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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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Wednesday, June 1,2011

Not just any port in a storm

A recent tasting revealed the many types and tastes of the popular wine

by Michael Brenton
Although a variety of wine styles are produced in the Douro, when most people think of port, they think of a sweet red wine, fortified with neutral grape spirits to increase the alcohol content and stop fermentation while plenty of sugar remains in the wine.
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Wednesday, May 25,2011

Chinese class

Xiao China Grille tailors its elegant dishes for Lansing’s taste buds

by Joe Torok
Cheng, whose family immigrated to the New York area in 1982 from the Fujian province in southeast China, has been in the restaurant business for most of his life. He’s seen what works in New York, the Midwest and China. In this country, at least, flux is the state of existence.
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Wednesday, May 18,2011

New addresses for old favorites

The Wild Rose pops up; Downtown Dog House becomes The Boardroom

by Joe Torok
A lunch buffet is new to the location and the menu has expanded, too. Valdez says customers have gone crazy over her caldo, a stew and soup hybrid loaded with beef and vegetables. Menudo is new, too, and pan dulce (Mexican sweet bread) will be coming soon.
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