T & D Coney Grill

17 09 2009
  • 1735 W. Grand River Avenue
  • Okemos, MI 48864
  • (517) 347-9066
  • No Known Website
  • Menu

 

T & D Coney Grill on West Grand River Avenue in Okemos.

T & D Coney Grill on West Grand River Avenue in Okemos.

In my runnings around Delta Township this morning, I forgot a few things I needed to do, so it was back out tonight, but this time, I decided to go to Okemos.  The store I needed to go to was out that way too and I wanted to check out another new place recommended by BernieB.

 

 

T & D Coney Grill is a new addition to the Okemos restaurant scene that sits in a strip mall at the corner of West Grand River Avenue and Dobie Road.  It takes up the space that used to be Villegas.  They do breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the small, family run diner, but it was dinner that I was looking for.

I pulled in just before 8:00 on a Thursday night.  There were a few other people in the restaurant which is divided into two dining rooms.  It’s just the layout of the space.  There’s not really a reason the room is divide.  Tying the two spaces together is a lunch counter that overlooks a window to the kitchen.

Since I was alone, I grabbed a seat at the lunch counter in front of the large LCD TV which was tuned to Wolf Blitzer.  When I sat down, I was asked if I was dining in or if I wanted carry-out.  I had no place to be, so I sat down to eat.  Read the rest of this entry »





RG’s Ballpark Dogs & More

29 07 2009
  • 625 E. Michigan Avenue
  • Lansing, MI 48912
  • (517) 977-9079
  • No Known Website
  • Menu
RGs Ballpark Dogs & More on East Michigan Avenue in Lansing.

RG's Ballpark Dogs & More on East Michigan Avenue in Lansing.

I go to a lot of Lugnuts games and almost every game I go to, I walk right by a little Mexican/hot dog place on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Pere Marquette Street.  Sometimes, the restaurant is open, but most of the time, it’s not.  It seems like every time I walk by, I’m low on cash so I’ve never been able to stop in for a quick meal. 

I was downtown this afternoon for the Lugnuts Summer Family Fun day game.  When I walked by before the game, the store was open.  I didn’t eat at the park figuring I would take my chance and see if they were open when the game was over. 

After a dramatic ninth inning, two out comeback that fell just short, I started walking back towards my truck.  The door to the restaurant was open and there was one other person in.  The special board caught my eye, so I made a quick turn to see what this little corner shop was hiding.

RG’s Ballpark Dogs & More is about a block from Oldsmobile Park on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Pere Marquette right across the street from Clara’s.  I have no idea what the hours are or even if they have regular hours.  I’ve tried to see if they were posted somewhere on the window or door, but there’s nothing. 

The shop is very tiny.  When they are open, the front door is usually propped open.  When you enter the store, you have to take a step up to get to the order counter.  There is enough room for two small tables in the space next to the counter, but that’s about it.  On nice days, they pull at least one of these tables outside to the sidewalk which makes more sense.  Read the rest of this entry »





Downtown Dog House

12 06 2009
  • 107 E. Allegan Street
  • Lansing, MI 48933
  • (517) 316-2312
  • No Known Website
  • Menu
The Downtown Dog House on Allegan Street in downtown Lansing.

The Downtown Dog House on Allegan Street in downtown Lansing.

I’m last to the party on this one too.  Earlier this week, Runs With Spatula Twittered about a place called the Downtown Dog House.  I asked what is was and a few hours later, there was a blog post.  Yesterday, I get an e-mail from City Pulse about a new article online about…you guessed it…the Downtown Dog House.  Heck, I even got five or six replies on Twitter myself about the place.  With all this buzz, I had to check it out.

The Downtown Dog House is on Allegan Street in downtown Lansing just off Washington Square.  Right now, it’s a horrible location.  The entire street is tore up due to the CSO project and Allegan Street is completely closed.  If you didn’t already know about it, there’s very little chance you would see the place.  I have to say, it takes guts to open a new business under those conditions.

I had to run some errands in the area and J tagged along so we could hit up the place for lunch.  We made it downtown just before eleven and found a parking spot on Washington Square.  We walked back a block or so to get to the front doors which is even somewhat of a challenge with all the construction. 

