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 »

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Buddy’s Pizza – Conant Street

13 07 2009
  • 17125 Conant Street
  • Detroit, MI 48212
  • (313) 892-9001
  • Website
  • Menu
Buddys Pizza on Conant Street in Detroit.

Buddy's Pizza on Conant Street in Detroit.

Finally!  This weekend finally got here.  It’s a weekend that J and I have been looking forward to for quite a while.  My family, including my 9 month old niece, was coming to see us.  The purpose behind the trip was to take in a ballgame at Comerica Park.  It was unfortunate that we couldn’t pick a weekend that the White Sox were in town, but my brother and sister-in-law already had vacations planned for this week and since the Tigers were home, we got tickets and planned on enjoying a long weekend in Michigan.

Before we could go to the game, we had to find food.  As I’ve mentioned on this blog before, pizza is the easiest thing for us all to agree on.  Most people recommended Pizza Papalis in Greektown which, up until a few weeks ago, was the plan.  As I was surfing the Chow.com boards, I kept reading about Buddy’s Pizza. 

I’ve eaten at the Pizza Papalis in Southfield and loved it, but, it was Chicago-style pizza.  My family is from Chicago, so I wanted to give them a uniquely Detroit experience.  When I posted a thread on Chow.com, I got several replies that Buddy’s would give them the uniquely Detroit experience and it was some of the best pizza in the country. Read the rest of this entry »





Vito & Nick’s Pizzeria – Chicago, IL

4 02 2009
  • 8433 S. Pulaski Road
  • Chicago, IL 60652
  • (773) 735-2050
  • Website
  • Menu
Vito & Nicks Pizzeria on Chicagos south side.

Vito & Nick's Pizzeria on Chicago's south side.

When we were home for Thanksgiving, one of the places J’s step-dad recommended we eat was Vito & Nick’s on Chicago’s south side.  We passed and went for ribs instead.  Imagine our surprise when we saw the pizzeria on Diner’s, Drive-In’s, and Dives earlier this month.

After that airing, we decided on our next trip home, we would check the place out.  It’s not far from J’s parents, so we hit the place up for lunch on a Wednesday afternoon.  J’s mom was off work so she decided to join us.  Vito and Nick’s was a place her parents used to take her, but she hasn’t been there in a number of years and wanted to see if it was the place she remembered.

The Original Vito & Nick’s is located on 84th Place and Pulaski.  There’s another location in Lemont, but we wanted to go to the one in Chicago.  J’s mom said she remembered the place as having a red, white and green awning and that’s what we looked for.  By the time she saw it, I had missed the parking lot, so we had to circle around the neighborhood to get back. Read the rest of this entry »





Get-A-Way Saloon

6 10 2008
  • 9489 Red Arrow Highway
  • Bridgman, MI 49106
  • (269) 465-5932
  • Website
  • Menu
The Get-A-Way Saloon in Bridgman, MI

The Get-A-Way Saloon in Bridgman, MI

As a Southsider, the Get-A-Way Saloon is hostile territory.  They make no bones about being Cub fans and the decor and menu reflect that.  I noticed a billboard for Get-A-Way on I-94 while heading home.  I was supposed to take an Amtrak on Saturday from Chicago back to East Lansing, but my niece was still in the hospital and I wanted to hold out one more day to see if she’d get to go home and I’d get to hold her one more time.  That didn’t happen, but now I needed to get home.  My parents like to gamble at Four Winds in New Buffalo and J had been sick all weekend and wanted to get out of the house, so they both agreed to drive halfway.  My parents kept driving and as I was on the phone with J to set up a meeting point, I saw the billboard and told my parents to pull off the highway.  Five minutes later, J was pulling in to a gas station near the highway so we could make the switch.

