Apr 13, 2014

This place is my favorite breakfast place. I have a lot of ones I really like, but this is the one. Most people do not even know about this place. They have never advertised and I didn't know they existed for their first 21 years even though I had walked and driven by many times. A friend with a cottage in Saugatuck asked if I had ever been to Ida Red's Cottage? I thought it was a rental. After he told me, I had to check it out. I have been going every chance I get since then. It is small with limited hours and the wait to get in is usually long. However, if you like everything made from scratch using only the best and freshest ingredients, you have to go get in line. The homemade raspberry muffins are perfect. Especially with a glass of fresh squeezed orange or grapefruit juice. Lots of omelets and other egg dishes. (Check the specials board) Great pancakes and waffles. Everything has a unique twist from Asian, Greek, or Spanish to whatever the cook wants to do that day. My wife loves the potato pancakes which are not a regular item. I would drive a hour just to have breakfast here. As long as I have been going, the same people seem to work there. This is as good as it gets. Check the guide for more details.

Apr 3, 2014

This new place has turned the table on a bank. Building a nice restaurant in a former bank building strikes me as irony. The Vault Coffee House and Wine Bar opened in January in downtown Vicksburg. Not only is it downtown, it is also on part of a lake called sunset pond. Overlooking this pond is their very large outdoor patio which will be fun as the weather warms. The owners are former coffee shop people and I think intended this place to be more of a coffee shop and wine bar. While being that, it has also morphed into a popular restaurant. Nice sandwiches with a twist like the wrap my wife had called the Baja with chicken and avocado. I had their soon to be famous stuffed olive burger. On our second trip I had the soup and sandwich special which offered a very nice seafood bisque and a good deli style ham sandwich. My wife had another wrap. This time it was the Thai wrap with peanut sauce that she liked a lot. They are also getting known for their house made potato chips. They offer breakfast with crepes, French toast and their excellent coffee. Dinner includes the sandwiches described above along with steaks and pasta. The daily specials are always worth checking out. Kid and family friendly. Nice space in front with couches for relaxing with your coffee or wine. Growing wine selection and good craft beer choices. Live music sometimes, so check their facebook page. Nice owners Clint and Michelle with a true desire to offer Vicksburg a special place for food and drink. Check out the guide for more details.

Mar 9, 2014

Since 2013. New to Kalamazoo, a Battle Creek mainstay has opened a second location. Hogzilla BBQ Pit brings real award winning pit BBQ to a new market. This place only has 2 or 3 tables and is mostly carryout. The menu is limited but offers some very good items like pulled pork, pulled chicken, brisket and rib tips. You can also order 1/4 & 1/2 BBQ chicken or 1/4, 1/2 & full racks of spare ribs. They also offer smoked sausage, chicken wings and Friday catfish fry. I liked the sides as well, especially the mac & cheese. They also have coleslaw, potato salad, spaghetti & bbq baked beans. Cornbread is also good. I had the pulled pork which was very tender with their unique bbq sauce which seems more vinegar based than most in the area. I did request a hot bbq sauce which came out thick and it was as hot as I would want. They do offer a couple of salads with one including smoked chicken. I want to try that on my next visit.

Feb 10, 2014

I have driven by this place many times and thought someday I need to visit. That day came and I was glad to find a neat place near Clark Lake just south of Jackson. In Good Company is a full service spot with many unique items. They are known for one of the largest selections of Bourbon between Michigan and Kentucky. I had the Bourbon BBQ ribs which were excellent! My wife had the Sticky Pecan Bourbon Chicken which was also very good. Other entrees include Bourbon BBQ Shrimp. They do have non Bourbon items as well like pot roast, Delmonico or flat iron steaks, fish or chicken. I was also impressed with their award winning white chicken chili. The pasta sounded good. They offer grown up mac & cheese, deep blue mac or southwest mac. They also offer other pasta dishes like lasagna. Salads, sandwiches and desserts round out the lunch and dinner portion making this a good place to bring the family. Full bar with lots of Bourbon! They do have breakfast, but I will save that for another visit and another review.

Jan 28, 2014

This place just opened in December of 2013. Kevin and Cindee Tibbs have created a neat atmosphere on a great corner next to the State Theater in downtown Kalamazoo. Tibbs Brewing Company seats 55 and offers 3-5 taps each day along with a chalkboard menu with a few items like nachos, sandwiches and some tasty pretzels from Renzema's Bakery in Parchment. You can try small glasses of the beers before committing to a pint. The day of my visit they offered an IPA, a Citra and a very nice Porter. I am a fan of Porters, so that was my favorite. I also really liked the pretzels. I have been to this space many times in my life as it was various restaurants. They have kept the spirit of the space and made a nice addition to the downtown beer scene. Nice place and nice people. Check out the guide for more details.

Dec 14, 2013

New in 2013. Portage is the 15th location of Grand Traverse Pie Company, however the couple that owns this small Traverse City chain has roots here where the wife grew up and graduated from Portage Northern HS. The company formerly sold only pies in 1996 at the first Traverse City location. Now the café concept offers 40 pies throughout the year along with pot pies, quiche, soups and sandwiches. Not to mention all the other baked goods. They make the best crumb cherry pie I have ever had! The pies are 9" or 6" for a full pie or you can buy by the slice. Nice comfortable dining room. You do order at the counter, but it is worth it for the pie alone. My wife really liked the coconut crème pie. They make most products using Michigan ingredients. Nice addition for great desserts in the Kalamazoo area. Check out the guide for more details.

Nov 25, 2013

New in 2001. However, Timothy's Restaurant at the Gordon Beach Inn is in a building that opened in 1924. Very cool atmosphere in this old fashioned inn. Tim Sizer is a well trained and well traveled chef that has a unique philosophy to cooking which combines contrasting features of color, texture and flavors to make your meal an experience. He was runner up in Best Chef America. I started with the homemade clam chowder which was excellent. They are also known for their fire roasted tomato bisque. They have appetizers like crab cakes, calamari and bang bang shrimp as well. My entrée choice was fish which was a horse radish crusted Michigan whitefish with balsamic glaze and lemon aoli. My wife had the salmon with an Asian sesame sauce. My friend had the walleye with strawberries and a sauce I can't recall. This really is unlike any other fish place I have been. Not that fish is all they do. Also, try the ribs, lamb, duck, steaks, chicken or pasta dishes. All are served uniquely in Tim Sizer style. Other fish offerings include scallops, sea bass or grouper(coconut macadamia nut crusted)! I will try the grouper next time. They have sandwiches, salads and a full bar with a decent wine list. All desserts are made in house. Special 10 entrée's for $10 are offered in the off season so...no reason not to make the trip. The hours are limited off season so be sure to check the guide for more details.