Peanut Allergy Kills Inmate

21 04 2008

I have always been thankful that I don’t have a peanut allergy.  WWMT in Kalamazoo is reporting a Montcalm County inmate died on Sunday after eating a peanut butter sandwich while in custody.

Paul Thurston was arrested on an assault charge early Sunday and was lodged in the county jail.

At lunch he was served a peanut butter sandwich and had a severe allergic reaction. He was treated by the duty jail nurse, correctional staff and Montcalm County EMS before being transported to Sheridan Hospital where he later died.

Jail authorities say that Thurston was asked if he had any allergies during his booking procedure, but he did not inform them of his allergy.

If the inmate didn’t say anything, it’s hard to put blame on the sheriff’s department.  According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America peanut allergies affect only 2% of the population but is the most common cause due to food causing 80% of fatal or near fatal allergic reactions every year.

Three things characterize peanut hypersensitivity:

  • Reactions can be extremely violent and life threatening with just a little exposure to the allergen.
  • This allergy likely to persist throughout life.
  • It is often associated with other non-legume allergies (tree nuts, or certain seeds for example) and seed allergy. Peanut and tree nut allergic reactions coexist in one third of peanut allergic patients

The Mayo Clinic provide more insight on the cause of peanut allergies.

Peanut allergy is caused by an immune system malfunction. Your immune system identifies peanuts as harmful triggering the production of immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to neutralize the peanut protein (allergen). The next time you come in contact with peanuts, these IgE antibodies recognize it and signal your immune system to release histamine and other chemicals into your bloodstream.

I always chuckled a little bit when I would go into a school and see signs for a “Peanut Free Zone,” but as you can see from this story, it’s really not a laughing matter.  It’s sad and unfortunate that there’s a whole group of people out there that will never enjoy a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or be able to go to a baseball game and have a vendor toss a bag of peanuts half way across the stadium to you.   

Rendezvous on the Grand

15 04 2008
  • 226 E. Grand River Ave.Rendezvous on the Grand
  • Lansing, MI 48906
  • (517) 853-0300
  • Website
  • Menu

I saw a review for Rendezvous on the Grand in The Hub‘s 2 for $20 feature shortly after moving to Lansing.  We got up early one day and decided to hit Rendezvous for lunch before my girlfriend had to go to work.

We stopped in on a Tuesday afternoon just after the lunch rush.  The place was empty.  The waitress/bartender and the cook were wrapping silverware at a table near the back.  They were very friendly when we walked in and took a table near the bar.  The Rendezvous is located in Old Town which is the hip, artsy part of Lansing.  The decor of the old bank building embodies that spirit.  When you walk in, you walk into a spacious, high ceiling space filled with art deco chairs and tables.  The feature that jumped out to me was the light fixtures.  They took something as simple as conduit and bent it into an art piece.  The lights on the end of each condiut are spot lights that are plugged right into a junction box on the end of each piece of conduit.  There’s an upstairs area with a few more tables and a pool table then there’s a dance floor in front of a stage with permanent stage lighting hanging from the ceiling.

Rendezvous on the GrandWe took a seat near the bar and the waitress came over with paper menus to take our drink order.  Since it was early, we both went with Pepsi’s.  The menu is pretty interesting with salads, sandwiches, and personal french bread pizzas.  I went fairly safe and got the Beefeater sandwich.  The kaiser roll was filled with sliced roast beef, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, and bistro sauce.  I left the lettuce and tomato off and went straight for the meat.  The meat itself was nothing special.  It actually kind of tasted like they went to the deli and got some roast beef.  The bistro sauce was interesting and I couldn’t really place what it actually was, but it was good and added some flavor to a sandwich that really wasn’t much more than cold meat sandwich.  The sandwich came with chips and a pickle spear.

