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Vitale’s Pizza & Subs

February 26, 2017
  • vitalesallegan3320 Western Avenue #A
  • Allegan, MI 49010
  • (269) 673-2121
  • No Known Website
  • Menu

Some days are crazy at work.  I started out in Kalamazoo.  Made my way to Centreville.  Started towards Bronson, then got called back to Allegan and finished up the night in Grand Rapids.  I didn’t think I was going to get a dinner break, but I decided to force one.  There’s a pizza place in Allegan that I’ve wanted to stop at for as long as I can remember and since I had a little bit of time.  It was time to make that happen.

Those of you that live in Grand Rapids are very familiar with the Vitale’s name.  There’s a number of them in the area.  Those in Kalamazoo are not quite as familiar with it….and that’s unfortunate.  Vitale’s always delivers with great pizza.

Vitale’s is another one of those places where I don’t quite understand how they’re all connected.  The Allegan store goes by “Vitale’s III,” but appears to have no connection to the Kent/Ottawa County stores..at least by the Vitale’s of Comstock Park website.

Vitale’s Pizza & Subs is a pretty small shop right on the corner of Western Avenue (which is M-40) and Grant Street on the west side of the City of Allegan.  It a small corner building with very little parking.  There’s a gravel area right next to the building and another gravel area right across Grant Street near the Autozone.  For some reason, this was a really busy Thursday night and there were a lot of cars parked in the area, so I had to park across the street. Read more…

Frosty Boy

February 19, 2017
  • 5030 Gull Road
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49048
  • (269) 345-5360
  • No Known Website
  • Menu

Sixty degrees in February?!  Seriously, that’s not Michigan weather.

We had to take advantage of this rare, awesome Saturday in the middle of winter.  We planned on trying to eat on the patio at Hopcat, but we got there before food service outside began, so we just took a table at the bar.  As we were eating lunch, J suggested we find an ice cream place where we could sit outside.

Kalamazoo really lacks local ice cream stands.  We typically go to Culvers if we get ice cream because there just isn’t any place to go other than a couple of Dairy Queen’s and Ritter’s Frozen Custard.   We really didn’t want DQ or Culvers and didn’t know if Ritter’s was even open yet….so Google to the rescue.

Google pointed me towards Frosty Boy on Gull Road.  We had never been to Frosty Boy and it never even crossed my mind when we were talking about ice cream.  We were already downtown, so the drive down Gull Road wasn’t that far.   Read more…

Finale’s Pizzeria

February 19, 2017
  • 8885 N. 32nd Street
  • Richland, MI 49083
  • (269) 203-7472
  • Website
  • Menu

A co-worker and I had a quick trip to Galesburg the other night and I hadn’t eaten all day.  I was really hungry, but time was at a premium because we still had to go back to Grand Rapids.  I knew I didn’t have a lot of choices, but I knew there were some pizza places along the way in Richland.

Google can be my best friend when I’m in a hurry and in an unfamiliar place.  I mean, I know a little bit about what’s in Richland, but Google gives me options.

I got a couple of options when I put in pizza places in Richland, but only one was on my direct route back to Grand Rapids.  That’s the one I chose.

Finale’s Pizzeria is right outside of Richland on 32nd Street in Richland Township.  It’s actually kind of hard to spot coming from Richland.  It shares a building with Texas Corners Cleaners, but there’s no sign on the 32nd Street sign of the building.  I trusted my GPS and pulled in to the parking lot because I could see lights on in the front of the building. Read more…

Chau Haus Schnitzel Station

February 8, 2017
  • 410 S. Burdick Street
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49004
  • (269) 532-5245
  • Website
  • Menu

Alright.  All done with the travel blogs and time to get back to Kalamazoo.  I only have a couple of ideas for new blogs in this area though because there just isn’t much opening.  I have some intel on some really cool things in the works, so hopefully that will pick up as we get closer to summer.

One place I had been trying to get to for a while though is the Chau Haus Schnitzel Station on South Burdick near the State Theater.  I saw this place had opened last fall, but it’s not a place I think J would enjoy, so I was kind of saving it until I had time to eat lunch by myself.

That time came while I was working an extra night at WMU.  I got my lunch break around 2:00 and headed downtown.

