Monday, March 31, 2014

Road Trip: Grand Rapids, Michigan

After being cooped up, it was time to hit the road again for a regional road trip.
I won't show all the photos I took at IKEA and Trade Joe's when
friend Kate and I hit there on a gloomy first day of spring.
You've probably seen the catalogue!
But I will share a little of my road trip the following day to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where I discovered something new!

The Grand Rapids Downtown Market and Heather Lane Pottery
(in nearby Ada -- next post) are a perfect day out for those of
you who live in Michigan or are vacationing in the
Grand Rapids area. We'll start with the market, located in the city.
 It's filled with vendors who work largely local and make wonderful
artisan delicacies. Upstairs, they have a greenhouse and
there is also a demonstration kitchen for classes.

We started by going around the perimeter -- glancing at the
 Sweetie-licious Pie Pantry and Bakery, knowing we'd be back before we left!

Then it was on to Thornburg & Company, which sold fabulous jam.
The cherry I bought (and there are samples!) had grappa in it.
 Wonderful combinations added herbs and spices like lavender,
hibiscus, rosehips and more to the traditional fruit.

I don't have a photo of the chocolate shop (where I did NOT indulge!)
but beside it was a deli that included fabulous take out meals.
My friend Pat took care of her evening's dinner there!

Field and Fire is the bread store and it was fabulous!
In addition to rustic loaves and baguettes, they had a nice selection of pastries
 including and herbed gougere that was perfect to tide me over till our late lunch to come.

There was a splendid meat counter and fishmonger as well. Another time!

But oh! At Aperatif, the cheese store, I succumbed to the fabulous camembert
and a Spanish blue, along with some wonderful tasty sweet appetizer peppers.
My favorite spot, I think.

Although, my very-close-to-that favorite was the Spice Market.
I've never seen so many spices and the fragrance was great!
You can buy pre-packaged by the ounce or in larger quantities.
I found a couple of spices I haven't been able to find here, so home they came!

We could watch them making ice cream at the ice cream shop
 (the roasted strawberry and balsamic sorbet was a good choice!).
Across from them we could taste olive oils and vinegars.
I didn't buy any but the ginger vinegar may be something I fiddle around with making.


After our visit, we headed to the restaurant Marie Catrib's,
 not far from downtown, where the food was delicious!
I will remember the Trenton sandwich and big bowl of spice potatoes!

Then we were off to Ada and a visit to Heather Lane. Stay tuned for glorious, colorful pottery!


Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Hello there Jeanie! How I love Trader Joe's and IKEA! We have them both. What fun to get out and about after such a long winter, and I finally did it today. Being on spring break, I was able to go out today to interview a local author who will be the subject of one of my articles for a magazine I am writing for. It was fun.

Thank you kindly for coming to visit me, and you know Adrien Legg's music too! Don't you just adore his style?

Have a lovely day dear one. Anita

Jenny Woolf said...

You do have such amazing and wonderful artisan food markets in the US - makes me hungry just looking!

Tracy said...

Oooo... WOW! Look at that market!! I just love places like that, and wish we had more of the here. On trips home to the US, we can be found lunching at such places. ;o) I feel hungry now... LOL! Look forward to the next leg of your trip, Jeanie. Happy Day ((HUGS))

Beth Leintz said...

Your post made me hungry...everything looked delicious, I want cheese LOL!

Joanne Huffman said...

I didn't know about this and will have to make a road trip. Is it open daily?

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Those stores are all so cute! I love local places like that. Looks like they had an awesome cheese selection! And I am always a fan of spice stores and usually try to treat myself to something fun when visiting them as they are so good about having things like seasoning mixes for chicken or pork, etc. There is a cute spice store in Charlotte and this post reminds me that I need to go there this weekend and get some Rogan Josh which is an Indian spice mix that I love.

Arti said...

Your road trips are so interesting, Jeanie. Reading your post here prompted me to look up the Google map of Michigan and area to find, wow I didn't know before (as a Westerner) that Michigan is so close to Canada. I knew about Detroit and Windsor sharing the border, but didn't know about other cities and towns in the US that are close to Toronto. I seldom go to the East, but my son lives in TO. It's great to see how close Michigan is to Ontario. They share a border. As for me, I've to take a 4-5 hr. plane ride to get there.

Anonymous said...

What a fun outing! Glad you found something good and interesting to buy.

Marilyn Miller said...

Love markets such as this one. How very special and to find some things you have been looking for, like spices. Now when I think of Ada, I think of Amway. Smiling! Can't wait to see the pottery.

Mitzi said...

Thanks for the tour.....makes me hungry!

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

What a wonderful tour and my mouth is watering! Cheeses, spices, breads! I cannot wait to go to the pottery...


Lorraine said...

Hi Jeanie--
Your market looks fabulous!! I would so love that!! Is it open every day? What a fun new discovery for you! Thanks for your visit to my blog...Happy Spring to you! ~Lorraine ♥♥♥

Barb said...

What a mouth-watering post! I would have sampled so much at the market that I wouldn't have been able to enjoy my lunch!

Bella Rum said...

Oh, Jeanie! If I went there when I was hungry, I'd spend a fortune. You had me at the pie pantry and then all of that beautiful bread, but when you got to the cheese, I swooned. I love cheese so much. I'd have a ball there.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jeani! Oh, I love these stores but have to travel an hour or more for a visit, so I don't get there very often. I just love Trader Joe's - the bread, jars of sauces and all of the gorgeous flowers! Hope you're doing well and thanks for popping in to see me.
Be a sweetie,

Ruth said...

I cannot wait to go to the downtown market, so this is whetting my appetite and is informative, great! My daughter lives in GR and loves Marie Catrib's! I haven't been yet.

Thank you, thank you for all your thoughtful concern expressed for our new granddaughter. She is doing so very well, beyond what anyone expected at this point. We are so grateful for her life being saved, and for all the enthusiastic love from family and friends!

The Old Parsonage said...

What fun! Wish I could have been there with you! I absolutely LOVE cheese:)

So glad that you had a good friend with you to enjoy it!

Introverted Art said...

wow Jeanie everything looks so fresh and perfect. I love to see the world through your lens.

The Artful Diva said...

IKEA is one of my favorite stores!

Friko said...

Goodness me, shopping here would be a delight instead of a chore.

Anonymous said...

Jeanie, I somehow missed this post when it first appeared. What fun to relive our trip to the Downtown Market. My dinners from the takeout place were just as good as they looked, and the cheese I bought is one of the best I've ever had.

You should get a commission from the Market and from Heather Lane Pottery for enticing so many people to consider visiting them. :-)


Quiltmoose - Dagmar said...

What a fun trip! I would have loved those shops, too, with all the delicious food...

Sally Wessely said...

What a fun day!

Sally Wessely said...

You are right. Even the outside of the building is a delight to see. I would have gone crazy in here. I love pottery. Thanks for sharing.

paris parfait said...

So many temptations! I would have been loaded down with goodies (good job I wasn't there!) :)

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