Big Boy Restaurant – Mason

22 03 2009
  • 660 N. Cedar Street
  • Mason, MI 48854
  • (517) 676-4401
  • Website
  • Menu
The Big Boy Restaurant on Cedar Street in Mason.

The Big Boy Restaurant on Cedar Street in Mason.

It was a long weekend.  I worked in Detroit on Friday, Champaign, IL on Saturday then had to drive home on Sunday.  I left my parents house before lunch, but I didn’t want to actually stop for food on my way home.  I was already making a detour to the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond to get J tickets to see Joel McHale for her birthday and another stop would have made a four hour trip (five with the time change) start pushing five hours.  By the time I finally got home at 5:30 ET, I was starving.  J hadn’t eaten much either, so after unpacking really quick, we went on the hunt for food.

 I was craving a burger.  I didn’t want to go to a bar because the MSU/USC game was on and I wasn’t in the mood for a crowd.  Instead, we opted for Big Boy in Mason.  We had eaten at the Big Boy in Okemos last fall and were a little unimpressed with the place, but I wanted to give them another chance.  I figured a different location might make our dining experience a little better.

The Big Boy Restaurant in Mason is located on Cedar Street on the southeast side of town.  It sits right near US 127 before you actually get in to the town.  Unlike the Okemos location, it’s obvious this store is a Big Boy.  There’s a huge sign out front and the famous statue of the Big Boy on the edge of the parking lot.  There were a few cars in the lot, but nothing overwhelming.

This store is more what I was expecting from a Big Boy.  The decor is a little more bright and cartoonish.  I had never seen a Big Boy before moving to Michigan, but the statue is a part of Americana and I guess I just have a preconceived notion of what I thought Big Boy was.  The Mason location lived up to that notion better than the Okemos location.  Read the rest of this entry »


The Courthouse Pub

11 01 2009
  • 160 W. Maple St.
  • Mason, MI 48854
  • (517) 676-6941
  • No Known Website
  • No Online Menu
The Courthouse Pub in downtown Mason

The Courthouse Pub in downtown Mason

There was no way a little snow was going to keep me cooped up in the house all day.  That being said, does anyone in Michigan actually own a snow plow?  Just curious.  The roads looked like they hadn’t been touched.  Yeah, we could have stayed closer to home, but I like branching out into the communities surrounding Lansing and we haven’t been to Mason very much.  There’s not much there that would give us cause to go, but tonight, we had plans to go to a bar in Holt after dinner, so why not drive a few more miles down the road to Mason.

I did a quick Google search for restaurants in Mason and the one that stood out to me was a place called Mason Jar Pub and Grub.  One of the reviews on Google said they served drinks in a Mason jar.  That did it for me.  I jumped in the shower to get cleaned up and we were going out to eat.  Before we left, I realized it was after 8:00, so I called to make sure the kitchen would be open.  When the person on the other end picked up the phone, she answered it “Courthouse Pub.”  Uh….I thought I was calling the Mason Jar, so I found the Mason Chamber of Commerce website.  The Courthouse Pub was a member and the address matched what Google has for the Mason Jar…I’m guessing it just became the Courthouse Pub recently. Read the rest of this entry »

Press Release – Mason Aviation Day

3 08 2008

From a press release.

Mason Aviation Day

Sunday, August 17, 2008
at Mason Jewell Airport (TEW)

Eden & Kipp Road, Mason, MI
(across from Fairgrounds)

Fly In or Drive In

Pancacke Breakfast ~ 7 AM to 11:30 AM

Grilled Steak Dinner  ~ Noon to 4:00 PM
    (Pork BBQ, Hot Dogs, Brats also available)

Antique Aircraft ~ Classic Aircraft ~ Vintage Aircraft ~ Homebuilt Aircraft ~ Military Aircraft

FREE ADMISSION to Mason Jewett Airport

Hosted by Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 55

Contact Bill Bezdek 517-351-0448 or Bill Purosky 517-655-1432
for additional information or visit

EAA Chapter 55….member of the Mason Area Chamber of Commerce

Ingham County Fair

3 08 2008
  • 700 E. Ash St.
  • Mason, MI 48854
  • (517) 676-2428
  • Website
Heat race during the demolition derby at the Ingham County Fair in Mason

Heat race during the demolition derby at the Ingham County Fair in Mason

I LOVE demolition derby.  I’m a total redneck at heart.  After I graduated college and before I got my first job, I spent the summer working on demo cars with some friends of mine.  I loved every minute of it and wished I was more mechanically inclined.  My girlfriend, grew up going to Team Demo Derby’s at Santa Fe Speedway near Chicago, so there’s a place in her heart for demo derby too.  A co-worker of my girlfriend and her boyfriend had never seen a demo derby, so we met at the Ingham County Fair on the final night for some good ol’ fashioned car smashing.

