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.
After finding the shop, we had to find parking. I’ve come to the conclusion that snow is an excuse to park like a jackass. I drove around a couple blocks and could find half spaces where people didn’t pull all the way forward or just took up two meters because it was easier. I finally got frustrated and just parked in the parking deck. We had already spent too much time getting there and I was getting worried about getting J back to work in time. Going to dinner in East Lansing from South Lansing on a dinner break wasn’t the best idea I ever had.
There are two entrances to Brother’s Grill. There’s the obvious entrance in the front and there’s an entrance off the alley that I didn’t notice until we were walking back to the car. Once inside, we made our way to the counter near the back of the space. There’s a menu board hanging over the cash register and you can see in to the tiny kitchen. Brother’s Grill offers a great menu for the college crowd.
J went first and ordered the BBQ chicken sandwich. You get your choice of three different BBQ sauces. There’s the house sauce which the order taker said was a little spicy, a sweet sauce, and a chipotle sauce. J went with the sweet. The sandwich also comes with bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and onion and a soft, flaky bun. With the sandwich, you get a choice of one of their sides. J chose fries. She loved the sandwich. You could see the grill marks and she said it tasted like a 4th of July BBQ. She got a ton of fries in her little plastic basket. The fries had a cajun seasoning on them, but weren’t too hot.
I ordered the BBQ bacon burger. Just like J, I got the choice of BBQ sauce. I chose the chipotle. The sandwich was topped pretty much the same way as J’s with cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and onion. I tried to pick the lettuce, tomato, and onion off, but had problem with the lettuce. Not a big deal as that’s the one topping I don’t really mind. The bacon was put under the cheese and that helped keep it in the place. The BBQ sauce was a little smokey, a little spicy, and a lot messy. It was delicious. The burger was a frozen hamburger patty cooked until there was just a little pink in the middle. The taste seemed familiar too me, but it took a while to figure it out. It sort of tasted like a Dairy Queen burger and I used to eat those three times a week. The only thing that could improve this burger is fresh meat. It was really good, but still a frozen patty. If I went to school or worked at MSU, I would have a hard time not ordering this sandwich everyday for lunch. Like J, I got the fries with my sandwich. They were over seasoned a little bit, but still really good. I didn’t have a problem finishing off mine and part of J’s.
The way things work is you order then they bring you your food. We waited maybe ten minutes while our orders were prepared. The dining room isn’t huge. There’s four booths along one wall and a few tables as well as a counter looking out the window towards Grand River. When the new owners took over, the put on a fresh coat of paint and hung some tropical themed scenic pictures as well as an HD flat panel TV which looks a little out of place hanging on the wall, but no business in East Lansing should be without a TV. The only complaint about the whole meal was the volume on the TV. They have surround sound speakers hung around the dining room. I wanted to watch the MSU vs. Iowa basketball game while eating, but they had the volume turned up so high, conversation was a little tough. I’m not a fan of loud music in bars because it’s hard to talk to people. Listening to ESPN commentators that loud is even worse.
Brother’s Grill is a great addition to East Lansing and Michigan State University. Students have a ton of choices in the area, but there’s not many places you can get a burger and fries like this as cheaply as you can at Brother’s Grill. Our total for the two sandwiches and two drinks was just under fifteen bucks. It was a good, cheap meal. We were a little stressed because of our time constraints, but that was our own fault. This is the perfect place for a hungry student wanting something other than pizza or tacos.