After a late afternoon lunch, neither J or I were really hungry around “dinner time.” We sat on the couch watching TV until a little after eight. It was then, we decided we needed to find something for dinner. I wasn’t really in the mood for another burger and the only thing I had a taste for was pizza. I was hesitant to suggest that because I seem to always go to pizza if I don’t want bar food. To my surprise, when I did suggest it, J said she was thinking the same thing.
Our first choice was the newly opened Izzo’s Pizzeria in REO Town. Unfortunately, we were too late. When we drove by, it was open. By the time we parked and walked back to the pizzeria, it was closed, so I went with Plan B.
The Sir Pizza Grand Cafe is in Lansing Old Town on Grand River Avenue overlooking the Grand River. When it came to ordering pizza, we always seemed to avoid the Lansing chain. The other Sir Pizza stores never really looked all that inviting. The one we always drive by is the Cedar Street/Mt. Hope location and that one looks like it’s abandoned. The front is all boarded up and you can’t tell that there’s anything going on inside. So, and I know this is bad, that’s how my perception of Sir Pizza was built, but I had heard good things about the Grand Cafe. Since we were still in the mood for pizza and Old Town wasn’t really all that far, that’s where we headed.
The Grand Cafe building is gorgeous. The floors are hardwood. The walls are exposed brick. It has more of a cafe feel than a pizzeria. There are couches in one corner in front a flat panel TV where one guy was taking advantage of the free wi-fi. There were some pub style tables as you walk in and even a small bar. The only thing really off the wall was the way the pictures were hung. They had some really neat photos, but they were hung by string from the ceiling instead of being nailed to the wall. The slight breeze were making the pictures move and it took us a few minutes to figure out we weren’t being watched by the pictures..they were actually moving. The whole set up was odd for a “chain” pizza place, but it was a welcome change to the normally drab take out buildings.
You order your pizza at the counter then they give you a plastic number to put on the table. There was no menu board, but they did have a paper menu taped to the counter. I knew we were getting a large cheese pizza, but I thought maybe we’d get some bread sticks or something. All J wanted was a side salad, so we got a large pizza, a side salad, and two drinks. The total was just a little over eighteen bucks.
We took a seat at one of the tables that would have been overlooking the river had it not been dark…and winter. J’s salad came out first. It wasn’t a whole lot…just some iceberg lettuce, a couple croutons and a package of Italian dressing. The wait for the pizza was about ten minutes. The pizza came out and it was not what I think either of us were expecting. The crust is somewhere between thin and crispy and chain style thick crust. The sauce had a good flavor and reminded me of a place I used to eat when I was little. The crust was a little soft. It didn’t have any crunch to it at all, but it was still a pretty tasty pizza. It would probably rank somewhere in the middle as far as Lansing pizzeria’s go.
We were really impressed with the atmosphere at The Grand Cafe. It didn’t feel like a pizza joint. It wasn’t the stereotypical pizza place that had pictures of Italy and a red, green, and white paint scheme. It was a lot hipper and felt like coffee shop. It’s actually too bad the rest of their stores aren’t like this, because it’s a concept that I haven’t seen anywhere else.