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Green Door Distilling Company

March 26, 2017
  • 429 E. North Street
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49007
  • (269) 929-7341
  • Website

J and I have really taken advantage of grandparents coming to visit lately.  Last month, when her parents were in town, we went out to dinner at The Union.  Our plan that night was to go to Green Door Distilling afterwards, but they were closed that night for a private party.

This weekend, my mom and aunt came for a visit.  We grilled chicken and steaks on the grill then we asked if we could sneak out for an hour or so.  They were fine with a little one-on-one time and didn’t have any qualms about putting the kids to bed, so J and I finished our date night from a month ago.

When I grill, I usually stand outside and drink while the food is cooking.  I had already had a couple of beers while I was grilling.  I wasn’t drunk by any means, but if we were going out to drink some more, I didn’t think it was a good idea for me to drive.  I asked J if she wanted to drive and she didn’t really want to either, so we called an Uber.

Green Door Distilling Company is in Kalamazoo’s Northside Neighborhood on North Street at the intersection with Wahlbridge.  The building looks like it was kinda mashed together at sometime in the past.  There are three distinct buildings that are all connected together.  In a previous life, this building was Artwear Apparel.  Just looking back at previous Google Streetview photos, you can see the work that has went into unifying this building in to one harmonious space. Read more…

Anna’s House (Kalamazoo)

March 22, 2017
  • 4700 Stadium Drive
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49008
  • (269) 372-3900
  • Website
  • Menu

I’d really like to think I’m a pretty observant guy….yet somehow, this one totally got passed me.

I really had no idea Sophia’s House of Pancakes had closed.  I really had no idea that Anna House bought the place.  I really had no idea that there was a major renovation being done inside this building that I drive by several times a week.  It wasn’t until the sign went up and I saw that familiar “AH” that I finally figured out something was going on.

We knew that getting in to Anna’s House on a weekend is going to be tough for a while….and possibly forever, so we had an idea.  Let’s stop in during the week.

L will be starting kindergarten next year and Kalamazoo Public Schools held their kindergarten orientation last week.  We went to check out her new school, sign up, and take a short school bus ride.  We were done at the school a little before 11:00 and L wanted to “check out the new restaurant.”  We were all hungry so why the heck not?

Read more…

Founders Brewing Company

March 18, 2017
  • 235 Grandville Avenue SW
  • Grand Rapids, MI 49503
  • (616) 776-1195
  • Website
  • Menu

So many of the big beer companies have that one special release every year that you just can’t wait to get your hands on.  Goose Island has Bourbon County Brand Stout.  Bell’s has Black Note.  Dark Horse as BBA Plead The 5th.  Three Floyd’s has Dark Lord.  And, of course, Founders has Kentucky Breakfast Stout.

Out of all the breweries that do special releases, Founders is by far the easiest and most efficient.  Tickets are bought online a couple weeks ahead of the release.  There are five days to choose from.  Whichever day you choose, you show up with your ticket and get your beer.  No waiting in line.  No having to make plans about a single day release.  No hearing through the grapevine that the beer has been released.

The last several years have saw me getting my tickets for a day that I had to work.  I would either stop before work and pick up my allotment or head over on my dinner break.  This year, a friend from Chicago asked if I wanted to ride up to Grand Rapids with him.  I figured I hadn’t been to the taproom in quite a while, so I took a vacation day and got my ticket for the same day as him.

We chose to get tickets on Wednesday because it wasn’t the first day and it wasn’t the weekend so we figured we’d both have a better shot of getting the tickets.  Our gamble paid off.  We both got tickets for Wednesday, so after he dropped his daughter off in school back in the Chicago suburbs, we met up in Kalamazoo then drove together to Grand Rapids.

The allotment this year was either two four packs and two bombers or three four packs and two bombers.  I went with the smaller one while he chose the larger.  We picked those up first from the side of the brewery.  After we dropped them off in my truck, we headed in for lunch.

Founders Brewing Company is on Grand Rapids southwest side.  What was once a small taproom and production facility now takes up a whole city block and has added to the Grand Rapids skyline.  The brewery in on Grandville Avenue between Bartlett and Williams Streets right across the street from The Rapid Central Station. Read more…

Little Caesars (28th Street)

March 9, 2017
  • 725 28th Street SW
  • Wyoming, MI 49509
  • (616) 531-3075
  • Website
  • Menu

I’m not a huge fan of Little Caesars.  I’ll stop every so often because who can pass up a $5 pizza?

