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Tastes from the Kitchen: Potter’s Lounge & Restaurant

Nestled back in behind I94 and only 3 miles from the airport, Potter’s Lounge and Restaurant is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by Kalamazoo’s hungry residents. The restaurant, named after Kalamazoo’s first mayor, Allen Potter, is located inside Four Points by Sheraton at 3600 East Cork Street and serves both breakfast and dinner.

Potter’s boasts a homey, relaxing feel to make diners feel comfortable while they sample dishes from a menu of upscale, pub-inspired fare. Executive Chef Paul Sayer switches and refreshes the menu quarterly, allowing him to create new dishes and utilize seasonal and local ingredients when possible. There is a breakfast buffet that features all the traditional favorites as well as an a la carte menu with treats like Lightly Breaded Lake Perch and Salmon Benedict. The menu features many of your favorite comfort foods, with Chef Paul’s twist added in for flavor and interest.

The dinner menu has everything from mouthwatering burgers custom-made to your specifications to daily pasta and entrée specials. There are thin-crust pizzas, delectable sandwich choices and entrees like Maple Glazed Salmon and a 16 oz. Ribeye. Whatever the make-up of your party, there is bound to be something for everyone on this menu. There is even a rotating menu of seasonal specials from which to choose.

Every Wednesday night, Potter’s is home to the Brews and Barbeque event. From 5:00 to 6:30 you can come in and enjoy free appetizers while enjoying a great selection of local craft brews for only $3 a bottle. There’s even live music for your listening pleasure!

Chef Paul has long been part of the local restaurant scene in West Michigan. The youngest of nine children, he began his career as a dishwasher at Bill Knapps and worked his way up to management. Later, he worked for Hilton and Crystal Mountain Resort as a sous-chef. He spent many years as head chef at Pietro’s and the Moors Golf Club and Executive Chef with Arcadia Bluffs before joining the team at Potter’s as Executive Chef.

Chef Paul is the father of two grown children, Zoey and Cody, and the proud Grandpa of Conner. He encourages readers to be willing to change things up in the kitchen, trying new ingredients or techniques. He notes that small additions can make all the difference, like adding a little siracha for a kick or fresh thyme to add flavor and interest. Special thanks to Chef Paul for sharing his recipe for delicious Chicken Corn Chowder with our readers. It’s sure to be a hit on a cold winter’s night.

Chicken Corn Chowder

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 celery rib, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 cup frozen corn
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 T. fresh thyme
  • 6 redskin potatoes, diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 T. olive oil

Roast chicken and cool, then pick meat off bones and dice. Set aside. As an alternative, you can easily use a prepared rotisserie chicken from your local deli or grocery store. In a stock pot, sauté vegetables in olive oil, until tender. Add chicken stock, diced redskin potatoes and prepared chicken and let simmer for 30 min. or until potatoes are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste, fresh thyme, cream and corn and let simmer 15 min more before serving.

Erica Shier is a married mother of four who loves reading, scrapbooking and thrift stores. When she’s not driving her small pack of children around, she spends her time volunteering, writing and trying to keep on top of the laundry.

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