MBC

17 09 2009
  • 402 S. Washington Square
  • Lansing, MI 48933
  • (517) 977-1349
  • Website
  • Menu
MBC on Washington Square in downtown Lansing.

MBC on Washington Square in downtown Lansing.

The wait is over.  The Michigan Brewing Company put the “Coming Soon” sign on their building in downtown Lansing over a year ago.  I would drive  by every now and then to see if there was any progress.  I would periodically send e-mails to the marketing department in Webberville to see if they would give me anything, but never could get a solid answer.  All of a sudden, a few weeks ago, I saw a Tweet from Lansing PSD that MBC was opening.

The plan all along was to run some errands this morning then head downtown for lunch.  Of course, City Pulse beat me to the punch with an article in this week’s edition. 

MBC is near the corner of Washington Square and Kalamazoo Street.  The parking available is in front of the building in angled street parking.  There are a few spaces directly in front of the building, but more than likely, you’ll have to park and walk.  Not a big deal as there is plenty of parking spaces along Washington Square.

The building is dominated by windows that let in a lot of natural light.  When you first walk in, there’s a little lounge area off to the left with comfy red chairs and some bar stools.  Right in front of you is a hostess station that divides the remaining space into two distinct areas.  On the left is the bar area.  They have a beautiful bar along the far left wall as well as a couple pub tables.  The chairs at these pub tables are made of wood and have a ring around the bottom that looks like it was once part of a wooden barrel.  The rest of the bar area is filled in with regular tables that run along a half wall that separates the bar from the dining room.  The whole space has a somewhat industrial feel to it with high ceilings and low ambient lighting.  A majority of the light comes from the natural light that floods in through the large windows that make up the facade. Read the rest of this entry »

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South Loop Club – Chicago

7 09 2009
  • 1 E. Balbo Avenue
  • Chicago, IL 60605
  • (312) 427-2787
  • No Known Website
  • Menu
The South Loop Club on East Balbo Avenue in Chicago

The South Loop Club on East Balbo Avenue in Chicago

After we left US Cellular Field, our plan was to go out for pizza.  That was the plan, anyway.  The game went pretty quick, so we stayed in the parking lot drinking until a guy in a golf cart came around and kicked us out.  We made our way to the pizza joint and found out there was a two hour wait, so we put our name on the list and went looking for a bar. 

The first bar we came to was the South Loop Club on the corner of State Street and Balbo Avenue.  It doesn’t look like much from the outside and since we’re a bunch of country boys, a bar that doesn’t look like much is exactly what we were looking for. 

The South Loop Club is a typical dive bar only it’s in downtown Chicago.  We had been drinking quite a bit and half the guys had to find a bathroom.  On our way in, we saw a sign that said “No Public Restrooms,” so we turned around and left.  One of the guys went back in to see if that meant there were no public restrooms at all or there were no public restrooms for non-patrons.  Turned out to be the latter, so we went back in and found a table. 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 »





Yankee Rebel Tavern

26 07 2009
  • 3 Astor Street
  • Mackinac Island, MI 49757
  • (906) 847-6249
  • Website
  • Menu
The Yankee Rebel Tavern on Astor Street on Mackinac Island.

The Yankee Rebel Tavern on Astor Street on Mackinac Island.

As soon as we got off the ferry from the mainland, we started looking for food.  Mackinac Island has a number of restaurants downtown and none of them are chains.  That makes choosing some place to eat when you’re only going to eat two meals on the Island a little difficult. 

Before we took the trip, I did my research online like I always do before out-of-town trips and one of the places that stood out to me was a colonial themed tavern.  We went looking for that on Main Street and just happened to look down one of the side streets to see the sign.

The Yankee Rebel Tavern is on Astor Street between Main and Market on Mackinac Island.  As the name implies, there is a little bit of a colonial theme to the place.  We got to the Island about 12:15 and this was stop #1.  Even though it seemed like there were quite a few people on the Island, I was a little surprised when we got in the door and didn’t see anyone. 

The hostess took  us to a booth along the wall and set down plastic place mats in front of us as well as the menus.  On the way to our table, we saw one other party at a booth near us.  That would change very quickly. 

