I am big on wishful thinking. So, when the second day of spring arrived along with a snow storm, I vowed not to let it get me down. Instead, I decided to head someplace that reminds me of summer — Fork in the Road. The food brings back memories of warmer days spent outside enjoying a meal out of the restaurant’s food truck — Trailer Park’d , plus the restaurant is housed in a building that sports a beautiful mural of fresh veggies. Next to the entrance sits a garden the restaurant uses to source their menu in the summer. Although, a great place to head in warmer times, it turns out Fork in the Road is also the perfect destination for a chilly spring evening. Arriving just an hour before closing time, my hubby Matt and I thought Fork in the Road would be a bit dead. Not the case. The place was warm, cozy and full of clientele. We were greeted and given the low-down. Because it was late, the evening’s specials were sold out, but the soup of the day — a beet puree was available. We were instructed to order at the counter and take a seat. Along with daily specials (which you should probably arrive before 8 p.m. to enjoy) and a rotating dinner menu, Fork in the Road offers up dishes including their main stays like Ballin’ Ass Tacos (chorizo, lime, mole Verde, cilantro, Queso fresco cheese); and their Spinach Salad (Hedgehog mushroom; balsamic, spring onion, rosemary, Asiago cheese, fried egg, garlic cracker) and sandwiches like the Smoked Chicken (green, mushroom, bacon, pesto, Manchego cheese, chive, ciabatta) and Smoked Meatloaf (mashed potato, red onion marmalade, blue cheese, oregano, focaccia.) Matt — a true burger man — went with the Organic Burger (smoked pork belly, fried egg, greens, sage derby cheese, pickled red onion, focaccia.) I wanted something a bit more substantial, so I went with one of the dinner option available that evening, Smoked Pork Loin (braised chick pea, apple, hen of the woods mushroom, argo dolce, bacon, brie cheese, thyme.) To drink I went with Herb Infused Lemonade, Matt went with Hummingbird Nectar Iced Tea (can you tell we were thinking spring?!). We took our seats and waited. Turns out Fork in the Road is a fun place to people watch. It’s definitely a destination more than just a place to grab a bite. Regulars streamed in and out to grab carry out, while the staff chatted with customers about grad school programs, beer exchanges and more. When Matt’s burger arrived it was all he could do to wait for me to grab a photo before he dug in. Trust me that he’s had enough burgers for this line to mean something. To quote “this is the best burger I’ve ever had.” For Matt it was the unique bun — made of focaccia, the pickled onions and fried egg that made it. Served without sides (although next time we’re totally getting the French Onion Tots) the burger is enough to satisfy. My Smoked Pork Loin was far more food than I needed (so I was able to share). Tender and full of smoked flavor, the pork was delicious. I’m a huge fan of chick peas, so you can’t go wrong there, same with the apples, which were full of flavor and exactly what this Midwestern girl expects with anything pork loin or chop related. And guess what? Brie on pork loin is amazing. I highly recommend it. We skipped dessert, although the Fried Apple Pie was tempting and I heard the couple in the booth behind us rave about the Banana Cake. So, next time. I’ll be forever thankful for places like Fork in the Road. It’s cozy, unique and provides a constant reminder that greener times are ahead, Fork in the Road 2010 W. Saginaw St., Lansing 517-580-3556 www.forkintheroaddiner.com
Emily Caswell is the Managing Editor of CAWLM. She has a passion for fun, family, friends, shopping sprees, cold drinks and Lansing.