Wild Wing Cafe

1 08 2009
  • 2085 W. Grand River Avenue
  • Okemos, MI 48864
  • (517) 349-2321
  • Website
  • Menu
Wild Wing Cafe on Grand River Avenue in Okemos.

Wild Wing Cafe on Grand River Avenue in Okemos.

When I rolled out of bed this morning…er, afternoon, J started asking about lunch.  She was hungry.  I was hungry, so we started getting ready to leave the house.  Last night, I gave her the option of Mexican or wings.  Today, I wasn’t really in the mood for Mexican so I made the call to head to Okemos to try out the new chain in town. 

Wild Wing Cafe is on the corner of Grand River Avenue and Okemos Road in the building that used to be Bennigan’s.  The chain is an east coast franchise based in South Carolina.  The Okemos location is both the farthest north and west. 

I never went into the Bennigan’s, so I have no idea if anything has changed inside.  The dining room is anchored by a large bar in the middle that is covered with LCD TV’s.  In fact, that’s pretty much the whole design theme.  LCD TV’s everywhere.  Everywhere!  The place really has a sports bar theme.  The TV’s are accented with MSU pictures that have been blown up and hung on the walls. 

There are tables and booths that fill in the space around the bar.  We were shown to a table near the stage that hosts local bands on weekends.  A waitress came over and took drink orders while we looked over the rather large menu.  I knew I wanted wings, but there were a lot of options.  J isn’t in to the traditional wing as much as I am, so she needed a little more time to work her way through the choices.  Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements




Logan’s Roadhouse – Lansing

27 04 2009
  • 5800 W. Saginaw Highway
  • Lansing, MI 48917
  • (517) 327-4751
  • Website
  • Menu

Logans Roadhouse in Delta Township

I never know what to do when my parents come to town.  They’re not very adventurous eaters so I always hesitate bringing them to someplace I’ve never eaten at.  Chains are always safe because the menus are usually big enough to have something they will eat. 

Saturday, my parents decided to come to town for the weekend.  They hadn’t been here since last fall due to the weather and since my mom had the weekend off, they made the trip north.  They timed it so they got here about a half hour before I got home from the spring football game.  J entertained them while I finished up.  After a quick shower, we headed out to find dinner.  I don’t think my parents had eaten yet and my mom was hungry.  We wanted to make a stop at Babies-R-Us anyway and since we’ve eaten at a Logan’s Roadhouse before (in East Peoria, IL), I thought it was a safe bet. 

Logan’s Roadhouse is in Delta Township near the Lansing Mall on Saginaw Highway.  The parking lot looked pretty full when we pulled up, but we noticed the same for most of the restaurants along this strip, so it’s not like we’d be better off going somewhere else.  Fortunately, the dining room is big. Actually, it’s pretty large.  We were met by a hostess who took us to a non-smoking table in the middle of the dining room near the kitchen. 

Logan’s really pulls off the Roadhouse theme.  The dining room has a tall ceiling and the rooms are spacious.  The floors are distressed woods that creak a little when you walk.  Those floor boards are covered with peanut shells.  Yup, Logan’s puts buckets of peanuts on the table and the shells end up on the floor.  I love that.  It reminds me of the place my mom works at in Illinois.  My mom did mention that the peanuts actually tasted fresh.  At her restaurant, they go through a lot, but they buy them in big 50 gallon drums, so it takes a while to go through them.  By the time you get to the bottom, the peanuts have a little bit of a staler taste.  Not these. Read the rest of this entry »





Nuthouse Sports Grill – Revisited

19 03 2009
The Nuthouse Sports Grill on Michigan Avenue in downtown Lansing.

The Nuthouse Sports Grill on Michigan Avenue in downtown Lansing.

Over the last few weeks, you’ve heard me talking about “one year.”  Today is actually an anniversary.  It was one year ago today that J and I were in town for the first time together.  She had flown in for an interview back in February, but it wasn’t until March 17 that she was actually offered a job.  She and I were in Chicago because we had just gotten back from Bristol, TN and decided to take a few more vacation days.  While we were at her parents, she got the phone call offering her the job.  Since we were two hours closer, we thought we’d best take a trip to our new home to find an apartment.

