Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken – Kalamazoo South

18 08 2009
  • 4441 S. Westnedge Avenue
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49008
  • (269) 345-2151
  • Website
  • Menu
Lees Famous Recipe Chicken on Westnedge in Kalamazoo.

Lee's Famous Recipe Chicken on Westnedge in Kalamazoo.

It’s been quite a while since I’ve had to drive to my parents house.  It’s been a nice break that’s about the change.  This trip is the first of many between work and wedding related events. 

I waited until J went to work, but I didn’t eat much before I left the house.  I was on my way to my brother’s for dinner, but that was still four or five hours away by the time I hit Kalamazoo.  I was hungry, so I knew I needed to get off and get something.

I don’t know much about Kalamazoo, but I do know Westnedge is a pretty good bet if you’re looking for something quick.  I wasn’t going to go to far down, but I drove a little ways off the Interstate to see what was around.  Just as I was getting ready to turn around, I found a chicken place.

Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken has three locations in Kalamazoo.  The one I found is on the corner of Westnedge and Kilgore Road.  When I pulled into the lot, I had no idea this was a chain, but when I got inside and saw the signage, it was pretty obvious this place wasn’t your Mom & Pop chicken place. Read the rest of this entry »





Fresh Fish & Fry

16 08 2009
  • 3140 S. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
  • Lansing, MI 48910
  • (517) 882-7007
  • No Known Website
  • Menu
Fresh Fish & Fry on S. MLK, Jr. Blvd in Lansing.

Fresh Fish & Fry on S. MLK, Jr. Blvd in Lansing.

Another Sunday.  Another day at work.  That’s been pretty much my whole summer.  I’ve been without J this weekend.  She was back in Chicago for her wedding shower.  I was originally supposed to at least go back to Chicago with her, but I got some work, so I stayed here.  That means I was on my own for dinner. 

Sometime in the past, I saw an article in City Pulse about the best wings in town (sorry, I haven’t had any luck finding the article in their archives).  For some reason, I thought it was best Buffalo wing, but I guess they just did best wing and mixed both Buffalo wings and regular chicken wings.  Still, chicken’s chicken and it doesn’t really matter to me if it has hot sauce on it. 

Fresh Fish & Fry is on South Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard right in front of the Logan Square shopping center.  It’s a small joint, but it was packed on the Sunday evening I was in there.  There were a couple of tables stuffed into the corner, but they seem to be more for waiting than actually eating at.  There were a couple other people waiting for their food when I got there and there were two guys on the phone taking orders from a constantly ringing phone.  Read the rest of this entry »





Wild Wing Cafe

1 08 2009
  • 2085 W. Grand River Avenue
  • Okemos, MI 48864
  • (517) 349-2321
  • Website
  • Menu
Wild Wing Cafe on Grand River Avenue in Okemos.

Wild Wing Cafe on Grand River Avenue in Okemos.

When I rolled out of bed this morning…er, afternoon, J started asking about lunch.  She was hungry.  I was hungry, so we started getting ready to leave the house.  Last night, I gave her the option of Mexican or wings.  Today, I wasn’t really in the mood for Mexican so I made the call to head to Okemos to try out the new chain in town. 

Wild Wing Cafe is on the corner of Grand River Avenue and Okemos Road in the building that used to be Bennigan’s.  The chain is an east coast franchise based in South Carolina.  The Okemos location is both the farthest north and west. 

I never went into the Bennigan’s, so I have no idea if anything has changed inside.  The dining room is anchored by a large bar in the middle that is covered with LCD TV’s.  In fact, that’s pretty much the whole design theme.  LCD TV’s everywhere.  Everywhere!  The place really has a sports bar theme.  The TV’s are accented with MSU pictures that have been blown up and hung on the walls. 

There are tables and booths that fill in the space around the bar.  We were shown to a table near the stage that hosts local bands on weekends.  A waitress came over and took drink orders while we looked over the rather large menu.  I knew I wanted wings, but there were a lot of options.  J isn’t in to the traditional wing as much as I am, so she needed a little more time to work her way through the choices.  Read the rest of this entry »





A & W Restaurant – E. Oakland Ave.

28 07 2009
  • 427 E. Oakland Avenue
  • Lansing, MI 48906
  • (517) 485-3950
  • Website
  • Menu
The A & W Restaurant on East Oakland Avenue in Lansing.

The A & W Restaurant on East Oakland Avenue in Lansing.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I still haven’t figured out the fascination with Sonic Drive-In’s.  J, on the other hand, loves the place.  Mostly because of their Limeade.  While watching TV the other night, we saw a commercial for A & W and they were promoting their new Fruit Flavored Limeades.  The commercial caught her attention and the next chance we got, we headed to A & W.

There are two A & W Restaurant in Lansing.  One is on West Saginaw Highway.  The other is on East Oakland.  We chose the Oakland store because it was the one I knew.  The A & W is at the corner of East Oakland Avenue and North Cedar Street.  Like many businesses in the area right now, their parking lot is only accessible from one street because of the CSO project. 

As we were pulling up to the stoplight at Cedar Street, I had serious doubts that they were open.  It was lunch time, but there was only one car in the parking lot.  It looked desserted.  As I pulled into the parking, there was a car that drove around to the drive thru window so we knew they were open. 

We were wanting to eat in the store because our next stop was grocery shopping.  It wouldn’t make sense to take our meals with it.  The inside of the store is tiny.  Very, very tiny.  There’s an order counter that only has one register and almost no counter space.  There are less than ten tables jammed into the small space…most of which are two tops.  Read the rest of this entry »





Chicken & Fish Express

6 05 2009
  • 601 W. Saginaw Street
  • Lansing, MI 48933
  • (517) 267-3813
  • No Known Website
  • No Online Menu
Chicken and Fish Express on Saginaw Street in Lansing.

