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 »





Mackinac Island

26 07 2009
  • 7274 Main Street
  • Mackinac Island, MI 49757
  • (906) 847-3783
  • Website
Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island

J and I finally feel like Michiganders (or is it Michiginians?).  It seems like every weekend, our friends who grew up here always say they’re “going up north.”  That’s it.  No specific place.  Just up north.  Since we don’t have family here or a cottage somewhere, there’s really no reason for us to “go north.” 

Since moving here, I’ve wanted to go to Mackinac Island.  J went when she was younger.  Her family did the circle tour one year and Mackinac Island was one of the stops.  I’ve never been.  We had plans to go for a couple days in June, but wedding plans made it impossible to take the trip.  A couple weeks ago, J and I were noticing our weekends off, alone together were slowly becoming more and more rare.  We looked at the calendar and figured out the last weekend in July could be the last chance until next spring for us to get away for a day, so we made plans.

Our day started early.  We got up around 7:30 and got on the road about 8:00.  We knew we couldn’t afford to stay on the Island and we knew we couldn’t afford to take the ferry two days in a row, so we decided just to make it a day trip.  Yes, it was a long day with a lot of driving, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  Mackinac Island is abouta  3 1/2 hour drive from Lansing, but it’s all four lane highway which is really nice. 

We pulled into Mackinaw City at about 11:30.  We found our way to the Arnold Ferry.  When we pulled in, a guy pointed us to a parking lot across the street.  We parked and walked back to get our tickets.  Arnold was the one ferry company that had a AAA discount.  I showed my card and got a couple bucks off.  The tickets were $22 a piece for the round trip, so the ferry round cost us $44.  I was hit with sticker shock when I first saw the prices, but it’s the only way to get there. Read the rest of this entry »





Ted-Dee’s Sandwich Shop

23 07 2009
  • 119 S. Washington Square
  • Lansing, MI 48933
  • (517) 374-2784
  • Website
  • Menu
Ted-Dees Sandwich Shop in downtown Lansing.

Ted-Dee's Sandwich Shop in downtown Lansing.

After spending a little time at the Select Michigan Capitol Lawn Farmer’s Market, J and I were in the market for lunch.  Since we were only a block from Washington Square, I suggested we take a walk and see what we could find.  It my mind, I was already leaning towards a deli, but if J saw something she would rather have, I wasn’t going to complain.

I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating, I feel extremely sorry for the businesses that have to deal with the CSO Project.  We walked down Allegan from the Capitol and just walking in the area is a pain.  Imagine if you have to drive.  It’s not worth the hassle….and that pains me to say. 

As we rounded the corner on Washington Square, we followed the fence to a makeshift crosswalk in the middle of the street.  The good thing is the crosswalk leads right to the door of Ted-Dee’s Sandwich shop which sits near the intersection of Washington Square and Allegan Street. 

It was lunch time and there were a lot of people walking the streets looking for lunch.  We entered Ted-Dee’s to find a cafeteria style set up.  Along the back wall is an order counter with a very high counter.  There are menu boards on the walls, but the fare is pretty standard for a deli.  There are a list of meats, breads, and salads.  There aren’t a lot of choices like a New York style deli, so it didn’t take long for us to decide on a sandwich. 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 »





Spagnuolo’s Chocolate

21 06 2009
  • 115 E. Main Street
  • Owosso, MI 48867
  • (989) 729-9590
  • No Known Website
Spagnuolos Chocolate in downtown Owosso.

Spagnuolo's Chocolate in downtown Owosso.

Leave it to us to find the chocolate shop in town.  On our way to Owosso, we saw billboards for “historic downtown Owosso.”  After eating lunch at the Wrought Iron Grill, we decided to find downtown and see what the billboards were all about.  On our first pass through town, we saw a little candy store that still had an “open” sign lit up.  We went around the block to find a parking spot then headed back for some dessert.

Spagnuolo’s Chocolate has a tiny store front on Main Street.  We parked around the corner where there is some angled parking.  In front of the store, there are some parallel spots, but I didn’t realize that and the walk didn’t hurt us any. 

