One Well Brewing, Kalamazoo

I’m normally not a fan of restaurants in strip malls. It’s not quite a phobia, just a preference. But the owners of One Well Brewing made their location work. Look, it has a well next to the door! And the outdoor seating looks like a place I could hang out during the summer months. But November wasn’t a summer month, and the area was full anyways, so inside I went.

One Well Brewing

One Well Brewing

As I walked inside, I was greeted with a blast of noise that had the introverted side of my personality (which is typically dominant) wanting to run for cover. At first glance, the main room looked full, but past the crowded bar, there was plenty of seating at one of the long tables a bit further back. But this was 5:15 on a Saturday, so your mileage may vary. At any rate, I had the whole table to myself, so it was either not as busy as I thought, or I had an unpleasant odor wafting about me that I was unaware of.

I ordered at the bar, because that’s where you order. The woman behind the counter was among the most upbeat, perky people I have ever interacted with, a day and night difference from the morose McDonald’s employee that “served” me in St. Joe earlier in the day. I was given a number on a stick to notify the food bringer of my location, and his mission, I was happy to report, was a successful one just a short time later.

The pulled pork sandwich was excellent, tender and tasty, and, if I may throw a third ‘T’, tangy, referring to the BBQ sauce. I made the error of thinking the coleslaw was a side, a mistake. It was, in fact, a sandwich topping. But the sandwich was solid without it. I had no doubt I made the right choice with my dinner selection -it was a definite winner. The smattering of chips were crispy and dusted with a spice of unknown origin. Forced to guess, I would say paprika.

Pulled pork!

Pulled pork!

Your entertainment choice are legion. A plethora of board and card games await anxiously to be chosen. If pinball is your thing, they’ve got you covered there, too. Or perhaps darts are you thing. Feel free to throw pointy things at the wall until your heart’s content. Remember, though – throw them at the wall, not fellow patrons.

Now that's entertainment

Now that’s entertainment

As for me, I’m more of a reader, so I enjoyed my dinner with a  pair of beers in a not-so-quiet corner, reading “Ready Player One” on my Kindle until it was time to return to Lansing. I had an excellent time at One Well Brewing. Good food, good beer, good times. I didn’t see Elvis in Kalamazoo, but finding good beer is even better.

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The Lighthouse Café, Elberta, MI

It was a dark and stormy day in Elberta… Well, it was a slightly gray and windy day. We were heading north after visiting Inspiration Point north of Arcadia where we watched Japanese tourists taking selfies for 15 minutes. And the view of Lake Michigan. When the selfie sticks weren’t in the way.

We chose The Lighthouse Café as our lunch spot for a couple of reasons. It was the first place we saw heading north on M22. And it was open – very, very important. (Muy muy importante, as they say in California.) Be honest – those are two big factors in choosing a restaurant for you, too.

A little taste of Elberta, MI

A little taste of Elberta, MI

We knew it was good because we had to wait for a table. It didn’t look like much from the outside, but with a building full of locals, we figured it was decent. Yes, it was about the only thing open on a fall weekend in town, but Frankfort was just across Betsie Lake, so there were plenty of places to choose from. And yet, the crowds approved of The Lighthouse Café (hence fore know as TLC).

TLC was mainly a breakfast spot, but we zeroed in on the lunch page, it being after noon. I’m not one of these borderline sociopaths that eat breakfast foods after noon, after all. The turkey Rueben was calling, and it was a good thing. Though the coleslaw made the sandwich a bit soggy because, it was quite tasty. That’s really all I can say about it – it was basically a turkey sandwich, but trust me, unless you’re one of those breakfast after noon people mentioned above, you’ll enjoy it, too. If you are a breakfast after noon person, seek professional help.

The Lighthouse Cafe

The Lighthouse Cafe

Continuing on the theme of things you’ll enjoy are the homemade potato chips. Thick cut and mostly cooked to crispiness, I was of fan of them. You’ll probably want to add your own salt, but that’s a small price to pay. Carpel Tunnel Syndrome from excess shaker usage is quite rare, after all.

TLC is a decent spot to stop for lunch or (probably) breakfast. Most people seemed to be eating the latter, and I won’t judge them too much for that. But absolutely don’t go there for dinner – they’re closed.