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.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Common Grill, Chelsea

For a few years, I'd been hearing about this restaurant in Chelsea- a little town near Ann Arbor that doesn't house much other than the Purple Rose Theatre and a bunch of University of Michigan fans. Rumor has it that the hot spot in town is the Common Grill, and I'd never heard a bad word about the place. A few weeks ago I spent the day working in Ann Arbor and the boyfriend and I proposed meeting for dinner to his mother, who had celebrated her birthday that week. We all met at the Common Grill on Ash Wednesday and I broke my day-long fast with a vengeance.

Our server brought out a bread basket, which I normally try to ignore because I'd rather spend my calories on dessert. This was no ordinary bread. I grilled the waiter about it after scarfing down several warm slices, slathered in butter. It is a doctored-up pizza dough, he said. The bread had hints of tarragon, which is one of my favorite herbs (and is prominently featured in my favorite slow-roasted filet of beef.)

I started with a house salad, studded with pine nuts and full of crisp hearts of romaine. The raspberry-maple vinaigrette was flavorful and light and gave me an excuse to grab another slice of bread and drag it across my salad plate, mopping up the dressing.

On the advice of the waiter, I ordered the Parmesan Crusted Lake Superior Whitefish.
The pieces of fish were big- I had enough to share- and well prepared. The breading was light (I hate when all you taste is fry), the orzo pilaf was al dente, the spinach gave me the squeak between my teeth that I love. The CHUNK of lobster took me by surprise and melted in my mouth. I gave the boyfriend some taste of fish but the lobster, she was all mine.

We ordered dessert, as we are wont to do. I had to have the Warm Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding.
It was what a chocolatey bread pudding should be- soft, syrupy bread flavored with caramel and cream, but while these photos are impressive, the taste was nothing remarkable.
The birthday girl had the White Chocolate Banana Cream Tart.
Again, a gorgeous dessert, but I'd have been more satisfied with another slice of bread or two.
The restaurant has a bistro feel, cosmopolitan decor and a languid pace to service. I don't spend much time in the Chelsea neck of the woods, but the next time I have occasion to be there I'll head back to the Common Grill for more carb loading.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Fork in the Road for City Pulse

Read it here.

And read about a previous visit here
And try the biscuits and gravy, because you're going to be hard-pressed to find a better B&G in fair Lansing.

What do you think about FITR? What's your favorite Lansing diner?

Sunday, March 9, 2014


A few weeks ago, I decided that it was high time I learn how to make lasagna. Although it's been one of my food goals since the beginning of the year, I kept putting it off- I didn't have the time, I'd eaten too heavy all week and couldn't justify another caloric meal, there weren't going to be enough people at dinner to put a dent in a full lasagna. But when Saturday rolled around, I told the boyfriend to invite his friends over for dinner and I got into the kitchen.

Per a recommendation from a friend in Georgia, I made Paula Deen's Lots O Meat Lasagna. There was indeed lots o meat- two kinds of it. Ground beef and ground Italian sausage. This went over like gangbusters.

Putting the dish together took a few hours, but I wasn't chained to the kitchen. The most confusing part (maybe because I'm not a very experienced lasagna eater) was how to order the layers. I started with a layer of meat sauce, then cheese, then noodles, but eventually I started layering them however I thought it looked best. None of my eaters seemed to mind.
I served it alongside a simple spinach salad with vinaigrette and store-bought frozen breadsticks.
For dessert, we had these peanut butter cookies and vanilla gelato with a little drizzle of butterscotch sauce.
After my brother positively hoovered the leftovers, he told me that he wasn't that impressed because I didn't make my own pasta. Maybe next time. . .

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Blondie's Barn, Haslett

A few weeks ago I met my brother, sister-in-law, nephew, and their best friends for breakfast at Blondie's Barn. Although I'd gotten up much too early on that weekend morning and had already had some coffee, I couldn't resist ordering a large latte from the full coffee bar the moment I sat down.

It was large. It was the size of my head, and I have a freakishly big head. (Seriously. I can't wear most hats. You should see me struggle into a turtleneck.)

I asked our waitress if they make the corned beef hash on site, or if it's canned. I'm not a snob about it, I know corned beef hash is a pain to make, but if it's canned I always order something else. They made it there. My mouth watered.

I ordered my eggs poached and my bread in the form of biscuits. Biscuits are one of my favorite things in life and are the primary reason I love Cracker Barrel so much.

Yes, I love Cracker Barrel. I can't help it. The food is good, and every time I go there I find something in that country store that I just have to have.

This corned beef hash was fantastic. It had lots of salty flavor and was hot and fresh. The eggs were properly poached- no hardened yolk in the center. I cleaned my plate and sopped up anything that had gotten away from me with my biscuits.

Blondie's has a kitschy feel, was packed with hungry eaters, and left me one satisfied breakfaster. I could become a regular customer.

Readers, I've been doing a lot of eating, and I'm dying to tell you about it. I've also been doing a lot of working, but I'm trying to get my time management together. Stay tuned, because delicious things are coming your way.