Eating in the Western Mitten: Field Stone Grill

My parents still live outside of the D (that’s Detroit for anyone not up on their initialized cities). My sister and I (the only offspring of our parent’s blessed union) live in Chicago. So, a few times a year, we all meet in the middle for dinner. On the I-94 corridor, K falls smack between C and D.

Yes, that’s right, I drive two… two and a half hours to dine with my parents in the great city of Kalamazoo. Aren’t I an awesome daughter? Of course, this could also mean that I force my parents to drive the same distance to dine with me. So, I guess I kind of suck. Especially since they usually pay.

Anyway, each time we pick a different restaurant to try. We’ve done a bunch of chains along Westnedge Avenue, and have also eaten at quite a number of the finer dining establishments within the city limits. This time, we ate at the Field Stone Grill in Portage, MI. I can appreciate any restaurant that doesn’t spell “Grill” with an E. Thank you. I can also appreciate a restaurant that does the best with it’s surroundings. The Field Stone Grill is in a strip mall. But, it is a strip mall that butts up against a field (where there were presumably stones or perhaps grills). The side of the restaurant that faces the field has very large floor to ceiling windows, framing a large fireplace. The interior is rather pseudo-lodge-like. Open with a solid mix of tables and booths.

What We Ate

We started with two appetizers for the table–paella hush puppies served with mussels and roasted red pepper hummus served with flat bread. An interesting note: Both apps came with roasted veggies on the plate. Delish. Warm rolls with herb butter are brought out to the table, but you have to ask for teaspoons and sugar.

I had the salmon BLT sandwich with fries. It was huge. A whole fillet of grilled salmon (seared really nicely on the outside, and not overdone on the inside) topped with pink pepper aioli, a few slabs of bacon, tomato, smoked mozzarella cheese, and non-iceberg lettuce sitting on rye focaccia bread. It was so good that I didn’t mind that the fries were just kind of eh. The rye focaccia was pretty genius.

Paul had the pot roast (again ginormous) which is marinated in red wine sauce. It’s served with root veggies and mashed potatoes. My sister had the Greek turkey burger (feta cheese and tzatziki sauce on a ciabatta bun). She took half with her which made our car smell like a tasty Greek restaurant all the way home. I did not mind. My mom had the balsamic portobello mushrooms which are served over spinach and risotto. They have long, thin slice of Parm cheese on top. And, my dad rounded out the table with the special soup of the day (Mediterranean seafood bisque) and the almond crusted walleye. Again, this fish was so large it hung off the side of the plate. It comes with a side of mashed potatoes and green beans. I’m not a fan of green beans, so they looked pretty ick to me, but I guess they were good.

Some of us really like dessert. My parents each had a half portion of tiramisu. As my dad said, “We don’t want a full portion to split, but each want to order a half portion so we have enough sauce.” My dad is so wise. I had a red velvet moon pie. And, yes, it was a wonderful as it sounds.

What We Drank

Paul had Bell’s, because you can’t go to Kalamazoo and not have Bell’s. I had Jones cream soda. My mom and sister had hot tea. Some of us had coffee with dessert. It should be noted that they serve Water Street coffee, a local coffee house that I highly recommend if you’re in the area and can stomach large numbers of college kids hanging around being all college kiddie.

The prices seemed reasonable for western Mitten dining, but then again, my parents picked up the tab. So, thanks Mom and Dad! The menu is varied enough that I would eat there again. They serve their dinner menu all day on Sundays. And, although they recommend reservations, it was pretty desolate on the Sunday we went. My only complaint: The changing table in the women’s restroom is in the handicapped stall and is drilled into the wall at a height that is only comfortable for giants. Giants in high heels. But, that is a small complaint from a small person.

Location: 3970 W. Centre Street, Portage, MI. If you are coming from out-of-town, don’t follow Google’s directions. They will steer you a bit wrong. But, once you find it, parking is plentiful and there’s an ice cream place next door in the strip mall if you don’t like the looks of the dessert menu.

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