Samuel Mancino’s – Frandor

7 01 2010
  • 401B N. Clippert Street
  • Lansing, MI 48912
  • (517) 351-7492
  • Website
  • Menu

I’ve blogged a few times in the past about how much I love grinder’s.  I’ve also gone over the whole spiel about my Mancino’s memories.  For those of you joining me at SWM-Dining, here’s the short story. 

Growing up, a new pizza joint moved in to Bourbonnais, Illinois near where I grew up.  My family, not being very adventurous, almost always ate at  fast food and chains…actually, this is something they still do.  Anyway, a shop called Mancino’s Pizza & Grinders opened up.  We ate there often.  All four of us were fans of these new toasted sandwiches.  When I moved to Peoria, there was a store called Bellacino’s…..that served the same menu.  Again, I ate there a few times and loved every minute of it.  When we moved to Lansing, we found more stores with the Mancino’s name on them.

Now, I’m going to be honest.  I’ve never been able to figure out if all them are connected or, if they are, how.  They all have the same name, the same food, and the same menu, but I cannot find one stinking website that lists all three cities.  Hell, all three stores have a different name.

Now, enter a fourth store under the Mancino’s name.  Read the rest of this entry »





The Original Big John Steak & Onion

5 12 2009
  • 3490 Okemos Road
  • Okemos, MI 48864
  • (517) 381-2465
  • Website
  • Menu

Back in East Lansing and there’s a little bit of nostalgia this weekend.  I had to be in town a couple days, so I went looking for the cheapest hotel I could find.  Usually, the two Red Roof Inn’s are the cheapest and recently, I’ve been staying out in Delta Township because it’s five bucks cheaper.  This weekend, however, I decided to stay at the East Lansing Red Roof Inn. 

I say there’s a little bit of nostalgia because two years ago, J and I made a frantic, last-minute trip to Lansing to find a place to live.  We had been in Bristol, TN for the Nextel Cup Race the weekend before.  She got the phone call on Tuesday that she had been hired in Lansing.  We were at her parents in Chicago because we didn’t have to be back to work in Peoria until Thursday.  We packed up the car again on Tuesday and drove to Lansing to find a place to live.  We only had a week and a half to make the move. 

We had stayed in a Red Roof Inn in Johnson City, TN and were happy with it, so we found one in Lansing and we spent our first night in what would become our new home at the Red Roof Inn on Dunkel Road.  This recent trip was the first time I had stayed at that hotel since that first night.

We were given a pretty long lunch break, so I decided to go check in and drop my stuff off.  Before that, I wanted to grab a sandwich or something somewhere so I could eat while watching ESPN in my room.  I couldn’t really think of much other than fast food chains along Jolly Road so I started driving towards Okemos.  Read the rest of this entry »





Quality Dairy – St. Joseph Highway

23 11 2009
  • 6400 W. St. Joseph Highway
  • Lansing, MI 48917
  • (517) 319-4124
  • Website

If you would have told me two years ago one of the things I would miss most about Lansing was Quality Dairy, I would have called you crazy.  From the outside, these stores look like the typical convenience store.  Inside?  Not much different…at least until you dive into their unique goodies. 

For me, most Quality Dairy stops were Pepsi stops.  The thing I really loved about QD is that there’s almost always one near where you are.  I could actually plan a trip somewhere and know that I could stop for a 32 oz. pop on my way and not have to deal with the gas station hassle of everyone in front of you buying cigarettes and the clerk not knowing which package is which.  It was almost always a quick in and out.

My second day of work in East Lansing ended pretty late.  It was after 10:00 by the time I started heading back to my hotel.  I thought about grabbing a pizza in East Lansing, but I was tired and not really wanting to deal with Friday night crowds in a college town, so I just drove.  I didn’t want fast food again, but I really wanted a Pepsi.  Read the rest of this entry »





McDonald’s – W. Saginaw & Vermillion

23 11 2009
  • 7240 W. Saginaw Highway
  • Lansing, MI 48917
  • (517) 323-2228
  • Website
  • Menu

My quest for cheap meals went on with one of the most obvious choices when it comes to dining on the cheap. 

