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Katie Davis

@PopCultureCuisine

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Archive for the ‘Michigan’ Category

Thursday, March 15, 2012 @ 08:03 PM

020We have reviewed a fair amount of burger joints in the past 2 years, but something never gets old in trying new ones. Still, it’s often hard to compare burgers to one another; whereas a good burger is simply good…it’s hard for one to go above and beyond into greatness. Now, we do have a standout winner in the great category, one which we will likely continue to stack all the others against. It’s not to say we still won’t come across good burgers, but to win out as the best it has to beat that particular experience.

All that being said…, we will always try another and that is why we happily added this next joint into the lineup; and I was especially excited because at the time I was almost 8 months pregnant and burgers were one of those things that always sounded good to me! Lucky for me, we happened to plan a trip to Detroit towards the end of my pregnancy and figured that would be as good a time as any to stop through Ann Arbor and pay a visit to Krazy Jim’s Blimpy Burger, a very popular burger joint for over 50 years among locals, especially University of Michigan students (You may recognize it from Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-In’s, and Dives” and/or The Travel Channel’s “Man vs. Food”).

 

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVTcAkfuRFw

 

We were glad that we happened to visit during the summer months, because this joint is known to have quite a wait on most days due to its popularity among students. So when we arrived we were happy to be able to walk right in, which I especially appreciated as a hungry pregnant lady. Winking smile Plus, due to all their ordering rules, it helped us newbies not hold up other hungry patrons with our ignorance.

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What makes Blimpy Burger so unique is how many patties people put down at a time. Their patties are quite small so their standard double is only about a 1/4 pound, so many people go in and order quite a few patties. I went with their smallest burger (the double) with cheddar and grilled onions, while Adam ordered the quint, or 5 patties…, still only about a 1/2 a pound. It is clear now how although a crazy amount, I can see how some people order 20 patties at a time (for a competitions sake of course). We also decided on both an order of onion rings and their fries…you know…for the reviews sake! Smile

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Because they were not busy at all, our food was ready by about the time we got to the cash to pay from the on-site ATM and we dug in. Although neither of us were too excited about either the fries or rings, we were both pleasantly surprised with just how juicy and tasty those tiny pattied burgers were. As Jules Winnfield would say, (Samuel L. Jackson’s character in Pulp Fiction) “Mmm-mmmm…that is a tasty burger!

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Neither of us had a problem finishing off our burgers, which is always a good indicator that we enjoyed it; and while I would say we have still yet to surpass the best burger experience we have had, Krazy Jim’s did not disappoint.

SIGNATURE DISH: It’s called ‘Krazy Jim’s Blimpy BURGER!’ While they do have a few other sandwich options on their menu, burgers are the main attraction for sure and with some people ordering as many as 10-15 patties at a time, it’s the smaller patties in large quantities that make them so unique.

TASTE: Not the best burger I’ve ever had, but still very tasty and certainly did the job. Also, while their patties are small, they are still plenty juicy and the cheese gets super melty and yummy. Add some grilled onions into the mix and you have a winner in my book!

AMBIANCE: It has a wonderful old school campus joint feel to it, something I am always nostalgic for; and while I figured this joint was small, television made it look MUCH bigger than reality. We were sort of shocked with just how small this place is and it is hard to imagine how they cram so many students and locals alike in here on a day to day basis. I’m just glad we visited at a down time and weren’t crammed.

PRICE: The burgers range in price from $2.65 to $5.70. Add a couple of more bucks on for french fries or rings and you have a pretty good deal for a meal.

SERVICE: We were expecting a bit of “rush” when it came to service since the television spots we had seen seemed to showcase the fact that you better know what you want when you step to the counter. Luckily we didn’t encounter too much of a hassle since at that moment we were the only ones in line. I appreciated the chef walking us through the process and asking us what we wanted, since it was pretty clear we weren’t from around those parts. Still, make sure you know what you want and how to order. Adam accidently ordered out of order and he was quickly corrected!

Overall, we had a really fun lunch experience with a tasty burger bonus. I can definitely see why U of M students and alumni swear by it. I could for sure go for a double or triple (heck even a quint!) from time to time. So while not a ‘Quint’ on the Piggies…I still award them 3 ½ ‘Little Piggies’

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Friday, November 12, 2010 @ 01:11 PM

131I was gazing at the photos that feature this week’s post and I am shocked that it has already been almost 4 months since we visited this place. I guess that’s a testament to how it settles with you, because it truly does not feel that long ago.  Plus, I looked so tan and happy in my shorts…wow it’s hard to believe I am now contemplating Thanksgiving meals and Christmas decorations. Time just goes way too quickly my friends.

But this week I want to showcase a happening spot that is not necessarily in a “destination city,” but rather a good ol’ Midwestern local that could easily be a stopping point along the way. For the past 5 summers, Adam’s family and I have been spending a week in South Haven, MI, about 2 1/2 hours away, right on Lake Michigan.  It is a beautiful little city, chalked full of quaint old homes, shops, and restaurants; and our next feature spot just happens to be only 45 minutes away.  So as we planned our trip this past summer, we knew we were going to have to take advantage of the proximity and pay Rosie’s Diner in Rockford, MI a visit.

