Friday, December 24, 2010

Kalamazoo, zoo, zoo!

Every time we visit Kalamazoo we have to stop by Food Dance. Eric has fond memories of having brunch there the day of our wedding with his best men. I loved the old location in the Haymarket building and remember having dates with my Daddy there. The new space is much bigger and has great private rooms and a little store.

E. got the Mexican scramble with Challah bread toast. The bread is all from Zingerman's bakery in Ann Arbor.

I chose the Sourdough Bread with my eggs and bacon. It was the best.

E. had an extra pancake too.

The decor is fabulous. There is a corn row leading folks to the private rooms. I planned our 20 year reunion this past summer and they did the nicest job. The food is always outstanding.

The space is wonderful, whimsical and welcoming.

The shop is in the front of the restaurant and sells the most wonderful products and gifts.

Fabulous cheeses.

Cakes and sweet treats.

They have the most fabulous selection of French dish towels.

We lucked out because there were samples when we arrived.

I spied some Salty Caramel ice cream in the cooler. It took everything in my will not to buy the lot.

The decor makes this place so special. There are three dimensional vegetables and little fairies flying all over the place. It is delightful.

I would think children would have the most fun looking around and counting all the cute little people.

There were samples of brownies and sugared nuts out as well. If you ever find yourself in Kalamazoo, you must go to Food Dance.

There are beautiful old buildings downtown too.

Michigan Avenue has changed so much but still has that Main Street USA kind of feeling.

We went to seek out if the Kalamazoo Beer Exchange was open. We were there way too early. We found out about them through Twitter. I love that people, no matter where you live, make great suggestions of places to visit via Twitter. It's like a giant Concierge Service.  

We were bummed it wasn't open. Santa would have brought Uncle Charlie a tee shirt.

The Radisson is where we spent our wedding night. We got upgraded to the Presidential Suite on 7-7-07. Pretty incredible considering there were four weddings at the hotel that day. We got married at St. Luke's and had our reception at the Kalamazoo Institute of Art. We remember this city so fondly from our fun wedding weekend and loved seeing the Radisson from afar.

The Water Street Coffee Joint is another location we hit up more than once on every trip.

We've been to the original and the Oakwood location in just one and a half days.

Both locations are always packed with cars and people.

We went to Water Street Coffee Joint with our buddy and maid of honor Mary for a quick breakfast our first day here. The Blueberry muffin was so tasty. E. had a waffle. 

They sell great tee-shirts and wonderful coffee gifts.

You can get breakfast and lunch items here.

I love the way they used the coffee bean bags to cover the planters for the winter.

And their go-cups are awesome!

Bell's is hands down another location that can't be missed. The bar and the General Store.

E. is a coffee and beer snob so he lucked out today.

This brewery has a cult following. Eric and I are card carrying drink-the-Koolaid-crazy members! We served Oberon at our wedding. They sell Bell's in DC but not Maryland. E. has to go to the Whole Foods to get Bell's. We have been known to buy cases and drive it over state lines ourselves. 
Bell's Oberon is a wheat ale fermented with Bell's signature house ale yeast, mixing a spicy hop character with mildly fruity aromas. The addition of wheat malt lends a smooth mouthfeel, making it a classic summer beer.

Sometimes it's hard to make a decision on what to get.

The sparkling ale is one of my favorites. It knocked me on my fanny a few years ago in November. It has 9% alcohol and tasted like a champagne style beer. They didn't have any this year.

For any cult like beer drinkers who want to go crazy and learn how to brew your own beer, this General Store has all that you need to begin that journey. Check out the Kalamazoo Libation Organization of Brewers (KLOB) for more information. My brother's buddy Andy Farrell is one of the brew masters.

The yeast is packaged and they sell glass containers to ferment the beer. It's pretty fabulous for the beer enthusiast on your Christmas list.

We love our trips to the Zoo. I grew up here and love visiting now with Eric. 

Thanks to my new Twitter friends from Kalamazoo, especially @JessePalmer and @ for their great suggestions.I've been sick as a dog so we haven't really gone anywhere but had to hit our faves. Next time we'll try Rustic! E. thanks for always being my partner in crime in our travel adventures. I love you to pieces.


Jesse said...

Great post, and thanks for the mention. I'm glad you had a good time! =)

- @jessepalmer

Tiffany from HOLIDAY said...

Nelle, I hope you are having a wonderful Christmas! Your road trip looks like fun & your baby nephew is so kissable. You and your husband have a safe trip back home! Warmly, xoxo Tiffany

Alex said...

I'm catching up on my google-reading list and just spotted this post. Was that ice cream at Food Dance from Jeni's? I used to always get their ice cream at North Market in Columbus and I miss it. Do you know any local Maryland ice cream companies that produce interesting flavors like Jeni's?