Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint – Nolensville, TN

6 10 2009
  • 7215 Nolensville Road
  • Nolensville, TN 37135
  • (615) 776-1856
  • Website
  • Menu
Martins Bar-B-Que in Nolensville, TN

Martin's Bar-B-Que in Nolensville, TN

One more chance for BBQ before leaving Tennessee.  J and I got up just before lunch time in Nashville.  Our next stop was four hours away in Indianapolis where we were going to spend the night before going apartment hunting in Kalamazoo.  It seemed like a good stopping point. 

One of my “must see” stops was a BBQ joint in Nolensville, TN.  I thought it was north of Nashville but it actually ended up being a half hour south.  I was ready to just skip it, but J talked me into it.  We were in no hurry to get to Indy, so why not get one more good meal before heading home.

Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint is one of Nashville’s best.  It’s on Nolensville Road just outside of Nolensville, TN.  I actually heard about this place from the same Bon Apetit article that raved about Slow’s and Zingerman’s Roadhouse. 

I’m not sure what I was expecting, but what I found was not it.  For some odd reason, I was under the impression this was going to be more of a sit down restaurant.  What we found was a small, neighborhood BBQ joint. Read the rest of this entry »





Jackie’s Diner – Dimondale

14 08 2009
  • 7262 Lansing Road
  • Dimondale, MI 48821
  • (517) 646-0974
  • No Known Website
  • Menu
Jackies Diner on Lansing Road in Dimondale.

Jackie's Diner on Lansing Road in Dimondale.

When J and I moved here, one of the first restaurant recommendations we got was for Don’s Windmill Truckstop in Dimondale.  We ate there one weekend and enjoyed the classic diner setting.  Don’s hit some hard times and the restaurant closed.  In comes Jackie’s Diner.

We’ve eaten at Jackie’s Diner on Pennsylvania and, again, enjoyed the greasy spoon diner aspect of the place.  J and I were out in Delta Township and decided to check out the new place on the way home.

Jackie’s Diner is on Lansing Road in Dimondale in the old Don’s Windmill building.  Not much, if anything, has changed other than the lack of gasoline sales.  We entered the truck stop through the restaurant where we found a sign that told us to wait to be seated.  A waitress took us to a booth near where the buffet is.  She took drink orders right away as we looked over the huge menu.

When she came back with the Coke’s, we were still wading through the large menu.  They serve breakfast all day and that menu alone is daunting.  There are 50 types of pancakes, 20 kinds of French Toast, and 25 Belgian waffles.  J’s more of a breakfast person than I am, so I went straight to the lunch portion of the menu while she looked over the morning food. Read the rest of this entry »





A & W Restaurant – E. Oakland Ave.

28 07 2009
  • 427 E. Oakland Avenue
  • Lansing, MI 48906
  • (517) 485-3950
  • Website
  • Menu
The A & W Restaurant on East Oakland Avenue in Lansing.

The A & W Restaurant on East Oakland Avenue in Lansing.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I still haven’t figured out the fascination with Sonic Drive-In’s.  J, on the other hand, loves the place.  Mostly because of their Limeade.  While watching TV the other night, we saw a commercial for A & W and they were promoting their new Fruit Flavored Limeades.  The commercial caught her attention and the next chance we got, we headed to A & W.

There are two A & W Restaurant in Lansing.  One is on West Saginaw Highway.  The other is on East Oakland.  We chose the Oakland store because it was the one I knew.  The A & W is at the corner of East Oakland Avenue and North Cedar Street.  Like many businesses in the area right now, their parking lot is only accessible from one street because of the CSO project. 

As we were pulling up to the stoplight at Cedar Street, I had serious doubts that they were open.  It was lunch time, but there was only one car in the parking lot.  It looked desserted.  As I pulled into the parking, there was a car that drove around to the drive thru window so we knew they were open. 

We were wanting to eat in the store because our next stop was grocery shopping.  It wouldn’t make sense to take our meals with it.  The inside of the store is tiny.  Very, very tiny.  There’s an order counter that only has one register and almost no counter space.  There are less than ten tables jammed into the small space…most of which are two tops.  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 »





Sweetie-licious Bakery Cafe

20 07 2009
  • 108 N. Bridge Street
  • DeWitt, MI 48820
  • (517) 669-9300
  • Website
  • Menu
Sweetie-licious Bakery Cafe in downtown DeWitt.

