Koral Hamburg and Diner-We pulled into Waterville looking for a place to eat, and when we spotted a sign on a small local place advertising "The Burger at its best!" we decided that hamburgers sounded pretty good for lunch.
Koral Hamburg's menu informs diners that the restaurant opened in 1926 and is home to the "world famous burger man".
The decor is cheerful and kitschy with a red-and-white checkerboard tiled floor, red wooden booths, repro vintage food advertising signs and classic film memorabilia like the cardboard stand-up of John Wayne.
You can get sandwiches, salads and baskets of fried shrimp, cod or chicken tenders, but burgers are the Koral's specialty, so classic quarter-pound cheeseburgers with fries it was for us.
If you're especially hungry, you can double or triple any burger on the menu, or just go for the gusto and order a "Kardiac Burger", which is a double bacon cheeseburger topped with three different kinds of cheese, mushrooms, lettuce, tomato, mayo, ketchup, mustard, pickle and onion topped off with a beer battered onion ring.
Koral was busy and full of locals when we stopped by for a weekday lunch, and I have to give special kudos to our waitress who happened to be the only server working that day and handled the entire dining crowd by herself. The lunch crowd kept her running, but she was attentive and cheerful throughout the meal, getting our food to us in a timely fashion.
We'll have to make sure we're especially hungry the next time we visit Koral, as I understand milkshakes are another specialty at the diner!
Snyder's Subs and Pisanello's Pizza-We stayed at The Mill House Bed & Breakfast in Grand Rapids and the innkeepers suggested this place a couple of doors down the block as having decent pizza and offering a great deal with an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet for $5.99.
The Yelp reviews on this one are mixed, but we had a good experience here.
The pizza buffet had about four or five different pies to choose from, and the woman behind the counter offered to make a pizza of our choice to add to the buffet while we were there. We asked for a garlicky pizza with white sauce and tried a piece of classic pizza with tomato sauce and some breadsticks as we waited for the garlic pie. The pizzas we tried were all nicely seasoned and had plenty of toppings.
We enjoyed a couple of pieces of pizza, the breadsticks and free refills of pop (yes, it's pop to us, not soda or cola).
You can also pick up ice cream cones to go, or order a pizza to carry out to your campsite if you're camping at the nearby state park.
LaRoe's-Our hosts at The Mill House suggested that we try LaRoe's for a little fancier dining experience and if we wanted to enjoy a glass of beer or wine with our meal.
It's fitting that the restaurant has a full bar as it opened 35 years ago in the restored Grand Rapids Tavern. The building appears as if it dates back to the late 1800s like many other buildings in the Grand Rapids commercial district.
The restaurant is an easy walk from The Mill House and offers the option of dining in the restaurant's dining room, the more informal tavern, or dining outside on a deck overlooking the side cut canal and the Maumee River running behind the buildings on the main street through town.
I have a thing for fried pickles, so we started our meal with the fried pickle appetizer. The fried spears came with the restaurant's house-made poppy seed dressing as a dipping sauce, which was a bit sweet and a nice change from the usual ranch dressing I often see served with this appetizer elsewhere.
Service was attentive and friendly, and the meal was a nice relaxing experience after a day of running around the parks to take photos and check out the town's historic sites.
Tim had a steak, and I had the potato-encrusted white fish with a large baked potato.
It was pretty hot and humid the day we visited, so we opted to sit in the air-conditioned bar. I hope that we can dine outside the next time we visit as the patio to the rear of the restaurant looked like a pleasant place to enjoy a meal.
© Dominique King 2014 All rights reserved