PHOTO COURTESY EASTOWNGR.COM
Yummy: Wolfgang’s portions and attentive service makes one feel warm and toasty.
Story By: Ty Smith
One of the most famous spots in Eastown would be Wolfgang’s Restaurant, and ever since coming to college, I’ve been wanting to go there. Last Friday, I finally got the chance. Wolfgang’s Restaurant is a small food joint on the corner of Norwood and Wealthy, right next door to the Hookah Lounge. Lines can be frequently seen piling up outside the doors, snaking down the sidewalk. The curious thing about this is the time of day it happens– while most lines pile up outside bars and clubs on late nights, the lines outside Wolfgang’s happens first thing in the morning. See, aside from its unique advertising, which focuses on the owner of the restaurant, Matt Wolfgang, the thing that sets this place apart is its focus. Wolfgang’s Restaurant is a breakfast-only zone.
I walked inside early afternoon, and the first thing I noticed was how crowded it was. Despite it being hours after any sane person would have already had breakfast, the place was packed with people, hungry for some pancakes, eggs, or hazelnut coffee. I was able to find a seat, and the waitress immediately came to my side, giving me a menu and asking what I wanted. I ended up ordering a six ounce sirloin with a side of red skinned potatoes, eggs and toast on the side. While my waitress was switched out for a waiter before I even got my food- her shift was ending, and I don’t blame her not wanting to stay just to serve me- but he was just as friendly as she was, and just as available when I needed him, attentive and easy to work with.
While I was waiting for my food, I decided to take in the decor. Wolfgang’s, despite its popularity, is decorated as a sleepy little diner, with lots of dark woods for the walls and the floor. There wasn’t much in the way of wall decorations, but it was a nice, cozy little place despite that. I was seated near the window, so I got a great view of Wealthy while I waited. There was also a small bar up front, where they kept the coffee and cappuccino machines. This is where the wait staff stayed between caring for patrons, chatting with the men who decided to eat up there.
I got my food about ten minutes after I ordered it. I think that’s an entirely reasonable time to cook what I ordered, and if anything, faster than I would have expected. There was also a lot of it. The eggs over easy had three yolks in there, and took up almost half of the plate. The potatoes took up a similar amount, easy three, four whole potatoes in there. The sirloin wasn’t huge, but I did only order a six ounce. Everything I ate tasted up to par. The steak was juicy and tender, and the potatoes were warm and greasy, just like they should be.
The only knock I would have on this meal would be the eggs, and even then it’s not much a knock. They just weren’t anything special, standard breakfast fare, something you could get at home. Still, I couldn’t have asked for more- while the food I got was excellent, I paid nothing more than I would have if I ordered from some hole in the wall place back home. My bill for the meal was only thirteen dollars.
All in all, I would recommend Wolfgang’s to anyone I meet. With its price, attentive and friendly waitstaff, decor and speedy service, it’s a staple of any visit to Grand Rapids. While it may not be worth waiting in the line for twenty minutes, it’s easy enough to get around them simply by visiting a little later, and well worth anyone’s attention.