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Driving from MSP to East Lansing, MI

A friend and I are driving on Monday to East Lansing. We are returning the following Saturday. Any food rec's on that route would be greatly appreciated esp. on the Illinois/Michigan side. I love the Norske Nook for pie and another friend told me that the Bell brewery is in Kalamazoo. Another friend told me about a restaurant in Kalamazoo that is called ?Food Dance? that serves local produce. Has anyone been there? I also love old-fashioned butchers that make their own bacon and bulk sausage. Thanks for any ideas.

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  1. Not sure if you will be going through Grand Rapids, but if you are there is a place called San Chez bistro which is downtown. Very good spanish style tapas, and a fun place. Sorry no recs for old fashioned butchers.

    1. Food Dance was great when I worked in Kazoo.

      http://www.fooddancecafe.com

      Bell's is a hop, skip, and jump from there. Ignore the mailing address; it's not in Galesburg but in downtown Kalamazoo. The pub has experimental and new brews not available anywhere else.

      http://www.bellsbeer.com/aboutbells.asp

      If you're heading up 131 from Kalamazoo, Arie's in Plainwell is a regional favorite.

      Don't know about butchers, but look for Koegel's products in Michigan--a small Flint meatpacker that's definitely a cut above average for bratwurst and dogs.

      If you're continuing on I-94, there's always Win Schuler's in Marshall for some classic Midwestern kitsch. Have some Bar-Scheeze for me. Marshall is also renowned for its collection of Victorian homes--the town has sort of snoozed since the late 19th century, and it's very well preserved. There's one bizarre sort of Polynesian-Victorian fusion in shrieking green and yellow.

      http://www.schulersrestaurant.com/

      2 Replies
      1. re: Jim M

        cool. I'm there for the bar-scheeze just so i can find out what the heck it is!

        1. re: tipitina

          It's a cheese spread that manages to be both very spreadable and have a very strong taste of both chesee and garlic. No other bar cheese spread I've tried comes close to being the same.

          You can buy tubs of it as some Michigan grocery stores. I ask my parents to bring some down to me when they come visit because I love it on hot garlic bread.

      2. For a casual burger, Redemak's in New Buffalo MI (just past the Indiana border) is good.

        2 Replies
        1. re: coney with everything

          If you're in New Buffalo on the weekend, try The Crepery. Wonderful savory and sweet crepes. I don't think they're open during the week after Labor Day. Hannah's is good old fashioned American food. If you're tempted to go to the new casino, forget it. IMHO, it's a disappointment on all levels.
          Bob

          1. re: SonyBob

            I disagree with SonyBob about the casino......on all levels.that being said he is right about the creperie and hannah's.

        2. Once you make it to East Lansing, try Merindorf Meats (http://www.merindorfmeats.com/) with stores in Mason and Williamston. It's not exactly "old fashioned" but they do a nice job with local proteins.

          And if there is just one place that you try while you are in the area, you must go to Big T's Deli inside Brower's Hardware (http://www.bigtdeli.com/Default.aspx). The burgers are really spectacular. He grinds his own meat. The buns are baked locally. Absolutely NO ambiance at all but great for a picnic. Of course we always end up shoveling the burgers into our mouths while we're in the car, in the parking lot.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Mensch71

            The burgers sound great. I love the purity of places that have no ambiance but make the absolute best chow.

          2. Check out the following link for places once you get to East Lansing
            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/125146