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(Food) Stops from Chicago to Detroit

(Food) Stops from Chicago to Detroit
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  • Post #61 - October 16th, 2013, 8:50 pm
    Post #61 - October 16th, 2013, 8:50 pm Post #61 - October 16th, 2013, 8:50 pm
    We did trek to the Dunes this past summer. Stopped in Chesterton for sandwiches/burgers at Octave Grill. Small spot and do note it's open for weekday dinner and weekends they open at noon, so no early birds.

    Going to try to get to the Great Lakes Cafe in Gary. Will report next time...
  • Post #62 - November 4th, 2013, 1:57 am
    Post #62 - November 4th, 2013, 1:57 am Post #62 - November 4th, 2013, 1:57 am
    During my drive across MI last week, I stopped at the Friendly Tavern and Grill, recommended up thread. Charming place that really is friendly. Great burger: I'm guessing 6 oz. of meat, perfectly rare. Cajun seasoning was mild enough to hardly be noticeable, but the Swiss cheese that comes on this "Cajun burger" was surprisingly tasty and the sautéed mushrooms were abundant and flavorful. The French fries are battered and very crisp. Iced tea was brewed and tasty. Not a destination place, but a nice stop -- and attractive, with a pressed-tin ceiling tile floor, and a considerable amount of wood, including booths and a long bar.

    On the trip home, stopped at Zingerman's Creamery, which was fun, if expensive. Discovered that it's in something of a Z-strip, with Zingerman's Baking school next door, Bake Shop next to that, and Coffee Shop on the other side. Got a nice raw milk gruyere and a "dry jack" at the Creamery, and tasted the paw paw gelato -- just because I've heard of paw paws most of my life but had never tasted one. Got a class brochure at the school and a fabulous palmier at the bake shop. With a long drive ahead, coffee seemed wise, so I got a cup. It was good, but priced to make Starbuck's look like a bargain.

    Stopped in Marshall for lunch. What a delightful town. Historic markers all over the place, and a hotel that was built in 1838 and has been in continued use since then. It's on the same street (Eagle) as Schuler's, which was my destination, having seen the sign on many trips but not having stopped. The Schuler's dining room was packed and there was a long wait, so I opted for the tavern. I had the seafood chowder, which was nice. I might have ordered something else, but a woman dining alone is easily overlooked, especially on a busy Sunday afternoon (it was about 2:30pm), and after 15 minutes of trying to catch the waitress's eye, I decided I'd just get the bill and go, if I could get her attention (which took another 10 minutes). So I'd consider returning, but not on a Sunday afternoon.

    I do have one question: has anyone eaten at the Stagecoach Inn (the place that was built in 1838)? They appear to mostly have burgers and such, but if the burgers are good, the history of the place might make it worth a visit next time.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #63 - December 16th, 2013, 4:48 pm
    Post #63 - December 16th, 2013, 4:48 pm Post #63 - December 16th, 2013, 4:48 pm
    Question -- is there more than one "La Perla" market? I see the address above as 1231 Pipestone in Benton Harbor. However, a search on the Internet shows up a Yelp review that puts it at 8080 E. Napier in Benton Harbor. Don't know whether or not I'll make it this week, when I drive to Michigan, but I'd love to know which is correct, just in case -- because the two addresses are in opposite directions from I94.

