Julie Joe’s

11 12 2009
  • 2515 E. Jolly Road
  • Lansing, MI 48910
  • (517) 977-9415
  • Website
  • Menu

Well, I made it to Lansing.  It only took me about 45 minutes longer than it normally does.  I left quite a bit earlier than I needed to….just in case.  I got to Lansing about an hour before I needed to be there, so I went looking for lunch.

For quite some time, I’ve tried to stopping at Julie Joe’s on Jolly Road near the Dunkel Road intersection.  It seems like every time I try, it’s closed.  They close for three and a half hours between lunch and dinner during the week, they don’t open until five on Saturday, and they’re not open on Sunday.  It seems like every time I’ve pulled into the small strip mall, it’s been one of those times. 

This time, I made it in time for lunch, so I knew they would be open.  The previous business in this location was 2Fer’s.  I never made it there before it was closed, so I have no idea how much has changed.  Both on their website and on an insert in their carry-out menu, they make note of the fact that they used to be 2Fer’s.  I have no idea what that means or why, but since they make a point to mention, I thought I should to. 

The menu at Julie Joe’s is much larger than I expected.  As expected, they have tacos and pizza, but they also do deli sandwiches, salads, and soups.  The shop is not very big.  There are a couple tables, but I have a feeling not many people dine in.  There was a counter area that I assumed would be filled with pizza, but when I walked it up to it, there was no pizza.  They do have ads for pizza-by-the-slice at lunch time.  Not sure if they have it keeping warm somewhere else or how that works.  I wasn’t in to pizza, so I didn’t ask. Read the rest of this entry »





Bell’s Greek Pizza – M.A.C. Avenue

5 12 2009
  • 225 M.A.C. Avenue
  • East Lansing, MI 48823
  • (517) 332-2355
  • Website
  • Menu

After spending the afternoon killing time before work, I was now faced with a longer than usual lunch break.  Now, I had another couple hours to kill.  Since I had just eaten an hour or so ago, a big lunch was out of the question.  I wasn’t even really sure I wanted anything at all. 

I went to Barnes & Noble first to look for a couple things then I just started walking around downtown East Lansing.  Didn’t really know where I was going, but when I ended up on M.A.C Avenue, I figured I could use a slice of pizza..

Bell’s Greek Pizza has two locations in East Lansing and they’re  not very far apart.  I’ve eaten at the Grand River Avenue location before, but never the location on M.A.C. Avenue near Albert Avenue. 

The downtown location is a small street front building.  There are a handful of tables in the front of the space.  The order area and kitchen is in the back. 

I’m a huge fan of pizza-by-the-slice locations.  It’s one of my favorite things about college campuses.  You can get just a couple slices for under five bucks.  I love it. 

Of course, Bell’s has other options, but pizza slices was all I wanted.  I ordered two pepperoni slices.  The lady working pulled them right out of the display case and put them on a paper plate.  Now, usually, those slices would go back into the oven before being handed over, but these didn’t for some reason.  I thought it was a little wierd but I didn’t say anything.  The pizza was still pretty warm.  Read the rest of this entry »





Dolly’s Pizza

9 11 2009
  • 719 Brookside Drive
  • Lansing, MI 48917
  • (517) 327-0077
  • Website
  • Menu

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.  Read the rest of this entry »





Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria – South Loop, Chicago

7 09 2009
  • 805 S. State Street
  • Chicago, IL 60605
  • (312) 786-1000
  • Website
  • Menu
Lou Malnatis Pizzeria on South State Street in Chicago.

Lou Malnati's Pizzeria on South State Street in Chicago.

No one in the world does pizza like Chicago.  As far as Chicago deep-dish goes, there are three major players.  Giordano’s, Gino’s East, and Lou Malnati’s.  It’s hard to pick a favorite.  They all have their qualities that make them unique.  Whenever I’m pressed for an answer, I sort of stumble around and try my best not to answer the question.  I like all three.

You’ve seen me write about Lou Malnati’s before.  J’s mom has sent me some frozen pizza’s from Malnati’s mail order business.  Other than that, it’s been a long time since I’ve had a Malnati’s pizza. 

