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Short’s Brewing Company

September 17, 2014
  • Short's Brewing Company121 N. Bridge Street
  • Bellaire, MI 49615
  • (231) 498-2300
  • Website
  • Menu

It’s time for a vacation.  J and I both work in pretty high stress jobs and our schedules are all sorts of messed up.  We’re not 9-5ers or even Monday-Fridayers.  We needed a getaway…badly.

We started looking in to spending a few days in Traverse City and found a pretty good deal on a couple of nights at Great Wolf Lodge.  We knew L would love the water park and it put us in a position to seek out some of the great breweries Up North we’ve never been to.

We left Kalamazoo early on a Wednesday morning and headed straight for Bellaire, MI.  There’s not a whole lot in the town.  It’s a nice, quaint little dot on the map, but it’s not the kind of place you seek out on a three and a half hour car ride…unless, that is, you’re looking for delicious beer.

Short’s Brewing Company is in downtown Bellaire on North Bridge Street not too far south of the Cedar River that runs through downtown.  The pub takes up two storefronts in what used to be an old hardware store.  It looks like you can enter from either.  The first one we walked in to is the bar area.  There’s a nice large bar with 20 taps.  Short’s always has a huge beer list and I can never clear enough space on my shelf to try everything they bottle, so it was nice to get to sample some fresh from the source.   Read more…

Brewster’s Fine Foods & Spirits of Three Rivers

September 15, 2014
  • Brewster's601 W. Hoffman Street
  • Three Rivers, MI 49093
  • (269) 279-9800
  • Website
  • Menu

It’s been four years since I’ve had a Saturday off that I haven’t used a vacation day for.  That always made it really hard for my family to get together.  My mom would use vacation days on Monday to come up for a Sunday-Monday visit or I would have to use vacation days on Friday and/or Saturday so we could head to their house.  Now that I have Saturday’s off like a normal person, it makes traveling better for everyone.

My parents came up this past Saturday morning for a visit with their granddaughter.  It just so happened that my dad’s cousin with the lake house in Three Rivers was also in Michigan this week.  We spent the morning at the Farmers’ Market and ate lunch at University Roadhouse before heading home to play with Play-Doh and take a nap.

When nap time was over, we all loaded in to my parents van (which L looooooves because she can watch Frozen on their DVD player), and headed south towards Three Rivers to meet my dad’s cousin and part of her family for dinner.

I suggested we meet at Brewster’s.  I have eaten at the Paw Paw and Kalamazoo locations with good luck and J had actually been to the Three Rivers location once with her parents while I was at work.

We timed it out pretty well and we both pulled in to the parking lot around 6.  The restaurant is a little deceiving when you look at it from the outside.  The parking lot entrance is off Hoffman Street and the building is visible from the US-131 Business Route.  It sort of backs up to the large factory and is kind of hidden in some brush.  What you don’t realize until you get in is that the restaurant has a pretty great view overlooking the Rocky River.  There is a great patio on the banks of the river and most of the dining room looks over the landscape via large windows. Read more…

Kazoopy’s Pizza & Grinders

September 15, 2014
  • Kazoopy's Pizza & Grinders8441 W. Main Street
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49009
  • (269) 375-0120
  • Website
  • Menu

Daddy’s making dinner.  Hand me the phone!

Ok, usually, I’m the one that cooks and I’m actually a pretty decent cook, but on Friday nights, it just seems like the right night for pizza.

J left L and I at home while she headed across town for a hair cut appointment.  It was pretty late in the afternoon and I knew I was going to have to feed L before she got home.

Earlier in the day, we were going to try to take advantage of Blaze Pizza’s free pizza giveaway, but the line was out the door and all the way down Check ‘n Go.  We said, “screw that” and went to Nisker’s instead.  L really wanted pizza though and I promised her we would get pizza for dinner.

For a couple weeks now, I’ve been wanting to order from Kazoopy’s Pizza and Grinders in Oshtemo.  J really likes Cottage Inn and the ease of ordering and delivery, so she’s always talked me back in to that.  I didn’t really mind going to pick the pizza up myself (I think we’re outside of the delivery area) and L likes car rides with daddy anyway.

Kazoopy’s Pizza & Grinders is a familiar name to Kalamazoo, but they are in a new spot.  The last incarnation of the pizza joint was in Mattawan but that closed down some time ago and is now a different pizza place.  This new Kazoopy’s opened up inside the Dougherty’s Corners Market which used to have it’s own pizza and grinder shop attached to the party store.

The space is strictly carry-out and delivery as there is no place to sit and eat.  To get to the restaurant, you have to walk through the market.  It’s easy to spot with a large “Kazoopy’s” sign hanging from the ceiling. Read more…

Blaze Pizza – Oshtemo

September 12, 2014
  • Blaze Pizza5015 W. Main Street
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49009
  • (269) 254-8081
  • Website
  • Menu

Some people are just better than others when it comes to marketing….especially in today’s digital world where word of mouth is amped up to 11 with the help of social media.