County fairs were really cool when I was a kid.  We didn’t start going to theme parks until I was into junior high and high school, so the county fair was where we got to go on rides and win cheap prizes.  Walking into the Ingham County Fairgrounds in Mason brought back all those feelings.  I couldn’t believe a lot of the rides were the same (like the Gravitron) and none of the games had changed.  You’d think they’d come up with something new, but nope.

Row of food vendors near the midway at the Ingham County Fair in Mason

Row of food vendors near the midway at the Ingham County Fair in Mason

When we first walked in, we ran right into a row of food vendors.  We wanted to do a lap before deciding to make sure we didn’t buy something then find something better.  One of the first stands I noticed was the BBQ.  My girlfriend had just mentioned that she smelled BBQ as I was pointing it out to her.  After a lap to the midway and back, I got a pulled pork sandwich.  Well, sorta.  They called it pulled pork, but it was more chopped and it was Texas BBQ, so the sauce wasn’t as sweet and vinegar-y as I like it.  It was alright and hit the spot though.  The whole time I was ordering, I could litteraly hear pigs squealing from the barn right behind me.  I love the irony when they put the pig barn next to the BBQ stand. Read the rest of this entry »

The Vault Delicatessen

29 07 2008
  • 368 S. Jefferson St.
  • Mason, MI 48854
  • (517) 676-2696
  • Website
  • Menu
The Vault Delicatessen in downtown Mason across from the Ingham County Courthose

The Vault Delicatessen in downtown Mason across from the Ingham County Courthose

I don’t remember where I first heard about The Vault, but I always have a thing for old bank buildings turned into restaurants.  The Vault sits on the corner of Jefferson and Ash in downtown Mason just across from the Ingham County Courthouse.  My actual purpose for a trip to Mason was to go to Merindorf Meats (review HERE), but since I was going that way, I thought it was a good excuse to check out The Vault.

The Vault is much more than a place to pick up a sandwich for lunch.  Besides the deli case, they offer a wide variety of gourmet ingredients from Olive Oil to salts.  They also sell the La Brea bread they use to make their sandwiches.  Inside the old vault (the actual bank vault) is their wine room.  I’m not a huge wine person so nothing in there meant anything to me, but I did step in to check out.  When I turned to walk out, some stickers plastered along the frame caught my eye.  They were the lock cleaning stickers dating back to the early 1900’s. Read the rest of this entry »

Merindorf Meats & More – Mason

29 07 2008
  • 2289 W. Barnes Rd.
  • Mason, MI 48854
  • (517) 676-6039
  • Website
Merindorf Meats & More in Rural Mason

Merindorf Meats & More in Rural Mason

This is the store I keep hearing about.  We went looking for this shop one weekend, but somehow ended up at the store in Williamston (review HERE).  I needed some ground chicken for dinner tonight and since I have a hard time finding it at the mega marts anymore, I decided to hop in the truck and head to Mason. 

It’s a good thing we didn’t just “try to find it” last time.  Merindorf’s is located on Barnes Road which is outside of Mason about half a mile from US-127.  This building is much older looking than the Williamston shop.  The inside is a big difference too.  There’s not as much grocery, which is fine because when I go to Merindorf’s, I’m looking for meat.  Fresh meat wasn’t on my radar today.  I was in the market for some frozen stuff and Merindorf’s has it all.  Read the rest of this entry »

City Limits Sports Grill

1 06 2008
  • 801 N. Cedar St.City Limits Mason
  • Mason, MI 48854
  • (517) 244-1090
  • Website
  • Menu

City Limits was a recommendation from an avid reader and one of my girlfriend’s interns.  We were sitting around after spending all day being a tourist in our own town debating about what to do for dinner.  I didn’t really feel like cooking, so we decided to go out.  We hopped in my truck and headed down Cedar Street to Mason.  City Limits sits just on the other side of 127 inside the Mason Bowling Center.  The parking lot looked pretty full when we pulled up.  Then it hit me.  Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals had just started. 

We went inside and there was a hostess station at the door, but no one was there.  We didn’t know if we should wait or just sit down.  Finally a waitress noticed us and told us to sit wherever we would like.  The dining area is divided into a smoking and non-smoking space.  The non-smoking is down a couple stairs into a big, open room filled with tables, dart boards, and, of course, big screen TV’s.  We chose a booth along the wall near one of the huge projection TV’s.  I wasn’t super interested in watching the game, but that didn’t matter.  You can’t look up without seeing a TV somewhere.

It must have just been our luck that particular day.  Everyplace we ate we had a wait.  It took five to ten minutes before our waitress finally noticed us sitting there.  Once she did, she brought menus and got drink orders.  Saturday night is a margarita special, so my girlfriend got a strawberry margarita.  I wasn’t in the mood for alcohol so I just got a Pepsi.   The menu was full of the traditional sports bar fare.  There were burgers, pizza, salads, and chicken sandwiches on the menu, but the interesting thing was the grinders.

