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Que Buenos Fresh Mexican Grill (Portage)

April 14, 2021
  • 5000 S. Sprinkle Road
  • Portage, MI 49002
  • (269) 365-9121
  • Website
  • Menu

Pre-pandemic, we took our son to Comstock Early Learning Academy for preschool. We had tried a couple of others and they weren’t good fits but CELA seemed to really be working for him.

CELA is not close to our house. It’s on the other side of town actually…so that meant long car rides in the morning to get him to school after I got L to her preschool so she could get on the bus.

J and I both took different routes to get there but both of passed the corner of Sprinkle and Kilgore on our way. Everyday, B would point out the construction being done at the building on the corner that has been several restaurants over the years.

Our kids have picked up on the joke that every building being built or renovated in Kalamazoo is either a bank or a credit union and B carried on the joke every time we drove by….until we saw it was going to be a Mexican restaurant. From that point forward, he was obsessed with stopping their to pick up food. We kept telling him we would one night…then the pandemic started and school shut down.

That restaurant is the second location of Que Buenos Fresh Mexican Grill.

Que Buenos opened up in that building angled towards the corner of Kilgore and Sprinkle right on the Portage/Kalamazoo city line. The building has been quite a few things over the years but mostly pizza places. The last time I was in there was many years ago when it was a Cottage Inn…and I can’t find a blog post about it…and if I didn’t blog about it, did it really happen?

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Kazoopy’s Pizza & Grinders (Oshtemo)

April 14, 2021
  • 8126 West Main Street
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49009
  • (269) 375-0120
  • Website
  • Menu

If you’ve read this blog at all over the last ten years, you’d know Friday pizza night is a tratdition in our house. J’s family did it when she was little and now we’re doing it because everybody likes pizza.

We skip around from place to place. We’ll go a while really liking one delivery pizza place then get tired of it and move on.

One place that continues to stay in the rotation is Kazoopy’s Pizza & Grinders. Even with some order hiccups, double charges, and really long delivery times, we keep going back because the place is so good and they always make it right when something happens.

Kazoopy’s has had two locations for quite a while now. There’s one in Kalamazoo Township on West Main in an old Pizza Hut take out building and one in Oshtemo.

The Oshtemo location had been inside Dougherty’s Country Market for some time but recently, they made the move down the street to a new location.

Kazoopy’s Pizza & Grinders remodeled and moved in to a space near D & R Sports Center on West Main. The small brick building also houses an accounting firm. The space Kazoopy’s moved in to was last used by Barrett’s Smokehouse as their second location before they moved to Stadium Drive.

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Captain Sundae (Holland South)

April 7, 2021
  • 247 W. 40th Street
  • Holland, MI 49423
  • (616) 393-4900
  • Website
  • Menu

Ice cream for dinner used to be a pretty popular mantra for one of my former co-workers. We did it on several occasions but our favorite spot was in Holland.

We decided to do a spring break staycation this year that coincided with a milestone birthday for J. We rented a house in Saugatuck and did a bunch of hikes.

Thursday we actually did three different trails in the morning. We found Fairview Nature Park on 138th Avenue near Holland, Husyer Farmer Park on 64th Street near Holland, and Rabbit River Preserve (which was a really nice, well maintained trail) on 135th Street near Hamilton. Needless to say, we were all pretty tired after those back-to-back-to-back hikes.

We spent the afternoon relaxing in the cabin’s hot tub and just generally lounging around. I cooked some burgers for dinner and it was a laid back evening.

The family we were with wanted to go in to Holland for the evening. It was kind of a cold, blustery day and we knew there wasn’t going to be a lot open in Downtown. Holland State Park was an option but J mentioned Tunnel Park. She had never been there so that’s what we decided to do.

The kids were not very happy about leaving again. They were exhausted and just wanted to watch a movie…so we bribed them with ice cream.

Remember that story from six paragraphs ago when I was talking about a former co-worker who loved ice cream for dinner. Well, our favorite place to get ice cream for dinner was always Captain Sundae on Holland’s northside on the way to Holland State Park.