The Chau Haus Schnitzel Station took over the space that used to be Dogs With Style right next to Harvey’s on the Mall.  There was another hot dog place in between the time I first blogged about Dogs With Style and when Chau Haus moved in.  I never made it there.  It didn’t seem to last long because they wanted to be strictly a hot dog place and there just isn’t enough of a bar crowd in that area to support something like that. Read more…

Chick-Fil-A (Gaines Township)

February 7, 2017
  • 1545 Edgeknoll Drive SE
  • Grand Rapids, MI 49508
  • (616) 656-6000
  • Website
  • Menu

So it begins. Chick-Fil-A has finally arrived in West Michigan.  The franchise will be opening three stores at the beginning of 2017 with a few more in the works.  The first one to open in Grand Rapids opened in the middle of January to long lines and a lot of fan fare.  Lucky me, J asked me to stop a little over a week after they opened to pick up lunch on my way home.

I was coming home from Big Rapids after spending the night due to work.  I set an alarm so I would get up and get moving in the morning so I didn’t waste a day off with my family.  Up and moving in the morning for me is 9 AM.  It was 9:30 by the time I left my hotel in Big Rapids and started heading south.  J knew that the one open Chick-Fil-A in the area wasn’t too far out of my way and asked if I’d stop and pick up lunch.

West Michigan’s first Chick-Fil-A is in Gaines Township right off M-6 at the Kalamazoo Avenue exit on Edgeknoll Drive.  The restaurant is in a very weird spot sort of tucked in between Bob Evan’s and the highway.  There’s no way to access it from Kalamazoo Avenue even though that is what appears to be the “front” of the building.  You actually have to go past Bob Evans and turn on Edgeknoll Avenue.  There’s a couple of parking lot entrances from there to go behind Bob Evans and enter the Chick-Fil-A parking area.  If you’re going to the drive thru, you have to go through this lot and up and around the building.  Really…it’s quite an odd set up.   Read more…

#52 Sports Bar and Kitchen

February 7, 2017
  • 1005 Perry Avenue
  • Big Rapids, MI 49307
  • (231) 796-8494
  • Website
  • Menu

Two blog posts in a row in Big Rapids?  That’s nuts.  Especially because they are from two different days.  I think I can count on two hands the number of times I’ve been to Big Rapids in the past nine years and I had two reasons to visit in one week late last month.

I was in town for a hockey game.  My work outside work brought me to Ewigleben Ice Arena.  So, after a quick stop in Big Rapids on Monday for lunch, I was back in town on Friday for work.

The way my day usually goes when I do this outside work is that we work for about three hours, take an hour lunch, then come back for another six or so depending on the night and how quickly we work.  I got to Big Rapids at 2:30 for this job and by 5:00, we were headed out to lunch.

Despite the fact Big Rapids is a college town, restaurants are pretty slim pickens.  I’ve eaten at a couple in the past, but there are no good sandwich shops and very few non-chain restaurants that come with any sort of recommendation from students.  While I was in the arena, I happened to see advertisements for what sounded like a local sports bar, so I looked it up.  The menu looked good, so I broke with my colleagues (who were going to Crankers…and what’s the point if you can’t drink, right?) and headed back towards US-131.

#52 Sports Bar and Kitchen is inside the Holiday Inn on Perry Street in Big Rapids just off the US-131 exit.  I wasn’t entirely aware of that when I started driving that way, but the closer I got to the address, I figured it out.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing but I wasn’t expecting a hotel bar.  Had I know that, I probably would have passed and tried something else, but I was already there and my lunch break was slowly ticking away.

Read more…

Raven Brewing & BBQ

February 3, 2017
  • 121 N. Michigan Avenue
  • Big Rapids, MI 49307
  • (231) 629-8017
  • Website
  • Menu

Well, we’re done in Traverse City this time, but still not back to Kalamazoo.  Hang tight, just a few more blog posts and I’ve got one back in the area that this blog is actually named for.

First thing’s first though.  Our trip home from Traverse City.

We checked out of Great Wolf Lodge at the last possible minute.  L did one last craft in the lobby then we packed the car and headed south at about 11:45.  We had all eaten breakfast at the Dunkin’ Donuts inside Great Wolf so we weren’t really hungry yet.  We were just trying to get on the road and get home.  It was a fun weekend, but also a very tiring one.

Not long after we got on the highway, J asked if there was a brewery along the way we could stop at for lunch.  I mean, there’s still several in Grand Rapids I haven’t been to, but there’s also one in Big Rapids.  One that does not only beer, but BBQ as well.

Raven Brewing & BBQ is in downtown Big Rapids on Michigan Avenue.  It’s just to the north of Maple Street in the building that housed the beloved Pepper’s Cafe & Deli.  The brewery is owned by the same people that own the Blue Cow next door.  When Pepper’s closed, the Blue Cow bought the building, renovated it, and named their new brewery after the building’s original name.  Raven. Read more…