30 08 2008
  • 4100 S. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
  • Lansing, MI 48910
  • (517) 887-2500
  • No Known Website
  • Menu
Munchies on MLK in Lansing.  Serving up the Cheapest Wings in Town....Period!

Munchies on MLK in Lansing. Serving up the "Cheapest Wings in Town....Period!"

A few weeks ago I had to run to the Walgreens on MLK instead of the one I usually go to on Cedar.  As I’m driving down MLK, a small restaurant with a big banner out front catches my eye.  A lot of times, you’ll see stuff like “Best Wings in Town” or something similar boasting about the taste.  Not this banner.  It read “Cheapest Wings in Town.”  There’s something to be proud of….I guess.  When I got home, I told J about it.  She looked at me a little funny and said I was on my own for that one.  If all they can advertise is the cheapest wings in town, she wanted no part of it.

J had to work in Kalamazoo today so I waited until she left to get a late lunch.  I pulled into the parking lot and parked up front.  There was only one other guy there and he was leaving.  I went inside looking for a menu and didn’t see anything about wings.  When I got to the register, I noticed a piece of paper taped to the counter.  That’s where the wing prices were.  There were serveral options, but I went with six wings and wedges.  They weren’t kidding.  These probably ARE the cheapest wings in town.  The whole deal cost me about $4.50.  Read the rest of this entry »


Finley’s American Restaurant – South Lansing

29 08 2008
  • 6300 S. Cedar St.
  • Lansing, MI 48911
  • (517) 882-7530
  • Website
  • Menu
Finleys American Restaurant on S. Cedar St in Lansing.

Finley's American Restaurant on S. Cedar St in Lansing.

I was bad.  I got home from Indianapolis at 4 AM after leaving Lansing at 7 AM the previous today.  I was a little tired.  Phone calls woke me up and I only got about six hours of sleep.  After my girlfriend went to work, I decided to take a nap.  Usually when I take afternoon naps, I sleep for an hour or so.  Not today.  I slept almost three hours.  I woke up about ten minutes before J usually comes home for dinner.  There was no way I could put anything together in that time other than a salad, so I swallowed my pride and sent her a text message letting her know there would be no dinner ready in time.  She called me back and said we could just go out, but she wanted to go to a restaurant where she wouldn’t be tempted to order something greasy. 

Finley’s sits about a mile down the road from us, but since we’ve moved here, we haven’t tried.  It has the appearance of a chain restaurant so we kind of stayed away.  It is a chain, but it’s a small local chain with five Finley’s all located in Michigan.  However, there are more restaurants in the system.  They are owned by a company called River City Food Company which owns six restaurant brands including BD’s Mongolian BBQ which also has locations in Mid-Michigan. Read the rest of this entry »

Lucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis

29 08 2008
  • 500 S. Capitol
  • Indianapolis, IN 46225
  • (317) 262-8600
  • Website
The new Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis

The new Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis

I got to admit, I was surprised when I got an e-mail asking if I was available to shoot a Colts vs. Bengals preseason game at the brand new Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.  I do a lot of college football, but I’ve never done professional football.  After thinking about it for three seconds, I realized football was football and I would not only get some NFL football to put on the resume, but I’d get to check out the new stadium.

Lucas Oil Stadium sits right across the street from the RCA Dome which is in the process of being demolished.  The new stadium is huge.  The footprint for the RCA Dome sits on seven acres.  The footprint for Lucas Oil sits on 13 acres.  Even from the outside, the stadium is impressive and a huge improvement.  The RCA Dome looks like a generic basketball arena.  Lucas Oil looks more like Conseco Fieldhouse.

