KT’s Bar & Grill – Sevierville, TN

2 10 2009
  • 1641 Parkway
  • Sevierville, TN 37862
  • (865) 428-1991
  • Website
  • Menu
KTs Bar & Grill on The Parkway in Sevierville, TN

KT's Bar & Grill on The Parkway in Sevierville, TN

You wouldn’t believe how hard it is to find a local place in a tourist town. J and I went on a quest to find something that wasn’t going to be cheesey or touristy, but we didn’t have an Internet connection in our cabin, so it was real hard to research. I can’t tell you the last time we went without Internet for 48 hours, but we made do.

The plan was to head back in to Sevierville because we noticed a county courthouse on the way in. There’s got to be a pub or something near the courthouse, right? I mean, where do employees go for dinner and a beer?

Well, it’s not in downtown Sevierville, that’s for sure. There was nothing. One place but it looked fancy and didn’t have a menu outside so we passed. Instead, J got her GPS out of her purse to see what sounded local.

When she turned it on, our location was back in Sevierrville near our cabin. She found a place with the word “grill” in it, so that’s where we went.  Read the rest of this entry »





Kuma’s Corner – Chicago, IL

24 09 2009
  • 2900 W. Belmont Avenue
  • Chicago, IL 60618
  • (773) 604-8769
  • Website
  • Menu
Kumas Corner on W. Belmont on Chicagos northside.

Kuma's Corner on W. Belmont on Chicago's northside.

 We finally made plans to make the trip the north side of Chicago.  We had to pick up the first of three out-of-town bridesmaids who flew in early to stay with another friend who lived in Bucktown.  We offered just to pick her up at her friend’s place because it was only a ten minute drive to West Belmont and I’d finally get to chow down on Illinois’ best burger.

Kuma’s Corner is on the corner of West Belmont Avenue and North Francisco Avenue in Chicago’s Avondale Neighborhood.  It’s an old corner building that doesn’t look like it should house such a popular restaurant.  The door was open and there were people spilling out when we drove by.  Like most of these neighborhood places, there is no specific parking.  You’re own your own to find something along the street.  Read the rest of this entry »





Roadhouse Grill & Bar

12 08 2009
  • 4112 Lansing Road
  • Jackson, MI 49202
  • (517) 782-7711
  • Website
  • Menu
Roadhouse Grill & Bar on Lansing Road in Blackman Township

Roadhouse Grill & Bar on Lansing Road in Blackman Township

The next week is going to be really busy for me.  It’s a change of pace and actually a welcome change of pace.  I’m starting to get some work now that fall sports are getting under way which means a lot more traveling and a lot less time playing Wii. 

A friend of mine was driving through on his way to Plymouth where he’s spending the weekend.  He’s working for SPEED this week at MIS and Plymouth is where is hotel is.  Since today was a travel day, he asked if I wanted to meet him for lunch somewhere.  The original plan was to meet in Ann Arbor because he was going to take I-80 to Toledo then head north.  For some reason, he changed his mind and took I-94 from Chicago. 

Since he was taking 94, he was open to meeting somewhere closer for me.  Jackson seemed like a good stopping point for both of us, so I started looking for places to eat. 

We don’t get to Jackson very often, so I’m not really familiar with what’s there.  I put a post on Twitter asking for suggestions and I did get a reply from one person.  @ddkronkh pointed me to an article that was in the Jackson Citizen-Patriot about the Top Ten sandwiches in Jackson.  I wanted to eat all of them, but I had to pick one.

What I ended up picking was The Roadhouse Bar & Grill on Lansing Road near Parnall Road in Blackman Township.  Coming from Lansing, my GPS took me through the country a little bit and I was starting to wonder where this place was and if my friend from Illinois would be able to find out.  It actually isn’t too far from I-94 and he was able to find it without the help of a GPS. Read the rest of this entry »





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 »





Art’s Bar & Grill – Revisited

14 03 2009
Arts Bar & Grill on Kalamazoo in Lansing.

Art's Bar & Grill on Kalamazoo in Lansing.

It’s been almost a year since our first visit to Art’s Bar & Grill.  It was one of the first places we ate at after moving to Lansing.  The building didn’t look like much, but I had heard the food was some of the best in town.  After a little hesitation, we went in and had one of the best meals we’ve had in town.

J’s parents were in town and we needed someplace to eat.  The original plan was to eat in Mt. Pleasant after gambling for a little bit, but we were still full from lunch, so we headed back to Lansing.  We tossed around a few ideas, but eventually settled on Art’s.  I had heard good things about their pizza and we hadn’t tried it yet.  By hitting up a bar, we could get a pizza and J’s parents could get burgers.

