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 »

Danny Boys Italian Eatery – Sandusky, OH

3 08 2009
  • 6207 Milan Road
  • Sandusky, OH 44870
  • (419) 621-1000
  • Website
  • Menu
Danny Boys Italian Eatery near Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH

Danny Boys Italian Eatery near Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH

Road trip!  I got a phone call from my buddy (I’ll call him Ja from here on) a few weeks ago wanting to know if we were busy on August 2.  He was going to be in Sandusky for work and wondered if we wanted to meet up.  Ja and his wife (Je from now on) were friends of both J and I when we lived in Peoria.  All four of us worked at the same place.  Ja is from Ohio and went back to school.  His girlfriend, who later became his wife, eventually followed him to Athens and the only time the four of us would see each other was at weddings. 

Ja and Je now live in Columbus, OH which would still be a pretty good haul for either of us to make a social visit.  Sandusky seemed a little more doable since it would be just a short three hour drive from Lansing. 

After the trip was planned, I started scouring foodie boards for places to eat.  There’s got to be some little hidden gem in a tourist town.  Alas, all anyone would tell me is that Sandusky is over run by chains.  To that I say, what city isn’t?  I hate when I get that answer because there is an abundance of chains in every town, every city, and every tourist destination in the country.  I’m not looking for those.  I want to know where the locals eat. 

Finally, I got a few suggetions.  Out of the top three I got, two were bars and Ja said a bar probably wasn’t a good idea, so I picked the Italian eatery. 

Danny Boys Italian Eatery is on the edge of town fairly close to Cedar Point.  When you get off OH-2, you go left for the amusement park and right to find this restaurant.  It’s less than a mile down Milan Road on the right side.  The building shares space with a few smaller businesses, but there’s a huge parking lot and overflow parking on the side. 

We got there right at 11:30 on Sunday which is when they open.  After the hugs and handshakes in the parking lot…and a little ribbing for my friends driving a Kia…we went inside.  I was a little surprised by the decor.  I was almost expecting a cheesy Italian decor which would fit the tourist town, but we we found was more of a Tuscan pub.  The floors were faux stones.  The first walls and ceilings were dark wood paneling.  The first area we came into was actually a bar with a window to the kitchen.  Read the rest of this entry »

Carrabba’s Italian Grill – Lansing

13 04 2009
  • 6540 W. Saginaw Highway
  • Lansing, MI 48917
  • (517) 323-8055
  • Website
  • Menu
 Carrabbas Italian Grill on Saginaw Highway in Delta Township

Carrabba's Italian Grill on Saginaw Highway in Delta Township

It had been a long weekend.  I had worked four days in a row (unusual for my line of work) and J had made a quick trip home to see a friend of hers who just had a baby.  We timed it out where she got home about an hour after I did on Sunday.  That gave me enough time to shower and have a little snack.  By 5:00, we were both pretty hungry.  She did brunch with her parents in Chicago, but that was at 10:00 AM.  We wanted to go out for dinner, but since it was Easter Sunday, we weren’t really sure what would be open.  I knew the chain restaurants would be serving, so we headed out to Delta Township.

We had our choice as far as chains go on that side of town.  I narrowed it down to Outback Steakhouse, Cheddar’s, and Carrabba’s.  J said she didn’t have a preference and since Carrabba’s is the one out of those three that I had never eaten at, it’s what we chose.

Carrabba’s Italian Grill is on Saginaw Highway in front of the Kohl’s in Delta Township.  Usually when we’re in this part of town, Carrabba’s isn’t open. They’re not the typical chain and they’re not open for lunch during the week.  They open their doors at 4:00 Monday thru Friday.  On Saturday and Sunday, they do open at noon, but they serve the same dinner menu.

We were met at the door by a waitress who welcomed us to the store as she stood holding the door for us.  We were then met by a hostess who showed us to a table near the kitchen.  The restaurant was surprisingly packed for a holiday.  The table we were seated at had a good view of the kitchen which was open and on display.  In fact, there was even a bar where you could enjoy your meal while watching the cooks prepare the evening’s meals.  Read the rest of this entry »

Rudino’s Pizza & Grinders

26 02 2009
  • 8741 W. Saginaw Highway
  • Lansing, MI 48917
  • (517) 627-3025
  • Website
  • Menu
Rudinos Pizza & Grinders on Saginaw Highway in Delta Township

Rudino's Pizza & Grinders on Saginaw Highway in Delta Township

Once a month, I spend the whole morning driving around Delta Township while J gets her hair cut.  I usually spend part of that time looking for someplace to eat.  This month was easy.  A couple weeks ago, I saw a posting on Craigslist for jobs at a new place on Saginaw Highway.  Last weekend, we were out in the area and I drove by to see if there was any indication it was opening.  There was a sign on the door that said it would open February 25.  I knew we were going to be out there on the 26th, so we were good to go for lunch.

Rudino’s Pizza & Grinders is in a small strip mall near the Menards on Saginaw Highway.  It’s in the space that used to be Art’s Pizza & Italian Oven.  We tried going to Art’s once, but it was closed.  I was excited to see a new pizza joint moving in.

