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One Trick Pony - Grand Rapids, MI | Restaurant Review

Consistent, but Lacking the Needed Change


Restaurant Category : American (New)

150 years old, a building carrying a rich heritage of significant history, a structure that supported businesses through the years; One Trick Pony is certified as the oldest building in the Grand Rapids that has seen continuous occupation. The name evolves from the concept of a pony with a ‘one trick’ circus act who masters the trick with sheer focus and no distractions. Here, the philosophy is extended to their mission of providing customers with a unique dining experience. A tall claim which we set out to investigate.

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A Notion: Located on Fulton Street, One Trick Pony was one of my favorite of all Grand Rapids restaurants. With a distinct charm that the building lent to the ambience, I have always found the food to be good, the service to be pleasing and the entertainment value something to talk about.

The Experience: The most distinct observation that has been noticed in the business trend of restaurants is how ‘change’ is the constant need of the day. To be on track with new development, to spice up the experience with new menu and offers, to be fresh and trendy, to offer entertainment that gives one a definite edge over the competition; these are just a few mentionable points. The let down of One Trick Pony is that it had remained untouched and unchanged, whereas the other restaurants of Grand Rapids have seen leaps in terms of evolvement. Not a positive sign for any restaurant.

The Atmosphere: The building of One Trick Pony was a barrel of opportunities. The rustic charm of the brick walls, wooden beams and warm earthy tones screamed with possibilities of an interior redo. The place has character charm which very few buildings of the new age have. The setting was a perfect back drop to the showcase of musical events which One Trick Pony hosted.

The Food: We placed an order for the Jerk Chicken Chili Pasta and the Jerk Chicken Quesadilla. As always the quality and portions of the food was good and easy on the taste buds. But it missed out on any wow factor. We were sated, but not impressed. The menu has remained pretty much constant over the years. While it offers a comfortable selection, it does not blow one’s mind away with interesting cuisine. The dinner menu consisted of options of different appetizers, soups and salads, entrees, pastas, pizzas, sandwiches and desserts.

The house specials included dishes such as the Pony Platter (Crab cake, tomato bruschetta, Asian calamari and cheese quesadillas), the Pecan Seared Ahi Tuna (Seared ahi tuna made with pakco & pecans and pan seared rare, served with an Asian Slaw and served with sweet chili vinaigrette) and much more. A separate lunch menu is drawn up offering pizzas, sandwiches, soups, salads and few entrees for a quick light meal.

The Calculated Impression: As always One Trick Pony proves to be satisfactory without being exciting. With restaurants in Grand Rapids quickly catching up onto the new trends, the danger of it becoming an unappealing place for a meal remains dormant.

What I liked: The ambience the building offered and the portions of food.

What I didn’t like: The static nature of One Trick Pony which was getting to be rather monotonous.

Rating: Between Bombastic and Not

Address and telephone number for One Trick Pony
136 E.Fulton Grand Rapids, MI
PH: 616-235-PONY (7669)

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