Gumby’s Pizza and Wings

16 08 2009
  • 311 W. Grand River Avenue
  • East Lansing, MI 48823
  • (517) 351-8400
  • Website
  • Menu
Gumbys Pizza & Wings on Grand River Avenue in East Lansing.

Gumby's Pizza & Wings on Grand River Avenue in East Lansing.

Long hot days.  I haven’t had too many of them the summer, but I have had a lot in the last week or so.  It seems at work picks up for me, our pleasant summer has taken a vacation.  Saturday was no different.  A ten hour day at Michigan State left me hot, tired, and hungry.   I decided to act like a college kid and I put in an order for pizza.

I don’t know why I thought of Gumby’s Pizza and Wings as I was trying to look up phone numbers using the web browser on my outdated Motorola Razr.  I’ve heard of Gumby’s but I’ve never had a pizza from one.  The chain is pretty exclusive to college campuses with 25 locations throughout the US.  There is one other location in Michigan at WMU in Kalamazoo. 

The Gumby’s Pizza and Wings in East Lansing is in a tiny mixed use building just to the west of downtown on Grand River Avenue.  It’s right across the street from Crunchy’s which is the reason I first noticed this location.  The shop is mostly take out, but there are a couple tables and a quasi-lunch counter if you need a place to eat.  They also have a couple video games and a Pepsi machine in the lobby. 

Gumbys Pizza & Wings just west of downtown East Lansing.

Gumby's Pizza & Wings just west of downtown East Lansing.

I called in my order for a large pepperoni pizza at about 8:45.  I didn’t have access to a menu, so I had no idea at the time what else they had, so I kept it simple.  I made my way to Grand River to pick up my pizza since I was already pretty close and I doubt they would deliver to my home in South Lansing.  I walked in a little after 9:00 and my pie was done and waiting to go.  The large pizza was just over eight buck.

I was tired and really wanting to get home, so I threw the pizza in the back seat and headed back towards Lansing.  When I got home, the pizza was still pretty warm and I could wait to dig in.  My first impression that the pizza was no different than any other chain and the first bite confirmed that suspicion.  The crust was very soft and chewy.  I know I say this about mot pizza’s, but it reminded me a lot of Papa John’s (just out of curiosity, does anyone in Lansing get that reference since there are no Papa John’s chains stores? )  It was still good and I almost polished the damn thing off.   By the time I got done, there was only one slice left which I saved for breakfast the following morning. 

Gumby’s Pizza and Wings didn’t do anything for me from an originality standpoint, but it did go a long way towards fixing my pizza craving.  Even if it was for only an hour or so, picking up a pizza from Gumby’s made me feel like a college kid again.

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18 responses

16 08 2009
Corky

Have you ever tried Bilbo’s in Kalamazoo on your way to Chicago/Lansing?…It’s in Kalamazoo but not too far off 94…It was an old E. Lansing place that the MSU students loved…When we stayed in Bangor over Xmas Amy had to make a stop to pick-up some of the specialties…

17 08 2009
Mid-Michigan Dining

never heard of it. Will have to remember it. We usually travel through there pretty late at night though.

17 08 2009
gordon

Gumby’s pizza is pretty run of the mill, but they make cheesy bread sticks out of an entire pizza, called Pokey Sticks, that is pretty solid. It is even better if you use coupons or order on the right night (Tuesday I think?) to get an extra one for a dollar.

17 08 2009
Mid-Michigan Dining

that’s pretty much the case with chain pizza stores. The pizza’s are all the same, but they’ve usually got an item like the Pokey Sticks that stand out and make them different. Since I didn’t have a menu, I had no idea what they had so I just went with a pizza.

19 08 2009
Bernie B

Bilbo’s is on Westnedge about a mile South (?) of 96.

20 08 2009
Mitch

Lansing used to be littered with Papa John’s but not much anymore. I guess I didn’t realize they really weren’t around anymore. I typically don’t care too much for chain pizza. If we go that route, we stick with Hungry Howie’s, mainly because of the price and the flavored crust. Gumby’s is only good if you get one of their gourmet pizzas but I would think any chain pizza would be better that way…

20 08 2009
Mid-Michigan Dining

The Papa Johns I’m referring to actually can’t come into Lansing because there’s a local joint that uses the name Papa John’s. There used to be one of the chain store Papa John’s in East Lansing that used the name Papiano’s but that closed in 2008. I’m guessing it was too much money to do marketing campaigns for one store since they couldn’t use the Papa John’s name in the Lansing market.

