About Me

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Lansing, Michigan, United States
I am a Lansing townie, lawyer, and restaurant reviewer for the City Pulse. I love traveling, reading, yoga, and baking, but my favorite hobby is stuffing my face.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Soup Spoon Brain Food

A few weeks ago I wrapped up my three year law school career and am starting to study for this July's bar exam. I am prepared to spend 10+ hours per day re-learning everything about the law and I'm strangely and sickly kind of looking forward to it.

Aside from passing the bar, most states require that you also pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam. Basically, ethics for lawyers. Save the jokes, because I've heard them all.

Anyway, each state sets their own score that you must get on the exam. Michigan requires an 85. The MPRE is a 60-question multiple choice test, and let me just set the stage by saying that I'm not so good at multiple choice. By "not so good" I mean that I took this test three times.

I sat for the MPRE most recently on the morning of March 17. Yes, while all my idiot 30-year-old friends were drinking green beer and looking like predators, I was on MSU's campus taking an exam. I actually got up really early that morning to review a little bit more and eat breakfast. I decided that since I was suffering, I was going to treat myself to breakfast at the Soup Spoon.

I didn't get the Smoked Salmon Benedict like I always do. But maybe I should have, because Tina's Bacon Bonanza sandwich wasn't very great. Granted, I'm not the world's biggest bacon fan (it's ok, I just don't want it in my chocolate and on my doughnuts and I don't want to belong to a Bacon Of the Month club, thanksforasking) so it wasn't a strong choice. I'm sure some of my more sweaty friends would love it.

Maybe the sandwich was sprinkled with Al Einstein's brain cells (is that gross?), because I finally passed the MPRE. And I got a 98, suckers.

Hopefully I can carry that mojo over to the bar exam.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Cops and Doughnuts Precinct

I love Cops and Doughnuts. After I wrote about them here I started following them on Twitter and was pleasantly surprised that whoever maintains that account is really quite active.

Dad went up to Harrison mid-week last week to mow the lawn, turn on the water, and do other gross stuff that needs to be done before the cottage is opened for the summer. I'm sure he didn't eat anything good, because the diners in Harrison are seriously lacking. I have frequently bemoaned the fact that there's nothing worth eating in Harrison unless I cook it myself, but I think that we might just be turning a corner.

A few days ago I read on C&D's Twitter account that they are opening a Harrison location and MAN am I excited. I have high hopes that this will encourage other Up Northites to put the heat on Harrison business owners to bring good food to Northern Clare County.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Edmund's, the remix

Last Sunday there was a marathon in downtown Lansing. I didn't participate because I would literally rather swim 100 miles, but my parentroommates and I decided to head downtown to eat breakfast and "watch the Kenyans cross the finish line." Although my distaste for Edmund's has been documented, I had heard good reports on their pancakes and thought it might be worth giving the place another shot.

I went in to get a table while Mom stood in front of the Capitol and Dad wandered around downtown, probably asking cops how it was going and if they needed any help. My experience didn't get off to a great start- I sat with my NY Times for a good 15 minutes before someone took my drink order. After I asked for coffee and water she disappeared for another 10 minutes before finally coming back with my coffee in a tall, skinny Irish coffee cup. I hate these cups. They don't hold enough coffee and need to be refilled constantly. However, since I know that Edmund's likes to keep things quirky with their Mason jars as drinking glasses,  I can overlook this.

In this place the menus double as place mats, but there's also a supplemental pancake menu stuck into one of those wire holder things on the tabletop. I knew I was going to get pancakes and I tried to talk Mom into ordering the oatmeal cakes while I ordered a sweet variety and we could share. She refused. She never does anything for me.

Although I have a real thing for oatmeal and was really tempted to order those (of course I can't remember anything about the description now nor find it online), I switched it up at the last minute and ordered two of these babies covered with peanut butter, crumbled Oreos and whipped cream.
I didn't run a marathon, but I carb-loaded like I did.

These were really good. Mom had something that might have been banana nut pancakes and Dad had corned beef hash, because he's an animal. We were all pleased with our meals. I will go back- but only for breakfast.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Frita Batidos, Twice

With regard to Michigan's two largest college towns- East Lansing and Ann Arbor- I think they can best be described by making a blanket statement about the area surrounding them. The Lansing area, to me, is blue collar. We have a lot of (defunct) factories. We don't have great shopping, and we aren't traditionally thought of as having any good eating. I also know about a hundred union organizers. And when I was in high school we couldn't always have soccer practice outside because the fumes coming from the neighboring GM plant were too strong.

Ann Arbor, on the other hand, is hippie. Everybody's got dreadlocks. I see a lot of tie dye and smell a lot of weed. They also have two Whole Foods and a Trader Joe's, so I might just be jealous.

