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Pizza Katerina

June 12, 2021
  • 635 N. 9th Street, Suite E
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49009
  • (269) 216-3651
  • Website
  • Menu

Man…it seems like it’s been a really long time since I’ve actually wrote a blog about a restaurant in Kalamazoo. I’ve been on the road more lately and really trying hard to find place to eat when I’m outside of the Kalamazoo metro area so I haven’t been eating out as much close to home to save some money. Don’t worry though…..I have a few restaurants on “my list” that I need to get to pretty soon.

J was out of town a few weeks ago on a “Girl’s Trip” in New Mexico. She was meeting up with some friends she doesn’t get to see very often to do some hiking and catching up.

I split childcare duties with my in-laws. They took them a couple of days so I wouldn’t have to take as much time off. Wednesday night I got everyone back. B had school so I actually picked him up Tuesday night but Nana and Grandpa had to get him. L had Girls on the Run and soccer practice…something else Nana and Grandpa had to coordinate.

I was going to try to make it to L’s soccer practice but I was running too late at work. I decided I would just pick up pizza instead thinking everyone was going to be hungry after long days.

I picked a place I haven’t been to in quite a while. I know what you’re thinking. I’ve already done a blog for Pizza Katerina. But there are new owners and a backstory now.

Pizza Katerina reopened in February of this year after being closed for about a year. The original owners closed up last February after Kathleen, one of the original owners, got sick just before the COVID closures started. Her husband, Paul, put the business up for sale and included the names, recipes, everything. Unfortunately, both Paul and Kathleen have passed away but the new owners are keeping what they started going.

This new version of Pizza Katerina is in the same spot right in front of the Walmart on 9th Street. It shares space in that little strip mall near the road with Oshtemo Pharmacy.

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Root Cafe, Coffeehouse & Spirits

June 9, 2021
  • 120 E. Main Street
  • Fennville, MI 49408
  • (269) 512-1171
  • Website
  • Menu

A long weekend. I didn’t get one for the Memorial Day weekend but I did get one the following weekend.

J took a trip to New Mexico to see some friends she hasn’t seen in a few years and to do some hiking. My work schedule is really bad for child care when J’s out of town. Even if we had both kids in full time child care, I don’t get out of work until 6:30 or later well after most places close.

J’s parents offered to take the kids to their place near Centreville. It works pretty well for L right now with virtual school. She has what she has claimed as “her room” in their basement that she could set up.

We still had activities and B still had school on Wednesday. I went and got B Tuesday night then Nana and Grandpa picked him on from school and took L to soccer practice. There were more events Thursday and Friday and I didn’t want them running back and forth from Centreville every night so I took Thursday and Friday off to make things easier on everyone.

I wasn’t expected it but I actually eased in to my weekend with a pretty laid back day at work on Wednesday. I worked with a colleague I don’t work with often. We had three stops to make that day. One in Plainwell, one in Mattawan, then finally at the beach in South Haven.

We finished up in South Haven a little after 1:00. She was heading back to Grand Rapids and I was heading back to Kalamazoo to finish things up. I wanted to make a quick stop at Waypost Brewing to pick up some beer since I really wasn’t that far away.

I got my beer and realized I was hungry. I knew there was a cafe in nearby Fennville that I had passed up on previous trips and a sandwich sounded really good in the moment.

Root Cafe, Coffeehouse, and Spirits is on East Main Street in downtown Fennville between Salt of the Earth and Forever Curious Children’s Musuem. The building is also home to Fernwood 1891, an art gallery, that is accessible from the cafe.

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North Side Memories

June 2, 2021
  • 112 Dyckman Avenue
  • South Haven, MI 49090
  • (269) 637-83149
  • Website
  • Menu

There are a few perks that come with my job. Going to South Haven in the summer time is one of them. Who doesn’t want to call South Beach “the office” for a few hours.

I still try to find as many new places to eat as I can whenever I travel. I’m running out of options in South Haven…especially when it comes to quick sandwich type places.

For years now I have passed a little shop on the way to North Beach that I always thought was more of a souvenir type place. The name really doesn’t lead you to deli even those I’ve missed that word on the big blue awning several times now.

North Side Memories is near the corner of Dyckman and North Shore Drive between the Dyckman Street Beach and Stanley Johnson Park. There’s a little row of three buildings squeezed in to the block with pull in parking spots right out front.

