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Editor's column

Joe From The Block

October 05, 2011 - People who know me know I have not missed too many meals over the years. I like to think of myself as a stocky guy, but I could stand to lose 20 pounds.

So, rather than eat today, I am going to write about my favorite food stops old and new in our town:

Breadsticks and garlic butter from Christi's. I actually discovered them back in high school when I worked as a busboy at the venerable Orion House. Piping hot out of the oven with just the right amount of seasoning; a mainstay with every meal there.

Deep-dish pizza from Oak Barrel Party Store. The corner party store on M-24 just south of Scripps Road opened in the mid-1990s and makes the best deep-dish pizza around. Its two-slices-and-a medium-pop deal for $4 cannot be beat. Their chicken pizza with mozzarella cheese is one of my favorites.

Greek salads from Leo's Coney Island. I first discovered Greek salads at Leos while working in Southfield in the early 1990s. My wife and kids love Leos Greek salads, too. I agree with her that they have the best dressing in town. We cannot wait until the Lake Orion location reopens in the village.

Pretzel bun hamburgers at The Clansman. We stumbled upon these a few years ago and now order them whenever we visit the pub behind Canterbury Village. Not only are the buns unique and tasty, but the burger is cooked to perfection.

Black-and-bleu burgers from Kroger's on M-24. If you want to mix it up when grilling burgers, there is nothing better around here. They are seasoned just right to provide a little zing, with bleu cheese mixed into the burger itself. No condiments needed.

Mini Blizzards at Dairy Queen. Just the right size at just the right price to quench one's ice cream cravings anytime of the year. There are too many varieties to choose from. Chicken dumpling soup at the Hamlin Pub. There is nothing better on a cold winter night than this hearty, thick soup with just the right amount of meat and dumplings. A friend of ours buys gallons of the stuff and pawns it off as her own recipe at family gatherings.

Breakfast at either C.J.'s or the Baldwin Café. I've lived on both ends of Lake Orion and you do not have to drive far for a great stuffed omelet and cup of coffee from either local restaurant. You will probably run into somebody you know, too.

Chicken enchiladas and burritos from Sagebrush Cantina. The double-combo platter with beans and rice is just right to fill a Mexican craving. Another place where you will run into at least one or two people ya know on any given day. Get the burrito wet.

Boneless almond chicken at Carrie Lee's. The Baldwin Road restaurant batters chicken breasts just right with a sprinkle of almonds. More food than one person can eat, really. Top it with a egg roll and fried rice, plus a little ice cream as part of a combo platter.

Donuts from Tim Horton's. There is not a bad one there, but I am partial to the cinnamon buns, apple fritters and walnut crunch varieties. (Note to myself: skip donuts, lose weight.) Whenever my kids have a sleepover, the ones with sprinkles are their favorites.

Beer from G's. On a Friday night after a football game, there is nothing like a tall Labatt Blue Light to savor a victory or soothe a loss, poured by one of the nicest bartenders around. Yet another locale where you are sure to run into friends.

Carry-out chicken wings from Buffalo Wild Wings. The garlic parmesan and sweet honey barbeque sauces are my family's favorites. Great while watching college or pro football on a weekend night.

Fish and chips at the Catalina. The folks at this bar off Baldwin Road know how to make this old standby of Catholics on Friday nights during Lent, whether you eat-in or bring them home. Not fishy tasting and the meat melts in your mouth.

Coffee at Speedway. Looking for fresh, hot coffee any time of day at a decent price? Stop by the gas station at M-24 and Clarkston Road for the best brew around. (The station has good gas prices, too.)

Gosh, I'm hungry. I wonder why.

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