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Lafayette Coney Island

November 7, 2014
  • Lafayette Coney Island118 W. Lafayette Boulevard
  • Detroit, MI 48226
  • (313) 964-8198
  • Website
  • Menu

It’s 1:30 AM and you’re awake and hungry in downtown Detroit.  Where do you go?  Duh.  Do I even need to spell it out.

That’s the situation I found myself in the other night.  After a long day of work, I headed to the Holiday Day Express in Downtown Detroit where my company was putting me up for the night.  I handed  my keys off to the valet and checked in to my room first, but the whole time I was thinking about dinner.  There was a bar right next to the hotel, but seriously, downtown Detroit at night means only one thing.  Coney Island.

My hotel was about two blocks from the famous corner Coney Island restaurants…Lafayette Coney Island and American Coney Island.  I dropped my bags off in my 14th floor room then headed back down to street level to make the two block walk.

I chose to go in to Lafayette Coney Island because that was the one I thought I remembered as native Detroiters telling me was better.  In all honesty, I had no idea.  Lafayette just looked more authentic to me.  It was smaller, dingy, and quite full for being well after midnight.   Read more…

Buddy’s Restaurant Pizzeria – Livonia

November 7, 2014
  • Buddy's Pizza33605 Plymouth Road
  • Livonia, MI 48150
  • (734) 261-3550
  • Website
  • Menu

A long time ago, back in 2009, I took my family to a Tigers game for the first time.  On that trip, I really wanted to check out a pizzeria in Detroit that I had seen on the Food Network.  It wasn’t in a great part of town and the building was actually a little scary, but inside was hiding one of the most delicious pizza’s I had ever eaten.

Fast forward to Tuesday night.  I was on my way to Detroit to meet some co-workers.  I was hungry and I wanted to be a nice guy, so I found a different location of that awesome pizza place and picked up a couple pizzas to share.

That awesome pizzeria?  Buddy’s.  The name synonymous with Detroit pizza.  So many people try to copy it, but it’s just like all of the Chicago-style copiers, it’s not the same.  Call it what you want, it’s not Buddy’s.   Read more…

The Grind Cafe

October 31, 2014
  • The Grind2728 W. Michigan Avenue
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49006
  • (269) 459-8401
  • Website
  • Menu

I seem to have this vision in my  head of college towns being rich with late night and 24-hour food joints.  It just seems to make sense that, near campus, there would be places open late to serve the drunk , after-the-bar-closes crowd, but apparently, very few in Kalamazoo actually want to serve that population.

Working second shift in Grand Rapids gets me home pretty late.  The earliest I get home is about midnight, but some nights it’s much later and most nights, I’m really hungry.  Actual lunch breaks are rare in my profession and eating fast food gets really old.

There has been a little movement lately with a couple places staying open later, so I have been fed a little bit better lately, but I was really excited when I noticed a 24-hour cafe just opened near campus and the kitchen is open the whole time too.

The Grind opened just a few months ago on the corner of Howard and Michigan near WMU.  It’s not in Campus Pointe though.  It’s actually in the smaller strip mall behind Campus Pointe that is also home to Blaze Hookah Lounge and The Mix Kzoo.  It takes up the corner space closest to the Wendy’s on Michigan Avenue. Read more…

Memphis Smokehouse

October 9, 2014
  • Memphis Smokehouse180 Monroe Avenue NW
  • Grand Rapids, MI 49503
  • (616) 242-9004
  • Website
  • Menu

I can’t pass up BBQ.  Seriously.  I just can’t drive by good BBQ and a few weeks ago, a new BBQ place opened in downtown Grand Rapids just in time for Artprize.  As much as I try to stay away from downtown during Artprize unless I have to go down there for work, I just couldn’t pass up BBQ.

Memphis Smokehouse takes over the storefront recently vacated by Donk’s Mexican Joint (or Taco Boy) on Monroe Avenue right across the street from the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.

Memphis Smokehouse has a small menu of Memphis BBQ favorites and gourmet burgers.  The restaurant itself is pretty small.  There’s only room for a dozen or so people to eat in, but the location in downtown lends itself to carry-out and eating outside.

I stopped in to Memphis Smokehouse because I saw the sign for BBQ, but the burgers seem to take center stage.  They’re a gourmet burger at a “reasonable price.”  I went back and forth, but eventually, I stuck with the BBQ.   Read more…

AFB Bar & Grill

October 7, 2014
  • AFB Bar & Grill2941 Howard Street
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49006
  • (269) 459-1350
  • Website
  • Menu

Late night meals.  I never know what to do when I get off work and I’m hungry.  Too many times I have stopped at McDonalds in Wayland on my way home, but that gets old….real fast.

