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Burgers and Beer Bar & Grill

May 25, 2015
  • 756 W. Jeffery Street
  • Kankakee, IL 60901
  • (815) 523-7144
  • Website
  • Menu

Burgers and beer.  Seriously, could a place be more perfect for me?  If I played that stupid game where I was stranded on a dessert island and I had to choose a limited amount of things to take with me, burgers and beer would be two of those things.

We weren’t planning on making a trip to the Chicago area this past weekend, but my brother needed to bail on a trip he had scheduled with my dad.  They had tickets for the White Sox game on Saturday and a series of events made it difficult for my brother to keep his commitment.  Not wanting to disappoint my dad, he called and asked if I would go with him instead….and it’s hard for me to turn down free baseball.

The night before, my mom asked if we’d come to their house for a little bit.  It’s easier for us to stay at J’s parents because they’re in the Chicago suburbs and therefore, closer to Kalamazoo.  My parents live about another hour or so south, so we don’t get there as much as anyone would like us to.

When J got off work at noon on Friday, we packed up the car and headed south.  We got to my parents fairly early in the afternoon, so J took a nap while L and I went to the park with my parents.  We let J sleep a little while longer after we got back, but then it started creeping towards dinner time and L and I were getting hungry.

My aunt had given me a gift card for Burgers & Beer in Kankakee for Christmas.  We don’t get back that way often anymore, so I had still had it in my wallet.  I asked if that’s where everyone wanted to go for dinner and no one objected.

Burgers & Beer is kind of an oddity in the Kankakee area.  The places I grew up were not and still aren’t really craft beer minded.  They prefer their 30 pack of Busch Light and drinking a Budweiser is what separates the boys from the men.  Burgers & Beer is trying to break that mold and so far, is succeeding where other places haven’t.

The unassuming restaurant on Kankakee’s south side looks more like a warehouse than a dining establishment.  It’s a large Morton type building with no windows. It actually used to be a VFW Hall.  From the outside, it looks awfully big, but once you get inside the actual dining room, you’ll see looks can be deceiving.

My brother and aunt decided to join the five of us for dinner, so our total party was seven.  We got there about 30 seconds too late.  There were two tables open that could have been pushed together when we got there, but one of those tables was being seated as we walked to the hostess stand.  It turned out, we had to wait about 35 minutes for two more tables to open up together so we could all be seated together. Read more…

Spanky’s Pizza – Ludington

May 24, 2015
  • 5784 US-10
  • Ludington, MI 49431
  • (231) 843-7499
  • Website
  • Menu

I hate trips to Ludington.  Not because I don’t Ludington.  It’s actually a really nice town with a great waterfront.  It’s just so darn far away…..even from Grand Rapids where I’m stationed for work.

Early last week a co-worker and I got sent to Ludington for an assignment.  The actual assignment didn’t take long at all.  The drive there and back seemed to take forever.

Before leaving town, we wanted to grab something to eat.  We didn’t have time to sit down and we didn’t really want fast food either.  On our way in to town, we drove past a pizza place.  I suggested we just head there and see if they have sandwiches….or, just get a pizza.

Spanky’s Pizza is on US-10 just to the east of Ludington proper.  It’s still in a highly commercialized area between US-31 and the City of Ludington.

We really didn’t think we were going to order a pizza when we walked in to the small restaurant.  There’s an order counter right as you enter and a small dining room just past the waiting area.  We both grabbed a menu off the counter and started looking it over.  They do actually have subs, but as we were looking at the menu, the lady behind the counter filled us in on the specials.  One of which was a buy one, get one for a dollar deal on pizzas.  Money really isn’t an issue when we’re burning company dollars, but the pizza did look good, so we both decided to do that.   Read more…

Maggie’s Cafe & Catering

May 22, 2015
  • 3290 Stadium Drive
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49008
  • (269) 226-9913
  • Website
  • Menu

When we first moved to town six years ago, one of the first breakfast places people really recommended was Maggie’s Campus Cafe.  It took a few months, but we finally made it one Sunday morning and joined the hungover college crowd for delicious, hearty breakfast food.

That location closed due to a dispute with the property own and it’s now Breakfast at Tiffiny’s.

It’s taken a better part of five years, but Maggie’s is back.  The new Maggie’s Cafe & Kitchen is on Stadium Drive where Lenny’s Sub Shop used to be in the Stadium Shoppes development.

The first thing we noticed about the Maggie’s is that it’s small.  A good portion of the building is taken up by the kitchen which wasn’t needed in the old sub shop.  The tables are packed in pretty tightly and there’s not many of them.

We were lucky enough to find one table open on a Sunday just before noon.  We sat down and a waitress brought over menus and got us drinks.  J and I were still in breakfast mode, but L had already moved on to lunch.  Both menus were available, so everyone got what they wanted. Read more…

Territorial Brewing Company

May 17, 2015
  • Territorial Brewing Company256 Helmer Road North
  • Springfield, MI 49037
  • (269) 282-1694
  • Website
  • Menu

One of our favorite things to do with L in the summer is go to zoo’s.  The summer after she was born, we signed up for a membership at Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek.  In addition to the multiple trips there every summer, our membership gets us half off at a number of zoos around the country.

