Crunchy’s takes its beer seriously. Customers can pick from 27 taps at the pub, coming from Michigan breweries such as Bell’s and New Holland, as well as craft breweries including Dogfish Head and Stone. The microbrew-loving staffers regularly host brewers' nights with reps on hand to sample and answer questions, and celebrate the release of seasonal beers such as Bell’s Oberon. Brews come by the pint or in the famous 270-ounce “bucket of beer,” ideal for serving a large party or putting out a dollhouse fire.
To accompany the tap selection, Crunchy’s kitchen serves a menu of pub fare that includes stone-baked calzones, deep-dish pizzas, and half-pound char-grilled burgers. Nine burger-topping combinations, each including a beer-pairing suggestion, range from pineapple and teriyaki sauce to sautéed onions and pepperoncinis.
Crunchy’s cultivates a casual and easygoing atmosphere both inside its taproom and on its front patio. Inside, beer signs and photos plaster the aged wood walls above emerald booths, separated from central tables by illuminated weathered wood arches. Arcade games and dartboards are situated in the front, next to painted white wood where patrons of the past have scrawled their names or TARDIS coordinates. A full events calendar includes karaoke every Thursday–Saturday.
There aren't many restaurants anymore where you can sit in the same booth your parents might have dined in 40 years ago. But such is the case at Beggar's Banquet. The self-proclaimed restaurant and saloon took root in 1973, founded by Bob Adler and named after his favorite Rolling Stones album. The pub-like main dining area remains down-to-earth and casual, welcoming guests with wood-paneled walls and stained-glass windows. The names of "beggulars" are etched on gold plates above the bar, and local families celebrate milestones in an elegant room dedicated to private parties. All of this, coupled with the nostalgic atmosphere and tasty, homestyle dishes, has helped Beggar’s Banquet earn praise as one of Lansing's best restaurants by 10Best.
Twenty ever-changing craft beers on tap and a wine list that ranges from malbecs to piesporters fuel the jovial ambiance. Cooks innovate creative spins on classic comfort food, adding muenster, havarti, and gouda to their baked mac 'n’ cheese and a blueberry compote to char-grilled pork chops. They also serve breakfast until 2 p.m., the time each day when orange juice magically transforms into soda pop.
Ali Baba's expansive menu of Mediterranean classics pamper palates with tales of slow-roasted meats and succulent sauces. Dinner ushers in full-fledged entrees such as the chicken combo dinner ($12.95), an assemblage of chicken shawarma, kebab, and deboned thighs served with a choice of soup or salad, rice or steamed vegetables, and Beatles or Stones. Lamb shanks ($14.95) enter the spotlight braised in vegetable and tomato sauces and peppered with herbs and spices. Lunchtime warriors combat hunger with the chicken shawarma combo ($6.95), a plate of sliced, marinated chicken dripping with a light lemon-garlic sauce and accompanied by hummus and rice. The lamb-gyro combo ($7.50) follows suit, swapping out sultry chicken for tender slices of roasted lamb, and the vegetarian moujadara ($6.75) showcases a hearty mixture of steamed rice and lentils festooned with caramelized onions, which cause chefs that slice them to tear up with nougat.
At Spagnuolo's Chocolate, Fudge, & Ice Cream Company, chocolatier Vic Spagnuolo concocts chocolate-covered desserts, flavored fudges, and more than 95 flavors of ice cream. Candysmiths toil away behind the ice-cream parlor's counter, making creamy truffles, peanut-butter fluffs, and chocolate-covered marshmallows and cookies. The menu also offers more savory fare, such as olive-topped burgers, chili dogs, and chicken sandwiches, punctuated with still more classic sweets such as shakes, sundaes, and parfaits. Unlike Cookie Monster steaks, some confections are also available in sugar-free varieties, such as caramels, chocolate-covered nut clusters, and cherries.
Though visitors to Tamaki will find sushi chefs deftly carving up tuna nigiri and tucking california rolls, customers are also invited into the mix with a separate menu designed for willing into existence custom maki and wraps. Visitors envelop their choice of smoked eel, roasted mushroom, bulgogi steak, and tuna in seaweed and soy, garnished with more than 20 different fresh veggies and cheeses. Korean barbecue wraps unite mouthfuls of crab and sriracha into tasty handheld packages, and rice bowls bring together any combination of seafood, seaweed, kimchi, and sauces into elegant boat-shaped receptacles.
What Up Dawg? Restaurant and Tavern celebrates encased meats by offering 10 different sausage styles. Chili douses natural casing franks for the Coney Dawg, while all-beef franks get Chicago style from bright green relish and sport peppers, rather than a lot of wind. Chicken sausage and meat-free dogs are healthier alternatives, and hot sausages set taste buds ablaze. These dogs pair especially well with local Michigan beers and the Spartans games that flicker on the televisions hanging around the perimeter of forest-green walls.