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Charles and Darl’s Smokehouse and Grill

May 8, 2018
  • 7417 N. 38th Street
  • Augusta, MI 49012
  • (269) 731-2458
  • Website
  • Menu

Twice this week I ate at a restaurant with an Augusta address.  Two days in a row actually.  That wasn’t by accident.  I said in my last blog post on the Canal Street Cafe that there are several restaurants in the Augusta area that I wanted to get to.

One of those restaurants is a BBQ place next to the Gull Lake View Golf Club and Resort  in Ross Township northwest of Augusta proper.  It’s a place that I’ve heard a lot about from a lot of different people.  We were out that way a few weeks ago when we went to the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary but we had just eaten lunch at Latitude 42 and we were just too full to stop for dinner.

That BBQ joint is Charles and Darl’s Smokehouse and Grill.  The restaurant is in the clubhouse for the Gull Lake View East Course on the corner of N. 38th Street and M-89.  The clubhouse sits at the halfway point right between the 9th and 10th holes on the course.   The restaurant has it’s own parking lot and entrance on the 38th Street side of the building.

Read more…


Canal Street Cafe

May 8, 2018
  • 113 E. Canal Street
  • Augusta, MI 49012
  • (269) 731-2622
  • Website
  • Menu

I don’t get to Augusta often.  Surprisingly, there are several restaurants in that area that I haven’t eaten at that I want to.  It’s not an easy drive off the highway so even stopping there on the way home from Battle Creek seems a little out of the way.

The only restaurant I’ve actually blogged about in Augusta is The Barking Frog, but that place closed years ago.  We went on a recommendation from one of J’s co-workers…but that was back in a time before kids and wacky work schedules.  We could take an afternoon drive for no reason.

The restaurant that replaced The Barking Frog is one that has been recommended to me several times.  It’s been on the short list for a while now.  We just haven’t had the time.  The owner even contacted me through Facebook several months ago making sure I had heard of them.  I told her I had and was hoping to make it in for lunch one day.

That one day became last Friday.  A co-worker and I were in the area for an assignment and we had a lot of time to kill.

Canal Street Cafe sits on Canal Street near downtown Augusta right along Augusta Creek.  As I mentioned earlier, the building used to be a pub known as the Barking Frog.  The outside of the building still looks pretty similar as to what it did then, but the inside has gone through quite a transformation.   Read more…

Stubby’s Smoke House & Specialty Meats

May 7, 2018
  • 115 N. Davis Street
  • Vicksburg, MI 49097
  • (269) 649-2499
  • Website
  • Sample Menu (changes daily)

I don’t get to Vicksburg very often but it seems like the last couple of months, that has changed.  I’ve been in the small Kalamazoo County community several times on job assignments and I always just kind of wander around aimlessly when it comes time for lunch.

A few months ago, I noticed a sign for a smokehouse near Vicksburg Middle School.  I found a Facebook page that showed they did a hot lunch every day with a rotating menu of smoked meats.  I hesitated at first just because it seemed like there was never a menu posted the day I was there and I didn’t want to just walk in and look stupid.

Late last week, I was in Vicksburg again and this time I decided to check it out regardless of whether they had posted a menu for the day.  I was hungry.  My co-worker had already eaten lunch so I wasn’t worried about if there would be something he liked or not.  I just went for it.

Stubby’s Smoke House and Specialty Meats is on Davis Street just East Prairie Street which services as the main thoroughfare through downtown Vicksburg.  The small shop is in multi-unit building that I hesitate to call a “strip mall” because there was obvious some care and thought put into designing this building which is more of a metal building with wood and stone accents.   Read more…

Sweetwater’s Donut Mill (Battle Creek)

May 2, 2018
  • 2807 Capital Avenue SW
  • Battle Creek, MI 49015
  • (269) 979-1944
  • Website
  • Menu

I always feel bad when I’m gone all day on a Saturday or Sunday at work.  That happened last weekend.  I worked a 17 hour day on the east side of the state.  L was still in bed when I left at 8:30 AM and everyone was in bed by the time I got home at 1:30 AM.

