Marie Catrib’s offers the whole package: food, location, and atmosphere

Sam Noonan, Junior Writer

Wedged between the bustling streets of downtown Grand Rapids and the quieter, more relaxed nooks and crannies of Eastown, Marie Catrib’s combines a fantastic, welcoming atmosphere with delicious food that will leave you satisfied and full. This restaurant caught my eye as I was searching on the internet for places to eat; it had great reviews, and it most definitely lived up to them.

Located in the East Hills Center (of the universe), Marie Catrib’s gives off a warm and comfortable mood as soon as you come in. The employees all look happy, and I immediately saw them laughing together and having a good time. This really lends to a feeling of home, and I knew right away that I was going to be treated like a friend. After walking in (and questioning myself on whether I entered through the right door), I took a seat at a table and admired the little details, such as the flower set in the center of the table and pitcher of water with cups nearby. The scent of freshly brewed coffee wafted through the restaurant, adding yet another reason for me to love the place.

My waitress quickly stopped by asking if I’d like a drink or if I was ready to order, a nice gesture for people who would like to get in and out quickly. After deciding I could use a bit more time to decide what I wanted to eat, I began to admire the interior, from the sculpture of a face high up on a wall to the open kitchen and bakery area. There also seemed to be a wide variety of people eating, from young couples to older families, enforcing the thought that this was a place where anyone could come in and feel welcomed.

After taking a couple of minutes to decide on what I wanted to eat, I finally settled on the “Marie’s Grilled Cheese” sandwich. It’s far from your usual grilled cheese sandwich, as this had feta cheese, goat cheese, cream cheese, olive oil, cracked red pepper, and fresh basil on branny oat bread. (That’s a mouthful… literally.) My food arrived in almost no time, and the sandwich was quite warm and presented nicely with a pickle on the side. My first impression was that the sandwich smelled delicious, and I couldn’t wait to take a bite.

With the feta cheese dominating my taste buds, the cream cheese and goat cheese accented it very nicely by “smoothing” out the powerful tanginess of the feta and cracked pepper combo. The bread was slightly crispy, just the way I like it, and I found myself barely able to put the sandwich down. After eventually finishing my sandwich and pickle, I felt like I couldn’t eat any more food… or so I thought, until I walked into the delicatessen and saw the array of desserts. The double chocolate cupcake was immediately drawn to my eyes, and I couldn’t resist the temptation to purchase it. With what was possibly the creamiest and most delicious frosting I’ve ever had, it almost tasted like fluffy ice cream was piled on top of the cupcake due to it being cold. The dark chocolate chunks had me wanting more and more, and the cake part held it all together by balancing the rich frosting with an airy and light texture.

To conclude, I won’t ever think twice about going to Marie Catrib’s again. Everything from the location to employees stood out to me as fantastic, and I strongly encourage everyone go there sometime. This is one of my new favorite places to eat, and with a cheerful atmosphere and mouth-watering food, you’ll come back every time wanting more.