Press Release – Burrito’s for $1 at Panchero’s

25 08 2009

From a Panchero’s Mexican Grill press release…..


(EAST LANSING, Mich.)—Class schedule? Check. New wardrobe? Check. A full stomach and full wallet? Check and check, thanks to Panchero’s Mexican Grill, where locals can ring in a new Michigan State school year with dollar burritos from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on September 8th at 125 E. Grand River Ave.

The event, which this year will feature a 97.5 FM radio remote and free t-shirt giveaways, has been a staple of Michigan State students’ back-to-school routines for the past 17 years. According to Panchero’s founder Rodney Anderson, it’s just the company’s way of starting the academic year off on the right foot.

“Some people may not realize this but Panchero’s is not a concept with roots in the Southwest: It is and always has been truly homegrown right here in Michigan and our dollar burrito event is just one way for us to thank the people that helped us to get to where we are today,” said Anderson. “We know everyone, especially college students, is trying to save money wherever they can and we’re helping them to do just that without sacrificing the taste they’ve come to know and love at Panchero’s.”


Governor Honors Final Four Bet

13 04 2009

From Governor Granholm’s blog.

Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm

Photo courtesy - Jennifer Granholm: The Conversation For Michigan's Future

 Krispy Kreme is the best they could do?  I guess since the Krispy Kreme in Lansing Township is boarded up, it’s something Lansing doesn’t have, but come on.   How about Bojangles?  Some good Carolina pork or something other than a baby blue donut and something you can’t get in Mid-Michigan.  It’s about as good as Senator Stabenow putting Little Ceasars on the line.

Old College Field

12 04 2009
  • 248 Jenison Field House
  • East Lansing, MI 48824
  • (517) 353-0816
  • Website
Old College Field on the campus of Michigan State University

Old College Field on the campus of Michigan State University

My long stretch of baseball/softball continued at Michigan State University’s Old College Field.  This was a new facility for me.  I’ve been to soccer at DeMartin Field next door and I’m really looking forward to taking in a game at the newly remodeled McLane Baseball Stadium, but I’ve never seen a softball game at MSU.

The day started bright and early Saturday morning at the softball diamond which is between  behind Jenison Field House and the Red Cedar River.  Parking is located at Jenison and you have quite a hike to get back to the softball diamond.  The field is situated between the soccer field and baseball diamond.

Old College Field gets it’s name from the days when MSU football actually played on the area.  It retained the name Old College Field even though most of the football stadium was actually where the baseball diamond is now.  In 2008, the whole area underwent a face lift and the field was moved and home plate now faces the Red Cedar River. Read the rest of this entry »

Press Release – Michigan, NC Senators Wager on NCAA Championship

6 04 2009

From a press release –

Stabenow, Levin Wager North Carolina’s Hagan on Tonight’s Game


WASHINGTON — Brimming with home state pride, U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Carl Levin (D-MI), and Kay R. Hagan (D-NC), have placed a friendly wager on the outcome of tonight’s NCAA Men’s Basketball championship between the Michigan State Spartans and the North Carolina Tar Heels. 

 Levin and Stabenow are wagering Little Caesar’s pizza, Vernor’s ginger ale and Mackinac Island fudge.

 Hagan has offered authentic North Carolina food products: North Carolina Barbeque, Cheerwine and Hagan’s hometown favorite, Cheesecakes by Alex, from Greensboro. 

 “Thirty years ago, Magic Johnson brought a championship to Michigan State, and tonight I fully expect this team will celebrate that anniversary with a win over North Carolina,” said Stabenow.  “While I appreciate the Tar Heels skill and accomplishments, I fully believe that tonight, across Detroit, East Lansing, and the rest of Michigan, we will be celebrating another Spartan victory.”

 “With Ford Field full of Michigan State faithful, I am confident that the Spartans can knock off North Carolina and win one for the ages tonight,” said Levin. “Thought by many to be a long shot to play in the final four in Michigan, Coach Izzo’s team is playing its best basketball at the right time and I look forward to a great game between two great teams.”

 “The 2009 Tar Heels have made us extremely proud by reaching the Final Four for the second straight year,” said Hagan.  “While I have no doubt that the Spartans will put up a good fight, I feel confident that our Tar Heels will prevail.  Beginning early today, I traveled across North Carolina and it was rainy and overcast.  Now it’s nothing but Carolina Blue skies.” 

