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Flat Lander’s Barstillery

July 26, 2014
  • 855 Michigan Street NE
  • Grand Rapids, MI 49503
  • (616) 259-9700
  • Website
  • Menu

I always feel sorry for co-workers who don’t normally work Friday nights get stuck working with me on Friday nights.  I’m used to having no social life and plucking away while the rest of the country is gearing up for the weekend.

This past Friday, I had a co-worker who switched at the last minute with my regular nightside partner out of the sheer goodness of her heart.  He had been invited to a wedding last minute so she stepped up and switched shifts with her so he could go.

It was a pretty easy night and we got to a stalled point in the evening.  I asked if she wanted to find something for dinner.  Normally at work, we pick up fast food or find a quick sit down place, but we had some time and I knew she was in a bad mood because she was stuck at work on a Friday night, so I suggested a nicer place that I’ve been wanting to try.

I chose Flat Lander’s Barstillery on Michigan Avenue just east of of Eastern Avenue.  It’s in a new mixed use development.  I first heard about the place about a month when I saw it as a new addition on Urbanspoon.  I pointed it out to J, but we don’t really take a lot of trips to Grand Rapids and when we do, it’s always with a toddler.

The bar is on the corner of the strip mall.  There’s a large parking lot in front and off to the side of the building plus it’s right on a bus line.  When we pulled up, I noticed the patio was full and I thought we might be out of luck.  We had time to eat, but we didn’t have time to wait for a table.

The space inside Flat Lander’s is awesome.  It’s a multi-level lay out with a very whiskey cellar like feel to it.  There is a small ball when you first walk in to the place and there are different dining spaces on three different levels in the space surrounding the bar. Read more…

The Hot Dog Shack

July 22, 2014
  • The Hot Dog Shack105 E. Monroe Street
  • Bangor, MI 49013
  • (269) 302-0274
  • Website
  • Menu

Is there anything better than a summer day at the beach?  I love living within an hour of a great beach in South Haven.  For reasons beyond our control, we just haven’t been able to make it over this year as much as we’d like to.

This past weekend, we were finally able to get to South Beach for an afternoon.  We got there a little before noon and swam and played in the sand for almost two hours before L started to get exhausted.  To get her back to the car, we promised her we’d stop and get ice cream on the way home.  We were going to do so in South Haven, but downtown is too far to walk with an overly tired toddler and parking on a busy weekend isn’t very easy either.

Instead, we started heading back towards Kalamazoo.  On the way too the beach, we passed a place in Bangor that advertised ice cream and hamburgers….something for everyone.

The Hot Dog Shack has been open about six months on the east side of Bangor.  I always remembered seeing the place as a Mexican restaurant called El Palenque.  We never stopped there, but it always stood out as a large red pole building just on the edge of town.

Surprisingly, L stayed awake for the drive back to Bangor, so we lived up to our promise and stopped in for ice cream.  I hadn’t eaten lunch yet because we stopped at McDonalds in Bangor on the way to the beach to get something little for L so she wouldn’t be going to the beach hungry.  I’m somewhat forced to eat fast food a lot during the week at work, so I passed and just went hungry until we could get someplace better.   Read more…

Paisano’s Bar & Grill

July 20, 2014
  • Paisanos Bar & Grill16 N.  Main Street
  • Three Rivers, MI 49093
  • (269) 278-8525
  • Website
  • Menu

J and I can never go anywhere without finding a place to eat.  We took a late morning trip to Three Rivers to check out the Scidmore Park Petting Zoo.  We spent 45 minutes or so there before we needed to grab lunch and head home.

On our way to the park, we drove through downtown Three Rivers and there were a couple places that jumped out.  J noticed Paisano’s Bar and Grill.  I mentioned that I had heard good things about it, so J said we should stop there for lunch on our way home.

Paisano’s is on Main Street in downtown Three Rivers just to the north of Michigan Avenue.  It takes up a couple of store fronts in the old row building downtown.  We found a parking spot on the street on the other side of the road just because we were heading that way.  On a Saturday afternoon, there is plenty of parking near your destination.

The bar is separated in to several spaces.  When you walk in, there is a small dining room.  That’s where we chose to sit.  There’s also a large, open bar area with pool tables, dart boards and a huge space that could be used for live bands.

The three of us took a seat in a large booth near the kitchen.  A waitress popped her head out and saw we had sat down, so she brought us menus.  A different waitress came over a few minutes later to get drink orders.  They have a decent beer selection, but I stock to a pop and ordered a Coke while J got a Sprite. Read more…

Scidmore Park Petting Zoo

July 20, 2014
  • Scidmore Park Petting Zoo140 W. Michigan Avenue
  • Three Rivers, MI 49003
  • (269) 273-1845
  • Website

A few years ago, someone told us about a free petting zoo in Three Rivers.  The annoying thing we found is that there is almost no info about this place online.  Whenever I did a search, I’d come with stuff from 2010 and newspaper articles talking about the zoo falling on hard times.