    Thanks for any insight.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #64 - December 16th, 2013, 5:49 pm
    Post #64 - December 16th, 2013, 5:49 pm Post #64 - December 16th, 2013, 5:49 pm
    Both are correct. There are 2 from the same family. The one on Napier is near Sister Lakes in the orchards and vinyards and serves migrant pickers. It's more rustic. The other one is in town and more of a modern grocery/taqueria. I am more familiar with the Napier store.
  • Post #65 - December 16th, 2013, 6:56 pm
    Post #65 - December 16th, 2013, 6:56 pm Post #65 - December 16th, 2013, 6:56 pm
    Hi- The one on Pipestone is much closer to the highway, and is much larger. The one on Napier I have never been inside it, but from what my sister tells me it is either exclusively or mostly take out. She told me that they both have good food, but that the Pipestone location is much larger. I have only been in the Pipestone location once last year when I was on my way back from Christmas shopping. I decided not to buy anything there, since my sister had a ton of food there. The Pipestone store also has a small grocery store, and has at least 10 tables in the restaurant. It is on Pipestone between the Pipestone and Napier exit off of I-94. It is probably closer to the Napier exit. The Pipestone exit is where the mall is, and there is also a Meijer's, Lowe's and Walmart, as well as some other chains. The Napier location is located at the corner of M-140 and Napier, and is probably four miles from the highway, whereas the Pipestone one is only half a mile from I-94. My sister's Mexican help love the Napier location she said. There is supposed to be a Mexican restaurant in downtown Lawrence ehich my sister highly recommends, but I forget the name of it. Lawrence is at exit 50, and the Pipestone exit is I believe exit 28. Hope this helps, Nancy
  • Post #66 - December 17th, 2013, 12:12 am
    Post #66 - December 17th, 2013, 12:12 am Post #66 - December 17th, 2013, 12:12 am
    Exit 30 is closest to both, I'd say.

    Both are stores first and taquerias second, though both prob make as much or more on the restaurant side - much as can be said of many carnicerias with a taco stand sideline.

    The pipestone branch is much closer to the highway, and the road out to the Napier spot can be a challenge in this weather - often unplowed, hilly and winding. I'd hit the one in town, I agree.
  • Post #67 - December 18th, 2013, 7:42 pm
    Post #67 - December 18th, 2013, 7:42 pm Post #67 - December 18th, 2013, 7:42 pm
    JeffB wrote:Exit 30 is closest to both, I'd say.

    Both are stores first and taquerias second, though both prob make as much or more on the restaurant side - much as can be said of many carnicerias with a taco stand sideline.

    The pipestone branch is much closer to the highway, and the road out to the Napier spot can be a challenge in this weather - often unplowed, hilly and winding. I'd hit the one in town, I agree.


    Thanks for the tip -- because this is precisely the weather I'll be facing. (Leaving Friday.) Heading home to look after mom when she gets out of the hospital, so crashing the car is not really an option!
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #68 - April 17th, 2014, 9:04 pm
    Post #68 - April 17th, 2014, 9:04 pm Post #68 - April 17th, 2014, 9:04 pm
    Recently made the trip to Hastings, MI (not our usual) and decided to make the stop in Gary and properly track down the location of the Great Lakes Cafe. Google would previously put it south of 90 in town, but it now properly shows it north of 90 on the industrial side.

    It's appears to be a cute Greek diner with booths and tables - plenty of parking and service is fast. The surrounding scenery isn't much to look at it, but it is nicely decorated inside (country retro?) I do remember the soup and egg salad sandwich was good, but chopped steak burger was ok. Crispy coated fries. Our first visit, so I'd give it another try and focus on the specials of the day.

    So next time...I'll be choosing between a revisit here vs. dropping into the Indy Cafe in East Chicago. Indy Cafe does have later hours for dinner, so that might work on the return. If we can't wait that long, it'll be time to check out La Perla.
  • Post #69 - April 28th, 2014, 7:42 am
    Post #69 - April 28th, 2014, 7:42 am Post #69 - April 28th, 2014, 7:42 am
    JeffB wrote:Exit 30 is closest to both, I'd say.

    Both are stores first and taquerias second, though both prob make as much or more on the restaurant side - much as can be said of many carnicerias with a taco stand sideline.

    The pipestone branch is much closer to the highway, and the road out to the Napier spot can be a challenge in this weather - often unplowed, hilly and winding. I'd hit the one in town, I agree.



    I talked to one of the owners a few years ago. They expected the taquerias to make about 10% of their revenue. They were at about 30% then and have increased seating capacity twice since then.
    Bruce
    Plenipotentiary
    bruce@bdbbq.com

    Raw meat should NOT have an ingredients list!!
  • Post #70 - April 28th, 2014, 7:52 am
    Post #70 - April 28th, 2014, 7:52 am Post #70 - April 28th, 2014, 7:52 am
    The owner of La Perla opened El Gallo Blanco in Kalamazoo about 2 years ago. This is a restaurant with no groceries. The menu is more extensive but still on par with La Perla. I've stopped a few times since they opened and the food is excellent

