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 »





Smokey Bones Barbeque & Grill

10 08 2009
  • 2401 Lake Lansing Road
  • Lansing, MI 48912
  • (517) 316-9973
  • Website
  • Menu
Smokey Bones Barbeque and Grill on Lake Lansing Road in Lansing.

Smokey Bones Barbeque and Grill on Lake Lansing Road in Lansing.

My curiosity finally won out.  Is it possible for a large chain restaurant to make good BBQ?  I’ve tried in the past.  I’ve eaten at a Corky’s franchise hoping for the best, but leaving feeling disappointed.  In my experience, the best BBQ joints are always locally owned, they smoke on site, and they serve Memphis style BBQ. 

Saturday was a pretty crappy day.  J and I both overslept due to the rain.  Our bedroom looked dark all morning and neither of us were motivated enough to actually look at a clock to see what time it was.  When we did finally roll out of bed, we started our Saturday ritual of debating eateries and activities to fill our afternoon before I had to go to work.  I had the BBQ craving and J had a GAP Rewards card, so Eastwood Towne Center seemed like the best option.

Smokey Bones Barbeque & Grill is just off of Lake Lansing Road in front of the Eastwood Towne Centre near the other chain restaurants that dominate the area.  It was a miserable rainy day when we pulled into the parking lot and fortunately, we found a parking spot near the door.  The main entrance does not face Lake Lansing Road like you’d expect it to.  It actually faces the access road for the mall.  Read the rest of this entry »





Wild Wing Cafe

1 08 2009
  • 2085 W. Grand River Avenue
  • Okemos, MI 48864
  • (517) 349-2321
  • Website
  • Menu
Wild Wing Cafe on Grand River Avenue in Okemos.

Wild Wing Cafe on Grand River Avenue in Okemos.

When I rolled out of bed this morning…er, afternoon, J started asking about lunch.  She was hungry.  I was hungry, so we started getting ready to leave the house.  Last night, I gave her the option of Mexican or wings.  Today, I wasn’t really in the mood for Mexican so I made the call to head to Okemos to try out the new chain in town. 

Wild Wing Cafe is on the corner of Grand River Avenue and Okemos Road in the building that used to be Bennigan’s.  The chain is an east coast franchise based in South Carolina.  The Okemos location is both the farthest north and west. 

I never went into the Bennigan’s, so I have no idea if anything has changed inside.  The dining room is anchored by a large bar in the middle that is covered with LCD TV’s.  In fact, that’s pretty much the whole design theme.  LCD TV’s everywhere.  Everywhere!  The place really has a sports bar theme.  The TV’s are accented with MSU pictures that have been blown up and hung on the walls. 

There are tables and booths that fill in the space around the bar.  We were shown to a table near the stage that hosts local bands on weekends.  A waitress came over and took drink orders while we looked over the rather large menu.  I knew I wanted wings, but there were a lot of options.  J isn’t in to the traditional wing as much as I am, so she needed a little more time to work her way through the choices.  Read the rest of this entry »





McAlister’s Deli – Okemos

15 07 2009
  • 4760 Marsh Road
  • Okemos, MI 48864
  • (517) 381-3100
  • Website
  • Menu
McAlisters Deli on Marsh Road in Okemos

McAlister's Deli on Marsh Road in Okemos

It’s not very often that J and I make appointments for the early afternoon, but today, we had something to do in Okemos around one o’clock.  Our appointment wasn’t going to take long, so we decided we could squeeze lunch in after what we needed to do and before she needed to go to work.

Since we didn’t have a whole lot of time, I asked the question, bar food or deli.  She chose deli which narrowed the choices to Panera or McAlister’s.  Since I’ve only eaten at a McAlister’s once and she never had, I chose the latter. 

McAlister’s Deli is a chain of restaurants founded in the late nineties in Oxford, Mississippi.  There are three locations in the Lansing area.  Since we were in Okemos, we went to the Marsh Road location which is near the intersection with Grand River Avenue in a small strip mall. 

When we walked in, J’s first thought it was a sit down restaurant, but the aisle from the door leads you right to the order counter.  The decor is made to resemble the original restaurant which was in a gas station.  The lighting is pretty dark and the tables are sectioned off with dark wood dividers Read the rest of this entry »





Honeybaked Ham Cafe – Lansing

9 07 2009
  • 5601 W. Saginaw Highway
  • Lansing, MI 48917
  • (517) 327-5008
  • Website
  • Menu
The Honeybaked Ham Company and Cafe on W. Saginaw Highway in Lansing.

The Honeybaked Ham Company and Cafe on W. Saginaw Highway in Lansing.

Merry Christmas!  Yes, I know it’s July, but J and I finally cashed in her Christmas present from work.  We were out in Delta Township with a number of errands to run.  Before we left the house, I suggested we finally use the $50 gift certificate from Honeybaked Ham for lunch.  I think we both almost forgot about it and since it’s good until next Christmas, we just kept putting it off.  My family is coming to town this weekend, so picking up some extra lunch meat sounded like a good idea.

The Honeybaked Ham Company and Cafe is in one of the many little strip malls across the street from the Lansing Mall on West Saginaw Highway.  I have had the boxed lunches from Honeybaked Ham before, but I’ve never been in a store.  J said her mom used to stop and pick up a whole ham, but she hadn’t eaten lunch there either. 

