Gut-Busting Vegan Eats. 200 Whiskeys. Authenticity Galore. Welcome to Stella's.
The good folks who brought us HopCat have done it again, this time with with a fist in the air for GR's ever-burgeoning vegan community. If the idea of getting your veg grub on at a punk-themed whiskey bar sounds strange, rest assured that your gustatory satisfaction is in very good hands at Stella's Lounge. General Manager Garry Boyd is the brew guru who took HopCat from zero to 3rd Best Beer Bar on Planet Earth in just over a year. And Chef Ryan Cappelletti is the creative juggernaut who helped to design essential elements of the original vegan menu at Brick Road Pizza, and who is as at home producing punk and hardcore records and directing documentary films on local Michigan beer culture as he is slinging wings and the best double-decker lentil burgers you've ever failed to get your mouth around.
Chef Ryan Cappelletti with the Inimitable "Hellbent for Lentils" Burger
Authenticity is in the details, and Chef Ryan is all about the little things. When you notice, for instance, that the 85% vegan menu boasts items from Little Rooster Bread Company, a local artisan bakery on the grounds of Lubbers Family Farm just outside Grand Rapids, you may think to yourself: "Wait a minute--I've checked the label and it isn't vegan!" Well, Ryan solved that problem by commissioning custom vegan buns that are made exclusively for the hot dogs at Stella's. Other notable details include murals by local artist Erwin Erkfitz, a seemingly omniscient jukebox, and a small arcade featuring two pinball machines and a half dozen upright video cabinets retrofitted to play over 100 classic games for a quarter a turn. Zaxxon anyone? Maybe Congo Bongo?
Not Just a Bar, but a Lunch and Dinner Destination
Skeptical? If you can scroll through the following without abandoning whatever you are doing and proceeding directly to the alley behind 53 Commerce, you've got a lot more will power than I do.
Blessed Black Wings (Vegan Chicken Wings)
Refuse/Resist (Vegan French Toast and Eggs)
Jigsore Quandary (Vegan Corned Beef)
For Whom the Dog Tolls (Vegan Dog) [blogger's note: best hot dog ever]
Hellbent for Lentils (Vegan Burger)
View from the Arcade
Hope to see you at Stella's ASAP! Let's show our new friends on the alley how much we appreciate the special treatment! Check out the full menu if you need further motivation.
In case you're shopping for a new favorite animal...
I could watch baby sloths all day. They're hugging stuffed animals, scratching their bums, and hanging about in hammocks. There's even one that looks like Yoda. I'm sold on sloth watching. Can't get enough sloth footage? Check out The Amphibian Avenger's recent post on Sloth Love.
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