The old home of the Colts, the RCA Dome

The old home of the Colts, the RCA Dome

Once inside, I was taken to the field for a pregame meeting with the crew.  We went right out on to the turf and just about everyone I was working said “Wow!” at the same time.  Standing on the field and looking up at the rafter is impressive.  I’ve never been to a football game indoors before.  The only games I have been to have been at Soldier Field in Chicago…both the old and the current “alien invasion” incarnation, so it was a weird feeling.  The seating area reminded me more of a basketball arena…just a little bigger. Read the rest of this entry »

Ah Barista Cafe – Indianapolis

29 08 2008
  • 201 S. Capitol Ave.
  • Indianapolis, IN 46225
  • (317) 638-2233
  • Website
  • Menu
Ah Barista Cafe in Indianapolis near Lucas Oil Stadium

Ah Barista Cafe in Indianapolis near Lucas Oil Stadium

I kind of surprised myself with this one.  I went to a cafe for lunch and my girlfriend wasn’t even with me.  I was in Indianapolis to work a Colts game at Lucas Oil Stadium.  I got to Indy about an hour before my call time, so I decided to look around for lunch.  I parked in a garage across from the RCA Dome and went for a walk in the immediate area hoping to find a sandwich shop or something quick.  I didn’t really know where I was going once I got to the Stadium, so I didn’t want to cut it too close.  After walking around about 10 minutes, I ended up back at the garage where I parked.  Right next to the door I came out of was a little cafe called Ah Barista.

Ah Barista is located on the ground level of the Pan-Am Plaza.  It’s not very big with just a counter inside that runs along the wall to eat.  I got there around lunch time and the demolition guys working across the street at the RCA Dome had the same idea that I did.  There were six or seven of them in line so I had enough time to look over the menu and not feel rushed.  The menu board is high above the counter which makes it a little hard to read if you’re not standing right at the cash register.  They did have a couple paper menus posted on doors and windows, so that’s what I used. Read the rest of this entry »

Coke Zero – My Replacement Vice

27 08 2008

If you’ve been following along, you know Pepsi is my weakness.  I’m not the healthiest eater in the world, but my biggest problem with weight gain since college has been Pepsi.  I got in a bad habit of drinking out of a 2-liter whenever I got thirsty instead of drinking water. 

My Pepsi replacement....Coke Zero

My Pepsi replacement....Coke Zero

Well, it’s time to lose the weight.  I’ve been fairly inactive this summer but have managed to keep my weight steady.  I’m not gaining or losing, but I’d much rather be losing.  In order to do that, the four to five cans of Pepsi a day need to stop.

I’ve tried Diet Pepsi and Diet Coke.  Both taste like crap.  I’ve tried mixing Pepsi with Diet Pepsi.  That sorta worked, but I don’t want to open both a can of Diet and regular whenever I need a fix.

The other day I was in Kroger and I was walking buy the single serve cases near the check-out.  I started to grab a Diet Coke to see if I could stomach that.  My brother swears it’s better than Pepsi.  As I started to reach, another bottle caught my eye.  Coke Zero. I’ve seen the commercials but never paid attention because I prefer Pepsi to Coke, but I picked it up to read the label.  Zero calories!  Like a diet pop they use aspartame to sweeten the drink instead of HFCS.  Why not give it a shot.  I can handle regular Coke so if the commercials are true, this could be the solution to my problems. 

I got home and took a drink.  YAY!  It works!  It doesn’t have that bitter after taste that Diet does.  It tastes like Cola, so until Pepsi comes out with a competitor, it looks like I’m going to have to switch over to the dark side and start drinking Coke.  It looks like I picked the right time to give up Pepsi.  A few years ago and I would have been stuck drinking Diet.

Great Lakes Chocolate & Coffee Co. – Lansing

26 08 2008
  • 500 E. Michigan Ave.
  • Suite 190
  • Lansing, MI 48912
  • (517) 999-3405
  • Website
  • Menu
Great Lakes Chocolate & Coffee Company in the Stadium District near Downtown Lansing

Great Lakes Chocolate & Coffee Company in the Stadium District near Downtown Lansing

If you’ve ever looked at my sidebar, you’ve noticed I have RSS feeds from the local media outlets here in town.  This story on really jumped out at me today.