I wanted to take everyone to Captain Sundae but wasn’t planning on going that way to Tunnel Park. We were coming from Saugatuck though so I knew we’d pass the one on the southwest side of town.

Captain Sundae has three locations in the Holland area. There’s the previously menitoned one on Douglas on the northside, one in Zeeland, and one on 40th Street near Washington Avenue near the I-196 Business loop interchange. We chose to stop at the one on 40th Street.

The 40th Street Captain Sundae sits not too far off a very busy Washington Avenue. The building is more of a traditional restaurant with both indoor and outdoor seating plus a drive thru. The other locations are more seasonal walk up locations.

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Holland Cakery ‘n Sweets

April 5, 2021
  • 11539 E. Lakewood Blvd. Suite 30
  • Holland, MI 49424
  • (616) 396-0200
  • Website
  • Menu

We’ve done a lot of pandemic birthday’s and celebrations over the last year.  Each one was special and not something we would have done on our own.  

It started last year with J’s birthday.  We were still in hard lock down and her birthday was a pasta dinner from Comensoli’s and an ice cream cake from Menchie’s delivered by Grubhub.  B’s birthday we went to see a movie at Capri Drive-In. L got to have a friend who’s been in our pod stay the night for her first sleep over.  

J gets to be the lucky one to have two pandemic birthdays…and it was a milestone birthday.

Her birthday coincided with spring break this year. We don’t usually do anything for spring break. Usually L takes a theatre class and if I’m lucky, I’m following either U of M or MSU in the NCAA tournament for work. None of that happened this year and we decided we needed a change of scenery.

We rented a cabin in Saugatuck for a few days during the week with another family that is vaccinated and has been part of our little pod. We were still going to find a way to make J’s birthday special.

J and the kids met the other family at our cabin in Kingfisher Cove mid-afternoon on Tuesday. They went for a hike at Saugatuck Dunes State Park then ate dinner back at the cabin. I got to town just before 8:00 since I was the only one that actually had to work a full day.

Wednesday was more hiking. We started the day with breakfast at the cabin then a hike at Mount Baldhead Park. We got up the 303 steps then made our way back down using the trail through the dunes. It was about a two hour hike and we headed back to the cabin. Everyone needed a break so I asked J if I could run in to Holland to run an errand. She didn’t ask any questions (she knows me) and I didn’t offer up any answers but I had a plan.

I was on my way to the Holland Cakery ‘n Sweets to pick up cupcakes…because we had to have something to celebrate J’s birthday.

Holland Cakery ‘n Sweets is on Lakewood Boulevard west of 112th Avenue in Holland Township. The small bakery is in a strip mall near Salt & Pepper Savory Pub & Grill.

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On The Grid

March 29, 2021
  • 110 Hubbard Street
  • Allegan, MI 49010
  • (269) 512-7500
  • Website
  • Menu

It’s been a while since I’ve gotten an assignment deep in Allegan County. Our Grand Rapids office handles those most of the time but last week, I was sent to meet a Grand Rapids colleague near Hamilton for an assignment.

I left pretty early and took my time. I made a stop in Plainwell to run a couple errands then headed towards Allegan where I washed my car then went looking for lunch.

There are some breweries I’d really like to try in Allegan but I wanted to save those until a time when I could actually enjoy a beer or two…can’t really do that while I’m on the clock.

I picked On The Grid near the intersection of Hubbard and Water Street in downtown Allegan. The restaurant has been an Allegan staple for many years but was taken over by new owners within the last two.

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Buen Provecho

March 29, 2021
  • 643 N. Riverview Drive
  • Parchment, MI 49004
  • (269) 743-7303
  • Website
  • Menu

I will never pass up a new Mexican restaurant. I’m not a big fan of beans and rice but I loooooooooove tacos.

I was in the Parchment area last week and I had kept hearing about a new Mexican place that opened in town. I had some time so I looked them up.

