Romano’s Macaroni Grill – Louisville, KY

1 10 2009
  • 401 S. Hurstbourne Parkway
  • Louisville, KY 40222
  • (502) 423-9220
  • Website
  • Menu
Romanos Macaroni Grill on Hurstbourne Parkway in Louisville, KY

Romano's Macaroni Grill on Hurstbourne Parkway in Louisville, KY

I’m just as surprised as you are to see a chain restaurant review on my honeymoon….but we had a really good reason.

We got to Louisville fairly late. After checking into the hotel, it was after 8:00 on a Sunday, so we knew there wasn’t going to be a lot of time to do any sort of exploring. We were also pretty far from downtown out on the east side of town.

On top of that, my mom had given us a gift card to Chili’s before we left. The company that owns Chili’s also Romano’s and neither of us had eaten at a Romano’s. To make things even better, we passed one on the way to the hotel.

Romano’s Macaroni Grill is on the east side of Louisville on Hurstbourne Parkway. It’s in an area with a lot of other chain restaurants and small shops.

We pulled up closer to 8:30 just hoping they were still serving. Neither J nor I knew what to expect because we had no idea what kind of restaurant we were walking in to. Read the rest of this entry »


Danny Boys Italian Eatery – Sandusky, OH

3 08 2009
  • 6207 Milan Road
  • Sandusky, OH 44870
  • (419) 621-1000
  • Website
  • Menu
Danny Boys Italian Eatery near Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH

Danny Boys Italian Eatery near Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH

Road trip!  I got a phone call from my buddy (I’ll call him Ja from here on) a few weeks ago wanting to know if we were busy on August 2.  He was going to be in Sandusky for work and wondered if we wanted to meet up.  Ja and his wife (Je from now on) were friends of both J and I when we lived in Peoria.  All four of us worked at the same place.  Ja is from Ohio and went back to school.  His girlfriend, who later became his wife, eventually followed him to Athens and the only time the four of us would see each other was at weddings. 

Ja and Je now live in Columbus, OH which would still be a pretty good haul for either of us to make a social visit.  Sandusky seemed a little more doable since it would be just a short three hour drive from Lansing. 

After the trip was planned, I started scouring foodie boards for places to eat.  There’s got to be some little hidden gem in a tourist town.  Alas, all anyone would tell me is that Sandusky is over run by chains.  To that I say, what city isn’t?  I hate when I get that answer because there is an abundance of chains in every town, every city, and every tourist destination in the country.  I’m not looking for those.  I want to know where the locals eat. 

Finally, I got a few suggetions.  Out of the top three I got, two were bars and Ja said a bar probably wasn’t a good idea, so I picked the Italian eatery. 

Danny Boys Italian Eatery is on the edge of town fairly close to Cedar Point.  When you get off OH-2, you go left for the amusement park and right to find this restaurant.  It’s less than a mile down Milan Road on the right side.  The building shares space with a few smaller businesses, but there’s a huge parking lot and overflow parking on the side. 

We got there right at 11:30 on Sunday which is when they open.  After the hugs and handshakes in the parking lot…and a little ribbing for my friends driving a Kia…we went inside.  I was a little surprised by the decor.  I was almost expecting a cheesy Italian decor which would fit the tourist town, but we we found was more of a Tuscan pub.  The floors were faux stones.  The first walls and ceilings were dark wood paneling.  The first area we came into was actually a bar with a window to the kitchen.  Read the rest of this entry »

Carrabba’s Italian Grill – Lansing

13 04 2009
  • 6540 W. Saginaw Highway
  • Lansing, MI 48917
  • (517) 323-8055
  • Website
  • Menu
 Carrabbas Italian Grill on Saginaw Highway in Delta Township

Carrabba's Italian Grill on Saginaw Highway in Delta Township

It had been a long weekend.  I had worked four days in a row (unusual for my line of work) and J had made a quick trip home to see a friend of hers who just had a baby.  We timed it out where she got home about an hour after I did on Sunday.  That gave me enough time to shower and have a little snack.  By 5:00, we were both pretty hungry.  She did brunch with her parents in Chicago, but that was at 10:00 AM.  We wanted to go out for dinner, but since it was Easter Sunday, we weren’t really sure what would be open.  I knew the chain restaurants would be serving, so we headed out to Delta Township.

We had our choice as far as chains go on that side of town.  I narrowed it down to Outback Steakhouse, Cheddar’s, and Carrabba’s.  J said she didn’t have a preference and since Carrabba’s is the one out of those three that I had never eaten at, it’s what we chose.

Carrabba’s Italian Grill is on Saginaw Highway in front of the Kohl’s in Delta Township.  Usually when we’re in this part of town, Carrabba’s isn’t open. They’re not the typical chain and they’re not open for lunch during the week.  They open their doors at 4:00 Monday thru Friday.  On Saturday and Sunday, they do open at noon, but they serve the same dinner menu.

