Dec 20, 2011

Small town tavern and eatery

This place has a neat, rustic look which gives Darb's Tavern and Eatery in Mason a very nice atmosphere for good food and a good place to watch sports on their flat screen TVs that line the walls. Known for their burgers and Mexican food, they actually have a large menu including daily specials, lots of sandwiches, pizza and even steaks. My burger was very good and the homemade bowl of chili was good as well. We also tried the cheesy breadsticks that were very good, leading me to want to try the pizza next visit. They make several items in house like hand breaded onion rings. There is a kids menu and some nice looking desserts like the pumpkin crisp on the day we visited. Live music on Saturday nights. Nice selection of microbrews. Their menu is online. Check the guide for more details.

Oct 24, 2011

New Brewery with food!

New in 2011. This place is small but cozy and located on the main four corners of Decatur. The Patchwork Brewing Co. currently makes four beers and will soon be making six. This is one of only two woman owned breweries in Michigan. They are currently open only Thursday through Saturday. The menu has some nice pizzas and sandwiches. They use fresh ingredients locally procured as much as possible. I had the muffaletta sandwich which was very good. My wife had the pizza and would come back again when in the area. The beers consist of one ale, two IPAs and a "breakfast" stout made with oatmeal, maple syrup and coffee. I liked the breakfast stout alot! Check out more details in the guide.

Sep 20, 2011

Fall is nice time to dine near the lakeshore!

This place is very cool! Check out Frankie's Place in Union Pier for fine but not pretentious dining. The fall season shrinks the lake crowd unless the winery visitors form a crowd. Do you like Frank Sinatra music playing while enjoying excellent food? Ever had a grilled cheese and chef prepared tomato soup for an appetizer? Best with a martini and a swagger. This place has lobster cake or ahi tuna appetizers, great soups, nice salads and top shelf entrees. Some nice touches are the "lighter fare" and the "prix fixe" menus. Also, try the aged delmonico steak, the brie & pear pork chops or the New Zealand rack of lamb. Nice desserts and a full bar. Live entertainment on Saturdays. Check out the guide for more details.

Aug 24, 2011

Broasted Chicken rules!

I am a big fan of broasted fried chicken and found a good family owned place in Tecumseh called Country House Restaurant. Opened in 1966 this place is still good. Third generation owner keeps the tradition going strong. He even upped the game by adding alcohol and bringing in a local favorite called Dempsey's Pizza. They have charbroiled steaks and all-u-can eat fish fry's on Friday nights. The chicken dinners can be served family style or by the plate. They also have good sandwiches including burgers. Add Saturday specials like corned beef and cabbage or pot roast and a Sunday special of prime rib and you have some very good eating at a comfortable family owned local spot. Pies and cobblers for dessert round out this nice family restaurant. Check out the guide for more details.

Aug 5, 2011

Great Mexican place!

How about a great Mexican Restaurant inside a grocery store? I know it has been done before, however La Perla Produce, Inc. located near the Pipestone Mall in Benton Harbor has taken it to a new level. Be prepared to wait in line at this very popular place. The restaurant may take up more square feet than the market. You order at the counter and they bring your food. No alcohol, yet plenty of choices of soft drinks like horchata. I had the Bistec a la Mexicana and my wife had the tortas. Both were excellent and we can't wait to go back and try more like the burritos, tacos, enchiladas, tamales etc. They do have beef tongue, beef cheek and menudo. Homemade tortillas and the freshest produce make these dishes. Not to mention the good beans and rice. For dessert do not miss the homemade ice cream! Lots of authentic choices and nice seating area.

Jul 22, 2011

BBQ in Harbor Country

This BBQ joint is near Warren Dunes and Sawyer. Right on Red Arrow Hwy it looks like a carryout place from the road. Once inside Smokin' Woodys Char-B-Q is a classic. Indoor seating is comfortable and they have a neat screened porch in back that makes you feel like you are down south. Great rib tips, smoked chicken and smoked sirloin lead the way, but don't miss the racks of ribs or the pulled pork sandwiches. They also have red hots, hot links and brats. The burger looked very good as well. Nice salads with their smoked meats on top as well as sides like corn on the cob, cole slaw and baked beans. You do not know what potato you will get so just go with it. No alcohol. Fun place for the family with lots of great BBQ. Check out the guide for more details.

Jul 12, 2011

Press release: Search Engine Success - Terry's guide to dining & entertainment in Southwest & South-central MI dominates key Google searches

Terry's guide to fine dining and entertainment in South-central and Southwest Michigan dominates key Google categories by leveraging its blog and database of over 400 personally recommended eating and drinking establishments.

