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 »





Art’s Bar & Grill – Revisited

14 03 2009
Arts Bar & Grill on Kalamazoo in Lansing.

Art's Bar & Grill on Kalamazoo in Lansing.

It’s been almost a year since our first visit to Art’s Bar & Grill.  It was one of the first places we ate at after moving to Lansing.  The building didn’t look like much, but I had heard the food was some of the best in town.  After a little hesitation, we went in and had one of the best meals we’ve had in town.

J’s parents were in town and we needed someplace to eat.  The original plan was to eat in Mt. Pleasant after gambling for a little bit, but we were still full from lunch, so we headed back to Lansing.  We tossed around a few ideas, but eventually settled on Art’s.  I had heard good things about their pizza and we hadn’t tried it yet.  By hitting up a bar, we could get a pizza and J’s parents could get burgers.

We stopped in around 7:00 on a Saturday.  There were quite a few people, but we found a table in the middle of the dining room.  Just like last time, a waitress noticed us right away and yelled over that she would be right with us.  A few minutes later, she dropped off menus while she was taking care of the rest of the dining room.  There were only two waitresses for the whole building and the one we had was working her butt off.  Read the rest of this entry »





Izzo’s Pub & Pizzeria

5 03 2009
  • 1145-1147 S. Washington St.
  • Lansing, MI 48910
  • (517) 853-8500
  • Website
  • Menu
Izzos Pub & Pizzeria in Lansings REO Town

Izzo's Pub & Pizzeria in Lansing's REO Town

It took three tries, but I finally found Izzo’s Pizzeria open.  I happened to be downtown for a late morning meeting.  I was hopping back in my truck a little after noon and I started to head towards Washington Square to find something for lunch when I decided to give Izzo’s a third try.

Izzo’s Pub & Pizzeria is on Washington Avenue in Lansing’s REO Town neighborhood.  The pub has been there since the mid-1960’s.  The Pizzeria has been there since December.  The two businesses are in separate spaces with separate entrances, but they are connected and you can move freely between the two spaces.  The pizzeria side is big enough for a kitchen and a handful of tables.   The interior fits the area.  It has kind of a rustic feel with an exposed brick wall with a relief pattern that sort of resembles the globe.  The tables are surrounded black metal chairs and it’s a bright, inviting atmosphere.

The order counter is near the back of the space.   When I made it back there, a man behind the counter made contact right away.  He asked if I was staying or taking something to go.  J was still at home and I planned on bringing her lunch, so I told him I was getting carry out.  He handed me a menu to look over, but I noticed some slices behind the counter.  I asked if they did pizza by the slice.  He said they did, but all they had was a sausage, mushroom, and onion pie.  Not really my thing, so I ordered a small cheese pizza that I could share with J. Read the rest of this entry »





Topper’s Pizza

2 03 2009
  • 1219 E. Grand River Avenue
  • East Lansing, MI 48823
  • (517) 203-0303
  • Website
  • Menu
Toppers Pizza on Grand River Avenue in East Lansing.

Topper's Pizza on Grand River Avenue in East Lansing.

Now that it’s NASCAR season again, Sunday’s can get pretty lazy.  When the race is a west coast race, it really gets lazy because the race starts so late, it goes right through dinner.  J and I were hanging out on the couch flipping back and forth between the Shelby 427 and the Illinois vs. Michigan State basketball game.  Once we saw MSU had the game wrapped up, we started thinking about dinner.  J suggested pizza.  I was game.  Once again, we tried Izzo’s Pizzeria in Old REO Town only to find them closed again.  I continued to drive around before I ended up in East Lansing.

Topper’s Pizza is on Grand River Avenue in East Lansing.  The store is fairly new having opened just before Christmas.  Topper’s is a chain out of Whitewater, Wisconsin with locations in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and North Carolina.  The East Lansing location is the only Michigan location.