20 08 2009
Mitch

Really? I remember Papa John’s being here besides the unrelated pizza place on the west side. Or perhaps I’m thinking of outlying areas (Charlotte for example). Maybe that’s where I saw them. Or are they still considered the Lansing market? I know there used to be Papa John’s around here somewhere because I had it several times and never liked it.

20 08 2009
Mid-Michigan Dining

I don’t know the answer to that. Charlotte would probably be far enough away. Currently, the closest Papa John’s is in Jackson. Other than that, within 50 miles, there are stores in Howell, Battle Creek, and Grand Rapids.

I actually like Papa John’s and when it cam to ordering out, I also ordered from them. The thing I really liked was the garlic dipping sauce they included with every pizza for the crusts.

20 08 2009
Mitch

Okay, after trying to look it up, I don’t think I know WHAT I’m talking about. Is the Papa John’s around Lansing a local chain then? I know I had the chain Papa John’s pizza in Nashville, TN. I guess I always thought the one(s) here were the same. I knew the one one the west side was not part of the national chain, but I thought others were…

20 08 2009
Mid-Michigan Dining

yeah, the ones here in Lansing are part of a local chain. That’s why I realized and made the comment in this post about most readers not getting the reference. The Papa John’s chain is actually the chain pizza that I prefer which is why I always seem to use them as a comparison. I’ve never had the Papa John’s here so I have no idea what their pizza is like.

The local chain has kept the national chain out because the national chain can’t use their name here. Like I mentioned earlier, they tried with a store in East Lansing called Papiano’s, but no one realized they were the same as Papa John’s everywhere else.

20 08 2009
Mitch

I remember Papiano’s and noticed the matching logo so I figured it was related. I think the local chain uses that garlic butter sauce too so I’m sure that helped the confusion. Well, the Papa John’s in Nashville was a long time ago and I just remember thinking it was pretty status quo. But then, I’ve never been a huge fan of chain anyway preferring homemade over pretty much anything else. As I said, we’ve done the Hungry Howie’s thing on a budget and probably my favorite chain is inexplicably Jet’s (just don’t get a small…it’s mostly crust). What is your preference for local non-chain pizza? I’m sure you’ve said before but I don’t recall now…

20 08 2009
Mid-Michigan Dining

There’s a Lansing Papa John’s right around the corner, but I’ve never really tried it.

We tried Jet’s once, but got the small…wasn’t impressed and haven’t been back since. Might try it again if you say the small is so much different than the other sizes.

My favorite local place is Fat Boy Pizza in Holt. Most of the time we order Cottage Inn though. We really like their thin crust pizzas. Another place we liked was Guido’s in Okemos, but that’s a chain too. Art’s Bar had a pretty good pie….again, we got the thin crust there which isn’t their standard pizza…you have to ask for it.

21 08 2009
Mitch

I’ve heard good things about Art’s. I’ve been meaning to try it. Yes, I definitely would give Jet’s another try; just make sure you get a large. I’m not sure what it is that I like about it, sauce or crust, but something strikes me as different and I’ve always enjoyed it (except, of course, when I ordered the small which was a huge disappointment).

Have you tried DeLuca’s? I know that has been a local favorite for years. I haven’t had it in a very long time though and can’t really offer an opinion (which is why I ask). I remember having some sort of stuffed pizza type thing (crust on the top and bottom) around 15 years ago and really liked it. Don’t know about the regular pizza though…and it’s been too long.

Right now, Pizza House’s Chicago stuffed pizza has grabbed my attention. I’ve only had true Chicago-style once (in Chicago) and don’t really know how it compares to the real thing. Being from Chicago, have you tried it? Were/are you a Chicago-style fan?

21 08 2009
Mid-Michigan Dining

I have tried DeLuca’s. It’s alright and I liked the restaurant, but the pizza is a pretty typical crust. I don’t like a whole lot of crust on my pizza.

Pizza House is pretty good. I am a fan of Chicago-Style. The pizza at Pizza House is the stuffed Chicago Style which is more like Giordano’s which is my favorite Chicago Style place. The thing that makes Chicago style other than the fat heavy crust is the uncooked sauce. The sauce is put onto the pizza raw. I don’t think Pizza House does this. True “Chicago-Style” is debateable by which restaurant you go to. Lou Malnati’s claim they are. Giordano’s claims their stuffed crust is. The only thing that really makes Chicago style is the crust which has more fat and is softer than a typical pizza dough and the raw sauce.

I actually prefer the South Side style of Chicago pizza which is a cracker thin crust.

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