Nachos at Jimmy’s Pub

I was shamed by my dad into eating them.

Not directly shamed. He had called a month or so earlier to ask if I had eaten the nachos at Jimmy’s Pub, and to my discredit, I had not. But why not? I’m the nacho guy of my family, I’ve eaten nachos at over thirty restaurants in the Lansing area. Why had I not eaten them at Jimmy’s? Time to rectify this situation.

 Jimmy’s Pub is on Chandler Road about a half-mile north of Lake Lansing Road. I had eaten there twice, and had enjoyed the turkey sandwich and the fried chicken salad. Now, it was time to get to work and order the nachos.

I was not impressed by the portion size. They looked small, and though there were lots of toppings, I still wasn’t sure they would fill me up, especially after I had just hiked at Sleepy Hollow State Park.

I ordered the ground beef, which had a nice flavor. That was topped with both cheese and spicy cheese sauce – double your pleasure and what not. There were not a whole lot of veggies, which was fine with me, but there was certainly enough and they were even distributed. I opted out of the black olives and green peppers, neither of which belong on nachos, so that decreased the veggie quotient.

At the end of my meal, I was surprisingly quite full, so the size was deceiving. And my fullness was probably assisted by the Founders Brewery Red’s Rye that I had along with it. I drink Founders beer whenever I can. Not only do they produce very good beer, I have a soft spot for them. Their first brewery was on Monroe Street in Grand Rapids, below the marchFIRST office where I worked in 2000-2001. Fond memories. I can still smell the beer being brewed…

The downside of Jimmy’s nachos were the price. At nearly $10, I should have been given a plate of chips so large that I shouldn’t have been able to see the table. That was not the case. Even though I thought they were good, I would not pay $10 for them again.

Southern Nachos at Buddies

I’ve had nachos at Buddies many times – it’s my go-to nacho spot in the Lansing area – but I had never eaten  the Southern Nachos. This unfortunate fact was rectified last night at the East Lansing restaurant. I ordered the mini, and they were even bigger than the mini Nachos Supreme, which is impressive. Salsa, guacamole, and sour cream were included.

Southern Nachos, Buddies

Southern Nachos, Buddies

The biggest difference between the normal nachos and the Southern Nachos was the inclusion of refried beans and BBQ beef. (You can also get chicken.) I thought the beef tasted very good, though it was almost like chile, which I’m not a fan off. It also made many of the chips soggy. Hard to dip a soggy chip – that is some wisdom right there.

There were lots of other topping. Loads of cheese along with plentiful lettuce, tomatoes, and onions. I forgot to have the green peppers left off – I’m not a fan of those either – but they didn’t take anything away. There were also a few jalapenos lurking about, which was a good thing.

The Southern Nachos were not good enough to knock the Nachos Supreme from my top spot of Lansing-area nachos, but I enjoyed them and would certainly have them again… if the other nachos weren’t so good.

RG Ballpark Dogs. It is Mexican, sort-of

Lurking near Clara’s, on the former spot of Turkey Man, is RG Ballpark Dogs & More. Easily missed, it’s like a large walk-in closet situated on the corner of Pere Marquette Drive and Michigan Avenue, there is only room enough inside for three tables, and on my visit, two of those were outside. That was fine, I was getting my food to go anyways. 

I read a review on the now-defunct Mid-Michigan Dining, and I have to agree, the menu is a little weird. It’s part hot dog joint, part Mexican restaurant. Since I noticed the “Mexican” sign in the window before I saw the name of the restaurant, I figured I would get some Mexican food.

 And I stuck to the plan. Wednesday is apparently $1 taco day, so I bought three beef tacos in corn shells and enjoyed them in my beautiful cube in downtown Lansing.  The tacos were good, nothing fancy, just meat, cheese, and lettuce. They were messy, filled with the structure problems that soggy tacos experience. And for $3, the price was right.

 Heading to Brogan’s to get a tire fixed? (I had to do that twice.) Try to eat at 621 only to discover it’s closed? Well, just keep on walking and you’ll find the schizophrenic Mexican / hot dog joint for a cheap and quick lunch.

The roof at El Azteco

There is no better place to eat in East Lansing during the summer months that El Azteco. When the sun is shining, sitting on the roof with a pitcher of margaritas and some of the best Mexican food in town.

On last night’s visit, I took a break from our usual Topopo salad (big enough to share) and went with the burrito plate. Two good-sized burritos with beans and rice were too much for me, and I have leftovers for lunch. Add on some great chips and salsa and it’s an excellent meal all around.

Andrea and I rarely venture into East Lansing during the school year, and we’re probably not alone. When the students leave, the locals flood in to take their place. Nothing personal, students, but we generally don’t like the crowds.

The next sunny day, head to El Az. You may have to wait for a table on the roof, but it’s worth it.

Taste of Chicago

The family was in Chicago last weekend and, among other things, we visited the Taste of Chicago. This was my second visit and, having gone on a Monday this time, it was much tamer on this visit. But it was also smaller – I don’t think all the booths were set up yet.

Taste of Chicago

Taste of Chicago

Entrance to the Taste is “free”. By “free”, they mean that you can walk around without paying. If you want to eat, then you buy 12 tickets, worth .50 per ticket, for $8. So you buy $6 worth of food for $8. For those of you whose math skills aren’t great, that is not a good deal. Just be aware that eating is not cheap. On the plus side, we did get to hear  polka music for no additional charge.

I paid my $2.50 for a bottle of Mt. Dew in order to survive – caffeine is one of the requirements for life – and dove into the fray. We had some mac & cheese from Manny’s, a dish that my daughter usually likes, but not this time.  I couldn’t blame her – it wasn’t that great. The potato pierogies from Kasia’s were very good, better with a dab of sour cream.  And the chorizo sausage and empanada were excellent, though the yuca fries were not.

Taste of Chicago

Taste of Chicago food stand

And I was disappointed that we missed the mashed potato cupcakes. Had I see them, I definitely would have tried one. Maybe next time. It’s like a deep fried Twinkie – you just have to try one once.