Now You Know How the Rest of Us Feel

31 07 2008

You can smoke in restaurants in Michigan, but apparently, you can only smoke approved cancer sticks at some joints.

“On Saturday my brother and I were enjoying breakfast at Fleetwood Diner (on South Cedar Street). This is our normal destination for meetings, and has been since the diner opened.

“As usual, when we finished our meal we sat and had cigarettes and talked about different issues.”

Suddenly the two men were asked to take it outside. It seems that the smoke from their peach-flavored cigarettes offended the nostrils of somebody who worked at the diner.

That’s how I feel every freaking time I walk into a restaurant that allows smoking, but I deal with it.  The Fleetwood just made a case for banning smoking in restaurants and they don’t even know it.  My nostrils are offended by all cigarettes…not just the flavored ones.  If you can you kick patrons out because you don’t like their certain cigs, you should ban smoking outright!





Press Release – East Lansing Taste of the Chamber

31 07 2008

Got this press release from the Lansing Regional Chamber.  I love “Taste of” events, but this one is way too expensive for me. 

Annual Taste of the Chamber Event to Showcase East Lansing’s Culinary Expertise
East Lansing Restaurants, Caterers, & Beverage Distributors to Highlight Networking Event

Area residents are invited to come et a Taste of the Chamber at the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce’s (LRCC) third annual Taste of the Chamber event held in East Lansing on July 31.  This fun-filled outdoor networking event features samples of the many culinary delights from East Lansing restaurants and caterers, as well as cold beer, wine, and soft drinks.  More than 400 Chamber members and guests are expected to attend.

Taste of the Chamber…East Lansing will be held from 5:30 PM until 8:30 PM on Thursday, July 31 in Downtown East Lansing, 230 Albert St., East Lansing.

“The Chamber’s summer networking event has always been the highlight of the summer for our members,” said Tim Daman, Vice President, Operations & Strategic Initiatives “The Taste of the Chamber event has really become a major event for the entire region to enjoy.  The fact that East Lansing has so many outstanding restaurants participating really makes this year’s even a must-attend affair.”

The list of participating businesses in this year’s Taste of the Chamber…..East Lansing event include: Read the rest of this entry »





Distilleries to Sell Their Own Brews

30 07 2008

Now here’s a law that makes sense.

State distilleries can now sell their brews on site thanks to a new law.

In the past, distillers could only sell their products through a middleman. Now that they can sell the alcohol themselves, they will make more money which in turn means they will be able to try different products and offer more varieties.

Public Act 218’08 was passed by the Legislature on June 27th.  Governor Granholm signed the bill into law on July 24th.  The Michigan Brewing Company was on hand for the bill signing and sent the following press release.

PUBLIC ACT 218 BECOMES LAW – MBC SHARES THE WIN IN CREATION OF MICHIGAN’S NEW ‘MICRO-DISTILLERIES’ Read the rest of this entry »





The Smoking Gun has been found…

30 07 2008

…and surprise!  The cause of the Salmonella outbreak in the US is tainted water in an irrigation system on a Mexican farm

“We have a smoking gun, it appears,” said Dr. Lonnie King, who directs the center for foodborne illnesses at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Acheson said the farm is in Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Previously, the FDA had traced a contaminated jalapeno pepper to a farm in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. Both farms shipped through a packing facility in Nuevo Leon, raising the possibility that contamination could have occurred there.

Needless to say, tomato farmer’s are a little pissed. Read the rest of this entry »





Mike’s Village Restaurant

30 07 2008
  • 115 N. Bridge St.
  • Dimondale, MI 48821
  • (517) 646-6804
  • No Known Website
  • Menu
Mikes Village Restaurant in downtown Dimondale

Mike's Village Restaurant in downtown Dimondale

I’m not sure how I first heard about Mike’s.  I’m pretty sure I saw a recommendation posted a couple years ago on Chowhound.  When we were at the farmer’s market at the State Capitol last week, I heard a lady advertising the Dimondale Farmer’s Market.  When someone asked her where it was, she said, “Across from the restaurant.  You know, Mike’s.”  From that comment, it sounded like it’s one of those places that everyone in the area knows about. 