My first day of work in East Lansing ended around 8:30.  I was exhausted and headed straight for my hotel.  As I was driving across town on I-496, I was trying to picture what I could grab quickly and eat in my  hotel room.  I was drawing blank, but I knew there were a couple options right there near the Red Roof Inn.

Like most cities, Lansing is littered with McDonald’s.  I chose the location on West Saginaw Highway and Vermillion Road in Delta Township for one reason.  It was close to where I was going. 

Being 9:00 at night on a Thursday meant I should be able to get in and get out in a hurry.  I’m not a drive thru fan.  In fact, I despise them.  Unless I absolutely have to, I never use them.  If J forces me to, she leans across the seat and yells into the speaker.  I guess I don’t speak clearly or something because I never have good luck.  I’d rather just take the extra few minutes and walk inside.  No one has ever died from getting out of their car for a hamburger. Read the rest of this entry »





Panera Bread – Okemos

26 10 2009
  • 4738 Central Park Drive
  • Okemos, MI 48864
  • (517) 349-4425
  • Website
  • Menu

You’ll hear me say this a lot.  I’m not a breakfast person.  I don’t normally get out of bed earlier enough to eat breakfast.  It’s one of the nice things about being a freelancer.  I don’t work everyday.  That’s also one of the bad things about it. 

Anyway, in East Lansing.  This time, very early in the morning.  Work started at 6 AM on Sunday.  Fortunately, I still had keys to my Lansing apartment, so I was not making the drive at four in the morning.  That will happen a few times this fall/winter. 

Our lunch break came around nine o’clock.  Typically, I just go to McDonald’s for breakfast.  I like the bacon, egg, and sausage biscuit.  Add that to the fact that it’s cheap and quick.  When J could meet me, we’d actually go to a good, sit down place, but now that J’s in Kalamazoo, I’m on my own and there’s not a lot of quick breakfast choices.  There just aren’t many places that do a good breakfast sandwich. 

So, I’m heading down Grand River towards my usual McDonald’s stop when I hear a commercial for Panera Bread’s breakfast.  It sounds really good plus it will be something a little different.  Since I’m already on Grand River I keep going to the Panera in Okemos.

The Okemos Panera Bread is on Central Park Drive in a small strip mall on the corner with Grand River Avenue.  On a Sunday morning, it was the only place open, yet there were a lot of cars in the parking lot.  Seems like I wasn’t the only one that had this idea. Read the rest of this entry »





Menna’s Joint – East Lansing

24 10 2009
  • 115 Albert Avenue
  • East Lansing, MI 48823
  • (517) 351-3827
  • Website
  • Menu

Another weekend, another trip back to East Lansing for work.  Fortunately, we still have control of the apartment in Lansing, so I could bring an air mattress, the laptop, and a little TV and be comfortable for a couple days. 

My weekend started early Saturday morning amongst the gloomy, rainy conditions.  By the time lunch rolled around, I needed to get someplace warm. 

I was working near the IM West Building at MSU which means there isn’t many options within walking distance.  That’s my only complaint about the MSU campus.  I work mainly at the athletic facilities and I can’t walk anywhere to get a sandwich, so I hopped in my truck and headed to Grand River Avenue where I found lunch.

Menna’s Joint in East Lansing is on Albert Avenue near Abbot Road just a block of Grand River Avenue.  It took a long time to find parking.  There isn’t much street parking in this part of downtown and the public lot across the street was full.  I finally doubled back to the public lot near Dublin Square Read the rest of this entry »





Lou & Harry’s Greek Grill – Downtown East Lansing

22 10 2009
  • 245 Ann Street
  • East Lansing, MI 48823
  • (517) 351-0066
  • No Known Website
  • Menu

Sorry it’s been a few weeks since my last update.  We’re getting settled into our new place in Kalamazoo, but that’s not going to keep me from updating when I do make it back to the Lansing area. 

I was back in East Lansing for a volleyball game at Michigan State.  When lunch time rolled around, I headed downtown to find a sandwich.  I was actually looking for Menna’s Joint, but I couldn’t find parking close.  By the time I got up to someplace I could park, I was a couple blocks away and there was another joint right around the corner.