We were met at the door by a waitress who welcomed us to the store as she stood holding the door for us.  We were then met by a hostess who showed us to a table near the kitchen.  The restaurant was surprisingly packed for a holiday.  The table we were seated at had a good view of the kitchen which was open and on display.  In fact, there was even a bar where you could enjoy your meal while watching the cooks prepare the evening’s meals.  Read the rest of this entry »

Fazoli’s – South Lansing

23 12 2008
  • 5705 S. Cedar St.
  • Lansing, MI 48911
  • (517) 394-0539
  • Website
  • Menu
Fazolis in South Lansing

Fazoli's in South Lansing....sorry about the was snowing really hard.

Looks like I can squeeze in one more Mid-Michigan review before Christmas.  I made it back to Lansing Monday morning at 3 AM after a 12 hour ride on an Amtrak that is only supposed to take 4 1/2 hours.  I’m not going to bitch as much as I want to, but let me just say, it was awful.  What makes it even more awful, is we’re supposed to hop on another train tomorrow morning to head back to Chicago.  We’re both a little stressed out wondering if we’re gonna make it home by Christmas. 

Since I’m just back in Lansing for a few days, we didn’t do any grocery shopping this week therefore, we have no food in the house.  Let me take that back, we have food, but it’s only to make cookies which I’ve been doing for two straight days now.  So, the only option was to eat out.  Last night, we hit up Steak ‘n Shake to take advantage of their 4 meals under $4 menu.  Tonight, it was Fazoli’s.

Strangely, my family has a history with Fazoli’s.  When I lived in Joliet, the only place, other than Chicken-n-Spice (review HERE), I took my parents to eat when they came to visit was Fazoli’s.  At that time, I had never heard of the chain and didn’t even realize it was a chain until I saw one on one of my “party visits” to the University of Illinois.  Read the rest of this entry »

Tomato Bros

6 12 2008
  • 3030 W. Grand Avenue
  • Howell, MI 48843
  • (517) 546-9221
  • Website
  • Menu
Tomato Bros on Grand River Avenue in Howell

Tomato Bros on Grand River Avenue in Howell

Another weekend.  Another trip to the Kensington Valley Outlet Mall in Howell.  After our last trip to Howell when we ate at The Bloated Goat Saloon (review HERE) in Fowlerville, someone suggested in comments that we try out Tomato Bros.  J asked if it was the place we always drive by on Grand River, but I didn’t remember seeing it.  Either way, the menu looked good so that’s here we headed. 

Tomato Bros. is on the corner of Grand River Avenue and Highland Road.  You can’t miss it.  There is a huge sign over the entrance of the building in addition to the typical roadside sign.  One you turn in, you find a parking lot that is a little weird.  Some of the spots are facing north and south while others are facing east and west.  They really try to pack the cars in there.  I parked my truck  and J thought I was nuts.  It looked like I made my own parking space, but I assure you, I didn’t. 

We made our way inside.  Once we got through the big, decorative, wood doors, I didn’t find what I was expecting to find.  I figured Tomato Bros was going to be a sports bar, but it was really a nice, sit down restaurant with a bar.  We were met by a hostess and asked us the dreaded “smoking or non-smoking” question.  We chose non-smoking and were shown to a booth in the back of the restaurant near the kitchen.  The space is rather large and there were quite a few groups of ladies dining.  We assumed they were either going to or coming from the outlet mall. Read the rest of this entry »

Emil’s Restaurant

22 11 2008
  • 2012 E. Michigan Ave.
  • Lansing, MI 48912
  • (517) 482-4430
  • No Known Website
  • Menu
Emils Restaurant on Michigan Avenue in Lansing.

Emil's Restaurant on Michigan Avenue in Lansing.

I proved tonight that you can wear a white shirt to an Italian restaurant and not make a mess.  I think I surprised J as much as I surprised myself.  After a day of shopping, we were sitting on the couch flipping back and forth between the MSU/PSU game and the Illinois/Northwestern game.  We were both getting hungry and I was craving Italian.  Emil’s is one of the Lansing institutions that had been recomended to us when we first moved here, but we don’t eat out Italian very often.  Since I was craving, we thought, why not?

Emil’s is on Michigan Avenue a few blocks down from Sparrow Hospital.  There’s a little on street parking in the front, but there’s a huge public parking lot behind the row of businesses.  Emil’s has an entrance off the back and since that’s where we parked, that’s where we entered.  The back entrance brings you right into the bar.  We were a little confused at that point. Were we supposed to seat ourselves or is there a host somewhere.  I just figured if we walked to the front door, we’d find out.  As we made our way through the bar, a host noticed us and was waiting near the front for us.  When we got to him, he led us into a dining room seperate from the bar. Read the rest of this entry »

Tony M’s Restaurant & Lounge

13 11 2008
  • 3420 S. Creyts Rd.
  • Lansing, MI 48917
  • (517) 322-2069
  • No Known Website
  • Menu
Tony Ms Restaurant & Lounge on Creyts Road in Lansing.

Tony M's Restaurant & Lounge on Creyts Road in Lansing.

We do a lot of shopping out in the Delta Township area and finding new places to eat is always hard.  We’ve found some good ones out there, but in our quest to eat at everyplace I keep sniffing out new ones.  I’m not exactly sure where I first heard of Tony M’s.  While J was at her monthly hair appointment, I was running errands.  After picking up a few things at Walmart, I turned on the GPS and started looking for restaurants in the area.  The usual suspects showed up, but Tony M’s also popped up so while I was waiting on J, I went and did a little scouting.  After finding out it was still there, I picked J up and we headed back for lunch.

