Once a month, I spend the whole morning driving around Delta Township while J gets her hair cut. I usually spend part of that time looking for someplace to eat. This month was easy. A couple weeks ago, I saw a posting on Craigslist for jobs at a new place on Saginaw Highway. Last weekend, we were out in the area and I drove by to see if there was any indication it was opening. There was a sign on the door that said it would open February 25. I knew we were going to be out there on the 26th, so we were good to go for lunch.
Rudino’s Pizza & Grinders is in a small strip mall near the Menards on Saginaw Highway. It’s in the space that used to be Art’s Pizza & Italian Oven. We tried going to Art’s once, but it was closed. I was excited to see a new pizza joint moving in.
Rudino’s is a long, narrow space. When entering, you sort of come in to what can be considered the first dining room. Beyond that is the order counter. There is a menu board above the registers that lists a large selection of grinders as well as pizza’s, calzones, and salads. Since it was only the second day of being open, things were running a little slow, but we knew that when we walked in and it wasn’t a big deal. We needed time to figure out what we wanted anyway. We were greeted right away by two guys who were sitting behind the counter on laptops. The whole space is a Wi-Fi hot spot.
After a few minutes of studying the menu, we were ready to order. One of the guys got up to take our orders and apologized off the top for being a little slow as he was learning the new system. Again, not a big deal. It’s expected. When I order grinders, I almost always go witha pizza grinder. They had one of those on the menu, but they also had a number of sandwiches that looked really good. I settled on the Buffalo Chicken Grinder. The sandwiches come in sizes of 9″ or 18″. I went with the nine incher on wheat bread. The bread is filled withgrilled chicken that is covered in a spicy buffalo sauce. It’s then cooked and topped with a bleu cheese sauce and celery. I left the celery off. That part of it didn’t really sound appetizing to me.
J saw a pick two special for a 4″ sandwich, soup or, salad. She chose salad and a grinder. She almost ordered the Buffalo Chicken Grinder or the BLT Grinder but settled on the Ham and Cheese. The sandwich comes with ham, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and mayo. She asked to leave the tomato and mayo off. For the salad part of the meal, she had the choice of either a vegetarian garden salad, a Caesar salad, or a Greek salad. She went with the garden salad with a fat free ranch dressing.
Our total for the two meals and two fountain drinks (Pepsi products) was just over $16. We paid for the meal then took a seat in one of the booths which run along a wall leading to the back door. About ten minutes after we ordered, a man who I believe was the owner brought out J’s salad and her ham and cheese grinder. The sandwich was the perfect size for her. She said it was delicious and really loved the bread. As for the salad, she said all the ingredients tasted really fresh and it’s not the usual soggy lettuce that you get at places that put salads on the menu because they feel like they have too. She said more than once during the meal that she really liked what she ordered.
I love Grinders. I feel like they are the perfect sandwich. What really makes grinders stand out from other types of sub sandwiches is the way they’re toasted. Yeah, Subway will warm a sub up, but it doesn’t compare to the total crispiness of the bread that you get from a grinder. My Buffalo Chicken Grinder was awesome. There was a lot of chicken and the sauce was nice and spicy, but not so hot that I needed to chug a glass of milk after eating it. At one point in the meal, the cook actually came out and asked if it was too hot. He was concerned he put too much hot sauce on it. I thought it was the perfect amount. The combination of the hot sauce and bleu cheese sauce made for a messy sandwich, but one that was also really delicious.
Rudino’s Pizza & Grinders is a great addition to Delta Township. It’s a quick, cheap meal, but they don’t skimp on the ingredients. When I did a Google search for Rudino’s, I came up with a chain of places in North Carolina and Tennessee. There’s no mention of this store in Lansing, but the menu is almost identical, so I’m assuming it’s a franchise. As far as the sandwiches go, they’re not as wide as Mancino’s, but they pack a lot of flavor into each bite. We do a lot of shopping in Delta Township and it’s not always easy to find good food. There’s a lot of national chains and not many quick places. Rudino’s fills that void and fills it well. I can definitely see us eating at Rudino’s in the future.