LeRoy’s Classic Bar & Grill

18 04 2009
  • 1526 S. Cedar St.
  • Lansing, MI 48910
  • (517) 482-0184
  • No Known Website
  • Menu
LeRoys Classic Bar & Grill on South Cedar Street in Lansing.

LeRoy's Classic Bar & Grill on South Cedar Street in Lansing.

You know how there’s always a place you drive by but never stop at?  LeRoy’s was that place for us.  In fact, we drive by it so much, J actually thought we had eaten there before.  It just seemed familiar because we take that route to downtown Lansing quite often, but it’s a place we had neglected.  There wasn’t a reason we never stopped.  I just never thought of it when it came to dinner time.

J and I left downtown after spending the afternoon at Oldsmobile Park.  By the time we hopped back in the car, I was really hungry and wanted something really greasy.  I heard somewhere that LeRoy’s had a pretty good burger and it was on the way home, so we finally stopped neglecting the little neighborhood bar.

LeRoy’s Classic Bar & Grill is on South Cedar Street at Baker.  There’s a parking lot on the north side of the building and behind the building.  It was still pretty early on a Saturday night, so parked in the lot on the north and entered through the front door which opens out to Cedar Street.

We didn’t make it to far past the bar once we got inside.  It took my eyes a second to adjust as it was pretty dark.  There are a couple booths along the wall just inside the door and I suggested we grab one of those so we’d be noticed by the bartender. 

There was only one menu on the table, but since no one was sitting in the booth behind us, I reached back and grabbed the one off that table so we didn’t have to share.  The bartender noticed us right away and came over for drink orders.  We were both a little dehydrated from sitting outside all day, so we stuck with soft drinks.  Read the rest of this entry »





Sidetrack Bar & Grill

5 04 2009
  • 56 E. Cross Street
  • Ypsilanti, MI 48198
  • (734) 483-1035
  • Website
  • Menu
Sidetrack Bar & Grill in Depot Town in Ypsilanti

Sidetrack Bar & Grill in Depot Town in Ypsilanti

When I see that there’s a place that serves a burger someone has proclaimed to be the best, I’m gonna take an opportunity to try it for myself.  That was the case when I was working in Ann Arbor recently.  J made the trip to Ann Arbor with me and picked me up after my game was over.  Somewhere, I saw that a bar in Ypsilanti made one of the best burgers in the country.  I looked at a map and saw Ypsilanti was near Ann Arbor.  So I dragged J to another bar in search of the perfect hamburger.

Sidetrack Bar & Grill is located on Cross Street in Ypsilanti’s Depot Town.  Guess what.  It sits beside a set of rail road tracks.  As I’ve already alluded to, GQ Magazine proclaimed Sidetrack’s hamburger as one the 20  burgers you must eat before you die.  It was also featured on an episode of the Oprah Winfey Show.  With that much hype, it was something I was looking forward to all day.

We parked behind the building and entered through a back door.  There’s a sign that points you to the front door where a hostess took us back through the dining room we just walked through to a table along the wall.  The decor is that of an old bar.  There’s exposed brick walls, tin ceilings and hardwood floors that have seen better days.  The walls are covered with dead animals.  There was a big moose head right above my head and some giant penguins hanging above the door.  The tables are packed into the space.  When I initially suggested a bar for dinner, I was a little worried that we would have trouble getting a table.  Word is,  Sidetracks is always packed on Friday and Saturday night and this Saturday night, MSU was playing in the Final Four.  Read the rest of this entry »





Dispatch Sports Pub & Grill

21 02 2009
  • 3004 W. Main Street
  • Lansing, MI 48917
  • (517) 484-7940
  • No Known Website
  • Menu
The Dispatch Sports Pub & Grill on Main Street in Lansing.

The Dispatch Sports Pub & Grill on Main Street in Lansing.

Saturday nights are usually relaxed nights for us.  After being lazy all afternoon and watching the NASCAR truck race, we decided to go out for dinner again.  We still  haven’t been to the grocery store since getting back to Michigan so there’s not a lot of food in the house yet and since shopping hungry is a bad idea, we just found a bar.  Quite a while ago, someone suggested the Dispatch Sports Pub & Grill.

The Dispatch Sports Pub & Grill is on Main Street near I-496.  It’s kind of out there by itself.  There’s not a whole lot in the area yet the parking lot was packed even though it was a crappy, snowy night.  We trekked through the snow only to be confused again.  There were two doors.  Neither were marked.  Neither gave any indication that it was the entrance. One of them was a little fancier than the other so that’s the one I chose.  I peeked in through the window and it looked right so we went in.  Good thing I chose that one.  The other one would have led to the kitchen.