Lou & Harry’s Greek Grill is on the corner of Ann & MAC in downtown East Lansing just a block from Grand River Avenue and MSU’s campus.  There’s a little mall area with a couple restaurants and shops.  Lou & Harry’s takes up what could probably be a couple storefronts. 

I had eaten at the Lou & Harry’s near Frandor in East Lansing, so I was somewhat familiar with the menu.  When you enter the store, the order counter is right in front of you.  To the right is a bar as well as some seating.  There is more seating to the left and if you head down a hallway along the left side, you can find a game room with a couple pool tables.  Read the rest of this entry »





Pixie

9 10 2009
  • 302 N. Mission Street
  • Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858
  • (989) 772-7494
  • Website
  • Menu
Pixie on North Mission in Mt. Pleasant.

Pixie on North Mission in Mt. Pleasant.

Back before we had any idea we were moving to Kalamazoo, I took a job in Mt. Pleasant for this weekend.  From Lansing, it’s not so bad, but it gets to be a long way from Kalamazoo.  Fortunately, my employer got me a hotel for Friday night, so I was able to travel during the afternoon.

When I got into town, I checked in then went looking for food.  I tried a BBQ place recommended in the hotel book, but they were closed.  I then went to a restaurant downtown I saw a billboard for on the way in.  Luckily they had a menu outside and it wasn’t quite what I was looking for. 

By now, I was hungry and a little annoyed.  I just wanted to eat. 

As I was driving to my first two locations, I drove by an old drive in on Mission Street.  I knew I was close so I went looking for it again. 

Pixie is on North Mission and East Chippewa Street in Mt. Pleasant.  I would say it’s a retro 50’s style diner, but they actually got their start in 1948 when Norman LaBelle decided to open a restaurant.  The Pixie has been in business ever since. 

At one time, the Pixie was a drive in with carhops and a complete menu.  Today, they’re a cross between fast food and casual dining.  Read the rest of this entry »





Sonic Drive-In – Portage, MI

8 10 2009
  • 349 Romence Road
  • Portage, MI 49024
  • (269) 324-7777
  • Website
  • Menu
The Sonic Drive-In in Portage, MI

The Sonic Drive-In in Portage, MI

J and I have been in Kalamazoo all of a few hours and where do you think our first stop to eat was? We’re kind of moving in trips. My brother has helped me everytime I’ve had to move (and it’s been quite a few times) and he can’t get up here until Oct. 17. It’s not a huge deal because our apartment has a ridiculous break penalty (if there’s any legislators reading this, after you solve the budget, you should look into this…besides the two months rent, they’re charging us $20 A DAY for 60 days because we didn’t give them 60 days notice…re-f^%king-diculous..and not spelled out in the lease, so it comes out to 4 months rent) so we’ve got the Lansing apartment until the end of October.

We made the first of two trips with our cars loaded down. After unloading and doing some organizing, we realized it was after 3:00 and we hadn’t had a thing to eat all day.

It was no surprise to me where J wanted to go. I’m surprised I even asked. Read the rest of this entry »





Chick-fil-A – South Bend, IN

7 10 2009
  • 4555 S. Michigan Avenue
  • South Bend, IN 46614
  • (574) 968-0351
  • Website
  • Menu
Chick-fil-A on Michigan Street in South Bend, IN

Chick-fil-A on Michigan Avenue in South Bend, IN

Getting closer.  The final day of our honeymoon started awfully early in the morning.  We got up and got going because we wanted to go apartment hunting in Kalamazoo.  Since it was still a four hour drive from Indianapolis to Kalamazoo, we got on the road early. 

 

Around South Bend, we started getting hungry.  All week we had been saying we needed to top at a Chick-fil-A for lunch.   We hadn’t up until this point and South Bend was probably going to be our last chance.  J took out the GPS to see if there was one close and there just so happened to be one right near our next turn

Let me backtrack a little bit with the whole Chick-fil-A thing.  For whatever reason, a couple guys I used to work with loved the place.  There was one location in Bloomington, IL on the campus of Illinois State University in one of the resident hall dining rooms.  We had a recent college grad working with us who lived in Bloomington and periodically, she would treat the guys to Chick-fil-A.  I never got it.  It’s like Sonic to me.  It looked, smelled, and tasted like fast food. Read the rest of this entry »








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