After we left US Cellular Field, we headed downtown to get some pizza.  There are several Lou Malnati’s in Chicago.  The original is in Lincolnwood, but there are multiple locations in the city.  I didn’t choose the one closest to US Cellular.  I wanted to go downtown and give my friends, and my dad, a chance to see more of the city. 

The Malnati’s I chose is on South State Street at East 8th Street.  After a little GPS mishap (it was trying to send us to Indiana when I knew the pizzeria was in the South Loop), we found a parking garage right next to the shop.  It was about 6:30 when we opened the door to find a rather large crowd waiting.  Not a good sign.  My buddy found the hostess who told us it would be about two hours.  We put our names in then went for a beer. Read the rest of this entry »





Gumby’s Pizza and Wings

16 08 2009
  • 311 W. Grand River Avenue
  • East Lansing, MI 48823
  • (517) 351-8400
  • Website
  • Menu
Gumbys Pizza & Wings on Grand River Avenue in East Lansing.

Gumby's Pizza & Wings on Grand River Avenue in East Lansing.

Long hot days.  I haven’t had too many of them the summer, but I have had a lot in the last week or so.  It seems at work picks up for me, our pleasant summer has taken a vacation.  Saturday was no different.  A ten hour day at Michigan State left me hot, tired, and hungry.   I decided to act like a college kid and I put in an order for pizza.

I don’t know why I thought of Gumby’s Pizza and Wings as I was trying to look up phone numbers using the web browser on my outdated Motorola Razr.  I’ve heard of Gumby’s but I’ve never had a pizza from one.  The chain is pretty exclusive to college campuses with 25 locations throughout the US.  There is one other location in Michigan at WMU in Kalamazoo. 

The Gumby’s Pizza and Wings in East Lansing is in a tiny mixed use building just to the west of downtown on Grand River Avenue.  It’s right across the street from Crunchy’s which is the reason I first noticed this location.  The shop is mostly take out, but there are a couple tables and a quasi-lunch counter if you need a place to eat.  They also have a couple video games and a Pepsi machine in the lobby.  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 »





Buddy’s Pizza – Conant Street

13 07 2009
  • 17125 Conant Street
  • Detroit, MI 48212
  • (313) 892-9001
  • Website
  • Menu
Buddys Pizza on Conant Street in Detroit.

Buddy's Pizza on Conant Street in Detroit.

Finally!  This weekend finally got here.  It’s a weekend that J and I have been looking forward to for quite a while.  My family, including my 9 month old niece, was coming to see us.  The purpose behind the trip was to take in a ballgame at Comerica Park.  It was unfortunate that we couldn’t pick a weekend that the White Sox were in town, but my brother and sister-in-law already had vacations planned for this week and since the Tigers were home, we got tickets and planned on enjoying a long weekend in Michigan.

Before we could go to the game, we had to find food.  As I’ve mentioned on this blog before, pizza is the easiest thing for us all to agree on.  Most people recommended Pizza Papalis in Greektown which, up until a few weeks ago, was the plan.  As I was surfing the Chow.com boards, I kept reading about Buddy’s Pizza. 

I’ve eaten at the Pizza Papalis in Southfield and loved it, but, it was Chicago-style pizza.  My family is from Chicago, so I wanted to give them a uniquely Detroit experience.  When I posted a thread on Chow.com, I got several replies that Buddy’s would give them the uniquely Detroit experience and it was some of the best pizza in the country. Read the rest of this entry »





Frank’s Press Box East

10 07 2009
  • 2314 Woodlake Drive
  • Okemos, MI 48864
  • (517) 347-8810
  • Website
  • Menu
Franks Press Box East near the I-96 exit in Okemos.

Frank's Press Box East near the I-96 exit in Okemos.

Yup, it’s Friday again.  For some reason, I get lazy on Friday and don’t feel like cooking.  Today, I had another reason though.  My family is coming to town late tonight and J and I spent all morning cleaning.  I’m a pretty messy cook.  It’s not unusual to find flour or a little bit of cheese on the floor after dinner.  Instead of taking that chance, J suggested we go out. 

