Another weekend on the road back in East Lansing for work. I was on my own for a hotel, so I was on the look out for the cheapest I could find. That’s not an easy task on a football weekend, but I was able to find one for under $50/night. It was the Motel 6 on Saginaw Highway. Not a five-star hotel by any stretch of the imagination..hell, lucky if it was one, but all I really needed was a bed for a few hours and it did serve that purpose and I’m sure I’ll be staying there a lot this winter.
Before bed though, I needed food. There aren’t many places in Delta Township where J and I didn’t eat. That area of Lansing is one of the major shopping districts and we made trips out that way once a week. We almost never did pizza on that side of town though, so I pretty much had my pick. There was only one chain out there that wasn’t on the south side where we lived. Even though I read a so-so review a year or so ago, I decided to give it a shot.
Dolly’s Pizza is a chain out of White Lake, Michigan and most of their stores are in the Detroit area. They were voted Best Pizza in Michigan at some point by the Michigan Restaurant Association yet they never say what year that was.
The only Lansing location is in Delta Township on Brookside Drive. It’s in a strip mall anchored by an Outback Steakhouse on Saginaw Highway. Like most chains, Dolly’s is a strictly carry-out/delivery business. The store front is mostly kitchen with a small waiting area that included a couple chairs and some old Sports Illustrated magazines.
My plan was to call in an order and go pick it up, but I couldn’t find a phone number. It wasn’t listed in the Yellow Pages and my computer was in the process of dying (I eventually got the dreaded blue screen of death), so I had no choice but to walk in and place an order.
When I got inside, a guy behind the counter asked if I was picking up. I told him no and I needed to place an order. He finished making the pizza he was working on then took care of me. I ordered a large pepperoni pizza. He took my ten bucks then I sat down to wait. As I was waiting, I noticed there could have been more to my large pizza at no extra cost. Apparently, they have two styles of large. Both a traditional round and a square. I wasn’t offered a choice. They also have flavored crust. Again, I wasn’t offered a choice. Since it was my first trip, I didn’t know these were options. Would have been nice if the clerk would have asked me if I would have liked any of those. It’s not a huge deal, just one of my pet peeves with chain pizza joints.
I took a seat in one of the chairs and waited. It took a little over ten minutes, but I knew that going in. When my pizza was done, the guy that took the order brought it out to me and thanked me for my patience. Again, I knew what I was getting into when I walked in, but it was nice of him to say that.
It was a short five-minute drive back to my hotel where I grabbed a Pepsi from the vending machine and dug in. Dolly’s claims their “secret is in the sauce,” so I really paid attention to what I was biting into. I didn’t notice anything. At first glance, the pizza looked similar to most chains, but the crust was a little bit thinner. It wasn’t a thin crust pizza, but it wasn’t the very doughy thick crust that similar places use. There was some cornmeal left sticking to the bottom which is something I like. Reminds me of Chicago and it gives the crust a little more texture since you don’t normally get that crunchy crust with a conveyor cooker. The cheese was really greasy which is a sign of cheap cheese. Not that I could tell a difference..I was so hungry, it didn’t really matter. I just dove in.
Dolly’s was slightly better than average. I ate three-quarters and saved the rest for breakfast. It’s not a pizza I’m going to crave, but it is a decent option if you’re in an unfamiliar area and looking for something familiar.