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EggCetera Cafe (Downtown Mokena)

July 8, 2019
  • 19709 Mokena Street
  • Mokena, IL 60448
  • (708) 478-6051
  • Website
  • Menu

We were a little slow to get moving after spending Saturday night at a friend’s 40th birthday party.  No, we weren’t hungover.  It was a 40th birthday party, not a 30th, so it ended at about 10:00…not 1:00.

No, we were a little slow to get moving because we had no kids to wake us up at the butt crack of dawn.  They were with my parents about an hour away and we were going to meet up around 11:00 or so back at the park in Mokena where we dropped them off the day before.  My niece had a second day of a softball tournament.

We missed breakfast at our hotel..which was fine..it was a cheap hotel where the employees were constantly smoking outside the front entrance so I wasn’t super sure we wanted to eat there anyway.

There was a Denny’s across the street….but come on, you should know me better than that.

I found a local place called EggCetera in downtown Mokena.   There are actually two locations.  The other is in a strip mall on 191st Street.  We passed that one on the way to one downtown which provided a much better atmosphere than a strip mall.

The original location sits right next to the Metra tracks on Mokena Street in historic downtown Mokena.  The train station is right across the street which is where we chose to park since it was a Sunday and there isn’t commuter traffic to downtown.  There appeared to be a pretty large lot behind the building but we didn’t see that when we pulled in.

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3 Corners Grill & Tap (New Lenox)

July 6, 2019
  • 901 E. Lincoln Highway
  • New Lenox, IL 60451
  • (815) 485-9000
  • Website
  • Menu

OK…we’re getting old.  I remember when my parents turned 40 and it seemed like they were ancient.  I turn 40 this year and a lot of our friends have already hit that mark.

One of J’s best friends from high school (and the Maid of Honor at our wedding), celebrated her 40th birthday last weekend in New Lenox, IL near where she lives now.  Her husband sent out a Facebook invite a couple of months ago and I started making plans for us to get there.  I found a hotel nearby fairly cheap (hard to do because it was NASCAR weekend at Chicagoland Speedway which was close by) and asked my parents to watch the kids.

We got the kids to my parents pretty easily despite the fact they live an hour from where we were staying.  My niece was playing softball that weekend in nearby Mokena and my parents were planning on being there to watch her.  It worked out great for us because the park was ten minutes from our hotel.

It was super hot that day so we checked in to the hotel and showered before heading to 3 Corners Grill & Tap Room at the corner of Lincoln Highway (US-30) and Marley Road in the South Suburb of New Lenox.  This is one of three locations for 3 Corners with the other two being in Downer’s Grove and Lemont.  3 Corners is fairly new to this location.  As recently as last fall, this spot was known as Floyd’s Ale House. This 3 Corners sort of shares a plot of land with a credit union and after banking hours, their parking lot opens up for bar patrons…which is a good thing because the place was packed the night we stopped by.

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Buona (Frankfort)

July 6, 2019
  • 20950 S. LaGrange Road
  • Frankfort, IL 60423
  • (815) 534-5700
  • Website

Sometimes, things work out.  We were planning on heading back to the Chicagoland area for one of J’s high school friend’s 40th birthday party.  The kids were invited but we figured we’d have more fun without them so I asked my mom if she wanted the grand kids for the night.  She jumped at the chance but my niece was supposed to play softball in Pontaic, IL that weekend.  I said that was fine..we’d take the kids down to Pontiac and pick them up from there on Sunday if we needed to.

About a week or so before we were scheduled to go, my nieces softball tournament got moved to Mokena, IL.  This was soooooo much better because our hotel for the weekend was actually in Mokena.  The party was in New Lenox which is nearby so things worked out perfectly.

The softball game wasn’t until 3:00 and we couldn’t get in to our hotel until about then too so we took care of some chores at home before heading to Chicago in the afternoon.

We pulled off the highway about 2:30 and started heading towards the park.  J was hungry though and kinda wanted a Chicago Dog.  She searched for a Portillo’s nearby and we started heading there.  Along the way, we passed another Chicago chain that would satisfy both her desire for a Chicago Dog and my always burning lust for a good Italian beef.

Buona is a rapidly expanding chain of Chicago-style food.  The locations popping up all over the place is new but the restaurant that started it all claims to be the inventor of what we now know as the Italian beef sandwich.  There’s a connection to the downtown location of Mr. Beef which then gets you back to the street corners during the early 1900’s but Buona was the place that took it to the suburbs by opening a shop in Berwyn.

