Pontiac

243. Jalapeños – April 19, 2017 – Pontiac, MI

20170419_192330 (2)20170419_192753 (2)20170419_195340 (2)Any night is a good night to get Mexican food, right?

At least, that’s my point of view. Mexican food is one of my dearest loves (all of that spicy, cheesy goodness . . . mmmmm). I’m actually slated to go and get some tonight at my fave pre-100-Places-in-the-D Mexican restaurant EVER, El Charro in Fraser (an East-side classic!).

Two weeks ago to the day, I was also out eating Mexican food – but at a new-to-me restaurant, Jalapeños in Pontiac. [NEW PLACE ALERT!!!]

One no-brainer marker of a good Mexican restaurant is, in my opinion, its chips. Free and tasty chips with endless refills are a must. Check mark in Jalapeños’ favor – its chips were awesome during my visit. They were fresh and crispy and salty, and I gorging on them like a starving woman while waiting for my friend whom I was meeting. (It’s not a visit to a Mexican restaurant if you don’t nearly completely fill up on chips before your entrée arrives, right?).

Another distinction of a great Mexican restaurant: generous portion sizes. No daintiness, please; that’s not what I came for. Jalapeños delivered on their portion sizes with my tamale dinner, which contained three good-sized tamales and rice and beans. Add to that the bright, cheerful restaurant interior and the most obvious marker of a solid Mexican restaurant, the overall tastiness, and you’ve got a high score from me for Jalapeños.

806 Baldwin Ave.

Pontiac, MI 48340

238. Fillmore 13 – March 24, 2017 – Pontiac, MI

20170324_165022 (2)20170324_171159 (2)20170324_182615 (2)Hey guys! I’m so glad to be back on the blog with a post here today – finally! The last few weeks were a little cray-cray-ba-nay-nay as I helped to plan and throw a dear friend’s shower and caught up on life stuffs. I like to remind myself that a busy life is a good life but am glad things have calmed down a bit so I can get on here and share with you the awesome places I’ve visited over the last few weeks, such as the recently opened Fillmore 13 Brewery in downtown Pontiac.

So can I say that I’m kind of obsessed with downtown Pontiac right now? It’s really looking awesome! Not only is there a Slow’s To-Go down there and the excellent Exferimentation Brewing Company, there’s this great new brewery called Fillmore 13. I am loving its down-to-earth, industrial-chic vibes, welcoming demeanor, and delicious craft brews and grub.

During my Friday happy hour visit (which is obvi the best time of the week EVER to visit a bar – TGIF-style!), the friendly, attentive bartender let my friend and I try a few of the beers before we made our choices. I settled on a four-sampler paddle of the chocolate stout, apricot Belgian ale, hazelnut porter, and saison pale ale. I loved them all, especially the apricot (a refreshing, perfect-for-warm-weather brew!) and the hazelnut.

Food-wise, I got the BBQ Sidewinder Nachos, which are basically the epitome of drinking eats. They’re these crispy potato wedges cut in this curlicue-type shape and doused in beer-infused nacho cheese, sour cream, green onions, and glorious barbecued pulled pork – YESSSSSS.  That is happiness balm for the stomach and spirit right there.

What I like about Fillmore 13’s food menu is that they’ve got the typical bar fare such as those Sidewinder Nachos and chicken wings and pretzels and cheese plus more sophisticated offerings. Most bars don’t have, say, an artisan cheese platter; a charcuterie tray; a pizza topped with prosciutto, goat cheese, and arugula; or sandwiches named Turkey Brie. But Fillmore 13 does. And I love that. Because I adore a luscious, straight-up dive-bar sandwich, but I also love a pulled pork topped with green-apple coleslaw and nestled on a brioche bun. There’s enough room in the world for all the choices, right?

