Menna’s Joint – East Lansing

24 10 2009
  • 115 Albert Avenue
  • East Lansing, MI 48823
  • (517) 351-3827
  • Website
  • Menu

Another weekend, another trip back to East Lansing for work.  Fortunately, we still have control of the apartment in Lansing, so I could bring an air mattress, the laptop, and a little TV and be comfortable for a couple days. 

My weekend started early Saturday morning amongst the gloomy, rainy conditions.  By the time lunch rolled around, I needed to get someplace warm. 

I was working near the IM West Building at MSU which means there isn’t many options within walking distance.  That’s my only complaint about the MSU campus.  I work mainly at the athletic facilities and I can’t walk anywhere to get a sandwich, so I hopped in my truck and headed to Grand River Avenue where I found lunch.

Menna’s Joint in East Lansing is on Albert Avenue near Abbot Road just a block of Grand River Avenue.  It took a long time to find parking.  There isn’t much street parking in this part of downtown and the public lot across the street was full.  I finally doubled back to the public lot near Dublin Square Read the rest of this entry »





Lou & Harry’s Greek Grill – Downtown East Lansing

22 10 2009
  • 245 Ann Street
  • East Lansing, MI 48823
  • (517) 351-0066
  • No Known Website
  • Menu

Sorry it’s been a few weeks since my last update.  We’re getting settled into our new place in Kalamazoo, but that’s not going to keep me from updating when I do make it back to the Lansing area. 

I was back in East Lansing for a volleyball game at Michigan State.  When lunch time rolled around, I headed downtown to find a sandwich.  I was actually looking for Menna’s Joint, but I couldn’t find parking close.  By the time I got up to someplace I could park, I was a couple blocks away and there was another joint right around the corner.

Lou & Harry’s Greek Grill is on the corner of Ann & MAC in downtown East Lansing just a block from Grand River Avenue and MSU’s campus.  There’s a little mall area with a couple restaurants and shops.  Lou & Harry’s takes up what could probably be a couple storefronts. 

I had eaten at the Lou & Harry’s near Frandor in East Lansing, so I was somewhat familiar with the menu.  When you enter the store, the order counter is right in front of you.  To the right is a bar as well as some seating.  There is more seating to the left and if you head down a hallway along the left side, you can find a game room with a couple pool tables.  Read the rest of this entry »





Wildhorse Saloon – Nashville, TN

6 10 2009
  • 120 2nd Avenue
  • Nashville, TN 37201
  • (615) 256-9453
  • Website
  • Menu
The Wildhorse Saloon on 2nd Street in Nashville, TN

The Wildhorse Saloon on 2nd Street in Nashville, TN

While BBQ may have been the thing I was most looking forward to on our trip, line dancing at the world famous Wild Horse Saloon may have been J’s. 

We weren’t planning on being in Nashville long.  We did our trip to the Opry, checked into the hotel, relaxed a little bit,  then headed downtown for dinner and dancing.

The Wildhorse Saloon is on 2nd Street in downtown Nashville.  It’s an old warehouse that has been converted into a three story bar.  The tree lined street that runs in front of it is sort of narrow, but there is street parking on either side.  The first time we drove by, we missed it.  The trees must have been covering the sign.  As we were driving around the block, we found the back service entrance, made a note of which businesses were around it, then drove back around to 2nd Street to try again. 

Once we spotted the building, we started looking for parking.  I didn’t see any garages, but I got lucky and found street parking right across the street.  The meters were off, so we didn’t have to pay to park in downtown Nashville. 

The Wildhorse doubles as a bar/restaurant and an entertainment venue.  There’s a gift shop with a separate entrance then the restaurant entrance.  There’s a ticket window inside the first set of double doors.  There was a cover the night we were there, but it was only $2, so I didn’t balk.  I was expecting it to be more. Read the rest of this entry »





The Department – Joliet, IL

23 09 2009
  • 205 N. Chicago Street
  • Joliet, IL 60432
  • (815) 714-2280
  • Website
  • Menu
The Department in downtown Joliet

The Department in downtown Joliet

First day back in Chicago and J and I had a lot of errands to run.  We got up early to take care of our first major task at the Cook County Courthouse in Bridgeview.  After that, we needed to run to Joliet to see my grandma.  By the time we left her, it was lunch time. 

 

I lived in Joliet for four years and there wasn’t much reason to ever go downtown.  Things have changed a lot in the last seven years.  They’ve brought in a great Independent League baseball park and the Harrah’s Casino has invested a lot of money downtown.  With the influx of things to do, the dining scene has picked up dramatically.

In June, J and I went to a Joliet Jackhammers game with my parents.  They wanted to eat at the only reason there was to go downtown when I was there..Chicken ‘N Spice, but on our trek through town, I noticed a number of restaurants that I tucked away into the ol’ memory bank should we ever get back to Joliet.