The Frankfort location is on the very busy LaGrange Road just south of the I-80 interchange.  It is in a fairly new strip mall with access from access road just north of the building.

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City Centre Market & Deli

July 5, 2019
  • 125 S. Kalamazoo Mall
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49007
  • (269)
  • Website
  • Menu Changes Daily

This is blog is really going to resonate with downtown workers.  The rest of you will think I’m crazy, but not having a deli downtown has been torture for the last six months.

You see, I used to walk to Irving’s Market & Deli almost daily.  If not for lunch then definitely to pick up a couple of Pepsi’s and maybe a bag of chips.  My office doesn’t have a vending machine so if I forget to bring something with me, Irving’s was my go to.

Then, Irving’s closed.  They claimed they were relocating but if that’s still happening, it hasn’t yet..and it’s been over six months.

A new market was announced to be moving into the Irving’s space a month after they closed….and that market FINALLY opened a few weeks ago.

City Centre Market & Deli is in the City Centre building in downtown Kalamazoo.  The building is on the first open section of the Kalamazoo Mall south of the Exchange Place alley.

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Plainwell Ice Cream Company

July 5, 2019
  • 621 E. Bridge Street
  • Plainwell, MI 49080
  • (269) 685-8586
  • Website
  • Menu

Is there a better way to get the kids to leave a splash pad than to bribe them with ice cream?   That was rhetorical.  We all no the answer is no.

We were looking for something to do a few Sunday’s ago and I suggested we go to breakfast then check out the new splash pad in Allegan.  We did breakfast at The Village Inn then played for about an hour on the Perrigo Splash Pad behind downtown Allegan.

There was a gift shop open right behind the splash pad that was selling ice cream bars but we told the kids they could wait fifteen minutes and we’d drive back to Plainwell.

We stopped at Plainwell Ice Cream Company because at some point, we realized we had never been there.  I checked my blog and couldn’t find an entry and I never pass up blogging about new places.

Plainwell Ice Cream Company is on the east side of town as you’re heading out of the city on M-89 which is known as Bridge Street in town.  The corner of Bridge and Broad Streets used to house Newman’s Ice Cream which was opened by a former employee of cross-town rival Dean’s Ice Cream in the 1950’s.  In 1978, the business was sold and became Plainwell Ice Cream Company.

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Village Inn

June 28, 2019
  • 1520 Lincoln Road
  • Allegan, MI 49010
  • (269) 673-2317
  • No Known Website
  • Menu

Did you Allegan had a splash pad?  It’s new this year right on the riverfront near the Allegan Event zipline downtown.

We were looking for something to do on a Sunday morning when B said he wanted to go get breakfast.  It doesn’t happen very often that one of our kids asks to go out to eat somewhere that isn’t a McDonalds with a PlayPlace.

There’s actually a brewery in Allegan I had been wanting to try but it turns out, that was closed.  My plan was to go there then use the, “if you’re good we’ll go to the Splash Pad.”  I did that anyway, but I replaced brewery with breakfast.

The Village Inn is just outside the Allegan city limits on Lincoln Street (or M-40) in Allegan Township east of the city.  The small restaurant has been around for many years and while it shares it’s name with a chain of family breakfast restaurants, it doesn’t seem to have any affiliation with pancake houses headquartered in Nashville, TN.

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DaVinci’s Smoked Meats & Pasta

June 21, 2019
  • 1616 E. Chicago Road
  • Sturgis, MI 49091
  • (269) 651-1431
  • Website
  • Menu

We went for the low key Father’s Day.  We spent it at Jessica’s parents.  I smoked some ribs and a pork butt.  The kids took a boat ride.  I took a nap or two.  Nothing fancy which is fine with me.

We decided to stay the night at her parents since I was going to smoke a pork butt.  I had to get up early to get it started so it was better that we were just there.  I could get up and everyone else could sleep in.

J’s parents offered to watch the kids when we got there so J and I could go to dinner.  I was kinda hoping we could go to Bill’s Steakhouse but neither of us brought steakhouse clothes.  J’s dad had a suggestion he thought we’d like though so we did that.

DaVinci’s Smoked Meats & Pasta has had a few different names but this seems to be the newest iteration.  The restaurant is on Chicago Drive on the east side of town at the intersection with Franks Avenue just before you leave town.  The building sits kind of awkwardly on a corner lot and goes for a cabin theme with faux rocks and logs covering the exterior walls.

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