Blue Gill Grill, Haslett

Monday night is a special night at Blue Gill Grill. It is $1 off schooners (that’s good), and it’s $1 taco nights (that’s good, too). Yes, cheap beer and Mexican food – oh, those are great words.

I must start with the beer because it was outstandingly outstanding. In other words, I liked it. I had never heard of Leinenkugel Snowdrift Vanilla Porter, but when you have snowdrift, vanilla, and porter in the same sentence – well, good things are bound to happen. And they did. It was a smooth, rich, tasty, beautiful beer, one which definitely did taste like vanilla. Try it, drink it, love it.

Now, back to the tacos. I’m not going to complain about food that costs a buck, except the deep-fried Twinkies at Mermaids in Las Vegas. Those were incredibly nasty, but since Twinkies are extinct, it is irrelevant.

Where was I? Yes, tacos.

They are not El Oasis quality. (El Oasis is a food truck that wanders around Lansing in an orange and white trailer and sells amazingly good Mexican food even if it looks like they belong in a circus.) But, for $1 – I had five (soft shell) – you could do a lot worse. Even though the tortilla was flabby and pasty, even pastier than me after a long winter, I’d have them again, as they were decent, and I didn’t suffer any serious after-taco experiences, if you catch my drift. And they were a dollar – did I mention that.

Haslett – live the dream, eat cheap Mexican food.

Tavern on the Square, Lansing

What’s with the Square part of Tavern on the Square? In Lansing, the answer to that question is that it is on Washington Square. In Grand Rapids, it’s on Ionia Avenue – no square there. But I went to the Lansing location, so it doesn’t really matter – I just like to ask questions like that.

The menu isn’t large. I wasn’t feeling it until I saw the entry for the daily burger special. Curiosity being what it is, I went for that day’s creation, the teriyaki burger. Topped with spinach, ginger, and teriyaki sauce, it sounded bizarre, and I wasn’t sure how that lunch was going to turn out. But variety is the spice of life, or so I’ve heard, so I went for it.

Tavern on the Square

The teriyaki burger at Tavern on the Square

The burger was amazingly good. The teriyaki sauce with the beef was perfect. The ginger added a little gingeriness that every teriyaki burger needs. It was cooked perfectly, and I haven’t come down with Mad Cow Disease yet, so that is a plus. Though I was full by the end of the meal, I could have eaten another just because of the greatness that was the burger. Add on some excellent friesĀ  and it was a mighty good lunch, partner. Yes, they do have $2.50 Coke, but we have to face the reality of restaurants overpricing sugared water. I’ve already started switching to water when I eat out.

I can’t speak to anything else on the menu, as I don’t eat there often, but the teriyaki burger should be a regular. You hear me Tavern-people? Put it on the menu because it rocked.

Joe’s Gizzard City, Potterville

Southwest of Lansing is a town known for deep-fried chicken innards. Yes, not surprisingly, Joe’s Gizzard City does sell gizzards. I made the half-hour trip from my east side estate (I have a yard, so I’m calling it an estate) to enjoy all that Potterville had to offer. So can you guess what I had? That’s right, nachos.

Gizzard City is a bar bar. Old diner furniture, walls covered with knick knacks – it is a locals place. Though I wasn’t local, I wasn’t run out of the establishment, which I appreciated. I was there on a slow night, and employees outnumbered customers for most of the time I was at my spot at the bar.

Gizzard City nachos

Gizzard City nachos

The nachos looked small, but there was lots of good stuff under the foliage, a solid showing of meat and cheese. The meat tasted good even though it didn’t seem seasoned. Maybe they fed their cows deep-fried gizzards. All together, it was a tasty set of bar nachos. Nothing fancy, but a good performance. And if you are looking for nachos in Potterville, let’s be honest – your choices are limited.

And who can resist drinking Blue Moon out of a jar? Not me, that’s who.

Next time, the Guy Fieri-inspired deep-fried hamburger (you know you want one) with an appetizer of deep-fried olives. And for dessert, a trip to the cardiologist.