My girlfriend got a little more adventerous and got the chicken satay.  The waitress almost accidently talked her out of it because it’s probably supposed to be an appetizer and not a meal, but when the waitress said it came with mashed potatoes, she figured it could be a meal.  With this meal, chicken breasts were wrapped in bacon and skewered with green pepper, tomato, and pineapple then the whole thing is drizzled with a sweet BBQ sauce.  The two skewers came beautifully presented on the plate with a drizzling of the same BBQ sauce underneath.  Heck, they even put the BBQ sauce on the garlic mashed potatos.  One bite and she knew that she had made the right choice.  The chicken had a delicious smokey flavor from the bacon and the grilled veggies were a great compliment to the meal.

After we ordered, we realized neither of us ordered fries.  I tracked down the waitress and asked if we could still put in an order.  She said the fryer had been down all morning and she wasn’t sure if it was hot enough to actually cook the fries.  After talking with the cook, she came out and apologized that the oil wasn’t hot enough.  A few minutes later, she came back and said the oil had warmed up, so we went ahead and told her to fry some up.   The cook came out 5 minutes later with an order of fries.  Nothing special here, but I really like the way the staff handled it.  Most places would have just tried to pass off the fries as cooked, but these two were not going to serve something that wasn’t done right.  The first couple my g/f bit in to she said were a little under done, but I didn’t notice.

We picked Rendezvous because of the claim the Lansing State Journal made about two meals under $20.  As promised, this meal came in under the $20.  With tip, we paid $17 and made it in and out with enough time to spare to walk around Old Town.

Champion Sports Bar and Grill

11 04 2008
  • 2440 Cedar St
  • Holt, MI 48842-2104
  • Phone: (517) 694-7660
  • No Website Known
  • Menu

Champion Sports bar is your classic sports bar with TV’s everywhere, lots of beer, and decent pub food. We stopped in for a business meeting which happened to be on the same day as the Detroit Tigers season opener, so there were quite a few guys at the bar and it got loud everytime someone hit a pop fly.

We walked in and showed ourselves to a table near the back of the restaurant to try and get away from the sports crowd. This is where the horrible service started. We sat there for a good 10 minutes before one of the ladies in my party got up to find a waitress. About the time she got up, the waitress noticed and came over and took drink orders. It took about 10 minutes to get those drinks and menus. Then she left again and it took another 10-15 minutes to for her to come back to actually take the order.

I ordered the blackened burger. Really it was just a burger with cajun spices, but it was pretty hot for a burger. I was a little surprised and had to keep grabbing my Pepsi (which also took a while to get refilled). The sandwich came with fries which were the ordinary out of the bag crispy fries.

My girlfriend ordered the blackened chicken salad. When she asked the waitress what kind of dressing they had, the waitress replied, “we pretty much have anything.” Well, that was true as long as you didn’t want a vinegrette. The salad did come piled with chicken pices and she said it was good.

The other two ladies in my party split between a sandwich and a salad. One ordered a fajita salad and had them put it in a taco shell. The other had a chicken sandwich. Neither of them made any comment to me about their meals, but both finished and were too stuffed for desert.

The waitress came back one more time to see if we wanted anything and at that point, one of the ladies I was with asked for the check…not sure if the waitress would ever come back. The price for four of us was about $40, but it took over and hour and a half to eat a meal at a sports bar. The food was ok. The atmosphere and the bar area are great if you’re wanting to watch a game, but the waitress was not very on top things and it really dragged the place down.

New To Lansing

1 04 2008

I just moved to Lansing and I’m looking forward to diving into the culinary world here.  I don’t eat everyday, but my girlfriend and I do eat out a lot and for the most part, we don’t eat at the same place twice unless it absolutely blows both of us away.  We’re huge on local diners and love the history and culture that surround such places.  It’s very, very rare that you will see us at one of the major chains, but it does happen (family in town, convience, etc.).  I’ve been posting my reviews on the website for about three years, but I thought on the move to Michigan, I would start my own site and get some discussion going. Since I started posting on We8there, I’ve reviewed over 300 restaurants with the majority being in my old home town of Peoria, IL. I won’t transfer those over, but if I ever travel, you will probably see those reviews here too.