T & D Coney Grill

17 09 2009
  • 1735 W. Grand River Avenue
  • Okemos, MI 48864
  • (517) 347-9066
  • No Known Website
  • Menu


T & D Coney Grill on West Grand River Avenue in Okemos.

T & D Coney Grill on West Grand River Avenue in Okemos.

In my runnings around Delta Township this morning, I forgot a few things I needed to do, so it was back out tonight, but this time, I decided to go to Okemos.  The store I needed to go to was out that way too and I wanted to check out another new place recommended by BernieB.



T & D Coney Grill is a new addition to the Okemos restaurant scene that sits in a strip mall at the corner of West Grand River Avenue and Dobie Road.  It takes up the space that used to be Villegas.  They do breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the small, family run diner, but it was dinner that I was looking for.

I pulled in just before 8:00 on a Thursday night.  There were a few other people in the restaurant which is divided into two dining rooms.  It’s just the layout of the space.  There’s not really a reason the room is divide.  Tying the two spaces together is a lunch counter that overlooks a window to the kitchen.

Since I was alone, I grabbed a seat at the lunch counter in front of the large LCD TV which was tuned to Wolf Blitzer.  When I sat down, I was asked if I was dining in or if I wanted carry-out.  I had no place to be, so I sat down to eat. 

A waitress brought a menu and got me a Diet Coke.  I don’t know what I expected from the place, but they had more of a diverse menu than I was expecting.  My experience with coney places so far are like my experiences with hot dog joints in Chicago.  T & D Coney Grill offers up soups, salads, melts, and a number of deli style sandwiches.

I looked for a long time at the Wing Ding dinner on the “T & D Dinners” section of the menu, but it was a little more than I wanted to spend at the time.  I also looked at burgers, but again, they were a little more than I wanted to pay.  The burgers, sandwiches, etc. don’t come with fries, but you can “make it a meal” for $3.45 on top of the listed price.  Probably not bad when you consider it includes the drink, but you also get sticker shock when you add the price to the listed price of the sandwich.


T & D Coney Grill in the space formerly occupied by Villegas in Okemos

T & D Coney Grill in the space formerly occupied by Villegas in Okemos

What I settled on was a loose meat burger which I did make a meal with fries and a drink.  I’ve mentioned recently that I’m not a fan of the coney dog, but that’s because I don’t like the dog part.  I love the coney part and could just eat tubs  of the stuff.  The loose meat burger is seasoned ground beef that is left loose (as opposed to pattied in hamburger form), put on a hotdog bun then topped with mustard, onions, and chili.



I have to bring up my love for the loose meat sandwich.  It’s another one of those things that remind me of home.  There’s a chain of restaurants that got it’s start in Iowa called Maid-Rite.  Their signature sandwich is a loose meat sandwich that they claim to have invented in the 1920’s.  There were a couple stores in Peoria, IL where I used to live.  I loved eating Maid-Rite and I know there are people from Iowa who crave the sandwiches after they move away.

Anyway, back to my sandwich.  I ordered the sandwich with no onions, but found out on my first bite, that wasn’t the case.  If it weren’t for that little mishap, my sandwich would have been delicious.  Instead, I spent most of the meal trying to pick them off.  I ended up getting frustrated because there were so many and they were so little that I just ate them.  It didn’t kill me, but it did affect the flavor.  The meat and chili were delicious.  I tried using some of my fries to pick up some of the chili sauce, but I just wanted to eat it.  I didn’t want to mess with making chili fries.  Next time, I’ll just order them with the chili on them already.

My bill was a little over six bucks.  I didn’t get a ton of food, but I got a pretty good portion.  I’m sure it’s not an original invention to T & D, but I love that they combined two foods I really like…loose meat sandwiches and coney chili.  The service was quick.  I had my sandwich in less than five minutes.  It probably took me longer to eat the thing than it did to make. 

T & D Coney Grill is another good addition to the chain riddled landscape that is Okemos.  In two days now, this is the third new restaurant I’ve reviewed.  It’s nice to see people are taking chances in this economy.  T & D Coney has a good family atmosphere that starts with the owner and her family.  Bernie B told me the gyros are the best he’s had in a while, so there are definitely options.




3 responses

17 09 2009
Bernie B

I’ve been there a couple of times so far. They have the best Gyro I’ve tasted in the Lansing area. The Lamb meat is grilled on the spit and shaved off to order. Some other places order Gyro meat that is pre-sliced and divided out on wax paper. Worlds of difference in taste. I’d go here for a Gyro any day of the week over Lou & Harry’s (bleh).

They are also offering their soups free for the first month, though I’ve not taken them up on the offer yet. The waitresses are all new and may forget to offer that up. Onion rings are the bagged stuff, but are cooked properly and in generous proportions. I’m probably going to do breakfast here on Saturday before going to work. They have Waffles on the menu, and it calls to me..

11 05 2010
T & D Coney Island, Okemos « Michigan Foodies

[…] Okemos) In the shell of Restaurant Villegas (which was one of my favorite restaurants) now rests T & D Coney Island. On Grand River near Dobie, it’s easy to miss, sitting in a small strip mall next to a […]

2 06 2011

I’ve been a few times, food is good but nothing to rave about. Service is sub par most of the time and depends widely upon who is working. I called the other day to place an order for pickup on my lunch and was told to hang on for a minute as she set the phone down. I was already heading that way from East Lansing, about a 10 minute drive with the traffic. During that 10 minutes I could hear the lady who answered the phone among multiple other servers making small talk with each other, customers, and just sitting at the computer typing away. I was basically pulling up to their location when the lady who first answered finally picked up the phone confused as to why it was just sitting there. 10 minutes on hold while the employees chit chat amongst themselves and completely forget about someone waiting to place an order?!?!?!? After the first minute I stayed on the line out of sheer curiosity for how long it would go on.

There are plenty of other places in Okemos to get a burger, I have no problem giving them my business if this is how they plan on treating customers. I went across the street to Lou and Harry’s, was greeted with a smile, and had great food in front of me within 5 minutes, I’ll probably go there for lunch again today even.

Just for the record I’ve thought about leaving a poor service review for awhile but slow/poor service hadn’t been enough motivation until now.

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