We walked into the chocolate shop at 3:45…about fifteen minutes before they were set to close.  There was one lady who was already gearing up to close.  We started looking around.  We saw a sign for fudge, but didn’t see any in the case.  The lady noticed we looked a little lost and asked if there was anything in particular we were looking for.  She pointed out the fudge in a basket behind us.  It was already cut and wrapped.  They only had two flavors but one of them was peanut butter.  I grabbed a chunk of fudge and J kept looking. Read the rest of this entry »





Downtown Dog House

12 06 2009
  • 107 E. Allegan Street
  • Lansing, MI 48933
  • (517) 316-2312
  • No Known Website
  • Menu
The Downtown Dog House on Allegan Street in downtown Lansing.

The Downtown Dog House on Allegan Street in downtown Lansing.

I’m last to the party on this one too.  Earlier this week, Runs With Spatula Twittered about a place called the Downtown Dog House.  I asked what is was and a few hours later, there was a blog post.  Yesterday, I get an e-mail from City Pulse about a new article online about…you guessed it…the Downtown Dog House.  Heck, I even got five or six replies on Twitter myself about the place.  With all this buzz, I had to check it out.

The Downtown Dog House is on Allegan Street in downtown Lansing just off Washington Square.  Right now, it’s a horrible location.  The entire street is tore up due to the CSO project and Allegan Street is completely closed.  If you didn’t already know about it, there’s very little chance you would see the place.  I have to say, it takes guts to open a new business under those conditions.

I had to run some errands in the area and J tagged along so we could hit up the place for lunch.  We made it downtown just before eleven and found a parking spot on Washington Square.  We walked back a block or so to get to the front doors which is even somewhat of a challenge with all the construction. 

I think we were both surprised when we walked in.  At least in my mind, I had pictured a quick service, order at the counter, find a place to sit hot dog place like I’m used to seeing in Chicago.  Instead, we found a very welcoming sit down restaurant.  We were shown to a booth along the windows.  While we looked over the menus, the man who seated us brought us our Pepsi’s.  Read the rest of this entry »





Press Release – BWL Chili Cook-Off

26 05 2009

From a Lansing Board of Water & Light press release…..

14th annual BWL Chili Cook-off will spice up the night on June 5

The Lansing Board of Water & Light will hosts its 14th Annual BWL
Chili Cook-Off on Friday, June 5 in Adado Riverfront Park.

“This a great opportunity for people of all ages to celebrate our city and
our riverfront, as well as to raise money for worthy, local non-profit
organizations,” said BWL General Manager J. Peter Lark.

New this year:
 The time: The BWL is extending the Chili Cook-off an hour. The
new hours are 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
 The place: For the first time, the Chili Cook-off will take place on
the west side of the Grand River, in Adado Riverfront Park.
 Advance ticket sales: Advance tickets are $5 each for persons over
age 13; $2 for ages 6-12. Ages 5 and under are free.
 Tickets at the gate are $8 for ages 13 and over, and $3 for ages 6-12.
Advanced tickets can be purchased at the BWL Customer Service
Center, 1232 Haco Drive, Lansing, and at the Lansing Lugnuts Box
office, Oldsmobile Park.

More than 45 restaurants and organizations will compete for best chili
honors. For chiliheads wishing to take a “chili break”, there will be
mechanical bull rides. Current and former Michigan State University
football players are expected to try their bull-riding skills. Other activities
include a Duck Derby (A $5 ticket gives contestants a chance to win prizes
including 4 tickets to a Lugnuts Suite and 18 holes of golf at Eagle Eye) plus
games and activities for all ages. Non-chili offerings include adult beverages
and ice cream.

Two live bands will perform: 496 West and La Inspiracion.

Proceeds go to support these fine community institutions: Impression 5
Science Center, Adopt A River, the HOPE Scholarship Program, and the
Sparrow Foundation.





Kilwin’s Chocolate & Ice Cream – St. Joseph

11 05 2009
  • 217 State Street
  • St. Joseph, MI 49085
  • (269) 982-1330
  • Website
Kilwins Chocolate & Ice Cream Shop on State Street in St. Joseph

Kilwin's Chocolate & Ice Cream on State Street in St. Joseph

I freakin’ love fudge!  When we took a day trip to Traverse City last fall, we found a Kilwin’s Chocolate Shop in downtown.  That was our introduction to the Northern Michigan chain of stores. 

A Mother’s Day isn’t complete without chocolate and, as luck would have it, there was a Kilwin’s across the street from our brunch destination.  After a good meal and a quick stroll through downtown St. Joseph, we loaded up on fudgey goodness.

