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.


Famous Dave’s, Holt

It was my first visit to Famous Dave’s. I had heard of them – they are famous, after all – and I had first noticed the one in Sandusky, OH adjacent to Cedar Point. But that would require me to leave the park, which was way too much effort. But FD has a Holt, MI location just a few minutes away from where I work in south Lansing, so it was destiny that I go there.

The décor gives the impression of a dumpy bar, with paraphernalia from gas stations and such. I was more interested in the TVs then the hoses and signs hanging from the walls, but if you are into both of those, this is your dream restaurant. But it was a clean dumpy – a Disneyesque dumpy, if you will. I spotted no filth or crumbs that I would associate with a true dive bar. It’s a place you could take your mom to, especially if she liked BBQ and beer.

I ordered the chopped pork sandwich with fries. Both were very good. The pork came topped with a little BBQ sauce, but there were six different sauces to choose from at the table. Hot, sweet, mustardy – take your pick. I like my sauce a little sweeter, but to each their own. The pork was nicely cooked and generously applied between the buns (make your own joke), and I did not leave hungry. It wasn’t pulled pork, remember, it was chopped pork, which meant there were little pieces of pork bursting from the seams. A little harder to eat than pulled pork because the pieces kept escaping from my sandwich, but there was no real crisis – there was no weeping, in case you were wondering.

Famous Dave's pork

Famous Dave’s pork

The fries were quite good. They were wedge fries (none of those fancy French fries here, bub) and were a little crispy outside and soft and potatoey on the inside. Nothing against the pork, but the fries were the best part of the meal. You have lots of sides to choose from if potatoes aren’t your thing, and if they’re not, you probably don’t hang out in bars. I know, I just judged you – tough.

I would certainly eat at Famous Dave’s again. They have a nice selection of BBQ meats and it looked like a good place to hang out and watch a game. Close to work, meat, caffeine – just what I need for my noontime break.