Sweetie-licious Bakery Cafe in downtown DeWitt.

Since moving to Lansing, I’ve been looking for an excuse to take a trip to DeWitt so we could check out Sweetie-licious.  Finally, I stopped looking for an excuse and just made my own.  We found a place to eat lunch and then planned on heading to Sweetie-licious for dessert.  After a quick lunch at Relli’s, we made the one block trip to with the hopes of sampling the best pie in the country.

Sweetie-licious Bakery Cafe is on Bridge Street in downtown DeWitt.  It’s a colorful storefront  with a few red tables outside.  The store itself is tiny and pretty popular.  We showed up about 1:00 on a Saturday and we had to weave our way around other people. 

There are two pastry cases that take up a bulk of the public space.  In the remaining space, there are a few tables.  They do have a savory menu that consists of sandwiches and salads, but we were in the market for sweets. 

I’m not a pie person, so I started looking in the cases to see what they had.  There wasn’t a whole lot left, but there were some cookies and brownies that both looked good to me.  I was just going to let J order and then throw in a cookie or two. Read the rest of this entry »





Subway – Saginaw & Creyts

6 07 2009
  • 6334 W. Saginaw Highway, Suite G
  • Lansing, MI 48917
  • (517) 323-2003
  • Website
  • Menu
Subway on West Saginaw Highway and Creyts Road in Delta Township

Subway on West Saginaw Highway and Creyts Road in Delta Township

Last summer, our Horrocks/Walmart trip was a weekly event.  So far this year, we’ve been pretty bad about getting out to Delta Township.  Over the winter, we’ve preferred the produce at Meijer, but with local stuff starting to come in season, we wanted to make the effort to get out to Horrocks. 

After I got home from the Lugnuts game on Sunday, I asked J if she wanted to make the run.  We needed some groceries anyway, so why not.  I hadn’t eaten all day and was starving, but neither of us really wanted to do to the sit down restaurant thing.  We hoped in the car and just started driving.  I knew there was enough out that way that we could find something.  On the trip though, I came up with Subway.  It’s always a fairly cheap, good meal….and most of the time, it’s pretty quick.

We chose the Subway on the corner of Saginaw Highway and Creyts Road in Delta Township mostly because it was the first one we came across after getting off the highway.  The store sits in a little strip mall that I guess you coule say is “anchored” by a Baryames Cleaners. Read the rest of this entry »





Baja Grille

5 07 2009
  • 402 S. Jefferson Street
  • Mason, MI 48854
  • (517) 244-1181
  • Website
  • Menu
Baja Grille on South Jefferson Street in Mason.

Baja Grille on South Jefferson Street in Mason.

We’re finding out that the thing to do on the Fourth of July in Michigan is to “go up north.”  Well, we have no place to really go up north and I had to work all weekend anyway, so J and I did what we always do on Saturdays.  We slept in late then got up and started planning on lunch.

Our original plan was to see about driving over the Birch Run.  We got up too late to do that without rushing to get me home in time for work.  Our second idea was a cafe in Jackson that Corky told me about.  We called and they weren’t open.  I had a copy of City Pulse sitting on the coffee table, so I picked it up and started looking through the “Food Finder.”  As I’m going down the list, I come across a place called in Mason that I’ve never heard of.  I did a Google search, found a website and loved the menu.  We were off to Mason. 

The Baja Grille is on Jefferson street on the courthouse square.  There were quite a few people downtown due to the Fourth of July holiday.  We got there after the parade, but the car show was still going on.  I could see there was a lot of foot traffic, so when I found a parking spot a half a block away in front of the library, I pulled in.  Read the rest of this entry »





Michael’s Southern Style Jack Daniel BBQ

28 06 2009
  • Corner of Mt. Hope Avenue & Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
  • Lansing, MI 48910
  • (517) 881-8720
  • No Known Website
  • Menu
Michaels Southern Style Jack Daniel BBQ on the corner on Mt. Hope and MLK in Lansing.

Michael's Southern Style Jack Daniel BBQ on the corner on Mt. Hope and MLK in Lansing.

I was all set to make tacos tonight when I got home from the baseball game.  For some reason, I took the long way home and headed down MLK from downtown.  I sort of did it for a reason, but I didn’t think of the reason until I actually started doing it.  Must have been one of those subconscious things.

