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Riviera Theatre & Bar

May 12, 2021
  • 48 N. Main Street
  • Three Rivers, MI 49093
  • (269) 278-8068
  • Website
  • Menu

Two meals in one day? What’s the special occasion?

I worked late in St. Joseph County one day last week and J told me to grab something for dinner on my way home. I had eaten a kind of late lunch at Meeks Mill Cafe in Constantine but figured I was near Three Rivers and could stop at one of the places that have been on my list for quite a while.

I drove in to Three Rivers with tacos on my mind but I found the taco truck everyone can’t stop talking about and there were A LOT of people waiting for tacos. No worries…I have options.

I headed towards downtown to find a place to park and see if the pizza place I’ve been itching to get to was open. It was so I called in my order then hit up a gas station for a couple of Pepsi’s while I was waiting for it to cook.

Riviera Theatre & Bar is more of a theatre than a pizza joint. The Riveiera was built in the 1920’s by the Fitzpatrick-McElroy Company out of Chicago. A few years after it was built, the theater was leased to Butterfield Theatres….the owners of the State Theatre in Kalamazoo (among others). The Riviera is in downtown Three Rivers on North Main Street just south of Portage Avenue.

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Meeks Mill Cafe

May 10, 2021
  • 138 E. Water Street
  • Constantine, MI 49042
  • (269) 435-8325
  • Website
  • Menu

I spend a lot of time in St. Joseph County now that my in-laws moved to the Centreville/Sturgis area. I love finding new places to eat down that way because in the 11 years I’ve been writing this blog, we haven’t had much reason to go to St. Joseph County.

The Constantine/White Pigeon area is part of the county I never really get to though. We’ve gone out of our way a time or two to a restaurant but we just don’t go that far south on US-131 often.

I was in Constantine for work last week and wanted to make sure I found some place for lunch. My co-worker was all about Piper’s Grinders Galore but I had already eaten there and wanted to find some place else.

There are a couple of sit down diners/restaurants in Constantine but finding an online menu for them is really much harder than it should be in 2021. I did finally find a menu for the diner so that’s where I called in an order to.

Meek’s Mill Cafe is right off the US-131 Business Loop, or Washington Street, in downtown Constantine on East Water Street. The building is one of those old brick buildings that populate small town downtown areas across the country. The building stands out among the others in the area with a mural of what I can only assume is Meek’s Mill on the side. Fun fact, the village of Constantine was originally known as Meeks Mill after William Meeks who built the first grist mill in town. There’s a story in that mural of how the town came to be.

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The Farmhouse Deli & Pantry

May 10, 2021
  • 100 Blue Star Highway
  • Douglas, MI 49406
  • (269) 455-5274
  • Website
  • Menu

Back in March, we took a trip to Saugatuck to celebrate J’s birthday. We rented a cabin with some friends and went on several hikes around the area.

In an unusual move for us, we didn’t eat out much. We mostly snacked for lunch and cooked a couple of the nights for dinner. The only night we went out, we went to Guardian Brewing Company, which I had already wrote a blog for.

That doesn’t mean I didn’t do my homework and look for restaurants though.

I was in the Saugatuck area last week for work so I started diving in to my archive looking for some place to grab dinner. A little sandwich shop in Douglas got the nod.

The Farmhouse Deli & Pantry is on Blue Star Highway in Douglas just south of Center Street where you would turn to head out to Oval Beach. The shop is a small multi-tenant building with a few other storefronts.

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Carvers

May 7, 2021
  • 435 Ionia Avenue SW
  • Grand Rapids, MI 49503
  • (616) 980-2278
  • Website
  • Menu

Meat is the best.  Good meat is even better.  I’ve always been one that is willing to pay a little extra when I want something high quality…but on the other end of the spectrum, I’m also willing to eat super cheap when I just want something quick and easy.  

I worked an overnight shift in Grand Rapids late last week and hung around the office doing some other tasks until about lunch time.  I glanced at my watch around 11 AM and realized I had been there way to long and wanted to get home.  I packed my stuff up and started heading south when I decided I really needed food.

I haven’t been to the Downtown Market in quite some time and while Slows is always a draw for me there, I decided to go look around to see what other options there are now.  

