Frank’s Press Box East

10 07 2009
  • 2314 Woodlake Drive
  • Okemos, MI 48864
  • (517) 347-8810
  • Website
  • Menu
Franks Press Box East near the I-96 exit in Okemos.

Frank's Press Box East near the I-96 exit in Okemos.

Yup, it’s Friday again.  For some reason, I get lazy on Friday and don’t feel like cooking.  Today, I had another reason though.  My family is coming to town late tonight and J and I spent all morning cleaning.  I’m a pretty messy cook.  It’s not unusual to find flour or a little bit of cheese on the floor after dinner.  Instead of taking that chance, J suggested we go out. 

A few weeks ago, we went to Applebees in Okemos for dinner.  I chose that location because we J wanted to go to a chain, but being Friday night, it was a good idea to have a back up option just in case.  Tonight, that back up became the main attraction.

Frank’s Press Box East is on Woodlake Road just off of I-96 in Okemos.  Like so many businesses in that area, they don’t have a store front on Okemos Road.  There is a little sign on the road, but it’s easy to miss.  It was a long time before I even knew Frank’s had a second restaurant in Okemos.

We pulled into the parking a little after seven and there were a lot more cars than I expected.  I almost had doubts that we wouldn’t get a table.  I don’t know what I was expecting, but I was expecting what we found. Read the rest of this entry »





Cheli’s Chili Bar & Restaurant – Dearborn

27 04 2009
  • 21918 Michigan Avenue
  • Dearborn, MI 49124
  • (313) 274-9700
  • Website
  • Menu
Chelis Chili Bar & Restaurant in Dearborn.

Cheli's Chili Bar & Restaurant in Dearborn.

Since moving here, I’ve been wanting to eat at Cheli’s Chili in downtown Detroit.  I’ve always been a huge Chris Chelios fan and a #7 Blackhawks jersey still hangs in my closet.  When I started looking at restaurants in Detroit, Cheli’s Chili on the corner of Michigan and Oakwood came up.  I knew my parents would like a sports bar.

J had a great idea when it came to entertaining my parents.  Our original plan was to go gambling in Windsor, but my parents forgot their birth certificates so we couldn’t do that.  I offered Detroit, but neither were really interested.  They usually stop in New Buffalo when they come see me, but mom wants to say she gambled in Canada before the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative goes in to effect in June.  Since they forgot their documents, we needed a plan B. I had no ideas, but J suggested The Henry Ford Museum in Detroit.  First, we needed lunch.

We made it to Dearborn just before noon.  The building is on the corner, but the entrance is actually in the back.  There’s a parking lot there with a few spaces, a public lot right next to it and street parking all along Oakwood.  We parked the car and walked towards the door to find another couple standing there waiting.  The restaurant didn’t open until noon.  No big deal because it was 11:55.  We ended up walking across the street to Westborn Market (review HERE) to kill time. 

When we made it back, we walked in and saw a sign that the deck was open so we headed up there.  Like the downtown location, the Dearborn location has a party deck on the roof.  There’s an elevator right next to a staircase.  If it’s not a nice day or you don’t like sun, there’s also a huge dining room in the bar.  We didn’t really go in to far.  We found a display case with autographed memorabilia and Chelios jersey’s, but that’s as far as we made it. 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 »





Knockouts Sports & Grill Bar- Matteson, IL

9 03 2009
  • 4800 211th Street
  • Matteson, IL 60443
  • (708 ) 283-9903
  • No Known Website
  • No Online Menu
Knockouts Sports & Grill Bar on Lincoln Highway in Matteson, IL

Knockouts Sports & Grill Bar on Lincoln Highway in Matteson, IL

Since we just made a quick trip to Chicago for a birthday party, we really didn’t have time to drive to my parents for any length of time.  I had something I needed to give my brother and my mom had some things for me, so we decided to meet in Matteson, IL for lunch.  Our first choice was Nino’s Pizza, but it was closed.  Then we tried Baker’s Square, but it had gone out of business.  On the way in to town, I noticed a sports bar on Lincoln Highway.  I called my dad and told him to meet us there.  You can never go wrong with a sports bar.

Knockouts is on the corner of 211th (Lincoln Highway) and South Cicero in Matteson just down the street from the Lincoln Mall.  It sits in front of a strip mall, so you actually enter the parking lot down the street and come in behind the building. 

