Dispatch Sports Pub & Grill

21 02 2009
  • 3004 W. Main Street
  • Lansing, MI 48917
  • (517) 484-7940
  • No Known Website
  • Menu
The Dispatch Sports Pub & Grill on Main Street in Lansing.

The Dispatch Sports Pub & Grill on Main Street in Lansing.

Saturday nights are usually relaxed nights for us.  After being lazy all afternoon and watching the NASCAR truck race, we decided to go out for dinner again.  We still  haven’t been to the grocery store since getting back to Michigan so there’s not a lot of food in the house yet and since shopping hungry is a bad idea, we just found a bar.  Quite a while ago, someone suggested the Dispatch Sports Pub & Grill.

The Dispatch Sports Pub & Grill is on Main Street near I-496.  It’s kind of out there by itself.  There’s not a whole lot in the area yet the parking lot was packed even though it was a crappy, snowy night.  We trekked through the snow only to be confused again.  There were two doors.  Neither were marked.  Neither gave any indication that it was the entrance. One of them was a little fancier than the other so that’s the one I chose.  I peeked in through the window and it looked right so we went in.  Good thing I chose that one.  The other one would have led to the kitchen.

The inside is a typical sports pub.  There are at least three pretty good size dining areas.  The bar is the first thing you run into.  From there, there are two dining areas off to the side.  I took a second to look around and didn’t really see anything other than tables for large groups.  Then I noticed some booths at the far end of the bar.  The decor is all beer company freebies.  It’s a comfortable, familiar setting.

The Dispatch near I-496 on Main Street in Lansing

The Dispatch near I-496 on Main Street in Lansing

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements




RiverHouse Inn

21 02 2009
  • 310 W. Grand River Avenue 
  • Williamston, MI 48895
  • (517) 655-4300
  • No Known Website
  • Menu 
The Riverhouse Inn on Grand River Avenue in Williamston

The Riverhouse Inn on Grand River Avenue in Williamston

Back in January, I made reservations for Valentine’s Day at the RiverHouse Inn in Williamston. It’s a place that I have been wanting to eat at since it opened late last summer. It just looked like a neat place. Our Valentine’s plans changed a couple times and we ended up back in Chicago after having to cancel a trip to Dayton.  I told J as we were heading to Hot Chocolate (review HERE) on Chicago’s north side that I actually had reservations for a place in Michigan that I canceled.  It worked out for the best.  We loved our dinner in Chicago and the lunch menu at RiverHouse Inn was actually more our style, so our first weekend back in Lansing in quite some time, we decided to brave a snow storm and head to Williamston for lunch.

The RiverHouse Inn is a gorgeous old house that sits on the banks of the Red Cedar River on the west side of Williamston.  The building was actually built in 1929 and for 77 years, it was a private residence.  The current owners of the building planned to remodel the place into a bed and breakfast, but that never really happened.  Instead, they opened a restaurant.  The inside of the building still looks like a house.  When you walk through the front door, you come to a hostess station in a hallway between two rooms.  The sign said “please seat yourself” so we started looking for the best place to sit.  There were no people in the two rooms you can see when you walk in, but I could kind of see a staircase that led down to a bar area.  I figured that was the best place to go since there would at least be a bartender who could see we were there.

We headed through what was probably an old living room or dining room that had just a couple tables in it on our way to the bar.  Every table in the house is in a pretty intimate setting.  It’s really hard to describe the ambiance.  It looks like they used the existing layout instead of trying to open everything up and only keep load bearing walls.  The place just had a charm that you can’t get from a new building. Read the rest of this entry »





Deja Brew Bar & Grill- Oak Lawn, IL

12 02 2009
  • 5219 W. 95th Street
  • Oak Lawn, IL 60435
  • (708 ) 423-0484
  • No Known Website
  • Menu
Deja Brew on 95th Street in downtown Oak Lawn, IL

Deja Brew on 95th Street in downtown Oak Lawn, IL

After taking care of some things this morning, my girlfriend, her family, and I headed out for lunch.  Our first stop was Palermos 95th (review HERE), but they were even packed for lunch, so we went to J’s parents favorite bar in downtown Oak Lawn.

