Pixie

9 10 2009
  • 302 N. Mission Street
  • Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858
  • (989) 772-7494
  • Website
  • Menu
Pixie on North Mission in Mt. Pleasant.

Pixie on North Mission in Mt. Pleasant.

Back before we had any idea we were moving to Kalamazoo, I took a job in Mt. Pleasant for this weekend.  From Lansing, it’s not so bad, but it gets to be a long way from Kalamazoo.  Fortunately, my employer got me a hotel for Friday night, so I was able to travel during the afternoon.

When I got into town, I checked in then went looking for food.  I tried a BBQ place recommended in the hotel book, but they were closed.  I then went to a restaurant downtown I saw a billboard for on the way in.  Luckily they had a menu outside and it wasn’t quite what I was looking for. 

By now, I was hungry and a little annoyed.  I just wanted to eat. 

As I was driving to my first two locations, I drove by an old drive in on Mission Street.  I knew I was close so I went looking for it again. 

Pixie is on North Mission and East Chippewa Street in Mt. Pleasant.  I would say it’s a retro 50’s style diner, but they actually got their start in 1948 when Norman LaBelle decided to open a restaurant.  The Pixie has been in business ever since. 

At one time, the Pixie was a drive in with carhops and a complete menu.  Today, they’re a cross between fast food and casual dining.  Read the rest of this entry »





Sonic Drive-In – Portage, MI

8 10 2009
  • 349 Romence Road
  • Portage, MI 49024
  • (269) 324-7777
  • Website
  • Menu
The Sonic Drive-In in Portage, MI

The Sonic Drive-In in Portage, MI

J and I have been in Kalamazoo all of a few hours and where do you think our first stop to eat was? We’re kind of moving in trips. My brother has helped me everytime I’ve had to move (and it’s been quite a few times) and he can’t get up here until Oct. 17. It’s not a huge deal because our apartment has a ridiculous break penalty (if there’s any legislators reading this, after you solve the budget, you should look into this…besides the two months rent, they’re charging us $20 A DAY for 60 days because we didn’t give them 60 days notice…re-f^%king-diculous..and not spelled out in the lease, so it comes out to 4 months rent) so we’ve got the Lansing apartment until the end of October.

We made the first of two trips with our cars loaded down. After unloading and doing some organizing, we realized it was after 3:00 and we hadn’t had a thing to eat all day.

It was no surprise to me where J wanted to go. I’m surprised I even asked. Read the rest of this entry »





Wildhorse Saloon – Nashville, TN

6 10 2009
  • 120 2nd Avenue
  • Nashville, TN 37201
  • (615) 256-9453
  • Website
  • Menu
The Wildhorse Saloon on 2nd Street in Nashville, TN

The Wildhorse Saloon on 2nd Street in Nashville, TN

While BBQ may have been the thing I was most looking forward to on our trip, line dancing at the world famous Wild Horse Saloon may have been J’s. 

We weren’t planning on being in Nashville long.  We did our trip to the Opry, checked into the hotel, relaxed a little bit,  then headed downtown for dinner and dancing.

The Wildhorse Saloon is on 2nd Street in downtown Nashville.  It’s an old warehouse that has been converted into a three story bar.  The tree lined street that runs in front of it is sort of narrow, but there is street parking on either side.  The first time we drove by, we missed it.  The trees must have been covering the sign.  As we were driving around the block, we found the back service entrance, made a note of which businesses were around it, then drove back around to 2nd Street to try again. 

Once we spotted the building, we started looking for parking.  I didn’t see any garages, but I got lucky and found street parking right across the street.  The meters were off, so we didn’t have to pay to park in downtown Nashville. 

