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Pizza and Sub Shop

May 27, 2016
  • 733 W. Summit Avenue
  • Norton Shores, MI 49441
  • (231) 733-4468
  • No Known Website
  • Menu

For some reason, all of my co-workers think I always know a good restaurant no matter where we’re at in the western part of the state.  Case in point, I was in Muskegon Heights the other night with a co-worker and she said before we headed back to Grand Rapids, she had to have something to eat.  She wanted a sandwich, that wasn’t Subway or Jimmy John’s and just assumed I knew someplace good.

Not wanting to disappoint, I turned to the Google.  I don’t know the Muskegon area very well, so I needed some help.  I put in the word “sandwich” and got a hit for a sub shop not too far from where we were.

Pizza an Sub Shop is on Summit Avenue just to the west of Seaway Drive in Norton Shores.  It’s a small building with a large parking just inside the city limits of Norton Shores.  There’s no much information about the place online but it had good reviews, so I figured it would be good enough.

C.W. and I walked in just after 7:00.  The place was empty but there was a steady stream of carry out orders coming in to pick up sandwiches while we waited.

There were laminated menus laying on the counter next to the cash register and the day’s specials were written on a giant chalkboard that took up most of the wall separating the dining room from the kitchen.  We each grabbed a menu and it was at this point C.W. realized she had eaten at this little shop before.  She thought it was with me, but it wasn’t.  She liked it last time she ate there so I knew I had picked something good.  Read more…

Juicy Burger

May 19, 2016
  • juicyburger3643 Capital Avenue SW
  • Battle Creek, MI 49015
  • (269) 223-7218
  • Website
  • Menu

Seriously, you cannot open a new burger restaurant without getting my attention.  I really don’t even remember how it popped up in my Facebook feed, but before it even opened, Juicy Burger was already on my radar.

I was in Battle Creek for work and had a few minutes to grab something quick for dinner.  I was downtown at the time and Juicy Burger is in the Old Lakeview Neighborhood on Capital Avenue SW just south of Territorial Road.  It’s only a few minutes down Capital to get to the restaurant and it’s kinda, sorta on the way out of town, so I decided it was burgers for dinner.

Juicy Burger has an origin story that intertwines with Cereal City Burgers down the street.  The Enquirer covered that in it’s article on Juicy Burger’s opening if your interested, but short story is, the guy who owns Juicy Burger also started Cereal City Burgers, lost it due to some bad financial transactions then started a competitor down the street in a building that most recently a Middle Eastern restaurant called Shwarma’s Queen

The building is on a very busy stretch of Capital Avenue.  There are a few parallel spots right in front of the building, but there’s also a parking around the corner on Richards Place.  The restaurant has an entrance from that parking lot on the back of the building as well as the front entrance from Capital.   Read more…

Cooper Cafe

May 19, 2016
  • 7759 Douglas Avenue
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49009
  • (269) 383-2960
  • Website
  • Menu

A lot of times for work, I will take the long way back to US-131 if I’m on the northeast side of Kalamazoo.  It seems like it’s just easier to go down Douglas Avenue and hit the  highway from D Avenue instead of taking the BL….well, that and sometimes, I’m just killing time.

On that drive back to D Avenue, I’ve passed a little restaurant sort of in the middle of nowhere in Cooper Township.  It’s always closed as I typically drive that route at night, but I had to get up with the kids one morning earlier this week and head in that direction.

L had a school field trip at DeLano Farms on West E Avenue in Cooper.  B always gets me up early and we’re kind of habit forming on school days.  I like to get out of the house a little after 8:00 to get L to school by 8:30.  The field trip wasn’t  until 9:30 and, being a preschool, parents had to provide transportation.  I decided not to ruin our routine and got the kids out of the house by 8:00 with the intention of going to breakfast.

Cooper Cafe is on Douglas just south of D Avenue in what can only be described as the business portion of Cooper Township.  The Township Hall and fire station is just around up the street on D and the area’s only grocery store sits right at the corner.

We pulled in to a very rough parking lot that was quite full.  Cars were parked all the way around the building leaving me no choice but to park on the perimeter and navigate a 4-year-old through the very deep muddy puddles left from yesterday’s rain. Read more…

11th Street Grill

May 15, 2016
  • 2747 S. 11th Street
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49009
  • (269) 372-1596
  • Website
  • Menu

I was really sad when Greenleaf Hospitality sold the Holiday Inn West.  I couldn’t really care any less about the hotel itself.  My family has only stayed their once so we could take advantage of the pool.  They typically stay at the much cheaper Baymont Inn down the street.  What makes me sad is that with the sale, we lost Burdick’s West.  Sure, the service could be spotty and they messed our to-go order up more than once, but we love the Burdick’s restaurants and it was nice having one so close to our house.

It was about a year ago that the Burdick’s name left the restaurant at the Holiday Inn and we hadn’t been back since.  I don’t like going in to things blind and it was damn near impossible to find any information online about the place.  I don’t need reviews…I just want a menu.

I eventually did find that menu on the Facebook page for the Holiday Inn West after my in-laws, who didn’t know the restaurant had changed hands, stopped in for dinner one night while they were in town.  They were happy with it and said the menu was pretty good, so I finally decided it was time for us to do the same.

The next time my mother-in-law was in town, I suggested we check out the 11th Street Grill.  We wanted to go out for dinner, but didn’t want to go far.

The hotel is just south of Stadium Drive on 11th Street.  You can see it from US-131, but it can be a little tricky to find if you don’t know where it’s at.  It sits way back off the road and there are only small signs near 11th Street to show you the entrance.

