Founders lacks right recipe for food
Founders Brewing Company is known for being a staple of beer in West Michigan. But when it comes to food, it’s a different story. Despite having a great beer menu and unique environment, Founders fails on the food side, offering limited options with disappointing service.
I recently dined at Founders with two friends. We wanted to try something new to the three of us, and were in the mood for a good drink. We were greeted promptly by our waitress, who then gave us our menus. She told us she would come back to take our drink orders.
We focused on our food options first. We were disappointed by the limited options on the menu — all that Founders offered were sandwiches and a few appetizers. There were no burgers; not really anything you would expect to find in a bar. I opted for the special of the night, a meatball sub. My two dining partners ordered the Red’s Rye and reuben sandwiches. While we expected our waitress to take our order, we were informed that we would have to order at the deli window. Easy enough.
We got our sandwiches and hoped our waitress would come to check on us and see what we wanted to drink. She never came. Instead, we jumped to our feet and ordered at the bar. For a bar that has a few waitresses walking around, we were disappointed not to be asked what we wanted to drink.
I was overwhelmed by the amount of sauce on my sub. It was good, don’t get me wrong, but it was very difficult to eat. I was impressed by the meatballs, however. The bread was nothing to rave about, but it suited its purpose. I just wish the sandwich didn’t literally go all over me in the process.
My dining partners, however, seemed to be split on what they thought of their sandwiches. The Red’s Rye sandwich, which features roast beef, capicoloa, muenster cheese, red pepper, tomato and chipolte mayo on rye bread, seemed to be on the spicy side, much more than we ever would have expected. The reuben was what you would expect; nothing fancy. But it was probably the best sandwich out of the three we ordered.
And, even at bars, most of us would expect fries or chips available as a free side with sandwiches. At Founders, however, chips were extra, and were just taken straight out of a bag. Not homemade, and certainly not worth paying extra for.
Now, Founders does have one thing going for it — the environment. It’s not too loud, and it is large enough where it’s not cramped together. You can actually talk without having to yell across the table. The ambiance is unique, in the fact that it features old wood and several chalkboards. It just looks cool, especially with little to no light.
But the lack of menu options completely dumfounded us. With its unique bar environment, we thought Founder’s would offer food options that would suit it. Instead, it stuck with safe deli sandwiches — which weren’t even that great.
Now, I understand that Founders is a brewery. You mainly go there for drinks. But that doesn’t mean it can’t have great food too.Founders Brewing Company ( Rating: out of 5 )
Where: 235 Grandville SW, Grand Rapids
Hours: 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday-Saturday; 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday. Deli open until 11 p.m. all nights.
Ambiance: Dark bar, but great for conversations
How much will it cost you: Deli sandwiches average around $6.
Credit cards: All major
Contact: (616) 776-1195