Panera Bread – Lansing Mall

21 08 2008
  • 5300 W. Saginaw Hwy
  • Lansing, MI 48917
  • (517) 703-9340
  • Website
  • Menu
Panera Bread located inside the Lansing Mall on Saginaw Highway in Lansing

Panera Bread located inside the Lansing Mall on Saginaw Highway in Lansing

I used to be scared of Panera Bread.  I always assumed there is nothing there I would like because they didn’t make greasy hamburgers and fries.  My girlfriend finally got me there one day while we were doing some extended work in Decatur, IL.  We had exhausted all of the downtown restaurant options and another lady we were working with had mentioned she was going to Panera Bread.  I decided not to argue and went along for the ride.  To my surprise, I actually found quite a bit there that sounded and looked good.  Panera has always been a standby for J.  She eats there pretty much every time she has to work in Kalamazoo or anytime she has to find someplace to eat and I’m not with her.

Today, we needed to run to Horrocks before heading back to Illinois for the weekend.  J just wanted a salad for lunch and asked if there was a Panera close.  The only one I could think of was the one at the Lansing Mall so after we grabbed what we needed from Horrocks, we headed down Saginaw Highway to the mall.  Read the rest of this entry »

Welcome Enlightened Spartan Viewers

21 08 2008

I’ve noticed the last couple days that a lot of hits are coming from the Enlightened Spartan website.  For those of you finding this blog for the first time, thanks for checking it out and I hope you find something you like.  For those of you regular readers, make sure to check out Enlightened Spartan for some incredible Spartan sports coverage.

McDonald’s – Holt

20 08 2008
  • 2400 S. Cedar St.
  • Holt, MI 48842
  • (517) 694-9431
  • Website
  • Menu
The McDonalds on South Cedar St. in Holt

The McDonald's on South Cedar St. in Holt

Surprisingly, McDonald’s is one of my favorite fast food restaurants.  I don’t eat there often because I don’t eat fast food all that much, but I do really like their “burgers.”  Since moving to Lansing, I haven’t eaten at one even though there is one right down the road from our place.  J and I needed to make a run to Target this morning to get a diaper bag and some bottles…..for my brother who’s wife is expecting my first niece in about seven weeks.  While we were out, we decided to just run and grab lunch instead of coming home and trying to make something.

J wants to get back on the Weight Watchers diet and the only way it will work is if I get on it too.  I’m not super excited about it because it takes away all the foods I like and makes me eat larger portions of the foods I don’t.  But, she wants to do it and I want to help her, so I’ll do my best. 

Since she wants to start this diet, my usual double quarter pounder with cheese value meal isn’t really an option.  For the first time since I was five and ordering happy meals, I ordered something other than the #4.  I didn’t really know what any of their salads were so I just ordered what J did.  We both got the Southwestern salad.  I got grilled chicken and she got crispy chicken. Read the rest of this entry »

The Peanut Barrel

19 08 2008
  • 521 E. Grand River Ave.
  • East Lansing, MI 48823
  • (517) 351-0608
  • Website
  • Menu
The Peanut Barrel on Grand River Ave. in East Lansing across the street from Michigan State University

The Peanut Barrel on Grand River Ave. in East Lansing across the street from Michigan State University

The Peanut Barrel is one of the restaurants that have been our list since we moved here.  One of our first weekends in Lansing, we went to check out East Lansing and MSU.  We walked by the Peanut Barrel and the patio area was full with a long wait, so we didn’t stop.  Every other time we’ve been down that way, the situation was the same, so we’ve always passed.  Those times were always weekends which makes sense.  Lots of students with families in town.  We finally made it to East Lansing on a Tuesday morning right before lunch and thought it would be the perfect time to try to get a seat outside. 

My girlfriend needed to go to the Secretary of State’s Office.  I asked her which one and she just said one near a restaurant we haven’t been to.  The Mason branch is the closest, but there’s not a lot of restaurants around there.  I thought I remembered seeing a branch in East Lansing and there are still a ton of restaurants in that area that we haven’t been to, so that’s where I went.  Like all trips to the SOS office, it never goes smoothly.  We had to drive all the way back home to get something and go back.  Same thing happened to me last time I went.  Why do they have to make it so damn hard? Read the rest of this entry »

City Market Vote – Liveblogging – Market Approved!

18 08 2008

The City Council is taking up the issue of the City Market at tonight’s City Council Meeting…I got the TIVO going on this one, but it’s going to be a long, long night.  There are almost 70 people signed up for public comment on legislative matters and general matters.  The Council did vote to limit public comment to 2 minutes instead of 3, but if everyone speaks, that’s still 2 hours and 20 minutes of public comment.