Founder and "foodie" Terry St. Louis launched because he was frustrated with database driven, self-serve dining guides that list fast food places, online directories that allow restaurant owners to post their own information, and other Internet guides that are not kept up to date and list establishments that are no longer in business or have changed ownership.

Terry's guide is a labor of love. Terry regularly blogs and adds new personally reviewed and recommended dining and entertainment venues. See if you are interested in finding a good place to go. Terry's guide features "only the good places."

Summer is here. Southwest and South-central Michigan have plenty of great summer vacation destinations. Terry's Guides invites anyone who is interested in finding "only the good places" to visit and look through the database. You will not be disappointed.

Delivering unique and valuable original information through blogs and other social media is a time tested search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. Terry's commitment to regularly updating his guide with personally selected new "hidden treasures" and old neighborhood family favorites is directly responsible for his website and blog's search engine success(SES).

Following are few examples of Terry's guide's fist page search engine success in key Google categories.

"only the good places": #1, #2, #3 and #4 out of 73,500 Google results worldwide.

Michigan Restaurant Guide: #1 of 15,100,000 Google results.

South-central Michigan Restaurants: #1, #2, #3, #4 and #7 of 6,550,000 results.

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Terry St. Louis has leveraged Team Hypernet's search engine optimization methodology to attain his search engine success. Team Hypernet defines SES as having one's website found on the 1st page when using relavent Google search terms. [more]

Jun 1, 2011

Can you get fresher Mexican Food?

This place is first a fresh fruit market with their own farm where you can pick your own stuff. Arellano's Fresh Fruit Market & Mexican Restaurant just on the south edge of Covert is a special place. They have all your favorite Mexican dishes and some harder to find things like Mole. Their Chile Rellenos are fantastic! I also tried a Chorizo taco and a Lomo?? Both were very good. Yes they have Menudo on the weekends. They even have Red Fish and Tilapia. I had their Horchata to drink which was very good. If you want to be brave try the Lengua(tongue), the Tripas(tripe) or the Cabeza(head). Very good Guacamole and a family recipe Char Broiled Chicken. You will have to ask what Lomo is because I forgot to ask when I was there. Do yourself a favor and stop here for an excellent, fresh meal. Be sure to do a little market shopping while visiting. Check the guide for more details.

May 22, 2011

Yes to Family Style!

I have avoided this place because I made a bad assumption that it was just another bad diner. After all it is a converted Big Boy. I was wrong. I tried the Oasis Family Restaurant in Three Rivers due to comments on the internet that said it was a good place. When you first walk in you notice how nicely decorated it is with well dressed employees. Very professional and comfortable atmosphere. Our service was excellent and we were very impressed with the large menu. We tried lemon chicken and barbeque chicken with sides of sweet potatos that were fresh cut. The salads were very good and so was the rice pudding that came with the meal! Very impressed and looking forward to going back for more. Our next visit I tried the pasta which was very good and I paid the $2 upcharge to get one of their amazing cakes for dessert. This is the place to go for desserts! Lots of choices and great quality. This place has an excellent build your own burger menu along with many other sandwiches and is known for having excellent breakfast offerings. I was surprised and pleased with such a nice family style dining place that reminds me of some favorites in the Detroit area.

May 16, 2011

New place in Mattawan

This place is a sister restaurant to the Portage location. The East Egg in Mattawan is very nice with good food and all items priced under $7. The benedicts are excellent including one not offered in Portage served with prime rib. Homemade corned beef hash is topnotch. Best coffee around since they serve Waterstreet coffee. Nice atmosphere and service. Bacon is thick and high quality along with bakery quality breads for toast. Good sausage which is ground fresh daily as is their hamburger. Burgers are good for lunch as well as the wraps. These people know how to run a restaurant and give good value with quality products. Check out the guide for more details.

May 2, 2011

Great Pizza in Battle Creek

This place in Battle Creek has been a landmark for 50 years. Great thin crust pizza and pop are all you will find at Volcano Pizza, however that is enough. The toppings including the cheese are traditional but excellent quality. The crust really stood out to me because it was light and crispy. They serve their round pizza cut into long strips. The inside seating is comfortable and clean although a little plain. Great pride in product has carried this place for all these years making it one of the oldest in Battle Creek. Check out the guide for more details.

Mar 26, 2011

Do you like Cheese?

