Newly-opened Cheero’s has plenty to offer
Before arriving at Cheero’s Sports & Sushi Grill I had reservations. No, not the kind where they save you a table. The kind where I was leery. Less than enthusiastic.
I figured I’d get something besides sushi. I mean the concept is odd: A sports bar with sushi. Besides, I’ve known all of the former restaurants in this location next to the Michigan Athletic Club at 2510 Burton SE, and it just didn’t “feel” like a place for sushi.
And on a vast menu that features, appetizer, soups and salads, burgers, sandwiches, wraps, American entrees and pizza, well, sushi just didn’t seem to fit.
But I’ll admit it, I was wrong.
My dining partner wanted sushi, and so I agreed since sharing seemed the right thing to do.
She settled on the Volcano Roll (10.25), consisting of spicy tuna, tempira crunch, and topped with tuna, avocado, eel sauce and siracha. She found it a little spicy, but given the name and described ingredients, that should not be a surprise. I found it very tasty and not too spicy for my palate.
I chose the Crunchy Eel Roll ($7.95) which was a delicate mix of eel, crab and cream cheese fried in a light tempura batter and topped with eel sauce. It was light, flavorful and enjoyable. It was my favorite between the two rolls we ordered, but I liked both.
The sushi was as good as any I’ve had anywhere, and I recommend it. The server, was proud to tell us about the chef, and the fresh fish and standards they have. We were convinced, and the proof was in the taste.
It’s a unique concept — at least for Grand Rapids — as most sushi places are 100 percent Asian cuisine. But really it makes sense because not everyone likes sushi. So if one person wants a burger and the other wants sushi, this is the perfect restaurant.
The two page sushi menu is full of traditional favorites, authentic, and reasonably priced with most rolls ranging from about $6 to $13.95 for the Cheero’s Roll, which is seared salmon, tipped on a California roll with eel sauce, tonito flakes and green onions.
There are a number of combination dinners as well and large sushi boats. The entire menu can be found at cheerosgrill.com
As the name might imply, there are TVs all around, and a big “alcohol bar” in addition to the sushi bar. The feel, however, doesn’t lend itself to being a sports bar. It doesn’t feel like a “grill” either — it feels like a nice, adult restaurant appropriate for date night, girls night, guys night or a family dinner. It fits all. The interior is large, but made to feel intimate with warm brown wood, a large brick dividing structure in the center of the room, a combination of levels, booths and tables make the building feel welcoming.
The service was friendly, prompt and informative. I can’t fault the establishment in any regard. And I applaud the innovative idea as a welcome newcomer to the Grand Rapids restaurant scene.
Now, the only “bad” thing is that since I’ve discovered how good their sushi is, will I ever get around to trying any of their other yummy-sounding food choices? The Sake Bomb Chicken ($12.95) and the 12 oz Cheero’s New Yorker steak ($16.95) with the garlic soy jus, steamed rice and grilled asparagus both sound great. I guess it remains to be seen, but if the sushi is any indication of quality, I’d say you probably can’t go wrong at Cheero’s Sports & Sushi Grill no matter what you order.Cheero’s Sports & Sushi Grill ( Rating: out of 5 )
Where: 2510 Burton SE (view map)
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 11-2 a.m., Sunday 11:30-1 a.m.
Ambiance: Comfortable casual, dining with TVs for sports enthusiasts
How much it will cost you: $10 to $20
Credit cards: All major
Reservations: Yes; not necessary
Contact: (616) 608-3062