Revamped Arms & Embers Grill offers ‘a little something for everyone’


Grand Ledge’s Arms & Embers Grill opened in May, but the eatery has undergone some sizable changes since October, when Jordan Rivas took over as owner.

“I was aspiring to get a food truck at the time. That’s what I was working toward when the old owners gave me a pretty decent deal here,” Rivas said. “I wanted to come in and do something different, something that they haven’t seen in the area. It’s not the same kind of bar food you’ll see, or an Italian or Mexican restaurant.”

A Haslett native, Rivas, 30, had been away from the area for about three years and was living in Wyoming, near Yellowstone National Park, when he got a call about potentially buying the restaurant. His first order of business was to overhaul the menu.

“The food that they were serving was kind of bare bones and basic. I love breakfast, so I wanted to turn this place into a brunch kind of deal. We placed a heavy focus on our pancakes. We also serve anything from chicken curry to shepherd’s pie to meatloaf,” he said.

Rivas’ time away from Greater Lansing also included a stint in Arizona, where he worked at a restaurant that served a peanut-butter-and-jelly burger. When he took over at Arms & Embers, he decided to craft his own version, which has since become a flagship dish.

“I figured I might as well do something a little bit different, but also something that’s not too complicated. My thought was that sweet bacon is really good, so why not try grape jelly with it? That along with peanut butter, because those just go together,” he said.

The handheld becomes even more unique with the addition of the rest of the toppings.

“We put chipotle aioli on it, and fresh jalapenos, which kind of balance the sweetness a little bit to avoid overdoing it. So, you’ve got the sweetness, spiciness and savoriness of the burger. It’s been pretty popular so far,” Rivas said.

Since October, Rivas and his new head chef, Zhaawosh Bardy, have added even more dishes to the revamped menu, including the Southwest Chili-Cheese Fries, which are topped with smoky cheese sauce, Coney-style chili, melted cheddar cheese, chipotle aioli, cilantro and jalapeno.

On the beverage side of things, Rivas has also hired a mixologist to craft cocktails from freshly squeezed fruit. 

“All I want is for people to enjoy their food, enjoy their time here and be able to have something different to remember the place by,” Rivas said. “It’s something that Grand Ledge didn’t really have before, with a very all-around kind of menu that offers a little something for everyone to choose from.”




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