We didn’t plan on going to breakfast this morning. J let me sleep in a little bit and we had leftover BBQ from the night before so that was the plan for lunch. While I was playing with L, I got the idea just to go grab something real quick.
My plan was to check out Station 702. This new, fast-casual breakfast/lunch place just opened in what I feel is a pretty unlikely place. With the help of a Community Development Block Grant, they turned an old, run down building in the Northside Neighborhood into a bright, welcoming space at the intersection of North and Douglas. If you saw this place beforehand, you would have a hard time believing it’s the same building. In a previous life, it was the popular Dips Soul Food restaurant…now, it’s a hip, fast casual breakfast spot that focuses on omelets.
We walked in just before noon on a Sunday. We actually questioned if it was open as we were pulling in the parking lot. There were no other cars, but the “open” sign was lit, so we headed inside.
Station 702 uses the term fast casual because they don’t do table service. There is an order counter that gives you a glimpse in to the small kitchen behind it. They serve breakfast all day and start lunch service at 11:00. We had the opportunity to order of either menu, but chose the breakfast because…well, it’s Sunday.
I surprised J…and even myself a little bit, and ordered The Station Hash. The plate is a sauteed medley of potatoes, topped with scrambled eggs, cheese, and choice of meat (I chose bacon). There were too many kinds of potatoes for me to pick out which ones they were, but I stuck to the smaller, more cooked pieces. There were big pieces of sweet potatoes on my plate and I really don’t like sweet potatoes, but it was easy to pick around. J actually took a few of those for herself. The dish came with choice of side and I took the pancake. It was a small, golden brown pancake that was delicious with or without the provided butter and syrup. Read more…
- 1301 S. Pennsylvania Avenue
- Lansing, MI 48912
- (517) 483-4222
More zoo’s. I think we’ve figured out that we have to been to 10 zoo’s in the last 18 months. I love. J loves it. L loves it. So I don’t feel bad about checking out as many different zoos as possible.
We had to make a trip over to the Lansing area to drop off an antique chair for my mom. She was having a hard time finding someone in Illinois to repair it, but she found someone in Holt. She asked if we could take it over for her one day. I was going to to do it one morning when it was just L and I, but J mentioned something about going to the zoo, so I waited until Friday. That’s my day off, so when J got home from work at 12:30, we loaded up the chair and L then headed off to Lansing.
The Potter Park Zoo is in Potter Park just south of downtown Lansing on Pennsylvania Avenue. J and I have actually been there a couple times. When we lived in Lansing, we always took advantage of the awesome “Be a Tourist In Your Own Town” put on by the Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau. This awesome event allows you to buy a passport for $1 then get in free to a number of different attractions around the area. This was the first time, obviously, that we have taken L though.
Like I mentioned in the previous paragraph, the zoo is part of Potter Park which is operated by Ingham County. Unfortunately, they charge you to park in this park which means even though you’re going to pay admission to the zoo, you still have to pay to park. The fee for a non-Ingham County resident is $5. Not a big deal, but is just another expense even though you still have to pay to get in to the zoo.
Once we paid, we made our way to the back of the park to find the zoo. Potter Park Zoo is the oldest public zoo in the state of Michigan. It opened in 1920 after being moved from a different park in the city of Lansing. The zoo is neatly tucked in to the park surroundings and makes use of the natural trees and landscapes to blend in the animal exhibits. Read more…
- 8765 Goldenrod Avenue
- Bitely, MI 49309
- (231) 745-3754
- No Known Website
- No Online Menu
Usually I’m the guy that comes up with interesting places to eat while on trips with co-workers. Last night, it was my co-worker who knew exactly where we were heading in northwestern Newaygo County and talked excessively about a bar that he found with a different co-worker a few years ago.
That bar is Woody’s Bar & Grill in the area near Bitely in Newaygo County known as Woodland Park. It’s right off of 11 Mile Road on a small road known as Goldenrod.
The bar is a classic country bar. It’s the place all the locals go and when my co-worker started asking people about it, they told us again and again that we had to go to Woody’s for dinner.
We pulled in to the gravel parking lot just before 6:00 on a Thursday night and a number of regulars were already stopping in for a drink after work and a bite to eat. We were greeted by an enthusiastic bartender when we walked in and told to sit wherever. I started towards a booth, but my co-worker started making a big deal out of the women’s bathroom and asked the bartender if I could take a peak in. That sounds odd, but the tank of the toilet is a fish tank. It’s actually pretty cool although I did feel a little odd walking in to the women’s bathroom just to see the toilet.
