Hailing from humble beginnings in a renovated Mississippian gas station, McAlister's Deli has revolutionized the concept of fast food with healthy fare recognized by Parents in 2009. Premium ingredients, such as Black Angus roast beef and black forest ham pile upon stuffed potatoes or artisan bread, sating hungers and silencing stomachs before they recite bank account numbers. As patrons wait for servers to deliver meals, they sip signature sweet tea, swirled together onsite daily from pure cane sugar and a rainforest-certified black-tea blend as dictated by a closely guarded recipe.
As part of the tight-knit family of Lou & Harry's outposts, the Okemos eatery offers a quick-serve alternative to their other sports bar and grill locations. Here, patrons will find the classic Greek recipes Lou & Harry's has become known for, including shishkabobs and open-face gyro plates. The grill sizzles with plenty of other entrees as well, including shaved ribeye with onions and an olive double burger topped with a house-made dressing that's also sold in to-go bottles. On nice days, customers can take their freshly grilled feasts and fountain sodas out to the sunny patio, which is hemmed in by wrought-iron fencing and hungry cars that keep inching closer and closer to your table.
For more than 20 years, the skilled staffers of Housekeeping Associates have tended to homes throughout Michigan with basic, advanced, and specialized cleaning services. The teams tailor plans of attack to the needs of each house, business, or phone booth, with carpet, gutter, window, and move-in/move-out cleaning also available. They also regularly take care of their community by partnering with Cleaning for a Reason, a nonprofit organization that provides maid and housekeeping services to women undergoing cancer treatment.
Since 1967, the crew at the locally owned Bell's Greek Pizza has supplied East Lansing with a fusion of Greek and Italian fare. That's more than 45 years of hot shawarma sandwiches bumping elbows with gooey pizzas topped with gyro meat or slices of salami and pepperoni. After sopping up hummus with warm flatbread, guests can wrap their hands around hot 6- or 12-inch grinders or customize 14-inch pies with toppings such as feta, lamb, and black olives. And because Bell's is open until 4 a.m., it's an ideal locale for late-night studying via free WiFi or a predawn breakfast for the early bird who finds worms a tad antediluvian.
Thin slices of shawarma fall from the twirling rotisserie spit as the chef fills pita bread for one of Sizzling Kabobs' hearty sandwiches. Chicken shawarma is just one of the options on a menu filled with Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. The kitchen team marinates chicken before grilling it in kebabs or baking it tandoori-style to a rose-pink. They also make hashwi by blending ground beef, rice, chicken, and almonds—a nutritious meal that makes it unnecessary to spike coffee with Flintstones vitamins.
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.
At ChopStix, owner Dave Chou created a menu that, like his Taiwanese heritage, includes southern Chinese, Korean, and Japanese influences. Along with his specialty beef noodle soup, basil shrimp, twice-cooked pork, and other Asian dishes, the menu also features an authentic Chinese section, for a better way to practice speaking Mandarin than having unilateral conversations with your reflection.