So, the goal for this month was to find tasty, yet not necessarily heart-healthy, food to review. You already know that there is a need for a pizza intervention in this group, so we went with hamburgers and french fries. What I was surprised about though, was that in looking for our hamburger throw-down, I found two of the most historic and quaint places in town. I felt like my mother. I found myself cooing “oh it’s so cute!” and “oh it’s so sweet.” Hello, are we not here for the food? Kewpee 118 S. Washington Sq., Lansing Let’s start with Kewpee’s motto. This alone can reel you in to how adorable this place is: “Hamburg with a pickle on top makes your heart go flippity-flop.” Cute, right? This little gem is located in the heart of downtown. It is not frilly, but sweet. The bathrooms are adorable with kewpee doll murals. But what is the sweetest was the obvious pride of the establishment. The owner buses tables and seats people well into his prime. Our waitress looked younger than the amount of years she has worked there and was adamant that the owners are family. With Kewpee, there should be pride. And they deserve the loyalty. The burgers were awesome. You can order them in appropriate hamburger sizes, or you can order them the size of your head. It was unanimous at the table that they must be accompanied by their crinkle cut fries and onion rings. I think we all went with the olive burger. They even brought out extra olive sauce to dip our fries in. The hamburger, because it was made with fresh Angus beef, was just so moist and substantial and perfect. The creamy and salty olive sauce made it all the more decadent. Every morsel was devoured by a trio of us CAWLM ladies. We all left happy and loyal to Kewpee’s. Dagwood’s Tavern 2803 E. Kalamazoo St., Lansing I have eyeballed Dagwood Tavern on many occasions. I would have to say “quaint” is not the first adjective that comes to mind if you have never visited. However, I have heard great things about their burgers, so with mom in tow, we hit it for lunch. Dagwood’s has the magic similar to Dorothy’s arrival in Oz. You open the door and you are hit with this adorable little tavern. “Quaint” is in every direction. My mom and I were like two tourists discovering the find of the century. “Look at that molding. Look at that light fixture. I love these booths. Ooooh … look at this photograph of a flood in Lansing. It looks like it was in the 1920s. This place had to have been a speakeasy.” And it was (maybe)! This place has history! This place has class! This place has the best fried pickles ever! Yeah. We need to get back to the food. I loved the pickles. I will go back for the pickles. My mom and I decided to call in the big guns. We had a huge pile of their fresh cut fries and we split an olive burger and a grilled cheese packed with tomatoes and pickles. I have never had a grilled cheese with tomatoes and pickles. The good news is that I will now steal this complicated recipe and claim it as my own. I suggest you do the same. Toasted bread with gooey cheese, sweet tomatoes and salty/crunchy pickles equals “mmm, mmm good.” At this point I am starting to doubt I will ever meet an olive burger I don’t like. Dagwood’s was excellent. Mom thinks so too and she told me to tell you so you better listen. However, the highlight of the meal was the fries. So crisp and seasoned on the outside, with that perfect soft-textured center. I had our waitress running for more ketchup! Both Kewpee’s and Dagwood’s Tavern have to be crossed off your Lansing “I have never eaten there” list. And the final icing on the cake (no…hamburger), these places are inexpensive; I am talking so reasonable I cannot even fathom why any of us would ever go back to the golden arches.
Colette Evangelista sells certified organic, non-toxic beauty, health, baby and home products at www.healthandhopeorganics.com. Twenty percent of her profits go to Ascending Above Autisim, a charity that helps parents pay for autism treatment.