I think we were both surprised when we walked in.  At least in my mind, I had pictured a quick service, order at the counter, find a place to sit hot dog place like I’m used to seeing in Chicago.  Instead, we found a very welcoming sit down restaurant.  We were shown to a booth along the windows.  While we looked over the menus, the man who seated us brought us our Pepsi’s.  Read the rest of this entry »





Pluto’s Original Beef & Hotdogs – Oak Lawn, IL

5 01 2009
  • 10341 S. Cicero Ave.
  • Oak Lawn, IL 60453
  • (708) 425-2222
  • Website
  • Menu
Plutos Original Beef and Hot Dogs on South Cicero in Oak Lawn, IL

Pluto's Original Beef and Hot Dogs on South Cicero in Oak Lawn, IL

Did you think I would go to Chicago and not get an Italian Beef?  It doesn’t matter how short of a trip it is, there’s a place on every corner, so I will get an Italian Beef eventually.

Right before J and I left for Michigan on Sunday afternoon, her mom offered up one more meal.  The night before, we were talking about the best burger on the south side when her step dad brought up Pluto’s.  We drive by Pluto’s every time we go to her parents and any place with the word “beef” in the title is appealing to me. 

J’s parents order from there quite often, so they had a menu at home and the lady working knew her mom by name.  I passed on the burger and went straight for the Italian Beef.  J’s step dad ordered the special which was three hot dogs and three things of fries, so I didn’t have to order fries.  J got a homemade chicken fingers which came with fries and a chocolate malt while her mom got a salad.  They also got an order of the jalapeno poppers for all of us.

After about five minutes, we piled in the car to go pick it up.  We didn’t all need to go, but I always feel bad making someone else go after my food, so J and I went with her mom to get it.  We pulled up to the drive through and J’s mom told the intercom who she was.  The lady who knew her answered and told her to pull around to the window.  The food wasn’t quite ready, but it was close.  Read the rest of this entry »





America’s Dog – Downtown Chicago

30 11 2008
  • 26 E. Randolph St.
  • Chicago, IL 60601
  • (312) 345-0100
  • Website
  • Menu
Americas Dog on Randolph St. in downtown Chicago

America's Dog on Randolph St. in downtown Chicago

J and I have been planning a day out in Chicago with my brother and his wife for quite some time.  My brother was going to surprise his wife with tickets to Wicked at the Ford Theater on Randolph in downtown Chicago.  J and I saw the show a couple years ago, so we weren’t going to go, but we were going to spend the day downtown walking and just enjoying the Mag Mile around Christmas time. 

My brother drove up to J’s parents house in the south suburbs then turned the keys over to me.  They were going to eat at Portillo’s in Crestwood (review HERE), but when they drove by, it was way too crowded so they passed.  He really wanted a Chicago Dog.  There were a few places along Cicero on the way to I-55, but I knew of a place in the theater district that I figured we could stop at. Read the rest of this entry »





Portillo’s Hot Dogs – Crestwood, IL

20 07 2008
  • 13130 Cicero Ave.
  • Crestwood, IL 60445
  • (708 ) 385-6400
  • Website
  • Menu
Portillos Hot Dogs in Crestwood.  Real Chicago-Style Food!

Portillo's Hot Dogs in Crestwood, IL. Real Chicago-Style Food!

I seem to be spending about every weekend back in Chicago and this past weekend was not exception.  This time, however, I was in town for a concert and not work.  We got tickets to see Sugarland (for the third time!) at the Cedar Point Sportsmen Club in Peru, IL.  Peru is a little over an hour from Chicago, so we decided to stop at my girlfriend’s parents before and after the show.  On our way to meet my parents, whom we were going to the show with, we started talking about food.  We had a pretty packed day trying to fit everything we wanted to do in and we neglected lunch up until that point.  Since she’s more familiar with the area, she started running down places on the way to the meeting point.  After a few suggestions, I finally said, “What about Portillo’s?” 

Let me start by saying.  I LOVE Portillo’s.  This is Chicago style food at it’s best.  When I was in college, I interned downtown at Fox Sports Net Chicago.  The downtown Portillo’s is located a few blocks away and I used to walk there all the time.  Since I started dating my girlfriend, I take any opportunity I can to stop at this location on Cicero. 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?