Jon’s Country Burgers

28 05 2008
  • 3109 S. Cedar St.Jon's Country Burger
  • Lansing, MI 48910
  • (517) 393-1627
  • No Known Website
  • Menu

I’ve driven by Jon’s Country Burgers quite a few times on my way to some other restaurant downtown and always wondered, “What the heck is a country burger?”  Well, I found Jon’s menu on-line and answered that question.  It’s “two patties of fresh ground meat, melted cheese, pickle, lettuce, and salad dressing on a toasted bun.”  OK, so that really doesn’t sound appetizing to me (it’s the salad dressing part), but I needed a place to eat a quick dinner one night because I didn’t feel like cooking.

I picked my girlfriend up from work and we headed down Cedar to Jon’s which was obviously a drive-in back in the day.  There’s still an awning for curbside service, but there’s also a dining room…which USED to actually be the drive-in.  It looks like they just put up four walls and added some furniture.  You can still see the wall that used to be the exterior wall.  The door to “go inside” is still there and the waitresses use still use the small counter to pick up orders behind the glass wall.

Jon's Country BurgerJon’s was a little confusing for us first-timers.  When we walked in, we really didn’t know what to do.  A waitress came out and said to just find a seat so we did.  We pulled out the menus on the table and began to look them over.  A different waitress came over with water and told us when we were ready to order to just pick up the phone.  Yes, there are phones at every table that connect you right to the kitchen.  That’s how you place your order.  The waitress doesn’t take it. 

After a few minutes of looking over the menu, my girlfriend picked up the phone and placed our order.  She got the chicken stips which came with an order of fries.  They were the standard deep fried chicken strips, but they were soft and moist.  She got honey mustard on the side and asked for a couple sides of barbecue sauce as well.  The five strips and out of the bag fries were more than enough for her. 

I got the Bacon Burger with Cheese basket.  My sandwich came with fries and applesauce which I passed over to my g/f.  They also brought out a shaker of cinnamon to the table for the applesauce.  My burger was, again, your standard drive-in burger.  There were two strips of crispy bacon a slice of cheese on a juicy burger.  It’s the kind of meal that just begs for me to oversalt the fries then wipe the plate with the burger just to make it a little more salty.  I’m not sure why, but it’s one of those wierd things that I’ve just been doing forever with cheap burgers.

I finished my burger and fries long before my girlfriend did.  I really didn’t feel like there was a whole lot there.  Either that or I was really hungry.  The waitress came and took my plate while my girlfriend finished then seemed to forget about us.   I don’t want to be too tough on her because she was in training and she was a little timid it seemed like.  My g/f finished her meal then we sat there for 10-15 minutes waiting for a check.  The waitress finally came over and asked if we needed anything else and we ended up just asking for the check just to make sure we got it then.  She went back into the kitchen area and came out a few minutes later.  The total for the two of us was $20.  Stupid me, I thought I had a $20 in my wallet, but to my surprise when I opened my wallet, there was only $10.  I felt a little stupid having to ask my girlfriend to spot me $10, but she did and I’ll make it up to her with lunch tomorrow.

Jon’s is a really unique place.  The ordering system is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.  It lets you talk directly to the cook, so you take the middle man out and make sure you get exactly what you order.  Some of the other things were a little wierd.  The waitresses uniforms looked too much like nurses uniforms and they were always carrying around trays which really made things feel more like a hospital than a restaurant.  The food was classic comfort food which met, but didn’t exceed my expectations.  It’s another one of those places I’m glad we went to just because of the uniqueness of the building and the expeience, but not sure if we’ll go back.  It probably wasn’t a good thing that on our first trip there we had a waitress in training since we didn’t really know how things worked.  It was almost so confusing that it really took away from the dining experience.


Campaign for Smoke Free Air Optimistic

28 05 2008

Even though I’v been a vocal supporter of an outright ban, I think today’s vote was the nail in the coffin.  I really don’t see Sen. Bishop letting a second, yet exact same, version of the smoking ban being called before the session ends on June 26.  However, the lobbyists disagree with me.

Lansing, Mich. – The Campaign for Smokefree Air (CSA) is encouraged today by the state House’s actions in moving the smokefree bill forward, but is disappointed that it chose to include exemptions, causing the bill to be sent to the other chamber. We were pleased by the additional support in the House, in that nine more representatives see the need for smokefree air. However, we are concerned that the House did not concur with the Senate passed version and instead allowed exemptions,” said Susan Schechter, spokesperson for CSA. “All employees deserve the same protections from secondhand smoke. We will continue to work with both chambers to pass a comprehensive smokefree workplace bill.”

The House passed a vehicle bill, HB 5074, which is essentially the same bill that was passed by the chamber in December. The bill was approved 65-39, and sent back to the Senate for consideration.

Of the 33 states that already have smokefree workplace laws, more than two dozen regulate smoking inside casinos, including six that provide smokefree gaming areas and halls. Three more states (Montana, Nebraska and Oregon) will expand their smokefree policies to include casinos in 2009. The city council in Atlantic City recently voted to close the loophole in New Jersey’s law that exempted casinos — all worksites in the city will be smokefree starting in October.


HB 4163 Wednesday Update

28 05 2008

The House of Representatives has already ended their session today without voting on HB 4163There was discussion of the bill when they were voting on HB 5074 which bans smoking in college dormotories.  There was a discussion of why they need to pass this bill if HB 4163 would pretty much ban smoking in all workplaces.

UPDATE – The Lansing State-Journal put an article on-line saying the House DID in fact pass a smoking ban bill this afternoon. However, it was not HB 4163 which was sent back to by the Senate.  I went back and looked at the text of HB 5074 as passed this afternoon and it is THAT bill that was passed with the same language as the original HB 4163.

This is why I should pay attention when I’m watching The House.  I heard them talking about the the smoking ban during the discussion, but the bill title was about college dorms.  If you look at the enrolled bill and the passed bill, they don’t even resemble each other other than the word smoking.

So, to make this clear, what happened was the House passed the same bill they passed originally exempting Casino’s, bingo halls, and cigar bars.  The bill goes back to the Senate which will now have to vote, again, on the same bill they’ve already amended and sent back to the House.  In short, things have probably hit a permanent road block.