Spagnuolo’s Chocolate

21 06 2009
  • 115 E. Main Street
  • Owosso, MI 48867
  • (989) 729-9590
  • No Known Website
Spagnuolos Chocolate in downtown Owosso.

Spagnuolo's Chocolate in downtown Owosso.

Leave it to us to find the chocolate shop in town.  On our way to Owosso, we saw billboards for “historic downtown Owosso.”  After eating lunch at the Wrought Iron Grill, we decided to find downtown and see what the billboards were all about.  On our first pass through town, we saw a little candy store that still had an “open” sign lit up.  We went around the block to find a parking spot then headed back for some dessert.

Spagnuolo’s Chocolate has a tiny store front on Main Street.  We parked around the corner where there is some angled parking.  In front of the store, there are some parallel spots, but I didn’t realize that and the walk didn’t hurt us any. 

We walked into the chocolate shop at 3:45…about fifteen minutes before they were set to close.  There was one lady who was already gearing up to close.  We started looking around.  We saw a sign for fudge, but didn’t see any in the case.  The lady noticed we looked a little lost and asked if there was anything in particular we were looking for.  She pointed out the fudge in a basket behind us.  It was already cut and wrapped.  They only had two flavors but one of them was peanut butter.  I grabbed a chunk of fudge and J kept looking. Read the rest of this entry »





Wrought Iron Grill

21 06 2009
  • 317 S. Elm Street #201
  • Owosso, MI 48867
  • (989) 472-9025
  • Website
  • Menu
The Wrought Iron Grill on South Elm Street in Owosso

The Wrought Iron Grill on South Elm Street in Owosso

I know it sounds stupid, but J and I just aren’t back on Eastern Time yet.  We had a nice vacation that didn’t involve a lot of getting up early, but sleeping in unfamiliar beds all week really took a toll on us.  We made it back to Lansing just as the storms were rolling in Friday night and J went almost right to bed.  I stayed up and caught up on some Tivo’d shows.  When I rolled over Saturday morning and the clock said 11:50, I have to admit, I was a little shocked.  That’s not all that unusual for me, but it is for J.  By the time we got up and got moving, it was a little after 1:00.  We didn’t have plans today, but needed to go somewhere for lunch.  J asked if there was any place I’ve been wanting to go…even if it was a little bit of a drive.  I mean, we are still in vacation mode.  Owosso’s not that far and there’s a restaurant just on the edge of town I’ve heard good things about.

The Wrought Iron Grill is on South Elm Street in an old warehouse that is now a mixed use building.  The Wrought Iron Grill takes up the bottom floor of the front of the space.  Around the corner there’s a cute looking coffee shop and there are lofts on the second floor.  We pulled in a little after 2:00 on a Saturday afternoon.  There were a few cars in the parking lot and one family dining on the patio so we knew we wouldn’t be the only people in the place.

We walked in the front door where we were met by a hostess.  She showed us to a booth in a room that is just off the bar.  She set down the “dinner” menus which was a little bit of a worry to me, but they had sandwiches, so we were ok.  The hostess said the waitress would be with us in a second so we started to look over the menu. Read the rest of this entry »





South Side Soda Shop and Diner – Goshen, IN

20 06 2009
  • 1122 S. Main Street
  • Goshen, IN 46526
  • (574) 534-3790
  • Website
  • Menu
The South Side Soda Shop & Diner on South Main in Goshen, IN

The South Side Soda Shop & Diner on South Main in Goshen, IN

A couple years back, J and I were watching Diner’s, Drive-In’s, and Dives and we saw a segment on an old soda shop in Goshen, IN.  When we moved to Lansing, we pulled out a map to see where in Indiana Goshen is.  The map showed it just being outside of Elkhart.  It also showed the town as being pretty close to the Indiana Toll Road.  We figured it would take us about a half hour out of our way to make a stop on our way home from Chicago one weekend. 

So, one weekend, we made the detour and stopped.  Problem was, stupid me forgot to see if they were open on Sunday.  They’re not so we made the trip for nothing.  J wasn’t very happy with me. 

On our most recent trip home, we headed back towards Lansing on Friday.  As we were sitting in traffic on I-94 near Portage, IN, J asked if we missed the exit to get to South Bend.  We had, but I had her turn the GPS on because I knew there was a road from Michigan City to South Bend that we hadn’t missed yet.  As we waited to get through traffic, we made the decision to try again.  This time, J called to make sure they’d be open…and they were.

The South Side Soda Shop and Diner is on South Main Street just south of Downtown Goshen.  It’s sits on the corner an the only parking is in the neighborhood on the streets.  We pulled up near dinner time on Friday night, so there was already quite a crowd of people packing the small diner.  We parked a few blocks down and walked back. Read the rest of this entry »





Silver Cross Field – Joliet, IL

20 06 2009
  • 1 Mayor Art Schultz Drive
  • Joliet, IL 60432
  • (815) 726-2255
  • Website
Silver Cross Field in downtown Joliet.

Silver Cross Field in downtown Joliet.

I think I’ve already mentioned, I really like baseball.  Most guys spend all year getting ready for their fantasy football draft….I look forward to April because baseball’s starting.  I’ve been very lucky the last seven years having a Midwest League team in the city I’ve lived in.  Trust me, I’ve taken advantage of that. 

