Skip to content

Chloe Élan

We tried another new restaurant tonight. This time around it was Chloe Élan in Ada. The initial experience was not the greatest. The location is in a strip mall near Amway. The first room was a small bar area populated only by staff. We were than led to one of two main floor dining rooms. It threw me a bit that the room was completely empty since the other room appeared to be reasonably busy. The decor was very "modern" for lack of a better term. It was not offensive or anything, it just felt like you could have dropped the room into any of a dozen restaurants and it would have fit in.

We were waiting for another couple to arrive so we tried to order the cheese plate. Unfortunately, had been cleaned out by an Amway party the previous day. This gave me an excuse to order the tuna tartare. Melissa is not a huge fan of seafood so it was a hard sell. However, she gave it a try and enjoyed it as much as I did. It was about this time we realized why the other couple was a half our late. They had been lead to the other, extremely crowded, dining room. The staff never made the connection. The main courses were good if not Earth shattering. The drinks were similar, a good variety but nothing so amazing that I have to go back for the food or the experience.

In the end the only thing memorable about the experience was the weakness of the service. The place was not that big with only two main rooms on the main floor and no one at all downstairs. There was no reason for one room to be extremely crowded and another to be empty. There was also no reason for them not to connect two couples both waiting for another couple who arrived within ten minutes of each other. This is probably a fine place to eat if you're in the area but there is no reason to make a special trip.

Pizza Ranch in Hudsonville

Tonight cooking was not going to happen so we tried a place in Hudsonville called Pizza Ranch. The location is an old strip mall with basic decorations. The focus of the restaurant was clearly on the food and not on selling you "ambiance" or "an experience". The place was also packed with both people and seating. There was a but as well as items off the menu. The buffet was open so that is what we went with.

The buffet itself consisted of three parts; salad, pizza and fried chicken. The salad bar was solid food service style, solid, but nothing to write home about. It was the kind of salad you can get anywhere with the strengths and weaknesses inherit. The pizza, however, was good. They had a wide variety of options and it was busy enough that it was always fresh. The chicken was a mixed bag. The coating was not to my liking. It lacked flavor and almost tasted burnt. However once the coating was removed the chicken underneath was quite good.

If you go than I would recommend focusing on the specialized pizzas and trying the chicken. It really comes down to location, the farther you have to drive to get there the less reason there is to go. There are lots of good pizza places and how many of us have the waistline for a buffet?