Some Reservations

Recipes.Rants.Reviews

Did somebody say pizza…

Well I know I have been away for far to long, and have failed on my promise of ice cream and keeping up on the blog. And you know what, I am completely cool with that. I have been busy, very busy and it has all been food related.

A few months back a friend of mine ordered this UFO looking mobile wood fired pizza oven. We were casually joking that we should turn it into a business, and see what happens. Well folks, be careful what you joke about, because it might just come true.

Food Blogging world I give you Standard Pizza Co.

Standard Pizza Co, is a whole new spin on wood fired pizza, literally a spin. Our oven rotates 360 degrees and is on freakin’ wheels. That’s right, let it sink in, we can bring wood fired pizza to you. Not just any wood fired pizza, handcrafted artisan wood fired pizza. Honestly folks, we have been perfecting our high hydration dough for months. Learning how to turn out a high hydration crust could be a Bachelors Degree at any college, this pizza is serious business.Please take a look at our website, and like us on Facebook and if you are in the Western Michigan Area, please come out and try our pizza. We are very dedicated to quality and freshness in our ingredients, and it shows in our pizza.

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Java Gym…Open for Fun!

Java Gym

2211 E. Beltline Avenue, Suite C
Grand Rapids, MI
616.361.9800

Regular Hours
Monday – Friday: 8:30am – 5:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am – 8:00pm
Sunday: 10:00am – 6:00pm

Today I had the pleasure of attending the Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting for Java Gym Grand Rapids. My friend Jen is the Marketing Guru over at CD Barnes Associates, Inc, she got me in as they were the ones responsible for the amazing build out of this place.

Java Gym is an awesome concept, their tag line of ‘Adults Stay. Kids Play’ really says it all. Upon entering your eyes are immediately drawn upwards to the top of this amazing four level play structure. You really have to remember you are there for your kids to play, your first instinct is to push every rug rat out-of-the-way and conquer this thing on your own. Well at least that was my first instinct.

Matt and Laura Greene, the owners, wanted to bring something new and exciting for children’s entertainment to West Michigan. They had seen similar places in other areas of the state, but nothing quite like it in the Grand Rapids area. They really want to focus on creating a clean, family friendly environment where parents can feel safe with their kids playing on their own. Their number one goal is the Customer Experience, they want everyone, adult and child to have a great time and always be treated with care and respect. They even have staff in the play structure to help the kids along and guide them thru this amazing maze of slides, steps and webbing. My two year old had an amazing time, screaming, climbing and sliding her way thru all the bright colors, and I am expecting a mega-nap from her today. That’s worth the price of admission alone!

This is a food-blog and I did go to review the food. Now as a parent, if you want me to want to come to a place with 50 screaming ankle-biters you have to offer me more than really bad pizza and someone dressed up in a rat suit. I am happy to report Java Gym has neither of these.

What they do have is a menu geared towards kids and adults. The kids menu is pretty straight forward, PB&J, Mac & Cheese, Grilled Cheese and a few other options.

My Daughter had the Grilled Cheese, now she was mostly way to excited to play, and it was a challenge to get her to even take a bite. So being the good father I am, I tried it for her. For a kids menu grilled cheese, it was really good. Fresh Ciabatta bread with two different kinds of cheeses, pressed together in a flat press until melted. It wasn’t greasy at all, and the cheese was of good quality, you could actually taste the differences in the cheeses. The kids meals also come with the options of apple sauce or apple dippers.

The adult menu really steps it up for a place with a play structure in it. They offer a handful of salads, made fresh, including a Cobb, Oriental Chicken and an Apple Pecan. I had the oriental chicken and it was tasty. Fresh greens, mandarin oranges, grilled chicken, crispy noodles, slivered almonds and a toasted sesame seed dressing. Jen and my lovely wife both had the apple pecan salad, same quality, different ingredients. They also offer a a bunch of different grilled panini’s,  one of which is an apple cheddar, which Sheena the kitchen manager says is her absolute favorite item on the menu.

If you just want to share with your kids they do offer pizza, cheese or pepperoni on a flatbread crust. Prepared fresh to order, they had some samples of this out at the ribbon cutting and it was really good. The sauce has a little zip to it and a good mozzarella is used. They also had samples of a bunch of their sandwiches, I didn’t get a chance to try them, buy they looked awesome.

The Java aspect of Java Gym is in full effect to. They have a Latte and espresso menu as wells as hot cocoa and chai, that is not to intimidating like some coffee places. Their sizes are even small and large, brilliant, no need to know what 20oz in Italian is. They get the coffee from Magnum Coffee Roastery located just out side of Grand Rapids in Nunica, Mi. The folks that prepare your coffee concoction are barista trained with some help from JP’s Coffee House in Holland, MI. Now I do not drink coffee, all I can tell you is that it smelled wonderful. My wife the coffee expert did give one of their espresso’s a try and said it was really good, actually on of the better ones around. They also have a menu of different smoothies, I tried a sample of the orange and strawberry, both really good. Not to sweet or syrupy tasting like some can get. These tasted like fruit, which is harder to achieve in a smoothie than you might think.

 

Overall the Java Gym is a really cool place for both parents and kids. At $7.00 for kids 3 and up and only $3.00 for kids 2 and under, this is place is a legitimate threat to all the other kid themed places in town. They also have 3 party rooms for all your party or meeting needs. With free Wi-Fi and a great menu, it is going to be hard for me to take my daughter any place else. Excellent concept, executed and run by excellent people who really care about your each and every experience in their place, put an emphasis on cleanliness and quality, and most importantly, just want your kids to have a great time. I am really excited to see a place like this in Grand Rapids, and look forward to all of Java Gym’s success and growth.

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