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Kelvin & Co Urban BBQ (Downtown)

May 26, 2021
  • 312 S. Kalamazoo Mall
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49007
  • (833) 535-8467
  • Website
  • Menu

BBQ.  Man, I can’t get enough of it.  Whenever I’m asked what my favorite meal is, I pause for a second.  I want to say hamburgers…or pizza…or wings…but is it though?  BBQ is always the meal that makes my mouth water just by saying the three letters out loud.  

There was a great BBQ option downtown when my company moved in to an office in Kalamazoo.  I would walk often to the original Kelvin & Co. Urban BBQ location on Michigan Avenue.  One day, I walked down there for lunch and it was closed.  Sign was in the window saying the restaurant wouldn’t be re-opening.  

There have been other Kelvin & Company locations over the last four years and I’ve been a frequent visitor to them all.  Portage had a location.  So did Grand Rapids.  And there’s still a store on West Main Street that I patronize rather frequently.  

Kelvin & Co. has moved back to downtown but not in a traditional sense.  There is no big storefront.  Just a walk up window on the Kalamazoo Mall.  

Kelvin & Co. Urban BBQ opened a walk-up a few weeks ago in a space that has been a juice bar and a coffee shop in recent memory.  The small shop is right next to Mlive on the Kalamazoo Mall just south of South Street.  They’re only open three days a week and they only take cash.  The menu is a little smaller but it’s still delicious BBQ within walking distance of my desk chair.  

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Station 66

May 17, 2021
  • 4588 D Drive South
  • Battle Creek, MI 49015
  • (269) 979-5766
  • Website
  • Menu

We’ve been all about the hikes since the pandemic started over a year ago. Just like restaurants, I like to check out new places to hike. I get bored easily.

Late last week, I worked an extended day in Battle Creek. J asked when I’d be done so we could do something about dinner. I asked her if instead of ordering dinner, would she and the kids like to meet me at a new hiking spot we’ve been wanting to check out. Of course, she said yes.

The hiking spot was Historic Bridge Park in Emmett Township. The hike is part of the North Country Trail. The kids really weren’t interested in hiking so we bribed them with ice cream. Give us a mile or so out and we’d find a place to get ice cream.

There really isn’t anything close to the park as far as ice cream shops so I picked one that was a little further away but also had food. I had Serious Dogs for lunch but that was lunch. I wanted something for dinner now.

Station 66 is on D Drive South just off M-66 in Leroy Township south of Battle Creek. The restaurant has a pretty large footprint and really takes advantage of their large outdoor area to social distance.

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Serious Dogs

May 17, 2021
  • 55 South 20th Street
  • Battle Creek, MI 49015
  • (269) 753-1172
  • Website
  • Menu

I have definitely been paying more attention to Battle Creek lately. For years, I had a hard time finding new places or unique places. I found a Facebook group that opened my eyes to so many great places in Calhoun County.

I was in Battle Creek last week and spent most of the day in town. There was no going to back to Kalamazoo until our workday was over so I went looking for lunch.

I picked the place with online ordering. Serious Dogs wasn’t too far away from where I was from and I’m always about the ease of not talking to anyone.

Serious Dogs is on South 20th Street south of Territorial Road. This is a street in Battle Creek I don’t think I’ve ever been on…at least not in this area…nothing looked familiar despite the building being between Territorial and Columbia.

The restaurant sits pretty close to the road and has a very distinct look to it. I would have guessed the place used to be a Mexican restaurant but it was a place called Weezers Bar & Grill for several years before Serious Dogs moved in.

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Gibby’s on the Lake

May 17, 2021
  • 23510 Island Hills Drive
  • Centreville, MI 49032
  • (269) 467-7900
  • Website
  • Menu

Holiday celebrations are getting close to getting back to normal.

Mother’s Day 2020 was really our first “holiday” where we had to improvise. We ended up at J’s parents, fully masked and outside for about 20 minutes just to say “Happy Mother’s Day.”

2021 we were really hoping to do things a little more traditionally. We’re still hesitant to go to restaurants because the kids aren’t and won’t be vaccinated for a while. We thought we had found a place we could enjoy a meal outside….that is, until the rain got in the way.

Gibby’s on the Lake is at the Island Hills Golf Course just outside of Centreville on Shimmell Road south east of the Village. The restaurant is in the club house which is a pretty far drive on Island Hills Drive once you turn off Shimmell Road. When my in-laws moved to this area a few years ago, the building that’s now Gibby’s on the Lake was Cassandra’s at Island Hills. They had eaten there a few times but J and I never did. Also, if the name sounds somewhat familiar, Gibby’s in Mendon is one of my in-laws favorite eateries in the area.

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Riviera Theatre & Bar

May 12, 2021
  • 48 N. Main Street
  • Three Rivers, MI 49093
  • (269) 278-8068
  • Website
  • Menu

Two meals in one day? What’s the special occasion?

I worked late in St. Joseph County one day last week and J told me to grab something for dinner on my way home. I had eaten a kind of late lunch at Meeks Mill Cafe in Constantine but figured I was near Three Rivers and could stop at one of the places that have been on my list for quite a while.

I drove in to Three Rivers with tacos on my mind but I found the taco truck everyone can’t stop talking about and there were A LOT of people waiting for tacos. No worries…I have options.

I headed towards downtown to find a place to park and see if the pizza place I’ve been itching to get to was open. It was so I called in my order then hit up a gas station for a couple of Pepsi’s while I was waiting for it to cook.

