Blackhawk boasts a history as flavorful as its food, starting in 1830 when Colonel Isaac Barnes built a crude cabin that would later develop into a multilevel trading post, then into an event hall, and finally into the current bar and grill. The historic restaurant, which was rebuilt in the 1970s after a devastating fire, continues to draw crowds with heaps of old-fashioned hospitality, as well as a monumental menu of fire-grilled pizzas ($9.95–$13.95), pastas ($6.95–$9.95), burgers ($6.95–$9.95), steaks ($12.95-$17.95), salads ($6.95–$8.95), and more. The Wet Burrito ($8.95) forms the saucy spine of Blackhawk's Latin American menu with mounds of meat smothered in colby jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, and black olives. The pan-fried walleye ($14.95) is a house specialty, pairing perfectly with frosty suds from the bar.
Voted Best Italian Restaurant in 2010 by the readers of the Kalamazoo Gazette, Erbelli's and their elite squad of dough gurus dish out an eclectic array of pizza pies and traditional Italian eats. Famished patrons can customize their own gourmet pizzas with one of eight different crusts, including original hand-tossed, deep-dish, gluten-free, or whole-wheat crust, and a plethora of meat toppings, types of cheese, veggies, and seasonings. Erbelli's in-house specialties include the Disco Q pizza, a homemade Cajun crust covered in blue cheese, spicy wood-grilled smoked chicken, mozzarella, and sharp cheddar, and the Grizzly Bear pizza, jam-packed with six fresh meats including meatballs, genoa salami, and spicy capicola ($15.39+ each). Diners seeking noncircular chow can peruse the menu for Italian favorites such as chicken mushrella calzone—crammed with pizza sauce, fresh mushrooms, and grilled chicken ($7.99+)—and the smoked turkey breast and ham submarine sandwich ($5.99+). Vegetarians or time-traveling brontosauri will relish the assortment of fresh salads and carb-fiending customers will get their noodle fix from the selection of pastas.
Legends Sports Bar & Grille unites a brawny team of hearty pub and diner standards with a full roster of entertainment of both the televised and hands-on varieties. A concentrated breakfast menu, made from squeezing cookbooks until they release their sweetest breakfast juices, revs up belly-engines with a large order of biscuits and sausage gravy with hash browns ($6.50) and Michigan-roasted coffee ($1.50). Later in the day, kick off lunch and dinner with an order of spicy onion scoops with ranch or blue cheese ($4.50) or a cup of house-made soup ($3), perfect for testing the gastronomic waters before introducing gargantuan beef bundles such as the Legends burger—a 10-ounce patty reinforced with cheese, sautéed onions, crispy bacon, and waffle fries ($9.50). Kids can dine on time-tested tot favorites of chicken strips or mac ’n’ cheese ($5 with fries and drink).
Because it's their eponymous dish, it might seem like the Burger 84 would be the natural thing to order. But there's only a very, very select few who can handle it. The monstrous creation piles four 8-ounce Angus beef patties beneath eight toppings of your choice, and is paired with a full pound of french fries. And those who can down it in 84 minutes or less are sufficiently rewarded: their photo is hung in the restaurant's wall of fame and they're sent home with a commemorative T-shirt.
For those who couldn't possibly tackle a meal that huge, there's regular-sized burgers customized with Angus-beef, black-bean, or turkey patties. Topping options include everything from jalapenos to homemade chili, and finished creations can be sandwiched between pretzel, kaiser, or whole-wheat buns. In addition to burgers, there's also hot dogs and cheddar-peppercorn brats.
Every shot at Lake James Golf Club demands careful consideration. The tricky 18-hole course pits players against rolling terrain, water hazards, and strategically placed sand traps. Four tee boxes cater to players of varying abilities, with the back tees elongating play to more than 6,600 yards and the front tees measuring out to about 5,200 yards. Study up before you swing by with their course photos.