After saying goodbye to the new grandparents, J and I continued down Red Arrow Highway to grab some grub.  We pulled into the small, neighborhood bar covered with ivy just a few minutes before the White Sox ALDS game.  On the sign out front were the words “Cubbies Why?”  Below that was a scoreboard with the score from last nights NLDS game with the Dodgers in which the Cubs lost.  We made our way though the swinging doors to find a bar covered with Cubs jersey and memoribilia and a dining room.  We started to go towards the dining room, but none of the TV’s had the NASCAR race on which was our first priority, so we headed to the bar.  The tables in the bar were empty so we took one where we could see both the race and the Sox.  Even the table had a big Cubs logo and right before the Sox game started, the bartender, who was wearing a Cubs jersey, turned the channel.  We weren’t going to say anything, but another guy at the bar wearing a Sox jersey did and the game was turned on. Read the rest of this entry »





Kelly’s Downtown

31 05 2008
  • 203 S. Washington Sq.Kelly's Downtown
  • Lansing, MI 48933
  • (517) 484-5007
  • Website
  • Menu

My girlfriend and I were checking out the city courtesy of the Greater Lansing Convention and Visitor’s Bureau “Be a Tourist in Your Own Town” (which is an incredible event and I would definately recommend you check it out next year.)  Around lunch time, we made it downtown and decided to hit up Washington Square for lunch.  At first, we stopped into Tavern on the Square, but the menu kind of sucked.  There were no sandwiches and it was pretty expensive.  We were just looking for a quick lunch so we could keep touring the town.

Across the street sat Kelly’s.  So we got up and left Tavern on the Square and crossed the street.  There was a patio outside, but we chose to go inside and found a table near the front of the shop.  There’s a huge bar in the middle of the space with seating all the way around.  We sat down and waited five to ten minutes for the lone waitress/bartender to even acknowledge us.  She yelled across the bar to get our drink orders then a bus boy actually brought them out.  After a few more minutes, she yelled across the bar to take our order as well.

My girlfriend got Kelly’s Thatsa Wrap which is listed as vegetarian, but offers options to add grilled chicken which she did.  The wrap comes standard with tomatos, cucumbers, peppers, onions, and mushrooms inside a flour tortilla.  Besides the chicken, she got ranch on the side and added fries to her order.  She seemed to really like the wrap and had some fries left over for me.  She said the cucumbers were a good addition changing the texture and the flavor of what you usually expect in a wrap like this.

I got the Bear Burger.  It was a 1/3 lb sirloin burger with crumbled bleu cheese and bacon.  The burger was obviously a frozen patty.  It was really greasy.  I picked the sandwich up and it was wet.  At first, I was afraid it wasn’t done.  There was a puddle of grease on the bottom that I almost mistook for blood.  I bit into it anyway and it was done, but it was really greasy.  Fortunately, the bleu cheese covered most of that up.  I did a double check just to make sure there was bacon on there.  It kind of got lost in all the wetness.

After the initial delay in getting to us, the waitress did a much better job.  Our drinks never got empty and she got the check to us pretty quickly.  For the two of us, it was about $20, but we ended up spending more time in the restaurant than we really wanted to.  Really it was only about forty minutes, so it’s not terrible and normally I wouldn’t complain.  I’ve read a lot of good reveiws about this place, but it didn’t do anything for me.  My burger wasn’t very good and places like this I usually expect more.  I just haven’t had much luck with the downtown restaurants yet.  I’m still looking for that place near the Capitol that is worth getting in the car and paying parking for.   Kelly’s would probably be a great night spot, but for lunch, it just didn’t do anything for me.





Joe’s Gizzard City

7 05 2008
  • 120 W. Main St.Joe's Gizzard City
  • Potterville, MI 48876
  • (517) 645-2120
  • Website
  • Menu

So, I’m sitting at home on a Monday afternoon surfing the Internet while watching the Porn channel for fat people….otherwise known as Food Network.  My favorite show Diner’s Drive-In’s and Dives was on.  I wasn’t really paying attention, but my ears perked up when I heard the word “Michigan”  Guy Fieri was at a place called Joe’s Gizzard City somewhere in Michigan.  I kept watching to see if I could catch the name of the town.  They showed a shot of a kid wearing a Michigan State football jersey and I knew it had to be close.  Turns out, Joe’s Gizzard City is in Potterville….about 15 minutes from my place in South Lansing.

