By: Joey Battaino
When you're a broadcaster on a trip with the fellas, you can only prep and gather content so much before there is a bit of down time. Sometimes you might take a dip in the hotel pool or have an "off the record" with coach, but even then, a mans gotta eat. Today I take you around the North division and tell you my favorite spots to snag some grub.
For breakfast, it has to be Frank's Place in beautiful Sault Saint Marie. Frank's is small diner located on Portage right across from the Soo Locks. The people there are great. The breakfast spread is unbelievable and always fresh. French toast and pancakes or fresh fruit, if that's your forte. All you can eat buffet style, so you always get your money's worth, at least I do. You go ahead and try to get between Coach Mantha and the sticky buns from Frank's, I wouldn't do it.
Pre-game meal is a special time for the players, coaches, and myself. Players chat it up before the game, in a final moment before they lay it all on the line for 60 minutes. Coaches talk about final lineup adjustments. Who's in and who's out? What goalie should we go with tonight? For me, it's a chance to revisit some notes I have before the game. Pre-game meal is important for the broadcaster because this is our chance to avoid the dreaded, "Concession stand food" With the departure of Jamestown, I will take you to Janesville, WI and the, "Like Grandma used to make" taste of The Italian House. This has been the host spot for the Janesville Jets for as long as I have been in the league. The restaurant embraces it's relationship with visiting teams by having all the players sign a plate from the restaurant, and hanging it up on the wall. Now me, being full blooded Italian, may be a tad biased, but this food is the closest I've tasted to Olga's (my grandma) pasta. The chicken parm sandwiches are excellent as well. No need for a concession stand trip after a meal at The Italian House.
There you have it. If you are even in Janesville, WI or the Soo, make sure you check out these locations when you need to replenish. Enjoy.