    El Gallo Blanco
    2838 Portage Rd
    Kalamazoo, MI
    269-382-7020

    Hours of Business:
    Monday to Saturday: 10:00 am to 10:00 pm
    Sunday: 9:00 am to 9:00 pm
    Bruce
    Plenipotentiary
    bruce@bdbbq.com

    Raw meat should NOT have an ingredients list!!
  • Post #71 - August 14th, 2014, 2:06 pm
    Post #71 - August 14th, 2014, 2:06 pm Post #71 - August 14th, 2014, 2:06 pm
    On my most recent drive across Michigan, I made a stop in Marshall, this time to find out if food at the historic Stagecoach Inn was any good. The front half of the building is a bar, and the food is classic bar fare, but the hamburgers are hand made, the buns are good, the toppings (I had mushrooms and swiss cheese) generous, and the sweet potato fries, excellent and made only after they are ordered.

    I did check a few reviews, and most folks said this place has the best burgers in Marshall -- which, after eating one, was easy to imagine. Served in a basket. Good food made remarkable by the setting -- the oldest continuously operating inn between Detroit and Chicago (built in 1838, became a hostelry in 1845). (And if you haven't been to Marshall at all, it's definitely worth a side trip, as it's a charming, historic town that was once more important than it is now. Buildings are splendidly kept up, so it is vibrant and attractive.

    Stagecoach Inn
    201 West Michigan Ave,
    Marshall, MI 49068
    (269) 781-3571
    (at the corner of Michigan and Eagle -- with Eagle being the location of the better-known Schuler's)
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #72 - August 18th, 2014, 2:15 pm
    Post #72 - August 18th, 2014, 2:15 pm Post #72 - August 18th, 2014, 2:15 pm
    This is not really a destination place, but rather a viable option if you stop at a non-food destination place nearby.

    On my most recent drive across Michigan, I diverted to Michigan City, IN, where I visited the astonishing Barker Mansion. The mansion was built by the man who created the country's largest factory for building railway cars back in the late 1800s. One fun note is that, because the house was less than a block from the plant, central vacuums, electricity, and steam power were all supplied directly to the house from the plant, making it fairly modern for its day. Glorious place, fascinating bit of Midwest history.
    http://www.michigancity.com/BarkerMansi ... nsion.html

    When I was through with the tour, I asked the docent if the nearby Top Dog was any good. She replied that it was excellent and very popular. The popular part was proven by the fact that it was packed even at 1:30 on a Wednesday. It's a modest hotdog stand enthusiastically operated, with Chicago-style hotdogs, hand formed hamburgers, Polish sausage, and similar fare. I wanted to get on the road again, so I kept it simple -- burger and ice tea. Really good burger -- good meat, nicely cooked. As I said before, you wouldn't pull off the highway to eat here, but if you're visiting the Barker Mansion (which is worth a visit, if you like local history or fabulous Victorian decorating), it's nice to be able to walk half a block to a reliable place before heading back to I94.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #73 - August 23rd, 2018, 12:27 am
    Post #73 - August 23rd, 2018, 12:27 am Post #73 - August 23rd, 2018, 12:27 am
    Made a trip to South Haven this past weekend (might have missed some trips since 2014), so these are our current faves:

    On the way out:
    - Dat Donuts on the way south through Chicago - short detour off Skyway
    - Panini Panini in Michigan City - popular as ever, going strong - don't skip dessert