Knockouts is a typical sports bar.  We walked in to find a pretty empty dining room.  There’s a big island bar in the middle.  There’s a couple different dining spaces with different types of tables and chairs.  When you first walk in, there’s a raised area with nice wood chairs and tables.  Along one wall near the bar is a series of pub tables.  Since there was five us, I headed towards a table in the larger area.  There was one table for six near the back, but it was right next to the jukebox…and that jukebox was LOUD.  I walked away from it and pushed two tables together.  The MSU game was a couple TV’s and the NASCAR race was just starting so we had plenty of entertainment. Read the rest of this entry »





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 »





Frank’s Press Box – Delta Township

23 11 2008
  • 7216 W. Saginaw Hwy.
  • Lansing, MI 48917
  • (517) 886-1330
  • No Known Website
  • Menu
Franks Press Box on Saginaw Highway in Lansing.

Frank's Press Box on Saginaw Highway in Lansing.

Time for the weekly shopping trip.  We got a little lazy today and slept in pretty late then had a hard time getting going, but we needed to run to Walmart and Horrocks to pick up just a few things before we head home for the Thanksgiving holiday.  Both of us were starving when we left so we decided to eat first. 

Every time we go out that way, we go by Frank’s Press Box on Saginaw Highway.  It always looks deserted, but we always go during the day during the week.  When we pulled into the parking lot today (on a Sunday), the parking lot was the opposite of deserted.  In fact, it was packed.  The inside of the restaurant was no different.  Most of the tables were full and all eyes were pointed at the TV’s.  We figured out later the Lions game was blacked out and the only way to see it was to have the NFL package which Frank’s obviously did. 

The restaurant/sports bar is divided into three rooms.  Near the front is a game room with a number of pool tables.  The bar area also has a large dining room designated as the smoking section then there’s another section separated by a tiny wall and a fireplace designated non-smoking by green paint on a mirror near the back of the space.  The wall did nothing.  My coat smells like cigar smoke which was painfully noticeable during the meal.  Each section has a number of TV’s.  From our table, I could see seven LCD TV’s and each of them had a different football game on, but the audio from the Lions game was pumped in via speakers. Read the rest of this entry »





Auggie’s Grille & Pub

9 11 2008
  • 820 W. Miller Rd. #3
  • Lansing, MI 48911
  • (517) 272-0099
  • No Known Website
  • Menu
Auggies Grille & Pub on Miller Road in Lansing.

Auggie's Grille & Pub on Miller Road in Lansing.

I hate writing bad reviews.  I always feel bad, but I’m not going to not write about a place just because it might make me feel bad.  I always look for the good in things because I know a bad review can be bad for business.  If someplace just pisses me off though, I sort of feel like they deserve it. 

Auggie’s Grille & Pub is located in a tiny strip mall on Miller Road.  There’s a party store right next to it and there are signs all over the place saying drinking in the parking lot is illegal.  That should have been a sign.  Auggie’s looked like a nice place, but I’m guessing that it’s not a good area of town.  On Thursday night, I drove by to scout the place out before meeting J at our regular Thursday hang out, Barley’s.  The parking lot was packed so I figured the place was legit.  Read the rest of this entry »





Tripper’s Sports Bar & Grill

30 10 2008
  • 350 Frandor Ave.
  • Lansing, MI 48912
  • (517) 336-0717
  • No Known Website
  • Menu
Trippers Sports Bar and Grill in the Frandor Shopping Center

Tripper's Sports Bar and Grill in the Frandor Shopping Center

I’m a little surprised I had never heard of Tripper’s before this past weekend.  On Saturday, we were at Frandor to check out the Linens ‘n Things going out of business sale and I noticed a sports bar on the other side of Frandor.  This afternoon, J and I realized we haven’t eaten out since Saturday, so we decided to go for lunch.  I had a hard time getting out of bed and by the time J pushed me out, it was afternoon.  I was a little worried we’d be pushing it to get her back in time to get ready for work, but it turned out not to be an issue.

Tripper’s is located in the Frandor Shopping Center right next to Olga’s kitchen.  For a Thursday afternoon, Frandor was packed.  I was surprised at just how many people there were.  The traffic was bad and it was hard to find a parking spot.  I finally found one somewhat near where we were going.  We walked back to Tripper’s.  When we entered the building, we were met with a long hallway back to the bar.  The host met us about halfway and asked if we wanted smoking or non-smoking.  We, of course, didn’t want to sit in a smokey bar.  The host took us the rest of the way down this long hallway, past the pool room and poker room to the non-smoking dining room.  Once you get to the back of the bar, there are two rooms.  One is the actual bar area which is set up and lit like a normal bar.  To the right of the hallway is the non-smoking dining room which is more like a typical restaurant with regular tables and more lighting. 