The store is pretty small with an order counter, a couple tables, and some displays of gourmet pantry items.  The menu board is above the coolers behind the counter.  Since we had a gift certificate, we had to spend the whole thing.  The plan was to get lunch for both of us today and get some sliced meat to take home for the weekend.  Read the rest of this entry »





Subway – Saginaw & Creyts

6 07 2009
  • 6334 W. Saginaw Highway, Suite G
  • Lansing, MI 48917
  • (517) 323-2003
  • Website
  • Menu
Subway on West Saginaw Highway and Creyts Road in Delta Township

Subway on West Saginaw Highway and Creyts Road in Delta Township

Last summer, our Horrocks/Walmart trip was a weekly event.  So far this year, we’ve been pretty bad about getting out to Delta Township.  Over the winter, we’ve preferred the produce at Meijer, but with local stuff starting to come in season, we wanted to make the effort to get out to Horrocks. 

After I got home from the Lugnuts game on Sunday, I asked J if she wanted to make the run.  We needed some groceries anyway, so why not.  I hadn’t eaten all day and was starving, but neither of us really wanted to do to the sit down restaurant thing.  We hoped in the car and just started driving.  I knew there was enough out that way that we could find something.  On the trip though, I came up with Subway.  It’s always a fairly cheap, good meal….and most of the time, it’s pretty quick.

We chose the Subway on the corner of Saginaw Highway and Creyts Road in Delta Township mostly because it was the first one we came across after getting off the highway.  The store sits in a little strip mall that I guess you coule say is “anchored” by a Baryames Cleaners. Read the rest of this entry »





Arby’s – E. Oakland Avenue

28 06 2009
  • 500 E. Oakland Avenue
  • Lansing, MI 48906
  • (517) 487-5154
  • Website
  • Menu
Arbys on East Oakland Avenue in Lansing.

Arby's on East Oakland Avenue in Lansing.

In the last year, Arby’s has drastically changed their menu.  They’ve added the Roastburger, Fajita Flatbread Melts, and Toasted Subs.  Usually when places make that many changes in a short time, the old formula isn’t working.  Still, there’s nothing I like better than an Arby’s roast beef and when I saw the 5 for $5 campaign had been brought back, I started looking for a reason to stop for lunch.

I was on my way to Oldsmobile Park for a Sunday afternoon baseball game.  First, I needed to grab something quick and cheap for lunch.  I drove by the Arby’s on South Cedar and that reminded me of the 5 for $5.  I missed the turn and instead of turning around, I kept going and hit the Arby’s a little farther north. Read the rest of this entry »





Fatburger – Orland Park, IL

16 06 2009
  • 15110 S. La Grange Road #A
  • Orland Park, IL 60462
  • (708) 364-8380
  • Website
  • Menu
Fatburger on La Grange Road in Orland Park, IL

Fatburger on La Grange Road in Orland Park, IL

Our wedding planning trip to Chicago continued this morning with a trip to meet with the Reverend we chose for the ceremony.  After we took care of that meeting, we had a couple hours before our next appointment and J was starving.  Since we were already in Orland Park, we headed over to the big business street and started looking for food.  J’s mom suggested a brew pub on La Grange Road.  I said any place with a burger was fine with me.  We started towards the brew pub, but as we were driving, J noticed the Fatburger.  She figured that would be faster than a sit down restaurant and it would satisfy the burger criteria. 

Fatburger is a west coast burger chain that, at one time, was co-owned by former Spartan Magic Johnson.  The chain was started in 1952 in Los Angeles.  Up until the mid-9o’s, the chain pretty much only existed on the west coast, but expansion brought store farther to the east.  The company now has 93 restaurants across North America, Asia, and the Middle East. 

The store in Orland Park is in a strip mall on La Grange Road near 151st Street.  We pulled in just after 11:00 and there was only one other person in line.  Fatburger’s slogan is “The Last Great Hamburger Stand.”  The decor is that of a sixties diner and while it’s technically considered fast food, they do cook your food to order.  Read the rest of this entry »





Panera Bread – Frandor

3 06 2009
  • 310 N. Clippert St.
  • Lansing, MI 48912
  • (517) 332-9183
  • Website
  • Menu
Panera Bread in the Frandor Shopping Center.

Panera Bread in the Frandor Shopping Center.

I know.  I know.  Another chain.  J and I had made plans earlier in the week to only eat out once.  Tomorrow.  Something came up and J wanted to run to Frandor. Neither of us had eaten lunch yet and we wouldn’t get back home in time to eat before she had to be at work, so we just ate while we were out.

J has always been a big fan of Panera Bread.  Me, not so much.  When we lived in Peoria, J worked long hours on Saturday and would usually stop at a Panera for at least one meal.  Before we started dating, she almost lived there. 

The Panera Bread in Frandor has a physical address on North Clippert, but it’s actually on the interior of the shopping center.  It sits on a corner connected to the  same building that houses Kroger.  It’s much smaller than most of the other Panera’s I’ve been in.  From the beginning, I felt a little crowded.  Usually, Panera has separate areas for the cafe and bakery.  I didn’t see that here. 

When you walk in, the order counter is right in front of you.  The bakery section is off to the right side of the counter.  There were four cash registers, but only two open.  We waited for the next available cashier, but that wasn’t good enough for a lady who walked up after us.  She wanted us to pick a line in hopes we would pick the longer line so she didn’t have to wait as long to get her coffee. Read the rest of this entry »