Riviera Theatre & Bar is more of a theatre than a pizza joint. The Riveiera was built in the 1920’s by the Fitzpatrick-McElroy Company out of Chicago. A few years after it was built, the theater was leased to Butterfield Theatres….the owners of the State Theatre in Kalamazoo (among others). The Riviera is in downtown Three Rivers on North Main Street just south of Portage Avenue.

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Meeks Mill Cafe

May 10, 2021
  • 138 E. Water Street
  • Constantine, MI 49042
  • (269) 435-8325
  • Website
  • Menu

I spend a lot of time in St. Joseph County now that my in-laws moved to the Centreville/Sturgis area. I love finding new places to eat down that way because in the 11 years I’ve been writing this blog, we haven’t had much reason to go to St. Joseph County.

The Constantine/White Pigeon area is part of the county I never really get to though. We’ve gone out of our way a time or two to a restaurant but we just don’t go that far south on US-131 often.

I was in Constantine for work last week and wanted to make sure I found some place for lunch. My co-worker was all about Piper’s Grinders Galore but I had already eaten there and wanted to find some place else.

There are a couple of sit down diners/restaurants in Constantine but finding an online menu for them is really much harder than it should be in 2021. I did finally find a menu for the diner so that’s where I called in an order to.

Meek’s Mill Cafe is right off the US-131 Business Loop, or Washington Street, in downtown Constantine on East Water Street. The building is one of those old brick buildings that populate small town downtown areas across the country. The building stands out among the others in the area with a mural of what I can only assume is Meek’s Mill on the side. Fun fact, the village of Constantine was originally known as Meeks Mill after William Meeks who built the first grist mill in town. There’s a story in that mural of how the town came to be.

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The Farmhouse Deli & Pantry

May 10, 2021
  • 100 Blue Star Highway
  • Douglas, MI 49406
  • (269) 455-5274
  • Website
  • Menu

Back in March, we took a trip to Saugatuck to celebrate J’s birthday. We rented a cabin with some friends and went on several hikes around the area.

In an unusual move for us, we didn’t eat out much. We mostly snacked for lunch and cooked a couple of the nights for dinner. The only night we went out, we went to Guardian Brewing Company, which I had already wrote a blog for.

That doesn’t mean I didn’t do my homework and look for restaurants though.

I was in the Saugatuck area last week for work so I started diving in to my archive looking for some place to grab dinner. A little sandwich shop in Douglas got the nod.

The Farmhouse Deli & Pantry is on Blue Star Highway in Douglas just south of Center Street where you would turn to head out to Oval Beach. The shop is a small multi-tenant building with a few other storefronts.

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May 7, 2021
  • 435 Ionia Avenue SW
  • Grand Rapids, MI 49503
  • (616) 980-2278
  • Website
  • Menu

Meat is the best.  Good meat is even better.  I’ve always been one that is willing to pay a little extra when I want something high quality…but on the other end of the spectrum, I’m also willing to eat super cheap when I just want something quick and easy.  

I worked an overnight shift in Grand Rapids late last week and hung around the office doing some other tasks until about lunch time.  I glanced at my watch around 11 AM and realized I had been there way to long and wanted to get home.  I packed my stuff up and started heading south when I decided I really needed food.

I haven’t been to the Downtown Market in quite some time and while Slows is always a draw for me there, I decided to go look around to see what other options there are now.  

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Thunderbolt Chicken Drive Thru

April 19, 2021
  • 3905 W. Dickman Road
  • Springfield, MI 49037
  • (269) 224-6978
  • Website
  • Menu

I always seem to have a hard time finding something to eat when I’m in Battle Creek. I know there are places…I just have a hard time finding them for some reason.

I recently stumbled on a Facebook Page called The Carryout Club and all of a sudden, there are dozens of restaurants in the Battle Creek area I can’t wait to try.

I was in Battle Creek for an assignment near the airport a few weeks ago. I had already made a plan when I left that morning on what I was going to do for lunch.

Thunderbolt Chicken Drive Thru is…well, a drive thru chicken sandwich restaurant. They’re located inside JB Whiskey’s on Dickman Road at Base Avenue. There is a little bit of signage you can see from the road but the actual chicken part of the restaurant is on the backside of the building. You need to turn in to the parking lot off Base Avenue before you really see it.

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Que Buenos Fresh Mexican Grill (Portage)

April 14, 2021
  • 5000 S. Sprinkle Road
  • Portage, MI 49002
  • (269) 365-9121
  • Website
  • Menu

Pre-pandemic, we took our son to Comstock Early Learning Academy for preschool. We had tried a couple of others and they weren’t good fits but CELA seemed to really be working for him.

CELA is not close to our house. It’s on the other side of town actually…so that meant long car rides in the morning to get him to school after I got L to her preschool so she could get on the bus.

J and I both took different routes to get there but both of passed the corner of Sprinkle and Kilgore on our way. Everyday, B would point out the construction being done at the building on the corner that has been several restaurants over the years.

Our kids have picked up on the joke that every building being built or renovated in Kalamazoo is either a bank or a credit union and B carried on the joke every time we drove by….until we saw it was going to be a Mexican restaurant. From that point forward, he was obsessed with stopping their to pick up food. We kept telling him we would one night…then the pandemic started and school shut down.

That restaurant is the second location of Que Buenos Fresh Mexican Grill.

Que Buenos opened up in that building angled towards the corner of Kilgore and Sprinkle right on the Portage/Kalamazoo city line. The building has been quite a few things over the years but mostly pizza places. The last time I was in there was many years ago when it was a Cottage Inn…and I can’t find a blog post about it…and if I didn’t blog about it, did it really happen?

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