A waitress came over for drinks.  We ordered our Cokes and I actually got a regular Coke this time.  That hasn’t happened in a while even though I keep ordering it.  When it came time for lunch orders, I spotted my sandwich right away.  Even though Tripper’s has a really big menu that would satisfy any palette, I barely looked it because I found a Black and Bleu burger on the menu.  My burger came with bleu cheese piled on top.  There was no missing it and I got a good chunk of cheese in every bite.  The sandwich also came with lettuce and tomato which I pulled off.  The bleu cheese is the only flavor I want on this particular burger.  A mound of steak fries were served on the side.  Not usually a fan because steak fries get really potato-y tasting.  However, Tripper’s seasoned these fries really well with what I believe was just salt and pepper, but it added a really great taste to the fries. Read the rest of this entry »





Rookies

23 10 2008
  • 16460 S. US Highway 27
  • Lansing, MI 48906
  • (517) 487-8686
  • No Known Website
  • Menu
Rookies on US 27 in North Lansing

Rookies on US 27 in North Lansing

If you remember from a few months ago, I mentioned how much J liked karaoke.  When she lived in Idaho Falls, she found a karaoke bar.  When we lived in Peoria, we found a karaoke bar.  When we moved to Lansing, we never found a karaoke bar.  When we were in Chicago last weekend, she wanted to go find a bar, but we got watching Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live and never made it out.  That itch never went away, so she got on Google and again started looking for karaoke in Lansing.  She found Rookies and after a phone call to see what time it started, she had her mind set on singing, so we pushed dinner back to 8:30 then went looking for Rookies.

We looked for a long time to try and figure out where exactly Rookies was at.  For most of you that have lived here all your lives, it’s not hard.  For us newbies who rely on Google Maps and a GPS to get around, it was a pain in the ass.  Google Maps puts the bar out near Flint for some reason.  Even though the listing says Lansing, it puts a mark on the map far east of the city.  After striking out on Google, we pulled out the GPS.  Daniel (that’s what we call our Garmin due to the voice file we use being called Daniel) couldn’t find the street in Lansing.  This is a really common problem with both J’s and my GPS.  I have a Nextar and she has a Garmin.  A co-worker of hers has a Garmin also and runs into the same problem.  It’s a problem we never have anywhere outside of Michigan.  Michigan’s prominent use of Townships as addresses screw the computers up.  Finally, we found the correct address in Dewitt Township, but it was incredibly frustrating just trying to find a bar. Read the rest of this entry »





Reno’s West Sports Bar & Pizzeria

3 08 2008
  • 5001 W. Saginaw Hwy.
  • Lansing, MI 48917
  • (517) 321-0616
  • No Known Website
  • Menu (from East Lansing Location)
Renos West Sports Bar and Pizzeria on W. Saginaw Hwy in Lansing

Reno's West Sports Bar and Pizzeria on W. Saginaw Hwy in Lansing

What a day!  Everything we tried to do just didn’t want to work out.  The day started off with us getting up super early (for us) to get tickets to Barack Obama’s speech on Monday.  We made it to Gone Wired Cafe at about 8:30 and the line was four blocks long.  We jumped in line thinking, “The Lansing Center holds 5,000 people, I bet there’s not more than a couple thousand in line.”  According to the LSJ, they only gave out 1,000 tickets, so by about the time we got within one block of the front door, they ran out of tickets.  Not a big deal to me, being from Illinois, I covered Obama’s Senate run, have interviewed the Senator many times, and worked for the campaign at his Presidential Announcement in Springfield, IL on the steps of the Old Capitol…oh yeah, and I’m a Republican and probably won’t be voting for him.  My girlfriend, on the other hand, was working in a different state during that election and has never seen Obama speak live, so I was hoping to get tickets so she could see him.  Didn’t work out.

After we left Gone Wired, we figured since we just blew two hours, we’d get some breakfast.  I’ve read on Runs With Spatula about Soup to Nuts Bistro more than once.  We headed back to Kalamazoo Street only to find Soup to Nutz closed on Saturdays.  Two strikes against us and it’s not even 11:00.

Since we were at that odd time of not quite breakfast, not quite lunch, we headed out to the Lansing Mall to do some shopping for a wedding next week in Chicago.  We finally caught a break.  My girlfriend found a great dress at 60% off.  After walking around the mall, we’re both starving.  We’ve drove by Reno’s West a few times and since it was close, we headed back down Saginaw.  Read the rest of this entry »