I had a real hard time finding lunch. It seems like everywhere I wanted to go decided to close. My first attempt was Conrad’s College Town Grill. Since the kids are on break, they weren’t opening until 7 PM. My next attempt was Ramon’s, but they too were closed. I was frustrated at this point and just started driving. Somehow, I ended up in South Lansing near where we used to live. I was just going to hop back on the Interstate and go find fast food or something back near MSU. As I was making my way down Cedar, I noticed a new restaurant behind the Pizza Hut. Yay! New restaurant.
Scalawags White Fish & Chips is a small Northern Michigan chain. They have three stores now in the Lansing area. The newest location is on Cedar Street in the strip mall at the corner of Edgewood Boulevard. It has to be a fairly new joint. It wasn’t there when we moved from Lansing three months ago and there was no indication that anything was moving in to the space.
All of the other Scalawags locations have a pretty nice looking storefront. The South Lansing location is in kind of a rundown strip mall. They really stand out with the blue banner that boasts their logo and name that wraps around their corner of the building. The inside of the store is actually pretty nice. I don’t remember what was in the location before, but everything inside is new for Scalawags. The feeling I got was sort of like dining on an old wooden fishing boat. It was a pretty typical quick service restaurant set up. There were booths and tables in the front of the store. The small order counter was in the back.
As you can imagine, most of the menu is fish. I don’t like fish, but I know fish places usually serve chicken. That’s what I decided to stop. I ordered the 8 piece chicken fingers basket which comes with fries and hush puppies. It doesn’t come with a drink and since they had Wi-Fi and I could check my e-mail, I decided to dine in, so I added on a Pepsi.
The bill was a little high at a little over ten bucks. They were having problems with their computer system and it took a long time for my credit card to go through. The lady working was very apologetic and swiped the card a couple times to get it to work. While I was waiting, she told me to go get my pop and take a seat. She would bring the copy to sign once it went through. By the time I got my pop, the computer figured itself out.
I took a seat while my chicken was being cooked. This is no fast food place with food waiting under warmers. In fact, they don’t even pull already cooked chicken out of a freezer to reheat it. There’s a window that you can see through from the cash register and I actually saw the cook breading the fresh chicken before he dropped it into the fryer. I was really happy to see this. It’s a simple process, but it adds so much flavor to the chicken. You know you’re getting a unique product and not something from Gordon’s.
It only took a few minutes for the chicken to cook. The lady who was serving as cashier/waitress brought the food out and admitted to dropping a piece of chicken on the way. I probably wouldn’t even have noticed, but she said she already had the cook drop another one in the fryer and it would be out in a minute. Sure enough, a couple minutes later, another paper boat with a piece of chicken and hush puppies were set down in front of me.
Like I had hoped, the chicken was really good. It was cooked nice and crispy. The pieces weren’t huge, but I was surprisingly full when I left. The breading was done really well. Someplaces have a problem keeping the breading attached to the chicken when they bread it fresh, but not Scalawags. The fries were pretty typical restaurant fries, but they were done right. The meal also came with cole slaw, but I’m not a slaw fan, so I didn’t even touch it. I’m also not a huge hush puppy fan, but they were good albeit really small.
Overall, Scalawags surprised me. I had always avoided the place because I don’t eat fish and even places that serve chicken usually have the problem of the chicken tasting like fish due to frying in the same oil. I didn’t have that problem at Scalawags. If we still lived in our southside Lansing apartment, I would bet that we would be hitting this place up for chicken quite often. Too bad we don’t.