If you’re looking for a great place to have brunch in Lansing, we have a suggestion that comes highly recommended. Read our restaurant review of The Creole, and see why we recommend this as a great place for brunch!
Restaurant Review | The Creole | Old Town
This local yokel is getting vocal about our must-try foodie finds. Did you know Tatanisha and I love being resident tourists! It’s one of our most favorite things to do. Why? Well, there are a lot of good reasons. Sometimes we kinda of miss what’s right under our noses; taking the time to appreciate and peruse what’s happening on the local food scene is a great way to discover how much we really enjoy living where we live.
Like visiting a new local coffee shop or wine bar, it’s exciting to reintroduce ourselves to the new and improved versions of Lansing that keep popping up every so often. Plus, we have so many fond memories about a meal shared here or gasping over something delicious we just discovered. So, much so, that it’s hard to imagine that we’re in our very own neck of woods.
It’s surprising the things you’ll discover just beyond your front door. For instance, the Old Town District is just a scant 5.3 miles from our home. And this area is the original footprint of what eventually became the Lansing area way back 1842 and it’s practically within walking distance from our mailbox. However, I am pretty certain the wife wouldn’t necessarily agree.
Recently, we revisited one of our favorite foodie haunts located in the Old Town District of Lansing, Michigan. If you have visited the Old Town area, you too may have already fallen head over heart (stomach?) for this quaint historic area with its mix of cool locally owned shops, home of Ozone Brewery, and restaurants. Tat and I strolled in just before noon on a sunshine drenched perfect Saturday. We stepped into Creole and were greeted with a warm smile. “Hi,” our hostess says. This is our second time here, and like last time, the welcome feels genuine and inviting. In short order, we’re seated and settled along a side table in the back. The waitress takes our drink orders and returns quickly with water and our coffee. We still haven’t decided what we want to eat mainly because there are such wonderful options to choose from. So we hem and haw over the menu just a lil’ bit longer. No rush.
The Creole has a big open feel with its high ceiling and rustic touches. This isn’t a glamorous restaurant and its not trying to be. It is clean, functional, and has a raw beauty that appeals to my sense of minimalism and affinity for the sparse and durable. I like it.
Just as you walk in, there’s a display of artwork to your left. This small collage sets the tone because much like the art hanging on the wall the food fare here is artfully displayed and will hang in your foodie’s heart like a good memory. That was corny but true!
Monday-Friday 11am-2pm & 5pm-10pm
Saturday-Sunday 8am-2pm & 5pm-10pm
You’ll also notice the bar along the north wall with its standard issue and eclectic collection of spirits, bitters and other bartender elixirs that’ll mix well in a glass for your enjoyment. The barkeep was pleasant and handled the bar tools like a man who knew a thing or two.
Eventually, from the short list of impressive menu offerings Tat orders the Red Beans & Rice with a fried egg, house-made salsa and chimichurri, the entree is served with a side of hoe cakes. FYI. Hoecakes derive from the south and are reminiscent of pancakes. Except they’re made with yellow stone ground cornmeal, they’re unsophisticated, slightly sweet, and light. When I was a kid my mom would make them from time to time, typically served with a heaping plate of northern beans, onions, and shaved ham. So, it’s easy to see why this meal echoed moments of nostalgia. Funny, how food memories can catch you off guard and surprise you at the most random and unexpected times. All in all, the hoecakes were a solid pairing for this southern influenced meal.
I ordered the delicious, yet, light and cloud-like Quiche which was topped with a heaping ladling of Sausage Gravy. I’ve recently been on the hunt for a good quiche, and I had high hopes for this one. Fresh Beignets and a pot of French roasted coffee rounded out our order. We people-watched and made small talk while waiting for our food to arrive. Are you a people watcher too? Surely, there are others.
The food arrives in a flurry of plates and amid vapors of intoxicating smells. We’re smiling big time as our waitress set everything down. He makes sure we’re good to go and disappears. Finally, we’re alone with our food, and now we are properly settled in. Tat takes a forkful of beans and rice into her mouth. She’s nodding her approval. This is a nice entree because it offers a variety of flavors all in a single bowl. There are the beans and rice, but the cool thing about this dish is that you can mix the flavors up. A bit of beans and rice with either chimichurri, fried egg or the fresh salsa. So many delicious combinations. And the hoecake is a hardy textural compliment too. This is very satisfying comfort food, and the Mrs. is in a very happy place right now, and that’s a good thing.
Me, well, I am just looking over this excellent example of quiche before me. It is a handsome slice of wonderful, and, I have yet to take a bite. The wedge of quiche with its flaky pastry crust looks it’s asking to have a photo taken. So I do, several actually. And the way the sausage gravy is draped all over it looks absolutely promising. I take a bite and the quiche is so light but flavorful and the sausage and gravy was the right choice. And so, we’re very pleased. So, we contiue to eat, make small talk, and people watch.
We are lucky to live in Lansing because right now Lansing is in the midst of a foodie revolution and there are several notable locally owned restaurants that have sprouted up, and flourished in the last few years. The Creole is one of them with its sophisticated and nuanced voodoo skull logo. It’s a throwback to the eateries you will find in healthy abundance in New Orleans’ famed French Quarter. So, if you looking for that Nawlins’ vibe you’ll find it here but with a Michigan twist. This is our very own “Big Easy,” and it’s just as delicious.
Find things to do in the Lansing area: