Press Release – Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina coming to Mid-Michigan?

21 01 2009

Got this press release from Charlotte, NC based Salsarita’s Inc. in my inbox this evening.  They’re a chain I have never heard of, but they have Michigan locations in Allen Park, Ann Arbor, Brighton, Detroit, Macomb, and Troy

Fast-Casual Mexican Chain Targets Lansing, Flint and Jackson for Growth

(Lansing, MI)—Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina, one of the nation’s quickest-growing, fast-casual Mexican restaurant chains, has plans to add at least 35 locations throughout the state over the next few years. They are concentrating their efforts in Lansing, Flint, and Jackson. These locations will join seven existing Salsarita’s in the state. A fast-casual restaurant, Salsarita’s specializes in serving made-to-order burritos, tacos, tortilla pizzas, taco salads and more made from the freshest ingredients and served up in an inviting, festive atmosphere or off-site via a convenient catering service.

“Lansing, Flint and Jackson are fresh and exciting places, just like Salsarita’s,” said Salsarita’s president and CEO Paul Mangiamele. “I think it will be a great addition to their local dining scenes.”

Lunch accounts for about 60 percent of Salsarita’s sales, and service is always fast and friendly. Three to four orders can be filled per minute – meaning that the 20th person in line can be served in five minutes – and the average check is $7.75. Salsarita’s makes sure its guests’ needs are met in other ways, too. For the time-crunched family looking for a delicious home-meal replacement, take-home Taco Bar provides all the fixings for four, six or eight people. A complete catering program is also available for groups from 15 to over 150.

Founded in 2000 in Charlotte, North Carolina by multi-unit franchisee Bruce Willette, Salsarita’s has 78 restaurants in 18 states and expects to end 2009 with over 100 locations. Salsarita’s currently has development engagements in excess of 100 additional units and expects to grow to 200 restaurants by 2012. In 2007, the chain topped Restaurant Business’ list of The Future 50, which ranks the fastest-growing restaurant chains in America. With new locations opening across the country, Salsarita’s is a front-runner in the fresh-Mexican category, a recipient of numerous Franchise 500® rankings and a brand that’s quickly gaining recognition for its quality product and legendary hospitality. Read the rest of this entry »


Redwood Lodge

9 11 2008
  • 5305 Gateway Center Dr.
  • Flint, MI 48507
  • (810) 233-8000
  • Website
  • Menu
The Redwood Lodge just off of I-75 in Flint

The Redwood Lodge just off of US-23 in Flint

I don’t usually expect Brew Pubs to be considered “upscale dining”, but when I looked on the Flint Visitors Bureau website that’s what it said.  I just figured it was a mistake or Flint has a pretty low standard.  I was wrong.

Redwood Lodge is located in a business/hotel park called Gateway Center.  It’s right off of US-23 and visibile from the freeway.  There’s a huge parking lot out front and the building makes you think of a lodge in the Rocky Mountains.  As we were making our way to the entrance, we passed stacks of mesquite wood which would be used in the wood burning oven.

The inside carried on the Rocky Mountain Lodge theme.  We were met by a host at the front who showed us to a booth near the bar area.  The booths didn’t butt up to the walls like they usually do.  They were freestanding and you could enter on either side.  A waitress came over and got our order for the usual Diet Pepsi and Pepsi.  We passed up the “World’s Largest Bloody Mary Bar.”  A great deal at $6 for all you can drink Bloody Mary’s, but neither of us drink Bloody Mary’s so we passed. Read the rest of this entry »

Press Release – Sonic open in Flint

10 10 2008

From a press release….I guess it’s a little closer to Lansing.

SONIC® Drive-In Opens Location in Flint

(Oklahoma City) – Flint residents now have a reason to stay in – stay in their cars that is. SONIC®, America’s Drive-In® today announced the opening of Flint’s first SONIC Drive-In, a restaurant where you order your meal and eat right from the comfort of your own vehicle.

“We are very excited to open a SONIC in Flint,” said Bill Wentworth, Jr., franchisee of the SONIC Drive-In. “We are looking forward to serving the community and delivering the fun Carhop service SONIC Drive-Ins are known for across the country.”

The Wentworth Group is the principal owner of the new SONIC located at 3140 Miller Road in Flint. The restaurant features 27 drive-in stalls, two walk-up ordering stations and a drive-thru.

The drive-in will open at 7 a.m. on Oct. 13 to serve customers a delicious breakfast. With the full menu available all day, customers can enjoy a Breakfast Burrito to start their morning or as a late night snack.

SONIC, which specializes in made-to-order fast food, is known for its specialty menu items and personal Carhop service. Unique drink combinations make SONIC Your Ultimate Drink Stop!® SONIC’s slow-melting ice, helps drinks stay cool and keeps them cooled longer while maintaining flavor. SONIC’s full menu is available all day, giving guests the option of eating breakfast for dinner or ordering a SONIC Blast in the morning. Favorites include TOASTER® Sandwiches (sandwiches served on thick Texas Toast), Extra-Long Cheese Coneys (hot dogs with chili and cheese), fresh hamburgers, handfresh-made Onion Rings, Tater Tots and a variety of Ffrozen Favorites® treats and Fountain Favorites® drinks. SONIC’s ever-growing menu is full of options to satisfy every taste, such as Fresh Fruit Smoothies.

SONIC, America’s Drive-In (NASDAQ/NM: SONC) started as a hamburger and root beer stand in 1953 in Shawnee, Okla., called Top Hat Drive-In, and then changed its name to SONIC in 1959. The first drive-in to adopt the SONIC name is still serving customers in Stillwater, Okla. As the nation’s largest chain of drive-in restaurants, SONIC has more than 3,400 drive-ins coast to coast. More than a million customers eat at SONIC every day; and with more drink combinations than any other quick-service restaurant – more than 168,000 to be exact – SONIC is Your Ultimate Drink Stop®. For more information about Sonic Corp. and its subsidiaries, visit SONIC at


YaYa’s Flame Broiled Chicken – Saginaw Hwy.

30 09 2008
  • 5415 W. Saginaw Hwy
  • Lansing, MI 48917
  • (517) 886-0995
  • Website
  • Menu
YaYas Flame Broiled Chicken on Saginaw Highway near the Lansing Mall.

YaYa's Flame Broiled Chicken on Saginaw Highway near the Lansing Mall.

What a great idea for a chicken restaurant.  Just the other night, I was craving chicken and considered going to Popeye’s.  Knowing I was kind of bad on my diet over the weekend, I didn’t want to splurge on fried chicken.  This afternoon, J asked me to run out to Horrocks to get some more of them delicious honey crisp apples.  She went to work a little early, so I just waited to eat lunch until after she was gone.  I made my stops at Wal-Mart and Horrocks then got thinking about lunch.  When I was working this weekend, one of the guys I worked with had said something about YaYa’s near Frandor.  For some reason, I remembered there was one near the Lansing Mall, so that’s where I went for lunch.

YaYa’s is a chain of 17 restaurants with locations in Michigan and Florida.  The first restaurant was opened in Seminole, FL in 1985, but the first franchise location was opened in Flint, MI in 1988.  There are two locations here in Lansing and both are on Saginaw Highway.  There’s this one by the mall and the other is farther down Saginaw near US 127.  This particular YaYa’s is located in a shopping plaza in a very commercialized area of Saginaw Highway. 

It was a little after two when I went looking for lunch.  There were no cars parked in front and the inside was empty.  The store is not very big.  It’s longer than it is wide and there are a handful of tables in the space to sit and eat.  The counter is located at the far end of the space.  The menu board is behind the counter above the grills where the whole chickens are butterflied and grilled.  Read the rest of this entry »

Coney Island Hot Dogs

30 04 2008

I love regional food.  I love that each city has it’s own trademark.  There are some things I miss now that I live in Michigan.  I get cravings Giordanno’s stuffed pizza every now and then.  There are places that claim to be “Chicago Style” pizzerias, but none of them are.  A deep dish pizza is not Chicago Style.  It’s the stuffed deep dish that makes it Chicago style.

While living in Central Illinois, I was introduced to the Horseshoe sandwich.  Man, do I really miss these.  A typical horseshoe took two pieces of toasted Texas toast laid out on a plate.  On top of that would be two hamburger patties.  On top of that, would be french fries and the whole thing was smothered in a cheddar cheese sauce.  There are variations on the concept.  Really, you can use any meat.  Most menus offer ham, turkey, pork, or chicken in place of the hamburger.  They also usually offer smaller sandwiches called Pony Shoes.  Recently, Charlie Parker’s was featured on the Food Network show Diner’s, Drive-Ins and Dives where they showed off a Breakfast shoe.  They replaced the traditional ingredients with sausage patties, hash browns and gravy.

I really miss yelling at people when they put ketchup on a Chicago Style Hotdog…..big no-no.  I haven’t been able to find a real Italian Beef sandwich around here either.  You never realize just how regional food can be until you move.

So with all that said, I keep seeing “Coney Island” restaurants around here.  Of course, that piqued my interest and I had to figure out what was going on.  Another blogger really caught my attetnion with this post.

It’s been quite some time since I’d had the competing Detroit-style coney with its chili sauce. This sauce is wetter than that of the Flint-style sauce and seems to be quite a bit milder. However, no one else in the house had ever had the Detroit-style coney, a situation I felt needed to be rectified. So when I realized GFS Marketplace stores are now offering a package of the Detroit-style sauce, I decided my family needed to see what it was like.

Wait!  There are different styles of Coney Dogs?  This is something that’s unique to Detroit?  I’m not a real big hot dog guy, but just the fact that this is something unique to this area is enough to make me suck it up for one dog just so I can say I did.  Road trip to Detroit!

So what else does Mid-Michigan have to offer as far as unique food goes?  Anything else I shoud be looking forward to?