Hey, I’m back in Michigan. I’m still not in Southwest Michigan with this blog, but at least I’m back in the right state. That’s a start, right?
My first week back in Michigan and I’m still on the road, but at least I get to sleep in my own bed at night and drop my daughter off at school in the morning.
A co-worker and I took the trip to Lansing and spent most of the evening running around. We were actually on our way back to Grand Rapids when we got stopped and sent back to Lansing to pick up one more task. We were about to Portland and this new meeting, of course, was on the east side of town.
I took I-496 through town and got off a the Jolly Road exit. When I came to the intersection of Jolly and Dunkel Roads, I saw a familiar sign. I wasn’t planning on grabbing dinner but when you see a Jersey Giant Subs, how can you pass it up?
Jersey Giant Subs got it’s start in the Lansing area and currently has eleven stores around town and in nearby communities. I don’t remember this store being there when I lived in Lansing seven years ago, but I hadn’t got hooked on Jersey Giant at that point yet either.
The sub shop is part of a larger strip mall on the southwest side of the Jolly/Dunkel intersection just outside of the Lansing city limits. The space is shared with a Biggby, a Verizon Store and two other storefronts. There are entrances off of both roads, but if you’re coming off Jolly, like I was, you actually enter at the neighboring Tim Horton’s driveway and make your way back to the parking lot in front of the outlet.
- 5600 Mannheim Road
Terminal 2 Gate F15
- Chicago, IL 60666
- (773) 601-8445
- No Known Website
Finally. After eight long, but fun, days it was time to head home. We worked until almost Midnight on Monday, but I still scheduled my flight home for 6:50 AM. I wanted to get home as soon as possible, so I was alright losing the sleep if I could be home at noon.
I scheduled my flight to take me through O’Hare on the way to Kalamazoo Battle Creek International. It was the cheapest option for my company and the easiest for me as well. Things went alright in Dallas. I had trouble checking my equipment, but I made it through security with about an hour to spare. I picked up some souvenirs for the kids and grabbed a Coke then stuck in my headphones and listened to some podcasts as I waited.
The flight was on time in to Chicago and I only had a little over an hour to find my next gate. I was hungry and hadn’t eaten yet that morning. After a quick stop at Garrett Popcorn Shop (I forgot to snap pictures to blog about this amazing popcorn, but here’s an old blog from a different location), I continued the long trek towards my next gate.
I passed a lot of dining options that were all pretty busy. I didn’t exactly know how long it was going to take me and I had no way of knowing that my flight was going to get delayed, so I started looking for something that would be quick.
When I got close to my gate, I noticed a restaurant that didn’t have much of a line and it looked like they were cranking things out pretty quickly, so I ducked and picked up a sandwich.
Skybridge Restaurant & Bar is a Greek joint that also serves up some Chicago favorites in Terminal 2 Councourse F of O’Hare. The space is divided in to a bar area that’s fully stocked and open even at 9 in the morning and grill with pub tables. Read more…
Ok, ok. I know many of you are tired of my Texas trip, but I can tell you this is my last entry from Texas. I have one more from Chicago then I’ll get back to Michigan. As I’ve explained to people before, I use this blog as a journal, so that’s why you see my travels. You should feel lucky I had access to catering for most of the week or there would have been a lot more posts.
I was down to my last two nights in Texas. I had a quick task to accomplish back out in Arlington after spending the day in Dallas. My co-workers weren’t really necessary to my completing this task and they both wanted to get settled in for the Sunday Night Football game they were about to watch the Lions lose. I took the drive out to Arlington, did what I needed to do, then started heading back to town. I had a couple of places by my hotel I wanted to eat at, but they were all closed for the New Year’s holiday.
I don’t normally eat fast food while traveling unless that fast food is something I can’t get in Michigan or Illinois. As soon as I landed at DFW and picked up my rental car, I noticed a chain I have heard many things about but have never actually seen. Before I got back on the plane at DFW, I had to get Whataburger.
I had a few options to pull off the highway on my way back east to Dallas from Arlington on I-30. I chose to get off in Grand Prairie where I found a Whataburger right at the interchange for I-30 and the President George Bush Turnpike. The restaurant is located on 19th Street, so once getting off the ramp, it was kind of a loop around the block to get where I was going.
Whataburger’s home is in Texas. The first restaurant was in Corpus Christi and the corporate headquarters are now in San Antonio. There are a little over 800 stores in ten states. The vast majority, 658 actually, of those stores are in Texas. All of the restaurants are in the southern United States. Rogers, Arkansas may actually be the closest Whataburger to Michigan.
