Most of the time when we are traveling, we start looking for breweries to eat at. I love beer, we both love good food, and breweries usually offer both of those.
We actually started our night at Purple Sage for a “Welcome to Town” reception thrown by the couple whose wedding we were in town for. A lot more people than they were expecting to show up showed up, so the small upstairs room where the reception was being held filled up quickly. We were able to get a couple of drinks and some appetizers before things go too crazy, but once the room filled up, it got pretty warm. We hadn’t eaten dinner yet and we had thought about just going downstairs and getting a table in the actual restaurant, but the menu was a little too fancy for us. Instead, we decided to walk up the hill a few blocks and find a brew pub.
Wasatch Brewery is Utah’s oldest brewery. They started brewing in 1986. That’s really impressive when you consider Utah’s strict liquor laws. Somehow, they were able to survive and thrive in an anti-alcohol climate just outside of Salt Lake City. Wasatch is pretty much single-handedly responsible for breweries and brew pubs being legal in the Industry State.
Wasatch has two brew pubs in the area. One of them is in the Sugar Hill Neighborhood of Salt Lake City while the original brew pub is on Main Street in downtown Park City.
We walked in to the Park City brew pub right around 8:00 on a Friday night. We noticed some people waiting outside, but it turns out they were just waiting for a seat on the patio. While the heat can be oppressive during the day in the area, at night, things cool down quite dramatically and outdoor dining as the sun goes down is preferable to most people. Read more…
When we started planning our trip to the Salt Lake City area, I told J there was one thing I wanted to do. I wanted to stop by what is probably Utah’s most well known brewery.
When I was planning, I wasn’t planning on the rehearsal dinner being Thursday night, so I wasn’t quite sure when I was going to get back in to Salt Lake, but with the dinner being Thursday just as we got to town, it meant J and I had all day to explore Salt Lake City on Friday.
The Annex by Epic Brewing opened just over a year ago in Salt Lake City’s Sugar House Neighborhood. The gastropub is in a pretty large and pretty upscale mixed use building along 2100 South Street. J and I were stopping in for lunch on a Friday morning just as the pub was opening so finding street parking along one of the side streets was no problem. During busier times, there is a parking lot behind the development that offers an alternative to finding a space on the street.
We walked up to the door just as the hostess was unlocking it. J and I were still on Eastern time, so to us, 11 AM felt more like 1 PM and we were hungry. We were both up somewhat early (again, due to the two hour time difference), so we decided just to head in to Salt Lake City and try to get to the pub as it was opening.
Being the first customers of the day, we had our choice when it came to seating. We opted to sit inside although they had a really nice patio out in front of the building. It was starting to get pretty warm out and while sitting outside would have been nice, it would have been a little too hot.
Our hostess showed us to a table overlooking some small fermentors in the front of the space which then looks out over the aforementioned patio. I grabbed the beer menu first and started forming my plan of attack. They had 35 to try and since we do have some access to Epic’s mainstays here in Michigan, I wanted to go after some stuff that would be a little harder to get.
Normally, I would just ask for a flight. I did that when the waitress came over and her reply was, “Utah’s liquor laws suck.” So no, I couldn’t get a flight. You are only allowed two 2oz. samplers at a time. Just for comparison, most breweries do flights of 5 oz samples,so that shows you how small a sample out there is. Also, they can’t put anything on tap over 8%, so every time I ordered something that was over that 8%, they’d have to pour it out of a bottle.
I figured I was just going to be a pain in the waitresses side and order two beers at a time then order two more once those were finished. Read more…
Just a heads up here. J and I took a week long trip out west, so the next several blog posts are going to be very, very far from Southwest Michigan….but we had such a great trip and found such amazing restaurants, I’m going to blog anyway….
It has been a really, really long time since J and I have had a vacation. I mean a real vacation. Our weekend trips around Michigan have been a blast the last few years, but some time away was really needed.
That time away came in the form of a wedding. J’s first job out of college was in Idaho Falls, ID and she met some amazing friends there and they’ve stayed in touch over the years. All three of them were in our wedding back in 2009. One of those ladies got married in the Salt Lake City area this past weekend and J, along with the other two women were asked to be bridesmaids.
We decided to just turn the trip out west in to a full on vacation. We spent three days in Park City for the wedding then moved on to Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho to see Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park.
We’ve known about this wedding for over a year and once a date was set back in January, I booked airfare. Stupid me, I assumed the rehearsal dinner would be on Friday night. Where I grew up, it always was because there wasn’t that much of a demand for wedding venues….and they were almost always churches. I booked the flight for late on Thursday afternoon because it was cheaper and a direct flight from O’Hare to Salt Lake City International.
Well, guess what. I was wrong. The rehearsal dinner was on Thursday and it was scheduled to start just 45 minutes after our flight was scheduled to land in Salt Lake City.
To my surprise, our flight was actually on time. Our Frontier jet pulled in to the terminal at SLC right on time. By the time we deplaned and headed down to baggage claim, the bags were starting to come out. I grabbed them both off the carousel and we headed across the street to pick up the rental car. That took about fifteen minutes and by the time we got loaded up and out of the parking garage, it was just a little after 6:45.
We had a forty minute drive to Park City where our hotel and the rehearsal dinner were. Lucky for us, the actual rehearsal at Blue Sky Ranch about thirty minutes east of Park City ran late, so we walked in to the restaurant during the middle of the first course. Read more…
Nights out are so rare. I’m not complaining. I love spending time with my 3-year-old, but Mommy and Daddy need some time alone every now and then.
J and I headed to Detroit for a function at Soundboard at the Motor City Casino and Hotel. We almost didn’t go because it’s hard to find a babysitter since we don’t have family in town and functions like these are expensive when you factor evening wear, but my Mom was insisting we go and helped us with some of the expense and, of course, the child care.
