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.
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 “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.
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.