Andy’s Has Reopened!

2 09 2009

I had heard the rumors, but found out first hand that Andy’s Mexican & American Deli in Holt has reopened!  J sent me on a food run this afternoon after hearing from a couple people that the deli was back in business. 

True to form, Andy recognized me when I walked in.  He says he’s been open for about a month after taking some time off to attend to a family emergency.  He’s working on getting the word out to his regular customers and hoping that through word of mouth people will start coming back.

I’ve already done a review of Andy’s, but I do have to share a few things about today’s visit.  Obviously, there was the fact that he remembered me when I walked in.  It’s been several months since I had been in there.  He knew my fiancee’s name and asked how she was doing.  You don’t get that at many places.

The food.  J has been craving Andy’s quacamole for many months.  We keep going to Mexican places and she keeps getting quac.  She always complains about it not being nearly as good as Andy’s.  Apparently avacado’s are expensive right now and Andy had to raise his prices.  Most places would have just charged me and not said anything, but Andy told me before he made it that the price went up and if I still wanted it.  J would pay a lot more for it, so I said yes.  He remembered that J likes her quac with light onions. 

I also ordered five tacos for us to split.  He asked if I wanted flour or corn.  I asked if he had any hard shells.  He said that wouldn’t be a problem and he actually fried up some tortillas so I could have hard shell tacos.  Most places would have just said no. 

We’re both so happy Andy is back open.  We’ll be making the short drive to Holt a little more regularly now. 





Burger King – Holt

27 05 2009
  • 2464 Cedar Street
  • Holt, MI 48842
  • (517) 694-2600
  • Website
  • Menu
The Burger King on Cedar Street in Holt.

The Burger King on Cedar Street in Holt.

Sorry, I’m a few days behind in blogging.  Things are a little hectic at MMD World Headquarters which is why, on Monday night, I suggested a fast food run.  Usually, we do Taco Bell or Steak ‘n Shake, but I thought we’d mix it up.  I couldn’t tell you the last time I had Burger King and there’s one right down the street.  J didn’t object.

We chose the Burger King on Cedar in Holt.  It sits near the Holt/Lansing city line right across the street from the Kroger.  There is an entrance on Cedar Street, but there is also one on Willoughby which is easier to access than crossing traffic. 

As I’ve said before, I despise drive thrus, so we went inside.  The place was desserted at 7:00 on Memorial Day.  We were the only ones inside and there was just one car in the drive thru.  Since we hadn’t eaten at a BK in a long time, we needed a minute to look over the menu.

I got, if memory serves me correctly, the #11 which is a double cheeseburger with fries and a drink.  The prices on the board are for the small combo, but they list prices for medium and large under it.  I went with the medium and got a Diet Coke with just a splash of regular Coke from the fountain. Read the rest of this entry »





Andy’s Mexican & Ameican Deli

20 04 2009
  • 2102 N. Aurelius Road
  • Holt, MI 48842
  • (517) 268-0051
  • No Known Website
  • Menu
Andys Mexican & American Deli on North Aurelius Road in Holt

Andy's Mexican & American Deli on North Aurelius Road in Holt

Finally!  I think I’m probably the last person in the South Lansing/Holt area to grab lunch at Andy’s Mexican & American Deli in Holt.  We’ve tried a couple times and even got up early yesterday to try and get lunch before I had to be to work at 2:00.  When I called to make sure they were open, I got an answering machine saying Andy changed his hours and was closed on Sunday. 

Last night, J and I decided it was time to clean out our closet.  We ended up filling six garbage bags with clothes we haven’t worn since we moved here.  Since we were going out in the rain to drop them off at Goodwill, we thought we’d double back to Holt and stop in to Andy’s for lunch.

Andy’s Mexican & American Deli is on North Aurelius Road in Holt.  It’s actually located inside Brower’s Foods & Hardware.  It takes up the space that used to be Big T’s Extreme Deli.  When we walked into the store, Andy was at the cash register chatting with the lady from the hardware store.  Still, he greeted us like he knew we were there for food.  We made our way back to his part of the store and started looking over the menu posted on the counter.  We were told that the taco lunch was the special for today.  I was going to get taco’s anyway, but I didn’t want the rice and beans that come with it.  I never end up eating them and there was an option for tacos a la carte, so that’s what I did. I ordered three, but he must have mistook what I said and only made two.  He only charged for two, so no big deal.  Sometimes, I think it’s me.  My orders get screwed up every so often and I’m pretty sure it’s because I’m not clear.  Even J says she has a hard time understanding me from time to time. Read the rest of this entry »





The Entrepreunurial Spirit

17 04 2009

Is everyone going to go to Andy’s before I do?  First, I saw a blog on Runs With Spatula about the place and tonight, I see it on the 11:00 news.  Good story by ABC 3 to take a look at how Andy is keeping costs down and actually opening a business instead of closing one during this rough patch.