We made our weekly trip to Horrock’s and Wal-Mart.  Like most of the trips, it was around lunchtime.  Dimondale is sort of on the way home so we started heading that way.  I didn’t grab an address, but I told my girlfriend to put the city center of Dimondal in the GPS.  I had a sneaking suspicion that it would get us to the right place.  Once we turned on Bridge St., we actually found quite a few restaurants which was a little surprising for such a small town.

Mike’s Village Restaurant wasn’t quite what I was expecting.  What I was expecting was a fairly good size family restaurant.  What we found was a somewhat small family diner.  The green awning out front let us know we were in the right place.  Mike’s is probably a turn of the century store front.  The entry way is up a couple steps and has an old, heavy, wooden door that pushes in to open. I tried to pull and couldn’t figure out why it wouldn’t open.  Once I figured it out, I went in first and went to pass the weight of the door back to my girlfriend.  Instead, it closed in a hurry and almost smashed her.  Neither of us were expecting that and now I feel bad.  Read the rest of this entry »





Girl Scout Donates Pigs to Food Bank

29 07 2008

I had to post this story.  Ellen Sponsler, a Girl Scout from Parma, is donating fifteen pigs that she raised to the Food Bank of South Central Michigan.  That’s 3,000 pounds of food.  I can’t even imagine how much money this girl could make at auction, but she’s giving all of it away.  In the process, she will earn the highest award a Girl Scout can recieve, the Gold Award.

Sponsler has participated for five years in 4-H, which offers buyers of fair animals the option of donating them to food banks. Sponsler decided to bypass the auction and send the pigs straight to charity.

“We are just thrilled that Ellen has such an understanding of the needs of her community,” Holly Cavinder, community outreach coordinator for the Food Bank of South Central Michigan, said in a statement. “This donation of pigs to the food bank will help feed the hungry in Jackson County, providing something that is lacking for many individuals who struggle with food security.” Read the rest of this entry »





Bennigan’s Files For Bankruptcy – Michigan Locations Safe

29 07 2008

Bennigan’s becomes the first casual dining restaurant casualty of the weakend economy.  Parent company Metromedia Restaurant group filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection today in the Eastern District of Texas. 

All restaurants have been struggling as consumers cut back on discretionary spending to better deal with high gas prices, the weak housing market and inflation. The hardest hit have been casual dining chains and bar and grill restaurants, which charge higher prices than fast food and other quick-service chains.

Bar and grill restaurants have also suffered from intense competition. Morningstar analyst John Owens said several chains expanded quickly, making it more difficult for customers to differentiate between them and forcing many companies to cut prices to lure diners.

“Bennigan’s was the weakest of the major players,” Owens said.

Meanwhile, commodity costs have soared, forcing chains to either raise menu prices or see profits plunge.

Even though the parent company is closing most stores, the Mid-Michigan stores will not be closing.  The stores are not owned by Metromedia.  They are owned privately by LaBelle Management.  LaBelle has bought the rights to use the Bennigan’s name and menu.  The bankruptcy filing by Metromedia will put more pressure on LaBelle in regards to advertising and supply, but customers shouldn’t see a difference.  The following press release was sent out this morning by LaBelle Management. Read the rest of this entry »





The Vault Delicatessen

29 07 2008
  • 368 S. Jefferson St.
  • Mason, MI 48854
  • (517) 676-2696
  • Website
  • Menu
The Vault Delicatessen in downtown Mason across from the Ingham County Courthose

The Vault Delicatessen in downtown Mason across from the Ingham County Courthose

I don’t remember where I first heard about The Vault, but I always have a thing for old bank buildings turned into restaurants.  The Vault sits on the corner of Jefferson and Ash in downtown Mason just across from the Ingham County Courthouse.  My actual purpose for a trip to Mason was to go to Merindorf Meats (review HERE), but since I was going that way, I thought it was a good excuse to check out The Vault.