We got to Soundboard at about 6:00 for an event that started at 7:00. They had an hors D’oeuvre and cocktail hour with some pretty delicious selections, but as 10:00 rolled around, I was hungry again and wanted to take advantage of the fact we didn’t have to get home and get a toddler to bed.
A few months ago, I was in town with a co-worker to stop at Slow’s BBQ. I noticed a burger joint across the street and when I looked up the menu online, I almost wished we would have went there instead.
Mercury Burger Bar is on the corner of Michigan Avenue and 14th Street in Detroit’s Corktown Neighborhood. It is literally right across the street from Slow’s and right next to Roosevelt Park. Parking is a little interesting in this part of town. I’ve actually had friends who have had their cars broken in to while they were eating at Slow’s so there’s always some caution to take when parking. The businesses in the area have come up with somewhat of a solution to this problem with a guarded parking lot on 14th Street directly behind Mercury. It costs three dollars to park and there is always an attendant on duty to watch the cars.
I looked for street parking on Michigan Avenue in front of the bar, but when I didn’t see, I just went to the parking lot and paid the three bucks. It was good piece of mind for both of us.
Mercury Burger Bar has the 50’s diner feel to it when you walk in. There are a number of booths and tables with red leather backs and there’s a huge lunch counter in the middle over-looking the kitchen. All of those areas looked full when we walked in and being that it was after 10:00 at night, I didn’t want to find a new place. Luckily, they have a pretty awesome outdoor garden area with picnic tables and lawn furniture. It was a gorgeous night in “The D” so neither of us had any objections to sitting outside and enjoying the cool breeze that was blowing through the patio.
The menu is pretty heavy on burgers but offers many other things as well. I know there’s alcohol available, but there was no beer list on the table, and to be honest, I had already had a couple Griffinclaw Norm’s Raggedy Ass IPA’s at Soundboard, so I couldn’t drink anymore anyway. I had a Coke while J just stuck to water. Since we were outside, they were served in plastic cups. Cans of Faygo were also an option for that truly authentic Detroit experience and the whole picnic table behind us when that route. Read more…
- 1342 Grandville Avenue SW
- Grand Rapids, MI 49503
- (616) 452-1266
- No Known Website
Well, might as well make it all of the Tacos El Cunado in Grand Rapids. There was only one left that I haven’t been to and I just so happened to be in that area the other night. I wasn’t even planning on stopping for dinner, but I saw the brightly painted building just down the street from where I was and figured why the heck not.
The Grandville Avenue Tacos El Cunado is, obviously, on Grandville Avenue SW just before Grandville turns in to Chicago Drive in the City of Wyoming. The building is hard to miss. It’s a small shop painted bright green with a large, yellow “TACOS” sign on the roof. The building has a few tables in doors, but most people seem to sit on the covered patio next to the parking lot when the weather is nice.
It was getting pretty late in to my shift and I still had some work to do in the office, so I went inside to place an order to-go. Like the Burton Street location, this one is more of a sit-down restaurant, but a waitress noticed me standing near the kitchen looking at the window and asked if I was doing carry-out. Read more…
IT’S BACK! Sort of.
A little backstory first.
Every year for the last six years, my dad, brother, and a friend from grade school have been making an annual trip to a White Sox game at some point during the year. This started with my bachelor party six years ago and continues to be a tradition. Every year we pick up wings and tailgate before heading in to US Cellular Field. The first three years, we had the best wings any of us had ever had from Wings Around The World on 75th Street. Two years ago, that placed closed and we had to find replacements. Neither of them really lived up to what we were used to, so again this year, I started looking for a new wing place.
Out of sheer desperation, I typed in “Wings Around The World” and I actually got a hit that looked promising. There looked to be a new Wings Around the World just down the street from the old one….and the menu looked really close to the same.
Chicago Wingz Around The World is on East 75th Street between Rhodes and St. Lawrence in Chicago’s Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood. The building sits right on the corner of 75th and St. Lawrence on the south side of the road. Parking for the restaurant is all street parking. I had my brother pull in to the bus stop and let us out. I figured we weren’t going to be too long and as long as he was there, they weren’t going to tow him.
My buddy and I were actually met at the door by the owner for some reason. He shook our hands and thanked us for stopping in. He must have known we had the huge order sitting on the counter waiting to be picked up. Read more…
Oh, how I love late night food. J, L, and I had to make another trip to Chicago so I could go to a baseball game. This one was planned unlike the last one. Every year, my dad, brother, and best friend from grade school pick a game, pick up wings, tailgate, and watch some baseball on the South Side.
Normally, we’d go home on Friday when J got off work, but it also happened to be L’s graduation from preschool…well, the first of three. We put her in preschool pretty early and she actually has two more years, but her school held a ceremony for all of the classes, so we went to that first.
We didn’t leave Kalamazoo until 8:30 Eastern which put us in Chicago around 10 Central. It was almost straight to bed for L and J when they got back to NaNa’s house, but I was really hungry. I typically eat dinner around 11:00 due to my work schedule and lack of a dinner break most nights, so it was about the time I usually eat anyway.
A few trips home ago, I ran down to The Original Hog Wild BBQ to pick up dinner for everyone. I drove down Pulaski Road which is something I’ve never really done before. Along the way, I took mental notes of restaurants and got really excited when I drove by a branch of one of my favorite Chicagoland chains.
The Original Maxwell Street South is hard to miss on the corner of 135th and South Pulaski Road in the Village of Crestwood. There’s a large yellow building with advertisements all over it. If that wasn’t hard enough to miss, there’s always this… Read more…