Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Review: 84 East in Downtown Holland

84 East has been in downtown Holland (my happy place) since 1993. I remember eating there once about 12 years ago; my husband doesn't remember that at all. I recall that I liked what I had, so I don't know why we never went back.

Last Wednesday we drove to Holland to go to New Holland Brewing Company, one of my favorite places to eat. When we left, we walked past 84 East and thought we'd try that next time and break out of our NHBC rut. So Friday night the two of us went to check it out.

On the drive there I could see sunshine ahead, but it was raining where we were. I kept watching for a rainbow, and here it was at my stoplight so I could snap this picture! (Can you see the double rainbow? We could also see the full arch of this one! So cool!)

All photos (c) Kathy Fannon
(Click to enlarge)

I had checked out the menu online in the afternoon so I could have an idea of what I wanted when we got there. I narrowed it down to Thai Pasta Salad or the Santa Fe Chicken pizza.

I asked our FABULOUS server, Kris, what she would recommend. It was a toss up, she likes them both. It was cold outside, so the pizza would've been the warmer choice, yet I opted to further break out of my rut, try something new (for me) and got the Thai Pasta Salad. I was NOT sorry!

This amazing salad came with 'chilled' spaghetti topped with Terra sticks, massive amounts of chilled, steamed broccoli and carrots, amazing grilled chicken on a bed of mixed greens with the most incredible peanut sauce! (Dinner: $8.99; Lunch: $7.95)

I ate almost half of my salad (all of the greens as they don't keep well) and brought the rest home to have for lunch on Saturday. (I asked for just a little more sauce.) Look at all that food left!

I use foursquare, so when I checked in I unlocked a free "World's Smallest Sundae". I wish I had remembered to take a picture before we dug in, but you get the idea. It was the perfect amount for two people to share after dinner. (Dinner: $.59; Lunch: $.49 Love that price!)

Saturday I had some of the leftovers for lunch. I used about half of the leftover spaghetti, the rest of the chicken, some peanut sauce, the Terra chips I carefully kept as dry as I could so they didn't get soggy, and broccoli. This cold salad would be a great idea for something to take to work...no reheating necessary!

I put all of the leftover broccoli on my plate, took the picture, sat down to eat and realized that was still too much broccoli. There was 1 cup left, so I divided it in half. One-half cup of broccoli is a serving anyway, so this worked out perfect to have later with the other half of the leftover spaghetti.

On Sunday my family wanted hot dogs for lunch. I don't eat them anymore, so I pulled out the rest of my pasta, broccoli and peanut sauce! I added two 4th of July tomatoes with salt, basil and balsamic vinegar and a pear with 1/4 t cinnamon, heated in the microwave. It made the perfect size lunch!

Tomato and pear are from the farmers market, naturally! :)

I'm sad my Thai Pasta Salad is now gone. That was the best thing I've eaten in a long time!

I don't eat that much pasta anymore, and I'm sure the peanut sauce has a mayonnaise base (and probably not a low fat mayonnaise either!), but for the occasional date night with my husband, I would DEFINITELY get this again.

I think I just found a new rut!

Notice how I remembered to think small?

84 East also has a gluten free menu!

Where is your favorite locally owned place to eat? If you live in the West Michigan area I would especially love to hear from you. I love eating locally and supporting our local economy!

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