Biggby Coffee – Frandor

22 05 2009
  • 1429 W. Saginaw St. #100
  • East Lansing, MI 48823
  • (517) 324-7007
  • Website
  • Menu
Biggby Coffee in East Lansing near the Frandor Shopping Center.

Biggby Coffee in East Lansing near the Frandor Shopping Center.

After my last trip to Starbucks, I’m sure you all know how I feel about the place.  If you missed that review, I’m not a fan.  I don’t like coffee anyway, so my opinion on the subject doesn’t really matter.  J’s not the kind of person that can’t function without coffee, but she does enjoy the occasional after meal mocha.  Since we ate dinner at Lou & Harry’s Grill & Bakery and there was a Biggby around the corner, she wanted to stop and get a drink.

You all know the Beaner’s/Biggby story better than I do, so I won’t even get into it.  There are several East Lansing locations.  This location is right on the Lansing/East Lansing line in a strip mall between Saginaw and Grand River. The Biggby faces Saginaw Street, but it’s accessible from both roads.

The store isn’t huge, but it is typical of the franchise.  The thing I absolutely love about Biggby is how they adapt to their surroundings.  They don’t tear buildings down and put up the same pretentious building on every street corner.  I like that they use the available space and, in some cases, blend right into the fabric of the community.  This store is in a strip mall, so it’s not anything super unique, but it’s still a Biggby.  Read the rest of this entry »





Starbucks Coffee – Okemos

9 05 2009
  • 3552 Meridian Crossings #500
  • Okemos, MI 48864
  • (517) 381-8350
  • Website
  • Menu
Starbucks at Meridian Crossing in Okemos

Starbucks at Meridian Crossing in Okemos

To some people, there’s nothing like a warm coffee or tea on a cold rainy day.  I’m not one of those people.  I despise Starbucks.  The only time I ever go in one is with J.  She likes a couple of their drinks and today, she was wanting something warm and comforting.  Since there was a Starbucks right next to the State Side Deli where we ate lunch, she asked if I would stop in with her.

This Starbucks is located on the far end of the Meridian Crossings shopping center.  You can see it from Okemos Road and there is an entrance on both sides of the building.  With this business, it doesn’t matter which side you enter.  The counter is in the middle.  That’s only if you’re not lazy and actually go in.  There is a drive-thru on the side of the building and the line wrapped back into the parking lot.  I don’t do drive thrus and it was easier just to get out and go in the store.

There’s really not much there.  There are a few tables if you want to pay for wi-fi while you drink coffee and a few displays of coffee making products.  I’m guessing they do most of the business through the window.  Read the rest of this entry »





GrandRiver Coffee Cafe

12 04 2009
  • 515 W. Grand River Aveninue
  • East Lansing, MI 48823
  • (866) 356-5301
  • Website
  • Menu
GrandRiver Coffee Cafe in East Lansing.

GrandRiver Coffee Cafe in East Lansing.

I hate it when I have to work on four hours sleep.  Hell, I was lucky if I got that Friday night.  I worked in Ann Arbor and got home around 12:30 AM.  Saturday morning, I had to be at MSU at 6:00 AM.  By the time I had a quick meal and showered, it was closer to 1:30.  That leaves just about four hours until I had to get up and get going.  It was rough.  Really rough, but at least everyone I worked with was in the same boat.  We were all a little cranky Saturday morning.  By the time lunch (actually breakfast) came around, I was really needing a Pepsi.  I knew I didn’t want to go sit down somewhere and have a huge breakfast since that would just add to my sluggishness.

I’m not much of a coffeehouse person, but I thought I would be able to get something light.  I was just going to go to  Biggby but on my way, I remembered a local coffeehouse just down the street.  I drove by the Biggby and found my destination.

