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Olga’s Kitchen (Oshtemo)

April 19, 2019
  • 5095 Century Avenue
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49006
  • (269) 743-4350
  • Website
  • Menu

Slowly but surely we’re starting to see the retail locations around Costco fill in.  It took a while to get anything but a bank/credit union in there but the last few years have been pretty good to us with new restaurants.

We’ve really enjoyed having MOD Pizza so close and we treat the kids quite often with Menchines.  The first restaurant that opened, Firehouse Subs has been a go-to when we just want a quick sandwich.

The next place to open just added a second Kalamazoo area location.

Olga’s Kitchen opened up on Century Avenue right next to that MOD Pizza in the Corner @ Drake shopping plaza.  The large corner spot is visible from both Drake and Stadium Drive so it’s hard to miss when you’re driving by.

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Kelvin & Co. Urban BBQ (Grand Rapids)

April 17, 2019
  • 1450 Wealthy Street SE
  • Grand Rapids, MI 49506
  • (616) 535-8467
  • Website
  • Menu

I was pretty bummed when Kelvin & Co. close their downtown Kalamazoo location in the midst of last summer’s construction season.  I get it.  The whole point of running a business is to make money and if that’s not  happening, it’s time to close.

The Oshtemo location is still around not only is it closer to where I live but they also offer UberEats…so yeah, I still get my BBQ fix.

This past week, I was in Grand Rapids for work.  It was dinner time and I was near Eastown.  I was trying to think of what I could grab quickly when I remembered Kelvin & Co was adding a location in that area.  I had no idea if they were open or not until I did a quick Google search and found that they were.

Kelvin & Co Urban BBQ Wealthy Street & Ethel Avenue in Grand Rapids’ Eastown Neighborhood.  The building is pretty familiar to me.  It used to be an Italian beef place called Big Willy’s.  I ate there almost every time I went to Grand Rapids after the place opened.

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BC Pizza (Kalamazoo)

April 15, 2019
  • 1710 W. Main Street
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49006
  • (269) 532-1688
  • Website
  • Menu

As someone who has been blogging about food for almost 11 years, I shouldn’t get all that excited when a new chain restaurant opens in town.   If it’s a McDonalds or an Applebees, or something we already have, I don’t.

My enthusiasm for chains gets even higher when it’s more of a regional chain and if you want to narrow that down to just Michigan, well, hell, it might as well not even be a chain.  Of course I’m excited about it.

BC Pizza is the newest chain take-out/delivery pizza joint to pop up in Kalamazoo.  They’re a northern Michigan pizza chain with the previous furthest south location being in Dorr.

The Kalamazoo location opened on West Main in the Tiffany’s Village Retail Center in Kalamazoo Township between Tiffany’s Wine and Spirits and Saffron.  It’s in the spot that was previously occupied by Papa John’s. Read more…

Guardian Brewing Company

April 11, 2019
  • 3657 63rd Street
  • Saugatuck, MI 49453
  • (269) 543-2238
  • Website
  • Menu

Have you ever been to The Critter Barn in Zeeland?  I love that place.  My kids love that place.  It just stinks it’s so far away.  We usually spend an hour or so there then look for someplace to eat and something to do in the Holland area or Grand Rapids.

We decided to take the drive to Zeeland last Saturday.  It was supposed to be a nice day and we wanted to get the kids out of the house.

As predicted, we spent a little over an hour petting and holding animals then the kids started losing interest.  It was around 1:00 so past lunch time.  We made these plans with a brewery nearby in mind, so once we got back to the car, we headed towards Saugatuck.

Guardian Brewing Company is actually just outside of Saugatuck on the corner of 63rd Street and Blue Star Highway north of town.  The restaurant is in the old Red Barn Playhouse across the street from the Belvedere Inn which was built in the early 1900’s and has been a theater space in Saugatuck since the late 1940’s.  The building was purchased in 2017 to turn in to a brewery and opened in December of last year.  By looking at the front of it, you wouldn’t have much idea that this used to be a red barn as it’s been covered with grey and brown siding.

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Chicken Coop (Nazareth)

April 11, 2019
  • 2500 Nazareth Road
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49048
  • (269) 276-0701
  • Website
  • Menu

I only had one day of work after returning from my trip.  I drove all day Monday (after working all day Sunday), had Tuesday and Wednesday off, and had a previously scheduled vacation day on Friday.  That just left Thursday.

J had made plans for dinner with some of her friends and the kids.  I guess I was invited but if she doesn’t force me to go to these get togethers, I usually don’t go on my own.  I would have been way late for dinner anyway.

I was working out near Parchment that day and when I got off work, I started thinking about what I was going to do for dinner.  When J does her thing with friends, I’ve been trying to find bars that I wouldn’t go to with her or the kids for dinner.

I still have a few on my list but I wasn’t digging the bar thing.  I knew I was passing a Chicken Coop on the way home and chicken actually sounded good right then.

The Chicken Coop is a chain of restaurants in southwest Michigan and, honestly, they’ve always been pretty hit or miss for me.  I had never been to the Nazareth Road location and it was near where I was working that day just off Gull Road by the old Nazareth College campus.  Read more…

Presidential Brewing Company

April 11, 2019
  • 8302 Portage Road
  • Portage, MI 49024
  • (269) 468-9765
  • Website
  • Menu

Can we get back to (Kalamazoo)?  If you’ve seen Hamilton, sing that as Thomas Jefferson at the beginning of The Election of 1800.  After two weeks on the road, it’s time to get back to some Kalamazoo area blog posts.

I got home from D.C. around 7:00 on Monday night after driving all day.  I had quite a bit of overtime and I had been gone for so long, my boss told me to take a couple of days off.

L was doing a theater camp again this year for Spring Break and since I was home, I told J I would pick her up as well as getting B from daycare.  J gets home from work a little after 5:00 now.  She didn’t feel like making dinner and I didn’t either…plus, she wanted to take me to a new brewery she and the kids went to with friends while I was traveling.

Presidential Brewing Company  is yet another new brewery in the Kalamazoo metro area.  It’s on Portage Road south of Centre Street.  It’s actually in the building that used to be Lazer Land.  The mini-golf course is still there but not being used at the moment.  I guess they may try to rehab that and have some fun with it in the future.

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Roy Rogers (North Somerset Travel Plaza)

April 8, 2019
  • 179 N. Plaza Access Road
  • Somerset, PA 15501
  • (814) 445-2269
  • Website
  • Menu

This is it.  After two weeks of travel in both Iowa and Washington, D.C., this is the last of my travel blogs.  If you’ve been reading, yay!  If not, I don’t blame you, but as I’ve said over and over these last ten years, this blog is essentially a journal for me…so that’s why I write about places not in Southwest Michigan.

I was nearing the point in my trip where I needed gas and a Pepsi or two.  I don’t mind driving by myself and in some ways, prefer it, but I was starting to get tired and I wasn’t even halfway in to my trip yet.

I kept seeing signs for a place called Roy Rogers.  This is, obviously, not a chain we have in Michigan despite being founded as a chain of roast beef stores in Ft. Wayne, IN.   I didn’t know how far west they go.  I knew if I was going to check this place out, I would have to do it soon.

Roy Rogers is a chain mostly in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States.  They have a very convoluted history being bought and sold over the last several decades including being owned by Hardee’s at one point (I’ll come back to this in a few).

The Roy Rogers location I stopped at is actually run by HMS Host…the same people that do almost all of the airport food franchises.  It’s in the north travel plaza on the Pennsylvania Turnpike just southeast of the city of Somerville, PA.

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