Harland Sanders Cafe & Museum – Corbin, KY

1 10 2009
  • 688 US Highway 25W
  • Corbin, KY 40701
  • (606) 528-2163
  • Website
  • Menu
Harland Sanders Cafe & Museum

Harland Sanders Cafe & Museum

Two chains in a row. I know what you’re thinking. And to make things worse…a KFC? Again, I know, BUT this isn’t just any KFC. It’s the original KFC. 

The Sanders Cafe & Museum is on US 25 West on the outskirts of Corbin, KY. It’s not in a highly developed area. It sits along a two lane road right next to a gas station. Ever since my first trip to the region in 2006, I’ve wanted to stop, but usually my travel companions aren’t as excited about it as I am. 

This time, I had J and I knew she would enjoy, so we pulled off the Interstate and followed the signs to chicken. 

From the outside, this place looks nothing like a KFC. If it wasn’t for the modern signs, it would be hard to even tell. Instead, it looks like the original cafe. The hotel and service station are long gone, but there is a lot left of the building that gave us Kentucky’s greatest gift.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Romano’s Macaroni Grill – Louisville, KY

1 10 2009
  • 401 S. Hurstbourne Parkway
  • Louisville, KY 40222
  • (502) 423-9220
  • Website
  • Menu
Romanos Macaroni Grill on Hurstbourne Parkway in Louisville, KY

Romano's Macaroni Grill on Hurstbourne Parkway in Louisville, KY

I’m just as surprised as you are to see a chain restaurant review on my honeymoon….but we had a really good reason.

We got to Louisville fairly late. After checking into the hotel, it was after 8:00 on a Sunday, so we knew there wasn’t going to be a lot of time to do any sort of exploring. We were also pretty far from downtown out on the east side of town.

On top of that, my mom had given us a gift card to Chili’s before we left. The company that owns Chili’s also Romano’s and neither of us had eaten at a Romano’s. To make things even better, we passed one on the way to the hotel.

Romano’s Macaroni Grill is on the east side of Louisville on Hurstbourne Parkway. It’s in an area with a lot of other chain restaurants and small shops.

We pulled up closer to 8:30 just hoping they were still serving. Neither J nor I knew what to expect because we had no idea what kind of restaurant we were walking in to. Read the rest of this entry »





Al’s Beef – Oak Lawn, IL

24 09 2009
  • 5128 W. 95th Street
  • Oak Lawn, IL 60435
  • (708) 422-2333
  • Website
  • Menu
Als Beef on 95th in Oak Lawn.

Al's Beef on 95th in Oak Lawn.

It only took a day and a half this time.  Operation Bridesmaid Pickup is in full swing and J, her mom, and the one out-of-town bridesmaid headed to the hotel to unload a bunch of stuff for this week.  I was left at the future in-laws house to shower and run a couple errands.  Of course, it was lunch time and of course, I wanted a beef. 

Al’s Beef is a Chicago legend.  They claim to be the inventors of the sandwich.  In recent years, they’ve expanded quite a bit around Chicagoland with franchise locations.  One of those franchises is in Oak Lawn not too far from where I was staying.

The Oak Lawn Al’s Beef is on 95th Street in a new strip mall in the downtown area.  It’s actually a dual store with Nancy’s Pizza.  The inside is missing the one major thing that makes Al’s Al’s.  The counter.  Actually, I was quite confused with the store. Not only did it have tables instead of stand up counters, but when I walked in the door, I had no clue where the order area was.  You can’t see it at all from the doorway.  There’s a wall that sort of leads you around to the counter, but I walked into the dining area before I finally saw where I was supposed to go.  I had to go back to the entrance and walk inside the wall to get to the cash register. 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 »





Dairy Queen – Clifton, IL

14 09 2009
  • 1 Bradie Drive
  • Clifton, IL 60927
  • (815) 694-3202
  • Website
  • Menu
The Dairy Queen in (and only fast food option anywhere near) Clifton, IL

The Dairy Queen in (and only fast food option anywhere near) Clifton, IL

For those of you that didn’t grow up in a small town, you will have no idea what I’m talking about.  Imagine growing up in a town without a McDonald’s, a Walmart, or a Blockbuster.  In fact, imagine that the closest location of any of those three was a half hour away.  That’s how things were when I was growing up.  We only had two options when it came to eating out.  There was the local family run restaurant and a Dairy Queen.

