The Lansing City Pulse announced their Top of the Town winners in this week’s edition. I found a lot of the winner’s surprising. Here are the dining winners with my thoughts. Make sure you check out City Pulse for winners in all categories.
Bar Food – Art’s Bar and The Peanut Barrel – I’ll totally agree on Art’s Bar. Peanut Barrel was good, but nothing outstanding. I’m still a big fan of Leo’s Lodge and Barley’s has some of the best wings in town. The Nuthouse is also up there.
Bread/bakery – Great Harvest Bread Company – I haven’t bought bread from anywhere other than Horrocks and Kroger so I don’t have an opinion either way on this one. I have eaten at Great Harvest before and they do have good stuff, so that one’s probably not too far off although I’d rather see a local place win.
Breakfast – Golden Havest – In total agreement on this one
Casual Dining – Applebees – Again, hate to see a chain win. I would probably put The Soup Spoon in this category and I would definitely rate it above Applebees
Diner – Fleetwood Diner – It’s hard to argue with Fleetwood’s atmosphere, but I think Jackie’s Diner has better food. Hell, even Golden Harvest could win this category
Gourmet – Troppo – I really liked Troppo. We had a great lunch there. Also had a really good meal at the State Room. This category is a toss up for me.
Asian Food – Lamai Thai Kitchen – I don’t eat Asian food, so I have no opinion on this category
Italian Food – Emil’s – There’s not a ton of Italian options in Lansing, but Emil’s is a good one.
Indian and Middle Eastern food fit in the same category as Asian food for me, so I won’t even comment.
Mexican Food – El Azteco on Saginaw – I’ve been on a Mexican kick recently and really liked Aldaco’s. I haven’t eaten at the El Azteco in Lansing yet, but wasn’t overly impressed with the East Lansing location.
Appetizers – Houlihan’s – We don’t do appetizers very often. I know we didn’t when we ate at Houlihan’s. About the only place we ever do is Barley’s and that’s because we don’t order food…just a few apps and beer.
BBQ – Smokey Bones – Seriously, this shouldn’t even be a category. There is no BBQ joints in Lansing. I haven’t eaten at this Smokey Bones yet, but I have eaten at others. Lansing really, really needs someone who does BBQ right
Burger – Crunchy’s – This is the one category I consider myself an expert in and Crunchy’s is NOT the best burger in Lansing. Hell, it’s not even in the top five. How they win year after year is amazing to me. Leo’s Lodge has the best burger as far as I’m concerned. Dagwood’s has a good one too. There are so many bars with better burgers than Crunchy’s.
Chili – Wendy’s – Again, curious as to why this is a category. The only place I’ve had chili is Zeus’ Coney Island and it was really good.
Cocktails – Troppo – I don’t do cocktails. Strictly a beer man
Cup of Coffee – Biggby – Not a coffee drinker either. J does stop at the Biggby on South Cedar pretty often though.
Desserts – Roma Bakery – I can agree with this one too.
Fries – Dagwood’s – In agreement with this one too. Really great fries.
Pizza – Deluca’s – Deluca’s was good, but not really my thing. Fat Boys Pizza in Holt was my favorite for a long time. Then, I had the thin crust at Art’s and loved that. Recently, J has been ordering thin crusts from Cottage Inn and really liking those. Guido’s Premium Pizza is a place that also rates up there for us.
Sandwich Shop – Jimmy John’s – Ugh. I hate Jimmy John’s. They put a gallon of mayo on everything. I think Hobie’s does a much better job of making sandwiches. If we can pick chains, I’d even pick Cosi, Submarinia, and Jersey Giant Subs over Jimmy John’s.
Sunday Brunch – Clara’s – Clara’s is the only Sunday Brunch we’ve had and we were really happy with it.
Steak – Knight Cap – I’m really jealous of J. She ate at the Knight Cap when she interviewed for her job. I still haven’t been. I don’t eat steaks when we eat out. The best steaks are made in my backyard.
Vegetarian/Vegan – Mama Bear’s Cafe – Not really a category I know anything about.
Atmosphere – Tavern on the Square – No way. No one in this town beats Golden Harvest for atmosphere.
New Restaurant – Dublin Square – uh…Dublin Square opened in 2007. The best new restaurant I ate at was Brother’s Grill in East Lansing.
Patio – Peanut Barrel – Agreed
Best Value – Golden Harvest – Emphatically agree