We walked in just before 5:00 on a Friday night.  Nothing has really changed with the decor or set up of the restaurant.  There’s still a large bar area as you walk in and a hostess station near the middle of the space that divides the bar from the main dining room.  The furniture is all the same and they even have a lot of the same jersey’s hanging on the wall that were there when Greenleaf owned it.   Read more…

King of the Grill

May 11, 2016
  • 4400 N. Grand River Avenue
  • Lansing, MI 48906
  • (517) 323-3096
  • Website
  • Menu

When J and I lived in Lansing, there was no BBQ.  That’s not the case anymore.  It seems like every time I get sent to Lansing for work, I find more BBQ.  We couldn’t eat BBQ when we lived there, but I’m now on a mission to eat at every BBQ place in town when I go back for work.

My last trip took me to downtown Lansing again.  I was going to repeat at Capital City BBQ on MLK and Saginaw, but I decided to do a search and see if anything else came up.  Whadya know?  Something did.

King of the Grill is my latest Lansing BBQ find.  It’s on North Grand River Avenue in an old Burger King right next to the entrance for the Capital Region International Airport.

The building’s former life is painfully obvious.  Nothing much was changed on the inside or outside.  It really looks like a 90’s style Burger King…but when it comes to places like this, aesthetics aren’t what’s important.  It’s the food that really matters.

I couldn’t find a menu online anywhere, but they advertised Texas-style BBQ, so I knew there’d be something delicious.  The menu is in the old BK menu board behind the counter.   It’s a little confusing at first.  It’s not in list format as most menus are.  It’s kind of a picture menu, but there’s also some figuring out that goes into it as well.  A large portion of it is just pictures of the various mouthwatering meats.

I chose the three meat option so I could try as much as possible.  The meats I picked were the brisket (duh), flank steak, and pulled pork.  The other options are ham, turkey (not available on my trip), and chicken.   Read more…

Jersey Giant Subs – Kalamazoo

May 11, 2016
  • 1319 Portage Street
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49001
  • (269) 459-9250
  • Website
  • Menu

It really doesn’t take much to get me craving something.  A couple weeks ago, a co-worker was in Lansing and came back with Jersey Giant.  That got me thinking, “Damn….I want Jersey Giant.”  It took me a few tries, but it didn’t take long before I was walking in to work myself with a giant sub and making people jealous.

I end up in downtown Kalamazoo a lot before I actually head to Grand Rapids for work.  Early last week, I had a quick task at City Hall before my drive north.  I left the house a little early because I decided that day was the day I was going to stop at Jersey Giant.

I chose the one closest to downtown on Portage Street near Washington Avenue.  This is the newest of the Kalamazoo locations and probably the nicest JGS I’ve been in.

The business is in a remodeled building owned by Urban Alliance, Inc which also owns the restaurant.  At the time of it’s opening, it was the only JGS not owned by a member of the Slocum family (it may still be…I’m not sure..I’m just citing an old Kalamazoo Gazette article.)  The building is part of a transformation of the Washington Square area in the Edison Neighborhood.  The space that JGS is in used to be an adult bookstore.

I’ve actually tried three or four times to stop in this location for a sandwich, but it’s always at the end of the night.  The hours on the door say they close at 8:00, but I’ve stopped in three different times between 6:30 and 8:00 to find the doors locked.  This time, it was a little before 2:00 so there was no doubt that I was going to find the joint open.   Read more…

Ol’ Moose BBQ

April 26, 2016
  • 7540 S. Westnedge Avenue
  • Portage, MI 49002
  • (269) 377-4453
  • Website
  • Menu

More food trucks, more BBQ, no arguments from me.  I like both.

Friday’s are L’s short day at preschool.  I picked her up at 11:30 and texted J to ask if she wanted BBQ for lunch.  I had noticed a post on Facebook that a new BBQ food truck was going to open for the day despite the rainy weather, so I headed down Westnedge from downtown Kalamazoo to check it out.

Ol’ Moose BBQ has been opening up pretty much daily for several weeks now in an empty lot on South Westnedge in Portage across the street from Main Street Pub.  The physical address they give is 7540 S. Westnedge, but that doesn’t come up in Google Maps…..probably because it is literally an empty parking lot.  I’m pretty sure this is the same spot Nick’s Gyros used to set up when they were a food truck only operation if that helps you picture where it’s at.

Ol’ Moose is a simple BBQ truck.  The old bus has been painted red and loaded up with delicious smoked meat the owner likes to call “Michigan BBQ.”  The menu is simple with brisket, pork, chicken thighs and a sloppy joe.

I pulled in to the lot close enough to the truck that I could leave the sleeping baby in the car and he’d still never leave my sight.  I was actually the second person there right at the 11:00 opening time, so I had a few minutes to decide what I wanted to do for lunch while the person in front of me was getting their order put together.

I’m on a real brisket kick right now and had to make a choice.  Do I pick the chopped brisket sandwich which comes with giardiniera or do I pick the Brisket Tacos Al Carbon?  Both would have been delicious, but I chose the Tacos.

You can get the tacos with either pork or brisket.  I chose the brisket version which came with onion, cilantro, and chipotle roja wrapped in a flour tortilla.  The dish was two of these tacos wrapped up with the roja on the side.  I asked to forgo the onions, so the inside of the taco was just the brisket and cilantro.  I chose to use the salsa as more of a dipping sauce instead of opening up the tightly wrapped tortilla to add it to the inside of the taco.  Read more…

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