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Jack & Benny’s Barnstormer Diner

July 24, 2017
  • 2160 W. Case Road
  • Columbus, OH 43235
  • (614) 292-5699
  • Website
  • Menu

Road trip!  J and I have been wanting to take a trip to Columbus, Ohio for a few years.  We love taking zoo trips in the summer and the Columbus Zoo has been on the shortlist of zoos we wanted to visit someday.

We finally decided to make the trip.  It’s been a long summer already and we haven’t had much free time, so we both decided to take a week off work to just relax.  We started our vacation by driving into “enemy territory.”

We made our drive on Friday night after I got off work.  We didn’t end up leaving Kalamazoo until almost 7:30 PM which put us in Columbus a little after midnight.  We got a room at the Hilton Garden Inn in Dublin which is northwest of Columbus proper.

Everyone was pretty excited for the day ahead so even though we didn’t get to bed until 12:30 or so, we were up a little after 8:00.  I didn’t look very closely at the hotel.  They don’t have free breakfast so we decided to go out instead of paying for breakfast or room service at the hotel.

I quickly looked for breakfast joints before falling asleep Friday night and came up with a couple.  There are Waffle Houses in the area too…and you know that’s always an option and probably what I would have chose if I didn’t find a diner that seemed too good to pas up.

Jack & Benny’s is a Columbus staple.  The original location is close to THE Ohio State University….(side bar….I’m not a U of M fan.  I have no dog in the fight between Wolverines and Buckeyes….but I will always choose Wolverines only because of the “THE” in OSU’s name.  Seriously….that’s pretty damn pretentious…..side bar over.)

About five years ago, Jack & Benny’s saw an opportunity and seized it.  There is a small diner at THE Ohio State University Airport that had seen seven different owners in ten years.   Read more…

Silver Harbor Brewing Company

July 20, 2017
  • 721 Pleasant Street
  • St. Joseph, MI 49085
  • (269) 281-7100
  • Website
  • Menu

It’s over.  Finally.  It’s over.  No more weddings this year.  I love my friends and family, but three weeks in a row to start the month of July J and I had weddings to go to.

The final of the three took us to Hobart, IN.  The reception for J’s cousin’s wedding was at County Line Orchard.  It was a family wedding, so the kids were invited which meant all four of us stayed in a hotel in nearby Portage, IN.

The hotel had free breakfast so we didn’t leave for that meal and we left around nap time for B.  Luckily, he fell asleep at about the time we got on the highway.

We were just going to head straight home, but around Stevensville, we started talking about lunch.  B had been asleep for over and an hour and I had a brewery in St. Joseph that I’ve been wanting to go to.  J initially said no, but after I missed my exit, she said, “what the hell.”

I got off at the Niles Road exit and headed towards downtown St. Joseph.  The car was pointed towards Silver Harbor Brewing Company which is right on the corner of Pleasant and Court Streets east of the main downtown district.

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Firehouse Subs (Oshtemo Township)

July 19, 2017
  • 1750 S. Drake Road Suite A
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49006
  • (269) 372-8400
  • Website
  • Menu

We had one last day with only one kid at home.  L was still with J’s parents.  We were meeting them in Portage, IN before all of us headed to a wedding in Hobart.

The morning of the wedding, we decided to run to Kohls and get me a new shirt.  We also needed to make a quick Costco run.  All of this was happening around lunch time so in between Kohls and Costco we decided we needed lunch.

I wasn’t feeling anything along West Main so I asked J if Firehouse Subs worked for her.  It’s right in the Costco parking lot and we could quickly stop for lunch then get back on track.

Firehouse Subs is a national chain of toasted sub restaurants with it’s home base in Jacksonville, Florida.  The first Kalamazoo area location is on Drake Road in the Corner Shoppes @ Drake development.   Read more…

Smokin D’s “The Smoke House”

July 16, 2017
  • 205 W. Monroe Street
  • Bangor, MI 49013
  • (269) 427-2347
  • Website
  • Menu

It’s been a weird week.  L has been on vacation with J’s parents all week, so it’s just been three of us at home.  We’ve been pretty bad about making meals and have eaten out more than we usually do.