Deja Brew Bar & Grill is located on 95th Street in downtown Oak Lawn.  It fronts the busy highway, but the parking and main entrance is actually in the back which is accessible by an alley.  When you walk in that back door, you come into an enclosed courtyard.  From there, there’s another set of doors to actually enter the establishment. 

Inside is a typical sports bar.  There are LCD’s hanging from the ceiling.  There’s a large, odd shaped bar that takes a good chunk of the space.  The shape of the bar is a little hard to describe.  Around the bar are a few pub tables.  Along the opposite wall is a step up with more tables.  We took a table near the windows and waited for a watiress.

The waitress actually came over pretty quickly to get our drink orders, but then took a really long time to come back with them.  She spilled a little bit of J’s mom’s beer and went to get something to clean it up with before taking lunch orders.  It took a good ten minutes for her to come back with a bar towel.  Once we got the spilled beer taken care of, we put in lunch orders.  Another half hour later and we finally got our food.  During the time, J and her uncle both ran out of Diet Coke but there was no refilling until the food came out. Read the rest of this entry »





Patio Restaurant of Orland Park (IL)

8 02 2009
  • 7830 W. 159th St.
  • Orland Park, IL 60462
  • (708 ) 429-7575
  • Website
  • Menu
The Patio of Orland Park on 195th Street

The Patio of Orland Park on 195th Street

We finished up our mini-vacation in Illinois on Saturday.  The  purpose of our trip was so J could judge an IHSA speech regional in Orland Park which is another one of Chicago’s south suburbs.  I slept in, but met her at the school later in the day.  When it was time to head back to Michigan, we left straight from there instead of going back to her parents.  Before we could do that though, we had to make one more stop for food.

The Patio Restaurant of Orland Park is one of four in a local chain.  It’s another place that J’s parents eat at often and have suggested to us in the past.  The Patio sits on 195th Street.  The building is huge.  The parking lot…not so much.  It took a while for us to find a spot on a busy Saturday night.  I didn’t have much hope of actually getting a table, but J assured me we would be ok.

The inside of The Patio is a wide open space that is decorated to resemble a patio.  The furniture is more patio furniture than lawn furniture and the ceilings are high, vaulted, and decorated to make you feel like it is open air.  The restaurant is set up so you order in the front of the building then take a seat with a number.  Your food is brought to you a few minutes later.  Read the rest of this entry »





Gilbert & Blake’s

31 01 2009
  • 3554 Okemos Road
  • Okemos, MI 48864
  • (517) 349-1300
  • Website
  • Menu
Gilbert & Blakes on Okemos Road in Okemos

Gilbert & Blake's on Okemos Road in Okemos

I’ve always been afraid of Gilbert and Blake’s.  I had only read one review of the place and it wasn’t exactly glowing, but the thing that really scared me off was the “seafood” part of the branding.  We don’t eat seafood.  I know, they have steaks, but I don’t order steaks at a restaurant.  They’re never as good as I make at home and really expensive.  J and I are sandwich people.  I love a good burger and there were no burgers on Gilbert and Blake’s dinner menu, so I never considered it an option for us.  For some odd reason, I was looking at restaurants last night.  I came back to Gilbert and Blake’s and decided to look at the menu again.  Again, the dinner menu didn’t do much for me.  It’s a little too fancy for a regular night out, but the lunch menu actually looked really good.  J and I were discussing lunch options and I figured…let’s give it a try.  There were enough options that both of us should be happy.

Gilbert & Blake’s is on Okemos Road not far from I-96 in Okemos.  Like I figured, it’s not your average night out kind of place.  I would put it in the fine dining category for this area.  There are couple different dining rooms.  When you walk in, you’re met by a hostess.  We were shown to a table in what looks to be their main dining room just off of the bar.  Gilbert & Blake’s is a white tablecloth, black napkin kind of place.  The decor is subdued and dark.  Most of the light is natural lighting coming in from large windows that run along one wall of the dining room.  What little lighting they have are track spot lights. Read the rest of this entry »





Subway – Holt

20 01 2009
  • 2375 Cedar St. #F
  • Holt, MI 48842
  • (517) 694-4414
  • Website
  • Menu
The Subway on Cedar Street in Holt.

The Subway on Cedar Street in Holt.

