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Roma Pizza (Bangor)

July 18, 2018
  • 111 W. Monroe Street
  • Bangor, MI 49013
  • (269) 427-7296
  • Website
  • Menu

Another Friday night working away from Kalamazoo means another Friday night I get to find a pizza place in a small town.

My co-worker and I spent the day in South Haven on Friday…tough assignment, right?  Anyway, that meant I wouldn’t be getting home until closer to 8:00.  J had already ordered a pizza from Hungry Howie’s for her and the kids.  That would have been fine if I was closer to home, but since I was going to be late and I was passing pizza places I’ve never been to, I decided to bring home my own pizza.

For years now we’ve been driving to South Haven using M-43.  The only town between Kalamazoo and South Haven we have to slow down for is Bangor.  M-43 runs right through their main business district which has a few restaurants and shops alongside the very busy highway.  On the east edge of town is a non-descript white building that has piqued my curiosity for a long time.  It looks like it’s been around for quite a while and if that’s the case, it must be hiding something good.

Roma Pizza is on Monroe Street, or M-43, just to the west of Walnut Street as you enter downtown Bangor from the east.  The boxy building isn’t much to look at it.  It appears that it was connected to another building which then connected to another and so on at one time, but now it sits between a grassy lot and a credit union.  There is parking on the street along M-43 but there’s also a lot behind the building and a sidewalk that leads to the front door. Read more…


O’Duffy’s Pub

July 12, 2018
  • 804 W. Vine Street
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49008
  • (269) 381-9771
  • Website
  • Menu

It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post about a place in Kalamazoo.  We’ve been traveling on weekends this summer and when we’re home, we’ve been trying to save money and not eat out.

J has been doing this thing on Monday nights where she gets together with a group of friends who also have husbands that work second shift.  They do a potluck and let the kids play.  B is doing a dance class on Monday nights for a few weeks so this week, they pushed it back to Tuesday.

I don’t work second shift on Tuesday so J told me I would probably want to grab something to eat before coming home as there would still be a lot of kids running around and mostly “healthy food” from their potluck.  I probably could have found something to eat but I decided to take advantage of her telling me to get a beer and something to eat after work.

I picked O’Duffy’s Pub in the Vine Neighborhood.  I’ve always heard they have great burgers but their pub menu is pretty much only burgers so I’ve never asked J to go.

O’Duffy’s Pub and Cosmo’s Cucina share the same 19th century building on the corner of Vine and Locust Streets.  There’s a little construction in the area right but the building is still accessible from both streets at night.  Parking is on the street in the surrounding neighborhood.  Trees cover the front of the building and I actually drove right past it at first.  I knew it was there but it wasn’t until I was the past the building that I realized where I was.

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Sherman’s Dairy Bar

July 11, 2018
  • 1601 Phoenix Street
  • South Haven, MI 49090
  • (269) 637-8251
  • Website
  • Menu

Go to South Haven on a gorgeous summer Saturday afternoon?  That’s crazy, you say?  I agree with you…but we did it anyway.

We haven’t been to the beach yet this summer and it was such a great day that we decided to fight the crowds.  Parking at the beach was impossible.  We tried both South and North Beaches.  We eventually headed towards the smaller beaches and found a spot at Dyckman Park.

We played for a couple of hours then figured we should get something to eat.  The kids were hot and they didn’t throw a fit when we left…so that’s a win.

We were trying to go to South Having Brewing Company…but….parking.  We drove around downtown several times and couldn’t find a spot, so I finally gave up and declared we were having ice cream for lunch.

There’s really only one place for ice cream in South Haven and that’s Sherman’s Dairy Bar.  I mean, we’ve had Sherman’s ice cream several times at different places in West Michigan but we’ve never actually been to the source.

Sherman’s Dairy Bar is on the outskirts of town on Phoenix Street near the I-196 interchange.  The Dairy Bar is part of a large building where the ice cream is made. This building has been used as an ice cream shop since the late 1950’s.  There’s a walk-up order window but that was closed.  There was a sign telling people to head inside.  We were met with a line out the door.

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Stefano’s Pizzeria

July 9, 2018
  • 165 W. Superior Street
  • Wayland, MI 49348
  • (269) 397-1717
  • Website
  • Menu

Friday night is pizza night.  How many times have I said that recently?

J actually met a group of friends and their kids at Bell’s with the idea that I would join them there after work and grab a burger to-go.  That didn’t happen.  I was stuck in northern Allegan County on an assignment and I wouldn’t get done until about 6:30.

