Apr 6, 2015

This place just opened bringing a brewery, hard cider and restaurant all together in an old Church building. The Texas Corners Brewing Company is a much anticipated offering from the Schultz family which has apples, cider, donuts and many other farm products in Mattawan. They also have a Bison herd. This new restaurant has a chef from North Carolina and a smoker out back. In addition to the burgers which include bison, they have many items from the smoker. My wife and I both had the smoked half chicken which was deboned, dry rubbed and smoked. The chicken was from Otto's and was tender and full of flavor. It sat on roasted veggies of carrots and asparagus. The side was homemade potato salad which was excellent. I also really liked the atmosphere of high Church ceilings, hardwood floors and lots of light. I have tried their ciders before which are very good, although the night we went the license had not yet arrived. They now have it and are serving 3 ciders and a porter. I look forward to going back for the drinks and another great meal. Sandwiches, ribs, steaks and smoked items all look good. They also have all housemade desserts. Nice place and nice people. Check out the guide for more details.

Mar 9, 2015

Oshtemo is home to a new African restaurant called Jambo African Cuisine. This place is very unique and I have never heard of anything on the menu. However, when I read the detail, many dishes sounded very good. I tried the Samosas which are deep fried pastry dough filled with ground beef, spices, garlic, ginger and lentils. The spicy sauce served with them also helped make the dish. I tried a side dish called Dengu which was chickpeas sautéed with red onion, olive oil, coconut milk, tomatoes and salt. My main dish was called Pilau which was beef cooked with chopped onion and spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper and coriander seed served over brown rice. All were very tasty. Only soft drinks here, but try the juice of the day. My visit they offered pineapple and ginger juice. They have lots of other dishes I will try on future visits. I will try the warm dessert of the day sometime when I order less food. The lady that owns this place is from Tanzania and speaks Swahili. This is order at the counter food, but that allows you to see the food and ask questions. Plenty of comfortable seating. Great addition to the ethnic food scene offered in the Kalamazoo area. Check out the guide for more details.

Feb 8, 2015

This place has been a staple on Paw Paw lake since 1962. The building is even older and used to be a grocery store. The Board of Trade is a traditional restaurant and bar suitable for the whole family. For lunch I had their Rueben made with in house cooked corned beef. My friend had the 8oz. top sirloin  open faced steak sandwich. Both were excellent and we would go back for the same thing. They are also known for their French dip, burgers, stacked ham & cheese and perch sandwiches. Lots of appetizers including jalapeno cheese balls and coconut shrimp. Dinner features several steaks, ribs, fried chicken, prime rib, pork chops and seafood like Alaskan salmon, lake perch and shrimp. Dessert features pies and ice cream. Kids menu and more of a restaurant than bar atmosphere make this a good family place.

Jan 31, 2015

I seem to be visiting new breweries more than anything else lately. I was very happy to not only find another good microbrewery but also a German restaurant. Territorial Brewing Company in Battle Creek has excellent German style beers and a nice German inspired menu. The name is to honor people who used to travel the old Territorial road that stretched across Michigan and passed through Battle Creek. So far I have tried seven of their beers including ones I don't normally pick because you can see through them. I had kolsch, hefeweizen, black lager, pilsner and dopplebock to name a few and all had very good flavor. I normally don't order anything but ales. One of the beers has "Harmonia" in the name honoring the small town near here where Sojourner Truth lived in her days in Battle Creek. I was very impressed and look forward to trying all their beers regardless of style. For food we have tried the soft pretzel, knackwurst with sauerkraut, fries with porkbelly and very good bread pudding. They offer several German wursts, frankfurters, German style pulled pork braised in beer, schnitzel, rainbow trout, burgers and even mac n cheese made with house made spatzle. They also offer salads, surf n turf and wings. Check out their website for the full menu and other details.

Dec 21, 2014

New in 2014. Add one more Micro Brewery to the Kalamazoo craft beer scene. One Well Brewing is well located just off the highway on Portage Road and in the large and diverse Millwood neighborhood. Their name comes from the concept of a well being a common meeting place for a community. I think they can become that with the neat atmosphere of rustic woodwork and a neat wrap around bar. They are very into the local arts community and were hosting a Kalamadoodle event the night we visited. No food yet, but they have free popcorn and cheap peanuts so far. I tried the Bad Adz brown ale named for the company that did a lot of the woodwork. Very nice beer. I also tried the SimcoeRillo IPA made with Simcoe and Amarillo hops. Also, a good example of a craft IPA. I finished with the Xalapa which was a jalapeno infused blonde ale. Fairly mild with nice overall flavor. The owners were working behind the bar. Great atmosphere, good beer and nice people! Check out the guide for more details.

Nov 6, 2014

This place has had a lot of people talking and eagerly waiting. Finally Ziingo Urban Asian has opened in Woodbridge Shopping Center in Portage. Created by the Chinn Chinn people of Mattawan, expectations have been high. The concept is completely different from Chinn Chinn and is strictly carry-out. A large chalkboard gives you options as you go to the counter and pick your rice or noodles, sauce, meat or tofu, topping and finishing ingredients. I had the pad thai noodles, green curry sauce, steak, brussel sprouts, onions, topped with sprouts and finished with sesame seeds. You can add soy or sirachi and other sauces at the end. Sodas and waters are in the cooler then you leave. Excellent food, priced reasonably and ever changing options and combinations. When we want carry-out this will be a favorite! Note: long lines move fast. Check out the guide for more details.

Oct 9, 2014

I don't know if this place will revive downtown Constantine, but it is worth getting off the highway to visit. Constantine Brewing Company, LLC has a neat atmosphere with a bar area and a second room filled with picnic tables and a stage. They keep six beers on tap. I had the Emperor's Victory Stout which was very smooth and good. My wife tried the fruity wine which was ok. I missed the BBQ because we got there too near closing time, however they served me a fantastic cup of their chili they call "Matt's Famous Chili". I talked to the cook who said he had worked on that recipe for 30 years. I do want to go back for more beer and BBQ. They have pulled pork and brisket with daily specials. All food is made from scratch with as many local ingredients as possible. The beer is good, the food is good. Nice friendly place. Check out the guide for more details.