Rosie’s Diner is just that…an old school dining car that was made popular in the 40’s & 50’s. The car itself actually dates back to 1946 when it was located as the Silver Dollar Diner in New Jersey.  Back then it was featured in many “Bounty” commercials, with a well known character, “Rosie the Waitress.”  It remained in Jersey until 1991 when Jerry Berta purchased the dining car and relocated it to Michigan to sit alongside his existing 1947 Jerry O’Mahoney Dining Car, which served as an art gallery. Then, to complete his dining car collection, Jerry purchased the Garden of Eatin’ car from Fulton, New York in 1994.  So yes that is correct…there is not one, but THREE old-time dining cars that sit together on this property; and as of 2006, a new owner, Jonelle Woods and her husband, took over the establishment and have been busy re-introducing this traditional diner feel with a modern flair, which includes an updated menu with some old family recipes that Jonelle had handy. Additionally, they have recently began finishing renovations on the adjacent dining cars, turning one into a rockin’ sports bar and the other that is soon to be an ice-cream parlor.

Sound good so far? Well, Rosie’s happened to catch our eye on an episode of Travel Channel’s Diner’s, Drive-ins, and Dives,” and at first glance we were sure this was going to be a place we were going to like…

Source

What’s not to like…a fun atmosphere, fresh home cooking and diner classics…sign me up!

So we headed on up after we packed up from our week of vacation for one last meal together.  You would think with three dining cars lined up together this place would be hard to miss, but nonetheless, Adam and I were so busy checking out our GPS to make sure we didn’t, that we drove right by it! 🙂  Luckily it was an easy fix and quite a site when we finally did pull into the lot…

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I mean it really does look like you have stepped into the past when you drive up and even more so when you step inside.  So we quickly settled in and perused the menu, because we were all starving!  I knew after watching the clip that I definitely wanted to try some of their special Cobblestone French Toast, but a burger and onion rings sounded great as well.  Luckily my father-in-law also wanted to try that toast, so we got an order for the whole table to try.  (I think he and I ate most of it though)!  Adam wanted to try the Beef and Noodles he had seen prepared on the show…leave it to my hubby to go for the comfort food dish. 😉  My sis-in-law and mother-in-law pretty much stuck to typical diner fair of soup and sandwiches, however my brother-in-law was BOLD and went with something I have seen other places, but never have been daring enough to order myself…the Fat Burger…a double cheese-burger that has 2 full-size grilled cheese sandwiches as the bun…Yup you heard me right!

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I was not kidding about the 2 grilled cheese sandwiches, a.k.a the bun of the fat burger.  But I tried a bite and I must admit it that it was pretty freaking good!  I seriously doubt that I could stomach the whole thing, but the one rich bite was awesome.  My burger was also good…just a good ol’ standard diner burger, cooked perfectly, seasoned well, and a great bun to complement.

Still, what was really amazing was that French toast…OMG!  The chunks of apple were seriously tasty and the whole dish just melded together perfectly…not too sweet with a great punch of cinnamon, and not overly greasy.  As I said, the father-in-law and I had no problem polishing it off.  Adam seemed to enjoy his beef & noodles, but I don’t think it was the best thing he has ever eaten. He mentioned he would have liked more of the gravy, which was very tasty.

As a whole, everyone seemed pretty impressed with their food; and what was even better is they are known for their pies, so pie was definitely on the to-go list to enjoy later (which was also very yummy).  And for you families out there, this joint even has a miniature golf course out back…how fun is that?

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SIGNATURE DISH: Although they are really just known for their diner fare, they do have a few dishes that they seem to specialize in.  Their Cobblestone French Toast is definitely a one-of-a- kind special, as well as they have every kind of pie under the sun, homemade no less.  Also, the beef & noodles is a family recipe. As for their other dishes, they are fairly typical of most diners, but definitely have that homemade touch.

TASTE: Overall I think we were all pretty impressed with each dish we had.  Some of the things were definitely much better than others (a.k.a. the French toast), but everything I tried was definitely tasty and worth the visit.

AMBIANCE: If you are looking for a diner with that old timey “diner feel,” this is the one to visit.  These diners look and feel like they must have 60 years ago, but modernized enough to feel comfortable… and well… let’s admit it, sanitary.  We didn’t get to experience the other 2 dining cars, but the concept seems pretty cool. Overall, I just love how it felt to step into a place that literally felt like a step back in time.

PRICE: Good ol’ Papa Bear (Adam’s dad) picked up the bill, so I don’t exactly know how much the meal was.  But from the looks of the menu, their items seem pretty standard and reasonably priced.  Also, they give you really good portion sizes, so I would say it is well worth it.

SERVICE: Our waitress was very cute, fun, and friendly.  See did a great job with our large order and remembered each and every thing that we asked for.  In fact, the whole wait staff seemed very happy to be there and genuinely had great attitudes as if they were having a lot of fun!

We truly enjoyed our visit to Rosie’s Diner and I would definitely go back. Very deserving of 4 ‘Little Piggies.’

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