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“Kudos to the Hard-Working Staff - It Was a Very Busy Dinner Service”
Review of Chez Olga

Chez Olga
Ranked #52 of 1,059 Restaurants in Grand Rapids
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Caribbean
Restaurant details
Reviewed February 20, 2019

It was our first time there and we were looking forward to a relaxing, warm-me-up Friday night dinner with friends. Everyone working was very friendly and OMG, were they working hard! I think they actually brought some extra reinforcements in as the dinner service progressed because they were really getting slammed and very little was coming out of the kitchen.

With that in mind, I don't know if this was an abnormally busy night for them, but needless to say, I wish I hadn't worn my watch. It took over an hour for our food to arrive (although drinks came quickly). Unfortunately, we had arrived pretty hungry. There was much confusion throughout the restaurant as to who ordered what. I was nearing the point where I would accept whomever's dish was brought to our table, even if it wasn't what I had ordered. Good news is that I refrained from doing that.

We unfortunately received our appetizers well after our entrees arrived, while others with our group had been served dessert. Note on the appetizer we chose - the fried plantains were not to our liking, with much more fried coating than plantain. We also didn't really get the cole slaw being served with it, thinking that the strawberry (?) dipping sauce we had seen with other appetizers might have been a better choice. I admit that my reference point is not enormous, but we've had fried plantains enough to know that we prefer more flavor, more plantain, and less batter.

As far as the meal itself goes, the sautéed spinach with shrimp (served with rice) was good. Having been warned, we ordered it on the mild side which worked for me, and for a wintry night, it served the purpose of a stick-to-your-ribs dish. The shrimp gumbo was disappointing, and it could simply be a case of expectations and taste buds. We prefer it served like a thick soup, and frankly, it's the only way we've ever had it before. This was plated (with a side of rice) and was simply not as stellar as expected, based on other reviews we had read. We ordered it at a 4, which was pretty much our spice limit. They definitely take their "hot" seriously. The spiciness of the cole slaw was on my lips for hours. :-) We didn't have room (or time) for dessert, but the cheesecake looked amazing. We loved the Haitian coffee, so perhaps next time we'll just return for some coffee and cheesecake.

The evening was a bit chaotic, in a fun Friday night kind of way. Enormous kudos to the staff who were making the best of the situation.

Date of visit: February 2019
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank lovestotravel616
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2 - 6 of 82 reviews

Reviewed February 14, 2019 via mobile

We had creole sampler, creole chicken and Chez Olga shrimp. All was fabulous. I haven’t had food taste so great in a long time. The flavors just explode in your mouth. Watch out for heat level. I got a 3. Too much bit flavor worth it.

Date of visit: February 2019
Thank Allison H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2019

I called Chez Olga to make reservations for dinner for a group meeting. We arrived and had a nice table for our meeting and the owner was very accommodating. The food was hot, fresh and delicious and the owner was sensitive to our dietary needs and able to give us food according to our requests.

Date of visit: December 2018
Thank Lisa N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 14, 2018 via mobile

My wife and I come here a couple times a year, when we get our craving for Haitian food. The food is just flat out amazing. The spices they use are fantastic. Be aware, a mild spice is a very strong spice on their scale. Even if you really like spicy food, the first time you might want to take it on the mild side, a 2 or a 3. A couple sitting at the table next to us did not heed the warning, and were subsequently upset that their food was too spicy. The waitress tried to warn them, they just did not listen.

Many reviews mention poor service or a long wait for food. This does happen at times. You have to remember that this is a family that owns this restaurant that takes care of the restaurant. They do all the cooking, all of the service. They take pride in what they make. Every dish is made from scratch as you order it. Sometimes you are going to wait. That being said, we waited maybe 20 to 25 minutes for our food. Pretty quick if you ask me. The service was great. We have never had bad service here. We have just seen angry customers that are impatient. We have had to wait in the past, sometimes as much as 45 minutes for our food. That happens when you have the family matriarch in the back doing all the cooking, sometimes it takes a little bit longer. Just chill. Enjoy the atmosphere, enjoy the decorations. Everything is a little bit slower in Haiti. If you were in Haiti, you would wait a heck of a lot longer!

Date of visit: December 2018
Thank ByronDruzgal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 13, 2018 via mobile

We stopped in on a visit to GR to see the Meyer May House and had lunch with Olga. So glad we did. Fun building houses a nice interior with a friendly proprietor who serves delicious food. We had the goat and also shrimp and vegetables. Spice rating 3 was fine by us — had some kick but not overwhelming the flavor.

Date of visit: November 2018
Thank bryans752
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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