Thursday night I texted J asking if she wanted to go out for dinner.  I was in the mood for BBQ and Arcadia just sounded good to me.  She wasn’t in the mood for going out so I picked up Qdoba instead.

I tried again on Friday night and this time J was up to going out.  Since it was Friday night and neither of us had to work the next day, I suggested we go someplace we wouldn’t normally go.  We used to travel around the region all the time on weekends before we had kids and since we only had the one, why not take a little road trip?

I still wanted BBQ and there is a place I’ve been driving by in Bangor that keeps grabbing my attention.  It’s a little far for dinner for us, but J had no objections so we headed towards the lake on M-43.

Smokin D’s The Smoke House is in downtown Bangor right on the corner of Monroe Street (M-43) and Railroad Street.  The restaurant is in an old mixed use building that has served as a restaurant for many years in the downtown business district.  The last restaurant I could find that used the space was Mimi’s Pancake House & Restaurant. Read more…

Via Gelato

July 12, 2017
  • 8340 Portage Road
  • Portage, MI 49002
  • (269) 459-6745
  • Website
  • Menu

We’re all about dessert.  Ice cream.  Custard.  Gelato.  Fro-Yo.  It doesn’t matter.  Give us a frozen dairy treat and everyone in our household is happy.

We went to Latitude 42 a few weeks ago and planned on going out for gelato afterwards.  There’s a new cafe that opened up not too far from Latitude 42 on Portage Road, but their Sunday hours don’t have them opening until 4:00.

Sunday was a lazy day at our house.  We were at a wedding in South Haven on Saturday night so Sunday was trying to squeeze our weekend activities in to one day.  We went to Penn Station for a late lunch with my mom before she left town so we weren’t really  hungry around our typical dinner time.  J suggested we take a little trip to Portage for gelato and just make that our dinner.

Via Gelato has been open about a month on Portage Road right next to Erbelli’s Pizzeria & Italian Bistro about halfway between Centre Street and West Lake.  The building shares a parking lot with Erbelli’s and sits quite a ways off the road.  The previous tenant of the building was the Academy of Dance Arts.

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Sprinkle Road Tap House

July 10, 2017
  • 5001 Park Circle Drive
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49001
  • (269) 492-01000
  • Website
  • Menu

I typically get pretty excited when another new Millennium Restaurant opens in the Kalamazoo area.  Sure, they’re all similar, but each one is just enough different.

Millennium seems to be expanding the Tap House brand to the four corners of Kalamazoo.  It started in 2010 with Central City Tap House.  They expanded in 2013 to Portage with Centre Street Tap House.  Now, they’ve opened in Comstock with Sprinkle Road Tap House.  (Also, not to ruin the surprise, but they’re also working on approvals for Drake Road Tap House in Oshtemo….this one excites me the most)

Sprinkle Road Tap House is part of the much larger Zeigler Motorsports complex that just opened on the corner of Park Circle Drive and Sprinkle Road just south of I-94.  The Tap House takes up the south end of the large building.

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Staymaker at Journeyman Distillery

July 7, 2017
  • 109 Generation Drive
  • Three Oaks, MI 49128
  • (269) 820-2076
  • Website
  • Menu

We started something last summer when J’s mom and dad asked if they could take L with them on vacation to Wisconsin.  L was so excited to spend a week with NaNa and Grandpa fishing, swimming, and winning too many prizes from the claw machines.

It was always that L would go again this year.  They typically go a week around the 4th of July and their schedule worked out this year to leave the Friday after.

I worked on the 4th and in return, my company gave me Thursday off as my holiday.  We decided to meet J’s parents in New Buffalo to hand L off to them for the week.

We did the same thing last year and after getting L ready to go with NaNa and Grandpa on vacation, J, B, and I went on a little side trip for lunch.  We picked Round Barn Public House.  It’s a place we had been wanting to go to, but Baroda is pretty far to go just for a meal with both kids.

Our decision this year was to go to another place we’ve been wanting to go in Southern Berrien County.  Staymaker at Journeyman Distillery.

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