Things haven’t really changed much in the town where I grew up (and my parents still live).  Well, actually they have.  The Dairy Queen is gone.  It moved five miles north.  That actually happened when I was in high school, so it wasn’t a big deal.  I had my driver’s license by then so I could still get the Blizzard’s that I craved.  

While I moved away from home, my brother stayed pretty close.  He moved to that town five miles to the north which is still in the same school district and for all intents and purposes, is still considered part of the same community.  We didn’t really go by towns where I’m from.  We go by school districts.  Yes, my high school was sixteen miles from my house in the middle of a cornfield.  Literally.  It’s in a corn field.  Read the rest of this entry »





Qdoba Mexican Grill – Delta Township

30 08 2009
  • 5415 W. Saginaw Highway
  • Lansing, MI 48917
  • (517) 977-0063
  • Website
  • Menu
Qdoba Mexican Grill on Saginaw Highway in Delta Township

Qdoba Mexican Grill on Saginaw Highway in Delta Township

I don’t think I need to tell you about our shopping patterns again….do I?  Of course, we were out in Delta Township and it was lunch time.  We weren’t in the mood to hunt out a sit down place and McDonald’s didn’t sound good either. 

I remember seeing a few months ago that Qdoba was moving into the space that used to be a Ya-Ya’s Chicken.  That was a while ago, so I assumed it was open. 

I’ve only eaten at Qdoba once in my life.  I used to work with a woman that loved it.  She would have lived inside Qdoba if they would have let her.  The closest one to us was forty minutes away, but if we were ever anywhere near it, I would have to take her for a burrito.  Only once did I actually eat lunch with her.  I wasn’t impressed, but I wasn’t turned off either. 

The newest Qdoba in the Lansing area is on Saginaw Highway across from the Lansing Mall.  Parking around the building isn’t great.  The entrance is actually on the side of the building and there are a few angled parking spots there.  If there’s a lot of traffic in the area of that strip mall, finding a close spot could be a challenge. 

The restaurant is set up sort of like a Subway.  There’s a counter where you order and it’s put together right in front of you.  I don’t like rice and it seems like all fast food Mexican likes to use rice filler.  Qdoba is no different.  That limits the options for me.  There were some things that sounded good, but I had a feeling it would be 90 percent rice and 10 percent meat.  Instead, I ordered three tacos.  Read the rest of this entry »





Sonic Drive-In – Birch Run

23 08 2009
  • 8650 Main Street
  • Birch Run, MI 48415
  • (989) 624-4700
  • Website
  • Menu
Sonic Drive In on Main Street in Birch Run.

Sonic Drive In on Main Street in Birch Run.

A few weeks ago, I put up a press release about Sonic opening a store in Birch Run.  I knew it was just a matter of time before we would find an excuse to make the trip east.

The Sonic in Birch Run is the chain’s fifth Michigan store.  It’s located on Main Street in front of the Prime Outlets.  You can see it as soon as you get off the Interstate.  The store has an exit and entrance from Main Street which was actually closed off when we first went by because of a lot of traffic, but most people will actually enter off Beyer Road in the back. 

When we took a trip to Flint just a few weeks after the Sonic opening there, we actually had to wait in a line to get a stall.  I assumed the same thing would happen in Birch Run.

We finally made our way to Sonic a little before six o’clock.  The main entrance is accessible from Beyer Road.  Since we were coming from the Outlet Mall, we were already close.  We pulled in to the drive way and I noticed a stall right away.  Instead of having two rows of stalls on one side of the building, they have one row on either side of the building.  Read the rest of this entry »