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 »

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Coscarelli’s Restaurant & Lounge

21 01 2009
  • 2400 S. Cedar St.
  • Lansing, MI 48813
  • (517) 482-0238
  • No Known Website
  • Menu
Coscarellis Restaurant & Lounge on South Cedar Street in Lansing.

Coscarelli's Restaurant & Lounge on South Cedar Street in Lansing.

Have you ever noticed that big grey building on South Cedar Street with the word “Coscarelli’s” painted across the front?   I’ve noticed it, but never knew it was open.  There are no windows or signs that show any sort of life at the place.  The parking lot is around back and not really visible from the street.  We’ve lived here for almost ten months and had no idea the place wasn’t abandoned.  Last week, we were driving by and I happened to notice some cars in the parking lot behind the building.  Later in the week, I was driving down Cedar again and decided to turn in to the parking lot and scope the place out.  What I found was a lot of cars hidden by the big grey building.  Not only Coscarelli’s open, they seem to be packed.

I had a late afternoon job interview and wasn’t sure how long it would take or how I would feel afterwards, so I told J I would pick her up on her dinner break and take her out to eat.  Our original plan was to check out the new Brothers Restaurant in East Lansing until I remembered there was a home basketball game.  J just said she wanted a salad and didn’t want to go to a chain.  On my way home from the interview, I drove by Coscarelli’s again.  When I got home, I did a Google search for a menu and actually found one.  J approved so I picked her up at a little after seven and headed to that building we used to think was abandoned.

Coscarelli’s sits on South Cedar between Rockford and Lincoln.  On the front of the building, there are signs painted on both the north and south sides.  The south sides points you to the sports bar.  The north side points you to the lounge.  We were looking for dinner so we entered the parking lot off of Rockford Road.  The parking lot was packed.  We drove around twice looking for a place to park then just kind of made our own spot next to a snow bank.  Read the rest of this entry »





Max & Erma’s

14 12 2008
  • 2515 Lake Lansing Road
  • Lansing, MI 48912
  • (517) 316-7477
  • Website
  • Menu
Max & Ermas near the Eastwoode Towne Centre in Lansing Township

Max & Erma's near the Eastwoode Towne Centre in Lansing Township

Another lazy Sunday.  J and I were laying on the couch watching a Fox News Channel special about corruption in Illinois.  We didn’t learn anything that we didn’t already, but it’s fun to see the rest of the country coming to the same conclusions we had five years ago about the current political situation in Illinois.  Neither of us were in much of a hurry to do anything, but my tummy was really growling.  I was hungry.  We needed to run a few errands, so we just decided to eat out.  I asked J what she wanted and she said a nice big salad with dried fruit, nuts, and cheese.  That really narrows it down.  Nothing was coming to mind.

I went to Google and typed in “Restaurants in Lansing, MI.”  I do that a lot for out of town meals because it gives you a list of all the restaurants in town.  I started clicking on website links figuring the chain restaurants would have what she was looking for.  I clicked on a couple and got a “yeah, those look ok” response.  When I clicked on Max & Erma’s I got a “YES!  That’s what I want!”  Off to Eastwoode.

Max & Erma’s is one of many chains located around Eastwoode Towne Centre.  Even though they have several locations throughout the country, I had never been to one nor had I ever seen one anywhere else.  J had never heard of it, so I didn’t go in with my preconceived notion that all chains are evil.  Read the rest of this entry »





Redwood Lodge

9 11 2008
  • 5305 Gateway Center Dr.
  • Flint, MI 48507
  • (810) 233-8000
  • Website
  • Menu
The Redwood Lodge just off of I-75 in Flint

The Redwood Lodge just off of US-23 in Flint

I don’t usually expect Brew Pubs to be considered “upscale dining”, but when I looked on the Flint Visitors Bureau website that’s what it said.  I just figured it was a mistake or Flint has a pretty low standard.  I was wrong.

Redwood Lodge is located in a business/hotel park called Gateway Center.  It’s right off of US-23 and visibile from the freeway.  There’s a huge parking lot out front and the building makes you think of a lodge in the Rocky Mountains.  As we were making our way to the entrance, we passed stacks of mesquite wood which would be used in the wood burning oven.