A few weeks ago, we went to Applebees in Okemos for dinner.  I chose that location because we J wanted to go to a chain, but being Friday night, it was a good idea to have a back up option just in case.  Tonight, that back up became the main attraction.

Frank’s Press Box East is on Woodlake Road just off of I-96 in Okemos.  Like so many businesses in that area, they don’t have a store front on Okemos Road.  There is a little sign on the road, but it’s easy to miss.  It was a long time before I even knew Frank’s had a second restaurant in Okemos.

We pulled into the parking a little after seven and there were a lot more cars than I expected.  I almost had doubts that we wouldn’t get a table.  I don’t know what I was expecting, but I was expecting what we found. Read the rest of this entry »





Marcos Pizza – South Cedar

9 05 2009
  • 4320 S. Cedar Street
  • Lansing, MI 48910
  • (517) 394-4444
  • Website
  • Menu
Marcos Pizza on South Cedar Street in Lansing.

Marcos Pizza on South Cedar Street in Lansing.

How lucky am I?   I finally get a Saturday off and there’s a Saturday night NASCAR race.  What’s really sad is J has seen more NASCAR than I have this year and I actually had to ask her this morning where the race was at.  Since we both wanted to hang out on the couch and watch TV (the White Sox game was on WGN America, so we could flip back an forth), we decided to find a pizza place we hadn’t tried yet. 

I drive by the Marcos Pizza on South Cedar quite a bit and we’ve been seeing a lot of commercials lately, so I pulled up a menu online to see what they had to offer.  It looked like standard pizza fare to me, so I called in an order for a large cheese pizza.

We gave it about ten minutes then headed down Cedar to pick up the pizza.  The building only does carry-out.  It’s a stand alone building, but the kitchen takes up 3/4 of the space.  There are some cheap red chairs if you have to wait, but we timed it pretty well.  When I went in to get my pizza, everyone was pretty busy.  There were two people manning phones and two making pizzas.  One of the guys making the pizzas saw me standing there and came over to take care of me.  I paid the ten dollars and change, grabbed the box and headed home. Read the rest of this entry »





Vito & Nick’s II – Tinley Park, IL

4 05 2009
  • 7020 183rd Street
  • Tinley Park, IL 60477
  • (708) 532-8486
  • Website
  • Menu
Vito & Nicks II on 183rd Street in Tinley Park.

Vito & Nick's II on 183rd Street in Tinley Park.

My brother has recently found South Side Chicago pizza.  Last summer, he went to a White Sox game with my aunt and some of her co-workers.  Those co-workers stopped at a pizzeria in Matteson where my brother had a cracker thin crust Italian beef pizza for the first time.  Since then, he’s talked about it on many occasions.

When J and I can only make it back as far as Chicago, we usually meet my parents for lunch on Sunday before heading back to Michigan.  J hasn’t seen my niece since February, so I asked my brother if he wanted to meet for pizza in Tinley Park.  Of course, he said yes.

I need to start this off by explaining the lineage of Vito & Nick’s.  A few months ago, I reviewed The Original Vito & Nick’s on 84th and Pulaski.  Vito & Nick’s II is not part of the original restaurant, but it is an offshoot of that tavern owned by the son of namesake Vito Barraco.  That son opened two stores called Vito & Nick’s II which are in no way affiliated with the Original.  The Tinley Park location isn’t one of those two.  After the original Vito & Nick’s II stores took off, the store started to franchise.  The Tinley Park store is one of those franchises.  So even though it’s not a direct descendant of the legendary tavern on Chicago’s south side, they do have a pretty similar menu.

They open the store on 183rd near Harlem at noon on Sunday’s.  We got there just a little before noon.  By the time we got my niece out of her carseat and started walking towards the restaurant, a man was coming out to unlock the door.  The waitress must have seen us as he was starting to push two tables together as we were walking in. Read the rest of this entry »