Zeus’ Coney Island – Lansing

9 01 2009
  • 6525 S. Pennsylvania Ave.
  • Lansing, MI 48911
  • (517) 272-7900
  • No Known Website
  • Menu

Zeus' Coney Island on Pennsylvania Avenue in Lansing

On our first day in Lansing when we were apartment hunting, the first restaurant we saw after getting off of I-96 was Zeus’ Coney Island on Pennsylvania Avenue.  At that time, I had no idea what a Coney Island restaurant was and wondered why a Greek restaurant had a name I associated with New York City.

For ten months now, J and I have been saying we need to go to Zeus’.  The parking lot is always packed and a couple of her co-workers are regulars at the Greek diner.  After what seems like several days of snow, we finally decided to give it a shot.  You see, I have the four wheel drive, so when it snows, I usually end up taking J back to work after her dinner break.  When it really snows, I take her at the start of her shift.  Instead of making four trips back and forth, we just end up going out to dinner instead of coming home for dinner.  When I dropped her off, I didn’t know the snow was going to taper off by 7:00, so I said I wanted to stay on this side of town.  J suggested Zeus’ and I didn’t argue.

Zeus’ Coney Island sits on Pennsylvania between Cedar Street and the I-96 ramps.  It’s one of two restaurants owned by the same people.  The other is in Brighton.  There’s no way you can head down Pennsylvania and not see it.  The building looks like an old Wendy’s or some other type of fast food.  There are two huge signs that stick to the simple color palette of the Greek flag. 

Like every other time I’ve drove by Zeus’, the parking lot was packed.  If they can keep the tables full in the middle of a recession, you know it must be good.  We found a pretty close parking spot then trudged through the snow.  Once inside, it’s obvious Zeus’ spent it’s former life as a fast food chain.  The counters are still there although now they are used as a waitress prep station.  There’s a cashier up front and a sign that says to wait to be seated.

Zeus Coney Island on a cold, snowy, January night.

Zeus' Coney Island on a cold, snowy, January night.

We could only see two empty tables once we got inside.  The space is jammed full tables.  There are three rows of booths.  One along each side and one sort of down the middle.  Between two of those rows are tables which are crammed into the space.  In the back “sun room” area, there is another row of booths which is where we were seated.

Zeus’ is a classic Greek diner.  They have a number of Greek specialties on their menu, but they also do American favorites like burgers and sandwiches.  They also serve a traditional American breakfast all day.   I’m not a super huge fan of Greek food although I do like a number of dishes.  Gyros ain’t one of them, so I settled on Zeus’ burger.  The burger is two all beef patties, two slices of cheese, grilled onions, lettuce, tomato on a fresh grilled bun.  I didn’t see the word “grilled” on the menu as it pertains to onions so I was a little surprised when I got the sandwich.  I didn’t plan on eating the onion.  I figured it was raw and I would just pick it off.  Picking off grilled onions is a little more tricky, but that was my bad.  I’m sort of glad I ordered this burger.  The sandwich was really good, but the burger patties were pretty thin.  Two of them was the perfect size.  The cheese was nice and gooey.  For a diner burger, Zeus’ burger was above average.

For an extra three bucks, you can add soup, fries, or a salad and a pop to your sandwich.  I actually passed on fries this time and got a cup of their Coney Island Chili.  I’ve pretty much passed on Coney Dogs since moving here because I’m not a huge hot dog fan, but I love the sauce.  I noticed on option to get hamburger meat on a hot dog bun with the sauce, but passed on that when I saw I could just get a cup of the chili.  If everyone made chili like Michiganders make Coney Sauce, I would eat a lot more chili.  No beans.  No filler.  I could have eaten a whole pot of this chili.  It was delicious.   J gave me some of her fries once she got done and I was wiping the bowl clean with them.  Delicious.

J ordered the grilled chicken breast sandwich.  This was a huge chicken breast marinated, grilled, and served on an onion roll.  The waitress said it was a huge piece of chicken and she wasn’t lying.  The unfortunate thing was that it was a thick piece of chicken.  At home, I usually fillet and pound flat the chicken I buy from the store.  J likes chicken, but she does like the big thick ones that are pretty prevalent at the mega marts these days.  This piece of chicken was similar to that.  She ate about half of it then asked me if there was any way to fillet it.  I took the chicken and did my best with a butter knife.  I gave back half and kept half for myself.  It was actually a really good piece of chicken.

J made her sandwich a combo as well and ordered fries.  The fries were a little soggy like they’d only been dunked in the hot oil once.  She ate about half of those then gave me the remainder.

Much to our surprise, the bill was just under $17.  We both got quite a bit of food and were shocked the bill came in under twenty bucks.  We were talking about ordering the Saganaki and, in hindsight, we probably should have.  We saw it for the first time at Greek Islands in Chicago (review HERE) and noticed it on the menu at Zeus’

I know now why Zeus’ parking lot is always full.  It’s a great diner with great diner food.  Even the packed restaurant didn’t slow things down.  We were in and out in just about a half hour.  Zeus’ is close enough to home that we can use it as a reliable stand by.  Zeus’ was a pleasant surprise.  I can’t imagine why it took us ten months to try it.

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3 responses

24 01 2010
Melody

We did the same thing, driving past Zeus’ and considering stopping, but for 2 years. We finally tried it about 5 months ago and we’ve been really happy! My dad LOVED the pretzel crusted Walleye dinner. I’m a fan of their Lemon Rice Soup, and my partner is a fan of their Greek Sampler dinner (especially the Baklava) 🙂
Just a few more suggestions for next time you stop in.

21 01 2012
Mike

Great write up about Zeus’ Coney Island. They also have another restaurant in Brighton called Greecian Island. The website for both is at http://www.zuesconeyisland.com

17 10 2013
jamespbachle

james is going live in holt mi by nov 16 th and he will be looking for a partime job and looking into about 20 to 29 hours a week

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