National Coney Station

15 09 2009
  • 565 E. Grand River Avenue
  • East Lansing, MI 48823
  • (517) 351-2100
  • Website
  • Menu
National Coney Station on Grand River Avenue in East Lansing.

National Coney Station on Grand River Avenue in East Lansing.

As readers of this blog know, the thing I love most about food is regional cuisine.  Sure, I may not like everything that makes a region popular, but I love the idea that no matter where you grew up, there’s going to be some brand, food, or preparation technique that will always make you think of home. 

In Michigan, that food is the Coney Dog.  I’m not a hot dog eater, so it’s not something that I’ve been able to adapt to.  I’ve tried it once and wasn’t a huge fan only because I don’t like the dog.  The chili is delicious and I could eat that without the hot dogs.

There are always imitators when it comes to a region’s marquee cuisine.  Yeah, you can get a coney dog here in Lansing, but up until last week, you couldn’t get it from one of the big names in Detroit coney’s.

National Coney Station opened up on Grand River Avenue in the building that was most recently Moe’s Firehouse.  Before that, it was a Spartan Gyro.  National Coney did a lot of work to the building to clean it up.  I never got a chance to eat at Moe’s before it closed, but for some reason, the place always scared me a little bit. 

National Coney Station is not quite the same as the National Coney Island restaurants you’re familiar with in Detroit.  They’re owned by the same company, but they’re designed to be more of a quickservice restaurant.  The menu is much, much smaller having only nine choices plus some a la cart items.  Read the rest of this entry »





Maggie Moos Offering Spartan Special

2 09 2009

Here’s a cool idea.  Go State!  From Eastwood Towne Center’s Facebook page.

When the MSU football team wins, you receive a % discount on your total purchase at Maggie Moo’s on gameday!

The discount is equal to how many points MSU scored.

Ex: If MSU wins 27 – 7 You will get a 27% discount!

If there are any night games, discount will be honored on that Sunday.

Go Green! Go White! Go State!





Press Release – Tailgate Cookbook Submissions

1 09 2009

Got this press release from the Haven House in East Lansing…

East Lansing Homeless Shelter Seeks Recipes from Spartan Tailgaters

We invite MSU football fans to highlight your tailgate party and support the homeless by showcasing your football traditions. Haven House is compiling a tailgate cookbook, “Tailgating on the Banks of the Red Cedar” as a fundraiser to help support homeless families. All proceeds will benefit Haven House.

Haven House provides emergency housing and support services for one-parent and two-parent families with children.  The shelter helps families who are homeless prepare for permanent housing by developing and promoting self-sufficiency, stability, and financial responsibility.

Haven House volunteers will be attending Michigan State University home football games this season to interview tailgaters. If you would like to share your recipes, stories, and photographs to include in the cookbook please contact Tiffany Chenault at (517) 337-2731

To be considered, you will need to have the information available for our volunteers on game days, or submit your recipe and story by email at tchenault@havenhouseel.org, or by fax to 517-337-2910.





Georgio’s Gourmet Pizzeria – Downtown

27 04 2009
  • 120 Charles Street
  • East Lansing, MI 48823
  • (517) 333-9990
  • No Known Website
Georgios Gourmet Pizzeria on Charles Street in East Lansing.

Georgio's Gourmet Pizzeria on Charles Street in East Lansing.

I love late night pizza-by-the-slice places and I love living near a college town that has many places to fill that late night craving. 

J got home from work just before midnight like she always does and I said, “I’m hungry” like I always do.  This time, she said she had a taste for pizza or tacos too.  We debated the pros and cons of each and eventually settled on pizza.  Since there’s no place on the south side of Lansing to get a slice at midnight, we trekked to East Lansing.

There are a couple locations for Georgio’s in East Lansing, but I chose the one in the downtown area on Charles Street.  We drove around the streets of downtown a few times on a very busy Friday night looking for pizza.  I knew there was a Georgio’s and a Bell’s, but I didn’t remember which was where.  We drove by Bell’s because there were so many kids around and no place to park.  I made it to Georgio’s and got really lucky.  There was a parking space right out front.  I showed off my awesome parallel parking skills (there was no space in front of me, so really, I just pulled in) and we went inside.  Read the rest of this entry »





MSU Dairy Store Gets in Final Four Spirit

1 04 2009

I saw this little tidbit on LSJ.com

Beginning Friday, Spartan fans can get Final Four Fudge Dribble ice cream at the Michigan State University Dairy Store. The vanilla ice cream with fudge swirl sprinkled with little chocolate-covered malted milk “basketballs” is being made on campus today.