Too many cooks in the kitchen.

That’s a problem that a local restaurant owner definitely doesn’t have.

He’s the only cook.

Keeping labor costs down in an effort to keep up a small business.

It’s not only labor costs that he tries to keep down, it’s rent too.

All in an effort to make a go out of a business that opened during a recession.

This weekend.  I’m really going to make an effort to stop in for lunch.  I tried last weekend, but  because he’s the only cook, when he was pulled away for a family emergency, the restaurant had to close.





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 »





Food Auction in Holt

31 03 2009

I had heard about food auctions in other cities, but I had never heard any being publicized here in the Lansing area….that is until tonight.  I noticed this story from WLAJ.com on my RSS feed. 

It might seem a little unconventional, buying your groceries at an auction instead of a supermarket, but some people we spoke with say the savings is unbelieveable [sic].

For thrifty grocery shoppers, clipping coupons and buying generic brands isn’t good enough anymore, and here in Holt, food auctions are seeing an increase in popularity.

“I think over the last 6 months we’ve definitely seen an increase. In February we had about 115 bidders, we only have 96 chairs back there,” said Chris Crepeau, of the Michigan Auction Sales.

So, how does it work?

The food is cheaper because it is purchased in bulk and may be nearing its sell by date.

“Some of the things might be close to going out of date, but 99% of everything we sell is in date,” Crepeau said.

But in date or not, Fox doesn’t let that stand in the way of a bargain.

“It’s all good stuff, I’ve never had anything that was bad,” Fox said.

Interesting concept.  If you want more information, check out http://www.michiganauctionsales.com/





Taco’s E Mas

23 01 2009
  • 1850 Cedar Street
  • Holt, MI 48842
  • (517) 699-TACO
  • No Known Website
  • Menu
Tacos E Mas on Cedar Street in Holt

Taco's E Mas on Cedar Street in Holt

A few weeks ago, J and I were going to Mason for dinner when we passed what used to be an abandoned building.  I always thought it was an old drive thru coffee shop, but the business I found on Google was called Hot ‘N Now Hamburgers.  Dig a little deeper and I find Mocha Mac’s which is the coffee shop I was thinking of.  It was all lit up and the windows were painted for the first time since we moved here.  I didn’t catch the name, but Corky pointed out in comments that it was now called Taco’s E Mas. 

J had made tentative plans to go out with co-workers for dinner which would have left me on my own.  I never got around to thinking about dinner.  Her plans fell threw and she was now coming home for dinner like she always does.  I got up around 5:30 to start on dinner and I just didn’t feel like it.  I was tired and not in the mood to cook.  I sent her an e-mail to see if tacos would be ok for dinner.  She was on board, so we went to check out the new taco stand in Holt.

Taco’s E Mas sits on Cedar Street on the way out of town when you’re going to Mason.  It’s a small drive thru operation that just opened at the end of November.  There was one car at the window when we pulled in a little after seven on a Friday night.  We drove around to the back where the first menu board is located.  On that board, they only list the eight combo meals.  I spotted the taco meal right away and was ready to pull forward.  The menu by the speaker had a lot more details about the combos and they included the ala cart and dessert options there.  There was no one else in front of us and J wasn’t quite ready so we asked the speaker for a few more minutes. Read the rest of this entry »





Subway – Holt

20 01 2009
  • 2375 Cedar St. #F
  • Holt, MI 48842
  • (517) 694-4414
  • Website
  • Menu
The Subway on Cedar Street in Holt.

The Subway on Cedar Street in Holt.

Happy Inauguration Day!  I slept right up until the time President Obama took the oath, but J got up “early” so she wouldn’t miss anything.  That’s why I bought a TIVO five years ago.  Obama wasn’t my choice for President, but I do have a little bit of history with the man so it was neat to see.  When I worked and a TV news photographer in Peoria, there was an unknown state senator from Chicago with a funny name who was an underdog for the US Senate seat being vacated by Peter Fitzgerald.  We spent a lot of time covering front runners Blair Hull and Dan Hynes.  Then, something happened.  Blair Hull’s nasty divorce got brought into the race and this unknown made a huge surge.  Barack Obama won his party’s nomination.  Still, he was the underdog against Republican Jack Ryan.  Well, wouldn’t you know it.  Jack Ryan’s messy divorce got drug into the race and he eventually dropped out leaving Barack Obama with no Republican opponent. 