Before that though, Mayor Bernero made a few comments about the project.

He said it will create jobs for 100’s of skilled trades people and opportunities for citizens.  It will grow the city’s taxbase and help pay for essential services.  It will also clean up historic environmental contamination along the riverfront. The new building will be a $1.6 million new facility that is energy efficient and more spacious. 

“This is the plan that will catapult the Lansing City Market to new heights of success”

Update 7:51 PM – There were some updates to the final development agreement over the weekend. 

  1. Added definition to not include strip malls.  No single story commercial structure
  2. Defined expected economic tools from city.  Struck Dept. of Environ. Quality loan.
  3. Developer may make application for incentives that will require approval from City.
  4. Developer has agreed to make good faith efforts to hire diverse Mid-Michigan workforce.  Developer agree to put in contract with construction manager language that reads “All contractors must adhere to the City of Lansing’s taxing regulations which include reporting income tax and wage detail information.”
  5. Some dates have been tweaked a little bit to bring in to unity time to complete the project. 
  6. Closing date was moved up by a month from May1 to April 1 to fit new payment schedule.  Full payment for property due April 1 so construction cannot be started before property is sold
  7. Prepayments will not returned if developer decides not to build before closing
  8. In a scenario in the future, if he were to sell the building or piece of property to any non tax paying entity, he would agree to pay the full millage rate on the property 63.63 mills for 15 years starting with the date of the occupancy permit being issued on whatever that project is.

Update 8:00 PM – Public comment starts and one of the first guys up come out yelling about historical buildings and bashing the mayor and threatens that everyone up there can be replaced. Read the rest of this entry »


18 08 2008
  • 3222 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
  • Lansing, MI 48910
  • (517) 394-0396
  • Website
The Save-A-Lot store on Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. in Lansing.

The Save-A-Lot store on Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. in Lansing.

We moved to Lansing about five months ago and in that time, I’ve never really gone down Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.  Today, I needed to run to the Walgreens out that way, so I decided to drive around a little and check it out.  Usually, I go to the Walgreens on the corner of Jolly and Cedar, but they were having problems with their photo equipment.  I also needed to make a quick grocery store run to get a few things for dinner.  As I was leaving the parking lot of the Walgreens on MLK, I noticed the Save-A-Lot across the street.

I’ve never really been in a Save-A-Lot, so I didn’t know what to expect.  The only store in my old town was near a college, so I avoided it.  Today’s adventure is the first time I went in to shop.  The store is set up a lot like Aldi’s.  All the products are shipped in custom cartons that allow them to be product displays.  There’s not a whole lot of people stocking shelves.  They stores are also much smaller than most grocery stores.  The selection isn’t quite as big either.  There’s pretty much only one option for each product and there’s not a whole lot of sizes.  This is how they claim they can save you up to 40% on your grocery bill. Read the rest of this entry »

Maggie Moos Ice Cream and Treatery

18 08 2008
  • 1077 N. Wisner St.
  • Jackson, MI 49202
  • (517) 990-0579
  • Website
  • Menu
Maggie Moos Ice Cream and Treatery in Jackson

Maggie Moos Ice Cream and Treatery in Jackson

Funny story.  J and I are sitting in the press conference room at MIS waiting for Carl Edwards to come in.  By this point it had been almost six hours since we last ate.  She turned around and said she wanted a big meal, then ice cream.  I said we should go to Buffalo Barbeque Wings (review HERE) in Jackson for dinner then maybe we could search for an ice cream shop with her GPS.  We pull into the strip mall where Buffalo Barbeque Wings is located and two doors down is a Maggie Moos.  Ain’t that luck?

After dinner, she made a bee-line for the ice cream shop.  We were a little worried that wouldn’t be open at 8:00 on a Sunday night, but they actually stay open pretty late.  We made out way into the store where a few other groups had the same idea we did.  Today was must have been the day of imitators.  J was watching one of the guys make someone else’s ice cream when she turned to me and said, “this is just like Cold Stone.”  It is just like Cold Stone.  You pick your flavor and your mixins and they make it right in front of you the same way as we’re used to getting at the larger chain.  Read the rest of this entry »

Buffalo Barbeque Wings

18 08 2008
  • 1085 N. Wisner St.
  • Jackson, MI 49202
  • (517) 782-4344
  • Website
  • Menu
Buffalo Barbeque Wings in Jackson

Buffalo Barbeque Wings in Jackson

I first heard about Buffalo Barbeque Wings (yes, Barbeque, not Wild) a few months ago when the Jackson Citizen-Patriot ran a blurb about it’s opening.  I blogged about (here) and I have gotten hundreds of hits for that post.  When you type “Buffalo Barbecue (sic) Wings” in Google, that post is the first hit you get.  Seems there are a lot of people wanting to know more about this place but since they don’t have a website, they keep getting directed to my site.