Chicken and Fish Express on Saginaw Street in Lansing.

I had to work downtown early.  Well, early for me.  9:00 is still a couple hours before I usually get up, so getting my butt out of bed and downtown isn’t easy.  It was a short day with my job finishing up a little after 1:30.  I had a few Tim Horton’s doughnuts for breakfast,but that was it, so I was starving.  Chicken has been all the rage and a few months ago, someone told me about a chicken place in a Marathon Station.  Since it wasn’t too far from downtown, I decided to check it out.

This wasn’t the first time I had stopped in to the Chicken & Fish Express on Saginaw Street.  A few weeks ago, I decided to stop, but was really confused and ended up leaving.  The store is connected to the Marathon Station, but the businesses aren’t really connected.  Sure, there’s a door to move between the two businesses, but it’s blocked from both sides.  Chicken & Fish Express has a separate entrance on Pine Street side of the building.  When I stopped a couple weeks ago, it didn’t look like the place was open.  The door moved when I pushed it, but there was no one inside and I didn’t see anything behind the counter, so I left. Read the rest of this entry »





Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket – Willowbrook, IL

2 05 2009
  • 645 Joliet Road
  • Willowbrook, IL 60527
  • (630) 325-0780
  • Website
  • Menu
Dell Rheas Chicken Basket on old Route 66 in Willowbrook, IL

Dell Rhea's Chicken Basket on old Route 66 in Willowbrook, IL

Yup.  We hit another Chicago area Diner’s, Drive-In’s, and Dive’s place.  J and I are back in Chicago for another weekend trip.  We have tickets to a show in Hammond, IN tonight which isn’t far from her parents house.  Her mom and step-dad had a prior commitment during the day, so J and I were on our own for lunch.  I had been wanting to check out another place we saw on Triple D that was only about 20 minutes from her parents.  After they left for the morning, J and I got going and headed to Willowbrook for lunch.

Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket has been on Joliet Road in Willowbrook for almost 70 years.  Of course, in the early days, Joliet Road was Route 66.  A lot has changed since then.  Interstate 55 is in Dell Rhea’s backyard and the old Mother Road is hidden behind an office park. In fact, J is very familiar with this area.  Her high school speech team used to stay at a Holiday Inn down the road and her grandma was in an area nursing home for a few years yet she had never seen our destination.

It’s not really hard to find and there are signs from IL-83 for the out of towners like us.  The building is a classic Route 66 icon.  There’s a big neon sign out front and the decor hasn’t aged in fifty years.  Parking is a little wierd.  The spots out front are spots that are perpendicular with the building, so you take a sharp 90 degree turn off the road into a spot crossing a lane of traffic in the process. Read the rest of this entry »





KFC Grilled Chicken

22 04 2009

Well, I didn’t plan on being home again last night, so I had nothing prepared for dinner.  Stupid rain screwing up my work schedule.  I started going through the cupboards to find food when J e-mailed me and said we should try KFC’s news grilled chicken.  It sounded good to me, so about a half hour before she’d be home for dinner, I headed to the KFC on South Cedar Street to pick up a bucket.

A fairly empty bucket of KFCs new grilled chicken

A fairly empty bucket of KFC's new grilled chicken

When I walked in, I was met by a clerk yelling from behind the counter that they were out of dark meat.  Yes, KFC, a chicken place, was out of chicken.  She just said they were out of original and extra crispy and didn’t say anything about the grilled chicken so I waited in line while a few other customers yelled at this poor girl for not having chicken.   I mean, really, it’s not her fault.  She’s not a manager.  She’s not a cook.  She was the poor girl who got stuck at the front register.  Apparently, KFC is running a special on an all dark meat bucket and they got swamped at dinner time and couldn’t keep up. 

When it was my turn to order, I asked if they had the grilled chicken.  She said she’d check and mistook that I wanted an all dark meat bucket.  She told me there wasn’t enough, but when I said I’d rather have the mixed bucket anyway, there was actually enough so I put in an order for the 8-piece meal which included two sides and biscuits.

I paid and waited for my chicken to come up and again, got the pleasure of seeing a number of @*&holes yell at this girl for something she had no control over.  Yeah, it sucks that you’re dinner plans just got ruined, but don’t be a jerk about it. 

Anyway, I grabbed my chicken then went home to wait for J.  I opened up the bucket and was a little disappointed.  It didn’t look anything like it does in the commercial.  The bucket was mostly empty.  At first, I thought I got shorted, but as I pulled the pieces out, I counted eight.  I didn’t get cheated, but the grilled chicken pieces are much smaller than the fried pieces.

A KFC grilled chicken breast

A KFC grilled chicken breast

While I was waiting for J, I ate the whole box of potato wedges which were much better than I remembered.  I felt bad about not waiting for J, but they were good and I was hungry.

When she finally did get home, we dug into the chicken.  It did have a nice grilled flavor, but it seemed a little greasy or slimy to me.  The size was the biggest disappointment.  I ate a whole breast in two bites.  J really liked it and didn’t seem to notice or mind the faults I found with it.  It’s definitely something we would order again, but it’s not going to replace fried chicken.  The healthier option is nice and I hope it sticks around, but it’d also be nice if they could find an efficient way to grill bigger pieces or, at the very least, charge a little bit less for the grilled chicken.  The two sides (I got potato wedges and mac ‘n cheese), biscuits (which are good, but not as good as Popeye’s) and eight pieces of chicken set me back just over $13.  Not a bad prices for a meal that left us with lunch for tomorrow, but not as good of a deal as the fried chicken.