After signing a lease, we needed to find lunch before that long drive back to Peoria.  We had been on the road all weekend.   We actually slept in a different state every night for five straight nights.  Illinois, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Michigan.  It was kind of a whirlwind weekend topped off by my brother announcing he and his wife were having my parents first grandchild followed by me announcing I was moving with my girlfriend to Michigan.  We ran the gamut of emotions.  Before I started dating J, I never expected to leave Peoria.  I was happy enough with my job.  I didn’t love it, but it paid the bills and I don’t like moving.  J had an opportunity come up here that we couldn’t pass up.  I didn’t want to be five hours away and my career was going nowhere where I was at, so it was time for a change. 

We drove downtown that first day looking for something to eat.  The first thing that jumped out was a sports bar across the street from Oldsmobile Park.  We both like sports bars so after a few more minutes of exploring, we headed back to the Nuthouse. 

Since I’m going to be working a lot over the next month, I wanted to do something special for J.  I told her I was taking her out for dinner, but I didn’t tell her where until I parked the car.  I think she was surprised as I was that I actually remembered the date. Read the rest of this entry »





Texas Roadhouse – Lansing

19 02 2009
  • 208 E. Edgewood Blvd.
  • Lansing, MI 48911
  • (517) 887-8181
  • Website
  • Menu
Texas Roadhouse on Lansings south side

Texas Roadhouse on Lansing's south side

Finally!  Home!  I left Illinois this morning not knowing how long it was actually going to take me to get back to Lansing, but I hit things just right and didn’t see more than a few flurries on the way home.  Didn’t slow me down at all and I actually made it home before dinner.  Unfortunately, I haven’t been home in over a week, so there’s no food in the house.  I didn’t feel like going shopping, so I asked J if she wanted me to pick her up and we’d just go out for dinner.  We’re starting to run out of places to go on the south side of Lansing.  All that’s really left are a handful of chains.  I didn’t feel like thinking, so I suggested Texas Roadhouse.  I honestly don’t know if I’ve ever been to one before.  I always get Texas Roadhouse and Lonestar Steakhouse confused.  I know I’ve been to at least one Lonestar, but after that, it’s anybody’s guess.  This may well have been my first time at a Texas Roadhouse.

Texas Roadhouse is on Edgewood Boulevard near the Target and Sam’s Club.  We pulled up on a Thursday night and were really surprised by the number of cars in the parking lot.  Don’t let anyone tell you restaurants are struggling during these tough economic times.  I’m convinced no one knows how to cook anymore, so if they want a decent meal they HAVE to eat out.

We found a parking spot and went inside.  When J said we’d like a table for two in non-smoking, we were told there would be a little wait, so we made our way to the peanut barrel and starting eating.  I love places that put peanuts out.  I always eat too many though.

A few minutes later, the hostess said our table was ready and our waitress showed us the way.  The walk to our table went right by the kitchen, so the waitress grabbed a basket of rolls and some butter so we didn’t have to wait for it once we were seated.  J told me before we got there that she loved the butter at Texas Roadhouse.  How many places do you know of where someone actually craves the butter?  Once we were seated, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about, so I buttered up a roll.  I see know why she likes it so much.  It’s a cinnamon butter.  It was sooooo good.  After we polished off one basket of rolls, the waitress brought a second.  Uh-oh.  We’re going to fill up on rolls.  We polished that one off to and the waitress said she would come back with more, but we stopped her.  If she brought it, we would eat it and we didn’t need anymore…no matter how much we wanted it. Read the rest of this entry »





McDonald’s – South Holland, IL

19 02 2009
  • 700 E. Tri State Tollway
  • I-80/294 Milepost 1 – Lincoln Oasis
  • South Holland, IL 60473
  • (708) 596-3195
  • Website
  • Menu
The business listing for the Lincoln Oasis on the Tri-State Tollway

The business listing for the Lincoln Oasis on the Tri-State Tollway

OK, this is my last Illinois review for….two weeks.  Finally, after a week back in Illinois for a family emergency and then work, I was heading back to Lansing.  I like my family and miss them a lot, but I was really, really ready to get back to Michigan.  J and I had been watching the radar for the last two days wondering if I was even going to make.  It never fails, if we have to drive through southwest Michigan and Northwest Indiana, it’s guaranteed to snow.  Guaranteed.  Today didn’t look much better, but I decided to chance, so after a quick phone call to J to let her know I was on the way, I packed up my truck and headed north.