Jenison Field House

9 02 2009
  • 248 Jenison Fieldhouse
  • East Lansing, MI 48824
  • (517) 355-1610
  • Website
The entrance to Jenison Fieldhouse on MSUs campus

The entrance to Jenison Fieldhouse on MSU's campus

I wish my first visit to Jenison Field House was thirty years.  When I walked in to the building for the first time, the first and only thing I could think was, “I bet this place was loud.”  I knew of Jenison before I moved to Lansing.  Who hasn’t?  I loved watching the old clips of Magic Johnson in East Lansing.  I can only imagine what the place was like.  Sure, it’s huge, but those big cavernous ceilings had to make the place loud.

Jenison Field House is on the campus of MSU just off Kalamazoo Street.  It’s just a block or so from it’s replacement, the Jack Breslin Student Events Center (review HERE).  It’s a huge building.  At first, I was wondering how they would even do basketball, but figured it out after seeing the wrestling set up. 

Jenison was opened in 1940 and was the home to Spartan basketball until 1989.  The facility is now used for Women’s volleyball, gymnastics, wrestling, and indoor track & field as well as a practice facility for a number of MSU sports.  There is permanent seating in an upper deck that runs around the entire facility.  The surface is a multi purpose rubber which is used for track and field.  When other events are held in the Field House, a curtain is dropped to divide the arena into a smaller area and portable bleachers are brought in to fill out the empty spaces.  Read the rest of this entry »

Go Green Menus

30 01 2009

So, here it is.  Friday night a little after eleven and I’m starving.  It never fails.  I think it goes back to my drinking days when I would order pizza or wings or something really unhealthy after a few beers.  I’m not gonna go anywhere, but I start looking around Google to see what’s open and I come across this really cool website.

It’s called Go Green Menus.  It was acquired by three MSU juniors last August.  The website has a number of East Lansing restaurnts listed.  The cool thing is you can search by dine in or carry out.  From there, you select the type of cuisine you want.  Then, a list of restaurants pop up along the side bar and it actually shows you what is open and what is closed.  Once you find the restaurant you want, you can view a menu and it some cases even order online.

What a great idea!  The first one of these was built at Penn State University in 2002 and they’ve expanded the concept to other cities. 

Anyway, check out the website at

Brother’s Grill

29 01 2009
  • 403 E. Grand River Avenue
  • East Lansing, MI 48823
  • (517) 333-6939
  • Website
  • Menu
Brothers Grill in downtown East Lansing

Brother's Grill in downtown East Lansing

A few weeks ago I was watching the 11:00 news and saw a story about the Michigan Business Tax.  The reporter took the angle of what a new business has to deal with when starting up in Michigan.  The business they chose to talk to was Brother’s Grill in East Lansing.  Before that story, I had never heard of Brother’s Grill….and with good reason, they had just opened their doors that week.

The later it gets in the week, the less I feel like cooking dinner.  Before J left for work, I asked what she wanted and she didn’t really come up with anything.  Before walking out the door, she asked if I just wanted to pick her up and we could go out to eat.  I didn’t argue.  I suggested Brother’s Grill in East Lansing.  The menu looked good and there’s not much info on the place on the web yet.  She liked the idea so that’s what we did.

Brother’s Grill is on Grand River Avenue in East Lansing in the old Big Ten Burrito location.  It’s sandwiched between Starbucks and SBS.  I knew it was on Grand River, but I didn’t know where.  As we drove along the stretch of road in the downtown area of East Lansing, I asked J to keep an eye out for it.  Neither one of us saw it, so I turned around and headed back the way we came.  I finally noticed it as we came up to the stoplight at Charles Street.  They don’t have a lighted a sign.  Just a painted window and a small wooden sign above the door.  Read the rest of this entry »

Name Change Doesn’t Hurt Biggby’s Growth

26 01 2009

The State News did a profile on Biggby founder and MSU Grad Bob Fish.  The only real newsworthy thing is almost an after thought in the lead. 

Fortunately, the name change didn’t stunt the growth of the company. Biggby has doubled its store numbers every two years since Fish began franchising stores in 1999. The company had its best year ever in 2008, opening 35 new stores across the Midwest and Southeast.

