Jan 18, 2017

This place is new in 2016. A very nice micro-brewery is now open in Sister Lakes called Sister Lakes Brewing Company. Roomy, comfortable and decorated with old signs from former area businesses. The Morin family has been coming to Sister Lakes from Illinois since the 1930's when great grandpa bought a cottage there. I tried a flight and had two other seasonal beers as well and liked them all. The Driftskipper winter warmer was outstanding. It was a dark beer with eight spices added (cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, ginger, coriander and orange). I also was impressed with the Brown, Porter and Chocolate Milk Stout. They have a nice menu with several sandwiches and appetizers, however I did not eat on this visit. I will update after my next visit. I also like their slogan "Fostering Community, One Pint At A Time". Nice place, nice people. Check out the guide for more details.

Nov 30, 2016

New in 2016. This place is in the space that formerly was Dogs With Style near the State Theatre on the downtown Kalamazoo mall. The ChauHaus Schnitzel Station offers a German food menu in a small space with a counter and 3 or 4 tables. You order at the counter and pick up your food. The food is on a paper menu with more offered on a chalkboard. The schnitzel comes in both chicken and pork. I tried the pork sandwich with hot German potato salad. Both were excellent. The bun was also notable and I believe they are made locally by Victorian Bakery. The schnitzel is also offered as a plate with 2 sides chosen from german potato salad, sauerkraut, red cabbage or spƤtzle. They have brats and other sausages made for them by Youz Guys Sausages in Portage. I want to try one of those next visit. They have soups, salads and frankfurters as well. Also, they make fresh meatballs daily in house, both meat and vegetarian. I tasted them and they are also very good! Limited hours so check first. Check the guide for more details.

Oct 3, 2016

This place is new in 2015. Well known Chef and James Beard award semi-finalist Matt Millar has opened a place trying to tie his Northern experience with his Southern roots. The Southerner is named after a train that traveled from North to South. His menu features items from both and ingredients from local farms as well as from farms in Tennessee. I had always read about Nashville hot chicken but had never tasted it. I finally tried it here and wow!. Perfectly cooked chicken coated with a great hot sauce which was hot! This piece of chicken was then served on perhaps the best biscuit I have ever had. I took one bite and was hooked. My wife had a pulled pork sandwich she liked a lot. It came with buttered Anson Mills antebellum grits soaked in whey. They were great. Since myself and others she overheard were going on and on about the biscuit she had to try one for dessert. It came with a small jar of honey butter and jam in the same container. She loved it and we both can't wait to return. Known for fried chicken and northern whitefish sandwiches as well, along with breakfast featuring the same biscuit as well as a good looking cinnamon roll. They have breakfast, lunch and dinner in a nice location looking over the river and the boats. A full bar with lots of creative cocktails and nice craft beer selection. You have to try this place! See the guide for more details.

Aug 11, 2016

New in 2016. This place has Cajun and Creole style food like gumbo, jambalaya, crawfish etouffee and red beans and rice. Several others as well. J. Gumbo's in Kalamazoo also offers "bayou" appetizers like crawfish cheese dip and voodoo nachos. Po'Boy sandwiches like the drunken chicken or voodoo chicken. They also have a few interesting desserts. This place has a walk up ordering with a dining area inside and out. Neat artwork on the walls. My wife had the red beans and rice and I had the jambalaya. We want to try the whole menu. You can mix the offerings for a slight upcharge or even get a smaller bowl. Kids menu. No alcohol. Neat place and a nice addition to Kalamazoo. Check out the guide for more details.

Jul 1, 2016

This place has had instant success in Portage. Monelli's Italian Grill & Sports Bar lives up to its name. Nice Italian menu along with burgers, pizza and a large selection of craft beers. Large television screens to watch the game decorate most walls. This is the second location, the first being in Grand Rapids. Lots of appetizers so you can snack through the games. Try the boom boom shrimp or the portabella crostini. Lots of salads like caprese or avocado and strawberry. I had the lasagna which was very good and I especially liked the sauce. My daughter had the vodka sauce and was very impressed. The meatballs are very good and next time I will have spaghetti and meatballs. Look at entrees and you can even get a meatball dinner. They have steak, chicken and fish for dinner including Italian meatloaf and Sicilian marinated steak. They also have paninis wraps and subs. I also want to try their Stromboli soon.

May 2, 2016

Anna's House in Holland opened in 2016. The original of the four locations opened in 2002. This place is large, has a 50's diner feel, great service and above all great food. They have taken breakfast to a new level. Large menu with lots of omelettes, skillets, pancakes etc. They are known for their focus on special diet needs like vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free and chemical free meats. None of that seems to have affected the taste or quality of the food. My wife had the potato pancakes with goat cheese and an applesauce reduction. I had the eggs benedict with large and tasty slices of ham. The cinnamon rolls are great looking and I saw the candied pecan and banana stuffed French toast go by that I will order next time. Fresh squeezed orange juice, other fresh baked items like muffins and some excellent coffee make this place special. They also have house made corned beef hash, turkey bacon and sausage as well as chicken sausage. Don't miss the chicken n' waffles, sweet potato and brussel sprouts hash or the red velvet pancakes. So many choices! Yes, they have lunch. Burgers, paninis, sandwiches and wraps. Also, lots of salads. Decorated with lots of coffee pots and teapots all around along with several large tasteful murals of diner scenes like Mel from Mel's diner t.v. show.

Apr 7, 2016

New in 2015. This place is outside of the small town of Climax in a former grocery store. The building is now half grocery store/meat market and half BBQ joint. Bowman's BBQ and Meat Market is an eclectic blend of operations. The BBQ menu is extensive offering pork, brisket, sausages, chicken, fried bologna and ribs. Ribs, brisket and rotisserie chicken are offered after 5pm. Great sides like baked beans, mac n cheese, potato salad and coleslaw. Don't forget wings, pizza and subs. Dessert can be the amaretto bread pudding which is great or go down to the ice cream area and try several flavors of Ashby's brand. I want to try the Rajun' Cajun' pizza next time or the ribs. I liked the pork sandwich with Carolina gold sauce on it. Oh, they also have a bar featuring 6 taps with a nice craft beer selection! You feel like you are having a indoor picnic. Nice place, nice people and worth the drive. Check out the guide for more details.