I left my parents right around 11:30 and sort of ran out in a hurry wanting to be on the road in between snow storms, so I didn’t get lunch with them.  I was on the road about an hour when I started to get hungry.  I knew I was coming up on the Lincoln Oasis, so I decided just to wait.  For those of you that aren’t regulars on the toll roads, the Oases are stops along the toll road where you don’t actually get off the highway, so you don’t have to pay to get off and get back on.  On I-294 (the Tri-State tollway), the Oases are suspended over the road.  In other places, they usually look more like rest stops with gas stations off on either side of the road, but around Chicago, there’s not much room, so they built a parking lot on either side then built the actual building across.  We used to stop at one of the other Oasis’s near O’Hare when we went to shows at The Rosemont Horizon (later called Allstate Arena).  They always have some sort of fast food.  Some have Wendy’s.  Some have McDonald’s.  This one has McDonald’s.

This McDonald’s is located in the Lincoln Oasis which is near South Holland, IL on the Tri-State tollway.  There are are other restaurants and services.  The McDonald’s only takes up a small part of the space yet they are pretty much the main attraction since they are open 24/7.  I was northbound on I-294 when I stopped.  The McDonald’s is near the south bound side, so I had to walk all the way through to find McDonald’s tucked in to a little corner.  Read the rest of this entry »





Mindy’s Hot Chocolate – Chicago, IL

13 02 2009
  • 1747 N. Damen Avenue
  • Chicago, IL 60647
  • (773) 489-1747
  • Website
  • Menu
Mindys Hot Chocolate on Chicagos north side.

Mindy's Hot Chocolate on Chicago's north side.

Valentine’s Day came a day early for J and I.  We have other commitments tomorrow, so we decided to get reservations for a restaurant in Chicago we had heard good things about.  When I called at ten this morning to see if we could get a table, the response I got was, “Ooooh…I don’t know.  Hang on a sec.”  Turns out, the only opening they had was at 5:30 which is when they open.  I told them we’d take it.

Mindy’s Hot Chocolate is locate on Damen Avenue in the north side’s Bucktown Neighborhood.  Coming from the south suburbs during rush hour was a little bit of a challenge.  It’s only twenty miles, but with rush hour traffic, it took a little over an hour.  Once we got to the neighborhood, we then had to find a spot to park.  The only options are valet or finding a spot at a meter on the street.  We actually got pretty lucky and found a spot on the corner just about a block away.

We walked in to Hot Chocolate and were met by a hostess who showed us to our table.  The restaurant is fairly small with a bench along the back wall that acts as a seat for about ten tables.  There are also a handful of four tops, a bar, a small waiting/lounge area and one table near the kitchen for larger groups.  We were seated along the wall and the tables were really crammed in there.  It was alright at first because there was no one sitting on either side of us, but once the tables around us were filled, it was like we were all eating together.  There was just a matter of inches between the tables.  Read the rest of this entry »





New York Pizza Depot – E. Williams

18 01 2009
  • 605 E. William
  • Ann Arbor, MI 48104
  • (734) 669-6973
  • Website
  • Menu
The New York Pizza Depot on Williams Street in Ann Arbor

The New York Pizza Depot on Williams Street in Ann Arbor

When I’m in a college town, one of my favorite meals is to find a place that sells pizza by the slice.  I was in Ann Arbor by myself to shoot a basketball game which means I was going to be on my own for lunch.  A few weeks ago, I picked up one of those travel magazines at a rest area.  It had a list of restaurants by location in town, so looked for something in the campus area.  I found a pizza place and assumed they would do pizza by the slice, so when it came time for lunch, I headed down towards the State Street area to find the New York Pizza Depot.

The New York Pizza Depot sits on the corner of Williams and Maynard Streets.  The New York Pizza Depot is a small chain founded in Ann Arbor looking to franchise out.  Right now, they have five stores under the franchise umbrella Uncle D’s New York Pizza.  Three in Ann Arbor, one in Ypsilanti, and one in Bloomington, IN.  To my surprise, the shop was pretty big.  There is a main room when you walk in with a glass case full of pizza and a few tables.  There’s also another room with more tables down a short hallway.  It looks like it used to be two separate store fronts that were put together.  The decor is really nice.  The booths are cloth covered and it feels more like your sitting on a couch than a restaurant booth. Read the rest of this entry »