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Thunderbolt Chicken Drive Thru

April 19, 2021
  • 3905 W. Dickman Road
  • Springfield, MI 49037
  • (269) 224-6978
  • Website
  • Menu

I always seem to have a hard time finding something to eat when I’m in Battle Creek. I know there are places…I just have a hard time finding them for some reason.

I recently stumbled on a Facebook Page called The Carryout Club and all of a sudden, there are dozens of restaurants in the Battle Creek area I can’t wait to try.

I was in Battle Creek for an assignment near the airport a few weeks ago. I had already made a plan when I left that morning on what I was going to do for lunch.

Thunderbolt Chicken Drive Thru is…well, a drive thru chicken sandwich restaurant. They’re located inside JB Whiskey’s on Dickman Road at Base Avenue. There is a little bit of signage you can see from the road but the actual chicken part of the restaurant is on the backside of the building. You need to turn in to the parking lot off Base Avenue before you really see it.

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Que Buenos Fresh Mexican Grill (Portage)

April 14, 2021
  • 5000 S. Sprinkle Road
  • Portage, MI 49002
  • (269) 365-9121
  • Website
  • Menu

Pre-pandemic, we took our son to Comstock Early Learning Academy for preschool. We had tried a couple of others and they weren’t good fits but CELA seemed to really be working for him.

CELA is not close to our house. It’s on the other side of town actually…so that meant long car rides in the morning to get him to school after I got L to her preschool so she could get on the bus.

J and I both took different routes to get there but both of passed the corner of Sprinkle and Kilgore on our way. Everyday, B would point out the construction being done at the building on the corner that has been several restaurants over the years.

Our kids have picked up on the joke that every building being built or renovated in Kalamazoo is either a bank or a credit union and B carried on the joke every time we drove by….until we saw it was going to be a Mexican restaurant. From that point forward, he was obsessed with stopping their to pick up food. We kept telling him we would one night…then the pandemic started and school shut down.

That restaurant is the second location of Que Buenos Fresh Mexican Grill.

Que Buenos opened up in that building angled towards the corner of Kilgore and Sprinkle right on the Portage/Kalamazoo city line. The building has been quite a few things over the years but mostly pizza places. The last time I was in there was many years ago when it was a Cottage Inn…and I can’t find a blog post about it…and if I didn’t blog about it, did it really happen?

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Kazoopy’s Pizza & Grinders (Oshtemo)

April 14, 2021
  • 8126 West Main Street
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49009
  • (269) 375-0120
  • Website
  • Menu

If you’ve read this blog at all over the last ten years, you’d know Friday pizza night is a tratdition in our house. J’s family did it when she was little and now we’re doing it because everybody likes pizza.

We skip around from place to place. We’ll go a while really liking one delivery pizza place then get tired of it and move on.

One place that continues to stay in the rotation is Kazoopy’s Pizza & Grinders. Even with some order hiccups, double charges, and really long delivery times, we keep going back because the place is so good and they always make it right when something happens.

Kazoopy’s has had two locations for quite a while now. There’s one in Kalamazoo Township on West Main in an old Pizza Hut take out building and one in Oshtemo.

The Oshtemo location had been inside Dougherty’s Country Market for some time but recently, they made the move down the street to a new location.

Kazoopy’s Pizza & Grinders remodeled and moved in to a space near D & R Sports Center on West Main. The small brick building also houses an accounting firm. The space Kazoopy’s moved in to was last used by Barrett’s Smokehouse as their second location before they moved to Stadium Drive.

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Captain Sundae (Holland South)

April 7, 2021
  • 247 W. 40th Street
  • Holland, MI 49423
  • (616) 393-4900
  • Website
  • Menu

Ice cream for dinner used to be a pretty popular mantra for one of my former co-workers. We did it on several occasions but our favorite spot was in Holland.

We decided to do a spring break staycation this year that coincided with a milestone birthday for J. We rented a house in Saugatuck and did a bunch of hikes.

Thursday we actually did three different trails in the morning. We found Fairview Nature Park on 138th Avenue near Holland, Husyer Farmer Park on 64th Street near Holland, and Rabbit River Preserve (which was a really nice, well maintained trail) on 135th Street near Hamilton. Needless to say, we were all pretty tired after those back-to-back-to-back hikes.