The store is pretty small, but there are a couple of tables should want to dine in.  There’s also some leather chairs and a couch  in a little waiting area.  Since I was driving aimlessly, I didn’t call my order in.  I went to the counter to place my order.  I ordered a large cheese pizza and tried to tag on a single order of Cinnamonstix.  The lady taking the order it would actually be three bucks cheaper if I ordered a triple order of Cinnamonstix due to a promotion they had going on.  I didn’t really need that much dessert, but I did it anyway to save money.  After that was hammered out, she asked if I wanted extra cheese since I got one topping on the pizza, I said, sure.  She didn’t have to twist my arm. Read the rest of this entry »





Rudino’s Pizza & Grinders

26 02 2009
  • 8741 W. Saginaw Highway
  • Lansing, MI 48917
  • (517) 627-3025
  • Website
  • Menu
Rudinos Pizza & Grinders on Saginaw Highway in Delta Township

Rudino's Pizza & Grinders on Saginaw Highway in Delta Township

Once a month, I spend the whole morning driving around Delta Township while J gets her hair cut.  I usually spend part of that time looking for someplace to eat.  This month was easy.  A couple weeks ago, I saw a posting on Craigslist for jobs at a new place on Saginaw Highway.  Last weekend, we were out in the area and I drove by to see if there was any indication it was opening.  There was a sign on the door that said it would open February 25.  I knew we were going to be out there on the 26th, so we were good to go for lunch.

Rudino’s Pizza & Grinders is in a small strip mall near the Menards on Saginaw Highway.  It’s in the space that used to be Art’s Pizza & Italian Oven.  We tried going to Art’s once, but it was closed.  I was excited to see a new pizza joint moving in.

Rudino’s is a long, narrow space.  When entering, you sort of come in to what can be considered the first dining room.  Beyond that is the order counter.  There is a menu board above the registers that lists a large selection of grinders as well as pizza’s, calzones, and salads.  Since it was only the second day of being open, things were running a little slow, but we knew that when we walked in and it wasn’t a big deal.  We needed time to figure out what we wanted anyway.  We were greeted right away by two guys who were sitting behind the counter on laptops.  The whole space is a Wi-Fi hot spot. Read the rest of this entry »





Little Caesars Pizza – South Cedar

20 02 2009
  • 4929 S. Cedar Street #701
  • Lansing, MI 48910
  • (517) 393-2753
  • Website
  • Menu
Little Caesars...home of the $5 Hot-N-Ready...sometimes

Little Caesars...home of the $5 Hot-N-Ready...sometimes

I didn’t realize that we actually took Little Caesars for granted until this past weekend.  It was actually quite funny.  My brother was so excited about Little Caesars opening up in Kankakee (IL) again.  There used to be a store when we were little and we’d eat there every now and then.  That was when they did their two pizza deal.  Eventually, the store dropped the franchise and became a shop called “Cheeser! Cheeser!”  It was pretty much Little Caesars, but not Little Caesars.  Within in the last few months, the Little Caesars franchise moved back in and they had this deal that was only available in Kankakee called “$5 Hot and Ready.”  J and I laughed a little when my brother was telling us about this.  I have been getting “Hot-N-Ready” pizzas for five years and didn’t realize that not everyone had heard of it. 

For some reason, I was craving pizza for lunch.  I still have a frozen Giordano’s in my freezer, but didn’t feel like cooking.  J suggested running to Little Caesars and getting pizza.  Five bucks is a great deal for lunch and I had a few other errands to run so I went for it.

Little Caesars has multiple locations in Lansing.  They’re all carry-out and they’re all pretty much in strip malls.  The one I chose today is near the corner of Jolly Road and Cedar Street. Read the rest of this entry »





Nino’s Pizza – Alsip, IL

15 02 2009
  • 4835 W. 111th Street
  • Alsip, IL 60803
  • (708 ) 423-9100
  • No Known Website
  • Menu
Ninos Pizza on 111th Street in Alsip, IL

Nino's Pizza on 111th Street in Alsip, IL

Valentine’s Day wasn’t the typical Valentine’s Day for J and I.  We had another commitment that took precedentover a romantic night out.  No worries.  We had our night on Friday night instead.  On Valentine’s Day, after we got done with what had to be done, we started thinking of places to go eat that wouldn’t have a huge wait or be swamped with people.  Most of the usual suspects were booked up, but I remembered a place we have driven by many, many times and never stopped at.  The real funny thing is my brother was raving about a pizza he had in Matteson which is about a half hour away.  I finally figured out the name of it and realized there was another location right down the road from J’s parents.  Even though it had been there most of her life, J had never eaten at Nino’s, so thought we’d give them a shot.  To make this even better, a friend of ours from Peoria told us some time ago that her family actually owns the Nino’s in Alsip…still, we had never stopped in for a pie.

