(This review is an updated version of one that I originally posted on Yelp.)At Niskers Char-Grill, it's all about the options. It begins with the burger: You can choose from the quarter-pound "Lou's Original" to the half-pound "Big Hoss". All of the burgers are fresh, never frozen, certified Angus beef.But in addition to the traditional burgers, you can get chicken, turkey, Ope's veggie or black bean patties, fish, beef-a-lo and sirloin steak. There are lots of options for bread, some of which are baked in-house: white, whole wheat, flat bread, wraps and gluten-free. Once you've chosen your bread and protein, it's on to a mind-boggling choice of toppings and sauces: from the standard ketchup & mustard, lettuce & tomatoes to options like house-made Jamaican jerk sauce and sweet Lou's BBQ sauce, Thai peanut sauce, banana peppers, green olives, house-made salsa, just to name a few. For those who find the options overwhelming, you can choose from one of Lou's Burger Favorites: set combinations created by Lou Nisker such as the Hawaiian (with grilled pineapple & sweet teriyaki sauce), the Pizzano (a burger that thinks it's a pizza) and the Sunny Sider (with bacon, cheese & a fried egg). But again, it's all about options: you can add, subtract or substitute any ingredient on the burger.Make the burger a combo meal by adding fresh-cut curly fries, sweet potato fries, onion rings or the incredible battered-seasoned fries. Or for an additional charge: gravy fries, gravy cheese fries, cheese chili fries, etc.Beyond the burgers, they've got hot dogs, beer brats, riblets, salads and for dessert: Brownies, Plainwell ice creams, shakes and malts.But all the options in the world wouldn’t matter if the burgers weren’t good: The burgers here are awesome. One of my favorites is the Sunny Sider which is a burger topped with bacon, cheese and a fried egg. Another great burger is the "Big Hoss" Hawaiian-Style. I'm not sure I could go back to a regular sized-burger after getting the "Big Hoss". It is so thick and juicy. And the pineapple and teriyaki sauce gives this burger a delicious sweet & savory mix. Be sure to check out the Burger-of-the Month board before you order. Past BotMs have included the Canuck (a Canadian bacon burger that has since been included in their regular menu) and a chorizo burger, which had a terrific house-made beef/chorizo patty. Be sure to try the battered, seasoned fries. Yes, it’s carbs battered with more carbs, but man, is it ever delicious. The fresh-cut curly fries are also excellent, with a nice, crispy exterior. One of the things I appreciate about their fries is that they are not heavily salted and you can salt to taste. Which leads me to the other thing about Niskers and its options: you can tell they love a good burger and they excel at that. But they also cater to those wanting to be more health conscious. From keeping their salt-use down to offering gluten-free buns, to their veggie and lean options, I think anyone can find something to like here. I have friends who are vegetarian and the place they always want to go to when they visit Kalamazoo is Nisker’s.In addition to the delicious food, what I love about this place is the community feel. I've been here several times and have seen Lou Nisker talking with the customers, not just to find out how the meal was, but engaging on a more personal level. Many times, when patrons would leave, they would say good-bye, but it was always with the notion that, spoken or not, they would be back. Lou Nisker played for the K-Wings back in the day, and although he's been off the ice for a while, with Niskers Char-Grill and its delicious burgers, great breads and awesome toppings, he's still scoring hat tricks. A great burger place for Kalamazoo.
I decided to bring my daughters, their Godmothers and Grandmother out to eat for a fun Ladies Night Out on Friday, May 9th to celebrate together for Mother's Day. We got there at 7pm and had a blast listening to the piano bar and dancing. The Piano player was friendly to my 8 & 12 year old daughters , encouraged us to dance when no one else was out there and sang Frozen songs. The dinner menu is limited but delicious and our server was fast and efficient and obviously enjoyed serving her customers. At the end of the evening, right about 9pm, the staff allowed my 8 & 12 year old daughters to go all the way to the top of the sky deck to see the amazing view. I'm so glad we did this instead of a boring, too busy, brunch on Sunday. You might not think of this as a place for children but between 5-8 pm, it's not very busy at all and my girls really liked getting dressed up, having dinner and being part of the show!! We might have to do a Tween Birthday Party Here!
First Presbyterian Church
Kalamazoo First Presbyterian Church has definitely ornate Gothic architecture, stained glass windows, a stone foundation, and a huge pipe organ. I rejoined as an adult several years ago, and I think I made the right decision. I think the pastor is a very interesting person, and he knows what he is doing. KFPC is a large building, but very welcoming to people, including several who are homeless and/or mentally ill. The church has had major renovations, including a multi-panel elevator for those with limited mobility. I mostly rejoined because I wanted to sing in the choir, which is focused on traditional music, which involves a fair amount of training. I like that, and I think my voice has improved because of the choir.In addition, I rejoined because I was interested in the people, including the pastor and the Christian education coordinator, who are great with people of all ages.Overall, Kalamazoo First Presbyterian Church is wonderful.