The St. Joseph Kilwin’s store is on State Street in downtown St. Joseph just a few blocks from Lake Michigan.  Like most of the other stores, you can watch the candy makers apply their craft in the window.  On the day we were there, one guy was making caramel apples an another was making fresh waffle cones.

The inside of the store smells so good.  Just past the candy making area are the cases of candy.  The first case has the fudge.  This shop didn’t have nearly as many options as the Traverse City shop, but still had two of three flavors I wanted.  Read the rest of this entry »





Pump House Grille

11 05 2009
  • 214 State Street
  • St. Joseph, MI 49085
  • (269) 983-0001
  • Website
  • Menu
The Pump House Grill in downtown St. Joseph

The Pump House Grille in downtown St. Joseph

J really wanted to do something with her mom for Mother’s Day.  Over the past couple months, there’s been a lot of traveling back and forth to Chicago for both us and our families.  Instead of her parents coming to Lansing or us driving to Chicago for the second week in a row, we decided to find a halfway point.  The Benton Harbor/St. Joseph area looked like a good meeting point, so the search was on to find a good place for Mother’s Day brunch.

After a quick Google search, I came up with two options.  Neither would take a reservation for less than six people, so we chose the one that opened first.  That one was the Pump House Grille on State Street in beautiful downtown St. Joseph.  State Street is a one-way cobblestone street that is lined with boutiques and restaurants.  It’s kind of touristy, but would still make a great shopping and dining district for the locals.  We actually drove by the restaurant on our first pass through downtown.  The buildings are all connecte and none of them have eye level signs that stick out from the building.  On the second pass down State Street, we noticed the building on the left side of the road.

Brunch started at 11:30 and we got there about 11:40.  Like I already mentioned, they wouldn’t take reservations and there must have been a line when the door opened.  By the time we got there, all the tables were full.  The host told us there would probably be a half hour wait since everyone just sat down to eat.  We took a buzzer and set up at the bar to wait.  The bartender told us we could eat there if we wanted to, but J and her mom couldn’t really reach the bar comfortably and it would have made eating uncomfortable.  Instead, we ordered drinks….just Pepsi’s since they couldn’t serve liquor until noon.  The half hour wait would give me time to step outside and call my mom to wish her a Happy Mother’s Day. Read the rest of this entry »





Cheli’s Chili Bar & Restaurant – Dearborn

27 04 2009
  • 21918 Michigan Avenue
  • Dearborn, MI 49124
  • (313) 274-9700
  • Website
  • Menu
Chelis Chili Bar & Restaurant in Dearborn.

Cheli's Chili Bar & Restaurant in Dearborn.

Since moving here, I’ve been wanting to eat at Cheli’s Chili in downtown Detroit.  I’ve always been a huge Chris Chelios fan and a #7 Blackhawks jersey still hangs in my closet.  When I started looking at restaurants in Detroit, Cheli’s Chili on the corner of Michigan and Oakwood came up.  I knew my parents would like a sports bar.

J had a great idea when it came to entertaining my parents.  Our original plan was to go gambling in Windsor, but my parents forgot their birth certificates so we couldn’t do that.  I offered Detroit, but neither were really interested.  They usually stop in New Buffalo when they come see me, but mom wants to say she gambled in Canada before the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative goes in to effect in June.  Since they forgot their documents, we needed a plan B. I had no ideas, but J suggested The Henry Ford Museum in Detroit.  First, we needed lunch.

We made it to Dearborn just before noon.  The building is on the corner, but the entrance is actually in the back.  There’s a parking lot there with a few spaces, a public lot right next to it and street parking all along Oakwood.  We parked the car and walked towards the door to find another couple standing there waiting.  The restaurant didn’t open until noon.  No big deal because it was 11:55.  We ended up walking across the street to Westborn Market (review HERE) to kill time. 

When we made it back, we walked in and saw a sign that the deck was open so we headed up there.  Like the downtown location, the Dearborn location has a party deck on the roof.  There’s an elevator right next to a staircase.  If it’s not a nice day or you don’t like sun, there’s also a huge dining room in the bar.  We didn’t really go in to far.  We found a display case with autographed memorabilia and Chelios jersey’s, but that’s as far as we made it. Read the rest of this entry »