Nino’s Pizza is near the corner of 111th and Cicero right on the city limits for Alsip and Oak Lawn.  It’s a rather old building with neon tube signs on the front and side of the building.  It looks like a throwback pizza parlor.  J had called before we left to see if they had a huge wait and they said we’d be ok if we could get there in twenty minutes or so.  I had a feeling a pizza place wouldn’t be packed on Valentine’s Day and I was right for the most part.  The place was full, but there was no wait.  We found a parking spot and headed towards the entrance which is on the side of the building.

Once inside, we were met by a hostess who said she had four tables and we could pretty much just pick.  We took one fairly close to the door so J’s parents, who were meeting us there, could find us.  The decor is very rustic.  There is a lot of those thatched wood panels that you see on patio’s.  They even made a drop ceiling out of them.  There are several old chandelier’s scattered throughout the joint.  The tables are topped with the typical red and white checkerboard table cloths.  There are a number of old, wooden booths scattered throughout, but they looked pretty small like they were meant just for couples. Read the rest of this entry »





Rudino’s Pizza & Grinders Moving in to Art’s Pizza

14 02 2009

I just saw an ad posted on Craigslist for a new restaurant moving in to the former Art’s Pizza location at 8741 W Saginaw Hwy in Delta Township.  It looks like a chain out of North Carolina if it’s the same one.  Interviews for positions start next week, so I would expect the place to open up soon.  We do a lot of shopping out that way so we’ll definitely check it out soon.

On the web: Rudino’s Pizza & Grinders





Fat Matt’s Pizza

9 02 2009
  • 986 Trowbridge Road
  • East Lansing, MI 48823
  • (517) 324-7000
  • No Known Website
  • Menu
Fat Matts Pizza in the Trowbridge Plaza in East Lansing.

Fat Matt's Pizza in the Trowbridge Plaza in East Lansing.

I’m still on that quest for the perfect pizza.  We’ve found a couple really, really good ones and some really, really just alright ones.  I had been hearing things about a fairly new place in East Lansing called Fat Matt’s.  Since I was in the area, hungry, and tired, I stopped in to Fat Matt’s to see if they could place on my pizza list.

Fat Matt’s Pizza is located in the Trowbridge Plaza in East Lansing.  It’s a little tough to find at first.  It’s not visible from Trowbridge Road.  There’s a little section of the plaza on the side that has a few stores and Fat Matt’s is the last store in this stretch.  It actually sits right next to Goodrich’s loading docks. 

The store itself is pretty small.  Most of the space is taken up by the kitchen, but they do have two tables should you want to sit there and eat for some reason.  I had heard they did pizza-by-the-slice and they had a display for them, but there was nothing in it.  Instead of questioning, I just ordered a large pizza.  Usually, we get just cheese pizza since J doesn’t really like toppings, but I was in the mood for pepperoni, so I got half cheese, half pepperoni.  I got a little bit of sticker shock when the guy told me the price was $17.  I thought that was pretty expensive for a pizza.  I looked at the menu and a large cheese pizza is $13 then it’s almost $2 more for each topping.  To me, that doesn’t seem like a way to compete with the chains. Read the rest of this entry »





Vito & Nick’s Pizzeria – Chicago, IL

4 02 2009
  • 8433 S. Pulaski Road
  • Chicago, IL 60652
  • (773) 735-2050
  • Website
  • Menu
Vito & Nicks Pizzeria on Chicagos south side.

Vito & Nick's Pizzeria on Chicago's south side.

When we were home for Thanksgiving, one of the places J’s step-dad recommended we eat was Vito & Nick’s on Chicago’s south side.  We passed and went for ribs instead.  Imagine our surprise when we saw the pizzeria on Diner’s, Drive-In’s, and Dives earlier this month.

After that airing, we decided on our next trip home, we would check the place out.  It’s not far from J’s parents, so we hit the place up for lunch on a Wednesday afternoon.  J’s mom was off work so she decided to join us.  Vito and Nick’s was a place her parents used to take her, but she hasn’t been there in a number of years and wanted to see if it was the place she remembered.

The Original Vito & Nick’s is located on 84th Place and Pulaski.  There’s another location in Lemont, but we wanted to go to the one in Chicago.  J’s mom said she remembered the place as having a red, white and green awning and that’s what we looked for.  By the time she saw it, I had missed the parking lot, so we had to circle around the neighborhood to get back. Read the rest of this entry »