The Vault is much more than a place to pick up a sandwich for lunch.  Besides the deli case, they offer a wide variety of gourmet ingredients from Olive Oil to salts.  They also sell the La Brea bread they use to make their sandwiches.  Inside the old vault (the actual bank vault) is their wine room.  I’m not a huge wine person so nothing in there meant anything to me, but I did step in to check out.  When I turned to walk out, some stickers plastered along the frame caught my eye.  They were the lock cleaning stickers dating back to the early 1900’s. Read the rest of this entry »





Merindorf Meats & More – Mason

29 07 2008
  • 2289 W. Barnes Rd.
  • Mason, MI 48854
  • (517) 676-6039
  • Website
Merindorf Meats & More in Rural Mason

Merindorf Meats & More in Rural Mason

This is the store I keep hearing about.  We went looking for this shop one weekend, but somehow ended up at the store in Williamston (review HERE).  I needed some ground chicken for dinner tonight and since I have a hard time finding it at the mega marts anymore, I decided to hop in the truck and head to Mason. 

It’s a good thing we didn’t just “try to find it” last time.  Merindorf’s is located on Barnes Road which is outside of Mason about half a mile from US-127.  This building is much older looking than the Williamston shop.  The inside is a big difference too.  There’s not as much grocery, which is fine because when I go to Merindorf’s, I’m looking for meat.  Fresh meat wasn’t on my radar today.  I was in the market for some frozen stuff and Merindorf’s has it all.  Read the rest of this entry »





Press Release – Make MI Air Smoke Free

28 07 2008

The group pushing for a smoking ban in Michigan is using a study from Illinois to further their cause.  Full disclosure, I was in favor of a smoking ban in Illinois the entire time they were debating it in the legislature.  I’ve also been back home a few times since the ban went into effect and I can tell you, not everyone is following it.  There is still a minority that refuse to follow the ban and here’s the kicker, there’s nothing that can be done to them.  The rules are still in JCAR and because of that, State’s Attorney’s don’t know how to prosecute or even what charge can be filed.  Even with that, the majority of places are following the law and no longer allow smoking.  My mom works at a small bar in the middle of the country on weekends as a waitress.  While the kitchen is open, the building is no smoking.  Once the kitchen closes and the dinner crowd clears out, the smokes come back out.  Anyway, here’s the info the Campaign for Smokefree Air wants you to know.

Illinois Survey Finds Even Stronger Support for Smokefree Air Law After it Takes Effect

Michigan’s Comprehensive Smokefree Air Legislation Held Captive in House

LANSING, MICH. – People in Illinois are even more supportive of a smokefree air law that went into effect at the beginning of this year than they were before it was approved.

According to a recent survey, 73 percent of people support the new smokefree air law; survey results showed a majority in every sector regardless of political, geographic and educational backgrounds.

“Speaker Andy Dillon has not allowed a concurrence vote on House Bill 4163 for some apparent fear of economic, political or social repercussion,” said Judy Stewart, spokesperson for the Campaign for Smokefree Air. “This survey is yet another example of the numerous positive effects and vast public support of smokefree air in all worksites, including bars, restaurants and casinos.”

House Bill 4163, Michigan’s proposed comprehensive smokefree legislation, was approved by the Senate in May and has been sitting in the House awaiting action ever since because Speaker Dillon refuses to hold a vote.

The Illinois survey also found that 38-percent of respondents are less likely to go to a smoke-filled casino, while only 17 percent are more likely to go to casinos if smoking is allowed.

Furthermore, 96 percent of respondents believe secondhand smoke is a health hazard. In addition, it was reported that 88 percent of all respondents and 68 percent of smokers believe restaurants, bars and casinos are healthier places for customers and employees under Illinois’ law.

“The people of Illinois supported the smokefree law and now, after living with it for six months, they support it even more,” Stewart said. “The people of Michigan support making all worksites in our state smokefree, including bars, restaurants and casinos. Sitting on the bill rather than allowing it to come up for a vote isn’t just about playing politics – it’s about playing with people’s lives.”