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Electric Hero Delicatessen – Grand Rapids

October 29, 2015
  • 125 Ottawa Avenue
  • Grand Rapids, MI 49503
  • (616) 454-1319
  • Website
  • Menu

I wasn’t planning on eating out today.  I headed towards downtown Grand Rapids to meet a co-worker at the Ledyard Building for a job assignment.  I parked on Ottawa Avenue and as I was getting out of my car, I saw a sign that caught my eye.  Upon further inspection of this little shop, I found it to be a deli.  I like deli’s.  I hadn’t eaten lunch yet.  I guess I’m going to eat out today.

Electric Hero Delicatessen has been for a little over two months on Ottawa Avenue in downtown Grand Rapids.  They also have two other shops along the lakeshore.  One in Holland and one in Grand  Haven.  That appears to be just as a start as there is franchising and investor information on their webpage suggesting this is a concept they are looking to expand on.  They claim they are going to aggressively expand throughout Michigan in the coming year.   They originally started out as Electric Cadillac in Holland in late 2014 before changing the name to Electric Hero back in April of this year

The shop is pretty small with a few tables for dining in and a large open kitchen area.  The menu board hangs above the counter.  It’s divided like many deli’s menus are in to sections with the different kinds of meats available.  I stuck to the beef side of things and ordered the Pow Pow Pastrami sandwich.

The only pastrami option on the menu is served on marbled rye bread with provolone, jalapenos, basil pesto (I asked for this to be left off), and a horsey mustard.  There are a lot of Boar’s Head advertisements in the building, so I’m lead to believe that’s where the meat comes from. Read more…

Palermo Pizza – Caledonia

October 28, 2015
  • 9325 Cherry Valley Avenue SE
  • Caledonia, MI 49316
  • (616) 891-9751
  • Website
  • Menu

Sometimes my job is a whole lot of waiting.  We ran in to that issue Sunday night as we drove around the Dutton/Caledonia area trying to kill some time.  My co-worker asked if there was any place to eat seeing as we had at least an hour.  Everything in Dutton seemed to be closed, so I pulled out my trusty iPhone and Googled what was in the area.

I saw we were close to M-37 and I knew there would be someplace to eat there.  I was sort of in the pizza mood and somehow, she was in the mood for McDonalds apple pie.  I was able to make both of those moods a reality with a well-timed stop at a pizza place I have passed many times on my way to Barry County.

I stopped at the Palermo Pizza on Cherry Valley Avenue (M-37) in Caledonia.  It’s just barely inside the Caledonia city limits on the far east side of town tucked in to a pretty heavy business area with several small shopping plazas.  There is a McDonalds right next door, so C.W. could go get her apple pies while I ordered a pizza for myself.

The shop is really small and only set up for carry-out and delivery orders.  There’s a small order/pick-up counter as you walk in and large conveyor belt pizza ovens behind that.  I had already looked over the menu before I went in, so I knew it would be quick.  I had considered for a second ordering one of their pasta dishes, but it was really a pizza I wanted so it was really a pizza that I ordered.  Read more…

Bell’s Eccentric Cafe

October 25, 2015
  • 355 E. Kalamazoo Avenue
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49007
  • (269) 382-2332
  • Website
  • Menu

You know, if I keep doing this long enough, I’m going to have to keep writing new blog posts for restaurants I’ve already been to.  Things change and it’s not really fair not to update.  I’ve already done a couple of new ones in the past, but this will mark the first time that I have written about the same restaurant three times.

What restaurant could that be?  Oh, one of my favorites.  One that grows on me more every time I go there.  One that never disappoints.  One that could only be Bell’s Eccentric Cafe.

The reason for my update from my last blog post on Bell’s in 2013 is a big overhaul to the way the cafe operates.  On our very first visit to Bell’s after moving to Kalamazoo 2009, I commented on the ordering system being tricky.  That didn’t change for the 2013 post, but the food did….so I reblogged. Now, two years later, a lot has changed.  That ordering system has changed.  The food has changed.  Heck, even the dining room has changed.

The Eccentric Cafe is still in the same place.  It’s at the original brewery on the corner of East Kalamazoo Avenue and Porter Street in the Central Business District.  The entrance is still on the Porter street side and parking the parking lot is still pretty small.  They do, however, have a couple of overflow lots at a wharehouse building on Willard Street between Porter and North Pitcher plus they have an unpaved lot where The Emporium Antique store used to be.

My mom and dad were in town for my birthday and, since it was my birthday, I got to pick dinner.  I didn’t hesitate.  Bell’s has kind of become the yearly go-to for a birthday meal.  I can get a flight and everyone else can enjoy delicious food.

J had an appointment at the salon so we met her downtown after that was done.  She parked in the lot off Willard and we met her back there and walked up to the cafe.  There was a little bit of worry because all of the parking lots were pretty full already.  I had back-ups but was still hopeful I wouldn’t need to use them.  Read more…

Wing Kingz – Monroe Avenue

October 22, 2015
  • 1808 Monroe Avenue #2
  • Grand Rapids, MI 49505
  • (616) 361-9222
  • Website
  • Menu

Wings.  I love wings almost as much as I love burgers.  While there are no really great wing places in Kalamazoo, there are a number of small counter-service wing joints under a couple of different chains.

