Olde Peninsula Brew Pub

20 07 2008
  • 200 E. Michigan Ave.
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49007
  • (269) 343-2739
  • Website
  • Menu
The sign for Olde Peninsula Brew Pub in downtown Kalamazoo

The sign for Olde Peninsula Brew Pub in downtown Kalamazoo

After a weekend in Chicago, I had to drop my girlfriend off in Kalamazoo for work.  Before we parted ways for the afternoon, we thought it’d be nice to check out what Kalamazoo has to offer in terms of restaurants.  I saw a recommendation for Olde Peninsula on chow.com, so that’s what I went looking for.

Olde Peninsula is located on the corner of Michigan and Portage in what used to be known as the Big Corner.  The first brew pub opened on St. Patrick’s day in 1896.  The current incarnation opened after the 1980 tornado that almost destroyed the building.  We walked into the building and found the hostess station near the door as an extension of the bar.  The building is divided into two dining rooms.  The smoking section also has the bar.  The distillers are visible through a glass wall opposite the bar.  The non-smoking section is divided by a wall that serves as the bar’s back wall.  We were seated in a booth which was on a raised platform on this back wall.

The waitress came over for drinks and we stopped her from leaving to place our order right away.  While there were several options that looked good, we were both in the mood for our usual sandwiches.  I went with the Olde Smokey burger.  The 1/2 lb burger was topped with cheddar cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato and a bbq sauce.  The sandwich is served with a side of beer-battered fries.  The sandwich was big.  I had a hard time getting it in my mouth.  The bacon was nice and crispy and the burger was just slightly pink which lended itself to a good flavor.  I didn’t really notice the bbq sauce until the last couple bites where it had soaked into the bun.  The fries were interesting.  Beer-batterd fries aren’t usually my favorite, but the breading was not overpowering which made these better than normal. Read the rest of this entry »





Country Market Restaurant and Buffet- LaSalle, IL

20 07 2008
  • 343 N. 30th Rd
  • LaSalle, IL 61301
  • (815) 220-0622
  • Website
  • Menu
Country Market Restaurant and Buffet located inside the Flying J Truckstop in La Salle, IL

Country Market Restaurant and Buffet located inside the Flying J Truckstop in La Salle, IL

Country Market is located at the Flying J Truckstop just off of I-80 near LaSalle.  I was in the area for a concert at the Cedar Point Sportsmen Club where Sugarland was playing a charity concert.  I was with my girlfriend and my parents.  My mom has some friends over in that area and they suggested we all meet at the truck stop before the show.

The Country Market is a staple at Flying J’s around the country.  I’ve passed many times, but never stopped.  We were shown to a table near the back of the restaurant past the buffet by a hostess.  While we were rearranging the tables, a waitress came to get drink orders.  Waitressing 101 tells you that you shouldn’t have to ask people what they ordered when you bring it back, but even with drinks, our waitress couldn’t remember who ordered what and I had to ask.  There were six of us so it took a while.  By the time she got done, we weren’t quite ready to order so she left and came back when we were.

My girlfriend and I had just eaten lunch at Portillo’s (review HERE) a couple hours earlier, so we weren’t really hungry.  I went with a chicken tender appetizer.  The four definately out of a bag chicken tenders came with a side of BBQ dipping sauce.  Like I said, I wasn’t super hungry, so I didn’t want a whole lot.  This was just about the right amount for how I was feeling.  The chicken and the BBQ were canned, so nothing special, but not bad either. Read the rest of this entry »





Portillo’s Hot Dogs – Crestwood, IL

20 07 2008
  • 13130 Cicero Ave.
  • Crestwood, IL 60445
  • (708 ) 385-6400
  • Website
  • Menu
Portillos Hot Dogs in Crestwood.  Real Chicago-Style Food!

Portillo's Hot Dogs in Crestwood, IL. Real Chicago-Style Food!

I seem to be spending about every weekend back in Chicago and this past weekend was not exception.  This time, however, I was in town for a concert and not work.  We got tickets to see Sugarland (for the third time!) at the Cedar Point Sportsmen Club in Peru, IL.  Peru is a little over an hour from Chicago, so we decided to stop at my girlfriend’s parents before and after the show.  On our way to meet my parents, whom we were going to the show with, we started talking about food.  We had a pretty packed day trying to fit everything we wanted to do in and we neglected lunch up until that point.  Since she’s more familiar with the area, she started running down places on the way to the meeting point.  After a few suggestions, I finally said, “What about Portillo’s?” 

Let me start by saying.  I LOVE Portillo’s.  This is Chicago style food at it’s best.  When I was in college, I interned downtown at Fox Sports Net Chicago.  The downtown Portillo’s is located a few blocks away and I used to walk there all the time.  Since I started dating my girlfriend, I take any opportunity I can to stop at this location on Cicero. Read the rest of this entry »