One Stop Coney Shop, Grand Rapids

There are basic truths that I think we can all agree on, or that apply in almost all circumstances. What goes up must come down, a body at rest tends to stay at rest, Germans love David Hasslehoff. But to this inarguable group I add this : Meat is made better when wrapped in bacon. Pigs-in-a-blanket, bacon-wrapped filet, bacon-wrapped-bacon – the list goes on.

With this truth in mind, I went to One Stop Coney Shop on Fulton Street in Grand Rapids.

One Stop Coney Shop

One Stop Coney Shop

There were lots of burgers and dogs to choose from, but they had me at bacon in the subtly named “Bacon + Ranch” dog combo. It was a good dog, and the bacon was crispy and crunchy and, well, bacon. Hard to go wrong with bacon – cook it, and stop cooking it before it turns black. And because it was a “Bacon + Ranch” dog, I also got ranch dressing, along with lettuce and tomatoes. The fries were also crispy and tasted good and they had Vernons “on draught”.

http://wunderhund.com/images/Food/Coney1_122711.jpg

And if you are good enough to leave them a tip, you get to sign a piece of cloth that will later be hung on the wall. And the tips go to charity. I’m hoping the charity is “Money for Andrea’s schooling” fund, but I’m not holding my breath.

One Stop Coney Shop

One Stop Coney Shop

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Links from Dine Michigan

Two links from Dine Michigan highlight Lansing-area restaurants.

First is Jalapenos, a staple of my downtown eating diet. They are usually quite busy around the lunch hour – lots of State of Michigan workers are in the area – but they are also fast. My favorites are the ground beef chimichanga and the Macho Nachos (the half-order is enough for me). I haven’t tried the breakfast nachos, but they are my “to do” list.

The second link is to The English Inn in Eaton Rapids. Andrea and I have stayed there several times. The meals are outstanding, as are the rooms and atmosphere. On our of our visits, a piano played softly in the background – perfect ambiance, let me tell you. There is a bar in the basement if you are just looking for a drink, and the grounds are nice to wander.

If you are looking to get educated on your trip to Eaton Rapids, you can also stop by Le Chat Gourmet for cooking classes. We took a class a few years ago, and it was a lot of fun. BYO-wine and snacks and it’s even more fun!

Nachos at Rocky’s, Grand Rapids

I have to admit, Rocky’s wasn’t my first choice. I belong to a program where I get points for eating at certain restaurants, and Teazer’s was on the list of approved restaurants. But lo, Teazer’s kitchen closes at 3 PM on Mondays and Tuesdays, a fact unknown to me at the time. So I made the two block trip to Rocky’s.

Like Teazer’s, Rocky’s is on Ottawa Avenue NW in Grand Rapids. I remembered Rocky’s from my days at marchFIRST in the Brass Works Building. Oh, good times.

Rocky’s had a neighborhood bar feel to it. It was sparsely populated at 6 PM on a Monday. No problem for me, I was there for the food and booze, not social hour. But while there, I learned a lesson. If you are heading to Rocky’s and happen to have a Kindle, be sure not to sit just to the left of the beer taps. That is where the soda shooters are located, and my Kindle kept getting sprayed with little drops of water and other assorted liquids.

Enough chit chat (you’re welcome) – to the food. I was in a nacho kind of mood, which happens often, so nachos I did get. They had several levels of nachos, from simple chips and cheese all the way up to chips and cheese supreme. A complicated system it was not. What the heck, I splurged and got the supreme – that’s how I roll, baby. I had wanted ground beef, but they were all out, the beef being diverted to the chili. How awful. So instead, I went for the chicken. And below the chicken were lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and a few jalapenos.

Sorry about the blurry picture – they was an earthquake.

Rocky's nachos

Rocky's nachos

The chips were both salty and crispy, a great combo. There was a whole lotta stuff on them there nachos, and they were generous with the chicken. El pollo (whoa, I have a bilingual blog now) was a little overdone, but overdone chicken is better than undone chicken, let me tell you. And you will be surprised to learn that I am not going to complain about the portions – I was full when I left.

If you are in the old industrial area of Grand Rapids just north of I 196, Rocky’s is a decent choice if bar food is what you’re looking for. They have several Michigan beers on tap, but I went with a bottle of PBR because I was cheap, and that’s what my grandpa would have drank.

One more note. Does anyone know if Rocky’s is haunted? My bag fell off the chair next to me twice, and I’m usually not that careless, so I’m going to blame it on ghosts. Or maybe they just waxed the seats.

The wonderful deep-fried Oreos of Las Vegas

This is a special Las Vegas edition of Michigan Foodies. I was in Las Vegas for the Rock and Roll half-marathon on December 4th, and took advantage of the many places to eat in “The Meadows”. (That’s was Las Vegas means, people, not “Drunken Bachelor Party”.)

On Fremont Street is Mermaids, a slot machine joint that sometimes has snazzily dressed women passing out New Orleans-style beads . This otherwise average setting on the overwhelmingly flashy street conceals deep-fried goodness within.

Meander to the back to find the snack bar. In addition to finding hot dogs half the price you would see in your average Strip hotel food court, you will also find some beautiful junk food the way junk food should be prepared – dipped in boiling oil. Specifically, deep-fried Oreos.

Mermaids, Las Vegas

Mermaids, Las Vegas

Yes, I know, they sound… unusual. But at 99 cents, it was a cheap risk for me to take. I was hesitant because on our last trip to Mermaids, I had tried the deep-fried Twinkie, and I found it incredibly nasty. Besides the fact that it was molten hot, it tasted horrible, and I threw half of it in the trash.

But, time for something new, and I had heard promising reports regarding the Oreos. So, dollar in hand, I braved the faded glory of Mermaids for a second time.

Deep-fried Oreos

Deep-fried Oreos

Well, they looked good. Chocolate cookies dipped in batter, fried, and topped with powdered sugar. Here we go.

I am happy to report that they were quite tasty. The Oreos were softened up by their boiling oil torture session, and theĀ  batter was like surrounding the Oreos in teeny tiny cakes. And on top of it all was powdered sugar. It was standing room only to eat them, but that was fine – they didn’t take long, and there is a lot to see on Fremont Street.

Break out that buck, people, because there is deep fried cookie awesomeness to be had in Vegas.