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Hoffman Street Grocery

May 31, 2021
  • 115 W. Hoffman Street
  • Three Rivers, MI 49093
  • (269) 279-2510
  • Website
  • Menu

Good chicken is hard to find. It shouldn’t be. Fried chicken is actually pretty easy to make if you have the know how. Chain chicken is…well, it’s chain chicken. It’s fine…but the best chicken usually comes from the places you least expect.

I mentioned a couple posts back about how I use Facebook groups to find new restaurants. I did that with Taqueria El Tejano in Three Rivers and was really impressed to find a place I likely wouldn’t have found on my own.

Another place keeps coming up for chicken. A place I actually stop at every so often and never realized they even did chicken.

I had to drop the kids of at Nana and Grandpa’s near Centreville for a few nights because of my work schedule. J is in New Mexico hiking with some friends and my work makes childcare tough. Nana and Grandpa to the rescue.

I was planning on stopping somewhere in Three Rivers for a pizza on the way home but the place I had scoped out aren’t open on Sunday. At that point, I figured I could try to find this chicken or just go home and order a pizza.

Hoffman Street Grocery is on…well Hoffman Street. The small building is just west of North Main Street. I have stopped in several times because they have a really great beer selection. It’s not a huge beer selection but they definitely get some unique beers from both Michigan and Illinois breweries that aren’t typically available at party stores in St. Joseph County.

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Baldy’s Smoked Meats

May 31, 2021
  • 340 Water Street
  • Saugatuck, MI 49453
  • (269) 455-5949
  • Website
  • Menu

It seems like a lot of my blog posts lately have been coming from work trips. I have been making more of an effort to try to find someplace new on my travels in the last few months as places are opening back up and more people are going out to eat.

My travels took me to Saugatuck late last week and there’s still a list of places I want to get to from our spring break vacation earlier this year.

The one place I was really kind of sad we didn’t get to was a BBQ joint along the Kalamazoo River. I needed to be in town for my scheduled assignment at 1 PM so I left Kalamazoo around 11 AM thinking I could grab lunch before I headed to where I needed to be.

Baldy’s Smoked Meat is on Water Street at the intersection with Main Street in downtown Saugatuck. The restaurant is in the north end of the Dockside Marketplace near the small parking lot.

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Taqueria El Tejano

May 31, 2021
  • Food Truck
  • Three Rivers, MI 49093
  • (269) 718-4638
  • Website
  • Menu

Summertime means a lot of trips to St. Joseph County for me. We’ve already spent our first weekend at J’s parents on the lake near Centreville and I’m sure there will be many more of those weekends.

Surprisingly, I was assigned to work in Three Rivers one day last week. It’s not something that happens often and even though I make several trips through town during the summer, I wasn’t going to leave town this day without grabbing lunch.

I’m actually in a couple Three Rivers area Facebook groups just so I can find out about new restaurants. Yeah, I have to get past all of the normal complaining people do on those things about each other but anytime a new restaurant pops up, people talk about it so it’s somewhat worth it.

The talk of the town for about the last year is a taco truck. I actually tried to stop a few weeks ago on my way through town but there were probably three dozen cars parked in the empty lot where this truck sits so I moved on and got a pizza from the Riviera Theatre and Bar instead.

I was in town right around lunch time so I drove by the empty lot and saw the flags out at the road. Only one car in the parking area this time too so I turned in to see what the hype was all about.

Taqueria El Tejano (or the Americanized version Tacos El Texano as their sign says) sets up shop on a large empty lot on W. Michgian Avenue and N. Lincoln Avenue right next to the Elks Lodge. Getting in to the large empty lot is a little tough. There are two driveway cutouts in the curb but both have pretty large pot holes you have to drive through so take it slow. The small, red food truck is parked near the back of the lot so there is plenty of room to park in front of it.

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Mike’s Pizza & Subs

May 28, 2021
  • 112 W. Chicago Road
  • Sturgis, MI 49091
  • (269) 651-5523
  • Website
  • Menu

Summer is coming.

We got lucky a few years ago when J’s parents decided to move closer to us. We spend a lot of our summer weekends there now. They live on a large lake and the kids love to swim.

Last weekend was the first nice, hot weekend of the year. The kids asked Nana and Grandpa if they could come swimming. We played our soccer games Saturday morning then made our way to rural Centreville to hang out for the weekend.

No one was really thinking about dinner when Grandpa got a phone call. His boat guy was going to drop the pontoon in and we needed to meet him at the boat ramp. He and I drove around the lake to wait.