Rudino’s is a long, narrow space.  When entering, you sort of come in to what can be considered the first dining room.  Beyond that is the order counter.  There is a menu board above the registers that lists a large selection of grinders as well as pizza’s, calzones, and salads.  Since it was only the second day of being open, things were running a little slow, but we knew that when we walked in and it wasn’t a big deal.  We needed time to figure out what we wanted anyway.  We were greeted right away by two guys who were sitting behind the counter on laptops.  The whole space is a Wi-Fi hot spot. Read the rest of this entry »

Fazoli’s – South Lansing

23 12 2008
  • 5705 S. Cedar St.
  • Lansing, MI 48911
  • (517) 394-0539
  • Website
  • Menu
Fazolis in South Lansing

Fazoli's in South Lansing....sorry about the was snowing really hard.

Looks like I can squeeze in one more Mid-Michigan review before Christmas.  I made it back to Lansing Monday morning at 3 AM after a 12 hour ride on an Amtrak that is only supposed to take 4 1/2 hours.  I’m not going to bitch as much as I want to, but let me just say, it was awful.  What makes it even more awful, is we’re supposed to hop on another train tomorrow morning to head back to Chicago.  We’re both a little stressed out wondering if we’re gonna make it home by Christmas. 

Since I’m just back in Lansing for a few days, we didn’t do any grocery shopping this week therefore, we have no food in the house.  Let me take that back, we have food, but it’s only to make cookies which I’ve been doing for two straight days now.  So, the only option was to eat out.  Last night, we hit up Steak ‘n Shake to take advantage of their 4 meals under $4 menu.  Tonight, it was Fazoli’s.

Strangely, my family has a history with Fazoli’s.  When I lived in Joliet, the only place, other than Chicken-n-Spice (review HERE), I took my parents to eat when they came to visit was Fazoli’s.  At that time, I had never heard of the chain and didn’t even realize it was a chain until I saw one on one of my “party visits” to the University of Illinois.  Read the rest of this entry »

Tomato Bros

6 12 2008
  • 3030 W. Grand Avenue
  • Howell, MI 48843
  • (517) 546-9221
  • Website
  • Menu
Tomato Bros on Grand River Avenue in Howell

Tomato Bros on Grand River Avenue in Howell

Another weekend.  Another trip to the Kensington Valley Outlet Mall in Howell.  After our last trip to Howell when we ate at The Bloated Goat Saloon (review HERE) in Fowlerville, someone suggested in comments that we try out Tomato Bros.  J asked if it was the place we always drive by on Grand River, but I didn’t remember seeing it.  Either way, the menu looked good so that’s here we headed. 

Tomato Bros. is on the corner of Grand River Avenue and Highland Road.  You can’t miss it.  There is a huge sign over the entrance of the building in addition to the typical roadside sign.  One you turn in, you find a parking lot that is a little weird.  Some of the spots are facing north and south while others are facing east and west.  They really try to pack the cars in there.  I parked my truck  and J thought I was nuts.  It looked like I made my own parking space, but I assure you, I didn’t. 

We made our way inside.  Once we got through the big, decorative, wood doors, I didn’t find what I was expecting to find.  I figured Tomato Bros was going to be a sports bar, but it was really a nice, sit down restaurant with a bar.  We were met by a hostess and asked us the dreaded “smoking or non-smoking” question.  We chose non-smoking and were shown to a booth in the back of the restaurant near the kitchen.  The space is rather large and there were quite a few groups of ladies dining.  We assumed they were either going to or coming from the outlet mall. Read the rest of this entry »

Emil’s Restaurant

22 11 2008
  • 2012 E. Michigan Ave.
  • Lansing, MI 48912
  • (517) 482-4430
  • No Known Website
  • Menu
Emils Restaurant on Michigan Avenue in Lansing.

Emil's Restaurant on Michigan Avenue in Lansing.

I proved tonight that you can wear a white shirt to an Italian restaurant and not make a mess.  I think I surprised J as much as I surprised myself.  After a day of shopping, we were sitting on the couch flipping back and forth between the MSU/PSU game and the Illinois/Northwestern game.  We were both getting hungry and I was craving Italian.  Emil’s is one of the Lansing institutions that had been recomended to us when we first moved here, but we don’t eat out Italian very often.  Since I was craving, we thought, why not?

Emil’s is on Michigan Avenue a few blocks down from Sparrow Hospital.  There’s a little on street parking in the front, but there’s a huge public parking lot behind the row of businesses.  Emil’s has an entrance off the back and since that’s where we parked, that’s where we entered.  The back entrance brings you right into the bar.  We were a little confused at that point. Were we supposed to seat ourselves or is there a host somewhere.  I just figured if we walked to the front door, we’d find out.  As we made our way through the bar, a host noticed us and was waiting near the front for us.  When we got to him, he led us into a dining room seperate from the bar. Read the rest of this entry »