America, land of the free to eat what you want, home of the gluttonous. Eating healthy is something most Americans strive to do. It is also considered a feat that is easier said than done here in the United States where fast food options are prevalent and easily accessible. If Americans struggle to eat healthy, how would someone from the other side of the planet fare in finding healthy food options like the ones they are accustomed to in their homeland? That is exactly what Nataree Leelapatree, an international student from Thailand who attends Michigan State, had to do five years ago when she first came to the United States.
The Old Chicago restaurant chain has been around since 1976 and has catered to families in Michigan from its three different locations: Southgate, Trenton, Portage and Okemos. “The Okemos location has been here since 2004,” said service manager Cassie Sanderson, “I’ve been working here for 12 years and the environment and everything, it feels just like a family.”
Old Chicago features specialty pizzas such as the spaghetti pie. The pizza has spaghetti tossed in Alfredo sauce and baked with Romano and Provolone cheeses then topped with Alfredo sauce. “The Spaghetti Pie is my favorite thing on the menu,” said Sanderson. “It sounds gross
because it’s hard to explain but it’s so good.”
With a welcoming atmosphere the restaurant has a small arcade area, as well as a large bar which allows it to cater to just about everyone in the family.
To some, Lansing’s restaurant scene might not seem like it is doing well. Others view it as an area that has been holding steady. But the truth of the matter is, according to Nielsen, in 2011 Lansing’s Restaurant Growth Index (RGI), was up six points above the national average, and far higher than Michigan’s overall average. And according to an associate professor at the School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University, Jeffery Elsworth, restaurant growth in the nation is up in general. Elsworth said that the number of restaurants in the United States number close to one million, and in a matter of years will reach that landmark.
Delhi Charter Township has started an initiative called Realize Cedar and they are looking towards its residents for new ideas on how to improve Holt’s downtown area, specifically the triangle of Cedar Street, Holt Road and Aurelius Road. The study has three ways people can give input; offer a big idea, prioritize goals, and answer poll questions. The former allows people to write the township. Prioritize goals lets residents of the area tell the township what is most important to them. Finally ,the poll lets citizens vote and see the results of important considerations such as retail, bike paths, larger sidewalks and restaurants.
Mid-Michiganders still await their first taste of the Southern-based fast-food restaurant chain, Chick-fil-A, on their home front. The company’s plans to open a location on Grand River Avenue in front of Meijer in Okemos were confirmed in November and residents today are anticipating further information on the opening of the store. Meridian Township Director of Community Planning and Development Mark Kieselbach confirms that the special use permits necessary for the addition of the restaurant have been approved by the Planning Commission of Meridian Township. “As soon as they announced they were coming to the township, we had a lot of interest. A lot of people follow them, [have tried] Chick-fil-A in other states and like them,” Kieselbach said.
By Kelly Sheridan
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter
In Meridian Township, there are two types of restaurants—local and national chains. Both of these have different advantages and disadvantages, but the chain restaurants have the upper hand when it comes to funding and advertising. This is the ultimate reason why there are more of those in the area. Restaurant Report stated that according to an exerpt from Lebhar-Friedman Chain Store Guide, only 12 percent of restaurants are independent. The biggest advantages the chain restaurants have are their marketing ability and the funds to advertise and promote their business.
By Shane Jones
The Bath-DeWitt Connection Staff Reporter
DEWITT — Family Tree Cafe is a restaurant located in the heart of DeWitt. The inside is set up like an old-fashioned restaurant from the fifties. Greeting and starting and a conversation is owner Tim Russell. Working his way around the room carrying out conversations and running the restaurant, he evens find time to play a game of peek-a-boo with a young infant child. “Well, I used to do automotive design work until I lost my job in 2008.
By Isaac Constans
Listen Up, Lansing Staff Reporter
So often at the center of attention is the Lansing Convention Center. The Lansing Convention Center, also known as the Lansing Center, hosts many of the biggest events to come to Lansing and provides a constant source of entertainment to the residents, as well as a large tourism and economy boost. Opened in 1987, the Lansing Center occupies the final block of Michigan Avenue heading west before the Grand River. It is an ideal location for people to visit. “When I go to [Lansing Community College], I can just walk from there to here, so yeah it’s a good spot,” Maricella Bonilla, a staff employee of the Lansing Center for approximately 18 months, said about the Lansing Center.
By Cynthia Lee
Old Town Lansing Times staff reporter
McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s are common restuarants that can be found in most cities across the country. If it is not a corporate restaurant, it’s usually an American mom-and-pop restaurant with the usual burgers, hot dogs, and fries in most areas in Lansing. Until now, with people like entrepreneur Sam Short adding a new flavor to the food scene in Old Town. Short is the owner of the new upscale restaurant and bar, The Creole at 1218 Turner St. in Old Town.