I was starting to get hungry as we were sitting there but I knew everyone else was going to be more excited about the boat than dinner. I texted J and asked if pizza was ok. We haven’t done our normal Friday Night Pizza since L has been playing softball on Friday nights so I figured the kids would be ok with it.

I would normally order from The Local in Centreville. They have the best pizza in the area by far. They also get really busy and there are places in Sturgis I’ve been wanting to try just because I like trying different places.

The place I found in Sturgis was Mike’s Pizza & Subs. This is apparently *the* pizza place in Sturgis and they’ve been around long enough that I had no doubts about that.

Mike’s Pizza & Subs is in downtown Sturgis on W. Chicago Road (also M-12) just west of Nottawa Street (also M-66). I called in an order while I was sitting at the boat ramp for two pizzas and a side salad. I timed it pretty well too. I pulled up to an empty downtown about 25 minutes after the call and the pizzas were just coming out of the oven.

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Kelvin & Co Urban BBQ (Downtown)

May 26, 2021
  • 312 S. Kalamazoo Mall
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49007
  • (833) 535-8467
  • Website
  • Menu

BBQ.  Man, I can’t get enough of it.  Whenever I’m asked what my favorite meal is, I pause for a second.  I want to say hamburgers…or pizza…or wings…but is it though?  BBQ is always the meal that makes my mouth water just by saying the three letters out loud.  

There was a great BBQ option downtown when my company moved in to an office in Kalamazoo.  I would walk often to the original Kelvin & Co. Urban BBQ location on Michigan Avenue.  One day, I walked down there for lunch and it was closed.  Sign was in the window saying the restaurant wouldn’t be re-opening.  

There have been other Kelvin & Company locations over the last four years and I’ve been a frequent visitor to them all.  Portage had a location.  So did Grand Rapids.  And there’s still a store on West Main Street that I patronize rather frequently.  

Kelvin & Co. has moved back to downtown but not in a traditional sense.  There is no big storefront.  Just a walk up window on the Kalamazoo Mall.  

Kelvin & Co. Urban BBQ opened a walk-up a few weeks ago in a space that has been a juice bar and a coffee shop in recent memory.  The small shop is right next to Mlive on the Kalamazoo Mall just south of South Street.  They’re only open three days a week and they only take cash.  The menu is a little smaller but it’s still delicious BBQ within walking distance of my desk chair.  

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Station 66

May 17, 2021
  • 4588 D Drive South
  • Battle Creek, MI 49015
  • (269) 979-5766
  • Website
  • Menu

We’ve been all about the hikes since the pandemic started over a year ago. Just like restaurants, I like to check out new places to hike. I get bored easily.

Late last week, I worked an extended day in Battle Creek. J asked when I’d be done so we could do something about dinner. I asked her if instead of ordering dinner, would she and the kids like to meet me at a new hiking spot we’ve been wanting to check out. Of course, she said yes.

The hiking spot was Historic Bridge Park in Emmett Township. The hike is part of the North Country Trail. The kids really weren’t interested in hiking so we bribed them with ice cream. Give us a mile or so out and we’d find a place to get ice cream.

There really isn’t anything close to the park as far as ice cream shops so I picked one that was a little further away but also had food. I had Serious Dogs for lunch but that was lunch. I wanted something for dinner now.

Station 66 is on D Drive South just off M-66 in Leroy Township south of Battle Creek. The restaurant has a pretty large footprint and really takes advantage of their large outdoor area to social distance.

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Serious Dogs

May 17, 2021
  • 55 South 20th Street
  • Battle Creek, MI 49015
  • (269) 753-1172
  • Website
  • Menu

I have definitely been paying more attention to Battle Creek lately. For years, I had a hard time finding new places or unique places. I found a Facebook group that opened my eyes to so many great places in Calhoun County.

I was in Battle Creek last week and spent most of the day in town. There was no going to back to Kalamazoo until our workday was over so I went looking for lunch.

I picked the place with online ordering. Serious Dogs wasn’t too far away from where I was from and I’m always about the ease of not talking to anyone.

Serious Dogs is on South 20th Street south of Territorial Road. This is a street in Battle Creek I don’t think I’ve ever been on…at least not in this area…nothing looked familiar despite the building being between Territorial and Columbia.

The restaurant sits pretty close to the road and has a very distinct look to it. I would have guessed the place used to be a Mexican restaurant but it was a place called Weezers Bar & Grill for several years before Serious Dogs moved in.

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