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Scene in South Bend: Granite City

| Sunday, September 13, 2015

sisb-granite-city-web-Susan Zhu

Among a chain of restaurants just outside University Park Mall, the American comfort-food restaurant Granite City sets its own precedence.

Serving meals within only 14 of the 50 states, Granite City presents itself as the ideal example of a “rare” restaurant chain. Aside from its food, the joint exudes a casual, yet pristine, atmosphere that any consumer can enjoy. Personally, I have waltzed into the establishment wearing a nice skirt to eat dinner with my roommate’s family. Other instances, however, have called for worn jeans with a short-sleeved t-shirt. No matter what the occasion, Granite City’s environment welcomes all, much like a Cheesecake Factory or Houlihan’s.

The first time I ate at Granite City, I had a difficult time deciding what to order from the large menu. Displaying options from a variety of food “genres,” the menu adheres to people with all sorts of diets. From gluten-free options — including the “Granite City Reuben” and chopped salad with chicken — to vegetarian alternatives and unique salad choices, Granite City offers fresh food for all to enjoy. What’s more, they offer a kid’s menu, which affords more than the simple cheeseburger or chicken strips. Rather, it offers platters such as rigatoni pasta and the pepperoni flatbread pizza.

Offering American, Asian, Italian and Mexican food choices, the restaurant provides its customers with different tastes. Of these varieties, though, I prefer the flatbread pizzas. These fire-roasted beauties come in an assortment of options. The restaurant’s menu prides itself on its maple pepper bacon and tomato flatbread. Personally, I enjoy the Margherita pizza, with a blend of cheeses, fresh tomatoes, basil and vinaigrette.

Aside from its pizzas, the restaurant prides itself on a plethora of options for all palates. Serving tasty sandwich and burger options, including its “Big Show” Burger, topped with pulled pork and barbeque sauce, Granite City appeals to those with a meatier taste. Similarly, it offers an array of steak, toppings or sides and a list of other meats. Its specialties include the ribeye, as well as the meatloaf — made on ciabatta bread with sweet onion sauce.  Furthermore, the restaurant allures seafood lovers, with options including grilled salmon and — my personal favorite — the fish taco trio.  This Mexican-American treat consists of three tilapia-filled tacos, along with a bowl of sweet corn and salsa.

While Granite City offers excellent food choices and a warm atmosphere, the restaurant prides itself most on its drinks. With a selection of handcrafted beers and IPAs, Granite City does not disappoint its consumers. Although I have yet to try the beverages — I’m not 21, people — the restaurant is sure to quench its customers’ thirsts.

All in all, Granite City’s vast array of fresh food, authentic drink and alluring atmosphere draws the people of South Bend in each afternoon and night. Open for lunch, dinner and drinks after that, the restaurant provides a clean, fun place for bonding. Whether with a roommate’s family or a first date, Granite City will surely delight all who visit.

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