I was thinking on my way home what I could do for a little surprise for the kids.  I knew I was going to sleep in a little bit on Sunday and we had a birthday party to go to so there wasn’t going to be a lot of quality family time.  I knew I was passing a couple of Sweetwater’s on the way home and everyone loves donuts.

Sweetwater’s Donut Mill in Battle Creek is located right off of I-94 on Capital Avenue Southwest at the intersection with Beckley Road.  It shares a building with a pay day loan company. Read more…

Brown Iron Brewhouse

April 30, 2018
  • 57695 Van Dyke Avenue
  • Washington, MI 48094
  • (586) 697-3300
  • Website
  • Menu

So, even at work, I’ve become the guy who always has a place to eat no matter what town we’re in.

A co-worker and I traveled to the east side of the state on Saturday to Macomb County.  Our day was broken up with about a three hour break in the middle of the afternoon.  We could have just sat in the car watching Netflix on our phones but lunch sounded like a better idea.  Co-worker looked at me and said, “You already have a place picked out, don’t you?”

The place I picked out was Brown Iron Brewhouse in Washington Township.  The restaurant is a huge building on Van Dyke Avenue north of 26 Mile Road.  The big brick building was built new about three years ago for the restaurant.   Read more…

Arcadia Brewing Company

April 30, 2018
  • 701 E. Michigan Avenue
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49007
  • (269) 276-0458
  • Website
  • Menu

We have been really big fans of Arcadia Brewing Company for a long time.  From the first time we ate at their now closed Battle Creek pub to the many times we stopped in to the Kalamazoo tap room for a quick weekend meal before getting on our with our plans for the day.

The thing we have always loved about Arcadia Ales, other than the beer and the food, is the deli counter service.  We could always get in and out pretty quickly, but we were always there at non-busy times.  The service worked great for us.  Grab a quick meal and a couple of drinks and we could be in and out in less than a half hour.

That all changed a few week ago when Arcadia moved to a full service restaurant.  I’m sure we were in the minority with liking the counter service and, like I said, we were always there at off-peak times so I have no idea what the wait was like on Friday and Saturday nights.

I got off work early on Friday because I was going to be working an incredibly long overtime shift on Saturday.  We picked L up from the bus stop and asked where she wanted to go for dinner.  She actually suggested Arcadia because she likes their mac & cheese.  I’m not going to argue when my kid picks a delicious brewery for dinner.

Things have changed since the last time I blogged about Arcadia Ales when they opened in 2014.  The Battle Creek pub and production facility are closed.  All the beer is now produced at this facility on Michigan Avenue right next to the Kalamazoo River. Read more…

W.K. Kellogg Bird Sanctuary

April 27, 2018
  • 12685 East C Avenue
  • Augusta, MI 49012
  • (269) 671-2510
  • Website

It’s nice outside.  It’s finally nice outside.  We no longer have to feel trapped inside the house on weekends.

This past Sunday, we met some friends for lunch at Latitude 42 in Oshtemo right when they opened at 11:00.  We wanted to get a table near the play area so we could watch the kids and still be able to have a conversation.  We tied up a table for about an hour and a half then went our separate ways.

J wasn’t ready to go home yet and neither was I.  She had read about free admission to a place we had never been to but heard good things about.  It was a nice day and we wanted to be outside so why not? We strapped the kids in and made our way towards northeastern Kalamazoo County.

The W.K. Kellogg Bird Sanctuary is part of Michigan State University’s Kellogg Biological Station.   The sanctuary was gifted to MSU in 1928 after being opened a year earlier as a refuge.  The sanctuary takes up a large track of land that includes Wintergreen Lake near the southeastern edge of Gull Lake in Ross Township.   Read more…