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Wednesday, August 24,2011

Swanky and inventive

Enso has ample ambiance and some fine dishes, but certain elements could use a bit of polishing

by Joe Torok
A red carpet greets diners at the front door and sets the upscale mood. The patio, perhaps the best in the area, is a distinct dining space ' not just a slab of concrete with some patio furniture, like so many others ' complete with outdoor bar, fire pits and giant torches.
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Wednesday, August 17,2011

Lansing is fit to be Thai-ed

by Joe Torok
The No Thai! name is a play on an owner’s first name, but being a college-town creation, No Thai! revels in irreverence. Cooks and order-takers reference both a "Seinfeld" icon and text-speak culture with T-shirts that read “No Thai 4 U!” Don’t expect Thai Nazi treatment, though; the atmosphere is relaxed and the food is casual.
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Wednesday, August 3,2011

The state of Michigan wines

Leland Festival provides a tasty picture of our area wine makers’ latest creations

by Michael Brenton
Mark Carlson of Suttons Bay’s Silver Leaf Vineyard poured his 2009 reserve Chardonnay, aged 18 months in French oak. Fans of full malolactic, barrel-aged Chardonnay will enjoy the buttery, vanillatinged flavors, broad palate and creamy mouth feel.
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Wednesday, July 27,2011

Embracing Gracie's Place

Williamston is buzzing over an awesome eatery

by Joe Torok
I learned quickly of its popularity on a Friday evening. The dining space was bustling with activity, conversations layered one on top of another, waitstaff bouncing like lasers from kitchen to table and back. One table was left unreserved for the evening, on the patio, in the still-hot sunlight without an umbrella.
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Friday, July 22,2011

Something new for summer

Soup Spoon Caf' expands its menu for the season; check out the new Dawg in East Lansing

by Joe Torok
Server Eric Austin, an enthusiastic ambassador of all things Soup Spoon, explains that the Spoon-I-pino concept is an interpretation of cioppino, a type of fish stew originating from Italian fisherman immigrants who settled in the San Francisco area.
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Wednesday, July 13,2011

Drive-in dining

Nip-n-Sip serves up deep-fried memories

by Joe Torok
We pulled in next to one of many drive-up menus that surround the kitchen and server station hub in the center of the lot. At Nip-n-Sip, your car is your commissary, although tables underneath two metal canopies do offer an open-air alternative to vehicular dining.
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Wednesday, July 6,2011

Cheers to beers

Thompsonville’s annual Beer and Brat Festival provides a chance to sample some of Michigan’s most notable brews

by Michael Brenton
Craft beers. Micro brews. Whatever you choose to call them, appreciation for craft-brewed beers and ales and other specialty beverages, such as hard cider and mead, is expanding in Michigan.
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Wednesday, June 22,2011

Exotic tastes on Michigan Avenue

Unable to stand the heat, our food critic gets out of the kitchen to find delicious alternatives

by Joe Torok
Dear Kitchen: Things are getting a little hot for me. We had a great time through the winter, your warmth and dedication unwavering. Alas, it could not last. It’s summer now, and I think I should see other kitchens.
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Wednesday, June 15,2011

Clara’s fine decor and service don’t compensate for so-so food

Although the popular restaurant is lovely to look at, the dining experience leaves much to be desired

by Joe Torok
By JOE TOROK Google "Lansing dining," and Clara’s Lansing Station jumps to the top of the page. Popularity with residents, frequent recommendations to guests visiting from out of town and a landmark building give Clara’s an ostensible air of dining superiority not to be missed.
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Wednesday, June 8,2011

Meals on wheels — done right

Using grass-fed beef and free-range pork and chicken, Trailer Park’d offers a classy alternative to fast food

by Joe Torok
Hahn now sets up daily at the corner of Cedar and Liberty Streets, just north of Grand River Avenue, and is looking to move into Old Town soon. Trailer Park’d appears weekly at the Allen Street and other farmers markets, and hits occasional events: It was at Preuss Pets during last weekend’s Be A Tourist in Your Own Town festivities.
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