Well, it only took three months. For three months, I’ve been trying to stop in to the place that used to be Johnny’s Lunch in downtown East Lansing. Their open hours always seem to elude me. They say they’re open at 11:00 AM during the week, but I’ve tried to stop on several occasions and found the doors locked.
Anyway, Conrad’s College Town Grill is right on the corner of Grand River Avenue and Abbot Road. When J and I first moved to Lansing, it was the 50’s-Style diner Johnny’s Lunch. That closed up some time ago and we never did stop in to try it out, so I have no idea if much has changed since Conrad’s moved in.
I never could figure out from the street if it was a fast food place or a sit down restaurant. It’s kind of a cross between the two. There is a fast-food style order counter near the back of the space with a giant menu board hanging from the ceiling.
I found burgers on the menu, so I put in an order for the BBQ Cheese Burger and added on an order of fries for a buck. I didn’t go for a pop because they had Coke and if I’m going to drink a no calorie Coke, I’ll just stop at gas station and get a bottle of Coke Zero (which I did after I left). The sandwich and fries only cost little over six bucks. I opted to just eat it there.
I wouldn’t call Conrad’s fast food because all the food is cooked to order. There’s a cooktop right behind the order counter where a cook was already working on a delivery order when I got there. When he got done with that, he started in on my order. They offer free wi-fi (but who in downtown EL doesn’t), so I played on my iPod while I waited. About five minutes later, the cook brought my food out in a paper boat and set it down in front of me.
I chose to sit in a booth along one of the walls. I was the only person in the shop at the time, so I had my choice. There are a few tables, but the space is a little bit sparse. There’s a lot of open space and the trash can is right in the middle. There’s a lone HDTV hanging on the wall which was tuned to ESPN so I could watch Georgetown beat up on Duke.
Everything in front of me was steaming hot. I grabbed one of the fries right away because they looked so good. They were skin on and fresh out of the flyer….and really hot. I had to wait to dig into those as much as it pained me to do so.
The burger was pretty good. It wasn’t gourmet by any means, but it was a solid college town burger. The bacon was a little limp, but it didnt’ bother me. It’s the kind of burger I would want late at night after throwing down a few beers….and I’d be in luck because Conrad’s is open until 3:00 to serve just that crowd.
I’m happy I finally found Conrad’s open. It’s the perfect place for a college town. It’s fairly quick and pretty cheap. Like I said, it would be a place I would be hitting up after the bars close. The fries were delicious and the burger was solid. Can’t ask for much more than that.