- 5600 S. Pennsylvania Avenue
- Lansing, MI 48911
- (517) 272-0036
- No Known Website
I’ve always known J was a little quirky. When most people aren’t feeling well, they want soup and 7-up. When J’s not feeling well, she wants something greasy. About the only time she ever craves burgers is when her tummy hurts. She’s been a little under the weather the past few days and when she sent me an e-mail from work about dinner, she caught by surprise. “I want a greasy dinner grilled cheese and fries.” How can I argue with that.
We chose Jackie’s Diner on South Pennsylvania because it’s close enough to J’s work and it’s a diner we haven’t been to yet. We got there a little after seven on a Friday night. The parking lot was pretty empty but there were a couple cars. When we got inside, a man told us to find a seat, so we grabbed a booth. J said she was worried I had picked an Asian diner due to the decor. The dining room was split level with booths in both levels and tables filling in the remaining space. To me, it felt like a little country diner.
While it was comforting, there was one big problem. The ceiling fans. Ceiling fans themselves aren’t really a problem. The problem is when you put them too close to lights. The entire dinner I felt like there was a strobe light just above my head. There was a light directly above one of the fan blades. You can imagine how annoying that can be.
The waitress came over with menus and took our drink orders for a Coke and a Diet Coke. A few minutes later, she came back for our order. The menu has a lot of interesting items. There’s the usual diner fare and they gave us a breakfast menu, so I’m guessing they do breakfast all day. They had some really good looking burgers and a section called the “Jack Daniel’s Grill.”
I took a different route than I usually do. I passed on the burgers and went straight to the sandwich section. The sandwich that stood out was Jackie’s Cuban Ciabbata. When I ordered, the waitress looked at me and asked if that had pork on it. Well, yeah, it has ham…is that what you mean? Turns out, they were out of pulled pork and that’s what she was asking. A few minutes later, she came back out of the kitchen and said they didn’t have any “Ka-batta” bread and asked if I’d be ok if it was on regular bread. I said ok, but the Ciabbata was really the reason I ordered it. What I got wasn’t a Cuban at all. A Cuban has ham, Swiss cheese, mustard, and pickles. Not this one. I sort of dissected the sandwich to see what it actually was. Turns out, I got ham, bacon, and Swiss. Since it still looked delicious, I didn’t say anything. The ham is cooked and sliced on site and it was really good. There were two slices of cheese that sandwiched the meat. The bun wasn’t Ciabbata, but it wasn’t two slices of white bread either. It was kind of an over sized hoagie roll that had been toasted. Like I said, it wasn’t what I ordered, but it was still really good. Much better than I was expecting. The sandwich came with a side of fries. They were really crispy out of the bag fries.
J knew what she wanted before we even sat down. She found a grilled cheese on the menu and that’s what she ordered. Her sandwich was huge. It was a triple decker with Swiss, mozzarella, and cheddar. There was a lot of cheese and a lot of bread. It was the greasy sandwich she was craving. Her sandwich also came with fries and they were cooked exactly like she likes them.
Our bill was a little over sixteen bucks. We went to Jackie’s Diner looking for good, greasy diner food and that was exactly what we got. The meal was good, but some atmosphere issues really took away from the experience. There was the strobe light effect that I already mentioned plus it was smokey….really smokey. J noticed as soon as we walked in the door. It took me a little bit longer, but I can smell it on my shirt now. As for the food, Jackie’s isn’t your typical diner. They have some really good, interesting options and it looks like a lot of their stuff is home made. There’s a big selection of pies and desserts and some even come in “dieter’s portions.” Jackie’s was good. The service was a little spotty and the atmosphere could use some work, but the food was solid.