A few days ago, I saw a tweet from @lansingonline about southern style BBQ on the corner of MLK and Mt. Hope.   There weren’t a whole lot of details, but the note said it was good.  Still, it brought up a lot of questions.  New place?  Guy with a grill?  What kind of BBQ? 

So, after I realized I was driving down MLK, I stayed on until I got to Mt. Hope so I could check it out.  When I got to the corner, I found a big red, white, and blue trailer in the parking lot of a party store.  I didn’t stop just then.  I went home where I casually mentioned it to J.  She was on board and we jumped back into my truck to get some BBQ.

We pulled into the party store parking lot and found a parking spot.  As we walked back towards the trailer, I could see a woman sitting in the front seat.  When we got to the side, we noticed a menu taped on the window.  They had everything I love about BBQ listed.  Pulled pork, ribs, Mac ‘n cheese, etc.  A minute or so later, a man walked around to the front of the truck and went inside.  Read the rest of this entry »





Applebees Neighborhood Bar & Grill – Okemos

26 06 2009
  • 2284 Woodlake Drive
  • Okemos, MI 48864
  • (517) 347-4892
  • Website
  • Menu
Applebees near I-96 & Okemos Road in Okemos

Applebees near I-96 & Okemos Road in Okemos

We’ve been good all week.  I’ve made dinner every night and we haven’t eaten out since last Saturday.  Before J left for work today, I asked if she wanted me to pick her up for dinner.  Of course, she said yes. 

I’ve learned the hard way that we can’t really head towards Michigan Avenue or East Lansing on her dinner break, but the edge of Okemos is usually ok.  She actually said she wanted to eat at a chain tonight and I said Applebees.  Yes, we could have just went to the South Lansing location, but it is Friday night and if they were busy, I wanted to make sure we had options.  There’s plenty of other restaurants near the Okemos location, so that’s where we went.

The Applebees in Okemos is just off of Okemos Road and I-96.  You would think the address would actually be Okemos Road, because it faces that street, but the address is on the side street that you turn on to which is Woodland Lake Drive. 

Like I figured, the parking lot was packed.  Still, I found a spot in the front parking lot, so I was holding out hope.  We made our way to the door where a waitress/hostess was there to greet us by opening the door….something that I’ve noticed at pretty much all the chain restaurant we’ve been to in the last year.  Once we were inside, we were stuck behind what must have been a large group.  It took three people to figure out where to put them.  The hostess that opened the door finally grabbed a couple menus and showed us to a booth in the dining room that is to the left of the bar. Read the rest of this entry »





Bethany’s Place Family Diner

17 05 2009
  • 2221 University Park Drive
  • Okemos, MI 48864
  • (517) 349-9570
  • Website
  • Menu
Bethanys Place Family Diner on University Park Drive in Okemos.

Bethany's Place Family Diner on University Park Drive in Okemos.

A few weeks ago, I noticed a billboard on South Cedar near K-Mart for a restaurant I had never heard of.  There was a web address on the billboard, so I came home and typed it into my browser.  Nothing came up that day, but a few days later, I found out the Okemos Big Boy went out of business and a family diner opened up.

Since we don’t usually get up for breakfast, I put it on my mental list of places to stop for lunch after a trip to Meridian Mall.  Things changed when I got an unexpected 9:00 AM wake up call.  Since we were both up, J offered to treat me to breakfast.  We had noticed that some people had found my blog looking for information on the place and checking it out would be a good idea.

Like I already mentioned, Bethany’s Place has taken over the old Big Boy building just off the Interstate on University Park Drive.  Last summer, J and I ate at the Big Boy and it was the first Big Boy experience for both of us.  We were pretty underwhelmed.  The business acted like they didn’t want to be in business.  There was no signage and it was hard to find.  Bethany’s Place already took the first step towards a successful business.  They added signs and started advertising.  It’s always amazed me when people open restaurants, don’t advertise at all, then can’t understand why they went out of business because no one knew they were there or what kind of food they served. 

Not much has changed from this restaurant’s Big Boy days.  There are still some signs on the walls and the layout, furniture, and decor are all leftovers.  When we got there, we stopped at the sign that told us to wait to be seated.  A frantic hostess came over and said it would be a couple minutes.  They were short handed and behind.  We considered leaving at that point because there is no way the meal could have went smoothly, but J noticed a sign for a $7.99 breakfast buffet.  We chose to stay and get the buffet so we could set the pace of our meal. Read the rest of this entry »