Kuma’s Corner – Chicago, IL

24 09 2009
  • 2900 W. Belmont Avenue
  • Chicago, IL 60618
  • (773) 604-8769
  • Website
  • Menu
Kumas Corner on W. Belmont on Chicagos northside.

Kuma's Corner on W. Belmont on Chicago's northside.

 We finally made plans to make the trip the north side of Chicago.  We had to pick up the first of three out-of-town bridesmaids who flew in early to stay with another friend who lived in Bucktown.  We offered just to pick her up at her friend’s place because it was only a ten minute drive to West Belmont and I’d finally get to chow down on Illinois’ best burger.

Kuma’s Corner is on the corner of West Belmont Avenue and North Francisco Avenue in Chicago’s Avondale Neighborhood.  It’s an old corner building that doesn’t look like it should house such a popular restaurant.  The door was open and there were people spilling out when we drove by.  Like most of these neighborhood places, there is no specific parking.  You’re own your own to find something along the street.  Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements




MBC

17 09 2009
  • 402 S. Washington Square
  • Lansing, MI 48933
  • (517) 977-1349
  • Website
  • Menu
MBC on Washington Square in downtown Lansing.

MBC on Washington Square in downtown Lansing.

The wait is over.  The Michigan Brewing Company put the “Coming Soon” sign on their building in downtown Lansing over a year ago.  I would drive  by every now and then to see if there was any progress.  I would periodically send e-mails to the marketing department in Webberville to see if they would give me anything, but never could get a solid answer.  All of a sudden, a few weeks ago, I saw a Tweet from Lansing PSD that MBC was opening.

The plan all along was to run some errands this morning then head downtown for lunch.  Of course, City Pulse beat me to the punch with an article in this week’s edition. 

MBC is near the corner of Washington Square and Kalamazoo Street.  The parking available is in front of the building in angled street parking.  There are a few spaces directly in front of the building, but more than likely, you’ll have to park and walk.  Not a big deal as there is plenty of parking spaces along Washington Square.

The building is dominated by windows that let in a lot of natural light.  When you first walk in, there’s a little lounge area off to the left with comfy red chairs and some bar stools.  Right in front of you is a hostess station that divides the remaining space into two distinct areas.  On the left is the bar area.  They have a beautiful bar along the far left wall as well as a couple pub tables.  The chairs at these pub tables are made of wood and have a ring around the bottom that looks like it was once part of a wooden barrel.  The rest of the bar area is filled in with regular tables that run along a half wall that separates the bar from the dining room.  The whole space has a somewhat industrial feel to it with high ceilings and low ambient lighting.  A majority of the light comes from the natural light that floods in through the large windows that make up the facade. Read the rest of this entry »





National Coney Station

15 09 2009
  • 565 E. Grand River Avenue
  • East Lansing, MI 48823
  • (517) 351-2100
  • Website
  • Menu
National Coney Station on Grand River Avenue in East Lansing.

National Coney Station on Grand River Avenue in East Lansing.

As readers of this blog know, the thing I love most about food is regional cuisine.  Sure, I may not like everything that makes a region popular, but I love the idea that no matter where you grew up, there’s going to be some brand, food, or preparation technique that will always make you think of home. 

In Michigan, that food is the Coney Dog.  I’m not a hot dog eater, so it’s not something that I’ve been able to adapt to.  I’ve tried it once and wasn’t a huge fan only because I don’t like the dog.  The chili is delicious and I could eat that without the hot dogs.

There are always imitators when it comes to a region’s marquee cuisine.  Yeah, you can get a coney dog here in Lansing, but up until last week, you couldn’t get it from one of the big names in Detroit coney’s.

National Coney Station opened up on Grand River Avenue in the building that was most recently Moe’s Firehouse.  Before that, it was a Spartan Gyro.  National Coney did a lot of work to the building to clean it up.  I never got a chance to eat at Moe’s before it closed, but for some reason, the place always scared me a little bit. 

National Coney Station is not quite the same as the National Coney Island restaurants you’re familiar with in Detroit.  They’re owned by the same company, but they’re designed to be more of a quickservice restaurant.  The menu is much, much smaller having only nine choices plus some a la cart items.  Read the rest of this entry »





Dam Site Inn

29 08 2009
  • 4095 Patterson Lake Road
  • Pinckney, MI 48169
  • (734) 878-9300
  • Website (not working)
  • No Online Menu
The Dam Site Inn in Hell, MI

The Dam Site Inn in Hell, MI

I made a lot of people happy today.  I can’t tell you how many times in my life I’ve been told, “Go to hell.”  Today, I did.  Sure, it was just Hell, MI, but I can still tell all those people who have given me that order over the years that I’ve been to Hell and back…and it was fun. 

J and I were stuck on Travel Channel’s “Extreme” shows last weekend.  During the “Extreme Roadside Attractions” I was reintroduced to Hell, MI.  I say reintroduced not because I’ve ever been there, but it was something I had heard about while I was growing up in Illinois. 

For many years, my brother and I delivered papers.  We lived in a small community and the daily newspaper in the area wasn’t huge.  One really hot day, the paper lead with the headline “It’s Hotter Than Hell (Michigan, That Is).”  We got a ton of phone calls from angry customers that thought it was inappropriate and yelled at us like we had something to do with content.  That’s the only newspaper headline I think I’ll ever remember word-for-word. 

