Hopcat–Grand Rapids, Michigan

Hopcat is the place to go for a cold one. Since opening, the endless stream of raving reviews has poured out of this place. The beer selection is enormous. The chairs with images of people enjoying their beverages further emphasize the love of beer.

With so much emphasis on the alcohol, would the food’s quality match that of the beer? I had my doubts but my friend works down the street from Hopcat and everyone deserves a fair chance.

Unfortunately, my friend does not remember what he had, I suspect it was the Bar Zee, a burger with Applewood smoked bacon, jalapeños & Michele’s beerbar cheese. All I remember was that he enjoyed it and I could not eat it because it had jalapeños so that is how I came to my conclusion.

I had the “killer mac & cheese” which I found was delicious but for $7.95 and such a small dish I should have spent my money on something else. Apparently if you create your own, you can only add one meat & one veggie or two veggies and pay $3. I don’t care for that arrangement and I would like to be able to add more or have a menu that is more clear.  The options that are available are: shredded marinated chicken, sloppy joe, smoked bacon, grilled bratwurst, chorizo, roasted peppers, herb tomatoes, fresh spinach, basil or jalapeños. I added the grilled bratwurst and basil to try a new combination. The server brought me the wrong dish so I had to send it back. Yes, on this day I was feeling particularly difficult but she brought out grilled bratwurst and bacon and I thought that was a little much and not something I could digest.

The bratwurst was sliced 3/4 of the way through like a chicken is butterflied so I had to continue cutting the meat so I could eat my meal. I suspect this was done for presentation but it was inconvenient and still not that attractive to look at. Small strips of basil were thrown over the macaroni like confetti. The size difference between the bratwurst and the basil and even the macaroni made this a difficult dish to consume. The bratwurst bites were 1″ in diameter and everything was much smaller. I thought this was the dish’s biggest downfall as the cheese and macaroni married together made the dish heavenly. So next time, I am getting another combination. That’s right, despite the failure of the extras in the dish, I will be back again. I have to give the staff another chance as when I went I had to glance repeatedly at the staff before anyone brought the check. Our server was busy sorting silverware at the table across the way with nothing blocking her line of vision. It was lunch and yet the service was so slow. But if I go again and service is slow and the wrong dish comes out, I’ll blog about it again. Otherwise, I say give this place a shot if only for the vast selection of cold beverages and that the food is not that bad, a step from most bar food.


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