It was during this time I got sent to the small town of Canton, IL in Fulton County.  Barack Obama was stumping at the Fulton County Democratic Headquarters.  The room was packed.  There was probably fifty people jammed into a room that held thirty.  I was jammed into the corner with my big camera near the podium.  After the speech, the future President put his hand on my back, thanked me for coming, and asked if I needed an interview.   At that time, I declined because I had the sound I needed.  I look back now and kick myself.  Then, it was no big deal.  I had interviewed hundreds of politicians at the state and federal level.  It just wasn’t a big deal.  I just wanted to go grab dinner and head back to Peoria…a thirty minute drive.

That wasn’t the first time or the last time I covered a story about Barack Obama, but after his speech at the 2004 DNC, everything changed.  He became a rock star and events now started drawing hunderds and media availability dwindled. 

On February 10, 2007, I stood on a riser between reporters from ABC and CNN in front of the old State Capitol in Springfield, IL when Barack Obama announced his run for the presidency.  I was working for the Obama campaign as a freelance camera operator.  I was hired by a production company (not the actual campaign) to run the main camera for the pool feed that was being fed all over the world.  I think it was then that it hit me what was happening. 

Here it is, five years after that meeting in Canton, and J and I are watching the same man being sworn in as our 44th President.  The swearing in went to just after noon.  As we sit on the couch watching Charlie Gibson, we realized we didn’t have anything to eat.  Not wanting to cook, J said she’d buy lunch if I’d drive.  I had been seeing commercials for Subway’s new flat bread and got curious.  We always forget there’s a Subway just around the corner in Holt, but today, I happened to remember.  J was on board so Subway it was. Read the rest of this entry »





Restaurant Openings!

12 01 2009

Hey, here’s some good news instead of the usual “guess what closed today.”  I’ve noticed a couple new restaurants in the area recently.

First, we noticed a taco stand in the abandoned coffee place between Holt and Mason sort of near the skating rink.  I didn’t catch a name and it was closed by the time we were heading back to Lansing.  I can’t even tell you what used to be in the building to try and help pin down the location because whatever it was had been closed since we’ve been in the area.   One night when I’m on my own for dinner I’ll probably run down there and give it a try.

The other is Brother’s Grill in East Lansing.  I saw a story on WLAJ last week about the Michigan Business Tax and they talked to this place which I had never heard of.  I did a quick Google search and found a website at http://www.brothersgrillmsu.com.  It looks to be in the old Big Ten Burrito location on Grand River Avenue.  It also looks like the kind of place J and I would enjoy, so I would expect a reveiw from there fairly soon. 

Anyone else seen new places opening up in Mid-Michigan recently?





Darb’s Crystal Bar

11 01 2009
  • 4279 Holt Rd.
  • Holt, MI 48842
  • (517) 694-9716
  • No Known Website
  • No Menu
Darbs Crystal Bar on Holt Road and Cedar Street in Holt

Darb's Crystal Bar on Holt Road and Cedar Street in Holt

We found it!  We found a karaoke bar.  When we moved here almost ten months ago, we left a town that had the best karaoke bar.  It wasn’t a bar that hired a guy to come in once or twice a week with a TV and a microphone.  It was a karaoke theater with lights, multiple TV’s, a computer song book, a stage, multiple microphones, and a “KJ’s”  It was more of a karaoke saloon that happened to be in a bar.  It was awesome for someone like J who really likes karaoke.  If you heard a song on the radio for the first time, this place would have a karaoke version a week later.  You weren’t stuck doing songs from five years ago….you could do songs that were on the charts right now.

When we moved to Mid-Michigan, we immediately started looking for a karaoke bar with no luck. We tried Crunchy’s and Rookies with no luck.  The atmosphere was no good, the song selection were terrible, and it wasn’t fun.  A while ago, Corky suggested Darb’s Crystal Bar in Holt.  I had driven by a few times and though it just looked like a good place to hang out.  I had no idea they had karaoke. 

J has been going through withdrawals for months now, so we decided to give Darb’s a try.  We were there five minutes and we knew this was a place that we would be visiting several more times.

Darb’s Crystal Bar sits on the corner of Holt Road and Cedar Street in Holt.  There’s a large neon sign hanging off the side of the building, a beer garden to one side, and a ton of Christmas lights…even when t’s not Christmas.  We were surprised to find a packed parking lot.  It was a Saturday night, but we also had gotten a foot of snow in the last 24 hours.  We thought tonight would be a good time to try out Darb’s hoping the snow would keep people away.  No dice.  The place was packed.  It’s not very big inside and all the tables near the front of the bar were packed. Read the rest of this entry »