So, J and I finally got to sleep in and we took advantage of it.  It was a little after noon before I stumbled into the living room already really hungry.  We figured out that Hell wasn’t all that far away and it would be fun just to say we’ve been there.  Since they had a bar/restaurant, we could make that a reason to go. 

The Dam Site Inn is on Patterson Lake Road in what is technically considered Pinckney.  Hell is actually an unincorporated part of Livingston County.  For USPS purposes, they have a Pinckney address and zip code.  Read the rest of this entry »





Roadhouse Grill & Bar

12 08 2009
  • 4112 Lansing Road
  • Jackson, MI 49202
  • (517) 782-7711
  • Website
  • Menu
Roadhouse Grill & Bar on Lansing Road in Blackman Township

Roadhouse Grill & Bar on Lansing Road in Blackman Township

The next week is going to be really busy for me.  It’s a change of pace and actually a welcome change of pace.  I’m starting to get some work now that fall sports are getting under way which means a lot more traveling and a lot less time playing Wii. 

A friend of mine was driving through on his way to Plymouth where he’s spending the weekend.  He’s working for SPEED this week at MIS and Plymouth is where is hotel is.  Since today was a travel day, he asked if I wanted to meet him for lunch somewhere.  The original plan was to meet in Ann Arbor because he was going to take I-80 to Toledo then head north.  For some reason, he changed his mind and took I-94 from Chicago. 

Since he was taking 94, he was open to meeting somewhere closer for me.  Jackson seemed like a good stopping point for both of us, so I started looking for places to eat. 

We don’t get to Jackson very often, so I’m not really familiar with what’s there.  I put a post on Twitter asking for suggestions and I did get a reply from one person.  @ddkronkh pointed me to an article that was in the Jackson Citizen-Patriot about the Top Ten sandwiches in Jackson.  I wanted to eat all of them, but I had to pick one.

What I ended up picking was The Roadhouse Bar & Grill on Lansing Road near Parnall Road in Blackman Township.  Coming from Lansing, my GPS took me through the country a little bit and I was starting to wonder where this place was and if my friend from Illinois would be able to find out.  It actually isn’t too far from I-94 and he was able to find it without the help of a GPS. Read the rest of this entry »





Sammy’s Lounge – Holt

6 08 2009
  • 1957 Cedar Street
  • Holt, MI 48842
  • (517) 268-0820
  • No Known Website
  • No Online Menu
Sammys Lounge on Cedar Street in Holt.

Sammy's Lounge on Cedar Street in Holt.

I haven’t felt very well the last few days.  Nothing serious.  Just a summer cold.  Probably had the air conditioning blowing on me too much while I was sleeping.  Because of that, I wasn’t really in the mood to cook dinner.  I looked through the freezer, the cupboards, the fridge…nothing looked good, so I told J I’d pick her up from work and we’d just go out. 

I didn’t want to go to far from home and about the only thing that sounded good to me was a greasy burger.  We seem to always drive by Sammy’s Lounge but we’ve never stopped.  Since it’s fairly close to both J’s work and our home, I thought it would be a good choice. 

Sammy’s Lounge is on Cedar Street in Holt just past the downtown area.  The entrance is actually in the middle of the parking lot.  They have a great outdoor bar and beer garden that you have to walk through in order to get inside.  We headed inside where we ran into a hostess station.  One of the waitresses saw us and showed us to a table in the non-smoking side of the restaurant. 

The dining room is divided into two sections.  It’s a bi-level space with the bar/smoking section on the higher section.  The main dining room sits on the lower area.  The decor is very old school.  It looks like it hasn’t been updated since the place originally opened.  There are green vinyl seat backs on the booths and the furniture is classic 70’s restaurant.  The bar was the most interesting thing to me.  It wasn’t a regular size bar.  Instead of bar stools, they had what looked more like chairs that you would put around your kitchen table.  The height was about half the height of a normal bar.  Read the rest of this entry »





Sonic Drive In – Oregon, OH

3 08 2009
  • 2925 Navarre Avenue
  • Oregon, OH 43616
  • (419) 691-6600
  • Website
  • Menu
The Sonic Drive In in Oregon, OH

The Sonic Drive In in Oregon, OH

So, I’m sure many of you were expecting a review of one of Michael Symon’s restaurants in this spot.  I mean, if I’m going to Cleveland, you’d think I’d check out one of my favorite chef’s places, right?  Normally, you would be right, but this time, I was tired and already promised J we’d find a Sonic on the way home.  In addition to that, neither of us were really dressed for dinner at a fancy restaurant.  We would have been ok for lunch, but would have felt out of place at dinner.

We left Cleveland at about 5:30.  Had we used the GPS to look, we could have found a Sonic in Cleveland, but I already wrote down an address for one near Toledo.  Our original plan was just to go to Sandusky and Toledo was the closest one that was on the way home.  I had been planning that stop for days.

There are two Sonic’s in the Toledo area and both are in suburbs.  We chose the one in Oregon because it wasn’t that far off the Interstate and on the northwest side of the city.  On the way from Cleveland, I missed my turn to stay on I-90, so we ended up taking OH-2 until it turned into a two lane road.  We had about a half hour drive through the Ohio countryside which was fine with me.  When we got into town, OH-2 turned into Navarre Avenue.  A few blocks later, it ran into the Interstate we needed to head home. Read the rest of this entry »