Panera Bread – Okemos

26 10 2009
  • 4738 Central Park Drive
  • Okemos, MI 48864
  • (517) 349-4425
  • Website
  • Menu

You’ll hear me say this a lot.  I’m not a breakfast person.  I don’t normally get out of bed earlier enough to eat breakfast.  It’s one of the nice things about being a freelancer.  I don’t work everyday.  That’s also one of the bad things about it. 

Anyway, in East Lansing.  This time, very early in the morning.  Work started at 6 AM on Sunday.  Fortunately, I still had keys to my Lansing apartment, so I was not making the drive at four in the morning.  That will happen a few times this fall/winter. 

Our lunch break came around nine o’clock.  Typically, I just go to McDonald’s for breakfast.  I like the bacon, egg, and sausage biscuit.  Add that to the fact that it’s cheap and quick.  When J could meet me, we’d actually go to a good, sit down place, but now that J’s in Kalamazoo, I’m on my own and there’s not a lot of quick breakfast choices.  There just aren’t many places that do a good breakfast sandwich. 

So, I’m heading down Grand River towards my usual McDonald’s stop when I hear a commercial for Panera Bread’s breakfast.  It sounds really good plus it will be something a little different.  Since I’m already on Grand River I keep going to the Panera in Okemos.

The Okemos Panera Bread is on Central Park Drive in a small strip mall on the corner with Grand River Avenue.  On a Sunday morning, it was the only place open, yet there were a lot of cars in the parking lot.  Seems like I wasn’t the only one that had this idea. Read the rest of this entry »

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Celia’s Corner Cafe

8 10 2009
  • 437 W. Stewart Street
  • Owosso, MI 48867
  • (989) 725-7051
  • Website
  • Menu
Celias Corner Cafe on Stewart Street in Owosso

Celia's Corner Cafe on Stewart Street in Owosso

About a month ago, J decided she wanted a new car. We did the usual Internet research and found a couple cars she liked. The first car we test drove was at the Ford dealership in Okemos. We were kind of turned off by the salesman and didn’t feel like we were getting a fair price, so we left. She was mad at me for a few hours until she found something better in Owosso.

The next morning, we make the trip, test drove the car and bought it. We were really looking for something comfortable for the honeymoon since we were going to be in the car for two week straight. We put pretty close to 2500 miles on it in a week and a half, so when we got home, it was time for an oil change.

The dealer we bought it from gave us the first oil change free and any service it needed after the trip, so we really wanted to take it back there before we moved to Kalamazoo.

After the service was done, J and I started to drive back towards Lansing to do some packing. Before we dove into that, we decided to get some breakfast/lunch.

On the way into town, we saw a billboard for a cafe. We passed the building on the way into town and decided that was going to be our place. Read the rest of this entry »





Krystal – Pigeon Forge, TN

4 10 2009
  • 2041 Parkway
  • Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
  • (865) 908-3210
  • Website
  • Menu
Krystal on The Parkway in Pigeon Forge, TN

Krystal on The Parkway in Pigeon Forge, TN

For someone who likes to think I know a lot about food and restaurants, I felt a little ignorant the first time I saw a sign for Krystal.  J and I were driving through Sevierville, TN on the way to our cabin.  I knew it looked like fast food, but I had never heard of it.  J said she thought it was like a White Castle.  That was a turn off to me, but we also thought it would be fun to try something new. 

As we were leaving Pigeon Forge on Wednesday morning, J suggested stopping.  It was early and I was hungry.  We had a three hour drive to Nashville where we already had lunch plans, so getting a little something to eat wasn’t a bad idea. 

The Krystal in Pigeon Forge is right on the Parkway.  We pulled in probably a little after 9:00 and the place was empty.  In fact, we were wondering if it was even open.  There were maybe two cars in the lot, but it looked dark inside.  We pulled in and saw people moving.  I tried the door and it opened so we went in. 

Krystal is apparently a pretty large chain.  They were founded in 1932 in Chattanooga, TN.  One of the original owners actually visited White Castle restaurants and took notes.  Today, Krystal is commonly referred to as the White Castle of the South.  Read the rest of this entry »





Triple XXX Family Restaurant – West Lafayette, IN

1 10 2009
  • 2 N. Salisbury Street
  • West Lafayette, IN 47906
  • (765) 743-5373
  • Website
  • Menu
Triple XXX Family Restaurant on Salisbury Street in West Lafayette, IN

Triple XXX Family Restaurant on Salisbury Street in West Lafayette, IN

If you’ve figured out J and I, it should come as no surprise that we chose to take a honeymoon that revolves around food. After the wedding, we loaded up the car and headed to East Tennessee. It was too far to make in one night, so we decided to stop in Louisville for the night. Since we were in no hurry, the first stop on our culinary excursion was in West Lafayette, IN at a place we saw on Diner’s, Drive-In’s, and Dives.

The Triple XXX Family Restaurant is on the hill in West Lafayette just down the street from Purdue University. It’s a 24 hour place that serves good, cheap grub for those late “study breaks.” It’s been so long since I saw the segment on Triple D and the building we found was not what I was expecting for some reason.