I don't go to Ann Arbor very frequently. However, I have been there twice in the last few months, and I have eaten lunch at the same place both times- Frita Batidos. I don't always watch Top Chef, and I must have missed the season that featured Eve from Ann Arbor. If that's your cup of tea, Eve is the owner of Frita Batidos. The menu features lots of sandwiches, fries, interesting side dishes like conch fritters and plantains, and fresh-squeezed sodas and juices. 

On the advice of my friend Kelly, who also pointed me in the direction of the restaurant, my first lunch was a Fish Frita with Tropical Coleslaw, Garlic Cilantro Fries, and a Passionfruit Tropical Soda.

The sandwich was massive. The brioche that it came on was a little sweet for me, so I got rid of the top piece and ate the rest of it with a knife and fork. The sandwich actually already had some shoestring fries topping it, so the fact that I also got an entire huge order of fries was nothing but gluttony running my life. As it always does.

These fries. Yummmmm these fries. Now I can't stop thinking about them again. First of all, the portion is massive. I wondered how I was going to drive all the way back to Lansing with my car smelling like garlic and cilantro and how I would best heat them up when I got home, but then I stopped kidding myself and admitted that I would eat these fries in the car, all the way home, greasy steering wheel be damned.

Actually, I gave the remainder of the fries (after my stomach sent me a text, threatening to explode) to my tablemates. The woman had TATTOOED EYEBROWS. They weren't tattooed to look like normal eyebrows, she had small intricate designs tattooed onto her face. See what I mean about hippies?

I washed this all down with a passionfruit tropical soda.

And then I cried all the way home because the last fish sandwich I had in Lansing was at McDonald's. But then, of course, you get to sing this-

I went to Frita's again last week. This time I had a game plan- I wasn't going to get as much food so I wouldn't be totally uncomfortably stuffed an unable to eat churros and drink coffee at the end of my meal.

I think we all know that didn't happen.

This time I got the Inspired Cuban Combo- half of the Inspired Cuban sandwich and I chose for my side the Best Snack Ever- layered coconut ginger rice, black beans, melted muenster & cilantro lime salsa.

Most of this actually did make it home with me, because I knew that if I started eating beans and rice I wouldn't stop and I wouldn't be able to pay any attention to my sandwich.

This is MY KIND OF SANDWICH. There is so much meat on this sandwich, I was pretty sure that I was going to turn into a giant guy and be recruited into a biker gang right there. I would have been ok with that, if we get to eat these sandwiches. As I was trying to eat this slowly and avoid looking like an insane person, I started to read a sign on the wall about how they make their bread. Don't read this unless you want to know that your mouth is currently full of lard. You'd think that fun fact would have maybe given me a little pause, but it didn't. Yeah, I eat lard. Suck a million.

I also had a baggie full of fresh squeezed Ginger Lime Juice. Yes, it came in a baggie with a straw sticking out of it. This juice was spicy as heck, too. I loved it. I'd like to buy that by the gallon and drink it all day, before I have a heart attack because I just ate ten Inspired Cuban sandwiches.

I think the trick is going to be to return to Fritas with another person, so we can share things and I can finally get to the churros. Since I am taking my last exam tomorrow night and will be done with law school, this trip might happen soon.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Omi Sushi

Yesterday was Good Friday and I sent the early afternoon with a classmate of mine at a long mass. After mass (well, halfway through mass actually) my stomach was growling. I usually like to stuff my face as close to noon as possible because I'm STARVING three hours after I eat my oatmeal, so waiting until 2:30 was a struggle. Immediately after leaving church we headed down MAC Avenue to Omi Sushi.

It had been several years since I'd been to Omi. I distinctly remember the last time I went there- I was with a friend of mine who is no longer a friend of mine (I'm in high school, hello) and I had just started eating sushi, so I didn't really have any idea what I was doing. I thought it was good. I guess. This time I wasn't such an easier customer and I didn't think Omi was any good.

I ordered some special lunch combo that came with a spicy tuna roll and a spicy salmon roll. What I really wanted was a huge order of salmon sashimi, but I didn't even see sashimi on the menu. They also don't have club soda, which always frosts my cookies.

I ate the salad and the miso soup. Meh. I ate the edamame that I ordered. It was edamame. The rolls were disappointing. The rice was especially tacky and there was no real discernible difference between the tuna and the salmon. However, I scarfed everything down because I was so dang hungry. I actually stopped myself mid-pig out and said to my friend "I feel like I'm eating this too quickly, and I can't stop." I ate more wasabi than I ever have in an attempt to add some flavor to the otherwise bland sushi, and now the tip of my tongue is  a little uncomfortable.

After we ate, we sat at our table with out (perpetually empty) water glasses to chat. The waitress asked us no less than three times if we needed anything else and then hovered until I felt so uncomfortable that I thought we should leave. So we left.

A word to you raw fish lovers out there- if you're in a sushi emergency in downtown East Lansing, Sushi Ya a little further down Grand River is a better bet. Of course, Maru remains my favorite.