Jersey Mike’s, East Lansing

I’ll be honest, another sub shop in East Lansing wasn’t exciting news for me. The fact that it was in the location of the former Moe’s was just salt in the wound. I liked Moe’s burritos, but apparently not enough of you did, and Moe’s is done gone. This is why I other people suck.

I probably wouldn’t have bothered to go to Jersey Mike’s, but they sent me a coupon, and I thought it polite to check it out. The day I made the trip to the north side of campus from my location on the south side of campus (an easy trip with a bike and no students blocking my way), the chipper shredder crew was hard at work torturing a tree in front of the sub shop on Grand River.

After a minute of standing at the counter, one of the two employees said they’d be with me in just a minute. After a couple of minutes after that, one of them did decide to see what I was there for. In their defense, one of them looked like he was busy with a big order. In my defense, the people who made the order weren’t there, but I was.

I decided on the chipotle chicken Philly, an interesting sounding combination. The employee didn’t seem as thrilled with my choice, perhaps because it involved him grilling something instead of slapping cold meat on a bun. But that’s just conjecture. In any case, I eventually got my food thinking this would be my only visit.

Retreating to the back of the restaurant to avoid of the chipper shredder grinding away, I was greeted by a very good looking sub. Truly beautiful:

Jersey Mike's

Jersey Mike’s

But looks aren’t everything. Luckily, the sub was tasty as well. Generously stuffed with chicken and some substance resembling cheese, I was hooked. The chipotle sauce didn’t really do anything for the sub, but it didn’t detract from it, which is just as important. Everything came together quite nicely, good enough that I may return, even though my presence seemed to be an annoyance. That’s saying something.

Did East Lansing need another sub shop? Probably not. But at least Jersey Mike’s has good subs. It has a good selection of flavors, enough to keep life (or at least lunch) interesting. Try it – if you get decent service, you will probably like it.

Lula’s Louisiana Cookhouse, Owosso

Years ago, my (now) wife and I took a trip to New Orleans, and it was the best food trip we had ever taken, and this includes trip to Paris, Italy, New York, and Lansing. The spice and seasoning, the selection, the freshness of seafood – everything was fantastic, and there was not a single meal that we did not enjoy. The fact that I added hundreds of strings of beads to my (’til then) non-existent bead collection was a big plus.

In recent years, the Lansing area has gotten several Cajun / creole restaurants, and I’ve been happy with the selection and taste that these places have provided. Though not the latest of the bunch (that prize goes to Creole in Old Town, Lansing), Lula’s Louisiana Cookhouse has the distinction of being the only one in beautiful, historic downtown Owosso, the only town near my home that has a castle. Owosso was also the location of the play my daughter was performing in, the reason we found ourselves in town.

Lula’s is hard to miss. Its spot on Washington is easily noted because of the enormous yellow sign. Once inside, the interior is only a shade less bright. Colorful bulbs and artwork add nice southern touches, and the impressive selection of Cajun / creole cookbooks. Though they may have a copy, I didn’t see Uglesich’s great cookbook among them. (The “Paul’s Fantasy” dish we had at Uglesich’s in New Orleans was amazing.)

First, the bad news: As of this writing, they don’t have a liquor license, so the strongest thing you’ll find is a Coke. But in their defense, the Coke was absolutely fine. I’ll update this posting when they have their license. Don’t let its lack of beer and wine stop you, though – the food it worth the visit.

A little more bad news: The photo is terrible. My phone doesn’t take the greatest of pictures – sorry!

Lulas

It was a tough choice, but I went with the catfish and hushpuppies, with fries as my side. The catfish was very tender and had a nice, mild flavor. I prefer my breading firmer than Lula’s provided, but the flavor made up for the firmness issue. Likewise, the hushpuppies had a subtle corn flavor – all five of them! I don’t usually share my food, but I was willing of part with a hushpuppy. Had I been given four, no way.

The fries covered half the plate – can’t knock their willingness to part with their potatoes. Again, good flavor. An extra 30 seconds in the fryer would have been perfect. Is it the New Orleans way of cooking fries? I don’t know. But I wouldn’t exclude them from future consideration. The taste made up for being a bit softer than my preference.

It sounds a bit like I didn’t enjoy the food, which isn’t the case. Though I nitpick, it was a good meal and I would definitely return to try another one of their amazing looking items. The jambalaya got positive comments from my co-diners, and there were a couple of German-themed dishes that looked tasty as well. Lula’s is a definite plus to the Owosso dining scene.

Oh, and the next time I eat there, I’ll get a better picture.