I know how hard change is for people.  I still don’t like to call Comiskey Park US Cellular Field.  It’s just not right.  To me, Beaner’s is an obvious reference to coffee.  It was the only thing I thought about when I heard the original name of the coffee franchise.  J actually had to clue me in as to why Beaners could be offensive.  Then, just last month, I figured out where the new name came from.  Duh…

Anyway, the thing I really wanted to write about today was Biggby’s ability to adapt.  The thing I absolutely LOVE about the franchise is that there is no set model on how the stores have to look.  I love the store in Holt that’s put in an old building or the store in downtown Lansing.  Biggby doesn’t have to go into the same, boring, building every time.  Outside of major cities, all the Starbucks look exactly the same.  What will help Biggby grow is being able to use existing buildings.

Jack Breslin Student Events Center

7 12 2008
  • 1 Birch Road
  • East Lansing, MI 48824
  • (517) 432-1989
  • Website
The view from our seats for a Michigan State basketball game at the Breslin Center

The view from our seats for a Michigan State basketball game at the Breslin Center

A year ago, when I stood in the Peoria Civic Center and watched Bradley University almost upset Michigan State, I never imagined that I would see this year’s Bradley/MSU from a seat in the Breslin Center.  Earlier in the week, J and I made sugar cookies like we do every year from my grandma’s recipe.  She took a few to work and one of her co-workers said he’d like some more.  He’s got access to MSU basketball tickets and I offered up a trade.  Two dozen home made sugar cookies for two tickets to the Michigan State vs. Bradley basketball game.  I lived up to my end of the bargain and two days later, J came home with a pair of tickets.

I have been to a number of college basketball games, but surprisingly, never as a spectator.  I do a lot of work for sports networks that broadcast these games and that’s how I usually go…including last year’s MSU/Bradley game that was aired on ESPNU.  I had been to the Breslin Center one other time, but that was for a volleyball game earlier in the year, so I was really looking forward to getting to go to a game.  J had never been to a college basketball game either, so it was a treat for both of us.

Before we ever got inside the Breslin Center, I already had a sour taste in my mouth.  Parking sucks.  Really sucks.  I tried looking online for a parking map before we left, but couldn’t find anything.  There were no signs directing you to a public lot and everything near the arena had a temporary sign out front that said those lots were for passes only.  I finally found a paid lot on Kalamazoo heading back towards Lansing and by the time we got there, it was almost full.  We were one of the last cars they let in and one of the parking attendants had to move their car to create more parking spaces.  The spaces were really tight and my mid-size truck didn’t want to fit very well.  Had we not left the game five minutes early, leaving would have been a mess. Read the rest of this entry »


7 12 2008
  • 301 E. Grand River Avenue
  • East Lansing, MI 48823
  • (517) 332-6500
  • Website
  • Menu
Cosi on Grand River Avenue in East Lansing.

Cosi on Grand River Avenue in East Lansing.

Cosi is another one of those places that remind me of Chicago.  It was about eight years ago that a DJ friend of mine introduced me to the chain when he took me to a store on the north side of Chicago.  I went back to that store on Clark and Belmont a few times, but I also made several stops at a location in the Loop while I was interning at Fox Sports Net Chicago.  When I moved away from the Chicago suburbs, it was four years before I saw another Cosi.  Not long before I left Illinois, Cosi opened a location in Uptown Normal (home of Illinois State University).  I took co-workers there after talking up their flat bread sandwiches.  Most of them didn’t agree with me, but it was still a sandwich that I really liked.

J and I had walked past Cosi several times in East Lansing.  The store is located on Grand River Avenue across the street from Michigan State.  We had tickets to the Michigan State vs. Bradley University basketball game and wanted to grab lunch before heading over to the Breslin Center.  Since we gorged ourselves yesterday on pasta, bread, pizza, and gingerbread cookies, I decided on a healthier option than bar food.

It was J’s first time ever going to a Cosi, but this was the fourth different shop I had been in.  The others I’ve been in have all been very cramped and designed really awkwardly.  The shop in East Lansing was very spacious.  When you walk in, you have the option of going to a coffee bar or to go order sandwiches.  We headed to the right where the sandwich order line was.  The menu board was above the counter and was a little hard to read.  It was so far way from the front of the counter and a little high.  I found three or four sandwiches that looked good, but I always let J pick first. No sense in us getting the same sandwich.  That way we can share with each other and taste more of the menu.  Read the rest of this entry »