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 »

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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.”





Campfire Cooking

28 07 2008

The Lansing State-Journal has an article on their website this mornng about campfire cooking.  Man, does that bring back memories.  My friends and I used to “camp” every weekend.  Campfire cooked food was what I always looked forward to.  The LSJ doesn’t offer a whole lot of insight in exactly how to cook over a campfire other than to throw a commecial in there for a tuscan grill maker. 

The most important thing, make sure you’re burning a hardwood.  Softwoods not only taste bad, but they can be hazardous.  Just like on the grill, I prefer hickory.  Once you get a fire going, you have options.  Metal pokers aren’t really a good option.

Metal pokers might work for marshmallows, but are very limited when it comes to cooking a whole meal. But in a pinch, they’ll get your dogs hot enough for a bun and mustard.

You can do better than hot dogs.  The easiest way is to wrap your food in a piece of aluminum foil and throw it directly into the fire.  It will take quite a while to cook meat this way because you’re basically steaming.  This works good for vegetables.  Toss a little butter in the packet and you’ll have the best tasting veggies ever.  Be careful not to throw it directly into the fire.  Use some hot coals near the edge so it doesn’t burn. Read the rest of this entry »





New Coffeehouse Coming to Downtown Lansing

27 07 2008
The Great Lakes Coffee and Chocolate Company building in Ann Arbor.

The Great Lakes Coffee and Chocolate Company building in Ann Arbor.

I noticed this a while ago while walking in front of the Stadium District building on Michigan Ave., but it didn’t click until I saw a job posting on craigslist this afternoon.  Next month, the Great Lakes Chocolate and Coffee Company will open their third store in downtown Lansing.  The shop got it’s start in Sturgis, MI and they’ve expanded to Ann Arbor and now Lansing.

They do three things.  Coffee, Chocolate, and Teas.  It’s nice to see some businesses starting to move into the Stadium District.  Even better that it’s a small, Michigan-based company…and it’s not a Starbucks.





Comerica Park

27 07 2008
  • 2100 Woodward Ave.
  • Detroit, MI 48201
  • (313) 962-4000
  • Website
The view from our seats at Comerica Park in downtown Detroit.

The view from our seats at Comerica Park in downtown Detroit.

I don’t even know what to say.  WOW!  I cannot tell you how impressed I was with Comerica Park.  I don’t have a lot of experience when it comes to Major League ballparks.  Comiskey Park, US Cellular Field, Wrigley Field, Yankee Stadium, and Busch Stadium are the only ballparks I’ve been to.  Comerica makes The Cell look like that sh*thole where the Cubs play. 

When my girlfriend and I first moved to Lansing, one of the first thing we did was check the Tigers schedule to see when our White Sox were in town.  Luck has it, they were here the first weekend we were.  Since we were still working out moving expenses, going to Detroit our first weekend here probably wouldn’t have been a good idea.  A few weeks ago, I noticed the Sox were in town again.  I got on StubHub to see what I could get for tickets and picked up two right field bleacher seats.  Since I bought the tickets two weeks ago, we’ve both been jacked about going to the game.

We parked near Greektown and walked to the park.  We ended up between Comerica and Ford Field which was a good spot since our seats were in the outfield.  We handed over our tickets and walked in and immediately both of us were in awe.  What a beautiful park.  I snapped a few pictures from left field then we went to make a lap around and see what else CoPa had to offer. Read the rest of this entry »





Astoria Pastry Shop

27 07 2008
  • 541 Monroe St.
  • Detroit, MI 48226
  • (313) 963-9603
  • Website
  • Menu
The Astoria Pastry Shop in Detroits Greektown Neighborhood

The Astoria Pastry Shop in Detroit's Greektown Neighborhood

The Astoria Pastry Shop was another recommendation from fellow blogger Genie28.  Being new to the area, we had no idea that Greektown was pretty much within walking distance from Comerica Park which was our final destination of the night.  We drove down Monroe Street looking for the shop.  After driving around the cramped streets for a few minutes, we realized how close we were to CoPa and ended up pulling into a lot and just parking for the night.  We headed back to Monroe Street to find the Astoria Pastry Company and couldn’t believe what we found.

The Astoria Pastry Company is located across the street from the Greektown Casion along a strip of road that is home to a lot of restaurants.  There was a steady line of people going in an out so we figured it must be one of those “must hit” places.  When you walk through the door, you’re immediately assaulted by a huge case of homemade pastry’s, cookies, and ice cream.  It was very overwhelming.  We didn’t know where to start.  Read the rest of this entry »