I’m working in Ann Arbor most of the day on Friday, so I’ll have to convince  J to head over to East Lansing to pick up a gallon.  Even without the Final Four name, it sounds like a tasty ice cream.





El Azteco

15 03 2009
  • 225 Ann Street
  • East Lansing, MI 48823
  • (517) 351-9111
  • No Known Website
  • Menu
El Azteco on Ann Street in downtown East Lansing.

El Azteco on Ann Street in downtown East Lansing.

I have no idea why I’ve been craving Mexican lately, but it’s been like an everyday thing.  J’s step-dad headed back to Chicago, but her mom stayed for another day.  We made a run to Howell after breakfast then did some grocery shopping at Horrocks and Walmart.  By the time we got home, we were all starting to get a little hungry.  I sat down in front of the computer and asked what they were in the mood for.  To my surprise, J said Mexican which is what I was thinking.  Instead of going to one of the two places that are close to our apartment, I wanted to go to East Lansing and try one of the most popular restaurants in downtown.

El Azteco is on Ann Street near the Marriot in a that strip of restaurants at the corner of M.A.C. and Ann.  From all the things I’ve read, El Azteco made it’s name at a different location a few blocks that wasn’t nearly as flashy or noticeable as the new building.  While I love atmosphere, restaurants don’t survive without good food.  It was the good food we were really after.

We walked into El Azteco just after 6:00 on a Sunday night.  It was still spring break at MSU, so the clientel was mostly older people and families.  Someone in the kitchen noticed us and told us to take a seat in one of the front dining rooms.  There are actually three dining room areas.  Two of them are are in the front and look out to Ann Street.  The third is off to the left when you walk in and it runs along the kitchen.  We took a booth along the wall.  As you can imagine, the decor has sort of a southwest feel.  The tables are primitive with no frills.  The benches of the booth are all wood with no padding.  They are also pretty close to the table.  They really force good posture. Read the rest of this entry »





Jenison Field House

9 02 2009
  • 248 Jenison Fieldhouse
  • East Lansing, MI 48824
  • (517) 355-1610
  • Website
The entrance to Jenison Fieldhouse on MSUs campus

The entrance to Jenison Fieldhouse on MSU's campus

I wish my first visit to Jenison Field House was thirty years.  When I walked in to the building for the first time, the first and only thing I could think was, “I bet this place was loud.”  I knew of Jenison before I moved to Lansing.  Who hasn’t?  I loved watching the old clips of Magic Johnson in East Lansing.  I can only imagine what the place was like.  Sure, it’s huge, but those big cavernous ceilings had to make the place loud.

Jenison Field House is on the campus of MSU just off Kalamazoo Street.  It’s just a block or so from it’s replacement, the Jack Breslin Student Events Center (review HERE).  It’s a huge building.  At first, I was wondering how they would even do basketball, but figured it out after seeing the wrestling set up. 

Jenison was opened in 1940 and was the home to Spartan basketball until 1989.  The facility is now used for Women’s volleyball, gymnastics, wrestling, and indoor track & field as well as a practice facility for a number of MSU sports.  There is permanent seating in an upper deck that runs around the entire facility.  The surface is a multi purpose rubber which is used for track and field.  When other events are held in the Field House, a curtain is dropped to divide the arena into a smaller area and portable bleachers are brought in to fill out the empty spaces.  Read the rest of this entry »





Brother’s Grill

29 01 2009
  • 403 E. Grand River Avenue
  • East Lansing, MI 48823
  • (517) 333-6939
  • Website
  • Menu
Brothers Grill in downtown East Lansing

Brother's Grill in downtown East Lansing

A few weeks ago I was watching the 11:00 news and saw a story about the Michigan Business Tax.  The reporter took the angle of what a new business has to deal with when starting up in Michigan.  The business they chose to talk to was Brother’s Grill in East Lansing.  Before that story, I had never heard of Brother’s Grill….and with good reason, they had just opened their doors that week.

