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Wednesday, April 20,2011

A smorgasbord of dining news

What’s opening and what’s changing in the restaurant world in the near-future

by Joe Torok
Xiao (pronounced shee-ow) China Grille & Lounge had a soft opening earlier this month, but it plans to roll out a grand opening event the first week of May. In his location at 3415 E. Saginaw Street, just beyond Coolidge Road, Xiao owner Frank Cheng has created an Chinese and American fusion bistro with a full bar and contemporary style.
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Wednesday, April 13,2011

Stunning decor, tummy-pleasing dishes

Owner puts a personal touch on everything at Thai Princess

by Joe Torok
While some diners are happy their meal is simply edible, Thai Princess should please a higher standard gourmand with a kitchen that combines years of experience developing flavors in the toughest of restaurateur proving grounds ' New York City ' with an artist’s eye for aesthetic presentation.
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Wednesday, March 30,2011

Yes, Mama’s Kitchen may be quaint, but a greasy spoon it ain’t

The bacon alone could send you to seventh heaven

by Joe Torok
Mama’s Kitchen may offer breakfast bacon that could be sold by the gram on street corners and hamburgers loaded enough to require a third jaw hinge, but it just doesn’t feel right to call the little diner that bookends the north side of the Chandler Crossings strip mall a greasy spoon.
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Thursday, March 24,2011

Harry’s Place changes with the times

Venerable bar/eatery celebrates its 90th year

by Joe Torok
A mound rubble ' broken concrete cuboids with tendrils of amputated rebar ' rests on the desolate lot formerly occupied by a General Motors plant on Verlinden Avenue near Harry’s Place, an old-time bar and restaurant, rebuilding its image in a post-industrial neighborhood.
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Wednesday, March 16,2011

Kung Fu: Offbeat ' but a treat

You’ll get a kick out of these Szechuan sensations

by Joe Torok
On one hand, there’s pig blood curd, pork intestine, or stir fried kidney; on the other, General Tso’s chicken, sweet and sour shrimp or beef with broccoli. While most Midwestern diners pull back curtain B, those who subscribe to the Anthony Bourdain school of adventurous eating would surely opt for the former.
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Wednesday, March 9,2011

Coast to coast

California-launched Submarina chain brings great food to Lansing

by Joe Torok
California subs: They’re now in Michigan, — warm fresh buns, avocados on top.If the "California Gurls" beat of Top 40 sugar-pop sex-kitten Katy Perry doesn’t draw you to Submarina in south Lansing, the jalapeno bacon just might.
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Wednesday, February 23,2011

Cover the Waterfront

New City Market bar offers good food and drinks — and some prime peoplewatching opportunities

by Joe Torok
In late mid-winter, there are more geese squawking in the ice-cold Grand River outside the new City Market than there are shoppers hunting for produce inside.
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Wednesday, February 16,2011

Twin Perks

Sure, the pie is terrific ' but don’t overlook Grand Traverse Pie’s other menu options

by Joe Torok
By late morning, Jones’ crew "gets their game faces on," she says, in preparation for the onslaught of professionals who don’t have the time ' or patience, for that matter, with plenty of other dining options nearby ' for food that is not perfect the first time.
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Wednesday, February 9,2011

Celebrating 60 saucy years

Falsetta’s Casa Nova brought pizza to Lansing and the restaurant remains a local hot spot

by Joe Torok
College kids led the way. A rapidly expanding Michigan State University, fuelled by World War II veterans benefitting from the G.I. Bill, brought students from the East Coast, where pizza was already well established. It was those students who sang the gospel according to mozzarella, and devotees soon filled the restaurant.
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Wednesday, January 26,2011

All fired up

Organic ingredients are the secret of Pizza Pi’s delicious dishes

by Joe Torok
Little known facts: Organic, woodfired pizza tastes better and makes you smarter. OK, so only the first part is verifiable, but if you stop into Pizza Pi along the Grand River corridor in East Lansing, you’ll probably learn a thing or two about what makes a fine tasting pie.
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