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Chicago Subs & Grill

November 1, 2017
  • 1408 Portage Street
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49001
  • (269) 382-6871
  • No Known Website
  • Menu

Amazingly, it’s been almost ten years since J and I moved to Michigan….and eight of those years we’ve been in Kalamazoo.  I started this blog as Mid-Michigan Dining when we lived in Lansing.  When we moved to Kalamazoo, I started the current iteration.

If you’ve read this blog for any time, you’ll know how much I love Italian beef sandwiches.  They’re easily one of my favorite foods and I look forward to every trip to Chicago to get one.

It’s hard to find a good one in Michigan.  There are a few places that do a pretty solid job.  There are a lot of places that do a pretty awful job.   Finding the good places means going through the bad ones.

The first place I found that had an Italian beef in Kalamazoo was Chicago Subs & Grill.  About a month after we moved to Kalamazoo in 2009, I drug J to this little sandwich shop on the corner of Portage Road and Stockbridge Avenue looking to get my fix.  I was happy with what we got….not blown away by any means, but I liked the sandwich.

I drove by the shop a few weeks ago and realized I have never been back since that first visit.  Earlier this week I had time for a lunch break so I decided it was time to change that.

Chicago Subs & Grill isn’t the most inviting building in the world.  The sign is fading.  The paint is peeling off the wall.  It’s a restaurant that’s been around for a while and very little attention has been paid to the appearance of the building.

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Nonla Burger

October 29, 2017
  • 2103 S. Burdick Street
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49001
  • (269) 443-2270
  • Website
  • Menu

J doesn’t usually find out about new restaurants before I do.  She will typically say “have you seen xxx is opening” and I’ll usually say, “Yeah.”  She got me this week though when she asked if I had heard about the new burger place on Burdick.  I had not but as soon as I found their Facebook page, I had to get down there for lunch.

Nonla Burger is on the corner of Burdick and Alcott Streets in Kalamazoo’s Southside Neighborhood.  The little corner shop is just that.  Little.  It has a very small parking lot around a very small building on a very busy intersection.

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Hop N Pizza & Grinders

October 23, 2017
  • 106 W. Main Street
  •  Fennville, MI 49408
  • (269) 561-5400
  • Website
  • Menu

I think I’ve made it pretty clear over the years, when I travel, whether it’s for work or personal, I like to find local places to eat.  Every town has a Subway or McDonalds which would make it easy for me, but what’s the fun in that?

A Co-Worker and I recently took the short trip out to Fennville for an afternoon assignment.  Neither of us really planned on getting lunch figuring this would be a quick trip and we’d be back in Kalamazoo with time to grab a sandwich, but the assignment took longer than we expected.

We were downtown for quite a while and noticed a bar on the corner of West Main and South Maple Street.  I went in and grabbed a to-go menu then headed back to the car.  We finished what we had to do in town but before leaving, I wanted to grab a sandwich and the menu I grabbed earlier had a lot of delicious sounding sandwiches.

Hop N Pizza & Grinders is on the west end of downtown on M-89.  It’s impossible to miss as you drive through town.  Downtown is only a couple of blocks long but they have a lot packed in to it.  Hop N is right next to Salt of the Earth and actually shares some of their building.

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Coney Island (West Main)

October 20, 2017
  • 4635 W. Main Street
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49006
  • (269) 383-4543
  • Website
  • Menu

I used to do a lot of freelance work outside of my normal job.  I don’t do nearly as much as I’ve done in the past but whenever a job comes up, I like to try to take it.  It’s something I really like doing (but can’t make a career out of) and it’s a welcome change of pace.

Friday was one of the only days the rest of the year something will come up.  I was working at Western Michigan and got a lunch break around 1:00.  This is the same time J usually takes a nap with B so I decided to just go to lunch by myself and not chance waking them up by going home.

I was close enough to campus that I had plenty of options, but I got a weird craving.  I just wanted a cheap hamburger and fries.  Nothing fancy but something still delicious.

I remembered a cheeseburger I had last year downtown.  It wasn’t fancy.  It was a simple burger grilled on a flattop and served on a pretty standard bun.  It was from Coney Island…..a hot dog place….but it made an impression on me.

Coney Island has a second location in Westwood.  It’s in the Westwood Plaza right next to Penn Station near the corner of West Main and Drake. Read more…

Legends at Revel and Roll West

October 11, 2017
  • 4500 Stadium Drive
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49008
  • (269) 488-3800
  • Website
  • Menu

A late night at work on Saturday meant a fairly lazy Sunday.  We didn’t have any plans other than to just hang out at home so which means we didn’t have any lunch plans either.

J wanted to get out of the house so take out was out of the question but we didn’t really have any good ideas.  L wanted to go back to the place “with the big grassy area.”  It took us a while but we eventually realized she meant The Strand near Dowagiac.  Not a bad idea, but a little far away.

I came up with what I thought was a much better idea.  A new place just down the road that is an entertainment venue rather than “just” a restaurant.

Legends at Revel and Roll West is the restaurant portion of the new Revel and Roll West entertainment complex.  The venue takes over two storefronts at the University Commons plaza on Stadium Drive near Drake Road.  The main portion of the complex is in the old Pinz bowling alley.  The restaurant is in a space which was formerly The Fashion Connection right next door to the east of the main building.

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Jersey Giant Subs (Sprinkle Road)

October 9, 2017
  • 5965 S. Sprinkle Road
  • Portage, MI 49002
  • (269) 459-9753
  • Website
  • Menu

Remember that couple from Indiana that visited all of the Cracker Barrel locations?  Yeah?  That’s me with Jersey Giant Subs.  I mean, obviously there’s not 645 JGS locations, but I still can’t pass one up when I see it.

I’ve been working a lot on weekends recently which takes away from family time.  J has been pretty understanding because she knows the weekend work is stuff I really like doing while the weekday stuff is not always my favorite thing to get up in the morning for.

This past weekend, I was heading to Ann Arbor in the afternoon and would be gone the rest of the day.  I got up fairly early for me (on a Saturday anyway) to spend some time with the kids before I left.  They were asking right away if we could go to Jungle Joe’s for a little while and I didn’t see any reason why we couldn’t.

J decided to stay home for a little quiet alone time (something she rarely gets) and asked if I’d pick up lunch on the way back.  My brain immediately went to Jersey Giant Subs because I knew we’d be close to one that I haven’t been to yet.

The Sprinkle Road location of Jersey Giant Subs is in a small strip mall on the corner of Sprinkle and Milham Road.  It’s in the same shopping plaza as Jaspare’s Pizza and Great Wall Express.

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Shigs in Pit BBQ & Brew

October 9, 2017
  • 6250 Maplecrest Road
  • Fort Wayne, IN 46835
  • (260) 222-8802
  • Website
  • Menu

We were packing up the car after a day at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo and J looks at me and says, “You’ve already picked out a place to eat, haven’t you?”  Well, duh, I don’t travel without finding someplace to eat.

My first instinct is to find a brewery.  I found a couple in Fort Wayne, but breweries with food were in pretty limited supply.  I found one with a few locations around town but then I stumbled on another place affiliated with that brewery that I knew would be a hit with everyone.

Shigs in Pit (get it?  It’s a play on Pigs in Shit) is on Maplecrest Road about a mile and a half south of I-469 on the northeast side of Fort Wayne.  This is the second restaurant for a BBQ team that has won competitions all over the country, but only this one serves Mad Anthony beers.  This location just opened a few months ago in a new construction building. Read more…