I have something to share with you.
I had some concerns. I was traveling to Michigan for work and my first opportunity to eat would be near the airport in Grand Rapids(hate to say it but near the airport is usually chain-city). I asked Chowhound for some help and all options pointed me to downtown. Then I was headed to Lansing, a college town, and when I arrived at my hotel, they recommended a lot of college bars/restaurants. Would I get lucky with my options on this trip?
I googled and yelped my way to this restaurant. And I was pleasantly surprised. I am going to assume that the menu at dinner would have been more enjoyable due to the variety of entrées but I chose French Onion soup and a chicken breast sandwich and it was a good meal. If you must eat near the airport in Grand Rapids, this is a solid option.
Black Cat Bistro
Where do you eat in a college town that doesn’t have a college bar feel? The Black Cat Bistro is a great option. Although I was disappointed they were out of mussels, I opted for the flat-iron steak with chimichurri sauce and hand cut fries. It was delicious. Pair that with a Dirty Blonde Ale from the Atwater Brewery in Michigan, and you have a great meal to enjoy while sitting at the bar.
The Soup Spoon Cafe
I was told this was a great spot for lunch by Yelpers and other locals that I asked during my visit. And I am happy to say they are RIGHT! This little cafe was busy with folks and I got to sit at the bar and watch a lot of food come out of the window(and it all looked great)!. Think sandwiches, pasta dishes and of course, the main reason I made my visit, the SOUPS!! They offer a soup flight, 4 cups soups with bread for $10. My order: seafood chowder, french onion, roasted tomato and fennel, beef and cabbage. The seafood chowder was my favorite, then the fennel beef and well, I enjoyed the other two quite a bit. Next time, I will do a cup of chowder and one of the fantastic looking sandwiches!