    On the way back:
    - La Perla (finally!) - great sope, lengua and steak tacos edge out the pollo and pastor. Get an aquas frescas - we went with lime! Curious but didn't try, their quesadillas which are deep fried.
    - Rather than tracking down an alternate Schoop's than our usual in Michigan City, we headed to Miner-Dunn which is our new unique favorite for burgers. (go deluxe for fries and sherbet). We got a coconut pie slice as a $1.50 add on to the deluxe. Had a great cheeseburger supreme (your choice of bread, we went with sourdough and the effect was like a great patty melt). Also had a good pork tenderloin sandwich off the specials menu.
  • Post #74 - September 2nd, 2018, 1:49 am
    Post #74 - September 2nd, 2018, 1:49 am Post #74 - September 2nd, 2018, 1:49 am
    Cynthia wrote: This is not really a destination place, but rather a viable option if you stop at a non-food destination place nearby.
    On my most recent drive across Michigan, I diverted to Michigan City, IN, where I visited the astonishing Barker Mansion. The mansion was built by the man who created the country's largest factory for building railway cars back in the late 1800s. One fun note is that, because the house was less than a block from the plant, central vacuums, electricity, and steam power were all supplied directly to the house from the plant, making it fairly modern for its day. Glorious place; fascinating bit of Midwest history.
    When I was through with the tour, I asked the docent if the nearby Top Dog was any good. She replied that it was excellent and very popular. The popular part was proven by the fact that it was packed even at 1:30 on a Wednesday. It's a modest hotdog stand enthusiastically operated, with Chicago-style hotdogs, hand formed hamburgers, Polish sausage, and similar fare. I wanted to get on the road again, so I kept it simple -- burger and ice tea. Really good burger -- good meat, nicely cooked. As I said before, you wouldn't pull off the highway to eat here, but if you're visiting the Barker Mansion (which is worth a visit, if you like local history or fabulous Victorian decorating), it's nice to be able to walk half a block to a reliable place before heading back to I-94.
    Wait a minute.
    I'm pulling this reply out of the filing cabinet because I could have gone here, but I did not know about it.
    There is a catch, of course. This venue is lunch only if you're in Chicago [10:30 am - 4:00 pm]. But you can get here from Chicago, and you do not have to drive.
    You can catch a South Shore Line electric interurban railroad train (the last remnant electric interurban in the U.S.A. and all of North America) from downtown Chicago to 11th St. in Michigan City, IN. The round-trip fare will be $20.50. That's the cost of two cocktails at some fancy-schmancy patio lounge in Chicago.
    The stop in Michigan City is 11th Ave. From that stop (in the street), you walk (there is no public transportation in Michigan City) two blocks west (to Washington St.). Then go north on Washington, and you will espy Top Dog (@ 701). Go ahead; eat there.
    Then, you can go on to where was my destination, past the Barker Mansion, when I rode this train {because I did not know about Top Dog :x}: the Shoreline Brwy. @ 208 Wabash St., further up the street. The craft beers @ Shoreline are pretty good. I appreciate it has not been slapped with a 'cease-&-desist' order for the appearance of its logo.
    So, go ahead. Spend a weekend afternoon in Michigan City, IN. Eat hot dogs, browse a mansion, drink craft beer, ride electric trains (without having to go to Japan or Germany).
    Learn what Bing prefers you not know: http://208.84.112.25/~pudgym29/bookmark4.html
  • Post #75 - September 26th, 2018, 12:03 pm
    Post #75 - September 26th, 2018, 12:03 pm Post #75 - September 26th, 2018, 12:03 pm
    My girlfriend and I having been living in the Detroit area since June working on a rental property we bought and yesterday was the day of our return. I was excited to stop in Ann Arbor and finally try Krazy Jim's Blimpy Burger with their Seinfeld Soup Nazi style ordering (and great food I hear). We were finally starting to pack up late in the day but the forecast was calling for thunderstorms in the evening so I was trying to hurry which was futile. We had so much stuff left (throw away, store, pack, recycle) plus final cleaning (couldn't clean until everything was out of the way) and she had to work all day so it was hectic. Around 7:00 the rain started and then it exploded within the hour. It was torrential rain. I had packed up a bunch already, but then it was impossible without literally taking a shower. As the minutes went by I could feel that my Blimpy Burger was not going to happen. I was bummed thinking we'd triumphantly leave Detroit and have a victory meal at a legendary place. I finally gave up hope when close to 9:00 a Tornado siren went off. We started laughing at the irony. All the hard work that went into the house would be destroyed by a tornado on the last day. In the meantime it would not stop pouring. Finally at 9:30 the rain let up and we finished packing. We pulled down the driveway to find the street completely flooded. Now I'm trapped? AND with no food? I had a Honda Pilot so I decided to go for it. Had I been driving my Altima, I probably wouldn't have attempted escape. It was quite a long drive through floodwaters and I was nervous. But we got out. I settled for a Culver's late night meal and we got home at 2:30 in the morning. I was tired, but overall it wasn't too bad of a drive for me being sleepy because it was 3:30 in the morning based on where we were coming from.

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