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The Butler

April 1, 2020
  • 40 Butler Street
  • Saugatuck, MI 49453
  • (269) 857-3501
  • Website
  • Menu

I’m still going to work every day.  Not much has changed for me.  J, on the other hand, is working mostly from home.  She goes in to the office occasionally if she has a big print job or needs to get things signed by her boss but for the most part, she’s riding this pandemic out at home with the kids.

By Saturday, J really wants to get out of the house.  We’re really limited in what we can do.  I’m doing all the grocery shopping since I’m out every day anyway so that’s not even a way to get her out of the house.

We got a new car right before all of this started and for the first time, we have WiFi and a DVD system in the vehicle.  J figured just taking a drive was better than sitting at home and the kids would be entertained.

We just started driving west with no particular place to go.  I was sort of heading towards Saugatuck because I knew it would be a pretty good drive.  I figured we could call in a carry-out to someplace there and then sit at the beach for a little bit if it wasn’t crowded.

We got to town and headed to a gas station to fill up.  I noticed The Butler was still open so I had J call in an order while I filled up and got candy for the kids.

The Butler has been in downtown Saugatuck since the 1960’s.  It’s one of those quintessential tourist town on the lake restaurants.  They have outdoor patios that look over Lake Kalamazoo and the boardwalk and a large dining room for those busy summer nights when downtown Saugatuck is bustling.

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Rollup Ice Cream & Tea

March 30, 2020
  • 3262  Stadium Drive
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49008
  • (269) 8882553
  • Website
  • Menu

Getting out and getting exercise is one of the few things we can still do while we’re under this Stay At Home, Stay Safe Executive order.  We’ve taken a few walks in our neighborhood and yelled conversations at the neighbors from across the street but we really wanted to get out of the house.

We got the kids up and headed out to Asylum Lake.  We figured if we went in the morning, there would be even less people there and we were right.

The kids loved exploring the Preserve.  They had to climb every downed tree we came across and both of them were muddy five minutes into our walk.

We promised the kids a treat after we got done with our hike and used it as a bribe to get back in the car.  There’s an ice cream place that just opened and they’re still doing carry-out.

Rollup Ice Cream & Tea is on Stadium Drive in the Stadium Shoppes strip mall.  Their location is kind of hidden by the Air Force recruiting center and the building near the road the houses Biggby Coffee.  The location has been pizza places in the past.  At one time it was a Gumby’s Pizza and after that, a Jasper’s.  Most recently, it was a vape shop.

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March 29, 2020
  • 65108 Red Arrow Highway
  • Hartford, MI 49057
  • (269) 621-4911
  • Website
  • Menu

The next few blog posts are going to be a little weird.  If you’re reading this as I post them, you know what we’re living under with the Stay-At-Home order.  If you find this in the future, remember that time when everything was shut down?  This is when we found the Gala-T-Inn.

J is working from home but my job still requires me to go in for at least part of the day.  As many of you are learning, working from home with children is not easy and, in fact, pretty stressful.

The end of the first week of staying at home was getting to J.  We had just gotten a new car and we needed to take a drive to make sure everything was alright with it.  J noticed on Facebook Journeyman Distillery was holding  fundraiser for their employees.  We decided to take the long way to Three Oaks so the kids could watch a movie in the car…we finally got  car with a built in DVD player and everyone is super excited.

We grabbed a couple of bottles of whiskey from their curb side service.  We then started heading home with a new movie in the DVD player.

I asked J if pizza was OK for dinner again.  There’s a place in Hartford I’ve really been wanting to go to and it was on the way home.  The pizza always looks so good on their Facebook page.

Gala-T-Inn is just outside of the Hartford village limits on the west side of town.  The small restaurant is on Red Arrow Highway near 65th Street in Hartford Township.  It’s really easy to spot.  There’s a giant chef with a pizza in his hand right in the front of the building.  Read more…

Reed City Brewing Company

March 22, 2020
  • 141 Upton Avenue
  • Reed City, MI 49677
  • (231) 465-4222
  • Website
  • Menu

We always plan our trips to Traverse City around beer and water slides.  It’s not unusual for us to hit up breweries along the way and even while we’re in town.

We didn’t have a lot of time on our most recent trip home from Great Wolf Lodge.  We had to get the kids back for their ice skating lessons at 4:00 so we had a very small window of time to stop and eat along the way.

I did a Google search for “Breweries along my route” and actually got a couple of hits of places we haven’t been to because I didn’t even know they existed.

We picked Reed City Brewing in Reed City (duh).  The brewery is in downtown on the corner of Upton Avenue and Higbee Street.  The first thing you notice about the place is the sign.  It looks like they took and old city limits sign and crossed out “city limits” and replaced it with “Brewing Company.”

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Pangea Pizza

March 16, 2020
  • 135 E. Front Street
  • Traverse City, MI 49684
  • (231) 946-9800
  • Website
  • Menu

Our trips to Great Wolf Lodge usually end the night with pizza from somewhere.

We always go out to eat for lunch and do some exploring then hit the water park in the afternoon.  The kids are always too tired at dinner time to eat out and we need to be in the resort for story time and the dance party.

There is a take out pizza place inside Great Wolf Lodge.  We’ve eaten there before and it’s not awful but you know I like to find local places whenever I can.

I always gravitate towards places that have online ordering and Pangea’s Pizza in downtown Traverse City had both that and good reviews.

Pangea’s Pizza is on Front Street between Cass and Union Streets. It’s in the middle of the street and the only parking is on the street in front or in the municipal lot that runs behind the length of the buildings.  I drove around the block a few with no luck until I found a spot in the municipal lot closer to Union Street. Read more…

Stormcloud Brewing Company

March 14, 2020
  • 303 Main Street
  • Frankfort, MI 49635
  • (231) 352-0118
  • Website
  • Menu

It’s been a few years since we took a trip to Traverse City.  Our Northern Michigan trips usually center around a stay at Great Wolf Lodge and we just haven’t had the time to do that in a while.

Both kids had a day off from school last Friday so either J or I would have had to take a day off anyway.  We decided to both take a day off and treat the kids to a weekend of water sliding fun.

Our Great Wolf trips always give us a chance to find new breweries along the way.  We drove to Short’s Brewing one year, we stopped at Cedar Springs Brewing one year, we stopped at Rockford Brewing one year…this year, we took the long way to Traverse City through Frankfort.

We went out of our way to stop at Stormcloud Brewing in downtown Frankfort for lunch.  I’ve always heard so much good about the brewery on Main Street near the intersection with 3rd just a few blocks from Lake Michigan.

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Farm Bird

March 14, 2020
  • 4404 W. Main Street
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49006
  • (269) 888-2242
  • Website
  • Menu

Ghost restaurants.  That’s a concept that’s becoming more and more popular with the rise in popularity of food delivery services.

The whole idea of a ghost restaurant is that there is no physical location.  They work out of a commercial kitchen somewhere and deliver food via the popular delivery apps.

Kalamazoo doesn’t have a lot of these ghost restaurants yet but there are a couple out there.

One of those ghost restaurants has kind of come out as not really being one anymore once the secret got out.

Farm Bird started out as a ghost restaurant working out of Lake Burger’s location on West Main Street.  It popped up on Grubhub a few months ago offering up fried chicken and smoked mac ‘ n cheese.  At the time, Lake Burger made no mention of it being part of their business and didn’t offer the chicken in store.  That’s not the case anymore.  You can get the chicken in store now but it’s best to call ahead as they cook everything to order.

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