Hip Happening Hazel Park

Pink Flower in foreground with blue flowers behund
Many Seasons Of MIchigan

Hazel Park is known as “The Friendly City” and the community lives up to that name, even as our traditionally blue collar town is transitioning to an up-and-coming hot spot. Mixing Spirits has called Hazel Park home from the beginning, and Terry’s family has roots here all the way back to the 1960’s. The business owners work together, our city council is an open forum for citizens to discuss local happenings, and the shift from the blue collar roots to Hip, Happening Hazel Park is one that’s driven by the wonderful sense of community.

The James Beard Award nominees have recently been announced and Hazel Park’s own James Rigato has gotten another nod for the delicious dishes available at Mabel Gray. Youngblood’s is a phenomenal barbershop, the art from Red Oaks Tattoo Company is beautiful…there’s so much happening in our friendly community just north of Detroit.

With so many new exciting businesses let’s highlight Kozy Lounge today. They have been a Hazel Park staple for nearly 6 decades, and this transition is a perfect time to show off their delicious food and draw in some new customers.

Last year Kozy Lounge won Eastern Market’s 5th annual burger competition as a first time entry, and we’re lucky enough to live right around the corner! Kozy won that competition with their delicious Katburger, a delightful combination of juicy burger, swiss cheese, bacon, and just the right amount of heat from jalapeno peppers.

One of the best parts of Kozy Lounge is how they appeal to a wide variety of customers. Terry, Jenn, and I are craft beer and distillery fans, but we understand that not everyone cares for that drink style. Kozy Lounge has local Michigan brews available, but they also carry staples like Miller and Budwiser, and a wide variety of liquor. If the spice of the jalapeno burger doesn’t appeal they have a full menu of bar staples available as well. 

This year’s competition for Michigan’s Best Burger is already underway with Kozy Lounge listed as a nominee, and I’m looking forward to this years entry into the Eastern Market competition. Detroit is extremely supportive of local businesses, and local business owners work together to ensure we’re all successful…but everyone loves a little competition, right? May the best burger win!

On Wednesday this week we’ll look at some ways to make your St. Patrick’s day celebration a little more authentic, and learn a little more about the history of the holiday. On Friday I’m excited to tell you about our newest equipment addition (a sweet laser!), and the differences in etching techniques.

See you soon!

Stephanie

Weekend in Port Huron

This past weekend was a fun time for us at Mixing Spirits. Every year we do a weekend retreat to plan out the next year, new collections, different glassware types, website improvements, local artisan shows…it’s a great time to get us on the same page while we continue to create your favorite glassware. This year it coincided with my birthday so we went and enjoyed some local food and beer. I highly recommend the places we tried, check them out for yourselves below! 

Harsens Island Brewery was our first stop of the night. They had a variety of beer styles including a delicious cherry wheat, a key lime helles bock, a delicious stout, IPA options, and a CIT wheat that is used to create delicious beer shandys.

They also have a full food menu and everything we ate was delicious. Their Kickin Chicken met Jenn’s expectations as a heat expert. I had the barbeque chicken flatbread and it was amazing. I’m planning to take the leftovers for lunch this week. Terry had the shrimp po-boy and enjoyed every bite. They even have dessert and found me a little flair for my birthday! We will definitely be back to Harsens Island Brewery, it was a great time.

We stopped at Black & Blue Brewery a little later on Friday night and they did not disappoint either. They’ve been open inside of Wings Etc… since February 2019 and have 4 or 5 different options on tap for their own beer. They also have fully stocked liquor options and other Michigan beers on tap, including Griffin Claw.

We had a few late night snacks as well. The garlic cheese curds were amazing, and Jenn loved the jalapeno poppers. 

All in all I definitely recommend a night out in Port Huron, but it does get a little chilly outside by the water in winter. There were no Lyft or Uber drivers once we were ready to leave Harsens Island so we waited for an actual cab driver. Living around Detroit we forgot how spoiled we are with local transportation. I’m thinking the transportation situation may be more reliable in the summer when the tourists have descended in the area.

On our way out of town this morning we stopped at the Raven Cafe. It was full of everything we expected, there were books from floor to ceiling, they have several menus, including one for beverages, one for spirits, and one for food. Because our all knowing child HR rep is named after Edgar Allan Poe we are recommended this cafe several times every year. It’s highly ranked on Trip Advisor, Yelp, Google maps, and many other blogs and it’s easy to see why.

Jenn ordered a chai latte, I ordered the kicker (espresso & dark roast coffee), and Terry ordered a nitro cold brew. They were all incredibly delicious. For food we ordered a bagel sandwich, the breakfast pita pizza, and the veggie pesto bruchetta. We all loved our respective meals, and ordered a chocolate muffin to go which was devoured by our HR rep when he got home from Grandpa’s house.

At the end of the weekend we’ve had some great times, enjoyed amazing food, drank delicious drinks (both alcoholic and non alcoholic), and came through with a plan forward for this year to keep making your favorite glassware. We have some great things planned for this year and we’re excited to share them!

On that note, our next drink video releases on Friday with a nerdy valentine’s theme. Sign up for our newsletter to get a sneak peek and a special coupon code. 

See you soon!

Stephanie

LFG Royal Oak

LFG Royal Oak opened in June 2019 and is the ideal location to hang out for gaming with your friends while being social. I had a chance to hang out with Nick for a few minutes and ask him a few questions about LFG and gaming in general.

