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 »





Cottage Inn Pizza – Washington Square

10 08 2009
  • 303 S. Washington Square
  • Lansing, MI 48933
  • (517) 267-9000
  • Website
  • Menu
Cottage Inn Pizza on Washington Square in downtown Lansing.

Cottage Inn Pizza on Washington Square in downtown Lansing.

Long baseball games make me hungry.  I was at the Saturday night beating the Lugnuts took at the hands of the Dayton Dragons and by the time the game finally ended, I was craving pizza.  J was at home and hadn’t eat yet either.  She texted me to see what I was going to do and I told her to call for pizza.

Cottage Inn has several locations in Lansing and the surrounding area.  We usually order from the one in Holt because it’s closest to our place, but it was my turn to buy dinner.  Had J ordered from Holt, she would have had to buy, so I told her to call the downtown location and I’d just pick it up on my way home.

The Washington Square location sits near the corner of Washington Square and Washtenaw Street.  It’s a small building, but they actually have a little bit of seating in the front of the store.  They serve pizza by the slice and actually had some in the rotating glass case at 10:30 at night.  I’ve always wondered about that when I drive by after baseball games.  I guess it was Saturday night and they probably do a decent business from the bars with the slices. 

J ordered the pizza at 10:25.  When I got there at 10:45, the pizza wasn’t ready.  We had ordered a large thin crust that was half cheese and half all meat.  We also got an order of Cinnamon Stix. The Cinnamon Stix were on the rack ready to go, but the clerk told me they hadn’t put the pizza in yet, so I had to sit there for the ten minutes or so while the pizza cooked.  It was made, it just hadn’t been put in.  Read the rest of this entry »





RG’s Ballpark Dogs & More

29 07 2009
  • 625 E. Michigan Avenue
  • Lansing, MI 48912
  • (517) 977-9079
  • No Known Website
  • Menu
RGs Ballpark Dogs & More on East Michigan Avenue in Lansing.

RG's Ballpark Dogs & More on East Michigan Avenue in Lansing.

I go to a lot of Lugnuts games and almost every game I go to, I walk right by a little Mexican/hot dog place on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Pere Marquette Street.  Sometimes, the restaurant is open, but most of the time, it’s not.  It seems like every time I walk by, I’m low on cash so I’ve never been able to stop in for a quick meal. 

I was downtown this afternoon for the Lugnuts Summer Family Fun day game.  When I walked by before the game, the store was open.  I didn’t eat at the park figuring I would take my chance and see if they were open when the game was over. 

After a dramatic ninth inning, two out comeback that fell just short, I started walking back towards my truck.  The door to the restaurant was open and there was one other person in.  The special board caught my eye, so I made a quick turn to see what this little corner shop was hiding.

RG’s Ballpark Dogs & More is about a block from Oldsmobile Park on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Pere Marquette right across the street from Clara’s.  I have no idea what the hours are or even if they have regular hours.  I’ve tried to see if they were posted somewhere on the window or door, but there’s nothing. 

The shop is very tiny.  When they are open, the front door is usually propped open.  When you enter the store, you have to take a step up to get to the order counter.  There is enough room for two small tables in the space next to the counter, but that’s about it.  On nice days, they pull at least one of these tables outside to the sidewalk which makes more sense.  Read the rest of this entry »





Pink Pony Bar & Grill

27 07 2009
  • P.O. Box 250, Main Street
  • Mackinac Island, MI 49757
  • (906) 847-3341
  • Website
  • Menu
The Pink Pony Bar & Grill in downtown Mackinac Island.

The Pink Pony Bar & Grill in downtown Mackinac Island.

After our carriage tour of Mackinac Island, J and I made our way back to Main Street.  It was now pushing 5:30 and we still hadn’t bought any fudge.  J mentioned we should probably buy some then added she could go for dinner.  I felt the same way. We burned a lot of energy today and lunch seemed so long ago. 

This was going to be our last meal on the Island and there were still so many choices. I picked up a Mackinac Island dining guide from the Visitor’s Center, but there were no address or maps of where any of the places were.  As we toured the Island, we walked by a number of places that would normally catch our attention. I stopped and browsed menus at a few, but when it comes down to it, J and I are really pub food people. 

I thought it might be nice if we could spend the end of the day enjoying dinner overlooking Lake Hudson.  The first place that popped into my head was the Pink Pony.  We walked by earlier in the day and it looked cute plus the back of the building overlooked the harbor.

The Pink Pony Bar & Grill is on Main Street inside the Chippewa Hotel.  The bar/restaurant takes up a large portion of the bottom floor and it’s divided into several sections.  If you walk into the bar, there is no hostess station, but there is a sign pointing you to the lobby of the hotel.  We just stayed outside and walked to the lobby where we found a hostess just in front of the main dining room.  Read the rest of this entry »