For a few weeks now, I’ve been seeing signs of a new pizza place coming in to the West Century Center on West Main and Drake in Oshtemo Township.  A couple of weeks ago, I opened up my email to see a note from this new pizza joint.  They had found this blog and offered to send me a couple of coupons for a free pizza.  It’s not something that happens often with this blog nor is it something I expect.  I was going to stop in on opening day regardless just because the concept sounded like something that we were going to love.

Blaze Pizza’s first Michigan location outside of Metro Detroit opened Thursday in the corner space of the West Century Center where a Verizon store was before the big remodel.  Before I started seeing signs for the restaurant, I had never heard the name Blaze Pizza before.  They’re a fairly new chain concept getting started only a couple of years ago and they have some big name backers from the West Coast….including the founder who is also the founder of Wetzel’s Pretzels. Read more…

East Egg – Milwood

September 8, 2014
  • East Egg2814 Portage Road
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49001
  • (269) 459-9009
  • Website
  • Menu

For more than a few years now, I’ve had a pretty awful schedule.  I worked Friday and Saturday nights and had Sunday and Monday off.  After four and a half years, that finally changed.  Now, I have Friday and Saturday off and don’t go in until 2:00 on Sunday.  J, L, and I finally have some time to be a family.

After a great weekend that included knocking some things off my to-do list, a trip to the Allegan County Fair, and a late night grilling session, J let me sleep in a little on Sunday morning, but wanted to go to breakfast when I got up.

There are a number of new breakfast places opening in the area.  One just opened yesterday so I didn’t want to try to get in yet, one is opening soon, and another opened recently, but I’m not sure when.

The recently opened one is yet another East Egg.  This new location took over an old Wendy’s on Portage Road in the Milwood Neighborhood.  I noticed a while ago that they were moving in, but was unsure if it was open yet.  I mentioned it to J and she said she drove by the other day.  There were “Now Open” signs proudly displayed then.

This location of East Egg is a little different from all the other locations.  It is still very obvious what this building used to be.  From the outside, it looks like a Wendy’s and inside, it still retains some of the look of a fast food restaurant.  It’s not a fast food restaurant however and the food is much better.   While many of the other restaurants are in more heavy commercial settings, this one is tucked nicely into the neighborhood on a very busy street. Read more…

Dark Horse Brewing Company

August 26, 2014
  • Dark Horse Brewing Company511 S. Kalamazoo Avenue
  • Marshall, MI 49068
  • (269) 781-9940
  • Website
  • Menu

Odd day off.  Both J and I had this random Tuesday off.  Both of us worked on Sunday.  I asked for today off so I could keep my days off together.  J was just told she had today off after working two days this week because they are short staffed due to vacations at her job and Tuesday was the day they could afford to lose her this week.

J’s mom was also in town so we decided we needed to get out of the house.  We were a little scared of the weather being either rainy or uncomfortably humid, but we talked ourselves in to taking another trip to Binder Park Zoo.  L loves the giraffes and the slide in the Children’s Zoo, and since we’re members, it’s free for the three of us, so we only had to pay for NaNa to get in.

The weather cooperated and we spent a couple hours walking around the zoo.  As we were walking out, J asked if I wanted to go to Dark Horse.  It’s been several years since we had been there and her mom never has.  She has also been watching Dark Horse Nation on History and wanted to check out the brewery for herself.

Dark Horse Brewing Company is on Kalamazoo Street just south of Downtown Marshall.  It’s a little complex of buildings that include the brewery, taproom, a general store, and a bike shop.  The taproom is a long, building on the south side of the parking lot.  It’s been almost five years since we’ve been there.  We stopped in one a trip from Lansing to Kalamazoo when we were moving and from what we remember, it looks like a lot has changed in those five years.   Read more…

Smoke~N~Buns

August 25, 2014
  • Smoke~N~Buns5118 W. D Avenue
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49009
  • (269) 383-4424
  • No Known Website
  • Menu

I love it when I find great places inside of gas stations.  For several months, I have stopped at the Ridderman Oil and noticed some kind of counter that popped up quite a while ago.  I usually just grab a Pepsi up front and have never gone back to see what is actually there.

This past week, I saw a sign out front that the special for the day was a dollar off a pulled pork sandwich.  I love pulled pork sandwiches, so I walked back to the back of the gas station to see what this deli was all about.

The deli is a small counter tucked in to a space near the back portion of the store.  The menu is pretty simple consisting of sandwiches and sides that are easy to eat on the go.

When I walked back there, a lady in front of me had just ordered a salad.  The lone employee told me to pick up a menu and he’d be with me in a minute.  It took an awfully long time to make the salad, but there was a really good reason for it.  He was pretty much chopping everything fresh for the salad.  Nothing was pre-made.  He was chopping tomatoes and chatting with the lady whom he seemed to know.   Read more…

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