Westside Social was less than average


More often than not, the best restaurants are tucked away in the corner of a small town. They’re the hidden gems; the restaurants that don’t look like they would be very good but turn out being a new favorite. For recently opened Westside Social, it was quite the opposite. The restaurant was hidden away in west Grand Rapids, but it wasn’t a gem– it was mediocre at best.

When my parents and I pulled up to the industrial building, we saw cars packed like sardines in the small parking lot. We took that as a good sign at first, but we soon realized the abundance of people was because it had just opened in January. When we got inside, I was immediately overwhelmed by the massive amount of people occupying every space. The extreme number of bright lights fixated on the ceiling caught my eye immediately, but not in a good way. My first impression of the overall appearance was bright and loud, which is not my kind of place.

As for the service, it was slow yet kind. After fifteen minutes of scanning the promising menu, we still hadn’t been visited by our server. I blamed the slow service on the fact that it was newly opened and extremely busy, but it got annoying when my mom had to track down our waitress herself. Because of our long wait, I had a lot of time to look over the menu. A wide variety of burgers, sandwiches, soups, salads, and burritos were offered at very fair prices. I decided on the ten dollar macaroni and cheese.

Because we had to wait so long, we got fries on the house, which was the only part of my meal I enjoyed. They were crunchy and seasoned perfectly– the herbs paired well with their savory signature sauce. When I started on my macaroni and cheese, I quickly realized that it was not going to meet my standards. There was a strange aftertaste I couldn’t quite place my finger on. That paired with the cold cheese and noodles made for a very unsatisfying meal.

On top of the unsatisfactory meal, a stink bug landed right in front of my unfinished macaroni. We had to take care of the bug ourselves, which was a minor inconvenience; however, it only added to the already disappointing evening.

My entire experience at Westside Social was a stressful one. We were waiting for our food longer than it took to eat it and it was hard to hold a conversation because of the noise volume. The loud, upbeat music combined with every single person talking over the music was too much. The food was less than average and our service was painfully slow. When I looked at the menu online before even stepping foot in the restaurant, I had very high hopes because every item looked so delicious.

Those hopes were quickly down the drain of disappointment, though, like any chance of going back to the mediocre restaurant.