New in Texas Corners, The Cheese Lady has over 65 cut to order cheeses from around the world. I know this is not a restaurant, however my daughter is the cheese lady! All cheeses are available for tasting. For example you could taste all eight bleu cheeses from six countries. The great cheeses of the world are here like Stilton and Brie along with some Michigan and Midwest U.S. cheeses. These tasty morsels are artisanal and farmstead products made in small batches the old world way. She has bloomy rind cheeses, washed rind cheeses, flavored cheeses, goats milk and sheeps milk cheeses and one cheddar that is aged 5 years. She even has limburger! The store is filled with cheese accompaniments such as crackers, olives, spreads, pickles, jams, chutneys, balsamics, olive oils, cured meats and more.

Natalie started selling cheeses at the "Fresh on Q" farmers market and opened across the street. Thanks to the incubation efforts from Fair Food Matters and their Can-Do kitchen as well as the farmers markets in Texas Corners, Vicksburg and Lawrence, along with the mentoring help of The original Cheese Lady in Muskegon, they can all lay claim to a graduate who now has opened a retail shop! This is the only "cut to order" cheese shop within 90 miles. Come see The Cheese Lady of Kalamazoo! Or when in Muskegon visit The Cheese Lady in downtown. Check out the guide for more information.

Mar 7, 2011

Dean's Ice Cream re-opens!

Great news! Dean's Ice Cream in Plainwell has reopened after the total loss arson fire last September. This place was opened as a dairy by Al Dean in 1916. This 95 year old landmark makes their own ice cream and offers 36 flavors including blue moon. They are known for the "monster" which is a 44oz. shake and giant banana splits. This place has great ice cream and is located on the river on the edge of a park with a Veteran's Memorial. Nice setting to get your ice cream and roam around or let the kids play. The building is new, but the location and tradition remain the same. Check out the guide for more details.

Feb 15, 2011

Old Fashioned Soda Fountain with food!

In 1922 the Chicago Candy Kitchen(since 1918) was sold and renamed after the new owners, Antonio and Emilia Caruso. Caruso's Candy Kitchen in Dowagiac has changed very little since that time. The italian marble soda fountain is still used as well as the old fashioned booths and tin ceiling. This place is still in the Caruso family now working on the fourth generation! This is one of my favorite candy stores with fantastic toffee. They have all your ice cream favorites and some unique offerings like a "scotch lassie" or a "sauerkraut sundae". Try the Toffee Sundae. However, don't think of this place as just a soda fountain or candy store. They have very good sandwiches, soups and salads. Try their famous olive nut sandwich. I could not believe how good this very unique combo was. Lots of other choices include olive salad, chicken salad, tuna salad, egg salad or ham salad. I am starting to see a trend. Some Specialty's are their rueben, a dry tuna and a shredded ham with salami called "The Caruso". Have lunch while saving room for an ice cream treat and take some great homemade chocolates home and you will have a great treat in downtown Dowagiac! More details in the guide.

Feb 7, 2011

Best kept secret in Kalamazoo

Most people around Kalamazoo are familiar with the 29 year old home delivered meal and catering company called The Ample Pantry. They have long been known for fresh top quality ingredients and tasty good food! However, many people do not know that you can go have lunch at their nice cottage on KL Ave. The menu is not nearly as extensive as their home delivered dinners. They serve mostly soups, sandwiches and some daily lunch type specials. Very nice desserts are available to finish off with. Lots of people talk about their hot chicken salad which is always on the lunch menu. I have tried it and was very impressed! I have also had the soup and sandwich special which was plenty of food and very tasty. They do offer salads or a soup and salad option. My favorite is the hot chicken salad with their broccoli salad as my side dish. The brownie afterward was small, making it perfect for lunch. The dessert prices are very reasonable so take something home if you don't save room. Great atmosphere, good service and top quality tasty food. Check out the guide for more details.

Jan 27, 2011

More beer in Kalamazoo!

New multi-tap place in downtown Kalamazoo, featuring 28 taps with rotating selections from around the world. Called the Kalamazoo Beer Exchange. The beers are shown on their flat screen TV's displayed like stocks on the Dow. This results in "market" prices that give you an ever evolving "happy hour"! Even though they name themselves for beer, this is a good restaurant. Several salad choices including strawberry chicken spinach with apples, candied walnuts, gorgonzola and blush wine vinaigrette. Three soups daily. Two of which don't change. The Wisconsin Beer Cheese and the French Onion. Check the blackboard for the blue-plate special or try their excellent sandwiches for lunch. Grilled salmon, pulled pork sloppy joe or maybe the piedmontese beef burger from Italy. Dinner offers chops, fish, crepes, steak and pasta. Try chef Bill's mac & cheese with three cheeses and truffle oil! Other offerings are the appetizers and snacks like pizza, wings, nachos or a beer steamed hot dog with detroit coney sauce. Neat 2 level place with an open kitchen. Great for food and beer! Check out the guide for more details.