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Pharaoh’s Valley

March 22, 2014
  • Pharaoh's Valley790 N. Westnedge Avenue
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49007
  • (269) 903-2211
  • Website
  • Menu

Tuesday was KBS Day!  I’m not usually off on Tuesday, but I worked a double shift last Sunday, so I took Tuesday off so I would get two days off this week.  It just worked out for me that my ticket for the KBS release was Tuesday.  I was originally going to have to make two trips to Grand Rapids because I didn’t want a couple four packs of beer in my car all day while I was at work.  Since I was off, I only had to make that one trip and it took my quite a while to get home.

I was pretty stupid and didn’t go inside the taproom at Founders to enjoy any of their taproom only specials.  Instead, I headed over to the Downtown Market to pick up some popcorn from Dorothy & Tony’s for J.  Almost as soon as I got back in the car, I got a call asking if I’d stop at The Cupcake Zoo in Otsego to pick up  a couple cake pops.    I figured what the hell.  I didn’t have to be home for anything, so I made that stop as well.

After a stop at the Meijer in Plainwell, I noticed I was getting hungry.  I didn’t really have a plan, but I was thinking of a couple places I’ve driven by recently that I haven’t been to.

My choice is a small shop on the Northside of Kalamazoo that has gone through several different restaurants.  It’s been a BBQ joint, a chicken restaurant,  and a Soul Food place that I’m aware of, but now it’s serving up Egyptian Food.   Read more…

Cvlt Pizza

March 18, 2014
  • Cvlt Pizza10 Jefferson Avenue SE
  • Grand Rapids, MI 49507
  • (616) 490-4911
  • Website
  • Menu

I’m always looking for great pizza places.  Always.  Lucky for me, Grand Rapids has a couple of really great artisan pizza places that I visit quite often.  It’s a little more expensive, but the pizza is so much better than the typical pizza place.

This weekend, I found another one of those great places when I finally pulled up the website for Cvlt Pizza and called in an order.  The small, farm-to-crust pizza is located on the edge of downtown Grand Rapids near the corner of Jefferson and Fulton.  It’s a very small shop that turns out incredibly tasty pizzas.

The menu has a little more than pizza.  They also do a couple sandwiches, calzones, and pizza rolls, but it’s the pizza that drew me in.

The ingredient list is always changing do to the fact that everything is sourced here in West Michigan.  The menu is divided in to a meat list and a veggie list as well as options for a plain cheese or a locally sourced pepperoni plus one specialty pizza known as The Annihilator.

I put in an order for a 14 inch #1 off the Meat Pizza list  The super thin crust pizza is topped with Atomic sauce, homemade meatballs, caramelized onions, and roasted garlic with cheddar cheese plus their own mozzarella/provolone cheese mix.   Read more…

The City Delicatessen

March 16, 2014
  • The City Delicatessen52 E. 8th Street
  • Holland, MI 49423
  • (616) 396-9602
  • Website
  • Menu

A co-worker and I were on the west side of Holland the other night driving back towards downtown.  Somewhere along the way, I saw a billboard for “Killer Sandwiches.”  With the shift I work, deli’s are usually closed by the time I’m ready to eat, so I expected to be disappointed, but when I pulled up to a stoplight, I found the deli’s website….and they were open!  Score.  I found a place for dinner.

The City Delicatessen is in downtown Holland on 8th Street just to the west of College Avenue.  It shares an entrance with Crust 54 which I have been wanting to try after a great recommendation from a co-worker….but that’s for another day.

They City Delicatessen is a little more than a deli.  They also offer a couple pizzas and a Froyo Bar….but we weren’t there for any of that.  I wanted a pastrami sandwich…..

….but there was no pastrami sandwich.  I will admit up front I was pretty disappointed to walk in to a delicatessen and not find pastrami anywhere on the menu, but there were plenty of other delicious looking sandwiches that I didn’t think I would have a hard time finding something else.   Read more…

Klassic Arcade

March 10, 2014

A couple of years ago, I stopped in to the Midwest Soda Pop Festival on an assignment for work and was amazed with what I saw.  Glass bottle soda…so much more than just “Mexican Coke.”  While that was cool, that was only the tip of the iceberg.  The Soda Pop Festival was outside, but when I went inside to get some of home made draft rootbeer, I felt like a kid in a candy store….er….arcade.

I felt like that, because the Soda Festival takes place on the grounds of Klassic Arcade.  An amazing retro arcade just south of Gobles on M-40.  Since that time, I have been begging for a reason to go back and this past weekend, I finally found one.

A buddy of mine from Grand Rapids celebrated his birthday on Sunday and he asked if J, L, and I wanted to meet he and his fiance in Kalamazoo for brunch.  We met up around 11:00 AM at Burdick’s For Breakfast and spent almost two hours enjoying breakfast.

After brunch, the plan was to head out to Gobles and play video games.  I was stoked.  I didn’t know how in to J would be, but she and L wanted to come along, so the five of us headed to Van Buren County.

