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Coney Island (West Main)

October 20, 2017
  • 4635 W. Main Street
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49006
  • (269) 383-4543
  • Website
  • Menu

I used to do a lot of freelance work outside of my normal job.  I don’t do nearly as much as I’ve done in the past but whenever a job comes up, I like to try to take it.  It’s something I really like doing (but can’t make a career out of) and it’s a welcome change of pace.

Friday was one of the only days the rest of the year something will come up.  I was working at Western Michigan and got a lunch break around 1:00.  This is the same time J usually takes a nap with B so I decided to just go to lunch by myself and not chance waking them up by going home.

I was close enough to campus that I had plenty of options, but I got a weird craving.  I just wanted a cheap hamburger and fries.  Nothing fancy but something still delicious.

I remembered a cheeseburger I had last year downtown.  It wasn’t fancy.  It was a simple burger grilled on a flattop and served on a pretty standard bun.  It was from Coney Island…..a hot dog place….but it made an impression on me.

Coney Island has a second location in Westwood.  It’s in the Westwood Plaza right next to Penn Station near the corner of West Main and Drake. Read more…

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Legends at Revel and Roll West

October 11, 2017
  • 4500 Stadium Drive
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49008
  • (269) 488-3800
  • Website
  • Menu

A late night at work on Saturday meant a fairly lazy Sunday.  We didn’t have any plans other than to just hang out at home so which means we didn’t have any lunch plans either.

J wanted to get out of the house so take out was out of the question but we didn’t really have any good ideas.  L wanted to go back to the place “with the big grassy area.”  It took us a while but we eventually realized she meant The Strand near Dowagiac.  Not a bad idea, but a little far away.

I came up with what I thought was a much better idea.  A new place just down the road that is an entertainment venue rather than “just” a restaurant.

Legends at Revel and Roll West is the restaurant portion of the new Revel and Roll West entertainment complex.  The venue takes over two storefronts at the University Commons plaza on Stadium Drive near Drake Road.  The main portion of the complex is in the old Pinz bowling alley.  The restaurant is in a space which was formerly The Fashion Connection right next door to the east of the main building.

Read more…

Jersey Giant Subs (Sprinkle Road)

October 9, 2017
  • 5965 S. Sprinkle Road
  • Portage, MI 49002
  • (269) 459-9753
  • Website
  • Menu

Remember that couple from Indiana that visited all of the Cracker Barrel locations?  Yeah?  That’s me with Jersey Giant Subs.  I mean, obviously there’s not 645 JGS locations, but I still can’t pass one up when I see it.

I’ve been working a lot on weekends recently which takes away from family time.  J has been pretty understanding because she knows the weekend work is stuff I really like doing while the weekday stuff is not always my favorite thing to get up in the morning for.

This past weekend, I was heading to Ann Arbor in the afternoon and would be gone the rest of the day.  I got up fairly early for me (on a Saturday anyway) to spend some time with the kids before I left.  They were asking right away if we could go to Jungle Joe’s for a little while and I didn’t see any reason why we couldn’t.

J decided to stay home for a little quiet alone time (something she rarely gets) and asked if I’d pick up lunch on the way back.  My brain immediately went to Jersey Giant Subs because I knew we’d be close to one that I haven’t been to yet.

The Sprinkle Road location of Jersey Giant Subs is in a small strip mall on the corner of Sprinkle and Milham Road.  It’s in the same shopping plaza as Jaspare’s Pizza and Great Wall Express.

Read more…

Shigs in Pit BBQ & Brew

October 9, 2017
  • 6250 Maplecrest Road
  • Fort Wayne, IN 46835
  • (260) 222-8802
  • Website
  • Menu

We were packing up the car after a day at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo and J looks at me and says, “You’ve already picked out a place to eat, haven’t you?”  Well, duh, I don’t travel without finding someplace to eat.

My first instinct is to find a brewery.  I found a couple in Fort Wayne, but breweries with food were in pretty limited supply.  I found one with a few locations around town but then I stumbled on another place affiliated with that brewery that I knew would be a hit with everyone.

