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DaVinci’s Smoked Meats & Pasta

June 21, 2019
  • 1616 E. Chicago Road
  • Sturgis, MI 49091
  • (269) 651-1431
  • Website
  • Menu

We went for the low key Father’s Day.  We spent it at Jessica’s parents.  I smoked some ribs and a pork butt.  The kids took a boat ride.  I took a nap or two.  Nothing fancy which is fine with me.

We decided to stay the night at her parents since I was going to smoke a pork butt.  I had to get up early to get it started so it was better that we were just there.  I could get up and everyone else could sleep in.

J’s parents offered to watch the kids when we got there so J and I could go to dinner.  I was kinda hoping we could go to Bill’s Steakhouse but neither of us brought steakhouse clothes.  J’s dad had a suggestion he thought we’d like though so we did that.

DaVinci’s Smoked Meats & Pasta has had a few different names but this seems to be the newest iteration.  The restaurant is on Chicago Drive on the east side of town at the intersection with Franks Avenue just before you leave town.  The building sits kind of awkwardly on a corner lot and goes for a cabin theme with faux rocks and logs covering the exterior walls.

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Saugatuck Brewing Company – Kalamazoo

June 18, 2019
  • 140 S. Westnedge Avenue
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49007
  • (269) 382-2739
  • Website
  • Menu

I was just as confused as everyone else when Gonzo’s Bigg Dogg Brewing announced in March they were merging with Saugatuck Brewing.   I’ve always been a fan of both breweries so I wasn’t worried other than I was sorry to hear Gonzo’s would be going away.

It’s been about a month or so since I noticed the Saugatuck signs go up on the building right on the edge of downtown Kalamazoo.  Last Friday, a beer sounded good, so I texted J before leaving work to see if she wanted to meet me there with the kids for dinner.

Not much has changed other than the signs on the outside of the building at the corner of Westnedge and Academy Street in the Central Business District.  About six years, Gonzo’s transformed an old car dealership into a brewery and now Saugatuck continuing what Gonzo’s started.

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Rustic Hog Barbecue

June 16, 2019
  • 104 Main Street
  • Lake City, MI 49651
  • (231) 920-4227
  • Website
  • Menu

I thought for sure I wasn’t going to stop for lunch on my way home from Mackinaw City.  I really just wanted to get home. I had eaten the free craptastic hotel breakfast before leaving town so I figured that’d be enough to tide me over until everyone got home from school and work.

That was the plan anyway.

I took a different route than what I took there.  Stopping in Cadillac for lunch seemed to throw my route off.  I have driven to Mackinaw City several times and I was thinking something looked different. The drive home was a little more familiar.

Something clicked when I pulled in to Lake City.  The last time I drove to Mackinac Island for work was two years ago in September.  I had passed a little seasonal BBQ stand and since it was after Labor Day, it was closed for the season.  On this trip, I was driving through after Memorial Day….so it had just opened.

Rustic Hog Barbecue is actually a food truck that they built an enclosed patio around to turn it into a little restaurant with seating.  The small BBQ joint is right on on M-66 or Main Street in the small county seat of Missaukee County.   I parked along the busy highway and kind of played Frogger trying to get across the street…the whole time the smell of smoker fired up somewhere behind the building was taunting me.

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Devon’s Mackinac Island Fudge Company (Downtown Mackinaw City)

June 13, 2019
  • 304 E. Central Avenue
  • Mackinaw City, MI 49701
  • (231) 436-7885
  • Website
  • Menu

I couldn’t leave Mackinac Island without getting some fudge.  I was rushing to get back to the ferry every night after work and I had a lot of stuff with me that I didn’t feel like dragging in to a store on the Island.  I decided early on that I’d just get up on Friday morning and hit up one of the Mackinaw City fudge shops before I left town.

I worked well in to the night on Thursday to get all my work done.  I still dragged my butt out of bed a little after 8:00 on Friday morning so I could get on the road.  The fudge shops didn’t open until 9:00 so I had a little time to load up the car and grab a Pepsi to wake myself up before heading downtown.