We stopped in around 7:00 on a Saturday.  There were quite a few people, but we found a table in the middle of the dining room.  Just like last time, a waitress noticed us right away and yelled over that she would be right with us.  A few minutes later, she dropped off menus while she was taking care of the rest of the dining room.  There were only two waitresses for the whole building and the one we had was working her butt off.  Read the rest of this entry »





Deja Brew Bar & Grill- Oak Lawn, IL

12 02 2009
  • 5219 W. 95th Street
  • Oak Lawn, IL 60435
  • (708 ) 423-0484
  • No Known Website
  • Menu
Deja Brew on 95th Street in downtown Oak Lawn, IL

Deja Brew on 95th Street in downtown Oak Lawn, IL

After taking care of some things this morning, my girlfriend, her family, and I headed out for lunch.  Our first stop was Palermos 95th (review HERE), but they were even packed for lunch, so we went to J’s parents favorite bar in downtown Oak Lawn.

Deja Brew Bar & Grill is located on 95th Street in downtown Oak Lawn.  It fronts the busy highway, but the parking and main entrance is actually in the back which is accessible by an alley.  When you walk in that back door, you come into an enclosed courtyard.  From there, there’s another set of doors to actually enter the establishment. 

Inside is a typical sports bar.  There are LCD’s hanging from the ceiling.  There’s a large, odd shaped bar that takes a good chunk of the space.  The shape of the bar is a little hard to describe.  Around the bar are a few pub tables.  Along the opposite wall is a step up with more tables.  We took a table near the windows and waited for a watiress.

The waitress actually came over pretty quickly to get our drink orders, but then took a really long time to come back with them.  She spilled a little bit of J’s mom’s beer and went to get something to clean it up with before taking lunch orders.  It took a good ten minutes for her to come back with a bar towel.  Once we got the spilled beer taken care of, we put in lunch orders.  Another half hour later and we finally got our food.  During the time, J and her uncle both ran out of Diet Coke but there was no refilling until the food came out. Read the rest of this entry »





Darb’s Crystal Bar

11 01 2009
  • 4279 Holt Rd.
  • Holt, MI 48842
  • (517) 694-9716
  • No Known Website
  • No Menu
Darbs Crystal Bar on Holt Road and Cedar Street in Holt

Darb's Crystal Bar on Holt Road and Cedar Street in Holt

We found it!  We found a karaoke bar.  When we moved here almost ten months ago, we left a town that had the best karaoke bar.  It wasn’t a bar that hired a guy to come in once or twice a week with a TV and a microphone.  It was a karaoke theater with lights, multiple TV’s, a computer song book, a stage, multiple microphones, and a “KJ’s”  It was more of a karaoke saloon that happened to be in a bar.  It was awesome for someone like J who really likes karaoke.  If you heard a song on the radio for the first time, this place would have a karaoke version a week later.  You weren’t stuck doing songs from five years ago….you could do songs that were on the charts right now.

When we moved to Mid-Michigan, we immediately started looking for a karaoke bar with no luck. We tried Crunchy’s and Rookies with no luck.  The atmosphere was no good, the song selection were terrible, and it wasn’t fun.  A while ago, Corky suggested Darb’s Crystal Bar in Holt.  I had driven by a few times and though it just looked like a good place to hang out.  I had no idea they had karaoke. 

J has been going through withdrawals for months now, so we decided to give Darb’s a try.  We were there five minutes and we knew this was a place that we would be visiting several more times.

Darb’s Crystal Bar sits on the corner of Holt Road and Cedar Street in Holt.  There’s a large neon sign hanging off the side of the building, a beer garden to one side, and a ton of Christmas lights…even when t’s not Christmas.  We were surprised to find a packed parking lot.  It was a Saturday night, but we also had gotten a foot of snow in the last 24 hours.  We thought tonight would be a good time to try out Darb’s hoping the snow would keep people away.  No dice.  The place was packed.  It’s not very big inside and all the tables near the front of the bar were packed. 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 »





Barley’s American Grill (Revisited)

5 12 2008
Barleys American Grill on Miller Road decorated for Christmas

Barley's American Grill on Miller Road decorated for Christmas

I originally reviewed Barley’s American Grill not long after moving to Lansing.  At that time, I had no idea it would become our regular hangout.  Both J and I enjoyed the food and the atmosphere, but we’re not really “go out for a beer” regulars.  Every now and then it’s nice, but we’ve never really had a regular hangout.  A few weeks after the initial review, J got a new co-worker and they decided Thursday night was going to be “Beer Thursday” after they got off work at 11:30.  The closest bar to their place of employment is Barley’s American Grill and it’s on the way home for both of them, so that’s what they picked. 

Barley’s American Grill is behind the Meijer on Miller Road.  It’s a huge building with a good size dining room, a good size bar, and a huge gaming area with multiple pool tables and dart boards.  We have our usual booth along the back wall and our usual waitress who doesn’t even come over to ask what we want anymore.  Since it’s 11:30 at night, we usually don’t go for large food items, but we do get a couple appetizers. 

The usual for us is a Blue Moon for J’s co-worker, a Bud Light draft for me, and a frozen strawberry Daiquiri for J.  As for the appetizers, the girls almost always order the spinach-artichoke dip which comes with toasted bagels.  The bagels are the best part.  Instead of throwing some chips out of a bag with the dip, they thinly slice bagels, butter, and toast them.  They’re delicious on their own.  I’m not a fan of spinach or artichoke so I usually pass.  If they have any bagles left over, I’ll try to steal one just to eat by itself. Read the rest of this entry »