Triple XXX (named after the Root Beer brand they serve) is an old drive in on the corner of State & Salisbury. The car stalls have turned into parking and the only business they do is inside. The building itself is not huge, but it’s bigger than you think. There are no tables, only lunch counters. They weave around the building so there are a lot more seats than I thought there would be. Read the rest of this entry »





Ann Sather Restaurant – W. Belmont, Chicago

27 09 2009
  • 909 W. Belmont Avenue
  • Chicago, IL 60657
  • (773) 348-2378
  • Website
  • Menu
Ann Sather Restaurant on West Belmont in Chicago.

Ann Sather Restaurant on West Belmont in Chicago.

Every wedding has to have a good story.  When I was the best man in brother’s wedding, we went golfing at 6 AM before the ceremony.  He damn near flipped a golf cart.  The grass was still wet from the morning dew and he was going a little too fast looking for his bar.  He slammed on the breaks and turned the wheel.  He did a pretty good donut and got a couple wheels off the ground, but it stayed upright. 

For my wedding, my brother and I got the bright idea to run to Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood to get cinnamon rolls for the morning.  Not a bad idea…except rush hour had just begun. 

My mom called to see if they had any rolls left.  The lady who answered the phone said they had three dozen left, but they were closing in 50 minutes so we had to get there before then.  Sounded like a challenge that we were about to take. 

Ann Sather’s has four locations in Chicago.  They’re a “Swedish” breakfast place.  They also have pretty good cinnamon rolls.  I don’t remember which show it was, but I saw it on the Food Network.  The rolls looked good on TV, so I had no reason to assume they weren’t going to be good in person. 

The restaurant we chose was the location on West Belmont just east of North Clark Street.  Our hotel was on the extreme south side of Chicago near Midway Airport.  For those of you not familiar with the city, Belmont and Clark is on the far north side.  It was only 14 miles, but even on a good day, that’s a half hour drive….and it wasn’t a good day. Read the rest of this entry »





Sophia’s House of Pancakes

24 08 2009
  • 1010 Charlevoix Drive
  • Grand Ledge, MI 48837
  • (517) 627-3222
  • No Known Website
  • Menu
Sophias House of Pancakes just off M-43 in Grand Ledge.

Sophia's House of Pancakes just off M-43 in Grand Ledge.

Ah….lazy Sunday’s.  We didn’t have much to do other than grocery shop, so there wasn’t any hurry to get moving in the morning.  We needed to make a trip to Walmart and Horrocks, so I thought it was time to finally try a place in Grand Ledge that has been recommended several times in the past.

Sophia’s House of Pancakes is right on the edge of town if you’re coming from Lansing on M-43.  Even though we didn’t get there until a little before one o’clock, the parking lot was packed.  There was just one spot left which I beat another car to.  I figured a packed parking lot at one o’clock was probably a pretty good sign.

When we got inside, we found a short wait for a table.  The entire restaurant was hopping.  There was a group of seven waiting and another couple.  The couple was seated first then we got the next smaller table that opened up.  They had a lot of seating for two, but seating for large groups was limited which seemed weird to me at a place like this.  Sophia’s is definitely one of those places you take the whole family after church. 

We were taken to a table for three near the back of the restaurant.  There are a lot of booths, but not many tables.  J and I got what was probably one of the few tables that were not intended for large groups.  We started looking over the big menu and looking around us to see what everyone else was eating.  Everything that came out of the kitchen looked delicious and most of it was still breakfast.  Read the rest of this entry »





Jackie’s Diner – Dimondale

14 08 2009
  • 7262 Lansing Road
  • Dimondale, MI 48821
  • (517) 646-0974
  • No Known Website
  • Menu
Jackies Diner on Lansing Road in Dimondale.

Jackie's Diner on Lansing Road in Dimondale.

When J and I moved here, one of the first restaurant recommendations we got was for Don’s Windmill Truckstop in Dimondale.  We ate there one weekend and enjoyed the classic diner setting.  Don’s hit some hard times and the restaurant closed.  In comes Jackie’s Diner.

We’ve eaten at Jackie’s Diner on Pennsylvania and, again, enjoyed the greasy spoon diner aspect of the place.  J and I were out in Delta Township and decided to check out the new place on the way home.

Jackie’s Diner is on Lansing Road in Dimondale in the old Don’s Windmill building.  Not much, if anything, has changed other than the lack of gasoline sales.  We entered the truck stop through the restaurant where we found a sign that told us to wait to be seated.  A waitress took us to a booth near where the buffet is.  She took drink orders right away as we looked over the huge menu.

When she came back with the Coke’s, we were still wading through the large menu.  They serve breakfast all day and that menu alone is daunting.  There are 50 types of pancakes, 20 kinds of French Toast, and 25 Belgian waffles.  J’s more of a breakfast person than I am, so I went straight to the lunch portion of the menu while she looked over the morning food. Read the rest of this entry »