Somewhere on Twitter, I noticed that a bar near campus has half off burgers on Monday.  I like burgers, I like half off, and since it’s a Monday, I don’t have to worry too much about the rowdy college crowds.

I headed home first to drop off my work car so I could enjoy a cold one then headed back towards WMU.

AFB Bar & Grill is in the Campus Pointe Mall on the corner of Michigan and Howard in the Arcadia Neighborhood near Western Michigan University.  The letters AFB look like they should stand for something…and whadya know, they do.  It actually makes the name a little redundant.  The AFB stands for Another F^&cking Bar.   Remember, it is a college bar…

AFB takes up three store fronts in the Campus Pointe Mall.  Most recently, one of them was Pop’s Italian Beef & Sausage, another was last Geno’s Golden Pizza, and I don’t really remember what the third space was.  The Pop’s portion is pretty much a large game room with pool tables and several HD TV’s all tuned to sports.  The entrance to the bar is at the old Geno’s locaiton.  The main bar and dining area is in the third store front. Read more…

Station 702

September 30, 2014
  • Station 702702 Douglas Avenue
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49007
  • (269) 350-3599
  • Website
  • Menu

We didn’t plan on going to breakfast this morning.  J let me sleep in a little bit and we had leftover BBQ from the night before so that was the plan for lunch.  While I was playing with L, I got the idea just to go grab something real quick.

My plan was to check out Station 702.  This new, fast-casual breakfast/lunch place just opened in what I feel is a pretty unlikely place.  With the help of a Community Development Block Grant, they turned an old, run down building in the Northside Neighborhood into a bright, welcoming space at the intersection of North and Douglas.  If you saw this place beforehand, you would have a hard time believing it’s the same building.  In a previous life, it was the popular Dips Soul Food restaurant…now, it’s a hip, fast casual breakfast spot that focuses on omelets.

We walked in just before noon on a Sunday.  We actually questioned if it was open as we were pulling in the parking lot.  There were no other cars, but the “open” sign was lit, so we headed inside.

Station 702 uses the term fast casual because they don’t do table service.  There is an order counter that gives you a glimpse in to the small kitchen behind it.  They serve breakfast all day and start lunch service at 11:00.  We had the opportunity to order of either menu, but chose the breakfast because…well, it’s Sunday.

I surprised J…and even myself a little bit, and ordered The Station Hash.  The plate is a sauteed medley of potatoes, topped with scrambled eggs, cheese, and choice of meat (I chose bacon).  There were too many kinds of potatoes for me to pick out which ones they were, but I stuck to the smaller, more cooked pieces.  There were big pieces of sweet potatoes on my plate and I really don’t like sweet potatoes, but it was easy to pick around.  J actually took a few of those for herself.  The dish came with choice of side and I took the pancake.  It was a small, golden brown pancake that was delicious with or without the provided butter and syrup. Read more…

Potter Park Zoo

September 27, 2014
  • Potter Park Zoo1301 S. Pennsylvania Avenue
  • Lansing, MI 48912
  • (517) 483-4222
  • Website

More zoo’s.  I think we’ve figured out that we have to been to 10 zoo’s in the last 18 months.  I love.  J loves it.  L loves it.  So I don’t feel bad about checking out as many different zoos as possible.

We had to make a trip over to the Lansing area to drop off an antique chair for my mom.  She was having a hard time finding someone in Illinois to repair it, but she found someone in Holt.  She asked if we could take it over for her one day.  I was going to to do it one morning when it was just L and I, but J mentioned something about going to the zoo, so I waited until Friday.  That’s my day off, so when J got home from work at 12:30, we loaded up the chair and L then headed off to Lansing.

The Potter Park Zoo is in Potter Park just south of downtown Lansing on Pennsylvania Avenue.  J and I have actually been there a couple times.  When we lived in Lansing, we always took advantage of the awesome “Be a Tourist In Your Own Town”  put on by the Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau.  This awesome event allows you to buy a passport for $1 then get in free to a number of different attractions around the area.  This was the first time, obviously, that we have taken L though.

Like I mentioned in the previous paragraph, the zoo is part of Potter Park which is operated by Ingham County.  Unfortunately, they charge you to park in this park which means even though you’re going to pay admission to the zoo, you still have to pay to park.  The fee for a non-Ingham County resident is $5.  Not a big deal, but is just another expense even though you still have to pay to get in to the zoo.

Once we paid, we made our way to the back of the park to find the zoo.  Potter Park Zoo is the oldest public zoo in the state of Michigan.  It opened in 1920 after being moved from a different park in the city of Lansing.  The zoo is neatly tucked in to the park surroundings and makes use of the natural trees and landscapes to blend in the animal exhibits. Read more…

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