Happy Inauguration Day!  I slept right up until the time President Obama took the oath, but J got up “early” so she wouldn’t miss anything.  That’s why I bought a TIVO five years ago.  Obama wasn’t my choice for President, but I do have a little bit of history with the man so it was neat to see.  When I worked and a TV news photographer in Peoria, there was an unknown state senator from Chicago with a funny name who was an underdog for the US Senate seat being vacated by Peter Fitzgerald.  We spent a lot of time covering front runners Blair Hull and Dan Hynes.  Then, something happened.  Blair Hull’s nasty divorce got brought into the race and this unknown made a huge surge.  Barack Obama won his party’s nomination.  Still, he was the underdog against Republican Jack Ryan.  Well, wouldn’t you know it.  Jack Ryan’s messy divorce got drug into the race and he eventually dropped out leaving Barack Obama with no Republican opponent. 

It was during this time I got sent to the small town of Canton, IL in Fulton County.  Barack Obama was stumping at the Fulton County Democratic Headquarters.  The room was packed.  There was probably fifty people jammed into a room that held thirty.  I was jammed into the corner with my big camera near the podium.  After the speech, the future President put his hand on my back, thanked me for coming, and asked if I needed an interview.   At that time, I declined because I had the sound I needed.  I look back now and kick myself.  Then, it was no big deal.  I had interviewed hundreds of politicians at the state and federal level.  It just wasn’t a big deal.  I just wanted to go grab dinner and head back to Peoria…a thirty minute drive.

That wasn’t the first time or the last time I covered a story about Barack Obama, but after his speech at the 2004 DNC, everything changed.  He became a rock star and events now started drawing hunderds and media availability dwindled. 

On February 10, 2007, I stood on a riser between reporters from ABC and CNN in front of the old State Capitol in Springfield, IL when Barack Obama announced his run for the presidency.  I was working for the Obama campaign as a freelance camera operator.  I was hired by a production company (not the actual campaign) to run the main camera for the pool feed that was being fed all over the world.  I think it was then that it hit me what was happening. 

Here it is, five years after that meeting in Canton, and J and I are watching the same man being sworn in as our 44th President.  The swearing in went to just after noon.  As we sit on the couch watching Charlie Gibson, we realized we didn’t have anything to eat.  Not wanting to cook, J said she’d buy lunch if I’d drive.  I had been seeing commercials for Subway’s new flat bread and got curious.  We always forget there’s a Subway just around the corner in Holt, but today, I happened to remember.  J was on board so Subway it was. Read the rest of this entry »





Corey’s Restaurant & Lounge

31 12 2008
  • 1513 S. Cedar St.
  • Lansing, MI 4891
  • (517) 484-7060
  • No Known Website
  • Menu
Coreys Restaurat & Lounge on South Cedar Street in Lansing.

Corey's Restaurat & Lounge on South Cedar Street in Lansing.

Since we found out our bar of choice wasn’t going to be open past 10:00 on New Year’s Eve, we decided to go out for dinner.  We had driven by a very uninviting building on Cedar Street with a old sign hanging off the building that simply said “Corey’s Coktails.”  We never gave the place much thought until a co-worker of J’s recommended it during a discussion of local eateries.   J e-mailed me and asked if I just wanted to go out for dinner and I said, yes and suggested Corey’s, so that’s where we ended up for dinner on New Year’s Eve. 

Corey’s Restaurant & Lounge sits on Cedar Street not too far from downtown.  From the outside, you’d never guess what was inside.  We pulled up to the building around 7:30 to find a packed parking lot.  We entered the lot off of Cedar Street and found a place to park, but we had no idea where the door was.  It definitely wasn’t on the Cedar Street side, so I assumed it was around back.  As we were walking towards the building, we saw someone walk out solving the mystery of the front door.

When you walk in, you take a step down and enter in the lounge part of the space.  There were no signs about seating or a hostess.  I noticed a pub table along the wall not too far from the entrance so that’s where we went.  There are two rooms  to the space.  Had we kept going, we would have found a more traditional dining room separated from the bar.  We climbed up the chairs and waited.  And waited.  And waited.  And waited for a waitress to see us.  After a five to ten minute wait, we were finally noticed and a waitress came over for drink orders and left a couple menus.  Read the rest of this entry »