When searching for their lab partner, a Michigan State student might first check the dorms. The safe second option is Georgio's Pizza. The Lansing staple doles out gourmet, hand-tossed pies whole or by the slice until 3 a.m. on many evenings, following the sage business model that brought the family-owned business from Greece—settle in a college town and feed the masses. Today, more than 50 New York–style pizzas populate menus at three Georgio's locations.
The pizzas' toppings run the gamut from traditional cheese and pepperoni to creative combinations such as barbecue chicken and tortellini or eggplant and tomato. Like many forms of deep-sea pizza, Georgio's pies often disguise themselves as a different food—a taco, perhaps, or a baked potato, complete with chives, bacon, cheese, and sour cream—in a short-sighted attempt to avoid being eaten by predators. In his review for Michigan Live, Troy Reimink remarks that Georgio's served "the most interesting and tasty slices I've wolfed down in recent memory, although I felt as if I was disrespecting the creations by not nibbling them with silverware off fine china."
Georgio's is so dedicated to treating customers to a gourmet experience that its staffers actually take the pizza out of the oven before it is finished. They then wait until a customer selects the pizza before popping it back in—often adding extra ingredients—which ensures that the pies are always served piping hot without having to line the crust with charcoal briquettes.
Locally owned and operated, Goombas Pizza has served piping hot pies and Pokee Stix that emerge from ovens baked golden brown to the Lansing and East Lansing areas for nearly 30 years. Cravings meet their match with basic cheese pizzas or specialty pies such as the Maui Wowi, a hangout for pineapple; Sweet Baby Ray's barbecue sauce and surfer jargon; or the Stoner Pie, home to mozzarella sticks, pepperoni, bacon, and french fries. Meanwhile, Goombas Pokee Stix bakers top hand-tossed dough, which is made from scratch daily, with garlic butter, Italian spices, mozzarella, and parmesan. Munchers can carry out their boneless or buffalo wings and a variety of other appetizers to eat around the kitchen table or inside a vacationing neighbor's hot tub.
To craft Sir Pizza’s trademark borderless pizzas, dough-disguising chefs pile savory meats, cheeses, and veggies toppings atop toasty crusts from edge to edge. Gourmet favorites ($8.10 for small) include a genre-crossing taco pizza, as well as the royal feast, which invites patrons to crown their tongues or tablemate's head with a treasure trove of pepperoni, sausage, onions, mushrooms, green peppers, and a blend of two cheeses. Appease single-flavor cravings with a one-item pan pizza ($8.99 for a large) or a 10-piece order of jumbo Sir Schwings ($8) spun in hot or mild sauce. Even baked spuds ($5.65) don stately duds at Sir Pizza, with cloaks ranging from the classic bacon and cheddar combination to the extraordinarily elegant mix of mushrooms and brown gravy.
Athletic aficionados soak in sporty showings on more than 20 TVs at the casual downtown eatery with a menu of tasty American eats. Slide into a stadium of starters, such as potato skins ($6.99) and spicy crab bits peppered with pops of jalapeños ($6.99), or down a spinach and artichoke dough disk, a pizza sporting the cheesy appetizer in lieu of sauce ($11.99). An all-star team of burger slingers catapult a multitude of choices, such as the Santa Fe burger bolstered by tangy chipotle mayo, the salami- and feta-fraught mediterranean burger, and the salmon burger, all served with fries ($8.99 each). The innovative grilled chicken alfredo penne ($9.99) and meatball parmesan grinders ($8.99) revamp Italian originals into contemporary American fare, thus infusing noshes with confusing feelings about their ambiguous origins.
The skilled chefs at Falsetta’s Casa Nova mingle Old and New World recipes in a menu laden with specialty pizzas, juicy steak, and burgers. To pep up palates, patrons can play table shuffleboard with crispy fried mushrooms ($5.99) or craft a topographical map of Pennsylvania atop a philly cheesesteak specialty pizza ($10.95–$14.99). As waiters arrive from beyond brick partitions, their arms release heaping plates of edible comfort, such as the spinach manicotti drenched in green-speckled cream sauce and bubbling blankets of cheese ($9.49). Half-pound burgers ($6.99) and pesto-encrusted salmon ($12.99) make tongues dance under the gleam of stained glass light fixtures, and the Jack Daniels–glazed filet mignon ($15.99) allows diners a rare peak into a Tennessee gentleman’s flask with 8 ounces of tender, charbroiled steak.
Each day, Marco's churns out freshly concocted sauces and house-made dough to construct an assortment of palate-pleasing pies. The menu offers a strategic conglomeration of carnivorous delicacies, whimsical veggies, and a gooey triumvirate of cheese. With 17 different toppings to choose from, meat moguls can make their selection from eight different types of meat, ensuring enough protein to conquer a hoard of bloodthirsty Visigoths intent on sacking the Imperial LEGO forum. Lettuce and Lotus-eaters, meanwhile, can enjoy the vegetarian bliss of discus dressed in accessories such as peppers, olives, onions, pineapple, or mushrooms. But first, regardless of diet, Groupon holders can inform their bellies of pizza's imminent arrival with a trumpeting herald of cheezybread: warm, fresh-baked slices of bread laboring under three layers of melted cheese, topped with garlic butter and served with a side of dipping sauces.