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 »





Yankee Rebel Tavern

26 07 2009
  • 3 Astor Street
  • Mackinac Island, MI 49757
  • (906) 847-6249
  • Website
  • Menu
The Yankee Rebel Tavern on Astor Street on Mackinac Island.

The Yankee Rebel Tavern on Astor Street on Mackinac Island.

As soon as we got off the ferry from the mainland, we started looking for food.  Mackinac Island has a number of restaurants downtown and none of them are chains.  That makes choosing some place to eat when you’re only going to eat two meals on the Island a little difficult. 

Before we took the trip, I did my research online like I always do before out-of-town trips and one of the places that stood out to me was a colonial themed tavern.  We went looking for that on Main Street and just happened to look down one of the side streets to see the sign.

The Yankee Rebel Tavern is on Astor Street between Main and Market on Mackinac Island.  As the name implies, there is a little bit of a colonial theme to the place.  We got to the Island about 12:15 and this was stop #1.  Even though it seemed like there were quite a few people on the Island, I was a little surprised when we got in the door and didn’t see anyone. 

The hostess took  us to a booth along the wall and set down plastic place mats in front of us as well as the menus.  On the way to our table, we saw one other party at a booth near us.  That would change very quickly. 

The decor of the bar isn’t that much different from any other bar we’ve eaten in.  It’s a very comfortable family atmosphere.  It is non-smoking which always gains a place a few more points in my book.  There are a row of booths along one wall and the bar is on the other.  The space in between is filled with tables.  It’s not a huge building by any means, but it’s not tiny either. Read the rest of this entry »





Relli’s

18 07 2009
  • 202 E. Main Street
  • DeWitt, MI 48820
  • (517) 669-9243
  • No Known Webite
  • Menu
Rellis on Main Street in DeWitt.

Relli's on Main Street in DeWitt.

Saturday’s have sort of become a exploration day.  We’ve eaten at most of the restaurants we wanted to eat at in Lansing, so we’ve been looking more at the surrounding communities.  Ever since moving here, there’s been a pastry shop in DeWitt that I’ve wanted to go to, but we’ve never had a reason to go to DeWitt.  Last night when J told me to find someplace for lunch, I started to look at places north of Lansing, so we could hit up DeWitt for dessert.  What I ended up finding was a sports bar..and you know how much we love sports bars.

Relli’s is near downtown DeWitt on Main Street just a block from Bridge Street.  It’s a big corner building that really sticks out.  The exterior looks like wood slats and it really sticks out in the bedroom community.  There is a parking lot on the side of the building and an entrance near that lot, but we found some street parking right in front, so I pulled across the bike lane into the parking spot.

We used the front door which brings you right into an arcade area.  I tried to get J to play a game of Golden Tee, but we kept moving to find a table.  The building is rather large.  There’s a dining room behind the bar that is separated from the bar area.  There are also a few tables near the bar and another connected dining room  as part of the same room.  Even though it was probably the smoking section, I took a seat near the bar.  When we eat lunch at places like this, I always like to sit where we can be seen by the bartender.  At least I know then that we won’t go totally unnoticed. Read the rest of this entry »





Baja Grille

5 07 2009
  • 402 S. Jefferson Street
  • Mason, MI 48854
  • (517) 244-1181
  • Website
  • Menu
Baja Grille on South Jefferson Street in Mason.

Baja Grille on South Jefferson Street in Mason.

We’re finding out that the thing to do on the Fourth of July in Michigan is to “go up north.”  Well, we have no place to really go up north and I had to work all weekend anyway, so J and I did what we always do on Saturdays.  We slept in late then got up and started planning on lunch.

Our original plan was to see about driving over the Birch Run.  We got up too late to do that without rushing to get me home in time for work.  Our second idea was a cafe in Jackson that Corky told me about.  We called and they weren’t open.  I had a copy of City Pulse sitting on the coffee table, so I picked it up and started looking through the “Food Finder.”  As I’m going down the list, I come across a place called in Mason that I’ve never heard of.  I did a Google search, found a website and loved the menu.  We were off to Mason. 

The Baja Grille is on Jefferson street on the courthouse square.  There were quite a few people downtown due to the Fourth of July holiday.  We got there after the parade, but the car show was still going on.  I could see there was a lot of foot traffic, so when I found a parking spot a half a block away in front of the library, I pulled in.  Read the rest of this entry »





Applebees Neighborhood Bar & Grill – Okemos

26 06 2009
  • 2284 Woodlake Drive
  • Okemos, MI 48864
  • (517) 347-4892
  • Website
  • Menu
Applebees near I-96 & Okemos Road in Okemos

Applebees near I-96 & Okemos Road in Okemos

We’ve been good all week.  I’ve made dinner every night and we haven’t eaten out since last Saturday.  Before J left for work today, I asked if she wanted me to pick her up for dinner.  Of course, she said yes. 

I’ve learned the hard way that we can’t really head towards Michigan Avenue or East Lansing on her dinner break, but the edge of Okemos is usually ok.  She actually said she wanted to eat at a chain tonight and I said Applebees.  Yes, we could have just went to the South Lansing location, but it is Friday night and if they were busy, I wanted to make sure we had options.  There’s plenty of other restaurants near the Okemos location, so that’s where we went.

The Applebees in Okemos is just off of Okemos Road and I-96.  You would think the address would actually be Okemos Road, because it faces that street, but the address is on the side street that you turn on to which is Woodland Lake Drive. 

Like I figured, the parking lot was packed.  Still, I found a spot in the front parking lot, so I was holding out hope.  We made our way to the door where a waitress/hostess was there to greet us by opening the door….something that I’ve noticed at pretty much all the chain restaurant we’ve been to in the last year.  Once we were inside, we were stuck behind what must have been a large group.  It took three people to figure out where to put them.  The hostess that opened the door finally grabbed a couple menus and showed us to a booth in the dining room that is to the left of the bar. 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 »