Buen Provecho has been open since about mid-January on the corner of North Riverview Drive and East G Avenue on Parchment’s northside. The restaurant moved in to the building that was formerly occupied by the Corner View Cafe.

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Pizza Rescue

March 12, 2021
  • 65 Calhoun Street
  • Battle Creek, MI 49017
  • (269) 753-1024
  • Website
  • Menu

I don’t care what Pizza Hut says. You can’t just make a square pizza and declare it Detroit-style just like you can’t call every deep dish Chicago-Style. That’s just not how it works.

It’s still kind of weird to me that there are people who grew up in Michigan don’t know what Detroit-style pizza is. The expansion of Buddy’s Pizza across the state is starting to change that.

As the style becomes more popular, more local places are taking it on. Recently, a new restaurant specializing in the Detroit style opened up near downtown Battle Creek.

I worked in Battle Creek earlier this week and J told me to fend for myself for dinner. I was going to get home late so she would feed the kids.

Pizza Rescue has been open just a few weeks on Calhoun Street just east of North Avenue. The small restaurant doesn’t really look like a restaurant. It looks more like a house. The last business I can find that was in this building was Carson Northside Convenience Pizza but that was several years ago.

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Plank’s Tavern on the Water

March 11, 2021
  • 800 Whitwam Drive
  • St. Joseph, MI 49085
  • (269) 408-9108
  • Website
  • Menu

My daughter has been begging every weekend to find a place to practice her ice skating.  She really missed the year off and has dove in head first since we got her back in lessons last month.  

We’ve been able to find some place the last four weeks for her to practice despite most ice arenas still being closed to open skate.  We’ve hit outdoor rinks in South Haven and Plainwell when it was still cold enough for that.  We found Griff’s IceHouse West in Holland open by reservation a few weeks ago.  This past weekend, we found the John and Dede Howard Ice Arena in St. Joseph.  

I asked J if she wanted to take the kids skating again before I said anything to L.  J said it’d be fun and told me to find a patio we could get reservations for.  

There aren’t a lot of outdoor dining options in the St. Joseph/Benton Harbor area and there are even fewer options for making reservations.  I found one place taking reservations via OpenTable so I got 11:30 AM reservations for lunch then signed us up for the 1:00 PM open skate.  

The reservations we made were for Plank’s Tavern on the Water in St. Joseph.  The restaurant, as the name implies, is on the St. Joseph River inside Harbor Shores Resort on Whitwam Drive just off M-63 on the St. Joseph side of the St. Joseph River. 


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Kiki’s Crab & Fry

March 8, 2021
  • >512 N. Park Street
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49007
  • (269) 343-8300
  • Website
  • Menu

Working downtown has it’s advantages. I catch a lot of new restaurant openings just from my travels around town but being downtown lets me get out pretty easily for lunch…and there are a lot of new options popping up as we get back to a somewhat normal way of life.

Whenever I head north from our downtown office, I take Park Street out to US-131 via the Business Loop. That drive takes me right past Park Street Market. I stop at this grocery store quite often just because it’s the closest to downtown…also, they have pretty good meat specials a lot of days.

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Freda’s Fish Fry & More

March 4, 2021
  • 2696 S. Patterson Road
  • Wayland, MI 49348
  • (269) 792-1330
  • Website
  • Menu

A few weeks ago I was driving out near Gun Lake and realized there are a lot more restaurants in that area than I realized.

I had some business out near Yankee Springs State Park and when it was time to head back to Kalamazoo, I wasn’t in a hurry so I took the scenic route. I didn’t put anything in the GPS, I just started driving.

Along the way, I passed several restaurants near the lake I wasn’t aware of.

I was back in the area earlier this week and again, didn’t really see the need to rush back to Kalamazoo. It was about lunch time and I remembered seeing a place that I could make a quick stop to pick up food along the way.

Freda’s Fish Fry & More is on Patterson Road near 127th Avenue in Wayland Township. The building, which used to be a salon, sits across the street from Gun Lake but there are houses in the way so you can’t actually see the lake.

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