Press Release – International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers

8 09 2008

Haven’t had a smoking ban post in a while, but I got this press release today from the International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retaliers…..out of Georigia. 

LANSING, Michigan September 8, 2008 – According to Chris McCalla,
legislative director of the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers
Association, his organization has learned that the Michigan state
legislature will likely reopen debate on a proposed statewide smoking ban
based on erroneous information provided by well-funded anti-smoking forces.

Michigan’s State Representatives and Senators have been deadlocked on a
proposal for several months with each preferring their own version of such a
ban. McCalla believes the two chambers are working to approve a statewide
smoking ban by the end of this current session. Read the rest of this entry »


Delhi Cafe

8 09 2008
  • 4625 Willoughby Rd.
  • Holt, MI 48842
  • (517) 694-8655
  • No Known Website
  • Menu
The Delhi Cafe on Willoughby Road in Holt.

The Delhi Cafe on Willoughby Road in Holt.

Finally!  Back in Michigan.  I got home late last night and slept in to almost lunch time.  My girlfriend needed to run to the dry cleaner to drop off my suit and she waited for me to get up so we could grab something for lunch.  She suggested hitting a drive thru, but I was tired of fast food.  I suggested we check out that cafe we saw on Willoughby Road while driving home from East Lansing one night.

The Delhi Cafe is part of a strip mall about half a mile of Cedar Street in Holt.  There’s not much else there, but the Cafe takes up a good chunk of the space.  The sign out front claims the cafe has some Greek influence.  We didn’t notice that on the way in, but after looking at the menu, it makes sense.  It’s not a Greek menu, but there is definitely some Greek inspiration. Read the rest of this entry »

McDonald’s – Benton Harbor

8 09 2008
  • 2020 Pipestone Rd.
  • Benton Harbor, MI 49022
  • (269) 926-7600
  • Website
  • Menu
McDonalds in Benton Harbor

McDonald's in Benton Harbor

I have now eaten at McDonald’s more this week than in the previous year combined.  I left Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, IL (review HERE) after the IRL without eating lunch.  After searching for our car for a half hour then getting caught in traffic trying to get back to I-80, I was starving, but really wanted to get back on the road.  I had been gone since Thursday afternoon and hadn’t seen J since then.  It was already 7:30 back in Lansing, so I passed on going to dinner with my family and hit the road.  I decided to drive for a while hoping my options would get better if I could get to a bigger city.  I don’t like stopping in Indiana because there is so much construction on I-94 it’s hard to get on and off, so I just kept moving. 

I got to Benton Harbor around 9:00 EST.  I knew there was a mall just off the Interstate, so I figured there would be some food options around there.  I got off the Interstate and everything was dark.  The only places still lit up were McDonald’s and Steak ‘N Shake.  Neither was an ideal choice, but McDonald’s is more filling, so I drove to the golden arches to grab something to go. Read the rest of this entry »

Chicagoland Speedway – Joliet, IL

8 09 2008
  • 500 Speedway Blvd.
  • Joliet, IL 60433
  • (815) 722-5500
  • Website
The outside of Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, IL

The outside of Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, IL

My final stop in Illinois this week was at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, IL for the IRL Peak Antifreeze Indy 300.  I went to school in Joliet and this track was being built during my senior year.  The first race was the summer after I graduated.  Chicagoland doesn’t sell individual race tickets.  The only way to get tickets to any of the races is to buy tickets to all the races.  That first year, a buddy was able to get Busch series tickets off eBay, and until this weekend, that was the only race I had been to other than NASCAR qualifying.  My dad’s cousin buys the track pass every year to get tickets to the Nationwide and Sprint Cup race, but they couldn’t care less about the ARCA/IRL weekend.  For the last few years, I’ve wanted to get their IRL tickets, but I always had something going on.  This year, it just worked out that I was going to be in town, so my dad asked for the tickets and he and I finally got to go to an IRL race.

Chicagoland is great for the Indy Cars.  It’s the last race of the year and for some reason, the track provides a really racy surface for the open wheelers.  The two closest finishes in IRL history have come at Chicagoland and this year added another one as Helio Castroneves edged out Scott Dixon by .033.  The race saw a lot of three wide and side-by-side racing and that’s not just for half a lap.  This was going on for 10 to 15 laps at a time. Read the rest of this entry »

The Longbranch – Clifton, IL

8 09 2008
  • 2713 N. 1500 East Rd.
  • Clifton, IL 60927
  • (815) 694-9748
  • Website
  • Menu
The Longbranch in downtown LErable

The Longbranch in downtown L'Erable

I have to preface this by saying, I might be a little biased.  My mom has worked as a waitress at the Longbranch for many years and I eat there almost every time I go home.  My aunt is a hostess and my sister-in-law waits tables a few times a month as well.  The Longbranch is located in the middle of the country in an unincorporated section of Iroquois County locals call L’Erbale (pronounced La- Rab).  L’Erable is comprised of pretty much only a downtown.  There is one street that runs through this old French Canadian settlement that has a few houses, the tavern, and the oldest frame church in Illinois.  The tavern is an old building itself.  From the outside, it would seem this building has seen better days.  Once you get inside, you might still think that, but once you sit down and the waitress puts your food in front of you, you know you’ve found one of those hidden treasures that not everyone knows about.

The Longbranch serves a dual purpose.  During the day, the bar is open and they serve lunch Tuesday thru Saturday for farmers in the area.  There’s only a few tables out front and the space is pretty tight.  At night, the Longbranch only serves it’s full menu on Friday and Saturday night.  Wednesday is Taco night, the first Thursday of the month is smelt night and there’s been talk of adding a BBQ night during the week.  At first glance, you would think this is a small restaurant and you could walk in on a Friday night and be seated right away.  You’d be wrong.  Reservations are suggested for peak meal times both nights.  As amazing as it may seem, people still travel from all over the region and as far away as Chicago to eat dinner in this tiny community.  Read the rest of this entry »

Memorial Stadium – Champaign, IL

8 09 2008
  • 1402 S. First St.
  • Champaign, IL 61820
  • (217) 333-3630
  • Website
The south endzone of Memorial Stadium filled with fans as the Fightin Illini take on the Panthers of Eastern Illinois

The south endzone of Memorial Stadium filled with fans as the Fightin' Illini take on the Panthers of Eastern Illinois

I finished up my weekend in Champaign at the newly renovated Memorial Stadium on the campus of the University of Illinois.  Like many other Big Ten schools, U of I decided they needed luxury suites and to do so, they chopped their upper deck seating on the west side by quite a bit.  The benefit for me is one of the best press boxes I’ve ever worked out of and a relocation of the camera platforms from a basket hanging off the upper deck that I had to climb over the rail to get to to platforms at the back of the concourse which is much safer and comfortable. 

From the outside, the home of the Fightin’ Illini doesn’t look much different.  The architects were able to keep the integrity of the building.  Something that couldn’t be done a few hours north at Soldier Field in Chicago.  Inside, the west side is a totally different building.  When you first walk in to the stadium, you come to a huge open concourse area.  Plenty of room for the thousands of fans who show up on a Saturday afternoon to walk around comfortably.  The walls are lined with concession stands and souvenir kiosks.  If your seats are in the lower bowl, you can easily get to those seats from where you enter.  When the stadium was redesigned, they made it possible to walk from one side to the other which was something you couldn’t do just a few years ago.  Read the rest of this entry »