Lamai’s Kitchen, Lansing

It is nothing to look at from the outside. And the inside is even worse. But the food, oh, the food.

Lamai’s Kitchen (2033 E Michigan Ave in Lansing) is a Thai food joint that is easy to miss. It is located at the eastern end of the block that holds The Green Door, and is most definitely worth a visit.

Lamai's Kitchen

Lamai's Kitchen

It was my first time, so Andrea told me that she had heard good things about the buffet. And those rumors were correct – the buffet was outstanding. I can’t remember the names of all the different dishes I had, but there were many. My favorite was a spicy shredded beef that was nearly perfect.

Lamai's Kitchen

Lamai's Kitchen

See, isn’t that beautiful? Whatever it was, it was good.

Go. Eat. Trust me, you’ll be happy.

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Father’s Day at The Watershed, Haslett

Yesterday was Father’s Day. And since I got to pick what restaurant we were going eat at, I chose The Watershed, literally just down the street from us in Haslett.

There were two reasons. One, it was a local restaurant, and I wanted to keep my money nearby. And two, I’ve enjoyed the food on previous visits – good food that wasn’t part of a chain.

I’ve had the nachos before, but I was in the mood, and I’m glad I was – they were excellent. First off, the chips were quite salty, a bit plus in my books. There were lots of meat and cheese, the former being very good – it was straight ground beef, not chile, and cooked perfectly. Just the right amount of veggies along with sour cream and salsa.

Nachos at The Watershed, Haslett

Nachos at The Watershed, Haslett

In the background is a 25 oz. Bell’s Oberron. They didn’t have a Blue Moon I asked for on tap, but the waiter mentioned they have Oberron, which was even better –  I have Michigan beer when I can.

My daughter had the chicken strips and fries, which were also very good. I plan on trying a burger on my next visit just to get the fries, but I have no doubt that the burger will be very good too.

As an aside, Monday nights The Watershed has $1 12 oz. Labatt on special – that’s a great deal, and I stop in every once in a while to take advantage of it. I considered keeping that to myself, but hopefully it will tempt a few of you to visit my hometown restaurant.

Oh no, Kamp Bo

I was in north Lansing yesterday and stopped at the dumpy little Chinese restaurant by McDonald’s called Kamp Bo. I had passed by it hundreds of times, but never stopped, and here was my chance to explore the unknown.  I live a life of adventure, you betcha.

The problem is that sometimes, the adventure turns out badly. Such was the case with Kamp Bo. I ordered the General Tso’s chicken, which came with fried rice and an eggroll. The sauce was heavy and didn’t taste very good. The chicken was a little tough, and the eggroll was very bland. Overall, not a pleasant dinner.

On the plus side – because I prefer being positive – the fried rice had chunks of much more tender chicken, and it was very good. And the service was fast.

This was my first visit, so perhaps the other dishes are better than the General Tso. If I actually visit again, I’ll let you know how it goes.

Goodbye, Dimitri’s

Dimitri’s, a fixture on 104 S. Washington Avenue in Lansing for over 30 years, is closing next week.  And it’s my fault. I work downtown, but I rarely stopped in for a meal, and now look what’s happening? Okay, it’s not all my fault – it’s your fault too.

To remedy this situation, though admittedly too late to do any good, I visited Dmitri’s for lunch this afternoon. Arriving just before 11:30, I was the first one there, but by the time I left just before noon, there was a line out the door.

Dimitri's, Lansing

Dimitri's, Lansing

I didn’t feel creative today, so I went with my usual Dmitri’s dish, the olive burger. It was a solid burger, the sauce being a little runny but otherwise was excellent. The platter came with fries and a Coke for under $6, and they are as fast as they have always been.

Olive burger platter at Dimitri's, Lansing

Olive burger platter at Dimitri's, Lansing

I’ll pay them one more visit next week, probably the last day they are open. One less place to eat downtown…

The Nachos of Red Robin

I don’t get to Red Robin often, as it’s on the west side of Lansing and I live on the east side of town. And Red Robin is a burger joint – the Royal Red Robin burger is a thing of beauty, topped with bacon and fried eggs. But I was in the area for a walk at Woldumar Nature Center, and looking to expand my nacho-tasting experience, so there we have it – draw your own conclusion.

Red Robin, Lansing

Red Robin, Lansing

The Nacho Ordinary Chili Nachos were cheese-a-licious with tomatoes, onions, and a smattering of jalapenos. The chili didn’t blow me away, but the flavor was fine – better than I expected, as chili nachos usually don’t do anything for me. The sour cream and guacamole were a little lacking in the quantity department, and there was no salsa. Much gnashing of teeth occurred at that.

Red Robin nachos

Red Robin nachos

The portion size was just right. I hate to waste nachos, God’s most perfect food, which gets me into trouble. But I ate every bite and was exactly, perfectly full. One chip less and I would have been ravenously hungry halfway through the night, one more chip and I would have exploded. They were that numerically perfect.

The problem with chili nachos is that the chips get soggy, and that was a minor issue with Red Robin’s nachos as well. Luckily, the chips were a hardy bunch, and for the most part, resisted the debilitating effects of the chili

For the best part, I arrived for Happy Hour, so my nachos were half-off. That was a bonus. And they went great with my Blue Moon beer.

Conclusion: Good, but I would probably bypass them for a burger with endless fries.