Shigs in Pit (get it?  It’s a play on Pigs in Shit) is on Maplecrest Road about a mile and a half south of I-469 on the northeast side of Fort Wayne.  This is the second restaurant for a BBQ team that has won competitions all over the country, but only this one serves Mad Anthony beers.  This location just opened a few months ago in a new construction building. Read more…

Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo

October 5, 2017
  • 3411 Sherman Boulevard
  • Fort Wayne, IN 46808
  • (260) 427-6800
  • Website

Long weekends are the best….especially after putting in a lot of days.  I worked 12 days straight a couple of weeks ago but since we were so short staffed at work, they were having a hard time finding time to give me a day off.  Once it reached 12, they had to just bite the bullet, so they gave me a long weekend with a Friday off.

J and I talked about several things to do over this long weekend.  Detroit, Indianapolis, and Chicago were all talked about but the thought of paying for hotel rooms turned us off.  J asked if there were any day trips we could take.  In reality, Detroit and Chicago can both be day trips, but we always like to spend more time there.

If you follow along, you know we like zoos.  They’re the perfect day trip with kids our age.  We can usually get a nap out of the little one and the big one, although she won’t admit it, likes seeing all the animals.

There’s only a few zoos within driving distance we haven’t been to yet.  The one we picked was the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo.

The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo is in Franke Park on the northwest side of Fort Wayne, IN.  The entrance is off Sherman Boulevard which runs through the center of the zoo.  There are several lots near the zoo entrance as well as some further away.  We were a little shocked when we saw people walking from these farther away lots, but we headed towards the main gate to see if we could find anything closer.  We ended up finding a spot near the back of one of the main lots which was just a short distance from the main gates.  Read more…

Cove Lakeside Bistro

September 30, 2017
  • 9110 Portage Road
  • Portage, MI 49024
  • (269) 350-5380
  • Website
  • Menu

Days off have been pretty rare recently.  I’ve been working quite a bit of overtime.  I went twelve straight days without a day off and had planned on working a double on the thirteenth.  My boss decided I needed a day off and gave me a three day weekend which I gladly took.

J and I had a pretty rare opportunity to go out to lunch with only one kid that we needed to entertain.  L was at school so all we needed to do was keep B happy and we could enjoy a nice lunch out.

We had actually planned this a couple days in advance.   I had seen a Facebook “suggested post” for Cove Lakeside Bistro.  I keep forgetting about this place when we talk about going on, so the ad really helped as a reminder.  I also wanted to go for lunch and not dinner.  We’re not fancy people and the menu gets a little fancier at night.

Cove Lakeside Bistro is another offering from Millennium Restaurant Group.  They took what used to be an office building for Mavcon on Portage Road right on West Lake.  The building sits right on busy Portage Road with a small parking lot on the northside.  There are signs at neighboring businesses not to park in their lots and the lot was full on a Friday afternoon for lunch so it must be an issue at night.

Read more…

Paddle Hard Brewing

September 27, 2017
  • 227 Michigan Avenue
  • Grayling, MI 49738
  • (989) 745-6388
  • Website
  • Menu

Sunday was a short day on Mackinac Island.  We had one thing to do around 10:00 at the Grand Hotel then it was time to hit the ferry and head home.

I was fortunate enough that we got down the hill in time to catch the 11:00 AM ferry.  I got back in to Mackinaw City and to my car just before noon.  My kids wanted to Facetime with me since they hadn’t seen me all weekend so it was closer to 12:30 before I got going.

I decided to drive for a while then pick up lunch along the way.  I knew there were a couple of breweries about an hour south so that was my plan.  Get gas.  Get lunch.  Get back on the road.

I pulled off the highway in Grayling and headed towards downtown to find Paddle Hard Brewing.

Paddle Hard Brewing sits in the heart of Grayling.  It’s on Michigan Avenue just northeast of M-72.  They openen their doors in late 2014 in the building which previous housed Northern Concepts which was a gift shop.  Needless to say, they  had some renovating to do.   Read more…