As the great MC Hammer once said, “Ring the bell, school’s back in.”

MSU starts classes today, and LCC started last week. Your Facebook feed is probably already jammed up with back-to-school photos of your friends’ kids, and it’s not even Labor Day yet. This means the end of summer is nigh. In just a few short months, you’ll be trudging through the snow and avoiding icy patches on the roads. So while it's still warm outside, spend some quality time on one of Greater Lansing’s quality patio spots.

One of the best spots is the patio at East Lansing’s Peanut Barrel. Across the street from MSU’s campus and just a stone’s throw away from a CATA bus stop, this is a prime people watching location. Grab a few friends, order a few Long Islands and enjoy the cast of characters that wander by. Inebriated students trying to remember where their dorm is, baby boomers trying to relive their college days, busking guitarists hoping to bring in some beer money, panhandlers looking for a few quarters to “catch the bus home” — you’ll see it all if you wait long enough.

Peanut Barrel also serves one of the best olive burgers in town. Is it the best? I don’t know; I need to do more research. (You can send your non-tax-deductible donations to City Pulse, c/o Olive Burger Research Fund.) But I will tell you this: Peanut Barrel’s olive “sauce” is no joke. I put sauce in quotation marks because this is a healthy dollop of chopped olives with just enough mayonnaise-y mix to hold it together.

The Mediterranean diet is so hot right now, and I’m going to assume this burger qualifies on the merits of its oliveness. Of course, if you’re really worried about the calories, you can burn them off on the walk back to your car. If you’re like me, you probably parked two miles away on a side street to avoid paying for parking in East Lansing.

The Peanut Barrel

11 a.m.-2 a.m. daily 521 E. Grand Ave., East Lansing (517) 351-0608,

What’s your favorite dish/drink?

Do you have a go-to dish or drink at your favorite local restaurant? We want to know about it. Email your favorite dish/drink and a short explanation about why you love it to, and it may be featured in a future issue. If possible, please send a photo along with your description — a nice smartphone photo is fine. Cheers!

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