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Ex-Wife’s Famous Chicken (Battle Creek)

September 30, 2022
  • 5420 Beckley Road
  • Battle Creek, MI 49015
  • (269) 224-3030
  • Website
  • Menu

The thing I really miss about COVID was always riding solo at work. We typically ride two to a car because it makes economical sense but during COVID, there were several times the company put in a one to a car rule just to keep people separated.

I’m not a social butterfly. I like being alone.

I always went more out of my way to find restaurants when I was driving alone because I didn’t have to worry about someone else’s opinion or food tastes. I like to find new places, out of the way places, or little hole in the walls.

My usual co-worker was off a couple weeks ago so they sent someone from Grand Rapids. I was already in Battle Creek when they assigned someone to work with me so he just drove himself to Battle Creek.

When the shift was over, he headed back towards Grand Rapids and I was heading to the ice rink to pick up the boy so he didn’t have to sit through his sister’s skating practice.

First…dinner.

I had a couple of ideas but I saw a Facebook post about a new chicken place that had just opened. I was fairly close to it so I decided to check it out.

Ex-Wife’s Famous Chicken is just to the west of Lakeview Square Mall on Beckley Road on the southeast side of Battle Creek. The restaurant is near Beckley Road in the Minges Creek Plaza. The corner location used to be Beckley Cleaners before becoming this chicken sandwich joint.

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Lake Burger Tavern

September 28, 2022
  • 6800 S. Westnedge Avenue, Suite F
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49002
  • (269) 365-9998
  • Website
  • Menu

Saturday’s have become days to “just get out of the house.” We’ve gotten a little lazy as summer comes to an end and we get in to a fall routine.

That was the case a couple of weeks ago. We all laid around the house until the middle of the afternoon. No one ate lunch. I had plans to go to the WMU football game later that night so J said we should go somewhere for what would probably become our one meal that day.

There are a lot of new places opening up so we got some work to do to get to all of them.

We chose Lake Burger Tavern.

Lake Burger Tavern is a partner restaurant to Lake Burger on West Main Street. The tavern is on South Westnedge in Portage in front of the Crossroads Mall. It’s in the little shopping plaza with Qdoba and Penn Station Subs just south of JL Hudson Drive which is one of the mall entrances. There’s not much of a sign up right now but it’s right next to the Cold Stone Creamery.

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Scotts Country Store and Deli

September 23, 2022
  • 8374 36th Street South
  • Scotts, MI 49088
  • (269) 626-8227
  • Website
  • Menu

Scotts is on the way to Vicksburg from Kalamazoo….right?

I had an assignment in Vicksburg last Friday night but I also had some time when I was done in Kalamazoo and when I needed to get to Vicksburg. I’ve pretty much tapped out all of the restaurants in Vicksburg that would be open at that time so I widened the search looking for a place to eat that I haven’t been to yet.

My widened search got a hit at one of the places I drive by and say “I really need to make time to get back there one day.” Well, today was the day.

Scotts Country Store and Deli is, first and foremost, a grocery store for the small town of Scotts in the eastern part of Kalamazoo County. The store sits on the corner of 36th Street and Norscott Street just as you enter the village from the north. 36th Street is as close as Scotts gets to a “downtown” with the street also home to Scotts Corner Cafe and Scooters Malt Shoppe.

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Zoo City Beastro

September 22, 2022
  • 5222 Portage Road
  • Portage, MI 49002
  • (269) 888-2074
  • Website
  • Menu

We’ve been really lazy on weekends lately. We’ve spent a big part of our summer not doing anything on Saturday’s because L has wanted to go to open skate at Wings West. The Saturday night open skate is $8 for two hours and during the summer, there’s hardly anyone there.

Open skate is getting busier though so L won’t be able to practice the things she wants to practice with more people on the ice. We kind of let her have the last couple of weeks before hockey started then we need to take our weekends back.

Sitting around the house is really kind of demoralizing though. I try to motivate myself to get chores done but it only turns in to a couple of things then me sitting on the couch watching The Simpsons all day.

