Thursday, May 10, 2018

ROAM by San Chez, 250 Monroe Ave NW ~ 5/3/18

We noticed this sign on 2/18/18 when leaving DeVos Performance Hall.
About a month later it was open and we made our way there today for lunch. As soon as we walked in, we knew we were somewhere special. The map-top tables, the huge windows, interesting glass lights (they look old), and cool artwork all added up for a pleasant and unique atmosphere.
It's not a big place but it is charming. There are 6 tables for 4, and 6 more for parties of 2. The bar seats around 10 and a counter along the South window seats about 7 more. There are 2 long high-tops near the bar that look to seat 8 each.
The bar and high-tops appeared to be made from recycled wood to very cool effect. 
The menu is small but so intriguing, emphasizing what they call global street food, 'they' being the owners of San Chez, who have been specializing in tapas since 1992.
Our server politely asked if we needed help navigating the menu but we did not. Our first choices were the Kati Roll and Gua Bao (descriptions, along with source country, are included on the menu).
You also choose your sauces, with server recommendations. We had Ragili Ginger with the Kati Roll and soy sauce with the Gua Bao. We loved them both although the Kati Roll is really greasy. Maybe that's part of what made it so good :-)

Our next two items were the incredibly huge Nolburger (with pork belly, peanut butter, & more) and Currywurst, served with a spiced, smoky tomato sauce.
And if we didn't think this place was cool enough, a trip to the restroom confirmed our impression.
The restroom interior was awesome as well.
Being Dutch, we couldn't resist ordering the Oliebollen to go. By the time I remembered to take a photo there was just one left. And it was so much better than the ones I remember from my childhood. Those were dry, deep-fried dough with a raisin or two to be found. These were chuck full of cherries and apples. So either my relatives had it all wrong or Michigan/ROAM has improved the oliebollen!
ROAM has a full bar with a creative cocktail list, as well as many appealing non-alcoholic beverages.
We sat at the window and saw the chairs that are soon to be out on Monroe for some outdoor dining.
Being right across from DeVos Performance Center should be great for business. ROAM is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you like eating the same familiar things constantly and do not seek out new food experiences, this is not your place. For all the rest of you, set your sights on ROAM.

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