The great thing about Klassic Arcade is that you don’t need quarters.  All the games are on free play.  You just pay $5 when you walk in the door to get a wristband and you play all day.  I got kind of antsy and sort of just left J and L to go find a game to play.  I ended up drooling over a row of pinball machines.  They had my favorite one.  The Addams Family.  I’ve always loved pinball, but this was my favorite growing up at the mall arcade.  J and L pulled up a stool beside me and they played a different machine while I played the Addams Family a couple of times.   Read more…

Jersey Giant Subs – Plainfield Township

March 10, 2014
  • Jersey Giant Subs5002 Plainfield Avenue NE
  • Grand Rapids, MI 49525
  • (616) 447-7663
  • Website
  • Menu

A few weeks ago, a couple of co-workers walked back in to the office with rather large subs with the familiar Jersey Giant logo plastered on them.   Besides being jealous, I realized neither of them had been to Lansing or Kalamazoo, so I was a little confused how they had gotten Jersey Giant.  One of them told me they were driving down Plainfield Avenue and noticed a sign for JGS on the facade of a gas station and did a U-Turn to get some deliciousness.

This past week, I was heading back to Grand Rapids from the Rockford area via East Beltline.  As we came up to the intersection with Plainfield, I thought a detour wouldn’t put us too far behind schedule. Even though the co-worker I was with was eating Jimmy Johns, I was gonna grab me some Jersey Giant.

The lone Grand Rapids Jersey Giant location is in Plainfield Township on Plainfield Avenue just to the west of the intersection with East Beltline near Coit Avenue.  It’s in a gas station that does have any name branding on it, but it’s very clear that there’s a Jersey Giant inside with all the the logos plastered on the outside of the building.

The sub shop takes up the back corner of the gas station and it’s little more than a counter with a meat slicer behind it.  The employee was sitting in a chair reading a magazine when I walked up, but he popped up right away and started pulling the veggie trays out of the cooler to get things started.   Read more…

Grand Rapids Brewing Company

March 6, 2014
  • Grand Rapids Brewing Company1 Ionia Avenue SW
  • Grand Rapids, MI 49503
  • (616) 458-7000
  • Website
  • Menu

My parents don’t get to spend a whole lot of time with L on the account of them living three hours away.  My brother, on the other hand, lives five minutes from them, so they get to spend a lot of time with my nieces.

The winter has been really rough on us. It’s been really hard for either them or us to travel along the Lake, so we haven’t seen much of each other.

Since my mom gets to spend a lot of time with my nieces, she’s more in tune to what they’re in to.  Like most little girls, they’re really in to Disney princesses.

This past weekend, the Disney on Ice: Princesses and Heroes was at the Van Andel Arena and my mom asked if she could buy tickets to take L to the show.  L’s not really in to Disney, but I didn’t really care.  There would be music, lights, dancing, and over-the-top characters.  I knew she’d have a blast and I knew my mom would love taking her.

We got tickets for the 1:00 PM show on Sunday.  The plan was to hit up someplace in Grand Rapids for breakfast before the show, but that plan sort of failed.  We tried going to Real Food Cafe, but the wait was ridiculous.  Even without a somewhat cranky, tired toddler and needing to get somewhere, there’s no way I was going to wait in that line.

I don’t really know a lot about Grand Rapids breakfast places since I work nights, so I was stumped.  I was trying to come up with something, but J said we should just go downtown where just a block from the arena, is another brewery that we’ve been wanting to get to.

Grand Rapids Brewing Company opened up at 1 Ionia Ave SW at the end of 2012 reviving the name after the previous incarnation closed it’s doors a few years ago on 28th Street.   Read more…

Midtown Brewing Company

March 3, 2014
  • Midtown Brewing Company402 Washington Square South
  • Lansing, MI 48933
  • (517) 977-1349
  • Website
  • Menu

Two nights of eating dinner in a row?!  What the heck.  That really never happens.  I’m not exaggerating.  I got two nights in a row where I had enough time to eat dinner at work.

A couple co-workers and I were in Lansing for the night and we were downtown near dinner time.  There are plenty of options in downtown Lansing, but we were really close to one of my old favorites.

Well, it used to be something different, but the spirit of the place is still the same.

I’m talking about the Midtown Brewing Company which used to be MBC…which stood for Michigan Brewing Company ….before the parent brewery went bankrupt.  The brewery and the restaurant were separate entities so the restaurant survived.  After they ran out of MBC beer, they had to get a new liquor license and now they have several Michigan crafts on tap.  They changed the name to Midtown Brewing Company (0r maybe it’s Midtown Beer Company…I’ve seen it both ways, but the sign says brewing) to keep the MBC initials.

My two co-workers grabbed a table while I put some things back in the car.  When I got in, they had already found a table near the bar and ordered drinks.  Since we were on the clock, there was no beer in our future, so we all had Cokes.   Read more…

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