For my first two years of college, I played baseball at the University of St. Francis in Joliet, IL.  We played our home games on a pretty nice field at Joliet Catholic Academy (high school).  Since I went to a small high school, this field was a huge step up, but for most of the guys I played with, it was a step down.  In 2003, USF got a huge opportunity to play it’s home games at the newly built Silver Cross Field in downtown Joliet.  I never got to play there or even see it before I left school, but the park’s main tenant is the Joliet Jackhammers of the Northern League. 

J and I were at my parents house and it’s always nice to be able to get my dad out of the house.  He likes baseball like I like baseball so I suggested the hour drive north to Joliet.  Once we figured out the rain might actually hold off, my mom and aunt also wanted in, so we loaded up the van an headed to Joliet. Read the rest of this entry »





Eddie’s Bar & Grill – Kankakee, IL

20 06 2009
  • 1875 W. Station Street
  • Kankakee, IL 60901
  • (815) 939-3972
  • Website
  • Menu
Eddies Bar & Grill on Station Street in Kankakee, IL

Eddie's Bar & Grill on Station Street in Kankakee, IL

Here’s the dilemma when J and I go to my parents house.  We either drive twenty minutes to Kankakee for lunch or we eat whatever Lean Cuisine my parents have the in the freezer.  Growing up in a small town, I never noticed that there wasn’t a restaurant on every corner, but since I’ve moved away, it’s become more noticeable.  I like to eat out and I like to eat at different places.  That’s hard to do in a town that only has one restaurant.

So, J and I made the choice to drive to Kankakee.  We had some other things to do anyway, so the trip wasn’t totally pointless.  We waited around until my mom came home for lunch so we could see her and make plans for the evening.  The next part of the battle was finding a restaurant.  I know the Kankakee metro is littered with hidden gems, but no one I know eats at anything other than chains.  I ended up remembering a place my brother told me he heard from friends was pretty good. 

Eddie’s Bar & Grill is on Station Street in Kankakee near West Court Street.  The only directions I could remember from my brother were “in the old Pizza Hut next to the bowling alley.”  J told me to call him and get an address, but I knew that’ the directions I would get.  No one knows street names….they all go by landmarks.  Read the rest of this entry »





Hershey’s Ice Cream – Bradley, IL

20 06 2009
  • 1600 N. State Route 50
  • Bradley, IL 60914
  • (815) 929-1123
  • Website
  • Menu
Hersheys Ice Cream in Northfield Square Mall

Hershey's Ice Cream in Northfield Square Mall

J and I wrapped up our week of wedding planning in Illinois by picking out the tuxedo’s.  I wanted to go to a regional chain in Bradley, IL at Northfield Square Mall because all of the guys in the wedding live pretty close to one of the locations.  As we entered the mall, the first thing J noticed was an ice cream store.  When I was growing up, that location was a Baskin Robbins.  Not anymore.

Did you know Hershey’s made ice cream?  Me neither.  Fact is, they don’t.  Until I made my way to Hersheysicecream.com, I would have assumed they were affiliated with the famous candy company, but, in small print, on the bottom of the website are the words “not affiliated with Hershey’s Chocolate.”  They had me fooled.

Like I already mentioned, this Hershey’s Ice Cream location is in Northfield Square Mall in Bradley near JC Penny and the Ruby Tuesday.  It’s a small corner shop with entrances on both sides.  There was only one girl working when we were in there, but it was the middle of the afternoon on a Wednesday.  There were two people in front of us, so we had a few minutes to look over the flavors.  Read the rest of this entry »





Honky Tonk BBQ – Chicago

16 06 2009
  • 1213 W. 18th Street
  • Chicago, IL 60608
  • (312) 226-7427
  • Website
  • Menu
Honky Tonk BBQ in Chicagos Pilsen neighborhood.

Honky Tonk BBQ in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood.

Since we were in the wedding planning mood, J and I decided to practice for our honeymoon by going out for BBQ….guess where we’re going for the honeymoon 😉 )  Last week, I put a post on Chow.com asking for a good place to eat before a White Sox game.  One of the places suggested was a BBQ place a few miles north of The Cell.  Unfortunately, the game is at 3:00 but the restaurant doesn’t open until four.  I showed the website to J and she suggested we go for dinner one night.

Honky Tonk BBQ is on 18th Street near Racine Avenue in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood.  We happened to luck out and the one parking meter directly in front of the restaurant was open, so we pulled in and fed the meter.  The restaurant is in a very unassuming building that looks like it’s the back side of the grocery store on the corner.  The door looks more like a service door than the main entrance, but the address was right and there was an “open” sign lighted in a window, so we assumed the door was right.  The steps up are pretty steep and the last step is a doozy if you’re not paying attention.

The restaurant is divided into two rooms.  There’s a few tables and a take out window when you walk in.  To the left right is another dining room that is a little bit larger with more tables.  We weren’t quite sure of procedure.  I went to the window and picked up a paper menu, but J noticed the menus on the table.  Someone in the kitchen told us to take a seat and a waitress would be right with us. Read the rest of this entry »