My girlfriend and I were down in Brooklyn for the Sprint Cup race.  I was doing some work and we both had garage passes.  The concession stands in the pits suck and the media lunch was at noon, so by the time 6:00 rolled around, we were both starving.  As we were waiting for Carl Edwards to make his way to the conference room, J asked about dinner.  Since we were already going through Jackson, I asked her if she was up for some wings.  I figured if people are going to come to this blog looking for information, I might as well give it to them.

We avoided the mess on US 127 by staying on US 12 after leaving the track and cutting through the country on Jackson Rd.  We ended up only sitting in traffic for 20 minutes instead of the hour plus we did last time.  Since we took Jackson Rd, we ended up going all the way through town to get to where we were going.  That’s not necessary on a normal day.  We found on the way home Buffalo Barbecue Wings is less than a mile from I-94 and US 127.  We found the shop in a strip mall.  There was just a sign that marked the spot.  Had we not been looking for it, it would have been easy to miss.  It’s behind Biggby and that’s how I knew to start looking.  I saw the Biggby and turned into the parking lot.  After a quick scan of the storefronts, we found Read the rest of this entry »

Ruby Tuesday States The Obvious

16 08 2008

If you haven’t seen this yet, you should get a kick out of it…

Awesome.  Not only that, a great marketing ploy.  This was not a mistake. It was the idea of an ingenious marketing guy

In fact, the Company made it appear as if they had blown up a competitor’s restaurant right next door, because “all casual dining restaurants have come to look alike, and the demo crew mistook theirs for ours.” It’s all a fun way to make the point that there is a better, fresher Ruby Tuesday, and it’s different from the rest.

Now that’s funny!  Ruby Tuesday finally woke up and realized what foodies have been saying for years.  It doesn’t matter if they call it Ruby Tuesday, TGIFriday’s, Applebees, Bennigans or whatever, they’re all the same restaurant.  So, what are they changing?

Gone are the artifacts and memorabilia, the black-and-white checked tablecloths and the dark-stained woods. Now there is a clean and more contemporary look, with soft, earth-tone colors, upholstered seats that make you want to stay a little longer, specially commissioned artwork and photographs, and colorful, light-hearted lighting fixtures. On the outside, Ruby Tuesdays are now painted a uniform, pleasing color, accented with attractive black awnings.

Good riddance.  I’m not saying this is gonna make a difference, but at least they’re getting rid of cheap, tacky decor that was mocked in Office Space

“You know what, Stan, if you want me to wear 37 pieces of flair, like your pretty boy over there, Brian, why don’t you just make the minimum 37 pieces of flair?

Ha Ha Ha….I loved that movie.

City Market Plans Need More Work

15 08 2008

The City held a work session with developer Pat Gillespie yesterday trying to come to a consensus on a new City Market.  The State-Journal  has the recap.

Gillespie hopes ultimately to get the six votes he needs to replace the old market building at Cedar and Shiawassee streets with Market Place, a $24 million to $30 million retail, office and residential development on the downtown riverfront.

“It’s a work in progress,” (Councilman Eric) Hewitt said of the agreement. “I’m very encouraged by the fact that Pat Gillespie has been willing to sit down, listen to our comments and include them in the buy/sell agreement.”

Council members unanimously agreed Thursday to vote on the sale at Monday’s full session. Yet they’ve stated lingering concerns about the agreement’s language regarding incentives, a clean-up loan and Gillespie’s commitment to hiring local labor.

Local labor?  Fine.  If they bid competitively then give them the job, but you can’t just give people work because of where they live.  For example, I live five miles from Spartan Stadium.  I do freelance work for the Big Ten Network.  MSU has a home game on Sept. 6 that will air on BTN.  I’m driving 340 miles one way to Champaign to work for the same network instead of working the MSU game.  In my case, it’s not price because I’m probably cheaper than some guys who work here, but it has more to do with seniority.  I would love to be able to stay here and work instead of going to Illinois, but it’s not going to happen, so I go where the work is.  It happens…it’s part of life and it shouldn’t hold up the City Market.  Something needs to be done to revitalize the property.  As I’ve said many times, I’m a recent transplant to Lansing.  I was really looking forward to the City Market.  When we got here, I’ve been nothing but disappointed.  I would rather go to some of the once a week farmer’s markets and do most of my shopping at Horrocks.  Something needs to be done.  The historic building isn’t enough.  Sometimes, you have to start over to make progress.  Take a lot of pictures and save signs.  That’s what museums are for.