Eat! Lansing

October 10, 2008

Moe’s Firehouse Grill

Filed under: Arab, Burger, Campus, East Lansing — Jack Lumanog @ 7:06 pm

Moe’s Firehouse Grill
565 E. Grand River Ave., East Lansing, MI 48823
(517) 333-7040‎

NOTE:  As of today (10-13-08) and driving by on Grand River, the restaurant is closed.

I walked into Moe’s Firehouse Grill and had a bit of an idea of what Chef Gordon Ramsay (Michelin-starred chef featured on FOX’s “Kitchen Nightmares” and “Hell’s Kitchen”) must think when walking into the restaurants that he is about to turn around.  I had a craving for a gyro and didn’t know where to go.  I settled on Moe’s after seeing a Kronos Gyro poster in their window  —  plus a sign that said there was a gyro dinner combo special.  I thought, “what could go wrong here?”  Sadly, the answer was everything that could go wrong  —  would go wrong.

The good news was that dinner set me back $6.50 for a gyro, french fries and fountain drink.  That’s where the good news ended.  After I ordered and paid, I noticed that the grill man took some gyro meat out of the freezer and placed it on the griddle.  If ever I was tempted to take back a transaction, it was right here.  But sadly, the deed was done and I had paid for my dinner.

There was one other customer in the entire place on a Friday night.  There were more flies inside the place than customers (something that Chef Ramsay would point out if he were reviewing the place on his TV show) and I had to swat them away as I tried to enjoy my dinner.  I picked up my gyro and immediately dropped it because the pita was so hot as if it was warmed up on the surface of the sun.  (Too bad this wasn’t an actual firehouse as I might get some water hose relief after getting burned from just picking up my gyro!)

My french fries tasted awful as if the cooking oil hasn’t been changed out in weeks (another thing that Chef Ramsay would point out if he were here).  The fries left a beige stain on the styrofoam container that my dinner was served on  —  a bad sign that the cooking oil is old.  At least my Slice tasted like lemon-lime soda.  The soda helped wash out the remnants of a regrettable meal.

The rest of the menu features plenty of cheap eats:  burgers and fries, sub sandwiches and something called a “chicken wrap.”  I didn’t bother to ask about the chicken wrap.  I bussed my table, took my soda and tried to forget about my mistake of a meal.

November 14, 2007

Sultan’s

Filed under: Arab, Campus, Lansing — dkastner @ 10:33 pm

Sultan Express
305 S Washington Sq, Lansing, MI 48933
Phone: 517-484-2850

Sultan’s Place
4790 S Hagadorn Rd, East Lansing, MI 48823
Phone: 517-333-4444

There are two Sultans, the tasty hole in the wall in downtown Lansing and the forgettable dine-in restaurant in East Lansing.

The downtown location caters to the Lansing lunch crowd with a relatively limited selection of typical Arab cuisine – kabobs in particular. The garlic-flavored hummus is pretty good. It’s quick, inexpensive, and an above-average meal.

The evil twin Sultan lives in East Lansing on the East side of campus. While it offers a more formal atmosphere, it lacks desperately in the service and quality departments. My server practically ignored me while he ate his own dinner. My beef kabob was overly charred on the outside and it tasted as though it may not have been grilled over charcoal (for shame!). It was just OK.

September 4, 2007

Woody’s Oasis

Filed under: Arab, Campus, East Lansing, Lebanese, Mediterranean, Okemos — dkastner @ 9:51 pm

Woody’s Oasis Mediterranean Deli
woodysoasis.com
970 Trowbridge Rd, East Lansing, MI 48823
Phone: 517-351-2280

Mon – Fri: 10am – 10pm, Sat: 10am – 9pm, Sun: 11am – 8pm

I’ve only eaten at the Grand River Ave location and have had carryout from the Okemos location. From what I’ve tasted, it is the second best Mediterranean food I’ve had in Lansing. The hummus is very good as is the lentil soup. The pita sandwiches are innovative – including cauliflower, eggplant, and even smeed. Some of the dishes are a bit odd, such as the lentils (which consists of a gigantic pile of lentils on a bed of rice) or the kibbee (a sort of ground beef pie).

Woody’s tends toward the “home cooked” style of food and offers an very casual “bar” atmosphere. While the service has been consistently slow for me, it’s a worthwhile establishment. It’s definitely not authentic (definitely has an American flare) and you won’t see many Arabs eating here, but it has enough inventiveness to make it stand out.

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