Earlier this month, I somehow stumbled on Facebook page for the Friends of Scidmore Park Petting Zoo.  At least I knew it was still open, but again, there was very little information and no information on when it was open.

We really wanted to check this place out with L, so I put a  message on their Facebook wall and got an answer pretty quickly. The good news was that it was open Saturday and Sunday from 10AM to 5 PM.

Three Rivers isn’t all that far from Kalamazoo, so heading down there before I had to go to work on a Saturday wasn’t going to be an issue.  J woke me and we got out of the house by a little before 11:00.

We arrived at the large park on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Spring Street just to the west of downtown.  We found a little parking lot off of Spring Street which is situated between the petting zoo and a really nice playground that we let L climb on for a while before we left. Read more…

Boardwalk Subs – Wyoming

July 20, 2014
  • Boardwalk Subs - Wyoming901 Gezon Parkway SW
  • Wyoming, MI 49509
  • (616) 724-2492
  • Website
  • Menu

I hate getting dinner for co-workers.  I do my best to sneak out at dinner time.  It’s because I’m a jerk..well, maybe a little, but I just hate the hassle.  Multiple credit cards, only having a $20, odd requests…I just freakin hate it.

The other night, I had to run an errand on my dinner break and a co-worker knew it.  He was insistent that I pick him up dinner.  I did everything I could to be nice about it, but he just wouldn’t let it go.  I finally just got blunt.  He still didn’t care.  After I left, I got bombarded with text messages telling me what he wanted from a place I wasn’t even sure I was in the mood for.  I finally relented and just did it to shut him up.

My travels took me out to the Menards in Wyoming.  Near the intersection of Clyde Park and Gezon Parkway is a little sub shop.  That’s what C.W. was asking for so after I made my quick stop at Menards, I headed through the Target parking lot to cross Gezon.

Boardwalk Subs isn’t new to me.  I’ve eaten at the Standale location several times and really like the place.  It’s similar, although not the same as Jersey Giant Subs.  I didn’t realize there was one in Wyoming though so when C.W. started talking about it, I thought he was going to make me go to Byron Center.  I was a little less annoyed when I saw that I was actually going to be close to one. Read more…

Taqueria San Francisco

July 17, 2014
  • Taqueria San Francisco691 Capital Avenue SW
  • Battle Creek, MI 49015
  • (269) 660-0616
  • Website
  • Menu

You know that old saying “When it rains, it pours”?  Yeah….that’s been my week.

Our roof has been leaking for a while and we are just finally getting someone to fix it.  I’ve tried a lot of different things to stop the leak, but I’m really not that handy, so it took my fifth or six try, a week before the roofers were finally coming before I got it right.

On Saturday, I wanted to get my lawn mowed, so once I got up, I headed outside to tackle the lawn before I went to work.  I opened the shed door to get the lawnmower and out ran a chipmunk.  I didn’t think much of it until I pulled the cord to start the mower and it was running really rough.  I thought maybe if I just let it run, it would work itself out, but a few steps in, it died on me and I couldn’t get it started again.  As I just explained, I’m not handy, so we loaded the mower in to the back of my truck for a trip to Battle Creek.

I always seem to have pretty good luck when I deal with the Battle Creek Sears store and since my mower is a Craftsman, I wanted to bring it back there to get it fixed.  J and L decided to take the road trip with me with the intention of stopping somewhere for lunch.

As we were were leaving Sears, I asked L what she wanted to eat.  She emphatically yelled out “Quesadilla.”  J’s first thought was Nina’s Taqueria, but, of course, I had another place I wanted to try.

Taqueria San Francisco is near the corner of Capital and Columbia on Columbia a block or so north of the intersection.  It’s a small building along a busy street that shares a parking lot with an office building next door.   Read more…

The Lunch Box

July 15, 2014
  • The Lunch Box232 E. Bard Road
  • Muskegon, MI 49445
  • (231) 766-0483
  • Website
  • Menu

In my line of work, sometimes you go without a dinner break, sometimes you get lucky and find a gas station with a sub shop.  Luckily for a co-worker and me, we found the latter the other night.

We were stuck out in the middle of nowhere in Muskegon County with no chance for a break where we could go find someplace to eat.  On our drive, we passed a gas station near the US 31 Exit at the Russell Road exit which is somehow still a Muskegon address.  We did have time to make the 10 minutes trek back that way.  We both needed to find a bathroom and at the very least, grab something to drink and a bag of chips.

I went inside the McCormick Food & Gas on Bard Road, I noticed a little hallway which led in to another room.  A sign on the door said “The Lunch Box.”  I had no idea what that was, but after grabbing my Pepsi, I headed back down the hall to see what was there.

The Lunch Box is a small “build your own” sub shop attached to the gas station.  They’ve only been open a couple weeks, so we got real lucky.  We were both resigned to a big bag of chips being dinner, so I don’t think it really mattered what kind of sandwiches we were about to get, it was going to be better than our other options.   Read more…

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