I told J not to wait for me and I would just order a pizza on my way home.  I was fairly close to Wayland so I decided to check to see if there was something nearby that I haven’t been to yet…and wouldn’t you know it?  There was….sorta.

Stefano’s Pizzeria claims to be the King of Pizzas.  The business is located on Superior Street just west of Main Street in an old strip mall that sits quite a ways off the road.  The last time I was in this building, it was Wing Kingz..which was owned by one of the co-owners of this restaurant….who was also a co-owner of Joe’s Way Pizza…which was also co-owned by this restaurant’s namesake.  Following along so far?

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Three Blondes Brewing

July 9, 2018
  • 1875 Phoenix Street, Ste. B
  • South Haven, MI 49090
  • (269) 872-3911
  • Website
  • Menu

We left Chicago on Sunday morning just before 10:00 to head back to Michigan after a quick five day getaway.  We wanted to get home, but we also had an idea for lunch on the way back.

South Haven is a little out of our way but there’s a new brewery that opened up on the edge of town that J has been wanting to get to.  I never say no to breweries so I was on board.  When we hit Benton Harbor, we just slid on to I-196 and headed up the lake shore instead of making the drive back east to Kalamazoo.

Three Blondes Brewing is on Phoenix Street about half a mile east of the I-196 interchange.  It’s connected to VanDerZee Motorplex.  The “Three Blondes” in the breweries name are the the three daughters of the owner of the motor sports dealership just inside the South Haven city limits.  The brewery, with a large glass front facing Phoenix Street, is now accessible via a new driveway off of Phoenix that wasn’t there just a few months ago.  I forgot that the building only used to be available off Dewey Lane on the backside of the building.

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Hawaiian Shaved Ice – Tropical Sno

July 9, 2018
  • 7905 Narragansett Avenue
  • Burbank, IL 60459
  • (708) 253-7889
  • Website
  • Menu

When we left Milwaukee on Saturday morning, we didn’t feel like making the trip all the way around the lake back to Kalamazoo.  We decided to make a stop at J’s parents house in Oak Lawn.

We spent the day just kind of relaxing.  It was still 100 degrees with  the heat index.  The kids played outside in the pool for a while and the adults just kinda vegged out.

J and I picked up a late lunch from one of our new favorite spots in Oak Lawn, Fry the Coop.  We kind of skipped dinner because neither of us were hungry around the usual dinner time.

J was watching TV when she got an idea.  Shaved ice.  Something that used to be all over Chicagoland when she was growing up.  It was a hot enough day that little shaved pieces of flavored ice sounded good so we started trying to find something nearby.

We had to go to the Googles to find a place.  All the ones from J’s childhood are long gone and her parents couldn’t think of one nearby.  We found a couple and tried calling ahead but both places went to voicemails.  We decided to chance it anyway.

We picked Hawaiian Shaved Ice on Narragansett Avenue just to the south of 79th Street in the Chicago suburb of Burbank.  The small shop is in an old strip mall on the east side of the road.  The store windows had the graphics we were looking for but we were unsure if they were open.  There was no sign in the window and I didn’t see anyone inside until I got out of the car and got closer.   Read more…

Smoke Shack – Wauwatosa

July 6, 2018
  • 11340 W. Burleigh Street
  • Wauwatosa, WI53222
  • (414) 431-1119
  • Website 
  • Menu

There are three things I usually look for when we travel when it comes to finding restaurants.  Pizza, breweries, and BBQ.  I had already hit the first too on this quick trip to Milwaukee.  Our last meal in town was going to be BBQ.

There were some highly rated places near out hotel out by the airport but I was concerned about finding something for the kids.  I also found a few places downtown but no way in hell I was going back downtown now that Summer Fest traffic was in full swing, so I had to expand my search a little bit and came up with something that fit us perfectly.

Smoke Shack is a two store restaurant chain in the greater Milwaukee area owned by Hospitality Democracy.  There is one located in the Historic Third Ward downtown and one just west of the city in Wauwatosa.  We picked the Wauwatosa store on Burleigh Street near I-41.  It’s in the Mayfair Collection which is an upscale outdoor mall.  The Smoke Shack is the first building you see when you turn in at the corner of 114th Street.  The building itself is a pretty simple brick box, but they dress it up with a roughed up wood arch that is meant to resemble…well….a shack.

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