Nov 30, 2015

This place opened recently in South Portage and brings very good Mexican food to this area. La Finca Mexican Restaurant looks fairly ordinary, but the food is very good. We sat down to excellent chips with a very nice salsa. I ordered three different tacos and my wife had the chicken quesadillas. They came out quickly and were excellent. We also really liked the squeeze bottles of red and green hot sauce which were both good. The service was very good and nice. No alcohol. We are looking forward to trying other menu items as well as some of the weekend specials like mole or birra. Many Mexican restaurants have opened recently, but this one is a "don't miss".

Oct 19, 2015

Brite Eyes Brewing Co. in Kalamazoo is a nice place with a great atmosphere and good food and drink. It is also a coffee shop offering breakfast and deli style lunch offered the rest of the day. My wife had a nice salad and I had a stacked hot ham and cheese sandwich which were both very good. I also have had the beers twice which were both flights. I have tried all but the mango IPA. I liked the blonde ale, the pale ale and the regular IPA. The seating area includes stools at the bar and tables. The dining room is two stories with a loft area which is not open to the public, but creates a nice feel. The windows are large and look over the city. When I paid at the counter, I spied a dessert which was a peanut butter crunchy square that was excellent. The menu is limited but offers some nice things. Good food and good craft beer! My kind of place. Check the guide for more details.

Sep 25, 2015

The ethnic variety of restaurants around Kalamazoo has really grown. In nearby Mattawan we now have Nonla Vietnamese Street Food. Located downtown in a building that used to be Kazoopy's. The space is small but does have an outdoor patio in good weather. They also seemed to do a good carryout business. Street food is mostly pho or "noodle soup" and banh mi which means wheat bread and refers to sandwiches. These sandwiches use a bread much like baguettes due to the French influence in Vietnam. They then spread mayonnaise on the bread and add meat, pickles, cucumbers, jalapenos and other veggies. It seems most street food is in one dish. We tried the braised ginger chicken in a clay pot, which is a rice dish all in one bowl. It was very good and featured a marinade including star anise, cloves, cinnamon, pepper, jalapenos and fennel. This was served on jasmine rice with a fried egg on top. They do have a dessert of the day as well as a variety of soft drinks. Great addition to the food scene in this area! Check out the guide for more details.

Jul 6, 2015

I read in one of my beer magazines that a bar in Delton was brewing their own beer. I had been past Tujax Tavern many times and thought it was just a small town bar. I decided to check it out for the beer and found a couple of nice brews and a very good restaurant. My beer was a Mud Lake Stout which was very good. It does look and feel like a local bar, but they have a chef and an expanded kitchen which allows them to prepare some pretty impressive stuff. Their burger is fresh ground to their specifications and never frozen. I had a burger and thought it was very good. They make their own bread, pizza crust, salsa and as many other items as they can. The bread is even sold by the loaf from a bread display which can include cookies, croutons and muffins. Next time I want to try the burger with peanut butter and jalapeno jelly. They have daily specials listed on the in house board. They also have a smoker and make great brisket and corned beef. They are well known for burgers, pizza on their house made crust, brisket and their reubens. They have lots of other sandwiches, wraps, salads and appetizers as well. I do want to go back at night and try some chef specials like pan fried walleye or perch. I would also like to try the whitefish Grenoble or one of the pasta dishes. This place was a nice surprise and I can't believe I am just finding it. Nice place and nice people. Check out the guide for more details.

Jun 10, 2015

New in 2015. This place is the reincarnation of my formerly favorite burger joint in Battle Creek. Mike Dezotell Jr. has brought back the family BC Burger concept under the name Cereal City Burger. The new location is better, but the place is still small with only 15 seats. They make burgers the same way as the old BC Burger using only fresh 80/20 burger and fresh veggies. The parking is limited, but they do a large carryout business. The potatoes do not come from a fryer but instead are grilled with some nice seasoning. They are better than fries! Simple place with great burgers! Check out the guide for more details.

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.