The Green Door Blues Bar & Grill

1 05 2009
  • 2005 E. Michigan Avenue
  • Lansing, MI 48912
  • (517) 482-6376
  • Website
  • Menu
The Green Door Blues Bar & Grill on Michigan Avenue in Lansing.

The Green Door Blues Bar & Grill on Michigan Avenue in Lansing.

Have I mentioned that I love when J e-mails me from work and says she’s hungry for greasy bar food?  Man, I love that!  I was not in the cooking mood again as we were packing up for a trip back to Chicago.  For J’s birthday, I got her and her family tickets to see comedian Joel McHale at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, IN.  We were going to see McHale in Detroit back in January, but I had to work.  Since Hammond is about 15 miles from her parents south suburban home, I made up for missing the January show with four tickets to this show.

I’m starting to run out of ideas for greasy bar food, so I started looking at menus on Allmenus.com.  One of the places that came up that I never really thought about was The Green Door.  I ran it by J and she thought we would have enough time on her dinner break.

The Green Door Blues Bar & Grill is on Michigan Avenue at Clemens Avenue.  If you can find street parking along Michigan Avenue, there is a front door, but there’s also a City of Lansing lot behind the building.  If you park in back, there’s a door that leads right in to the bar on the backside of the building.

We parked in back and trekked through the alley which, like most of the streets in Lansing, has seen better days.  When we got inside, we were faced with a choice.  The Green Door is set up for live music which is really the main draw.  There are some tables in front of the stage, but there are also some higher pub tables on the other side of the room. 

As you can imagine, The Green Door was really smokey.  J was wanting to sit as far away from the heavy smokers as we could, so she went to one of the pub tables.  It really didn’t do much good.  We both came out smelling like an ashtray.  The table had a weird set up.  There was a bench that ran along the wall that served five tables.  On the other side, there was a bar stool.  J took the bench, but really wasn’t that comfortable.  The table was so far away from the seat because there was a step in between them.  It was fine, but she couldn’t sit back. 

The waitress came over and asked about drinks.  We asked her for a menu just to make sure they actually served food.  When she said they did, we ordered our Pepsi’s.  We were on J’s dinner break.  Since she couldn’t drink, I didn’t want to.  It took quite a while for the waitress to come back with menus.  On her way to get them, she stopped at four more tables taking drink orders.  After we got the menus, she walked by us four times before taking our order.  J made eye contact twice thinking that would be enough to get her over to us, but it wasn’t.

J was starting to get nervous.  Like I said, she was on her dinner break and we already killed half of it and we hadn’t even put in an order yet.  I asked if she wanted to pay for the drinks and go pick up McDonald’s or something.  She said no and like magic, the waitress appeared.

The Green Door Blues Bar & Grill just down the street from Downtown Lansing.

The Green Door Blues Bar & Grill just down the street from Downtown Lansing.

We both got pretty much the same thing.  I ordered the Smokin’ Blues Burger.  She got the Smokin’ Blues Chicken Sandwich.  The only difference between the two sandwiches were the bread was the meat.  Both sandwiches were topped with melted Swiss cheese, BBQ sauce, grilled onions, and a bleu cheese sauce.  We both left the onions off. 

The burger came on a toasted onion roll.  It was a really large sandwich that I had a hard time getting in my mouth, but it was worth the struggle.  The bread was really crispy even though there was a lot of BBQ sauce on it.  The whole sandwich had a great flavor and I really appreciated the amount of BBQ sauce in light of a couple recent dining experiences where I wasn’t even sure if the restaurant put any on.  The Smokin’ Blues Burger is a really well put together sandwich that packs a lot of flavor.

J’s chicken sandwich came on a kaiser roll which she really liked.  Like me, she was really impressed with the flavor profiles in the sandwich and appreciated all the little pieces.  She said the sandwich was good and even though it wasn’t the kind of grease she was craving, it was a sandwich that could become craveable.

Both sandwiches came with a choice of sides.  We both went with seasoned fries.  The fries were steak fries that were hit up with a little seasoned salt before being put on the plate.  They were also really good.  Nice and crispy with a really great, salty flavor.

We were both impressed with the presentation of both sandwiches.  Even though The Green Door is a live entertainment venue first, they didn’t skimp on the serving pieces.  Both sandwiches came on a real, black plate that would look great in our cabinets. 

The waitress never did come back to see how we were doing, but as she passed by us in a hurry, J called out and got her attention to get the check.  We didn’t know when she’d be back and we really needed to get going.  The bill was just under $18 before tip which I thought was a pretty good price. 

I didn’t know what to expect at The Green Door.  I’ve never heard anything about the place as a restaurant and I was actually a little surprised to see a food menu and really surprised to see a food menu that looked as good as it does.  We were both really happy with our selection, but we were a little rushed and weren’t 100% happy with the way we sort of got shoved to the back burner.  It was obvious we weren’t there to drink and we weren’t staying long, so the waitress just kind of got to us when she could.  If it was a night were we had time, it would have been fine, but trying to eat out on a dinner break gets tough. 

I don’t know if it’s just me or what, but The Green Door shouldn’t be thought of as just a bar.  They have a really good menu with some pretty good food.

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3 responses

2 05 2009
Corky

You really need to go back there to dine AND listen to the music on a night when J doesn’t have to work…They have some really GREAT bands on a regular basis…The people-watching experience is worth it alone!

21 05 2009
Smitty

I’m glad to see you liked the Green Door and Corky is right. Find a night when you can stay for the music and some drinks. The Door is a hidden gem and is one of the places that makes it possible for Lansing to maintain a community of professional musicians. The Monday band, Steppin’ In It, is my favorite although they can be tough to catch during the summer because they are often off playing festivals.

In the interest of full disclosure I used to work in the kitchen there (actually while the current menu was being developed, BTW good choice, the ‘Smoking Blues’ sandwiches were alway my favorite).

Because it is a one-man kitchen the food quality can vary depending on who is cooking for you. I don’t know the people that are there now personally but I have come away impressed the last few times I went.

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