Kalamazoo Restaurant Week, ready to take your order

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KALAMAZOO, Mich. — If your New Year’s resolution this year was to get in shape and eat healthier, here’s a great excuse to take a break: It’s Kalamazoo Restaurant Week. The festivities began on Saturday with a chili cook-off and the fun is expected to continue throughout the week. Trendy hot spots like The Union Cabaret and Grille and sports establishments like Old Burdick’s are offering their best foods at reduced prices.

“One of my favorite things that we’re doing right now is a smoked pork belly sandwich,” said Alec Durocher, executive chef at Old Burdick's. “We actually take a pork belly, cure it for three days.”

Durocher added that it’s smoked with hickory chips and bourbon and baked at 250 degrees.

“When we pull it out of the oven, its got that nice, smoked bark on the outside of it,” said Durocher. “It just kind of falls apart.”

There’s something for everyone’s budget. Fourteen local restaurants are participating. Most of them are offering three-course meals at $25 and some have $10 tastings.  If you'd like to enjoy a fine wine to top off your meal, then stop by Mangia Mangia.

“It’s three different wines,” said owner Emilio Dacoba. “Each wine’s paired with the appetizer, entree and dessert course.”

Courses include savory dishes such as baked risotto carbonara and whitefish mediterranean. No matter what you try, it comes with wine.

“It’s something that not everyone does,” said Dacoba. “But we thought we’d throw it in. So its just kind of a one-stop shop.”

Restaurant week sadly ends on Saturday. If you cannot make it this week, no worries. It returns again in July and will begin with a salsa cook-off.

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