The Wildhorse doubles as a bar/restaurant and an entertainment venue.  There’s a gift shop with a separate entrance then the restaurant entrance.  There’s a ticket window inside the first set of double doors.  There was a cover the night we were there, but it was only $2, so I didn’t balk.  I was expecting it to be more. Read the rest of this entry »





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 »





Dam Site Inn

29 08 2009
  • 4095 Patterson Lake Road
  • Pinckney, MI 48169
  • (734) 878-9300
  • Website (not working)
  • No Online Menu
The Dam Site Inn in Hell, MI

The Dam Site Inn in Hell, MI

I made a lot of people happy today.  I can’t tell you how many times in my life I’ve been told, “Go to hell.”  Today, I did.  Sure, it was just Hell, MI, but I can still tell all those people who have given me that order over the years that I’ve been to Hell and back…and it was fun. 

J and I were stuck on Travel Channel’s “Extreme” shows last weekend.  During the “Extreme Roadside Attractions” I was reintroduced to Hell, MI.  I say reintroduced not because I’ve ever been there, but it was something I had heard about while I was growing up in Illinois. 

For many years, my brother and I delivered papers.  We lived in a small community and the daily newspaper in the area wasn’t huge.  One really hot day, the paper lead with the headline “It’s Hotter Than Hell (Michigan, That Is).”  We got a ton of phone calls from angry customers that thought it was inappropriate and yelled at us like we had something to do with content.  That’s the only newspaper headline I think I’ll ever remember word-for-word. 

So, J and I finally got to sleep in and we took advantage of it.  It was a little after noon before I stumbled into the living room already really hungry.  We figured out that Hell wasn’t all that far away and it would be fun just to say we’ve been there.  Since they had a bar/restaurant, we could make that a reason to go. 

The Dam Site Inn is on Patterson Lake Road in what is technically considered Pinckney.  Hell is actually an unincorporated part of Livingston County.  For USPS purposes, they have a Pinckney address and zip code.  Read the rest of this entry »





Sonic Drive-In – Birch Run

23 08 2009
  • 8650 Main Street
  • Birch Run, MI 48415
  • (989) 624-4700
  • Website
  • Menu
Sonic Drive In on Main Street in Birch Run.

Sonic Drive In on Main Street in Birch Run.

A few weeks ago, I put up a press release about Sonic opening a store in Birch Run.  I knew it was just a matter of time before we would find an excuse to make the trip east.

The Sonic in Birch Run is the chain’s fifth Michigan store.  It’s located on Main Street in front of the Prime Outlets.  You can see it as soon as you get off the Interstate.  The store has an exit and entrance from Main Street which was actually closed off when we first went by because of a lot of traffic, but most people will actually enter off Beyer Road in the back. 

When we took a trip to Flint just a few weeks after the Sonic opening there, we actually had to wait in a line to get a stall.  I assumed the same thing would happen in Birch Run.

We finally made our way to Sonic a little before six o’clock.  The main entrance is accessible from Beyer Road.  Since we were coming from the Outlet Mall, we were already close.  We pulled in to the drive way and I noticed a stall right away.  Instead of having two rows of stalls on one side of the building, they have one row on either side of the building.  Read the rest of this entry »





Sonic Drive In – Oregon, OH

3 08 2009
  • 2925 Navarre Avenue
  • Oregon, OH 43616
  • (419) 691-6600
  • Website
  • Menu
The Sonic Drive In in Oregon, OH

The Sonic Drive In in Oregon, OH

So, I’m sure many of you were expecting a review of one of Michael Symon’s restaurants in this spot.  I mean, if I’m going to Cleveland, you’d think I’d check out one of my favorite chef’s places, right?  Normally, you would be right, but this time, I was tired and already promised J we’d find a Sonic on the way home.  In addition to that, neither of us were really dressed for dinner at a fancy restaurant.  We would have been ok for lunch, but would have felt out of place at dinner.

We left Cleveland at about 5:30.  Had we used the GPS to look, we could have found a Sonic in Cleveland, but I already wrote down an address for one near Toledo.  Our original plan was just to go to Sandusky and Toledo was the closest one that was on the way home.  I had been planning that stop for days.

