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Firekeepers Casino & Hotel Event Center

May 21, 2019
  • 11177 E. Michigan Avenue
  • Battle Creek, MI 49014
  • (877) 352-8777
  • Website
  • Menu

A couple of months ago, J surprised me when she said she’d like to see Dennis Miller.  I didn’t really think their political views lined up which can usually be a a reason not to see a comedian, but she said she always loved his unique view and commentary on every day life.

I was never a big fan of him but I figured if J wanted to go, I like stand-up enough that it would be something we could both enjoy.  I got a couple of tickets for the show at Firekeepers which would also mark the first time we had been to a show at the Event Center inside Firekeepers Hotel and Casino.

I’ve been to a few different casino’s to see shows and they’re all pretty much the same.  The room is a multi-purpose room with a stage.  Firekeepers is no different.  They had signs on the casino floor pointing us towards the Event Center which is down a hallway on the northeast side of the building.  For a conference or something similar, you could easily make your way between the casino floor and the Event Center but because this was a ticketed event, they brought us through the long way which made forming a line a little easier.

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Dacey’s Taphouse

May 20, 2019
  • 11177 E. Michigan Avenue
  • Battle Creek, MI 49014
  • (877) 352-8777
  • Website
  • Menu

It’s been quite a while since we’ve been to Firekeeper’s Casino in Battle Creek.  I can actually tell you exactly when it was..because it’s the only time I’ve ever been there and I blogged about it.  October of 2009.

J and I aren’t gamblers.  It’s fun to play every so often but the thing that will always keep us away from casinos is the smoke.  There’s really no reason this should be an issue in 2019.

A few months ago, I saw an ad for Dennis Miller performing at Firekeeper’s.  I was a little surprised J said she’d like to see him so I decided to get tickets.  We’ve never been to a show there, it was a Friday night, and it would get us out of the house for a few hours.

We decided just to eat at the casino.  J had been back to the casino a few times for various work events and when I brought up Dacey’s Taphouse, she thought that was a fabulous idea.

Dacey’s Taphouse is the sports bar located inside the casino.  There’s a parking lot and outside entrance but we decided to park in the ramp just in case it was raining.  That means we had to walk through most of the gaming floor to find the bar tucked in to a corner surrounded by slot machines.

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Lake Burger

May 19, 2019
  • 4404 W. Main Street
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49006
  • (269) 888-2355
  • Website
  • Menu

Sometimes a sign noticeable from a busy road is the best advertisement.

Earlier this week I was driving to downtown Kalamazoo from US-131 via Main Street.  As I got to the Big Apple Bagel near Piccadilly Road in Kalamazoo’s Westwood Neighborhood and noticed a new sign on a building next door.  It had the word burger in it so you know I was heading back after work.

Lake Burger just opened up this week. In fact, when I stopped in on Wednesday, that happened to be their first day of business.  It’s in a small storefront in the same building between Big Apple Bagel and Subway that I’m not really sure has ever housed a business as long as I’ve been here.

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Burgerhaus (Valparaiso)

May 17, 2019
  • 3304 Calumet Avenue
  • Valparaiso, IN 46383
  • (219) 286-3296
  • Website
  • Menu

So, we had these big plans for Mother’s Day.  J and I took the kids to a hotel in Portage, IN.  They had a splash pad for the kids so I knew they’d have fun.  J got her own room so she could sleep a night with no one touching her or yelling at her in their sleep.  Then on Sunday, we were going to meet my parents for lunch so I could see my mom on Mother’s Day.

I started looking for restaurants in the area of Portage, IN and didn’t come up with much but Valparaiso isn’t too far away.  I found several there that looked fantastic but most of them were doing brunch.  We’re not brunch people…especially for the price.  Eventually, as I expanded the search, I started finding other options.

I picked Burgerhaus on the northeast side of Valparaiso.  The burger restaurant is tucked into a strip mall on the corner of Calumet and Bullseye Lake Road just barely within the city limits. Read more…

Aurelio’s Pizza (Portage, IN)

May 15, 2019
  • 6500 West US Highway 6
  • Portage, IN 46368
  • (219) 763-7788
  • Website
  • Menu

Mother’s Day.  It’s always fun to try to come up with something fun to do on this special Sunday in May.  Most moms just want to be left alone for a day.  I get that.  My kids are very clingy at times and not wanting to be touched is something we all can relate too.

We didn’t get to spend Easter with my parents so I asked if they’d like to meet for Mother’s Day.  My plan was to get a hotel in Portage, IN, get J her own room so she could have one night of sleep with no interruptions, then meet my parents for lunch on Sunday.

We picked Portage, IN because there’s a Best Western Plus there that has a pool with a splash pad.  Rooms were pretty cheap and it’s a little more than halfway to where my parents live.

We spent most of the evening Saturday in the pool area once we got there.  We had stopped for lunch at Taco John’s on the way so the only meal we needed was dinner.  The kids were exhausted so we weren’t going to go out.  Pizza is always a good hotel meal and I found a place somewhat familiar to me not far from our hotel.

Aurelio’s Pizza is a Chicago area chain that has been around since the late 1950’s.  They have 40 stores in six states.  There is one near where I grew up in Bourbonnais, IL but we rarely ate there.  We were more Monical’s Pizza people.

The Portage, IN Aurelio’s Pizza is on a busy corner at US Highway 6 and North 500 West.  It’s on the corner of a strip mall with several other businesses and most easily accessible from the N. 500 West side.  Read more…

Jersey Giant Subs (Stadium Drive)

May 14, 2019
  • 3621 Stadium Drive
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49008
  • (269) 532-1358
  • Website
  • Menu

I have professed my love for Jersey Giant Subs many, many times on this blog over the years.  They’re such simple, delicious sandwiches that are far superior to the big chains that do almost the same thing.

Several years ago now, we had a JGS on the west side of town.  It was on Drake Road near the Kohls and I ate there often.  I didn’t eat out much over the winter that year and one day I stopped to get a sandwich and the store was closed.  We lost our West Side JGS.

Last week, we got a west side location back.

Jersey Giant Subs opened up on Stadium Drive near Meadowview Lane.  It shares a building with the Hertz Rent-A-Car location near the car dealerships.  This spot had been a Subway for several years before it closed a few months ago.

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Jaspare’s Pizza (Mendon)

May 9, 2019
  • 120 N. Nottawa Street
  • Mendon, MI 49072
  • (269) 496-7331
  • Website
  • Menu

We stayed at J’s parents house a little longer than I think we thought we would on Sunday but it was such a nice day.  The kids, for some reason, decided they were going to swim in a freezing cold lake and we all took a quick boat ride to look at some of the house around where Nana and Grandpa live.

J asked me around 4:00 if we should just order a pizza and eat there before heading back to Kalamazoo.  Our plan was to feed the kids then get them in the car almost ready for bed by the time we got home.

My in-laws eat most of their meals when they eat at The Local in Centreville.  The place has fantastic food and they keep adding more.  They added pizzas just before Nana and Grandpa went to Florida for the winter and that’s what they’ve been eating since they got back.  They offered up that option but there are so many more pizza places we need to try out.

J suggested Jaspare’s Pizza in Mendon.  The tiny carry-out/delivery restaurant is very easy to miss if you’re not looking for it.  It’s on Nottawa Road just north of the intersection with M-60/Main Street but it looks like any other house on any other street in the town.  It doesn’t look like a business and if it wasn’t for the temporary but permanent sign strung between two posts in front of the house, you’d think someone was living there…not cooking delicious pizza.

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