7 N. Saginaw St.

Pontiac, MI 48342

www.fillmore13brewery.com

213. Exferimentation Brewing Company – December 3, 2016 – Pontiac, MI

exfer3-2exfer2OK, it’s officially-officially winter now here in the D. We got a bucket of snow dumped on us Sunday night – over 9.5 inches in my neck of the woods! Consequently, I was in hibernation mode this weekend as I anticipated and then witnessed the storm. But I still have my trip to Exferimentation Brewing Company from the weekend before last to report on. 🙂

The craft brewery is nestled in downtown Pontiac, which I was pleasantly surprised to discover is in the midst of a revitalization period. I worked in Pontiac for a few years back in the late ’00s, when it was, to put it tactfully, not exactly a destination. But now new businesses such as Exferimentation are cropping up, including a Slow’s Bar BQ outpost (!) and another couple of breweries. It’s exciting to see a long-stagnant area experience growth. Pontiac, you deserve it!

I became kind of obsessed with Exferimentation while I was there. I mean, look at it: the interior set-up is basically that of a coffee shop, but instead of coffee, there is beer! I love the cozy furniture that is scattered around in addition to the long tables incorporating repurposed doors, many with handles still attached, as their top surface. I entertain the idea of visiting solo with a book, kicking back in one of those plush leather chairs, and enjoying a pint of the Spicy Bloody Rosemary served in a beaker (Exferimentation has the science theme going in both its logo and glassware). It was equally as enjoyable to sit there with a group and sip beer and play one of the available games.

By the way, that Spicy Bloody Rosemary beer is great. It has a nice kick to it heat-wise, as the name suggests – as does the Dragon Piss, which has more of a DAMN! kick to it. I also sampled the Pink Tickler hibiscus beer, one of the lighter beers, and that was quite good, as well. What I really need to go back and try is the Tres Winery. It’s a Belgian beer infused with pinot noir, my favorite wine. How about kicking back with a pint of that and an absorbing novel on a snowy winter’s night? Sounds perfect.

7 N Saginaw St.

Pontiac, MI 48342

www.exferimentationbrewing.com

211. Crystal Treasures – December 3, 2016 – Pontiac, MI

crystal1-2crystal2I am a hippie inside my heart. So when a friend asked if I would like to accompany her to Crystal Treasures, a new-age/metaphysical store in Pontiac, I was like, “absolutely!”

My childhood love of rocks and gemstones stirred inside the small storefront incorporated into a building that was obviously once someone’s home in a residential-ish area of Pontiac. SO.MANY.ROCKS! Or crystals, as the new-age terminology describes them. There are rough-hewn crystals, polished crystals, geodes with a banal exterior split open to reveal glittering crystal vibrance inside: crystals in every color and proported to embody every positive trait you could ever want. Next to each variety are tiny pieces of paper enscripted with the benefits of that stone so you can take the description with you upon purchase, which I appreciated. I spent more on crystals here than I would care to admit (They are pretty! And it can’t hurt to believe at least a little bit in their powers, right?).

Crystal Treasures carries an array of other goods with a metaphysically spiritual bent, such as books, candles, jewelry, and incense.

92 W. Walton Blvd.

Pontiac, MI 48340

(Closed on Mondays)

www.crystaltreasuresonline.com

193. El Patrón – October 5, 2016 – Pontiac, MI

20161005_13231420161005_123513Pontiac represented on the blog! And what a representation! I had some of the best enchiladas OF MY LIFE at El Patrón for lunch today. A work friend treated me for my birthday. My birthday is tomorrow!!!! I’m taking the day off work and will be lunching and shopping in Midtown. Yes – DETROIT DAY!

I’m a huge birthday person, if you haven’t already inferred that. Who deep down doesn’t love a day to feel special? I think it’s lovely that we all have a birthday, and dammit, I’m a champion of all-out celebrating them. And partaking in the celebration of mine by gorging myself at a place with the most deliciously fried, caramelized shredded pork and a salsa bar proffering various sauces and pickled vegetables was glorious.

El Patrón is legit-legit, and I’ll definitely be adding it to my Mexican-restaurant rotation. The food is phenomenal, the prices are reasonable, and the no-frills, diner-like atmosphere (you order at a counter; you pick your own table; the food is delivered to you) is fun and friendly. Plus, the pops are served in glass bottles (as these varieties are sold in Mexico) – fun!

1188 Joslyn Ave.

Pontiac, MI 48340