Diamond Jim’s, Midland

I had a day off from my job in Lansing, and I wanted to relive parts of my first DALMAC. Oh, glorious times those were, riding from East Lansing to Midland. So I skipped the longest part of the ride and went straight to the first hour or so of day two, taking the Pere Marquette trail west. And of course, after a long ride, you need to refuel, and for that, I needed food.

I had no clue of what to eat in downtown Midland, so I turned to Google Maps where I spotted Diamond Jim’s. It sounded like an Old West saloon, so I was game. It didn’t look anything like a saloon, though, which was fine – I had left my six-shooter at home. It best resembled a cross between a nice restaurant and a bar, and that it couldn’t quite decide which to be. But in any case, what it did look like was a decent spot for lunch.

Diamond Jim's

Diamond Jim’s

I am a fan of olive burgers, as regular readers may know. And it was an easy choice to the aforementioned burger. They didn’t shy away from the olives, which is good, because nothing drives me into a greater rage a lock of green olives. The staff provided a few pieces of foliage to customize my olive burger experience. I’m usually an olive burger purist, just going for the olives, but today I went crazy (when in Midland…) and put on the lettuce as well. Wacky, I know.  And the cheese along with the olives? Brilliant. Cheese goes with olives like crazy goes with Miley Cryus.

Olive burger at Diamond Jim's

Olive burger at Diamond Jim’s

Taste-wise, I had no complaints – a solid experience all around. The service was quick and friendly, there was no arsenic (that I know of) added to my meal, and not being poisoned makes me happy. So I was quite happy.

It was a good meal, and one I would have again if I am in the Midland. Highly unlikely, given that I live 1 1/2 hours away, and have a propensity to visit different restaurants. But, I liked the place enough to recommend it for anyone looking for a good meal.

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Gilbert & Blake’s, Okemos

Mother’s Day had come, and that means I cook. And when I say “I cook”, that means we go out. We made the not-long trip to Okemos to visit Gilbert & Blake’s. We don’t go there often, not because of the food, it’s just not in our normal sphere of restaurants. We tend to reserve G&B’s for special occasions, like birthdays and solar eclipses.

It was a tough choice. I intended to order fish, since I consider G&Bs a fish restaurant (that’s just me). I was considering three options, but I decided on the Honey Mustard Rainbow Trout. It narrowly beat out the Jalapeno Salmon, but since by wife ordered that, it was a win-win. The perch was also in the running, but rainbow trout makes me think of “The Rainbow Connection”, and who doesn’t like singing frogs? Follow that logic? Me neither.

When they first brought it out, I wondered who put the hang glider on my plate. It nearly covered the entire plate. Though the fish is fileted, and was fairly thin, it was still a lot of fish. And it is covered in a heavy honey mustard sauce. I didn’t taste much of the fish because the sauce was so overwhelming. But luckily, the sauce was good, with a nice balance of honey and mustard, so I didn’t mind. But if you don’t like mustard, you need to stay away from this meal.

Gilbert and Blake's

Gilbert and Blake’s

Gilbert & Blake’s doesn’t have a huge draft beer selection, but they had a few good offerings. I went with the Sam Adams Summer Ale, because it was close enough to summer. There were a few IPAs to choose from, but I bypassed the hoppy beers for something, well, better. And I poured some beer on the floor for my homey, Damon’s, which this particular G&B’s used to be. Those four big murals at the back of the restaurant? Those were TVs. Consider yourselves informed.

You don’t need to wait until holidays are exciting astronomical events to go to Gilbert & Blake’s. Both Gilbert and Blake are fantastic people, and would love to see you any time of year.