Buddies nachos

Behold the beauty that is Buddies mini nacho supreme:

Nachos at Buddies

Nachos at Buddies

And they call this a “small”.

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The Waterfront Restaurant – Lansing City Market

A nice August day brought me out of my drab downtown cube and to the Lansing City Market. I had never been inside the new market, and though it doesn’t have the character or history of the old market, it seems to serve it’s function just fine.  There didn’t appear to be any empty stalls as I meandered my way to my lunch spot, and that was a welcome sight.

Lansing City Market

Lansing City Market

The Waterfront Restaurant is a fairly new establishment. Located on the southwest corner, it has a patio all to its own where you can eat and drink on those rare nice days we have. The interior atmosphere is a bit odd. There is lots of pine furnishing, and the bar is as well, but there is no ceiling! I mean, eventually there is – that of the market – but it’s way up there, like your in a building in a building.

The Waterfront Restuarant

The Waterfront Restuarant

The “restaurant” is actually a corner of the market that has been built up a bit to be the bar. The “window” that faces north actually looks into the interior of the market. I’m not saying it’s a bad setup, it’s just different. It’s like eating in a flimsier version of Ruby Tuesday in a mall or something like that.

My first – and last – impression – was that this was a place for drinking. Lots of beers to choose from. There were about a dozen beers on tap and more in the refrigerator, including Michigan beers like Atwater and Short’s. But this was a lunch stop, so I didn’t drink booze. I was saving my liver for later.

The menu at The Waterfront is small. And my small I mean miniscule. One of the owners said that they get their ingredients fresh that day from the market, so that’s a business model that might work.

There were four or five  options – yes, that was all – and I went with the turkey panini. The sandwich was very good. The ingredients did taste fresh, and along with the lettuce and tomato on the sandwich, pickles and fruit were served on the side. I wasn’t wild about the chips – they were too burnt for my liking and only occasionally would I find one with any kind of flavoring. It would have been better had they just put some Ruffles on the plate.

Turkey panini

Turkey panini

I don’t know if I would eat there again. The sandwich was very good, no criticism there, but the selection was a letdown. For me, it is one of those places where, if I walked by and there was something good on the menu, I may stop. But because the menu is so small and erratic, I wouldn’t plan to go there. I would go there to drink, though. Right outside is the Grand River and downtown Lansing, so it was a nice view.

Another great meal at Bravo

Bravo is one of my favorite restaurants in the Lansing area, and Andrea and I are always pleased with the food. However, like previous visits, the concept of a reservation is a mere suggestion there. We arrived ten minutes before our reservation time and ended up getting seated 15 minutes after we were supposed to. So it’s probably better to show up late.

Once we were seated, everything was much better. The bread was excellent as was the olive oil dipping sauce. Andrea and I split a bottle of Grayson Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon. I enjoyed the wine by itself, but it didn’t go well with my Spaghettini & Meatballs En Sugo. It went slightly better with Andrea’s Pasta Bolognese, but not much.

But the spaghettini was excellent. I’ve had it before and enjoyed it, and tonight was no different. The portions were generous, especially the meatballs – they were quite large. All in all, it was the perfect amount of food for me. I had just enough room for a waffle cone with cotton candy ice cream at Maggie Moo’s, across the “street” from Bravo. Another great meal.

Now if only they could figure out that reservation idea…

Red Cedar Grill and awesomeness in pasta

Once again, we had a great meal at Red Cedar Grill in Williamston. I chose the Louisiana Cajun Fettuccini, as I was trying to help burn out a cold I was suffering through. It took only a few bites before I really felt the spiciness of the pasta – it’s not for the weak. The first wine our waiter recommended was out of stock, so he brought a bottle of King Estate’s pinot noir, which went perfect with Andrea’s ahi tuna and my pasta. The wine actually made the pasta taste hotter, an effect I didn’t expect.

Having joined their membership club, I had received a coupon for a free dessert. It was a no-brainer – we went for the chocolate skillet cake. A thin chocolate soufflés covered with peanut butter and chocolate fudge, topped with a scoop of ice cream. This might be the best dessert in the Lansing area, but I’m open to discussion. But definitely try it – you will not be disappointed.

Service was a little slower than usual, but there was a big party cashing out just as we were ready to order. Once we ordered, it wasn’t long before we had our drinks and our very good rolls. It was a little busier than usual for a Wednesday night, which I was happy to see. I certainly don’t want my favorite restaurant to go out of business!