Kuma’s Corner – Chicago, IL

24 09 2009
  • 2900 W. Belmont Avenue
  • Chicago, IL 60618
  • (773) 604-8769
  • Website
  • Menu
Kumas Corner on W. Belmont on Chicagos northside.

Kuma's Corner on W. Belmont on Chicago's northside.

 We finally made plans to make the trip the north side of Chicago.  We had to pick up the first of three out-of-town bridesmaids who flew in early to stay with another friend who lived in Bucktown.  We offered just to pick her up at her friend’s place because it was only a ten minute drive to West Belmont and I’d finally get to chow down on Illinois’ best burger.

Kuma’s Corner is on the corner of West Belmont Avenue and North Francisco Avenue in Chicago’s Avondale Neighborhood.  It’s an old corner building that doesn’t look like it should house such a popular restaurant.  The door was open and there were people spilling out when we drove by.  Like most of these neighborhood places, there is no specific parking.  You’re own your own to find something along the street.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Courtside Cafe

28 08 2009
  • 101 N. Washington Street
  • Owosso, MI 48867
  • (989) 720-8161
  • Website
  • Menu
The Courtside Cafe on Washington Street in Owosso.

The Courtside Cafe on Washington Street in Owosso.

J and I made a trip to Owosso to conduct a little business.  It took a little longer than we expected and J had to be back in Lansing to get work.  It was pushing noon by the time we were done and we wanted to grab lunch before heading home. 

I did a little research and found a sandwich shop in downtown Owosso. Since we were heading back that way, I put the address in the GPS to get us back to where we needed to be.  My hope was we could get in and get out pretty quickly because we were really pushing the time limit now. 

The Courtside Cafe is in downtown Owosso on the corner of Main and Washington Streets.  It’s a small corner building on a very busy intersection.  We actually couldn’t even find parking near the building.  We ended up having to park a block down and around the corner. 

The Courtside Cafe is not what I expected.  It’s actually a sit down restaurant with servers. I was just expecting a place to grab a sandwich from a counter.  There was a lunch counter and that’s where J and I headed.  We grabbed a server and asked if we could put in a carry-out order.  She said she’d be right back which gave us time to look over the menu. 

The food at the Courtside Cafe is what you expect from this kind of place.  There are a number of sandwiches listed by number on the menu.  There are some salads, soups, quesidila’s, and even some baked goods from Zingerman’s.  No deep fryer which means no fries.  Read the rest of this entry »





Tony’s I-75 Restaurant

22 08 2009
  • 8781 Main Street
  • Birch Run, MI 48415
  • (989) 624-5860
  • No Known Website
  • Menu
Tonys I-75 Restaurant on Main Street in Birch Run.

Tony's I-75 Restaurant on Main Street in Birch Run.

I love bacon.  So much so, my favorite comedy routine is Jim Gaffigan’s King Baby show where he keeps talking about bacon (Is he still talking about bacon?). 

A few weeks ago, I was watching Sandwich Paradise on The Travel Channel and one of the places featured was a diner in Birch Run.  Sure, I’ve had a few people tell me I needed to check out and try their BLT that comes with a pound of bacon.  I thought they were just over hyping the place…..like the fish that gets bigger every time they tell the story.  I was wrong.

Tony’s I-75 Restaurant is on Main Street in Birch Run just a block or so from Interstate 75.  The restaurant has the distinction of being the only local joint in a sea of chains.  This particular area of Birch Run is very highly developed.  They have the Prime Outlets (which we of course checked out) and just about every type of chain cuisine you can imagine. 

We showed up just before noon on a Saturday.  The parking lot was packed.  There is a large lot behind the restaurant and that’s where we eventually found a spot.  When we opened the door to enter the restaurant, we were greeted with a line ten people deep.  The waiting area is actually outside the actual restaurant in a long, narrow hallway that looks like it was added on after the fact so people wouldn’t have to wait outside in the cold.  

Not long after getting in line, an employee stuck her head out and asked how big each of our parties were.  There was a group of seven, two and three in front of us.  Still, we waited in line only about five minutes.  We were asked if we would like a seat at the lunch counter.  Initially, we said no, but after reconsidering it, we took the two seats at the counter which proved to be entertaining.  Read the rest of this entry »





DiBella’s Old Fashioned Submarines

14 08 2009
  • 904 W. Eisenhower Parkway
  • Ann Arbor, MI 48103
  • (734) 997-9011
  • Website
  • Menu
DiBellas Old Fashioned Submarines in Cranbrook Village in Ann Arbor.

DiBella's Old Fashioned Submarines in Cranbrook Village in Ann Arbor.

Whenever I work in Ann Arbor, I get a request from J to make a Whole Foods run.   Since I’m going to be working a lot over the next week, I won’t be home to make dinner every night.  She’s a fan of one of the prepackaged salads from Whole Foods and she loves the pre cut fruit to snack on during the day.

After I got off work, I headed to the Whole Foods at Cranbrook Village.  Sure, I could have grabbed something for myself out of the deli, but where’s the fun in that?  I saw a sandwich shop in the same strip, so I grabbed the items for J then went to get myself a sandwich.