At some point in the day, over the objections of the kids, one of us usually declares “we need to get out of the house.” To do that, we force the kids to go out to eat. For some reason, they think that is a form of torture.

I picked the restaurant on this particular Saturday afternoon because there are several places that I want to try.

My pick this day was Zoo City Beastro in Portage.

Zoo City Beastro is on Portage Road and Fairfield Road just south of the I-94 Interchange. The building has been a restaurant for a while. It was last Lindbergh’s Landing and Fat Tony’s Grill and Sports Bar prior to that. Portage Road is a little (no, a lot) tore up right now but you can still get to the restaurant from Fairfield Road.

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The Harvey House

September 15, 2022
  • 125 Water Street
  • Constantine, MI 49042
  • (269) 228-6977
  • Website
  • Menu

Fall is my favorite time of year. I pick up a lot of overtime at work doing something I really like doing. Most of that overtime comes on Friday nights. I work my normal shift then usually go on a short road trip somewhere to pick up a few extra hours.

Last week, I ended up in Constantine. I had a little bit of time before my overtime assignment actually began so I decided I needed dinner.

There’s a new brewery in town and a pretty good pizza place right in downtown but there’s another place I’ve wanted to go for a long time….just because I always thought it looked cool from the road.

The Harvey House has quite a history in downtown Constantine. The building dating back to the 1845 sits on the corner of Water Street and Washington Street (BL-131) right along the St. Joseph River. The building was owned by John Stuart Barry who was twice the Governor of Michigan. The building was originally a warehouse but it was moved in 1862. The building was then used as a store. The Barry family kept the building long after his death before selling it in 1904 where it became a The Hotel Harvey. Over the next 100 years, several business called the hotel home. In the early 2000’s, the hotel was bought and the Harvey House restaurant became the main focus of the building. The building was sold again in 2018 and again in 2022. That’s the iteration of the Harvey House we have today. (Source for all that history)

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Round About Caffe

September 15, 2022
  • 6040 S. 12th Street 
  • Portage, MI 49024
  • (269) 441-0289
  • Website
  • Menu

I’m famously not a coffee drinker. My caffeine addiction is Pepsi. I’ll occasionally drink a coffee and I’ll pretty much always drink a coffee beer, but I don’t have to get up every morning and hit the Starbucks drive through on my way to work.

I’m always a little bummed that I’m not a coffee drinker. There are so many great cafe’s around town and I’m always hesitant to go in. A lot of them advertise light lunch fare but it always feels weird to me to go to a cafe and only get a sandwich.

I was in Portage last week for a doctor’s appointment. I had told work I was taking a half sick day and I’d be in around noon. My appointment was over pretty quickly and I still had a little time so I decided I should probably grab lunch before heading in.

It was kind of out of the way but I noticed a new cafe on the roundabout at 12th Street in Portage. We don’t go that way very often by the boy is playing in a fall baseball league at West Portage Little League. I was curious about the location and what they offered…so I kind of double backed from the doctor’s office to see what they’re all about.

Round About Caffe is located on the southwest corner of the roundabout at 12th Street, Texas Drive, and Milham Avenue. The building used to be a State Farm office before becoming the cafe earlier this year. You can access the parking lot either from 12th Street or Texas Drive.

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Stateside Deli & Restaurant (Okemos)

September 12, 2022
  • 3552 Meridian Crossing Drive
  • Okemos, MI 48864
  • (517) 853-1100
  • Website
  • Menu 

It’s been a while since I’ve pulled a job in East Lansing. I’ve been to the City of Lansing a few times recently but never really get past downtown. Last week, I got assigned to work in East Lansing on a Friday night.

I was meeting a co-worker from Grand Rapids. She wanted to drop her car somewhere on the east side of town and just ride together to our job site. She was heading east for another assignment on Saturday while I was heading home.

