Dagwoods

It had a been two days of burgers. The day before, I had been at Michigan Brewing Company and had a very good oliveburger, even if I couldn’t identify the red-coloring in the sauce. But on this day, I went to Dagwoods on Kalamazoo in beautiful east Lansing. Not East Lansing – that’s completely different. This is east Lansing. Small ‘e’.

Dagwoods

Dagwoods, Lansing, MI

Dagwoods is a “bar bar” – nothing fancy, including the prices. If you want a cheap burger and fries, head to Dagwoods. I went with the bacon burger. I can say this about the burger – they will never be accused of under cooking their meat. Not saying it was, just saying there was no moisure left in the burger. The bacon was equally well done. Still, for $3.50, I’ll take it. The fries were almost equally well done, but with a little sauce, it was just about perfect.

Dagwoods bacon burger

Dagwoods bacon burger

If you’re in the mood for some simple bar food, Dagwoods is a nice choice. The menu isn’t big, but it’s inexpensive and the burgers are decent.

Oliveburger, Michigan Brewing Company

It happens – I left my camera in my other leather coat. But life goes on, and you can picture an oliveburger and waffle fries anyways, can’t you?

I headed to Lenny’s on Washington in downtown Lansing. But my plans were shattered when I saw hordes of teenagers roaming the streets, and there is nothing more frightening to a curmudgeon in training than hundreds of teenagers. So I kept on walking and ended up at the far end of restaurant rowing, Michigan Brewing Company.

No beer, unfortunately – and I really wanted one. Instead, I had a Coke with my oliveburger. It was a good burger, cooked how I liked it and with a mass of olives. The mayo-based sauce was slightly red. I can’t place the taste, but it was good. Hopefully it wasn’t red because a cook cut their finger. That would make me unhappy, because since I liked it, that would make me a vampire. And I much prefer zombie movies.

The waffles fries were overflowing (verily verily I say to thee). Not overly crispy, just right – it’s like they knew I was coming. I was a bit concerned that there were not a lot of people in there while I was eating. Granted, I went to lunch a little early, but come on Lansing, don’t let this place disappear. They have beer…

And I noticed there was a Thai restaurant going in on the corner of Kalamazoo and Washington, the former site of China Wok. It didn’t look anywhere close to opening, but it is on the way.

Cinco de Mayo, Grand Rapids

After a 4-mile run in Grand Rapids, I was ready for something to undo all the work I had just done. After contemplating how to do this damage, I decided on Cinco de Mayo on Monroe Center.

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo

The furnishings were similar to many Mexican restaurants around Lansing, my home base. The tables and chairs had various Mexican-themed carvings and were brightly colored. The walls were bare brick and place had a tin roof ceiling painted black. The restaurant looked out at the Grand Rapids Art Museum.

My meal started with warm, addictive chips. The salsa was good and not particularly spicy. Instead of a beer or margarita, I went with a large mug of Mug. Or, as they say in Mexico, cerveza de raices, a.k.a root beer.

Cinco de Mayo

Chips and salsa, Cinco de Mayo

Next up was the main meal, the #4, two beef enchiladas and a beef taco with rice. My food was certainly  not cold Рheat radiated from the plate.  The enchiladas were covered with tomato sauce and liquefied cheese, since the food was cooked somewhere near the surface temperature of the sun. And unlike most tacos, this one was filled with meat and cheese, not filler like lettuce. Sure, there was the token nod to vegetables, but it was a meat and dairy meal. The ground beef was a cut above the normal Mexican restaurants I eat at.

Cinco de Mayo

Enchiladas and a taco

For lunch, I had gone to Taco Bell in Holland, and I found, surprisingly, that Cinco de Mayo’s tacos were much better. In case you were wondering.

To top it off, my waiter and I had a good connection. After all, he called me his “amigo”, and I’m sure that he doesn’t do that with just anyone.

Cinco de Mayo is a solid choice for dinner. There were several excellent looking items on the menu. Had the #4 meal not been the special, I would have gone with the Burrito Real. I would definitely return.

Hershey’s, East Lansing

Andrea and I ate at Hershey’s Steak and Seafood in East Lansing last night. Hershey’s won because we had a coupon that was going to expire, but I like going there anyways. It’s not one of our usual spots, but I’ve enjoyed the food, and the atmosphere is old-school elegant. Maybe it needs a little updating (I shudder to think what Gordon Ramsey would say about the place), but I like the overall feel. It’s not every restaurant that has swords on the walls.

First, there were several selections of wine that weren’t outrageously expensive. That’s good. And I also like their salad bar, which is included with their entrees. And the bread. The water is nice, too.

We had one of the nicest waiters we’ve ever had, and I like that he tried really hard. The food was slow in coming out, but it wasn’t his fault – these things happens. We weren’t going anywhere since our bottle of wine wasn’t empty. Had that been empty, we would have had issues.

I had the Cajun whitefish. Normally, the whitefish is parmesan-encrusted, but last night, they had a special. The piece of fish was huge, some kind of Teenage Mutant Ninja Whitefish. The Cajun spice did heat it up a bit. Not a great meal – I preferred Andrea’s perch. My whitefish came with rice and zucchini. We skipped dessert. They had mousse on the menu, Andrea’s favorite dessert, but, as she admits, she is highly critical of other peoples mousse since she makes it so well.

It’s easy to forget that Hershey’s is around – it’s not in the usual locations like near the Meridian Mall or Eastwood. But it’s a good place to visit if you’re looking for something quiet and a little fancier than your average burger.

New Holland Brewery

Since I do some work in Holland, and I like beer, it was only natural for me to go to New Holland Brewery in the beautiful downtown area. It was my first visit, but will not be my last.

I ordered the corned beef sandwich, which was excellent. They were generous with the meat, and both it and the sauerkraut were mild in flavor but very good. I had the sandwich ($8.99) with a side of fries, which were also excellent, and only $1.50 extra, not a bad deal for such a good helping. They were large-cut and cooked just right.

For my brews, I started with an oatmeal stout which went down smooth with no aftertaste. The second, Peace Out Porter, was almost as good and I probably would have enjoyed it more had the oatmeal stout not been so good.  It was definitely more hoppy than the stout, but not overwhelming so, not anywhere near an IPA, thank goodness Рthere is only so much hoppiness I can take.

The restaurant is family-friendly, unfortunately. I say unfortunately because I have some tendencies towards being a curmudgeon. I wanted to have some beer and chill, and a family with two small children were seated right beside me. If I had wanted to be around small children, I would have stayed home. Next time, I’ll sit at the bar. Still, into my second beer, I didn’t much care, and I know how it is trying to keep kids quiet in restaurants.

My main disappointment came because New Holland Brewery didn’t have nachos, and I really wanted some that night. There were chips with salsa, but that just wasn’t doing it for me. How ’bout some nachos, NHB? Help a brother out.

The Peanut Shop

On our way back from lunch at Grand Traverse Pie Company (love the Manitou sandwich) on Washington in Lansing, Andrea and I stopped into The Peanut Shop for some snacks. The store has been in existence since 1937, which is a few years before I was born.

Despite the name, they do have more than peanuts, including various types of candy. On this visit, I spied something I hadn’t seen before: Toasted salted corn. Imaging Corn Nuts without the teeth-breaking hardness. And it was addictive like popcorn. I’m less than a block away since my office moved downtown, and I’ll be making more frequent stops now that I know of the existence of such a snack.