We spent the afternoon relaxing in the cabin’s hot tub and just generally lounging around. I cooked some burgers for dinner and it was a laid back evening.

The family we were with wanted to go in to Holland for the evening. It was kind of a cold, blustery day and we knew there wasn’t going to be a lot open in Downtown. Holland State Park was an option but J mentioned Tunnel Park. She had never been there so that’s what we decided to do.

The kids were not very happy about leaving again. They were exhausted and just wanted to watch a movie…so we bribed them with ice cream.

Remember that story from six paragraphs ago when I was talking about a former co-worker who loved ice cream for dinner. Well, our favorite place to get ice cream for dinner was always Captain Sundae on Holland’s northside on the way to Holland State Park.

I wanted to take everyone to Captain Sundae but wasn’t planning on going that way to Tunnel Park. We were coming from Saugatuck though so I knew we’d pass the one on the southwest side of town.

Captain Sundae has three locations in the Holland area. There’s the previously menitoned one on Douglas on the northside, one in Zeeland, and one on 40th Street near Washington Avenue near the I-196 Business loop interchange. We chose to stop at the one on 40th Street.

The 40th Street Captain Sundae sits not too far off a very busy Washington Avenue. The building is more of a traditional restaurant with both indoor and outdoor seating plus a drive thru. The other locations are more seasonal walk up locations.

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Holland Cakery ‘n Sweets

April 5, 2021
  • 11539 E. Lakewood Blvd. Suite 30
  • Holland, MI 49424
  • (616) 396-0200
  • Website
  • Menu

We’ve done a lot of pandemic birthday’s and celebrations over the last year.  Each one was special and not something we would have done on our own.  

It started last year with J’s birthday.  We were still in hard lock down and her birthday was a pasta dinner from Comensoli’s and an ice cream cake from Menchie’s delivered by Grubhub.  B’s birthday we went to see a movie at Capri Drive-In. L got to have a friend who’s been in our pod stay the night for her first sleep over.  

J gets to be the lucky one to have two pandemic birthdays…and it was a milestone birthday.

Her birthday coincided with spring break this year. We don’t usually do anything for spring break. Usually L takes a theatre class and if I’m lucky, I’m following either U of M or MSU in the NCAA tournament for work. None of that happened this year and we decided we needed a change of scenery.

We rented a cabin in Saugatuck for a few days during the week with another family that is vaccinated and has been part of our little pod. We were still going to find a way to make J’s birthday special.

J and the kids met the other family at our cabin in Kingfisher Cove mid-afternoon on Tuesday. They went for a hike at Saugatuck Dunes State Park then ate dinner back at the cabin. I got to town just before 8:00 since I was the only one that actually had to work a full day.

Wednesday was more hiking. We started the day with breakfast at the cabin then a hike at Mount Baldhead Park. We got up the 303 steps then made our way back down using the trail through the dunes. It was about a two hour hike and we headed back to the cabin. Everyone needed a break so I asked J if I could run in to Holland to run an errand. She didn’t ask any questions (she knows me) and I didn’t offer up any answers but I had a plan.

I was on my way to the Holland Cakery ‘n Sweets to pick up cupcakes…because we had to have something to celebrate J’s birthday.

Holland Cakery ‘n Sweets is on Lakewood Boulevard west of 112th Avenue in Holland Township. The small bakery is in a strip mall near Salt & Pepper Savory Pub & Grill.

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On The Grid

March 29, 2021
  • 110 Hubbard Street
  • Allegan, MI 49010
  • (269) 512-7500
  • Website
  • Menu

It’s been a while since I’ve gotten an assignment deep in Allegan County. Our Grand Rapids office handles those most of the time but last week, I was sent to meet a Grand Rapids colleague near Hamilton for an assignment.

I left pretty early and took my time. I made a stop in Plainwell to run a couple errands then headed towards Allegan where I washed my car then went looking for lunch.

There are some breweries I’d really like to try in Allegan but I wanted to save those until a time when I could actually enjoy a beer or two…can’t really do that while I’m on the clock.

I picked On The Grid near the intersection of Hubbard and Water Street in downtown Allegan. The restaurant has been an Allegan staple for many years but was taken over by new owners within the last two.

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