We hadn’t been able to get over to the zoo yet this year and all three of  us were missing the giraffes.  I only had one day off last week and I had a lot to fit in to that one day, but when J said, “Let’s go to the zoo” there was no way I could say no.

After a couple of hours of doing all of L’s favorite things, we were ready to head home.  I asked J if she wanted to pick up a pizza or stop at a brewery for dinner.  She picked brewery.  Man, I love her.

We made the short trip back to Springfield where Territorial Brewing Company has set up shop across the street from the WMU College of Aviation and the W.K. Kellogg Airport.

The brewery took over the building that used to be Bill’s Pizza Factory on Helmer Road at 6th Avenue.  I was never in Bill’s, but I’m guessing they had to do some work to turn it in to a German pub.

The small dining room and small bar were both pretty full when we dropped in just before 5:00 on a Friday night.  We were met by a waiter who took us to a table and left drink and food menus.

I wanted to stop to check out the beer and what better way to do that than to order a flight.  Most of the beers are of German inspiration so there’s no IPA’s or Pale Ale’s on the menu right now.   Read more…

Angelo’s Italian Eatery – Texas Corners

May 16, 2015
  • Angelo's Italian Eatery - Texas Corners6997 W. Q Avenue
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49009
  • (269) 312-8000
  • Website
  • Menu

It’s not often that I get to spend my entire shift in Kalamazoo.  I end up in Kalamazoo a lot, but most of the time, I still have to go to Grand Rapids to pick up equipment and a co-worker.  This time, I had everything I needed already at home and the co-worker just met me.

We spent the day in Portage not too far from Texas Township.  At dinner time, C.W. was very adamant that he was hungry and we needed an actual break.  We still didn’t have time for a meal at a full service, sit-down restaurant, but my goal was to find a place we could have a hearty, delicious meal and actually take a little time to enjoy it.

We weren’t too far away from Texas Corners and as much as I would have loved to have taken him to Texas Corners Brewing, we didn’t have that much time.  Instead, grinders sounded good to me and he had no idea what a grinder was, so I took the opportunity to teach him about delicious sandwiches.

Angelo’s Italian Eatery opened up their third location in the former Asiago Bakery and Deli in the small strip mall on the corner of Q Avenue and 8th Street in Texas Township.  They didn’t really change anything when they moved in.  The layout is the same and like their Ravine Road location, they have an ice cream counter for a sweet treat if you have any room left.

The only odd thing about the space was they didn’t have a menu above the counter.  I didn’t need one.  I’ve eaten at Angelo’s different locations (RavinePortage), so I put in my typical order of a 16″ Pizza Grinder.  Since we were eating in, I also added a Pepsi which brought my total to just under $10. Read more…

Texas Corners Brewing Company

May 16, 2015
  • Texas Corners Brewing Company6970 Texas Drive
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49009
  • (269) 870-7724
  • Website
  • Menu

Have I mentioned how much I love the brewery scene in Kalamazoo.  What’s that?  I have?  Good.  Now I’m going to tell you again.  I freakin’ love the brewery scene in Kalamazoo.  So many great breweries and more popping up all the time.

The newest addition is Texas Corners Brewing Company.  As the name implies, the brewery is in Texas corners, on Texas Drive, near the corner of Q Avenue and 8th Street.

It’s really hard to miss as you pull in to the business center of Texas Township.  The brewery took up residence in t-51 he old church on the corner of Texas Drive and 8th Street.

J and I had been wanting to stop in for dinner for quite some time, but we’ve been so busy recently, we couldn’t find time.  Last week, J’s mom came to visit and she really the enjoys craft beer scene in Michigan, so we thought this would be a great time to finally check out this new hot spot.

We pulled in to the parking lot at 5:30 on Friday night.  We hadn’t planned on going so late, but other things came up, so by the time we decided to go to dinner, it was after 5:00.  There were a few spots in the parking lot, but once we walked up the steps and could see in to the brewery, we knew there was going to be a wait.

We ended up waiting a little over 35 minutes for a table.  There’s really not a waiting room, so I took L back outside so she wasn’t running in to people waiting in the little hallway connecting the door with the dining room.   Read more…

Pizza King of Galesburg

May 6, 2015
  • 92 E. Michigan Avenue
  • Galesburg, MI 49053
  • (269) 665-4244
  • Website
  • Menu

I don’t end up in Galesburg too often, but a co-worker and I spent a significant amount of time there not too long ago.  It was kind of a relaxed day of work with not much going on, but we were stuck in town waiting something out.

When dinner time rolled around, neither of us really knew what to do.  Most of my Galesburg dining experiences are at the McDonalds out by the Interstate.  Yeah…didn’t want McDonalds, but we were pretty close to a pizza joint.  Pizza sounded good.

Pizza King of Galesburg is on Michigan Avenue just to the east of the main downtown intersection.  It shares a building with an Auto Value store and shares it’s space with a small ice cream shop called Frostee Queen.

I could have just walked in and placed my order, but I found a menu online, so I took the lazy route and called the order in from the parking lot.  C.W. wasn’t super hungry, so I went with what I wanted and offered him a couple slices.  He’d just have to eat whatever I got.

I ordered a large Extra Thin crust with pepperoni and ground beef.  They actually have four crust options, but thin crust is always my preferred choice.  There was nothing too out of the ordinary on the toppings list and I went for ground beef instead of my usual bacon. Read more…

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