I have one co-worker who must really hate working with me. No, not because I’m a jerk…but because whenever he and I work together, we end up on road trips.
Our most recent road trip was to Battle Creek. Now, for most of you Battle Creek isn’t much of a road trip, but you have to remember, I work in Grand Rapids…..so I drove from Kalamazoo to Grand Rapids to Battle Creek back to Grand Rapids then home to Kalamazoo.
Once our task was finished in Battle Creek, C.W. said he was hungry. I asked if he liked tacos. Duh, who doesn’t like tacos.
For a long time now, I’ve been getting recommendations for a taqueria in Battle Creek. Almost everyone who has eaten there has swore to me it’s the best Mexican they’ve ever had.
J and I had planned hosting our families for Thanksgiving. J’s mom was able to make it up on Tuesday before the snow hit Berrien County. My parents, however, were not able to leave until Wednesday afternoon and by then, it was too late. They weren’t going to challenge Mother Nature to a duel. We still went ahead with our Thanksgiving plans because we had all the food and there was no sense in letting it go to waste.
I know a lot of people will tell horror stories about their in-laws, but I’m lucky. I actually have the opposite situation. My Mother-in-Law always shows up with beer. Nothing horror story-ish about that.
After working last Sunday night, I actually had Tuesday evening off. Once J and L went to bed, I asked my Mother-in-Law if she wanted to go out for a couple beers. We hit up Gonzo’s BiggDogg Brewing first because we hadn’t eaten dinner yet. After a couple beers, dinner, and hanging out with some friends, we headed down the street to check out another one of Kalamazoo’s new breweries.
Rupert’s Brew House is on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Academy Street in the odd shaped building that used to house The Strutt. The sign has been up for quite some time on the point of the building that overlooks Michigan Ave., but it seems like it took a long time for the doors to finally open. Read more…
It has been way too long. Way to long. J and I haven’t been to Arcadia Ales since January of 2010. There is no way it should have been that long between trips.
Last weekend, both J and I had separate business in Battle Creek. Mine task was in the afternoon. J’s was in the evening. We decided to meet up in between tasks for dinner.
Arcadia Ales is in a rapidly developing area of downtown Battle Creek. The large building houses both the pub and the brewery operations (for now anyway).
J and I walked in with L just before the typical dinner rush on a Saturday night yet the dining room was almost full. After a hostess asked if we needed a high chair, she showed us to a table near the open, wood-fired kitchen. They were out of high chairs at the time, but L is getting big enough we can put her in a booster seat now.
Last time we ate at Arcadia, I had yet to get in to craft beer. We had just moved to Kalamazoo the most exotic thing I had drank up to that point was a Budweiser. I still tried a beer….the ESB..I had no idea what it was then. Now I know that stands for Extra Special Bitter. :) (I think).
This time, I was more than excited to dig in to the beer list. I walked up to the bar to see if there was anything on special, but there was no cask available that night, so I had to go with what was on the beer list. Read more…
One of the cool things about my job is that I get to travel a lot which means I get to eat in a lot of different places. One of the bad things about that is that I can’t drink while I’m on the clock, so when we find a brewery in whatever town we’re in, the urge to go is too great….but we’re stuck drinking pop.
That situation played out last week in Big Rapids. A co-worker and I were looking for some place to stop for dinner when a different co-worker texted me a suggestion. I started reading “Cranker’s” off my phone when the C.W. in the car with me said we are not eating at Cranker’s. We could do better. Fortunately, he let me finish my sentence because the next word out of my mouth was “Brewery.”
Cranker’s Brewery is at the flagship Cranker’s Coney Island on State Street near downtown Big Rapids. There are other Cranker’s Coney Island’s (including one in Caledonia), but the brewery is unique to the Big Rapids location. Read more…
Continuing our tradition of being lazy on Monday nights, neither of us could come up with anything for dinner. I went with my go-to and asked J if she wanted a pizza. As soon as I said it, L started saying “pizze,” so J gave in and let me call in an order instead of actually cooking something for dinner.
Instead of going with one of our typical haunts, I pulled up the website for a new but not so new pizza place in Portage.
The name Maestro’s should sound familiar. For the last few years, they’ve been operating out of the Sunny Mart in a very tiny space that was built for them in a corner. Recently, they moved out of that space an upgraded to a space of their own…right across the street.
Well, not quite right across, but kitty-corner. They’ve taken up space in a small shop in the strip mall a the corner of 12th Street and Milham Avenue in Portage.
The restaurant itself is pretty small. There are only a handful of tables and a pretty good size bar serving up delicious Michigan beer. I had called my order in and when I walked in, the pizza maker was waiting for me with three boxes. Read more…
Beer! Kalamazoo has all of a sudden become a booming craft brew market. Sure, we’ve been known for craft beer for quite a while, but just recently, there has been a number of craft breweries making a go at it in the Beer City USA Runner-Up.
The most recent addition is Gonzo’s BiggDogg Brewing on South Westnedge just to the south of Michigan Avenue in downtown Kalamazoo. The building used to be the Hayes Mazda dealership, but over the last several months, it’s been turned in to an awesome brewpub.
J and I were watching cartoons with L on a Saturday morning when J asked if I wanted to go somewhere for lunch. I asked if she thought it would be ok if we took L to Gonzo’s. I wanted to try the beer and I heard the food was fantastic. We figured since it was noon on a Saturday, we’d be ok if we took her.
At first glance, parking looks to be an issue, but there’s actually a pretty large lot across Academy Street. There’s a large Gonzo’s sign that lets you know it’s ok to park there.
The entrance to the brewpub is on the Academy Street side. You walk past a large patio area with picnic tables that will be great come next spring. Read more…
It’s milestone time. This post is #1000 on SW Michigan Dining. Ididn’t want #1000 to be just any post. I wanted it to be something special…so I have been pretty careful the last couple of weeks about where we were going to eat.
Earlier this week, a co-worker and I ended up in Lansing. I figured it would be fitting that post #1000 be a Lansing restaurant since that is where I started blogging about restaurants (although those posts don’t count towards this blog). Plus, there was a BBQ place I really, really wanted to go to.
Lucky for me, Co-Worker was on board with my restaurant suggestions. We didn’t have as much time as we had originally hoped, so after finishing our tasks for the day, she called in a carry-out order while I filled up the gas tank and stocked up on Pepsi.
Meat is a meat lover’s paradise. Every single thing on the menu made my mouth water. From the slow smoked BBQ to made-to-order mac-n-cheese to “Meatwiches”…making a decision was damn near impossible.
C.W. and I made our way in to the restaurant about a half hour before closing time. The dining room goes with a southern roadhouse theme. A number of tables are actually picnic tables and there are 80′s rock record covers lining the walls. Read more…