After driving around the block a few times, the restaurant I settled on was The Department.  It was a neat looking restaurant from the outside, but what we found inside blew us both away. Read the rest of this entry »





MBC

17 09 2009
  • 402 S. Washington Square
  • Lansing, MI 48933
  • (517) 977-1349
  • Website
  • Menu
MBC on Washington Square in downtown Lansing.

MBC on Washington Square in downtown Lansing.

The wait is over.  The Michigan Brewing Company put the “Coming Soon” sign on their building in downtown Lansing over a year ago.  I would drive  by every now and then to see if there was any progress.  I would periodically send e-mails to the marketing department in Webberville to see if they would give me anything, but never could get a solid answer.  All of a sudden, a few weeks ago, I saw a Tweet from Lansing PSD that MBC was opening.

The plan all along was to run some errands this morning then head downtown for lunch.  Of course, City Pulse beat me to the punch with an article in this week’s edition. 

MBC is near the corner of Washington Square and Kalamazoo Street.  The parking available is in front of the building in angled street parking.  There are a few spaces directly in front of the building, but more than likely, you’ll have to park and walk.  Not a big deal as there is plenty of parking spaces along Washington Square.

The building is dominated by windows that let in a lot of natural light.  When you first walk in, there’s a little lounge area off to the left with comfy red chairs and some bar stools.  Right in front of you is a hostess station that divides the remaining space into two distinct areas.  On the left is the bar area.  They have a beautiful bar along the far left wall as well as a couple pub tables.  The chairs at these pub tables are made of wood and have a ring around the bottom that looks like it was once part of a wooden barrel.  The rest of the bar area is filled in with regular tables that run along a half wall that separates the bar from the dining room.  The whole space has a somewhat industrial feel to it with high ceilings and low ambient lighting.  A majority of the light comes from the natural light that floods in through the large windows that make up the facade. Read the rest of this entry »





Bubble Island

15 09 2009
  • 515 E. Grand River Avenue #E
  • East Lansing, MI 48823
  • (517) 333-3860
  • Website
  • No Online Menu
Bubble Island on Grand River Avenue in East Lansing.

Bubble Island on Grand River Avenue in East Lansing.

So, why were we in East Lansing this morning?  Funny story.  We had Unwrapped on The Food Network last night…well, actually it was just kind of ambient noise.  We weren’t really paying attention.  J had just got home from work and we were catching up on the days events. 

Even though we weren’t really watching, something caught J’s eye.  They were doing a segment on a place called Lollicup which is a chain of stores mainly on the west coast that serves Boba Tea.  She picked up the laptop to see if there was one either close to us here on in Chicago, but alas, nothing.   Then, out of nowhere, she remembered a place in East Lansing that had the word “bubble” in the name.  She did a Google search and found what she was looking for.  We decided to get up and go see if the tea was any good.

Bubble Island is on Grand River Avenue in East Lansing right next to The Peanut Barrel.  The store is kind of hidden on the bottom floor of a two story commercial building and it sits a little ways back  from the road. 

We had just eaten at National Coney Station, so we were just in the market for a drink. I wasn’t interested at all, but J was really stoked at the idea of trying this wierd drink.  Read the rest of this entry »





National Coney Station

15 09 2009
  • 565 E. Grand River Avenue
  • East Lansing, MI 48823
  • (517) 351-2100
  • Website
  • Menu
National Coney Station on Grand River Avenue in East Lansing.

National Coney Station on Grand River Avenue in East Lansing.

As readers of this blog know, the thing I love most about food is regional cuisine.  Sure, I may not like everything that makes a region popular, but I love the idea that no matter where you grew up, there’s going to be some brand, food, or preparation technique that will always make you think of home. 

In Michigan, that food is the Coney Dog.  I’m not a hot dog eater, so it’s not something that I’ve been able to adapt to.  I’ve tried it once and wasn’t a huge fan only because I don’t like the dog.  The chili is delicious and I could eat that without the hot dogs.

There are always imitators when it comes to a region’s marquee cuisine.  Yeah, you can get a coney dog here in Lansing, but up until last week, you couldn’t get it from one of the big names in Detroit coney’s.

National Coney Station opened up on Grand River Avenue in the building that was most recently Moe’s Firehouse.  Before that, it was a Spartan Gyro.  National Coney did a lot of work to the building to clean it up.  I never got a chance to eat at Moe’s before it closed, but for some reason, the place always scared me a little bit. 

National Coney Station is not quite the same as the National Coney Island restaurants you’re familiar with in Detroit.  They’re owned by the same company, but they’re designed to be more of a quickservice restaurant.  The menu is much, much smaller having only nine choices plus some a la cart items.  Read the rest of this entry »