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 »





Georgio’s Gourmet Pizzeria – Downtown

27 04 2009
  • 120 Charles Street
  • East Lansing, MI 48823
  • (517) 333-9990
  • No Known Website
Georgios Gourmet Pizzeria on Charles Street in East Lansing.

Georgio's Gourmet Pizzeria on Charles Street in East Lansing.

I love late night pizza-by-the-slice places and I love living near a college town that has many places to fill that late night craving. 

J got home from work just before midnight like she always does and I said, “I’m hungry” like I always do.  This time, she said she had a taste for pizza or tacos too.  We debated the pros and cons of each and eventually settled on pizza.  Since there’s no place on the south side of Lansing to get a slice at midnight, we trekked to East Lansing.

There are a couple locations for Georgio’s in East Lansing, but I chose the one in the downtown area on Charles Street.  We drove around the streets of downtown a few times on a very busy Friday night looking for pizza.  I knew there was a Georgio’s and a Bell’s, but I didn’t remember which was where.  We drove by Bell’s because there were so many kids around and no place to park.  I made it to Georgio’s and got really lucky.  There was a parking space right out front.  I showed off my awesome parallel parking skills (there was no space in front of me, so really, I just pulled in) and we went inside.  Read the rest of this entry »





Pizza Hut/WingStreet – Lansing

19 04 2009
  • 6200 S. Cedar Street
  • Lansing, MI 48911
  • (517) 393-1565
  • Website
  • Menu
The Pizza Hut/WingStreet in South Lansing.

The Pizza Hut/WingStreet in South Lansing.

When I was growing up just south of Chicago, there was always a fight in my house about where to go for pizza.  I always wanted to go to Pizza Hut because I loved their bread sticks.  My dad and brother always wanted to go to Monical’s (a regional chain which I’ve blogged about before).  I usually lost. 

To this day, I still really like Pizza Hut’s breadsticks.  The pizza is alright, but nothing I really crave.  J and I have been saying for a year we needed to check out the Pizza Hut Italian Bistro on Cedar Street.  The commercials always made the pasta look really good.

A couple weeks ago, I noticed the “Italian Bistro” signs coming down and “WingStreet” signs going up.  I do like me some wings, so we finally got around to trying something other than pizza at Pizza Hut.

The Lansing Pizza Hut is on the south side of town on South Cedar across the street from Meijer.  It sits in the corner of a strip mall that also has an Applebees and Finlay’s.  We decided to hit up Pizza Hut for a Sunday night dinner.  It was about 5:30 when we pulled in to the parking lot.  That’s important to remember.

When you enter the store, you come in t the carry out counter.  There were a few people in front of us picking up pizza and we didn’t want to get lost in the shuffle, so J went right up to the hostess stand and waited.  Fortunately, we were noticed right away and taken to a booth.  Later in the night, we may have had to wait several minutes until someone noticed us. 

The dining room was much nicer than any Pizza Hut either of us remembered.  J can only faintly eating at one a long time ago, but what she remembers is that everything was red except for the lights which were green.  This dining room had a more intimate setting like….wait for it….an Italian bistro.  All kidding aside, the dining room was actually pretty nice and not what I think of when I think of Pizza Hut. Read the rest of this entry »





Quality Dairy – Saginaw & Cedar

17 04 2009
  • 500 E. Saginaw Street
  • Lansing, MI 48906
  • (517) 319-4120
  • Website
The Quality Dairy on Saginaw Street at Cedar Street in Lansing.

The Quality Dairy on Saginaw Street at Cedar Street in Lansing.

Guess what?  I needed a Pepsi.  I left Oldsmobile Park after a heartbreaking Lugnuts lost and I was really thirsty.  I knew there was a Quality Dairy close that I hadn’t been to so I turned the truck around and headed to the Quality Diary.

This Quality Dairy is on the corner of East Saginaw and North Cedar Streets.  There is actually an entrance off Larch Street as well, but you have to go through a large parking lot to get to the building.

The building is weird.  The Saginaw Street side sits pretty close to the road.  There’s just enough room to park along side the building and the door looks more like a back door than an entrance.  There are no windows along that side of the street, but it is actually an entrance.  The Cedar Street side looks more like the main entrance with the typical store front.

I didn’t know any better and that’s where I parked.  When you go inside, the liquor section is off to the left and there’s a cash register back there as well. The fountain pop machine was just off to the right, so I grabbed my cup and filled up. 

I didn’t eat anything at the ballpark, so I was also really hungry.  I had considered just getting a cold meat sandwich like I did a few weeks ago at the QD in Charlotte, but as I was walking to the register, I noticed some pizza that was being sold by the slice.  The price was only $1.25 a slice, so I grabbed a paper boat and put a couple slices in there. Read the rest of this entry »





Cottage Inn Pizza – Holt – Revisited

11 04 2009
Cottage Inn Pizza on Cedar Street in Holt.

Cottage Inn Pizza on Cedar Street in Holt.

J converted me.  I used to be a deep dish pizza guy, but where she grew up on the South Side of Chicago, thin crust rules.  Over time, she broke me down and now all I want is a thin and crispy pie.  We haven’t had a whole lot of luck finding those in Mid-Michigan.  It’s not because no one does it.  It’s because we never looked.  When you call and just order a large pizza, most places give you the same crappy not quite thin, not quite thick crust.  If you ask, you just might get a good pizza.

That’s the case with Cottage Inn.  We went almost a year without realizing they do a thin crust.  When we first started checking out the local and regional pizza places, Cottage Inn was up first.  The pizza was good, but I said it was ” still too much like the other chains.” 

I don’t know why, but for some reason, J actually decided to look at the menu one weekend when I was working.  She saw an option for thin crust, so that’s what she ordered.  She took one bite and fell in love.  It reminded her of home.  In Chicago, if you order a thin crust pizza, the pizza is cut into squares, not triangle and that’s how Cottage Inn cuts their thin crust.  Read the rest of this entry »