Potter Park Zoo

30 05 2009
  • 1301 S. Pennsylvania Avenue
  • Lansing, MI 48912
  • (517) 483-4222
  • Website
Potter Park Zoo on Pennsylvania Avenue in Lansing.

Potter Park Zoo on Pennsylvania Avenue in Lansing.

Last year, J and I did a lot of exploring on the day of the “Be A Tourist In Your Own Town” event.  The first place we went was the Potter Park Zoo.  Both J and I have fond memories of trips to Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo and Brookfield Zoo from our childhood.  The Potter Park Zoo isn’t quite comparable, but the day we spent there was a lot of fun and something we were looking forward to for this year’s “Be A Tourist..”

The Potter Park Zoo is on Pennsylvania Avenue on the banks of the Red Cedar River.  On a normal day, you would have to pay for parking then pay to get in.  Since we’ve made both our trips on the “Be A Tourist….” day, we’ve gotten both fees waived with our passports.  From Pennsylvania, you drive down a long driveway before hitting the parking lot. 

This year, the parking lot was packed.  We drove around for a while before we found a spot.  We also timed it just right with a CATA bus.  They had just dropped off a load of people, so when we got up the ticket window to show our passports, there was a line.  Even without having to pay, it took about ten minutes to get in.  Read the rest of this entry »





Backyard Bar-B-Q – Okemos

29 05 2009
  • 2329 Jolly Road
  • Okemos, MI 48864
  • (517) 381-8290
  • No Known Website
  • Menu
Backyard Bar-B-Q on Jolly Road in Okemos

Backyard Bar-B-Q on Jolly Road in Okemos

I’ve been pretty vocal on this blog about the lack of real BBQ joints in Lansing.  Sure, there’s a chain out near Eastwood and a guy who sells BBQ out of the back of his van, but there’s no real place that I can turn to when the BBQ craving hits. 

A few months ago, it was suggested that I try Backyard Bar-B-Q which has three stores in the Lansing Metro.  J and I tried to go for dinner one night, but they close at 7:00, so we missed it. 

This afternoon, J and I had to run some errands in Meridian Township including picking up our “passports” for the Be A Tourist In Your Own Town from a very rude Customer Service person at the Meridian Mall.  After that mess, we headed to Kohls to do some things then it was time for lunch.  J was running short on time and suggested we find a deli.  We were just talking about BBQ and it triggered Backyard Bar-B-Q.   Since we had to go back that way, it sounded good to both of us.

The Backyard Bar-B-Q in Okemos is in a strip mall on Jolly Road near the Okemos Road intersection.  We popped in jut before 1:00 on a Friday afternoon and the place was packed.  There were a few tables set up outside that were all full and most of the tables inside were occupied as well.  The store is not very big, but they do make good use of the public space.  The order counter is in the back near the kitchen.  There is a menu board nailed to the wall above the counter.  Read the rest of this entry »





Ponderosa Steakhouse & Buffet

27 05 2009
  • 6727 S. Cedar St.
  • Lansing, MI 48911
  • (517) 694-1299
  • Website
  • Menu
Ponderosa Steakhouse & Buffet on South Cedar in Lansing.

Ponderosa Steakhouse & Buffet on South Cedar in Lansing.

Ponderosa was a staple in my family growing up.  My parents had two hungry boys and there’s no better value than an all-you-can eat buffet.  Since then, I’ve kind of drifted away from those type of places.  You don’t think quality food when you think buffet.

The Ponderosa on South Cedar Street in front of Lowe’s has been calling J and I since we moved here.  We’ve made so many jokes about going to Ponderosa, but we never have.  The restaurant is literally within walking distance but it’s just never sounded like a good idea.

I was supposed to go to the Lugnuts game tonight and J was going to fend for herself for dinner, but as I got down to Oldsmobile Park, the sky’s opened up again the game was cancelled.   I headed back towards home and texted J that I was home.  She asked if I wanted to meet at Ponderosa for dinner.  I thought she was joking, but she wasn’t, so we did.

We met in the parking lot which was the first of many weird things.  If you enter after you pass the building, you have to park in back.  There is an entrance before the building (if you’re coming from Pennsylvania) with angled parking.  The entrance to the building is actually on the backside.

When you get inside, there is a counter where you order your dinner.  The menu board doesn’t list the price of the buffet or even show it as an option.  They only list the steaks.  I ordered two buffet’s and J handed the waiter/counter clerk her credit card.  The kid mumbled so much, we couldn’t understand a word he said.  The total for the two buffets, which included drinks was $24.  When you think about how much food you could possibly eat, it’s not bad, but you better get your fill and make sure you show up hungry. Read the rest of this entry »





Burger King – Holt

27 05 2009
  • 2464 Cedar Street
  • Holt, MI 48842
  • (517) 694-2600
  • Website
  • Menu
The Burger King on Cedar Street in Holt.

The Burger King on Cedar Street in Holt.

Sorry, I’m a few days behind in blogging.  Things are a little hectic at MMD World Headquarters which is why, on Monday night, I suggested a fast food run.  Usually, we do Taco Bell or Steak ‘n Shake, but I thought we’d mix it up.  I couldn’t tell you the last time I had Burger King and there’s one right down the street.  J didn’t object.

We chose the Burger King on Cedar in Holt.  It sits near the Holt/Lansing city line right across the street from the Kroger.  There is an entrance on Cedar Street, but there is also one on Willoughby which is easier to access than crossing traffic. 