I picked Devon’s Mackinac Island Fudge Company to stop at because it’s a candy shop I’ve never been to.  There’s a Murdick’s and a Kilwin’s in Mackinaw City but I’ve gotten fudge from them on the Island so why not try someplace new.

There are two Devon’s Mackinac Island Fudge Company locations in Mackinaw City.  One is in the Mackinaw Crossings shopping development.  The other is on Central Avenue in downtown Mackinaw City.

I stopped at the downtown location almost right as they opened at 9:00.  Devon’s is on the south side of the street at what would be the intersection with Henry if that street went all the way through.  The small candy store is snuggled in between the Post Office and gift shop.

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Duncan City Pizza

June 6, 2019
  • 630 S. Main Street
  • Cheboygan, MI 49721
  • (231) 597-5400
  • Website
  • Menu

If you know me.  You know I love wings and I don’t like talking to people.  The story of how I found tasty wings in Cheboygan, MI is very out of character for me.

I was on the ferry after day two of work on Mackinac Island.  It was another long, exhausting day and I didn’t really feel like going out for dinner.  I tried to sit away from people on the ferry that night but it was pretty crowded and I ended up sitting next to a couple people who vacation every year in Northern Michigan.  We got talking about dinner and I mentioned wings and his eyes lit up.

He pointed me towards a pizza place about twenty minutes up the road.  I was hesitant because I was tired and just wanted to get to bed so I could get up early on Friday to head home but I decided to take his advice.

Duncan City Pizza is a small pizza shop on Main Street on the southside of Cheboygan.  It shares a building with a State Farm office near the corner of South Main Street (also M-27) and Lincoln Avenue.  Read more…


June 6, 2019
  • 102 E. Central Avenue
  • Mackinaw City, MI 49701
  • (810) 797-2425
  • Website
  • Menu

The days I get sent to Mackinac Island for work are always long, hard days.  It’s fun work.  I love being out on the Island in the spring.  When the sun is shining and there’s a cool breeze blowing in off the lake, nothing beats it.

I wasn’t staying on the Island so when my job was finished a little after 6:00 each night, I headed straight for the ferry docks to catch that 7:00 ferry back to town.  I chose not to eat on the Island just because I didn’t want to wait for the 8:00.

When I got back to Mackinaw City on my first full day in town, I headed for the giant hot dog.  I wanted something quick and easy.

Wienerlicious is hard to miss.  There’s a giant hot dog on top of the building at the corner of Central and Nicolet  just off I-75 near the Bridge.  If you’re heading north on I-75, you have one more chance to pull off before committing to the U.P. if giant foods on buildings speak to you like they do me.

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Rusted Spoke Brewing Company

June 4, 2019
  • 810 S. Huron Street
  • Mackinaw City, MI 49701
  • (231) 4365773
  • Website
  • Menu

I spent most of last week on Mackinac Island for work but I didn’t stay on the Island.  My hotel was in Mackinaw City so when my job was done for the day, I had to hop a ferry back to the mainland and try to get a few hours of sleep before the day started over again with the first ferry back to the Island.

My first day in town, I wasn’t planning on going out to the Island.  I had planned on getting settled in the hotel and enjoying dinner but at the last minute, my employer decided I needed to run out to the Island to complete a quick task.  I grabbed a 4:00 ferry from Star Line, did what I needed to do, then took the 6:00 ferry back to Mackinaw Island.

I was planning on heading to my hotel then figuring out dinner but as I was pulling out of Star Line’s parking lot, I realized I was facing a brewery.  I had no idea there was second brewery in Mackinaw City.  Instead of turning right, I went straight through and pulled in to the lot.

Rusted Spoke Brewing is on Huron Street south of the main business district in Mackinaw City.  The brewery started out as Paddle Hard North but changed the name about a month ago to differentiate itself from the original Paddle Hard Brewing in Grayling.  The building had been Embers Restaurant several years before it was gutted and turned into a brewery late last year.

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