There are two Sonic’s in the Toledo area and both are in suburbs.  We chose the one in Oregon because it wasn’t that far off the Interstate and on the northwest side of the city.  On the way from Cleveland, I missed my turn to stay on I-90, so we ended up taking OH-2 until it turned into a two lane road.  We had about a half hour drive through the Ohio countryside which was fine with me.  When we got into town, OH-2 turned into Navarre Avenue.  A few blocks later, it ran into the Interstate we needed to head home. Read the rest of this entry »





Wrought Iron Grill

21 06 2009
  • 317 S. Elm Street #201
  • Owosso, MI 48867
  • (989) 472-9025
  • Website
  • Menu
The Wrought Iron Grill on South Elm Street in Owosso

The Wrought Iron Grill on South Elm Street in Owosso

I know it sounds stupid, but J and I just aren’t back on Eastern Time yet.  We had a nice vacation that didn’t involve a lot of getting up early, but sleeping in unfamiliar beds all week really took a toll on us.  We made it back to Lansing just as the storms were rolling in Friday night and J went almost right to bed.  I stayed up and caught up on some Tivo’d shows.  When I rolled over Saturday morning and the clock said 11:50, I have to admit, I was a little shocked.  That’s not all that unusual for me, but it is for J.  By the time we got up and got moving, it was a little after 1:00.  We didn’t have plans today, but needed to go somewhere for lunch.  J asked if there was any place I’ve been wanting to go…even if it was a little bit of a drive.  I mean, we are still in vacation mode.  Owosso’s not that far and there’s a restaurant just on the edge of town I’ve heard good things about.

The Wrought Iron Grill is on South Elm Street in an old warehouse that is now a mixed use building.  The Wrought Iron Grill takes up the bottom floor of the front of the space.  Around the corner there’s a cute looking coffee shop and there are lofts on the second floor.  We pulled in a little after 2:00 on a Saturday afternoon.  There were a few cars in the parking lot and one family dining on the patio so we knew we wouldn’t be the only people in the place.

We walked in the front door where we were met by a hostess.  She showed us to a booth in a room that is just off the bar.  She set down the “dinner” menus which was a little bit of a worry to me, but they had sandwiches, so we were ok.  The hostess said the waitress would be with us in a second so we started to look over the menu. Read the rest of this entry »





South Side Soda Shop and Diner – Goshen, IN

20 06 2009
  • 1122 S. Main Street
  • Goshen, IN 46526
  • (574) 534-3790
  • Website
  • Menu
The South Side Soda Shop & Diner on South Main in Goshen, IN

The South Side Soda Shop & Diner on South Main in Goshen, IN

A couple years back, J and I were watching Diner’s, Drive-In’s, and Dives and we saw a segment on an old soda shop in Goshen, IN.  When we moved to Lansing, we pulled out a map to see where in Indiana Goshen is.  The map showed it just being outside of Elkhart.  It also showed the town as being pretty close to the Indiana Toll Road.  We figured it would take us about a half hour out of our way to make a stop on our way home from Chicago one weekend. 

So, one weekend, we made the detour and stopped.  Problem was, stupid me forgot to see if they were open on Sunday.  They’re not so we made the trip for nothing.  J wasn’t very happy with me. 

On our most recent trip home, we headed back towards Lansing on Friday.  As we were sitting in traffic on I-94 near Portage, IN, J asked if we missed the exit to get to South Bend.  We had, but I had her turn the GPS on because I knew there was a road from Michigan City to South Bend that we hadn’t missed yet.  As we waited to get through traffic, we made the decision to try again.  This time, J called to make sure they’d be open…and they were.

The South Side Soda Shop and Diner is on South Main Street just south of Downtown Goshen.  It’s sits on the corner an the only parking is in the neighborhood on the streets.  We pulled up near dinner time on Friday night, so there was already quite a crowd of people packing the small diner.  We parked a few blocks down and walked back. Read the rest of this entry »