About a dozen mid-Michigan workers are employed today with the help of the Great Lakes Chocolate and Coffee Company.

YAY!  Chocolate!  When my girlfriend came home for dinner tonight, I suggested making a run downtown to get a couple pieces of gourmet chocolate for dessert before I took she had to go back. 

The Great Lakes Chocolate & Coffee Co. opened up shop on the corner of Michigan Ave. and Larch St. on the first floor of the Stadium District building across from Oldsmobile Park.  Parking is limited out front to a few meters, but behind the building is a massive parking lot for the businesses and the residents of the Stadium District.  We were going the wrong way down Michigan to get a spot at a meter, so we went around to the back parking lot.  For those coffee lovers in a hurry, there’s also a drive-thru behind the building.  The main entrance is off Michigan Ave, but there is a back entrance from the back lot and an entrance on the Larch St. side.  Since we parked in back, we entered from the back.  There an open sign and there are hours on the door, but when we walked in, we second guessed ourselves.  The only two doors you see are for the men’s room and an employee entrance to the kitchen.  There is a hallway that leads back into the shop, but it took us a second to get our bearings and realize that. Read the rest of this entry »

Redamak’s Tavern

25 08 2008
  • 616 E. Buffalo St.
  • New Buffalo, MI 49117
  • (269) 469-4522
  • Website
  • Menu
Redamaks Tavern in New Buffalo, MI

Redamak's Tavern in New Buffalo, MI

I had heard about a little bar in New Buffalo that may have the best hamburgers in the state.  In fact, I read that in a book at Barnes and Noble.  I don’t remember the name of the book, but the premise was the best hamburgers in each state.  In Michigan, there was Blimpy Burger in Ann Arbor (review HERE), Red Coat Tavern in Royal Oak (review HERE) another place I don’t remember and Redamak’s Tavern in New Buffalo.  For quite some time now, I’ve been wanting to stop at Redamak’s on our way home from Chicago.  After a three day weekend at my parents in Iroquois County, we finally got the chance, but not before a brief stop at Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets in Michigan City, IN.

We took a detour off of I-94 into Michigan City just because J had never been there and it had been years since I had.  We walked around, bought some candles at Yankee Candle and moved on.  Redamak’s is about 10 miles from Lighthouse Place and Blue Chip Casino.  Our GPS didn’t take us back to the Interstate, but instead took us on a two lane state highway through New Buffalo.  The tavern is located right on that busy highway.  We started turning into the parking lot and wondered if this was a good idea.  It was packed.   We went inside and again, had doubts about getting dinner.  There were quite a few people sitting down waiting to be seated.  We made our way up to the hostess stand and she asked the usual questions.  Smoking or non (damn Michigan) and then if we wanted to sit in the main dining room or the four seasons patio.  We said non-smoking preferably and we didn’t care.  Whichever would get us seated fastest.  To our surprise, she grabbed a couple menus right away and told us to follow.  We ended up sitting in the main dining room in a booth for two.  Read the rest of this entry »

Bull’s Pit Smoked BBQ – Kankakee, IL

25 08 2008
  • 125 W. Staion St.
  • Kankakee, IL 60901
  • (815) 932-2399
  • Website
  • Menu
Bulls Pit Smoked BBQ in Kankakee, IL

Bull's Pit Smoked BBQ in Kankakee, IL

Kankakee is the closest big town comapred to the tiny town of 750 people where I grew up.  People who live in that small town, work in the Kankakee/Bradley/Bourbonnais tri-city area and they do a majority of their shopping, entertaining and dining out there as well.  For the longest time, I had the same complaint about Kankakee that I did about Lansing.  There was no good barbecue joint.  That finally changed at the beginning of 2008.