The later it gets in the week, the less I feel like cooking dinner.  Before J left for work, I asked what she wanted and she didn’t really come up with anything.  Before walking out the door, she asked if I just wanted to pick her up and we could go out to eat.  I didn’t argue.  I suggested Brother’s Grill in East Lansing.  The menu looked good and there’s not much info on the place on the web yet.  She liked the idea so that’s what we did.

Brother’s Grill is on Grand River Avenue in East Lansing in the old Big Ten Burrito location.  It’s sandwiched between Starbucks and SBS.  I knew it was on Grand River, but I didn’t know where.  As we drove along the stretch of road in the downtown area of East Lansing, I asked J to keep an eye out for it.  Neither one of us saw it, so I turned around and headed back the way we came.  I finally noticed it as we came up to the stoplight at Charles Street.  They don’t have a lighted a sign.  Just a painted window and a small wooden sign above the door.  Read the rest of this entry »





Name Change Doesn’t Hurt Biggby’s Growth

26 01 2009

The State News did a profile on Biggby founder and MSU Grad Bob Fish.  The only real newsworthy thing is almost an after thought in the lead. 

Fortunately, the name change didn’t stunt the growth of the company. Biggby has doubled its store numbers every two years since Fish began franchising stores in 1999. The company had its best year ever in 2008, opening 35 new stores across the Midwest and Southeast.

I know how hard change is for people.  I still don’t like to call Comiskey Park US Cellular Field.  It’s just not right.  To me, Beaner’s is an obvious reference to coffee.  It was the only thing I thought about when I heard the original name of the coffee franchise.  J actually had to clue me in as to why Beaners could be offensive.  Then, just last month, I figured out where the new name came from.  Duh…

Anyway, the thing I really wanted to write about today was Biggby’s ability to adapt.  The thing I absolutely LOVE about the franchise is that there is no set model on how the stores have to look.  I love the store in Holt that’s put in an old building or the store in downtown Lansing.  Biggby doesn’t have to go into the same, boring, building every time.  Outside of major cities, all the Starbucks look exactly the same.  What will help Biggby grow is being able to use existing buildings.





Jack Breslin Student Events Center

7 12 2008
  • 1 Birch Road
  • East Lansing, MI 48824
  • (517) 432-1989
  • Website
The view from our seats for a Michigan State basketball game at the Breslin Center

The view from our seats for a Michigan State basketball game at the Breslin Center

A year ago, when I stood in the Peoria Civic Center and watched Bradley University almost upset Michigan State, I never imagined that I would see this year’s Bradley/MSU from a seat in the Breslin Center.  Earlier in the week, J and I made sugar cookies like we do every year from my grandma’s recipe.  She took a few to work and one of her co-workers said he’d like some more.  He’s got access to MSU basketball tickets and I offered up a trade.  Two dozen home made sugar cookies for two tickets to the Michigan State vs. Bradley basketball game.  I lived up to my end of the bargain and two days later, J came home with a pair of tickets.

I have been to a number of college basketball games, but surprisingly, never as a spectator.  I do a lot of work for sports networks that broadcast these games and that’s how I usually go…including last year’s MSU/Bradley game that was aired on ESPNU.  I had been to the Breslin Center one other time, but that was for a volleyball game earlier in the year, so I was really looking forward to getting to go to a game.  J had never been to a college basketball game either, so it was a treat for both of us.

Before we ever got inside the Breslin Center, I already had a sour taste in my mouth.  Parking sucks.  Really sucks.  I tried looking online for a parking map before we left, but couldn’t find anything.  There were no signs directing you to a public lot and everything near the arena had a temporary sign out front that said those lots were for passes only.  I finally found a paid lot on Kalamazoo heading back towards Lansing and by the time we got there, it was almost full.  We were one of the last cars they let in and one of the parking attendants had to move their car to create more parking spaces.  The spaces were really tight and my mid-size truck didn’t want to fit very well.  Had we not left the game five minutes early, leaving would have been a mess. Read the rest of this entry »








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