Michigan, Traveling

My Yelp page is more of a blog than my own blog these days

  • 4870 Cass Ave
    Detroit, MI 48201

    I’m glad this establishment has joined the ranks of area dining destinations, but I’m not sure it was worth the nearly two years of anticipation. (Signs advertising the restaurant have been in place since at least the middle of 2014.)

    I’ve visited here for a handful of meals since their opening in late February, and have decided I need to take a break at this point, with the possibility of a revisit in a month or so. Not because their service has been poor to me – though there was one occasion where a long line formed not long after I placed my order – but because the novelty and excitement of a mac and cheese restaurant has worn off faster than I expected. i recognize that I’d previously enjoyed their countertop offerings at Somerset and Great Lakes Crossing, but, those were experiences that only happened around once per month.

    The menu offerings that I have tried have kept up the hearty consistency that I found in their other locations, with the “four cheese” and “pesto mac” being particular personal favorites. The dine-in environment is colorful and welcoming, but could clearly use a little more thought, not only in terms of how and where customers wait, but also how to dispose of trash and if the seating can be mixed up a little.

    It’s fun that they offer some “brewz” in addition to the standard menu, but I’ve noticed that the servers have seemed a bit befuddled regarding how that section operates, so I hope they develop a clearer distinction or simply better integration between the main menu and the libations. And that they are willing to buckle up and make things work for lasting in the neighborhood!

  • 4830 Cass Ave
    Detroit, MI 48201

    Dependable if not fantastic destination serving Mediterranean fare mostly to the campus crowd. I’ve been living and working near here for a while, but paid little attention to the restaurant until last fall, over a year into my stint in the area. I think I would have enjoyed it if I had noticed it sooner.

    The restaurant places particular emphasis on the freshness of their food, for the most part, so I’d advise an eat-in experience over the take-out. As well, the take-out options can be annoyingly overly wrapped, which decreases from their freshness in the case of the fries and leads to spillage with some of the wrap sandwiches. Take the time to get to know the servers if you are coming here regularly, as they are personable and happy to help.

  • 50675 Gratiot Ave
    Chesterfield, MI 48051


    I found this theatre to be disappointing after getting to know other (newer) MJR locations in Troy, Clinton and Sterling Heights. While MJR is always endearing to the community with its great theme song and affordable pricing, this theatre suffers from a tight layout and currently a literally in-between status as it converts to those roomier seating arrangements that are taking over the industry. The location is relatively convenient in that it’s close to I-94 and various shopping attractions, but I’m not sure I’d come again.

  • 2124 Michigan Ave
    Detroit, MI 48216

    I’ve made a couple of visits here in the past year, and can’t shake an impression of it being overly hipster pretentious for its own good. If the space was larger and had a better sense of crowd control, plus built-in wifi for customers, I might think higher of it.

    I have enjoyed some of their food products, including the particularly good egg sandwiches and some other baked goods, but haven’t felt inclined to stay and enjoy or linger since the crowds tend to be large. It is worth noting that the business is an anchor of the Corktown district and certainly offers appealing local flavor if you’re willing to try it.

  • 2200 W Lafayette Blvd
    Detroit, MI 48216


    Recently made a belated first visit here. One of the most tasteful places I’ve discovered in Detroit, with a delightful and extensive array of sliders, all very inexpensively priced. I also tried the New England clam chowder, since I hail from that part of the country, but felt it should have a different name since that dish is NOT meant to have red sauce and more of a potato emphasis.

    The service here was on the slow side – how long can it take to make a small slider? – and one might suggest they should have a better system to get things all sorted out than the array of visible slips on the kitchen window. But that wasn’t a total negative for the visit and I could see myself coming here again if the occasion presented itself. Extra points for the provided parking, too, and not having to do awkward searches on the street.

  • 151 E Wacker Dr
    Chicago, IL 60601


    One of the most full service hotels I’ve ever visited and in a perfect location to take advantage of downtown Chicago. Very generously sized single room, practically double the size of what the “average” might be, and a good range of resources within the hotel to take advantage of, including a fitness center, general store, conference rooms, and several dining options.

    I get that they are trying to maximize the efficiency with an automated check-in system, and it worked fine for me, but they might want to consider having staff members more clearly visible for questions and helping the visitors, perhaps in a clearly marked information desk type area.

    No trouble with the hotel wifi (just enter your name and room number) or any of the additional customer offerings at the hotel. The lobby itself has more of an airport feel since it is so busy, but it is welcoming and does the job well of treating guests to a comfortable base for all that Chicago has to offer!

  • 643 Hastings Ave
    Holland, MI 49423


    Generally I appreciate the modest aesthetic of Microtels and that’s why I chose this place to stay in during a brief visit to Holland this weekend.

    The location is odd: close to route 31, but not much activity going on around the hotel, and the downtown and other regional attractions are a driveable, not walking distance away. The room I was assigned on the second floor offered the typical layout of the chain, with a generously sized bed, but smaller surrounding area in the room. It did have the nice window nook that I have particularly enjoyed at other Microtels.

    As someone who can be sensitive to light in dark places, I didn’t appreciate that the in-room satellite dish seemed to not have an “off” option, so that it created a constant blue light in the room even when lights were off, which was magnified by the in-room mirror. It’s possible I did not find the off switch, but, not everyone watches or needs TV.

    The included breakfast was OK the next morning, with a good range of basic pastries, fruit and yogurt, although the waffle machine was running low on its mix.

  • 4202 SW 40th Blvd
    Gainesville, FL 32608

    No frills and literally on the edge of town next to the highway, but seems to have good character and good value for the price. Staff also seem relatable and not pretentious or looking down at you.

  • 5295 International Dr.
    Orlando, FL 32819

    Possibly the most well stocked Ross I have ever been in! (I have been deprived lately since the company is not present in my current home state of Michigan.)

    I’m sure I fell right into their target consumer mode this morning, stopping by right when they opened (at 8:30am, perfect to keep the day going on a good start) to stock up on a few additional travel supplies and apparel items. If I wasn’t on a tight schedule, I probably would have stayed to browse longer and see what additional deals I could find.

  • 8001 International Drive
    Orlando, FL 32819


    Stayed here last night and felt that the place was serviceable but didn’t really know what it wanted to be. It presents a “resort” atmosphere but it is right on the corner of a very busy stretch of Orlando. My rate, admittedly negotiated through a third party site, was just a room and nothing else such as breakfast included. The grounds are nice if one looks at them a certain way (not facing the sprawl of International Drive) and does not have to walk too far. I found the floors to be quite thin as well, and could hear my upstairs neighbors in building 7 stomping well into the night. The place is not terrible, but it’s not as appealing as the name branding and other advertising led me to believe it might be. And I couldn’t believe they wanted me to pay extra for wifi – get with the times!


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