Best Local Michigan Food: SpeakEZ Lounge serves up “high” food in a cozy neighborhood-style bar

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – SpeakEZ Lounge is a cozy neighborhood-style bar where customers can find “raised” sandwiches, wraps, soups and salads, as well as entrees such as steak, fried Asian noodles, and Mexican-style mussels.

General Manager Calin Skidmore said SpeakEZ strives to create high-quality food and cocktails in an “easy” environment.

The restaurant is located, 600 Monroe Ave. NW, in the Monroe North neighborhood near Sixth Street Park and the Grand River. Seating about 150 people, it opened for ten years after Cambridge House closed.

The SpeakEZ menu features a range of food products in a variety of styles.

In the end, there are items like Yankee Clipper Steak.

Featuring a 6-ounce New York Strip steak from Manhattan seared to temperature, the main course comes with Yukon golden pork fries, squash with corn, onions, peppers, turnips, and Pebble Creek mushrooms, and is topped with compound lemon and pepper butter. The dish costs $29.

There is also a drunken noodle fryer.

It features crispy beef, Asian noodles, kale, mushrooms, carrots, and onions cooked with rice wine and dipped in a sweet and hot Samble-My Pleu sauce. It costs $19.

The sauce is what makes this drunken pasta fry stand out, Skidmore said.

He described it as an Asian sauce with a “secret spice blend” that “really, really, works really well with beef and noodles.” He added, “It’s kind of like a bowl of ramen but it’s not soup. It’s much more than fried noodles.”

There is a range of sandwiches and wraps on the menu as well.

Options include double grilled cheese, grilled jackfruit roll, Tuscan chicken sandwich, California club wrap, and more.

One of the most popular sandwiches is the grilled vegetable crunchy jackfruit roll.

It features marinated jackfruit, avocado, cucumber pico de gallo, vegan chipotle aioli, and crushed cornflakes wrapped in flour tortillas and grilled, according to the menu. Served with a side of cornflakes and poblano verde sauce. It costs $13.

“It’s a great vegetarian option,” he said, noting that the jackfruit has a texture similar to pulled pork and can be prepared, seasoned, and fried in a similar way. “It behaves very similarly, but is completely vegan.”

SpeakEZ is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to midnight. It’s open from 10 a.m. to midnight on Saturday, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday. The restaurant’s menu can be found on their website, speakezlounge.com.

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