Despite the name, they are all pretty much the same and all have big, juicy delicious wings.  Which one I stop at is usually based on where I’m at in the city when I get my wing craving.

I was driving from downtown Grand Rapids the other day on Monroe Avenue when the wing craving hit.  Lucky for me, there’s a wing joint right there.

Wing Kingz on Monroe Avenue is in a small shopping center right at the corner with Ann Street.  At one time, this was a Wing Heaven and soon (after October 26, 2015), will be something entirely different.  Not much will change so if you find this review after the 26th (as most people will, the menu will be pretty much same).

I was already driving, so I didn’t have time to call my order in, so I just pulled in to the lot and walked in to place my order.  The restaurant has a couple of tables to dine in, but the building has seen better days and it’s not the most inviting area.  I’ve eaten there before, but on this trip I decided to just grab my food and head back to work.  Read more…

Brite Eyes Brewing Company

October 20, 2015
  • 1156 S. Burdick Street
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49001
  • (269) 220-5001
  • Website
  • Menu

More beer.  Seriously, Kalamazoo. Don’t stop.  Grand Rapids can claim to be “Beer City, USA,” but Kalamazoo is right up there and maybe even ahead of our neighbors to the north in terms of quality and breweries per capita.

This past weekend, J, L, and I ventured out before the MSU/U of M game to check out Kalamazoo’s newest entry in to the brewery field.  Although in this case, the word “brewing” in their title has a double meaning.

Brite Eyes Brewing Company is both a brewery and a coffee shop.  It’s located on the corner of South Burdick and Crosstown Parkway.  The building has been a couple of different things but none of them a restaurant.  Most recently, it was home to the Kalamazoo Foods Market and before that, Rainbow Rentals.

The large, two story building provides a large, open dining room in the front of the space.  There were quite a few people eating lunch when we walked in just before 12:30 on Saturday afternoon.  We quickly found a four top near the entrance then started looking at the menu which is written in chalkboards hanging from the balcony that hangs over the kitchen area.

We were unsure if it was counter service or waitress service, so J asked as employee was busing a table next to us.  She directed us towards the counter  to order, so we set L up with some crayons and a coloring book while J and I went to order.

We started out with our meal orders first.  The food option during the afternoon is sandwiches and salads.  I’m not sure if you caught it earlier, but Brite Eyes is also a coffee house, so they are open for breakfast too.  During the morning hours, your choices are scramblers and biscuits and gravy.  Read more…

The Old Goat Tavern

October 17, 2015
  • 2701 W. Michigan Avenue
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49006
  • (269) 382-6000
  • Website
  • Menu

I thought I was going to beat the Kalamazoo Gazette to this one….but nope.  They’re faster than I am.  Last Saturday, I drove by the new 2700 West development near WMU and noticed a new pub opened up on the corner of Michigan and Euclid.  We already had plans that day, but I thought I’d get there within the next week before the Gazette even knew it was open…but nope.  Beat again.

Anyway, enough whining.  That new restaurant is The Old Goat Tavern.  It’s a burger focused pub owned by Main Street Properties which also own the likes of Main Street Pub, Fletcher’s Pub, Bold, and one of my favorites, University Roadhouse.  The expectations were high before we ever left home just based on our past experiences with the restaurant group.

The Old Goat Tavern is the first business open in the new mixed use building that took out the building that used to house campus staple Maggie’s Campus Café (later Breakfast at Tiffiny’s) as well as a few other small businesses.  The tavern takes up a big corner space right at the corner of West Michigan and Euclid.

The design of the building is much more urban than a lot of the area.  The front façade is pretty close to the road leaving the parking lot behind the building off Euclid.  There is short term (or “No Overnight Parking” right as you pull in the lot and while there is access to the businesses from the street side, there are also back doors that will get you in from the parking lot.

J was a little wary when we pulled in because it didn’t look like the tavern was open.  The windows are pretty tinted and there was only a small “open” sign in one of the many windows.  I told her I double checked before we left and assured her it was.

Once inside, there was no doubt they were open.  It was actually quite surprising just how many people were there for lunch on a Friday afternoon.  The Old Goat has only been open a week and other than the mlive article, you really have to search to find anything about it online.  Read more…

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen – Kalamazoo

October 16, 2015
  • 4213 W. Main Street
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49006
  • (269) 459-9963
  • Website
  • Menu

You wanna see people in Southwest Michigan freak out?  Open a Popeyes.  Seriously.  Popeyes opened their first store in Kalamazoo in over five years about ten days ago and the mass chaos surrounding the new store has caused back ups on West Main Street and even re-routed Metra buses in the area.  It’s kind of ridiculous.

J texted me before she came home from work and asked if we had a frozen pizza in the freezer to make for dinner.  We didn’t, but I suggested running by Popeyes to see if the hysteria had calmed down any.  It hadn’t, but she decided at that point that she was hungry and now, thanks to me, craving Popeyes so she just got in line and waited.

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen built a brand new building on West Main Street between North Sage and Northampton Road.  To be a little more specific, it’s across the street from Little Caesars and next to (sort of) The Hangar.

J said it took about 15-20 minutes from the time she pulled in to the drive thru line to the time she had a bag of food and was heading out.  She thought about just going inside, but the parking lot was full and the line inside was out the door as well.  She figured if she was going to wait, she may as well do it sitting down in her own car. Read more…


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