After our little excursion to the bathroom, we headed back to a booth and sat down. The bartender followed us with menus and we both ordered Coke’s to drink since we were on the clock. Read more…
Usually when it comes to gluttonous restaurants, I’m on top of things, but J found one that I must have glanced over.
We were spending a few days at J’s parents house and after a long day in the city, we didn’t really have any ideas for dinner. While lounging on the couch, J remembered a newer restaurant not too far away that that had menu right up my ally.
Fatso’s has two locations in the Chicago suburbs and both are pretty close to where J lives. The original location is on 95th Street in Oak Lawn in what appears to be an old Checker’s. For some reason, we have never been to this one. I don’t think we knew what it was about until the second location opened up in Alsip on 111th Street near Cicero.
Fatso’s is mostly a carry-out place, but they do have a few tables in this new location. It’s in a strip mall wedged between a Mexican restaurant and a nail salon. The space used to be a pizza joint before turning into this haven of oversized delicious foods.
The menu is pretty standard for a take out sandwich place. There are number of options, but it’s their big items that make this place stand out. J and I both went to opposite ends of the spectrum on the big item part of the menu. Read more…
A couple of hours walking around the zoo is enough to work up an appetite. We had already been at Lincoln Park Zoo for a little over an hour when everyone started asking about lunch. J asked if there was anything we could walk to, but it’s a little bit of a walk through Lincoln Park to get to any restaurants outside the zoo, so we just took advantage of the restaurants inside the zoo to quiet the rumbling stomachs.
We made our way back to Park Place Cafe for a potty break and after J took L, she came back out to the patio where her step-dad I were waiting. J said they had a decent looking food court and she was hungry, so we followed her back inside to grab a quick bite to eat before finishing our zoo journey.
The Park Place Cafe is in the middle of Lincoln Park Zoo which itself is in the middle of Chicago’s Lincoln Park. The zoo is free so this is a place you could stop in for lunch whether you’re wandering around the zoo or not. Heck, if you’re just in the park or at the nearby beach you could wander over for something to eat.
The Park Place Cafe is actually the zoo’s old Reptile House. It’s a large stone building with an open floor plan. One one side is a cafeteria style food court and the other side is the dining room. Read more…
- 2001 N. Clark Street
- Chicago, IL 60614
- (312) 742-2000
We really have an affinity for zoos. All three of us love spending a day at the zoo and we’ve done it several times already this summer.
This past weekend, J needed to go home for an event at Skydeck Chicago. L and I tagged along and we were joined by J’s parents. After we had some fun on The Ledge, we decided to continue our tourist look at the town by heading out to Lincoln Park.
The Lincoln Park Zoo is Chicago’s free zoo. It’s also one of the oldest in the United States with a founding date in the 1860’s. The first animals were a pair of swans from Central Park’s Board of Commissioners.
While there’s no admission fee to the zoo, there is a parking fee if you’re traveling by car as we were. The entrance to the parking lot is on the north side of the zoo off of Fullerton Parkway. It’s not a one admission for all approach either. Like all parking in Chicago, how much you pay depends on how long you stay. You take a ticket when entering the lot and pay an attendant on the way out. We were there a little over two hours which falls in the range for a $25 dollar parking day.
There are actually several entrances to the zoo because, again, it’s free, so they just open up the gates and let you wander in and out from the park. It’s not uncommon to see joggers make the zoo part of their path and if you take public transportation or find a spot to park outside of the park, you can enter from many different places. Read more…
- 233 S. Wacker Drive
- Chicago, IL 60606
- (312) 875-9447
Being a tourist in Chicago is always a little weird…but at the same time, I’ve missed out on some neat things just because I’ve always thought of them as touristy things.
After spending a few days in Traverse City, we made the long drive back to Chicago for a few more days of vacation. It’s hard to explain why we had to go to Chicago without being to specific, so you’ll just have to take my word that there was a reason that J needed to be at the top of the Willis Tower at 9 AM.
As for L and I, we decided to tag along. J parents joined us because, even though they have lived in Chicago their whole lives, they had never been to the Willis Tower either.
Skydeck Chicago is the tourist part of the Willis Tower (or as most people still know it, the Sears Tower). It’s the part of the building that has those really cool ledges that let you hang over traffic 103 stories above the street.
The Willis Tower is located on South Wacker drive, but the entrance to Skydeck is on Jackson Boulevard between Wacker and Franklin. Make sure you go in the big glass entrance on Jackson. If you try to go in to the Willis Tower, they will kick you unless you have business there. Read more…