The inside is a typical sports pub.  There are at least three pretty good size dining areas.  The bar is the first thing you run into.  From there, there are two dining areas off to the side.  I took a second to look around and didn’t really see anything other than tables for large groups.  Then I noticed some booths at the far end of the bar.  The decor is all beer company freebies.  It’s a comfortable, familiar setting.

The Dispatch near I-496 on Main Street in Lansing

The Dispatch near I-496 on Main Street in Lansing

Read the rest of this entry »





Kroll’s South Loop – Chicago

16 02 2009
  • 1736 S. Michigan Avenue
  • Chicago, IL 60616
  • (312) 235-1400
  • Website
  • Menu
Krolls South Loop on Chicagos Near South Side.

Kroll's South Loop on Chicago's Near South Side.

I wasn’t planning on eating lunch in Chicago today.  My dad and I went to the Chicago Auto Show, so I put on a post on Chow.com asking if there was anyplace to eat within walking distance of McCormick Place.  Most of the replies said no, but someone replied this morning and J happened to see it so she texted me with details.  About 2:00, dad and I were getting hungry so I thought, what the hell.  It’s only a half mile or so away, so I called J to get directions and we went for a walk.

Kroll’s South Loop is on the Near South Side at Michgan Avenue and 18th Street.  It’s a little, corner neighborhood bar.  They have the menu posted outside and prices looked reasonable, so we went inside to grab a bite to eat. Read the rest of this entry »





Fox’s Restaurant & Pub – Oak Lawn, IL

7 02 2009
  • 9240 S. Cicero Avenue
  • Oak Lawn, IL 60435
  • (708 ) 499-2233
  • Website
  • Menu
Foxs Restaurant & Pub on South Cicero Street in Oak Lawn, IL

Fox's Restaurant & Pub on South Cicero Street in Oak Lawn, IL

The thing I absolutely love about going home is the food.  The south side of Chicago is home to some great restaurants and J’s parents love showing me all their favorite spots.  One of the places I heard them talk about quite a bit was Fox’s Restaurant & Pub, so I suggested going there for dinner.  J’s mom had some coupons that were about to expire, so that’s what we decided on.

Fox’s Restaurant & Pub in Oak Lawn is on South Cicero and 92nd Street.  There are four locations total in the Chicago area.  Other restaurants are in Chicago, Orland Park, and Plainfield.  J asked her mom if she should call and get reservation.  The answer was no because Fox’s is huge.

Fox’s looks like an Irish pub even thought it’s not the typical “we got our bar from Ireland and only serve Guiness” Irish pub.  When you walk in, you’re met by a hostess who then takes you down a long hallway to the main dining room.  There are also two other levels that host private parties and overflow dining on busy nights.  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 »





Chili’s Grill & Bar- Okemos

1 01 2009
  • 5055 Marsh Road
  • Okemos, MI 48864
  • (517) 347-7188
  • Website
  • Menu
Chilis Southwestern Bar & Grill on Marsh Road in Okemos

Chili's Grill & Bar on Marsh Road in Okemos

Hey, why not start of the 2009 with a review of a chain restaurant?  J’s mom picked up a gift card for Chili’s for me for Christmas.  Just like Applebees (review HERE), I have never been to a Chili’s.  Growing up in the Kankakee (IL) area, there was no Chili’s and by the time I moved to Peoria, I was already on my “hunt out the local joints” kick, so I never took the time to actually eat at Chili’s.  J said she used to eat there all the time when she lived in Idaho Falls (ID) because they had great drinks and appetizers, so when I opened up the gift from her mom on Christmas and found a Chili’s gift card, J got excited that she was going to get to take me to what could maybe be called her favorite chain.

The Chili’s Grill & Bar in the Lansing metro is in Okemos adjacent to the Meridian Mall.  It sort of shares a parking lot with the Olive Garden. Our plan was to hit up Younkers at Meridian Mall then go to dinner, but we were too late for shopping as the mall must have closed at 6:00 and we arrived closer to 6:30.  Since we couldn’t go shopping, we just headed over to Chili’s for dinner. 

