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Restaurant Review: Hopcat

A Grand Rapids favorite since 2008, HopCat made its Kalamazoo debut in 2016. Located at 300 E. Water Street in downtown Kalamazoo, HopCat occupies a beautiful space with a modern, industrial feel. The restaurant offers something for every palate, including an inventive brunch menu served on Sundays from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. If you enjoy a drink with your meal, HopCat features a largest selection of Michigan beer, a full service bar, and a Bloody Mary bar during brunch on Sundays.

Our group visited HopCat during Sunday brunch. The incredible menu, full of dishes that sounded amazing, meant we had a hard time deciding what to order. Some of us started with the cheese ale soup garnished with crunchy pretzel croutons. We all agreed that this could quite possibly be the best soup in Kalamazoo. It is hearty and creamy with layers of delicious flavor and the pretzel croutons put this soup over the top. It was hard to restrain ourselves from licking the bowls.

As there were six in our party, we were able to sample a number of different entrees and we struggled to select our favorite. (1) The Bar Zee Part Deux Burger, stuffed with cheese and topped with jalapenos, bacon, house-made bar cheese and an onion ring, was a winner. It was served with (2) Chili & Crack Fries, HopCat’s famous beer battered fries sprinkled with cracked black pepper seasoning and served with a side of warm cheese sauce. Known as “Crack Fries,” these French fries were voted the Top 10 French Fries in America by Food Network Magazine. Add a cup of hearty chili and and you’re all set to experience some of the best chili cheese fries ever.

(3) The Dip (sandwich) features Porter-braised beef on a French roll topped with Swiss cheese, blue cheese-black pepper mayo and haystack onions. It is served with a side of Stout French onion au jus and Crack Fries. (4) The Vladamir Poutine is listed as an appetizer, but easily serves as a full meal. Here Crack Fries are topped with potato and cheese pierogi, Wisconsin cheddar curds, stout-caramelized onions and hickory smoked bacon, then smothered in spicy sausage gravy. (5) The Madtown Grilled Cheese is a trio of dill Havarti, smoked Gouda, and Muenster on grilled Italian sourdough with apple slices, garlic aioli and honey. Gooey and crunchy, it’s everything you’d want in a grilled cheese. It is served with a cup of apple-tomato soup, topped with blue cheese crumbles. One person in our group ordered from the brunch menu and selected the (6) Canadian Toast Sticks. Italian sourdough dipped in a secret batter and then fried until golden brown, the sticks are served with Black Velvet Toasted caramel syrup and a maple-bacon cream cheese spread.

The space is inviting, the portions are generous, the prices are very reasonable and the food is exceptional. Now that the crisp fall weather is here and cravings for warm, hearty comfort food have set in, grab a group of friends and head down to HopCat. Tell them Women’s LifeStyle sent you and don’t forget to order the Ale Cheese Soup. Just do us a favor and try not to lick the bowl!!

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