As I’ve said before, I despise drive thrus, so we went inside.  The place was desserted at 7:00 on Memorial Day.  We were the only ones inside and there was just one car in the drive thru.  Since we hadn’t eaten at a BK in a long time, we needed a minute to look over the menu.

I got, if memory serves me correctly, the #11 which is a double cheeseburger with fries and a drink.  The prices on the board are for the small combo, but they list prices for medium and large under it.  I went with the medium and got a Diet Coke with just a splash of regular Coke from the fountain. Read the rest of this entry »





Press Releases – House Passes Smoking Ban..

26 05 2009

…with exemptions for cigar shops and casinos.  It’s disappointing, but not surprising.  No biggie.  I’ll just go back to Windsor. 

This first press release is from Michigan House Democrats

House Dems Pass Smoking Ban
Plan protects health of Michigan families

LANSING – House Democrats today passed legislation that would make Michigan the 37th state to ban smoking in most indoor places, including bars and restaurants. The move comes amid ever increasing evidence of the negative public health impact of secondhand smoke. The plan passed 73-31 and now heads to the Senate for approval.

“Secondhand smoke causes thousands of deaths per year that are completely preventable,” said State Representative Bert Johnson (D-Detroit). “This plan will protect our workers and families who regularly face exposure to secondhand smoke in public places, bars and restaurants.”

Secondhand smoke is classified as a Group A carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Exposure to secondhand smoke can cause or exacerbate a wide range of health problems, including cancer, respiratory infections, and asthma, according to the American Lung Association (ALA).

The ALA reports that secondhand smoke causes approximately 3,400 lung cancer deaths and 46,000 heart disease deaths in adult nonsmokers in the United States each year, and that nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke at work are at increased risk for health problems.

“The smoking ban puts the health of our workers and families first,” said State Representative Lee Gonzales (D-Flint Township), sponsor of the plan. “By banning smoking in public places we are protecting our families and our children from inhaling this deadly smoke. Smoke-free environments will create healthier communities and save thousands of lives.”

Secondhand smoke is especially harmful to children, the ALA reports. It is responsible for up to 300,000 lower respiratory tract infections in kids under 18 months of age, resulting in up to 15,000 hospitalizations a year. It causes 430 sudden infant death syndrome deaths in the U.S. annually, the ALA reports. In addition, new evidence links increases in the number of asthma cases in children to secondhand smoke exposure.

Thirty-six states have passed laws prohibiting smoking in almost all public places and workplaces. The plan passed Tuesday exempts certain cigar bars and tobacco specialty retail stores because those businesses feature smoking as the primary source of their commerce. The plan also exempts casino floors, which would face competitive disadvantages with tribal casinos that would threaten their viability.

“Secondhand smoke causes cancer and kills people,” said State Representative Joan Bauer (D-Lansing). “This is not the time to let politics get in the way of acting to protect the public health. Each year more of our residents are falling ill and dying due to secondhand smoke; it would be irresponsible not to act quickly in passing this ban. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to take action immediately.”

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This second release is from the Michigan Licensed Beverage Association.  They call it a “Job Killer”  Hey, whatever helps them sleep at night. Read the rest of this entry »





House May Vote on Smoking Ban Today

26 05 2009

I just noticed this Tweet from Rep. Barb Byrum.

I am in session….Hoping to vote on a smoking ban….soon.

Here’s a little more info from the Associated Press.  Unfortunately, I’m not going to be around tonight, so I won’t know anything until I get home from work.

The Michigan House is preparing for a possible vote on legislation that would ban smoking at most
workplaces in the state including restaurants and bars.

A vote on the legislation is likely late Tuesday. But it does not appear a compromise has been reached between the Democrat-led House and Republican-led Senate on a final version of a smoking ban that might become law.

The House is discussing legislation that as introduced would exempt Detroit casinos and tobacco shops from the ban. The Senate hasn’t taken up a smoking ban bill this year but previously backed a ban that did not include any exemptions





Los Tres Amigos Express

26 05 2009
  • 730 N. Clippert St.
  • Lansing, MI 48912
  • (517) 324-9600
  • Website
  • Menu
Los Tres Amigos Express near the Frandor Shopping Center.

Los Tres Amigos Express near the Frandor Shopping Center.

J rarely gets a holiday off, but this year, she actually got to celebrate Memorial Day.  We spent the morning running errands and ended up in East Lansing.  When it came time for lunch, I asked what she was in the mood for.  She said she didn’t care, but Mexican sounded good.  Last week, when we were in Frandor getting her ring sized, I noticed a Los Tres Amigos tucked into a tiny strip mall outside of the Frandor shopping center.  Since we had to head back that way, it’s what I chose for lunch.

Los Tres Amigos Express is on Clippert Street between Saginaw and Grand River.  It’s easy to miss if you’re not looking for it and it took a few times around the block to get in the right parking lot.  Once we did get parked, we questioned whether this was a sit down restaurant or a take out.  You can’t see anything from the door, but once we got inside, we found tables along with an order counter, so you can sit an eat. 

While there is an order counter, we were told to take a seat and the waiter would be right over.  Los Tres Amigos Express isn’t really decorated like a Mexican restaurant.  It’s pretty bland and could pass for just about any take out place.  It looks like you used to order your food directly from the kitchen and kind of did the assembly line thing, but that’s not the case anymore.  We grabbed a table and looked over the paper menus on the table while our waiter got the Cokes and we snacked on the complimentary chips and salsa.  I really like Los Tres’ salsa.  It’s a smooth salsa that’s got a little bit of a kick.  It’s kind of a happy medium between what I like and what J likes.  Read the rest of this entry »