Recently voted best salads in GR by Grand Rapids Magazine, we are thrilled to share more about Bliss & Vinegar located in Ada. Chef Mark McNamara and his wife Jennifer, also the owners of Marco New American Bistro, were inspired to open a restaurant that would allow customers to make healthy choices. Over time, they noticed a clientele interested in getting meals to go or a quick lunch. Mark soon realized that Grand Rapids lacked restaurants that offered both fast service and a variety of healthy menu items. With a desire to make healthy food more convenient, Bliss & Vinegar was born.
The name Bliss & Vinegar comes from the meaning behind each word. Bliss represents the feeling of eating well. When we eat food that is minimally processed, satiating, and nourishing, our bodies feel blissful and thankful. Vinegar represents the tangy flavor that compliments so many foods. Vinegar pairs well with fresh produce and provides even more delicious flavor.
Bliss & Vinegar has over 60 delicious toppings to choose from and they offer their own house-made dressings. These dressings are all-natural and preservative free. Gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options are also readily available. Their produce is locally sourced through Farm Link, which connects restaurants to 20-30 local farms. Bliss & Vinegar uses only naturally raised beef and chicken that are free from hormones and antibiotics. To top it off, all their materials are recyclable. Talk about sustainability!
There is something for everyone on the menu. The Bowls of Warm Bliss are hearty and delicious and perfect heading into Fall and Winter. Each bowl has a base of warm quinoa with protein, vegetables, and house-made dressing. There’s even a BMB (Big Meat Bowl) that’s filled with grilled steak, herb roasted chicken, and bacon served over quinoa with red pepper, avocado, and a Greek yogurt ranch.
Some of the most popular menu items include the Michigan Cobb, which is made with romaine lettuce, herb roasted chicken, tomato, onion, Michigan dried cherries, bacon, egg, and gorgonzola vinaigrette. Another favorite is the Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili, which is also vegan and gluten-free. Jennifer states that the chili is even a hit with their children. Bliss & Vinegar also allows customers to create their own salad, bowl, or wrap. This can be very helpful to those that may have food allergies or intolerances. Catering options are also available, which is perfect for local businesses that want a healthy lunch option for the office.
In addition to providing quick and healthy meals, Bliss & Vinegar is helping to create an environment of support and accountability. Last year they offered a “Bliss This!” Salad Challenge which offered helpful tips and recipes on how to create a different salad each day. Currently, they’re running a 30-day Healthy Challenge; the participants encourage each other to establish healthier habits that range from eating well to physical activity. Jennifer hopes to offer these groups more frequently and grow participation. Guests can also join their Newsletter service for more health-related tips.
Bliss & Vinegar is community focused. They’ve partnered with local wellness sites, such as Pure Barre and Orange Theory Fitness. Every six weeks, customers are treated to a new local artist’s artwork through a partnership with Grand Valley Artists Association. The featured art displayed throughout the restaurants helps create a calming atmosphere.
“What we want to promote is that there are a lot of healthy options out there–we just have to help people switch it up and make it more exciting. Healthy food does not have to be boring food.” –Jennifer McNamara
Bliss & Vinegar is ideal for anyone seeking a healthful, tasty meal. It’s great for a sit-down lunch or an easy dinner to pick up on the way home. The wide range of available produce, protein, and dressings, accommodates any type of diet. They also go beyond food by creating relationships with local fitness groups and by helping guests create healthier habits with wellness groups and challenges.
Bliss & Vinegar is located at 888 Forest Hill Ave SE Grand Rapids, MI 49546. Visit their website to learn more and to check out all of their menu items!
Jenn Fillenworth is a local blogger and creator of Jenny with the Good Eats. She is a Registered Dietitian, Culinary Student, and Master’s Candidate. Jenn has made appearances on WZZM 13 and Fox 17, promoting healthy eating and wellness to Greater Grand Rapids. In her free time, she loves to travel and explore new foods. For more recipes & healthy inspiration, follow her on Instagram: jennywiththegoodeats