I was bad. I got home from Indianapolis at 4 AM after leaving Lansing at 7 AM the previous today. I was a little tired. Phone calls woke me up and I only got about six hours of sleep. After my girlfriend went to work, I decided to take a nap. Usually when I take afternoon naps, I sleep for an hour or so. Not today. I slept almost three hours. I woke up about ten minutes before J usually comes home for dinner. There was no way I could put anything together in that time other than a salad, so I swallowed my pride and sent her a text message letting her know there would be no dinner ready in time. She called me back and said we could just go out, but she wanted to go to a restaurant where she wouldn’t be tempted to order something greasy.
Finley’s sits about a mile down the road from us, but since we’ve moved here, we haven’t tried. It has the appearance of a chain restaurant so we kind of stayed away. It is a chain, but it’s a small local chain with five Finley’s all located in Michigan. However, there are more restaurants in the system. They are owned by a company called River City Food Company which owns six restaurant brands including BD’s Mongolian BBQ which also has locations in Mid-Michigan.
I already said Finley’s looks like a chain restaurant from the outside. Inside, it has the feel of a chain, but the dining area (I can’t really call it a room), has a really wierd layout. We showed up for dinner at seven on a Friday night, so we were unsure if it would even be possible to get a table. The waitress asked us the dreaded question, smoking or non-smoking. J said non-smoking and they said their was a fifteen minute wait. She reluctantly changed her preference to smoking and they showed us to a table right away. Gee, there’s a surprise. No one wants to sit in the smoking section. The waitress led us through what seemed more like a maze than a restaurant. The non-smoking area is a series of hallways with booths on either side. It seemed cramped. It was hard to walk and not brush up against a table. If you ran into a waitress trying to get through, you almost had to put your ass in someone’s food to pass by. Maybe it allows for more privacy for the people sitting there, but it seemed uncomfortable to me.
The hostess showed us to the very last table in the back of the smoking room. At first, the smell wasn’t very noticeable so we weren’t too upset. The hostess left the menus and said our waitress would be with us in a second. It was a little more than a second. By the time the waitress finally did come, we were both ready to order, so we put our drink orders in as well as our dinner order.
We both looked over the menu and found a few different things that looked good, but our love for barbecue won out. There was a menu insert that had a few different BBQ offers and that’s what we both went for. I got the pulled pork which came with fries and pickle slices. I shouldn’t have been too surprised, but the pulled pork was more like pureed pork. It definately was not smoked anywhere near Lansing if it was smoked at all. It was definately mass produced pork that was covered in BBQ sauce. The bun was the highlight of the meal. It wasn’t the usual grocery store bun. It had a lot of volume, but it was light and flakey. The fries were ok. Typical deep fried restaurant fries. There wasn’t a whole lot there which I was thankful for. It didn’t give me a chance to over induldge. I just got a glass of water with dinner, but I believe they have Coke products.
J got a BBQ Chicken Salad. The mixed green salad came with black beans, corn, cheddar cheese, and of course, BBQ chicken. Ranch dressing came on the side. She really liked the chicken. She said the sauce had a little bit of a kick. The salad plate was more than enough for J.
Before the meal, we were also served a loaf of bread. We were given the choice between white bread and a multi grain bread. We chose the multi grain which was really soft and warm. Our bill was just under $20 which was helped by me drinking water. By the time we got our meals, we had started noticing the smoke in the dining room we were in. It wasn’t as bad as it could have been, but still more than we really wanted. Unfortunately, we were kind of crunched for time, so we had to do what we had to do to get a table.
Finley’s was about what I expected. It looks like a chain and it acts like a chain. The meal was fine, but nothing special. It’s probably a great place to take the family, but I know Lansing has better to offer than a wannabe chain restaurant.