GrandRiver Coffee Cafe is on Grand River Avenue in East Lansing a few blocks from downtown.  It’s a rather large building for a local coffee house.  There were a few cars in the parking lot when I pulled in and when I made it inside, it looked like most of those people were taking advantage of the free wi-fi.  Read the rest of this entry »





Starbucks Coffee – Downtown East Lansing

29 01 2009
  • 401 E. Grand River Avenue
  • East Lansing, MI 48823
  • (517) 332-0398
  • Website
  • Menu
Starbucks Coffee on Grand River Avenue in downtown East Lansing

Starbucks Coffee on Grand River Avenue in downtown East Lansing

When we were hanging out in Chicago Thanksgiving weekend, we tried four or five times to stop in a Starbucks so J could try their Salted Caramel Signature Hot Chocolate.  None of the Starbucks we passed had any tables and the lines were out the door, so we ended up settling on a Dunkin Donuts and just got some regular hot chocolate.  It didn’t hurt my feelings.  I loathe Starbucks and everything it stands for.  Back in Peoria, I had a co-worker who stopped every morning and if we happened to be in a car together, I knew she was going to wine until I stopped so she could get an overpriced coffee.

After dinner at Brother’s Grill, I was standing outside taking a picture for the blog.  When I turned around, J was gone.  I thought maybe she started walking back towards the car.  Fortunately for me, she wears a bright colored coat.  I happened to catch a glimpse of that coat out of the corner of my eye in line at the Starbucks that sits right next door. Read the rest of this entry »





Quality Dairy – South Cedar

14 01 2009
  • 2600 S. Cedar St.
  • Lansing, MI 48910
  • (517) 272-1522
  • Website

The Quality Dairy store on South Cedar Street in Lansing.

I’ll tell you what…we’re becoming QD converts.  J and I left Grumpy’s Diner on Mt. Hope and headed over to Cedar Street.  J wanted something warm.  These single digit highs are definitely not fun. 

We were heading towards McDonald’s on South Cedar when we came up to a Quality Dairy.  J asked if they had coffee.  I said I’m sure they did….I knew they had hot chocolate.  She asked if I wanted a hot chocolate and I was so frozen I could barely answer, but I managed to unfreeze my jaw enough to say yes, so J said it it was better to support a local business than a McDonald’s and of course, I agreed.  I made a quick right into the Quality Dairy parking lot.

The particular Quality Dairy is on the corner of Cedar and Greenlawn Avenue.  I don’t know if I’ve just never paid attention or of this store is bigger.  We were in the market for something hot.  I spotted the hot chocolate machine and grabbed a cup.  Other than hot chocolate, they had flavored cappuccino, regular coffee and a few other coffee flavors.  I went with a 20 oz. hot chocolate.  J mixed the fat free vanilla cappuccino and hot chocolate in a little bit bigger cup. Read the rest of this entry »





Dunkin Donuts – Downtown Chicago

30 11 2008
  • 6 N. Wabash
  • Chicago, IL 60611
  • (312) 828-9120
  • Website
  • Menu
Dunkin Donuts on Wabash Street in downton Chicago

Dunkin Donuts on Wabash Street in downton Chicago

The end of December in Chicago can get a little chilly.  Luckily, it was a nice day for November 29th, but after three plus hours of walking around, we started to get a chill.  There are Starbucks on every corner and J had been wanting to try their Salted Carmel Hot Chocolate.  We went by half a dozen Starbucks, but every one of them was packed.  On top of that, none of them had any seating, so we couldn’t sit and warm up.  We would have had to take our drinks back out into the cold.

As we were walking through the Jewelery District on Wabash, we went by a Dunkin Donuts.  They had some seating inside and their drinks are cheaper than Starbucks.  Still, we kept going to see if we could find a Starbucks.  We got to the corner and J said if we can’t see a Starbucks from the corner we were standing on, we’d just go to Dunkin.  Well, we could see a Starbucks, but it was just like all the others, so back to Dunkin we went. Read the rest of this entry »





Tim Hortons – Holt

15 10 2008
  • 2350 Cedar St.
  • Holt, MI 48842
  • (517) 694-0129
  • Website
  • Menu
Tim Hortons on Cedar Street in Holt

Tim Hortons on Cedar Street in Holt

I never really think of Tim Hortons as a place to get a quick after dinner snack, but Monday night I was watching my favorite CBS show, How I Met Your Mother, and one of the characters actually threw out a Tim Hortons reference.  The character, Robin, is from Canada which is where Tim Hortons was founded.  She said something to the effect of ‘at least I didn’t say let’s go to Tim Hortons.’  Six months ago, I wouldn’t have had the slightest idea what she was talking about becuase there were no Tim Hortons in Illinois.  We found them for the first time when we moved to Lansing.

