There is a new restaurant on the west side of Grand Rapids, that is making a splash as the new pub to visit. Every time I drove by it the parking lot was packed. Finally, I decided to try it myself.
Westside Social opened up where a previous restaurant had closed down. They are located on Lake Michigan drive on the corner of Collindale Ave, sharing a parking lot with Siciliano’s Market. They are open from the afternoon until the evening most days, although hours will vary.
The style inside is industrial, similar to many bars in the area. There is warm wood, and exposed brick and concrete. Everything was clean and well put together.
Their bar menu was full, although I wish it had a few more options with craft beer. It seemed to only have the typical ones that many restaurants in Grand Rapids offer.
Based on the recommendation from our server we tried the social fries as our appetizer, and man were they addictive. I preferred them without using the chipotle mayo dipping sauce, enjoying the seasonings they sprinkled on the fries, although my boyfriend enjoyed the spicy sauce.
My main dish was their Social burger, burger patties with beer cheese, bacon, onion straws, and a fried egg. At first I was a little nervous because I was not asked how I wanted my burger cooked. (The food snob in me craving medium rare, usually if they don’t ask it will end up well cooked). The two patties were on the thin side, but they arrived with a little bit of pink and incredibly juicy. I inhaled my burger, and the kettle chips were a nice pairing.
My boyfriend chose the wet burrito after I snagged a burger first. The short rib inside was well seasoned, and all the spices worked well together. The entire burrito just tasted fresh. It came with a salad, which was crisp and the dressing was light.
I was impressed how fast the service was, despite the fact that it was packed. We had just toasted and started to enjoy our drinks when they served the food. The staff was friendly and knowledgeable about various questions I had on the ingredients used to make the dinner. They were able to offer suggestions based on their favorites and what we liked.
The biggest downside to the restaurant by far is the parking lot, something mostly out of their control, (although I did see a valet one night when I drove by so they are working to combat that).
It’s definitely worth a visit if you love good tavern food, craft beer, and a relaxing environment. I certainly will be making a return visit or two.
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