The decor of the bar isn’t that much different from any other bar we’ve eaten in.  It’s a very comfortable family atmosphere.  It is non-smoking which always gains a place a few more points in my book.  There are a row of booths along one wall and the bar is on the other.  The space in between is filled with tables.  It’s not a huge building by any means, but it’s not tiny either. Read the rest of this entry »





Eddie’s Bar & Grill – Kankakee, IL

20 06 2009
  • 1875 W. Station Street
  • Kankakee, IL 60901
  • (815) 939-3972
  • Website
  • Menu
Eddies Bar & Grill on Station Street in Kankakee, IL

Eddie's Bar & Grill on Station Street in Kankakee, IL

Here’s the dilemma when J and I go to my parents house.  We either drive twenty minutes to Kankakee for lunch or we eat whatever Lean Cuisine my parents have the in the freezer.  Growing up in a small town, I never noticed that there wasn’t a restaurant on every corner, but since I’ve moved away, it’s become more noticeable.  I like to eat out and I like to eat at different places.  That’s hard to do in a town that only has one restaurant.

So, J and I made the choice to drive to Kankakee.  We had some other things to do anyway, so the trip wasn’t totally pointless.  We waited around until my mom came home for lunch so we could see her and make plans for the evening.  The next part of the battle was finding a restaurant.  I know the Kankakee metro is littered with hidden gems, but no one I know eats at anything other than chains.  I ended up remembering a place my brother told me he heard from friends was pretty good. 

Eddie’s Bar & Grill is on Station Street in Kankakee near West Court Street.  The only directions I could remember from my brother were “in the old Pizza Hut next to the bowling alley.”  J told me to call him and get an address, but I knew that’ the directions I would get.  No one knows street names….they all go by landmarks.  Read the rest of this entry »





Grace O’Malley’s – Chicago

14 06 2009
  • 1416 S. Michigan Avenue
  • Chicago, IL 60605
  • (312) 588-1800
  • Website
  • Menu
Grace OMalleys on South Michigan Avenue near 14th Street in Chicago.

Grace O'Malley's on South Michigan Avenue near 14th Street in Chicago.

If we’re going to go to a concert in Chicago, you know I’m going to find someplace nearby for a pre-concert meal.  J and I were meeting my brother and his wife near Soldier Field for the Kenny Chesney concert.  Both of us decided to take public transportation due to the horrendous parking around Soldier Field.  My brother took the Metra Electric Line from Univerity Park and J and I took the El Orange Line from Midway.  Both trains have a stop near Roosevelt Street.

From the train stops, Grace O’Malley’s is less than a half mile walk south on Michigan Avenue.  For my brother and his wife, it was a horrible walk.  It was pouring rain.  By the time J and I got off the CTA, the rain had stopped.  I had made 1:45 reservations and had everything been on time, we would have arrived just before the reservation.  Instead, some punks decided they were going to tag our train while it was stopped at the 35th Street Station.  The conductor had to get out and chase them away.  We were sitting in the station for ten minutes while all this went on. 

My brother and sister-in-law got to the restaurant and got our table just as were were turning down Michigan Avenue.  It was a little over a two block walk for us, but we found Grace O’Malley’s on the west side of Michigan Avenue in the middle of the 1400 block.  Read the rest of this entry »





Pump House Grille

11 05 2009
  • 214 State Street
  • St. Joseph, MI 49085
  • (269) 983-0001
  • Website
  • Menu
The Pump House Grill in downtown St. Joseph

The Pump House Grille in downtown St. Joseph

J really wanted to do something with her mom for Mother’s Day.  Over the past couple months, there’s been a lot of traveling back and forth to Chicago for both us and our families.  Instead of her parents coming to Lansing or us driving to Chicago for the second week in a row, we decided to find a halfway point.  The Benton Harbor/St. Joseph area looked like a good meeting point, so the search was on to find a good place for Mother’s Day brunch.

After a quick Google search, I came up with two options.  Neither would take a reservation for less than six people, so we chose the one that opened first.  That one was the Pump House Grille on State Street in beautiful downtown St. Joseph.  State Street is a one-way cobblestone street that is lined with boutiques and restaurants.  It’s kind of touristy, but would still make a great shopping and dining district for the locals.  We actually drove by the restaurant on our first pass through downtown.  The buildings are all connecte and none of them have eye level signs that stick out from the building.  On the second pass down State Street, we noticed the building on the left side of the road.

Brunch started at 11:30 and we got there about 11:40.  Like I already mentioned, they wouldn’t take reservations and there must have been a line when the door opened.  By the time we got there, all the tables were full.  The host told us there would probably be a half hour wait since everyone just sat down to eat.  We took a buzzer and set up at the bar to wait.  The bartender told us we could eat there if we wanted to, but J and her mom couldn’t really reach the bar comfortably and it would have made eating uncomfortable.  Instead, we ordered drinks….just Pepsi’s since they couldn’t serve liquor until noon.  The half hour wait would give me time to step outside and call my mom to wish her a Happy Mother’s Day. Read the rest of this entry »