Around the time we moved here, I reviewed the Tim Hortons on South Cedar (review HERE) in Lansing after we stopped for lunch.  The Tim Hortons in Holt is a new store even since that review.  It sits in front of L & L Food Center on Cedar Street near Aurelius Road.  It’s not a very big building.  It’s about the perfect size for a coffee shop.  This trip was just for an after dinner snack.  I was still hungry, but we didn’t have anything to snack on, so I suggested we go get a cookie or something.  Read the rest of this entry »





Zingerman’s Next Door

13 09 2008
  • 422 Detroit St.
  • Ann Arbor, MI 48104
  • (734) 663-5282
  • Website
  • Menu
eZingermans Next Door which is literally next door to the famous Deli of the same name in Ann Arbor

Zingerman's Next Door which is literally next door to the famous Deli of the same name in Ann Arbor

If you’ve been to Zingerman’s Deli, Zingerman’s Next Door shouldn’t be hard to find.  It’s right next door.  The shop has two purposes.  First, it’s seating for Zingerman’s Deli.  As I mentioned in my REVIEW of the deli, after you place your order, you go next door and have a seat.  A server will bring your sandwiches and you can sit down and enjoy the biggest deli sandwich you’ll probably ever eat. 

The second purpose of Zingerman’s Next Door is to offer things you can’t get at the deli.  The main focus is coffee, but they offer chocolates and even gellato. 

The tables are kind of cramped in to the space, but with as many people as Zingerman’s gets, the more tables the better.  We found one along the wall near the cash register.  Our wait was only about 15 minutes which was pretty good for the volume orders the kitchen was filling.  We ate our meal and didn’t feel rushed or cramped which happens at some of the other hot spots in Ann Arbor. Read the rest of this entry »





Great Lakes Chocolate & Coffee Co. – Lansing

26 08 2008
  • 500 E. Michigan Ave.
  • Suite 190
  • Lansing, MI 48912
  • (517) 999-3405
  • Website
  • Menu
Great Lakes Chocolate & Coffee Company in the Stadium District near Downtown Lansing

Great Lakes Chocolate & Coffee Company in the Stadium District near Downtown Lansing

If you’ve ever looked at my sidebar, you’ve noticed I have RSS feeds from the local media outlets here in town.  This story on WLAJ.com really jumped out at me today.

About a dozen mid-Michigan workers are employed today with the help of the Great Lakes Chocolate and Coffee Company.

YAY!  Chocolate!  When my girlfriend came home for dinner tonight, I suggested making a run downtown to get a couple pieces of gourmet chocolate for dessert before I took she had to go back. 

The Great Lakes Chocolate & Coffee Co. opened up shop on the corner of Michigan Ave. and Larch St. on the first floor of the Stadium District building across from Oldsmobile Park.  Parking is limited out front to a few meters, but behind the building is a massive parking lot for the businesses and the residents of the Stadium District.  We were going the wrong way down Michigan to get a spot at a meter, so we went around to the back parking lot.  For those coffee lovers in a hurry, there’s also a drive-thru behind the building.  The main entrance is off Michigan Ave, but there is a back entrance from the back lot and an entrance on the Larch St. side.  Since we parked in back, we entered from the back.  There an open sign and there are hours on the door, but when we walked in, we second guessed ourselves.  The only two doors you see are for the men’s room and an employee entrance to the kitchen.  There is a hallway that leads back into the shop, but it took us a second to get our bearings and realize that. Read the rest of this entry »





New Coffeehouse Coming to Downtown Lansing

27 07 2008
The Great Lakes Coffee and Chocolate Company building in Ann Arbor.

The Great Lakes Coffee and Chocolate Company building in Ann Arbor.

I noticed this a while ago while walking in front of the Stadium District building on Michigan Ave., but it didn’t click until I saw a job posting on craigslist this afternoon.  Next month, the Great Lakes Chocolate and Coffee Company will open their third store in downtown Lansing.  The shop got it’s start in Sturgis, MI and they’ve expanded to Ann Arbor and now Lansing.

They do three things.  Coffee, Chocolate, and Teas.  It’s nice to see some businesses starting to move into the Stadium District.  Even better that it’s a small, Michigan-based company…and it’s not a Starbucks.








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