When I lived near Kankakee, IL, we always used to go to a pizza place called Mancino’s Pizza & Grinders (I’m still trying to figure out if the Mancino’s here in Lansing are the same thing), so we had Grinders all the time growing up.  My girlfriend had never heard the term before and was a little surprised when I got my sandwich.  I went with the half pizza grinder.  The seven inch sandwich was topped with pepperoni, ham, banana peppers (according to the menu anyway.  I didn’t taste or see them on the sandwich), mozzerella cheese and pizza sauce.  It’s like a little mini-pizza in sandwich form.  It was delicious.  I almost wish I got the full sandwich because when I was done, I wanted to keep eating.  It’s not quite the same as Mancino’s, but this one had a unique flavor with the ham.  For an extra buck, I added fries to my sandwich.  They were just typical fries…nothing special.

My girlfriend got the Southern Fried Chicken Salad with Buffalo Chicken tenders.  Again, they have the option of a half or full salad.  She asked the waitress what the size of the half was, but didn’t get a really good answer, so she ordered the full salad just to be safe.  The salad came with a bed of fresh lettuce, jack cheddar cheese, tomatoes, red onions, bacon and buffalo chicken tenders.  The chicken was hot and there was a lot of it.  Almost enough to make that a meal on it’s own.  She passed a few pieces of the chicken over to me and it really tasted like a boneless chicken wing.  She said the chicken was as hot as she likes buffalo wings and any hotter would have ruined the salad.  Her only complaint was the red onions.  They were stronger than she likes, but that’s a personal preference when it comes to onions.  Neither of us are big onion fans and there’s always the hope they won’t overpower the other ingredients.  With all the chicken, she probably finished about half the salad.

City Limits is a great space.  Yes, it’s a sports bar, but the design allows it to be a family friendly atmosphere as well.  The table next to us was a family with four kids.  They had a couple pizzas and all eyes were glued to the TV’s.  My girlfriend said her eyes got really dry from the smoke, but I didn’t notice it until we were leaving.  I think someone opened the door to the bowling alley a little too long and a huge cloud of smoke rolled in, but she said it was there the whole time.  We both LOVED the food.  My sandwich was delicious and something you can’t get at a lot of places.  We both left stuffed and only paid around $20.  Even with the crowd for the Red Wings game, our server was there when we needed her after the initial wait.

Press Release – Kean’s 80th Anniversary

13 05 2008

This sounds like an event worth driving to Mason for…..I’m going to be out of town for work this weekend, so I’m not going to be able to go, but thought I would pass it along for those that would like to.

EVENT: Kean’s  80th Anniversary ribbon cutting
DATE: May 16th 2008
TIME: 3:00 PM
LOCATION 412 S Jefferson Mason
HOSTS: Mason area Chamber of Commerce
ATTENDANCE: Local and regional officials and dignitaries will attend, along with local business  owners, and residents.

EVENT: Kean’s  80th Anniversary party and celebration
DATE: May 17 th
ATTENDANCE: Local regional and state officials and dignitaries will attend along  with over l,500 area residents
HAPPENING; A festive celebration  for the family with clowns, face painting, entertainment, gourmet food sampling and much more,
Enjoy prices from many years ago like a bag of chocolate covered peanuts for $.80 and many old fashioned prices and savings.

STORE BACKGROUND:  In 1928 Herbert Hoover was elected president, penicillin was discovered, and Mickey Mouse appeared in his first cartoon. On Friday and Saturday nights farmers from all across  Ingham County rode into town to eat, drink, and stop at Kean’s Five& Dime, the newly opened dry goods emporium in downtown Mason.
Welcome to Kean’s, Mason’s oldest operating business. Kean’s was founded in 1928 by Gus and Fern Kean. Their original store complete with tin ceilings and wooden floors still is part of the Kean’s shopping experience today. The store has grown over the years to more than 17,000 square feet, and is still owned by the Kean family. Teresa Kean,   now runs the store, after taking it over from her father Warner who was Gus and Fern’s son and successfully ran and grew the business for many years.
Today Kean’s offers a fresh completely remodeled look, but still maintains that old fashioned Charm that Kean’s is known for. Kean’s offers a collection of shops that the entire family enjoys. From toys  to candy, to fabrics and crafts, home furnishings and gifts, a charming baby boutique, unique jewelry, gourmet cooking and house wares, and an unsurpassed selection of greeting cards… Kean’s has it all!
Today the family and the friendly sales associates,offer you a cup of coffee as you enter the store, and everyone  quickly feels at home, and  all enjoy the incredible shopping experience that area residents have come to know Kean’s for  80 years.