The inside carried on the Rocky Mountain Lodge theme.  We were met by a host at the front who showed us to a booth near the bar area.  The booths didn’t butt up to the walls like they usually do.  They were freestanding and you could enter on either side.  A waitress came over and got our order for the usual Diet Pepsi and Pepsi.  We passed up the “World’s Largest Bloody Mary Bar.”  A great deal at $6 for all you can drink Bloody Mary’s, but neither of us drink Bloody Mary’s so we passed. Read the rest of this entry »





The Cooks House

19 09 2008
  • 439 E. Front St.
  • Traverse City, MI 49686
  • (231) 946-8700
  • Website
  • Menu
The Cooks House near downtown Traverse City

The Cooks House near downtown Traverse City

7:30 AM is early.  Not for most people, but for J and me, anything before about 11 AM might as well be pre-dawn.  Why were we up so  early, you ask?  Our goal was to be on the road by 9:00 AM and in Traverse City by lunch.  Guess what?  We made it!  Out the door by 8:30 and in the Cherry Capitol by noon.  Our first stop was going to be lunch.  I had been scouting this one out for a while.  I noticed a blog on Good Food Hunting called From Behind the Stove.  The writer is a chef at a tiny restaurant near downtown Traverse City.  I knew if we ever made it north, The Cooks House would definitely be a stop.

So, we pull into downtown Traverse City just after noon.  I was a little worried because I kept reading about how great this place was and how it was starting to catch on with foodies.  Reservations are strongly recommended for dinner.  I was really hoping that wouldn’t be the case with lunch.  The Cooks House is located just a few blocks from the main downtown business district on Front Street.  It’s a very inconspicuous building.  We actually drove by it without realizing it. We found a parking garage two blocks up then headed back the way we came on foot to seek out the shop. Read the rest of this entry »





Portillo’s Hot Dogs – Oak Lawn, IL

22 08 2008
  • 4020 W. 95th St.
  • Oak Lawn, IL 60435
  • (708 ) 422-1384
  • Website
  • Menu
Portillos Hot Dogs on 95th St. in Oak Lawn near Chicago

Portillo's Hot Dogs on 95th St. in Oak Lawn near Chicago

I said this a month ago when I reviewed the Portillo’s in Crestwood, IL (review HERE).  I LOVE PORTILLO’S!  The thing I miss the most about Illinois and Chicago cuisine is the Italian Beef sandwich so anytime I get a chance to get one, I make sure I do. 

J and I were at her parents before continuing our trip south to my parents for the annual Homecoming celebration.  We got in late and had plans to go to a 24 hour restaurant for breakfast, but we were too tired and just went to bed.  When we woke up, both of us were starving.  After playing Mario Kart Wii with her mom for a while, we got up and went looking for lunch.  J asked what I wanted and I said I didn’t care.  She knows me all too well and suggested Portillo’s.  I thought we were going to the one on Cicero we always go to, but she said there was one closer to her parents place near Christ Hospital.  Read the rest of this entry »





McDonald’s – Holt

20 08 2008
  • 2400 S. Cedar St.
  • Holt, MI 48842
  • (517) 694-9431
  • Website
  • Menu
The McDonalds on South Cedar St. in Holt

The McDonald's on South Cedar St. in Holt

Surprisingly, McDonald’s is one of my favorite fast food restaurants.  I don’t eat there often because I don’t eat fast food all that much, but I do really like their “burgers.”  Since moving to Lansing, I haven’t eaten at one even though there is one right down the road from our place.  J and I needed to make a run to Target this morning to get a diaper bag and some bottles…..for my brother who’s wife is expecting my first niece in about seven weeks.  While we were out, we decided to just run and grab lunch instead of coming home and trying to make something.

J wants to get back on the Weight Watchers diet and the only way it will work is if I get on it too.  I’m not super excited about it because it takes away all the foods I like and makes me eat larger portions of the foods I don’t.  But, she wants to do it and I want to help her, so I’ll do my best. 

Since she wants to start this diet, my usual double quarter pounder with cheese value meal isn’t really an option.  For the first time since I was five and ordering happy meals, I ordered something other than the #4.  I didn’t really know what any of their salads were so I just ordered what J did.  We both got the Southwestern salad.  I got grilled chicken and she got crispy chicken. Read the rest of this entry »