That $5 pizza isn’t great, but they do have a couple options that are a little more expensive that I can honestly say that I like.  The Deep! Deep! Dish is pretty darn tasty and the Crazy Bread is craveable.

I was on my way to work last Sunday and was getting really hungry.  I didn’t eat lunch and I knew I was going to have a fairly easy day, so I decided I was going to be nice.  I stopped at Little Caesars to pick up a couple of pizzas for the office.

I first stopped in Wayland, but was told it would be about a twenty minute wait for what I wanted.  I didn’t have that much time, so I  kept going north until I hit 28th Street.

Little Caesars on 28th Street is just to the west of US-131.  It’s a corner lot where 28th meets McKee Street.  This is one of two locations in the city of Wyoming.  The other is on 36th and Byron Center. Read more…

Club Car Grille

March 5, 2017
  • 6225 W. D Avenue
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49009
  • (269) 775-1267
  • Website
  • Menu

If you’ve ever made the drive from Kalamazoo to the Kalamazoo Speedway, you’ve likely passed a train car in the middle of Alamo Township where there are no train tracks.  When J and I first moved to Kalamazoo in 2009, this train car was a restaurant.  They even had a bar underneath it that was open at night after the restaurant closed.

The Club Car Restaurant closed several years back and has sat empty since, so imagine my surprise when Facebook ads started telling me it was open again.  Not only was it open, but the food looked amazing and after a couple of co-worker of J’s stopped in there last week and tweeted their meals, we had to find time to get out there.

It didn’t take us long.  Saturday was a somewhat lazy day, but L has swimming lessons at 10 AM.  When she and J got home from lessons, we started discussing lunch.  I said why not make the drive out to Alamo and J eagerly agreed.

The Club Car Grille is on D Avenue in Alamo Township about just to the east of Ravine Road.  If you get off US-131 and head West, the restaurant is a little less than a mile from the highway on the south side of the road.   Read more…

Chick-Fil-A (Portage)

March 5, 2017
  • 6202 S. Westnedge Avenue
  • Portage, MI 49002
  • (269) 327-0877
  • Website
  • Menu

I bet you’re tired of hearing about Chick-Fil-A, aren’t you?  I am yet I can’t stop eating there.  I mean, it’s good, but is it really wait in the drive thru line for 40 minutes good?

Yeah…..I’m not waiting in any long line for fast food.  The few times we’ve gone since it opened, J has went and went inside instead of waiting in that long drive thru line.  I have avoided the place so far….until last Friday.

I wanted to try the breakfast.  J has been telling me how good the breakfast is.  I’ve only ever had the chicken sandwich, so I knew I had to try breakfast at some point.

The Portage Chick-Fil-A is the third one to open on the west side of the state and the first in Southwest Michigan.  I’ve been to both the Gaines Township and Wyoming locations in the Grand Rapids area a time or two but always for lunch or dinner.   I was hungry after I dropped L off for school on Friday morning and I needed to stop at Meijer, so I just kept going south until I hit the Chick-Fil-A.

The Portage store takes over the space that used to be Bilbo’s.  I know a lot of people were sad to see that business go, but many more were happy to see Chick-Fil-A move in.  The store is right along South Westnedge in the Southland Shopping Center.   Read more…

Arturo’s Tacos

March 5, 2017
  • 305 N. Beacon Boulevard
  • Grand Haven, MI 49417
  • (616) 844-4100
  • Website
  • Menu

I write a lot about burgers, pizza, wings, and BBQ, but there’s really one food that I crave fairly often.  Tacos.  Not Taco Bell or Qdoba tacos, but a good steak taco on a corn tortilla with just cilantro.

I’ve got a place in Grand Rapids that I really love going to when I get that taco craving.  I don’t have one of those in Kalamazoo, but there is at least one good place and one I haven’t tried yet.

Early last week, I was traveling along the lakeshore for work and ended up in Grand Haven.  I had time to stop and pick up dinner and there’s a taco place I drive by a lot when I’m in that area.

Arturo’s Tacos is right off US-31 which is the way most people come in and out of Grand Haven.  Through town, 31 is Beacon Avenue and Arturo’s is on the corner of Beacon and Elliot Avenue.  It’s a small shop that was extremely busy when I stopped in around 4:00 on a Monday evening. Read more…