The first is usually Arni’s. Ahhh….Arni’s. It was named after a guy named Arni. Kind of local legend, real nice guy who was really active in supporting the community. I’m pretty sure one of my childhood softball teams was sponsored by Arni’s. They hang the team pictures up on the wall, so everyone gets to see you. Arni’s is a pizza place, although it does have other things on the menu, I challenge you to find anything “healthy”. Poor Arni died when he was 69, and while I am not sure of the cause, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out it was a heart attack. Besides the pizza and the Arni’s Junior salad, (yes, there is a Senior, but no one ever gets it) the best part about Arni’s is the décor. I think they redecorated in the 60s and decided they spent too much money then and vowed would never do it again. It’s a hideous brown and orange, and everything in the restaurant just screams “vintage”. It totally doesn’t matter, their sausage pizza and delicious salad make up for it.
Then there is MCL Cafeteria. Ahhh…MCL. This is where I worked all through high school, college, and in the time frame after I graduated from college and quit the job that I hated without having a new job and lived with my parents. This place fed me and sustained me, for free, also while giving me a paycheck. The food is full of MSG and I think I had fried chicken almost every day for 7 years straight. It smells like grease and old people, because like, 90% of their clientele is over the age of 70. But I love their fried chicken and chicken & noodles and stuffed chicken breast, and the desserts! Oh my, the desserts!! Their chocolate cake and Bavarian chocolate pie and strawberry shortcake! They make their own whipped cream! I could eat a dish of just the whipped cream. And I may or may not have actually done that. And the rolls are to die for. OK, maybe not, but they are really yummy, but only when you get them hot and they aren’t overdone. They are best with butter and dipped in the chicken & noodles sauce. They usually only serve the chicken & noodles on Sundays, and once, on a Saturday morning, my friend Jason, who was a cook, made a serving of them just for me. Because I was hung over, and that is the only thing that cures my hangovers. Yes, he was awesome.
While I am drooling over food, another of my favorite places is Redamaks. Yes, that’s right, Bite Into A Legend Redamaks. This place is so awesome, they are only open 8 months a year! They only take cash, don’t sell coffee (because they don’t want you lingering), and serve the best cheeseburgers ever. In less time than you will sit in a McDonald's drive-thru. Trust me, I’ve tested it. I also highly recommend a basket o’ fries with a side of cheese sauce. Sam first went to Redamaks when she was a couple of months old, and fortunately seems to love it as much as we do. She is always well-behaved there, and even if she wasn’t, the dinner only takes about 3 minutes to get to you, so you can scarf your food down before an all-out tantrum erupts. My friend went there on Sunday and it was full of kids post-prom. Because yes, it is good hang-over food. (I mean, post-prom food…b/c high school kids don’t drink at or after prom. BTW, is prom not the most highly overrated night of your entire high school career?? That’s a subject for whole ‘nother post)
I am not going to pretend that everyone should love Arni’s and MCL and Redamaks. They are just my comfort food. Food that I would miss dearly if I ever had to move far, far way. To another galaxy. But if you are every swinging through Indiana and Michigan, you should give them a try. I would probably be almost dead, and surely much skinnier, if it wasn’t for my faves.