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 »

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Country Market Restaurant and Buffet- LaSalle, IL

20 07 2008
  • 343 N. 30th Rd
  • LaSalle, IL 61301
  • (815) 220-0622
  • Website
  • Menu
Country Market Restaurant and Buffet located inside the Flying J Truckstop in La Salle, IL

Country Market Restaurant and Buffet located inside the Flying J Truckstop in La Salle, IL

Country Market is located at the Flying J Truckstop just off of I-80 near LaSalle.  I was in the area for a concert at the Cedar Point Sportsmen Club where Sugarland was playing a charity concert.  I was with my girlfriend and my parents.  My mom has some friends over in that area and they suggested we all meet at the truck stop before the show.

The Country Market is a staple at Flying J’s around the country.  I’ve passed many times, but never stopped.  We were shown to a table near the back of the restaurant past the buffet by a hostess.  While we were rearranging the tables, a waitress came to get drink orders.  Waitressing 101 tells you that you shouldn’t have to ask people what they ordered when you bring it back, but even with drinks, our waitress couldn’t remember who ordered what and I had to ask.  There were six of us so it took a while.  By the time she got done, we weren’t quite ready to order so she left and came back when we were.

My girlfriend and I had just eaten lunch at Portillo’s (review HERE) a couple hours earlier, so we weren’t really hungry.  I went with a chicken tender appetizer.  The four definately out of a bag chicken tenders came with a side of BBQ dipping sauce.  Like I said, I wasn’t super hungry, so I didn’t want a whole lot.  This was just about the right amount for how I was feeling.  The chicken and the BBQ were canned, so nothing special, but not bad either. Read the rest of this entry »





Don’s Windmill Truckstop

27 04 2008
  • 7262 Lansing Rd.Don's Windmill Truckstop
  • Dimondale, MI 48821
  • (517) 646-6752
  • Website
  • No Menu Online
  • Don’s Windmill is now closed.  To see the place that replaced it,
    CLICK HERE

Don’s was a suggestion of one of my girlfriend’s co-workers.  We both like greasy spoons anyway and both have fond memories of truckstops from our pasts, so on our way to Horrock’s one Sunday, we took a little detour to Don’s.

The truckstop is exactly what you expect.  It’s kind of run down and not at all fine dining.  There’s a lunch counter with little coin operated TV’s then booths spread throughout the remaining space.  We just missed the breakfast buffet, so we showed ourselves to a booth in the non-smoking section and started looking over the menu while we waited for the waitress.

Don's Windmill TruckstopWe both got pop’s while we looked over the huge menu.  They do breakfast all day and offer some unique items like veal parmigana while making sure not to stray too far from what makes truck stop food great.  I ordered the Pepper Jack Cheeseburger.  The burger is a 1/3 lb frozen patty topped with a slice of pepper jack cheese served with coleslaw on the side and crinkle cut fries.  I don’t expect a whole lot when it comes to these types of places and I got exactly what I expected.  The meal was not great by any standard, but it was comforting and brought back memories of late night drunkeness in college.  There’s just something about a greasy diner burger and salt that’s comforting to me.

My girlfriend ordered the Gigantic Grilled Cheese sandwich.  Here’s a situation where Don’s went a little bit above expectations and served a grilled cheese with Texas Toast.  Like me, the memories of truck stops out west came rushing back.  She said her grilled cheese was delicious and appreciated the Texas Toast over regular bread.  Neither one of us really ate the cole slaw that came with the meal. It’s just one of those things your taught in the restaurant business….you never know when it was made.  She tried one bite just to see if it’d knock her socks off and it didn’t. The fries were a little soggy, but alright.  I salted them up pretty good.  Again, it’s truck stop food.  I wasn’t expecting anything great, but it was filling.

Our bill was just under $20 before tip.  Really, the food was good and exceeded expectations, but not worth that much.  The diner is open 24 hours and that’s what makes it appealing to me.  I love 24 hour places and will most likely be back to settle a late night craving.