Why did you open LFG?

I’ve seen the idea a couple places before, growing up this would have been an ideal place to spend time. Kids between the ages of 16-21 have very few options for going out, unless they want to hang out at their friends houses or in each other’s dorm rooms. I wanted to create a place that was available for that age to be social and hang out. Things fell into place to make the location a reality so I went for it.

Who works at LFG?

Jenn & Jay run the front end for me. When working I’m usually in the kitchen.

How does LFG work?

We have a few different options, walk-in play time is available when there isn’t a tournament. Game play costs $8 an hour to rent the system for walk-in players. We also have a monthly subscription option that includes unlimited play for $20 a month.

There are two tournaments every week, people are also welcome to participate in those. You can find tournament information on our website.

In addition to walk-in play time and tournaments we offer party options. We host birthday parties, bachelor and bachelorette parties, and corporate parties. Stop in, call or email to schedule your event. We often host private parties on days when we’re closed.

In addition to gaming time we have a full food menu, as well as coffee and smoothies. 

What’s your dream for the future of LFG?

A place where people love to hang out, and where my employees make a liveable wage. I’d love to host more events, more tournaments, and continuing to create a fun atmosphere where my employees love coming to work.

What’s your favorite gaming system?

Depends on the game. The Nintendo Switch is super innovative and versatile with a huge library. It was a really smart move for them to secure a huge variety of games from all kinds of systems.  PS4 is the best console for high intensity graphics, like with Monster Hunter, and it has lots of RPGs available. It seems to be the default system for fighting games.

I spend most of my time playing on the PC. The PC platform has more indie games, amazing graphics, and better control. Also it allows for doing other things at the same time like using Discord, Twitch or Youtube.

Xbox is mostly big for sports games, racing games and shooters, I don’t spend a lot of time on that console.

What’s your favorite game?

That’s impossible, give me a genre! MMORPG is Final Fantasy 14, JRPG is Final Fantasy 7, my favorite shooter is Halo Reach, Western RPG Dark Souls… Interestingly, Dark Souls is made by a Japanese company. There’s a lot of beautiful games out there. I play Monster Hunter a lot, and Smash. Breath of the Wild is a fantastic game. I play a lot of indie games as well.

 

What’s the most popular game at LFG?

Super smash brothers, it’s an easy, casual game & the Nintendo Switch is the most popular console. They have the most easy party games with no need to save or make a profile. It results in a situation where gamers and non-gamers alike can enjoy time together.

PS4 and Xbox require an account which makes it more difficult to play together. Split screen is hard now because they make these beautiful graphics that require more processing power. Split screen play requires rendering the game twice which makes it more difficult to maintain the graphics.

LFG is located at 617 S Washington in Royal Oak and is innovating the social gaming world in the area. If you’re a gamer they’re a fun location for your next birthday party or to have a team building party with your coworkers. The owner and staff are super knowledgeable about games and the food is delicious. They don’t offer alcohol as part of their normal menu, which allows them to hit their target age of 16-21, but it’s a great place to hang out with your friends no matter what your age. Next time you’re in the area make sure to check out LFG Royal Oak, and keep up with their events on Facebook, their websiteTwitch, and Twitter.

Nana – Chicago

This week was spent preparing for Friday’s giveaway, so there wasn’t much chance to prepare a “local feature” for today. No worries though, I have a feature in my back pocket from Chicago.

On Sunday morning our plans had fallen through and we were driving towards Marz to pick up some beer on our way home. Unfortunately they don’t open until noon, because not everyone drinks like a Wisconsin native in our country, so we had a couple hours to kill. I hopped on Google maps to find “breakfast near Marz Brewing”. One of the diners suggested was Nana’s. The pictures didn’t do it justice and we decided to go because “eh, it looked alright enough for some eggs”.

As we parked down the street on the cloudy, gross, rainy morning the weather did not improve my first impression. It’s obvious the building has been there a while, and the awning looked kind of tired in the mid-morning weather. When we walked in it was obvious we were severely underdressed in my moccasin slippers and Terry’s pink graphic t-shirt.

The waiter was phenomenally kind and knowledgeable, recommending some crowd favorites. That was about the time that we realized it wasn’t a typical American diner, but had a traditional Mexican spin. We ordered the avocado fries as an appetizer, and I fell in love. They were the perfect amount of crispy and melty, with a gorgeous chipotle-lime aioli. It was the perfect beginning to the best brunch I’ve ever had in my life. (Image from Nana’s Google page. My photo did no justice to the beautiful dish.)

For the main course I ordered the Nanadict (image on the left) and Terry ordered the huevos rancheros (image on the right). Both of these dishes were better than anything I’d eaten in ages.

Edgar is the most picky of the three of us, being six he gets a little leeway with food. He opted for the egg in the nest and was very cautious about trying it. Once he took the first bite the rest was gone so fast there is no picture of his meal. He loved it so much we’ve been working to recreate the dish at home. So far Edgar’s assessment is they’re good but not anything like Nana’s.

If you’re ever in the Bridgeport district of Chicago looking for an amazing meal, I highly recommend Nana’s. Next time we’re in the area we’re definitely planning to head their way, dressed more appropriately and better prepared for the delicious explosion of flavor.