We were met inside by a hostess who I’m pretty sure punished us for picking non-smoking over smoking.  I was hoping to be seated where I could see the Rose Bowl game, but the only TV’s must have been in the smoking section which is basically the bar area.  Instead, she took us into a cramped dining room around the corner and sat us in a booth right next to the Chili’s To Go entrance.  The restaurant was not packed by any means so there was really no reason to put us at this table.  The table was fine, but it was right next to an outside door so every time someone came in or went out, we were also treated to the 20 degree weather outside.   Kind of ruins dinner when you have to eat with a coat on. Read the rest of this entry »





Fatty’s Pub & Grille – DeKalb, IL

18 12 2008
  • 1312 W. Lincoln Highway
  • DeKalb, IL 60115
  • (815) 758-7737
  • Website
  • Menu
Fattys Pub & Grille near the campus of Northern Illinois University

Fatty's Pub & Grille near the campus of Northern Illinois University

I have never been so happy to be in DeKalb, IL.  I got up early because of the snow storm last night, but I never thought it would be as bad as it was.  The roads were awful between Lansing and Kalamazoo.  I didn’t think I’d ever make it to where I needed to go.

It was slow going, but I did finally make it.  My four and a half hour trip took closer to six.  By the time I got to DeKalb, I was exhausted and my day was just starting.  I was working at Northern Illinois University where the NIU Huskies were taking on the Southern Illinois University Salukis in  men’s basketball.  Just before four o’clock, we were released for lunch.  No one knew where to go or what was even around.  Lucky I did some research before leaving Mid-Michigan.

Fatty’s Pub is located on Lincoln Highway not far from the Convocation Center and Huskie Stadium.  We piled into a couple cars and set out looking.  I put the address in my GPS, but by the time it found the satellites, we were turning into the parking lot.  The building sits pretty close to the road, so you have to go down a little alley to the back.  The parking lot and main entrance are located behind the building.  Read the rest of this entry »





Bloated Goat Saloon

22 11 2008
  • 141 E. Grand River Ave.
  • Fowlerville, MI 48836
  • (517) 223-8413
  • No Known Website
  • No Online Menu
The sign hanging from the Bloated Goat Saloon in downtown Fowlerville

The sign hanging from the Bloated Goat Saloon in downtown Fowlerville

The Bloated Goat Saloon is my kind of bar.  Not only is the name awesome, but the inside is the typical small town, turn of the century saloon with above average food. 

J and I were heading out to Howell to do some Christmas shopping.  Might as well get it out of the way early.  I hate people and you can’t have a crowd without people and you can’t Christmas shop in December without crowds, so we went to the Tanger Outlets the week before Thanksgiving instead of the week after.   We’re always on the lookout for new places and when I was searching for restaurants in and around Howell, I came upon a place called the Bloated Goat Saloon.  There were a couple reviews that said the place was really neat and the food was good, so we decided to give it a try.

The Bloated Goat Saloon is in downtown Fowlerville.  It’s not hard to find.  There’s a huge sign hangining on the side of the building.  The inside is dark, long, and narrow.  There isn’t much width to the place.  There’s a really neat bar running along one wall in the front of the space and tables along the other.  The back of the room is filled with more tables and the usual pub games.  Back to the bar for a second, it’s a really interesting design.  There’s the bar, but there’s also a boxed in shelf a few feet above the bar.  The whole thing is supported with steel pipe, so it looks like there are a bunch of “windows” when you’re sitting there.  About half of the bar stools are attached to the bar itself and then there’s a couple of the more traditional free standing stools. Read the rest of this entry »





Auggie’s Grille & Pub

9 11 2008
  • 820 W. Miller Rd. #3
  • Lansing, MI 48911
  • (517) 272-0099
  • No Known Website
  • Menu
Auggies Grille & Pub on Miller Road in Lansing.

Auggie's Grille & Pub on Miller Road in Lansing.

I hate writing bad reviews.  I always feel bad, but I’m not going to not write about a place just because it might make me feel bad.  I always look for the good in things because I know a bad review can be bad for business.  If someplace just pisses me off though, I sort of feel like they deserve it. 

Auggie’s Grille & Pub is located in a tiny strip mall on Miller Road.  There’s a party store right next to it and there are signs all over the place saying drinking in the parking lot is illegal.  That should have been a sign.  Auggie’s looked like a nice place, but I’m guessing that it’s not a good area of town.  On Thursday night, I drove by to scout the place out before meeting J at our regular Thursday hang out, Barley’s.  The parking lot was packed so I figured the place was legit.  Read the rest of this entry »