Tony M’s is located on the corner of Creyts Road and Millet Highway just across the street from the Meijer Distribution Center.  We pulled up a little after 11:00 and found a good number of cars in the parking lot. I figured it was lunch time or something at the Meijer and since this is the only place around, it’s where everyone went.  There are two sections to Tony M’s.  In the back is the restaurant and lounge.  The front of the building is a party store and deli.  The entrances are clearly marked and we made our way to the restaurant for lunch. Read the rest of this entry »

Palermo’s 95th – Oak Lawn, IL

18 10 2008
  • 4849 W. 95th St.
  • Oak Lawn, IL 60435
  • (708) 425-6262
  • Website
  • Menu

Palermo's 95th in Oak Lawn, IL

This is a review I’ve been holding for a couple months.  Honestly, I forgot about it.  When I was in town for a job earlier in the year, my girlfriend’s parents took us out to dinner the night before.  We drove home this weekend to see my niece and whenever we head to my parents, we stop at J’s parents on the way.  We came in to Oak Lawn late Friday night and drove past Palermo’s 95th.  I remembered I never did a review so I got out and snapped a few pictures.

J has always said Palermo’s ruined her on pizza.  Nothing she’s had anywhere else has even come close to living up to the standard Palermo’s 95th set.  I thought she was being dramatic, but I’d give her the benefit of the doubt.  When her parents suggested we go to Palermo’s for dinner, I was up for the challenge.

Palermo’s is on 95th Street in Oak Lawn.  There’s parking behind the building, but if you’re not there early, good luck.  We stopped in for a late dinner on Saturday night.  We thought maybe we’d be ok since it was after 8:00, but we were wrong.  The wait was only about 15 minutes so it wasn’t bad.  Had we been earlier, we could have waited up to two hours for a table. Read the rest of this entry »

Luconi’s Pizza – Bradley, IL

3 10 2008
  • 496 S. Kennedy Dr
  • Bradley, IL 60915
  • (815) 935-5235
  • Website
  • Menu
Luconis Pizza on Kennedy Dr. in Bradley, IL

Luconi's Pizza on Kennedy Dr. in Bradley, IL

Finding places to eat in the Kankakee area has always been tough for me.  Growing up, my parents always hit the chains.  We didn’t really go out of our way looking for local restaurants.  I’m back in the Kankakee area this week because my brother and his wife are having a baby.  Their first and my parents first grandchild.  Because it was everyone’s first, my parents and my sister-in-laws parents were at the hospital bright and early this morning.  I didn’t get up and get going until lunch time.  The hospital is a half hour away so once I was in Kankakee, I wasn’t going home until I had a niece. 

I got to the hospital around 11 and started trying to convince everyone to go to lunch with me.   I got no takers, but did get some good suggestions.  My sister-in-law’s parents suggested a few places including Luconi’s.  They raved about the pizza, but also couldn’t stop talking about the hamburger.  Sounds good to me.  I do love me some burgers.

I found Luconi’s Pizza on Kennedy drive next to the Taco John’s we always went to when I was kid.  The last time I lived in the area, the building where the pizza joint now is was a cyber cafe.  It’s a really small building with a really small parking lot.  I found a space along the side and parked there.  Read the rest of this entry »

Roma Bakery, Deli, & Fine Foods

9 09 2008
  • 428 N. Cedar St.
  • Lansing, MI 48912
  • (517) 485-9466
  • Website
  • No Online Menu
Roma Bakery, Deli, & Fine Foods on Cedar St. in Lansing

Roma Bakery, Deli, & Fine Foods on Cedar St. in Lansing

Finding Roma today was totally an accident.  We made our weekly trip to Horrocks and wanted to find something for lunch.  I seem to remember someone telling me Aunt Millie’s had a Deli out on Grand River, so that’s what we went looking for.  We put it in the GPS and when the GPS said we had arrived, there was nothing that even remotely looked like a diner.  We found the outlet store, but no deli.  I thought maybe it was farther down Grand River, so we kept driving.  Eventually, we hit I-96 BL and I got on that without even knowing.  Once I figured out we were going through Old Town, I thought of that bakery on Cedar Street that we had passed so many times without even giving a second glance to.  Since it was getting late in the afternoon and J needed to get to work, I suggested stopping since it would probably be something we could grab and go.

Roma is situated just a few blocks from Oldsmobile Park and downtown Lansing.  The building makes it look like nothing more than the corner bakery, but there is a sign out front that says “Join us for lunch.”  The parking lot was pretty empty when we pulled in around 1:00 and we wondered if we were making a mistake. 

The inside is set up like a local grocery store.  The name Roma suggests an Italian bakery, but I would call it more European as they offer food and baked goods from all parts of the continent even though most of their wares are Italian.  The deli case is in the back of the store.  Next to the deli case is a long pastry case filled with home made goodies.  Since lunch was the priority, we hit that up first. Read the rest of this entry »