed up a lot of people’s weeks….so I’m not complaining too much.

I worked my normal shift on Wednesday then work asked me if I could work what is essentially an overnight shift on Thursday. They wanted someone close to the office downtown so they told me to get a room at the Radisson and charge it to the company. Worst case scenario, I could walk to the office.

The Radisson was full by the time I went to book but the Hilton Home 2 Suites had some rooms. It was only a block away from the Radisson and was cheaper so I booked there.

I finished my work day around 6:30 then headed for the hotel. I ended up just taking my car with me and paying for it to be in the ramp because I didn’t want to find it iced over at 2:30 in the morning. I checked in and realized I hadn’t eaten all day. There wasn’t much that stayed open downtown so I was pretty limited in my options.

The Home 2 Suites and the Hilton Garden Inn are connected to each other and connected to the parking garage across Rose Street via skywalk. I walked through the Hilton Garden Inn to get to my car and realized they have a bar right inside the door off Rose Street. I saw people eating so assumed they had food. I saw an opening at the bar and grabbed the seat before someone else could.

The Garden Grille & Bar is Hilton’s pub they put inside some Hilton Garden Inn’s. The Kalamazoo Hilton Garden Inn is fairly new. It’s on the corner of Rose and Kalamazoo in downtown. The hotel went in to the Rose Street Market which was originally the Kalamazoo Masonic Temple. The Hilton Garden Inn opened in the building in Spring of 2021.

The Garden Grille & Bar is a small area right inside the main doors near the registration desk when you come in off Rose Street. The area is kind of sectioned off with some big rounded booths. There’s a bar near the back and a few tables in between. There was jus the bartender working the night I was there and he was dealing with both the bar and the tables.

The bartender was doing his best to keep up with everything. The dining area was full. It seems like a lot of people chose to just stay in and eat the hotel instead of venturing out. I took a seat at the bar and waited while he finished up with a couple of tables before he had the chance to grab me at Two Hearted IPA and a menu.

I was surprised by how good the menu looked. I was really expecting it to be pretty simple. Before this night, I didn’t even know the hotel had a restaurant and there’s no info on it on their website. I actually had a hard time deciding what I was going to eat.

The Brisket Grilled Cheese was really tempting but I ended up sticking to a burger. I picked the Double Oink Burger and fries. The sandwich is a chuck beef patty with smoked pork, bacon, bbq sauce, cheddar cheese, chipotle mayo, crispy onions, lettuce and tomato. I can always do without the onions so I pulled those off. The rest of the sandwich was really delicious. The burger was cooked just a little bit too long but it was still tender and juicy. The BBQ sauce added that sweetness and there was a hint of smokiness to combat the sweetness from the pulled pork. I didn’t have any expectations for this place when I sat down but this was a pretty tasty burger.

The fries served with the burger are my kind of fries. These are fresh cut fries with a dusting of sea salt. I love this golden brown, slightly greasy yet still crispy kind of fry. I made these at home all the time when I do burgers on the grill. I could eat a whole sack of potatoes cooked this way.

I added a second Two Hearted while I was eating so that brought my bill to right around $30 before tip.

I have never had any reason to go in to this Hilton Garden Inn so I had no idea there was a restaurant inside. I was pleasantly surprised by what I found. I was really just happy to see it so I didn’t have to go back out in the storm to grab a pizza or something but it turned out they actually have some pretty good food.

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