This store on 19th Street looks like it has seen better days. It’s typical of an 80’s fast food restaurant and doesn’t have the famous A-frame design anywhere in the building. If you take off the signage, the brick building would look just like any of the dozens of other fast food restaurants built during the same time period.
I beat my colleagues to North Texas by a couple of days so I got to explore a little bit when it came time for meals. By the time they got there, we had a lot of work to do and we didn’t eat out as much. After a couple of days, both my co-workers just really wanted a good pub burger.
We spent about half of our work day everyday in Arlington which is about a half hour from downtown Dallas. Most nights, we finished up at 5:30 and still had work to do back in Dallas before 9:00 so we would run back to the hotel and eat there while working. As we were leaving Arlington on Friday, we all agreed a little pub food would do us all some good.
I didn’t do much advance research on restaurants in Arlington, so I didn’t really have any good ideas. I had remembered a brewery that I thought looked decent so I tried to look that up. It took a while, but I eventually found it and without telling my colleagues where we were going, I told them I had a place.
Humperdinks Restaurant & Brewpub is a small chain in the DFW Metro area. The original restaurant is in Dallas on Greenville Avenue, but the original Brewpub is the Arlington location which was built in 1995 and that’s where we decided to stop for dinner.
I normally work a night shift, but while traveling, anything is possible. A co-worker and I had to get up at 3 AM to complete a task that would take us about two hours. When then had about three hours before we joined our other co-worker for the remainder of the day. Once our early morning task was over, the question became, go take a nap or go to Waffle House? I think you know what I chose.
As soon as I was done in the morning, I pulled out my phone, looked for a nearby Waffle House and got there as quickly as I could. I figured I could get breakfast and still get an hour and a half nap in before we had to start the rest of our day.
The closest Waffle House I could find to downtown Dallas was on Ross Avenue about three and a half miles from my hotel in the East Dallas district of the city. The restaurant is on Ross Avenue just to the north of Garrett Avenue between a Burger King and Family Pharmacy. In fact, if you’re coming from the south, you won’t even see Waffle House until you’re right up on it. The pharmacy building blocks it from view until the very last minute. There is a sign out front that you can see from the street otherwise I would have blown right past it.
I could have eaten BBQ on my entire trip to Dallas, but come on, you know I’m going to find at least one brewery, right?
When I got in town and settled in to my hotel on Monday night, I decided to find a Walgreens and go pick up some Pepsi and water for the week so I wasn’t paying the $4 the hotel wanted for a bottle of Coke every time I needed my soda fix. To my surprise, this particular Walgreens also had a really large craft beer section. I wasn’t planning on picking up a six pack at that moment, but I found something that sounded good…so I did…and that led me to eventually wanting to find the brewery that produced this delicious beer that I found on the shelf at Walgreens.
The beer was Dream Crusher Double IPA from Deep Ellum Brewing. I found Deep Ellum Brewing in the Deep Ellum Neighborhood east of Downtown Dallas. The brewery and taphouse are on the corner of St. Louis Street and Malcom X Boulevard. It’s a somewhat industrial area with the interchange for I-30 and US-75 looming right out the front door.
Parking was not great as all I could see was street parking along St. Louis Street and around the bend in the road where it turns in to Crowdus Street. I found a spot not too far away and showed off my parallel parking skills. On a busy night, unless I missed something, parking could be a little bit of a headache.
The taproom for the brewery is right on the corner of St. Louis and Malcom X. The tap room opened in 2012 becoming Dallas’ first microbrewery and has sort of restored life in Deep Ellum. Up until last spring, they did food out of visiting food trucks before becoming one of the rare Dallas breweries to add a kitchen to their taproom. In the fall, they added lunch hours as well. Read more…
Day two in Dallas started how day one ended. More BBQ!
I started the morning bright and early with a trip out to Grapevine for my first task of the day. Once that was completed, I had several hours before my next task back in downtown Dallas. I was still on my own as a couple of co-workers weren’t flying in until the next day, so I had a little bit of time to explore and seek out something delicious for lunch.
My first stop was at Pecan Lodge, but the lunch “rush” had a line out the door and wrapped around the block. I don’t care how good it is, I’m not waiting in that line. I had another place on my short list though. In fact, I was going to go there for dinner, but I just moved it up to lunch and headed back back south on I-35E towards the Bishop Arts District.
Lockhart Smokehouse has two locations in North Texas with one in Plano and the other in the Dallas bourough of Oak Cliff. The restaurant sits on the corner of West Davis Street and North Bishop Avenue in the Bishop Arts District neighborhood. The area around the restaurant is a highly developed boutique shopping area with a number of eclectic dining options. The neighborhood streets are pretty tight and I didn’t notice any parking lots in the immediate area. I eventually found street parking about three blocks away from the restaurant. Read more…