My girlfriend and I got up early one morning to do some shopping.  When it came time for lunch, we figured, what the heck….let’s go find Potterville.  We put the address in her Garmin and headed west.  We found Joe’s in the business district of Potterville.  That sounds impressive, but the business district is probably two blocks long.  There were a lot of cars parked in front of Joe’s, but we were able to find a spot.  The inside is definately a dive….and I love dives.  There are two small dining rooms.  One of them is the bar area then there’s a back dining room which is a little larger and has a pool table plus an autographed picture from Guy Fieri.  The room is dimly lit and covered with Potterville signs and memorabilia.  The tables are kind of cramed in there.  We took a table for two that kind of sits between the two dining rooms.  The bar area was full and we weren’t sure if we should go to the back dining room.  The table was small and butted up against a wall, but it kind of added to the charm.

Joe's Gizzard CityThe menu is fantastic.  Joe’s signature dish is obviously the gizzards which are deep fried in their signature batter.  Gizzards just don’t sound good to me, so we went with something else.  I’m going to describe out meals seperately, but in reality, we both ordered something different then gave the other half so we could try more of the menu.  I’m going to start with my girlfriend’s order this time because it’s such an interesting idea.

Joe’s already had deep fried hamburgers on the menu before Guy’s visit.  Guy took it one step further and fried the whole sandwich….bread and all.  Joe’s put the burger on the menu and called it The Triple D Burger.  I’m going to explain this again because if you’re like me, your reading this and shaking your head thinking that can’t be right.  They take their cheeseburger and prepare it like they normally would.  The hamburger patty is cooked then put on the bun with pickles, onions, tomatos and ketchup.  Then they take the whole thing and dip it in their signature batter and deep fry the entire burger.  When the waitress delivered the plate, there was a knife sticking out the top of a golden brown shell that you knew contained the burger.  The thing was huge.  My girlfriend cut it in half and at that point, you can see the layers.  The burger is entombed in the fried batter.  We both took a bite and our eyes just rolled in to the back of our heads.  This burger was “money” (as Guy would say).  She described the batter as sweet and kind of like a dessert batter.  I loved the crunch of the batter and the juiciness of the burger.  I didn’t really want the fixins and I was still able to peel back the bun and crust to get them out and it made for a delicious and very unique offering.  The batter added an incredible contrast to what you normally think of when you get a burger.  The sandwich was also served with fries, but surprisngly, they were nothing spectacular.  Just the regular out of the bag fries, but the sandwich was so good and so big, the fries are really an after thought on the plate…you really don’t even think about them.

I ordered the quarter chicken plate.  The meal came with two pieces of chicken, fries and coleslaw.  They use Joe's Gizzard Citythe same batter for their fried chicken instead of a bread crumb coating, so the crust of the chicken smooth and thin.  Like everything else at Joe’s, the chicken has it’s own uniqueness.  They actually start by boiling the chicken before frying.  The boiling leaves the meat moist and prevents the batter from burning before the chicken is done.  Like the Triple D Burger, the batter on the chicken added a whole range of flavors and textures you don’t normally expect. 

We couldn’t pass up dessert even though both of us were stuffed.  I introduced my girlfriend to deep fried desserts at the Illinois State Fair soon after we started dating.  We went to see Sugarland and Joe Nichols at the grandstand, but made it there early so we could walk around the midway.  There, we found deep fried Snickers, deep fried Twinkies, deep fried pickles, deep fried…etc., etc.  Joe’s had some of those same goodies on their menu.  We went with deep fried oreos for dessert.  Again, same batter they’ve used for everything else.  You get five Oreos to an order and they come sprinkled with powdered sugar.  My girlfriend compared them to corn fritters she used to get at Brown’s Chicken, but chocolatey and better.  The heat actually softened the cookie to take the bite out of them.  I expected a crunch when I bit in, but it wasn’t there.  The cookies were soft and really, really good.  Even feeling like I was about to explode, I couldn’t pass up these cookies.

The waitress seemed a little frazzled.  She was working the bar and the dining room by herself.  It took a while to get drink refills and to take plates away.  She was doing her best, but they probably could have used one more person.  With all that food, our bill was $22 plus tip.  It took a little over an hour to eat, but I did order fried chicken.  I am sooooo glad I happened to have DDD on that day or I probably never would have found Joe’s.  I have friends and family that will love this place.  Joe’s isn’t a fine dining establishment….it’s better.  It’s a dive bar in a small town with incredible and unique food.