Matthew Russell is a Grand Rapids native who prefers bicycles to cars. He is currently the sole baker and founder of Wednesday Evening Cookies, collective member and owner of Bartertown Diner, project editor for Rapid Growth Media's Urban Innovation Exchange section, and barista at The Sparrows Coffee, Tea & Newsstand.
Sparrows Coffee, Tea & Newsstand 1035 Wealthy St SE Grand Rapids, MI 49506
Favorite coffee is the Americano at The Sparrows Coffee, Tea & Newsstand. I work there a few days a week, and the Third Coast espresso from Madcap makes a really nice Americano.
Marie Catrib's 1001 Lake Dr SE Grand Rapids, MI 49506
Favorite breakfast is the off-the-menu KT Breakfast Special at Marie Catrib's, with extra ginger and seasoned potatoes. It's been my favorite for well over five years, even though it's no longer on the menu. It's basically tofu, spinach, onions and potatoes, sauteed with sesame, ginger, and garlic.
Bartertown Diner 6 Jefferson Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Favorite lunch is the Bowl of Food or $2 Tacos at Bartertown Diner, whichever doesn't have beets in it, and with extra hot sauce. Lunch has always been just a refueling meal for me, and the Bowl of Food and tacos at Bartertown always have a good mix of protein, carbohydrates, and greens to provide a decent nutrition boost until later in the evening.
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Taste of India 215 W Michigan Ave, Battle Creek, MI 49017
Favorite dinner is a toss-up between the vegan baingan bharta at Taste of India (smoked and barbecued eggplant) and the Ginger Thai specialty with tofu at Bangkok Taste. I really like Indian and Thai foods, especially later in the day, for some reason. Maybe it's the fact that the spice helps keeps me awake. I typically get up at 5 a.m. to bake, so by dinner I'm pretty sleepy.
Founder's 235 Grandville Ave SW Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Favorite beer spot is Founder's. Their IPA has been a favorite of mine to drink and to cook with for years and years. It's super hoppy. I don't feel like drinking a beer should feel like drinking soda. Founder's is good at that.
Rezervoir Lounge 1418 Plainfield Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
My favorite cocktail spots in town are Rezevoir (because they have pool tables and a good jukebox), and Stellas (because they make a good old fashioned). Basically, a decent old fashioned or Manhattan is what I look for.