A girl I went to high school with and her husband opened up the first BBQ joint in the area that I’m aware of.  They turned an old building near downtown Kankakee into a great Memphis style smokehouse.  I made my first trip to Bull’s just after it opened with my brother.  At that time, I had a few complaints, but loved the BBQ.  My girlfriend and I were heading from her parents in Chicago to mine south of Kankakee for a weekend of drinking and catching up with old friends.  Along the way, I wanted to stop and try Bull’s again to see if the little things I didn’t like had improved.

Like I said, Bull’s is located just off of downtown Kankakee.  Downtown has been run down for years and there’s not much there other than a bank, a liquor store, and a movie theater.  There’s a couple business along the main road, but nothing that you would make a destination.  Bull’s changes that.  The business is located in a pretty non-descript building on Station St.  There is a parking lot, but we found spot on the street in front of the store.  There’s just a sign out front that lets you know you’re in the right place…that is until you get out and smell the smoke.  Once inside, you have to make a left to get to the order counter.  The layout is a little wierd with two rooms downstairs.  One is the kitchen/order area.  The other is the dining room.  There are only a few tables, but there is a bar that runs the whole length of the room with pub stools.  It really gives the feel of a Southern BBQ lunch spot.  The staircase to go to the upstairs dining room is right as you enter the door.  It’s a massive feature and takes up and good portion of the building.  Read the rest of this entry »

Portillo’s Hot Dogs – Oak Lawn, IL

22 08 2008
  • 4020 W. 95th St.
  • Oak Lawn, IL 60435
  • (708 ) 422-1384
  • Website
  • Menu
Portillos Hot Dogs on 95th St. in Oak Lawn near Chicago

Portillo's Hot Dogs on 95th St. in Oak Lawn near Chicago

I said this a month ago when I reviewed the Portillo’s in Crestwood, IL (review HERE).  I LOVE PORTILLO’S!  The thing I miss the most about Illinois and Chicago cuisine is the Italian Beef sandwich so anytime I get a chance to get one, I make sure I do. 

J and I were at her parents before continuing our trip south to my parents for the annual Homecoming celebration.  We got in late and had plans to go to a 24 hour restaurant for breakfast, but we were too tired and just went to bed.  When we woke up, both of us were starving.  After playing Mario Kart Wii with her mom for a while, we got up and went looking for lunch.  J asked what I wanted and I said I didn’t care.  She knows me all too well and suggested Portillo’s.  I thought we were going to the one on Cicero we always go to, but she said there was one closer to her parents place near Christ Hospital.  Read the rest of this entry »

Another Illinois Weekend

21 08 2008

I apologize in advance for the lack of Mid-Michigan updates that will happen this weekend.  We’re heading back to my hometown in Illinois for the annual Homecoming celebration.  Along the way, we’ve got plans for a couple stops in Chicago, Kankakee, and we’ll see what else comes up.  Maybe on Sunday we’ll stop along the way for dinner.  I’ve been pushing for Redamak’s in New Buffalo for the past couple months, so we’ll see if that happens this time.  

I hope I’m not boring you too much with our travels.  I know it seems like we’ve been going to Illinois a lot this summer and we have.  That should slow down now that summer’s over.  I have to go to Champaign once for football and I’m going to Indianapolis next week…also for football, but other than that, we won’t be heading south again until the middle of October. 

I try to keep this blog kind of journal.  I think it’s important to tell stories and not just tell you what I think.  I like for you to see who we are even though I’m aware I’ve never used names or elaborated on what exactly we do or where we work.  I’ve provided just enough clues to hopefully keep you strung along.  I’ve always felt a good blog is one that updates everyday and tells a story, but those stories have to be interesting even if you don’t know the people involved so that’s why I also blog on trips like I do at home. 

If this bores you, come back Monday for regular updates.  If for some reason you’re intrigued, there will be some more travel updates probably starting tomorrow. 

For whatever reason you read and however you found this blog, thank you.  I appreciate those of you that keep coming back and giving us suggestions and you’re opinions on dining in Mid-Michigan.  That’s the reason I started this blog.  It’s not about me being vain.  It’s about an open dialogue of food and restaurants specifically targeting the Lansing area.