DiBella’s Old Fashioned Submarines is a chain out of New York, but the only Michigan location is in Ann Arbor.  In fact, there’s only five stores outside of New York….and in the state, they’re only in Rochester and Buffalo, so they’re not a large chain store by any means. 

The Ann Arbor location is on Eisenhower Parkway in the Cranbrook Village shopping center.  The shop sits right in the middle when you turn into the center from Eisenhower.  I found a parking spot then walked across the roadway.  The inside has sort of a throwback feel.  There’s a lot of red that accents the dark wood.  The employees all wear paper hats to add to the feel.  Read the rest of this entry »





Pink Pony Bar & Grill

27 07 2009
  • P.O. Box 250, Main Street
  • Mackinac Island, MI 49757
  • (906) 847-3341
  • Website
  • Menu
The Pink Pony Bar & Grill in downtown Mackinac Island.

The Pink Pony Bar & Grill in downtown Mackinac Island.

After our carriage tour of Mackinac Island, J and I made our way back to Main Street.  It was now pushing 5:30 and we still hadn’t bought any fudge.  J mentioned we should probably buy some then added she could go for dinner.  I felt the same way. We burned a lot of energy today and lunch seemed so long ago. 

This was going to be our last meal on the Island and there were still so many choices. I picked up a Mackinac Island dining guide from the Visitor’s Center, but there were no address or maps of where any of the places were.  As we toured the Island, we walked by a number of places that would normally catch our attention. I stopped and browsed menus at a few, but when it comes down to it, J and I are really pub food people. 

I thought it might be nice if we could spend the end of the day enjoying dinner overlooking Lake Hudson.  The first place that popped into my head was the Pink Pony.  We walked by earlier in the day and it looked cute plus the back of the building overlooked the harbor.

The Pink Pony Bar & Grill is on Main Street inside the Chippewa Hotel.  The bar/restaurant takes up a large portion of the bottom floor and it’s divided into several sections.  If you walk into the bar, there is no hostess station, but there is a sign pointing you to the lobby of the hotel.  We just stayed outside and walked to the lobby where we found a hostess just in front of the main dining room.  Read the rest of this entry »





Fatburger – Orland Park, IL

16 06 2009
  • 15110 S. La Grange Road #A
  • Orland Park, IL 60462
  • (708) 364-8380
  • Website
  • Menu
Fatburger on La Grange Road in Orland Park, IL

Fatburger on La Grange Road in Orland Park, IL

Our wedding planning trip to Chicago continued this morning with a trip to meet with the Reverend we chose for the ceremony.  After we took care of that meeting, we had a couple hours before our next appointment and J was starving.  Since we were already in Orland Park, we headed over to the big business street and started looking for food.  J’s mom suggested a brew pub on La Grange Road.  I said any place with a burger was fine with me.  We started towards the brew pub, but as we were driving, J noticed the Fatburger.  She figured that would be faster than a sit down restaurant and it would satisfy the burger criteria. 

Fatburger is a west coast burger chain that, at one time, was co-owned by former Spartan Magic Johnson.  The chain was started in 1952 in Los Angeles.  Up until the mid-9o’s, the chain pretty much only existed on the west coast, but expansion brought store farther to the east.  The company now has 93 restaurants across North America, Asia, and the Middle East. 

The store in Orland Park is in a strip mall on La Grange Road near 151st Street.  We pulled in just after 11:00 and there was only one other person in line.  Fatburger’s slogan is “The Last Great Hamburger Stand.”  The decor is that of a sixties diner and while it’s technically considered fast food, they do cook your food to order.  Read the rest of this entry »





Blimpie Subs & Salads – S. Pennsylvania

22 05 2009
  • 6030 S. Pennsylvania Avenue #11
  • Lansing, MI 48911
  • (517) 393-5477
  • Website
  • Menu
Blimpie Subs & Salads on South Pennsylvania in Lansing.

Blimpie Subs & Salads on South Pennsylvania in Lansing.

We had to kick off our Memorial Day weekend with a few errands before J went to work.  Everything we needed to do, we could do on the south side of town, so there was no need to go out to Delta Township.  The thing with staying close to home is that we are running out of new places to eat lunch.  There are definitely a few places that we have been making repeat visits to, but tyring something new is always more fun. 

One of the places we haven’t tried is Blimpie in the strip mall at the corner of Pennsylvania and Miller.  In fact, neither one of us had ever eaten at a Blimpie.  J didn’t even realize it was there and she goes by it everyday on her way to work.  I see the signs near the road for $5 12 inch subs and I’ve seen some pretty good specials at other stores.  J said she just wanted a sandwich anyway, so we went to check out a new place.

Blimpie is set up like most sub sandwich shops.  They have an assembly line counter with three ladies who made different parts of your sandwich.  The first lady cuts the meat.  She has a deli slicer in front of her and they cut the meat to order.  The next lady puts the toppings on.  There’s not as many options as some of their competitors, but they still have the most popular items.  The third lady took care of drinks and the cash register. Read the rest of this entry »