I got to town pretty early and found a park and ride right off I-96 at Okemos Road. I sent her a pin to meet me there. I still had about an hour until we were supposed to meet so I went looking for food.

I lived in Lansing about 13 years ago and wrote a blog while I was there too. I was pretty familiar with the Mid-Michigan dining scene while we lived there but it’s been over a decade. Some places are still there but a lot of the places I really liked are long gone.

The place I remembered really liking in this part of town was Stateside Deli. The restaurant is still there and wasn’t too far from where I was sitting so that’s what I decided on for lunch.

Stateside Deli & Restaurant has a Meridian Crossings Drive address but you will likely see it from Okemos Road just north of Jolly Road in Okemos. The deli is part of a pretty large shopping center known as Meridian Crossing. There are entrances to the restaurant on both sides of the building…the Okemos Road side and the Meridian Crossings Drive side. I parked on the Okemos Road side but that’s actually the back of the restaurant. The main entrance is actually on the Meridian Crossings Drive side..just like the address implies.

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The Tangy Crab (Kalamazoo)

August 25, 2022
  • 4320 S. Westnedge Avenue
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49008
  • (269) 743-7565
  • Website
  • Menu

Continuing my week of eating out alone while my family was gone, I was really in the mood for wings.

We had a gift card from Buffalo Wild Wings but every time I’ve tried to order online, I get to the cart and it tells me wings are “unavailable.” I thought about just going and sitting at the bar but I wanted to get home. The Kalamazoo Growlers were playing for the Northwoods League championship that night on ESPN+ and I wanted to watch some of it.

I have a couple of usual places for wings other than B-Dubs. Main Street Pub is good. So is Jac’s. I like Waldo’s every now and then too. I considered all three….but something got me thinking. Do all those crab places that have popped up around town also do chicken wings?

Turns out, they do.

I picked The Tangy Crab on South Westnedge because it wasn’t too far out of my way home…and they have online ordering.

The Tangy Crab is on South Westnedge near Pratt Road in the South Westnedge Neighborhood of Kalamazoo. The restaurant is in a building that used to be an Outback Steakhouse right next to The Root Beer Stand.

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Holy Taco

August 23, 2022
  • 6942 West Q Avenue
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49009
  • (269) 366-7566
  • Website
  • Menu

I was going to take advantage of being home alone for the week and eat out every night. We have so much going on between my daughter’s ice skating and my son starting baseball again that most meals are whatever we can pick up through a drive through or what we can cobble together at home.

I decided to go a little fancier than I did the night before. I was a big fan of the dive bar burger but I had another place in mind I wanted to check out.

Holy Taco is a tequila bar and taqueria in Texas Corners that opened last fall. The small restaurant shares a building and parking lot with the new Fletcher’s Pub near the intersection of Q Avenue and 8th Street in Texas Corners. The building is kind of tucked in to a corner and is a little hard to see at first when you pull in to the parking lot. The blue facade in the middle of a sea of brick and the outdoor patio with string lights hanging overhead mark this taco joint.

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Youz Guys Dog

August 20, 2022
  • 312 S. Kalamazoo Mall
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49007
  • (269) 365-9700
  • Website
  • Menu

I wasn’t planning on eating out when I went for a walk on my lunch break the other day. I was actually heading towards City Centre Market to get my afternoon Pepsis (yes, unfortunately, that plural is intentional).

I decided to just kind of go for a walk first. I had been cooped up in the office all morning and I really didn’t have much going on that time so I headed away from City Centre figuring I would just kind of do a loop around The Mall then grabbing my pops before heading back to the office.

When I got towards South Street, I could see people sitting outside near the walkup window next to the MLive office. I realized there was a hot dog stand there now and I keep forgetting to walk down there and get lunch. Today was going to be that day.

Youz Guys Dogz is pretty simple. It’s in the walk up window that was last Kelvin & Co’s second attempt at having a downtown presence. The window is between the door to Peregrine Plaza and the Mlive office on the corner of South Kalamazoo Mall and South Street.

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