May 18 2011 12:00 AM

The Wild Rose pops up; Downtown Dog House becomes The Boardroom


    That Little Mexican Place needed a little more space. So owner Virginia Valdez and crew packed up their restaurant and moved to south Lansing.

    "We were getting so busy. We didn’t have enough seating, so we had to turn people away," Valdez says. "I don’t like to do that."

    Lunch, especially, became crowded in the small Frandor
    suite where the little-diner-that-does was formerly located. A search
    for new digs ensued, landing the not-so-little-anymore Mexican place at
    5600 S. Pennsylvania Ave. 

    A lunch buffet is new to the location and the menu has
    expanded, too. Valdez says customers have gone crazy over her caldo, a
    stew and soup hybrid loaded with beef and vegetables. Menudo is new,
    too, and pan dulce (Mexican sweet bread) will be coming soon. The
    ever-popular elotes — corn cobs smeared with a mayo cream and sprinkled
    with hot powder—will be back soon as summertime treats.

    Valdez hopes an external renovation will create a
    sun-drenched patio in the near future, and she’s looking onto a liquor
    license, too.  Big changes for a humble taqueria, but necessary changes, says Valdez.

    "I knew if I was going to expand as a business, I would need to have more space," Valdez says. "I just had to jump in." 

    That Little Mexican Place
    5600 S. Pennsylvania Ave., Lansing
    11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-3 a.m. Friday and Saturday; closed Sunday
    (517) 393-7444

    No Dogs allowed

    In downtown Lansing, The Boardroom has relaxation on draft every day.  

    Dan Korrey opened a watering hole for CEOs, law students and average Joes on April 1 and plans to throw a grand opening bash.  Located
    in what used to be the Downtown Dog House, Korrey says The Boardroom is
    a place people can come to relax — during or after work — with a glass
    of scotch or a cold frosty beer from the tap while catching a game on
    one of over a half-dozen big screens.

    Burgers are hand-pattied and char-broiled, Korrey says,
    and an effort is made to keep business local when possible: bread
    products are supplied from Great Harvest, a fellow downtown denizen. The
    rest of the menu is straightforward with sandwiches, salads, chili,
    pizza, and more. 

    Bring a friend or a defibrillator for the Big Daddy Burger: a pound of ground beef with cheese, sauteed onions and Coney sauce.

    Happy hour runs daily from 4-7 p.m. and features drink specials and half-off appetizers.  

    The Boardroom
    107 E. Allegan St.., Lansing
    10:30 a.m.-2 a.m. Monday-Friday; 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Saturday; noon-2 a.m. Sunday
    (517) 316-2312

    Sugar Shack shakeup

    When a sweet tooth attacks at 1 a.m., don’t go looking for the Sugar Shack on Grand River Ave.

    The late-night pastry producer moved east in mid-March.
    Owner Derek Makhoul has relocated his bakery in Frandor, near a hair
    salon owned by his father.  

    Makhoul’s mother, who helps assemble confectionary creations at Sugar Shack, says the move was necessary.

    "It was such a success, we grew out of our space," says Cheryl Makhoul. "This gives us more space."  

    Much remains the same, but Sugar Shack now takes orders for pies with 24-hour notice and occasionally sells pie by the slice.

    Otherwise, brownies and cupcakes — from pineapple cream
    cheese to chocolate sundae with vanilla butter cream frosting with a
    cherry on top — are still ready when cravings hit.

    Sugar Shack
    215 N. Clippert Ave, Lansing
    Summer hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. every day
    (517) 316-2009

    Wild Rose blooms in Old Town

    The Wild Rose Café in Old Town may be new, but chances are, if you’re an Old Town junkie, you know where they’re at:  Think Mama Bear’s.

    At 1224 Turner St., where Mama Bear’s stopped dishing up
    meals late last year, the Wilder family — Phillip, Valerie, Alex and
    Brooke — opened their eatery for business on April 18. Phillip, the
    patriarch, says he and the kinfolk produce home-cooked with a classical
    culinary twist.

    Family recipes are building blocks that complement son Alex’s culinary education and training. Breakfast is served all day.  Burgers, hot dogs, grilled cheese, BLTs and more make up the lunch and dinner menus.

    The Wild Rose will soon be wafting barbecue throughout Old
    Town as it smokes and grills locally sourced beef behind the
    restaurant. Hard to go wrong with pulled pork for dinner, fresh off the

    "Just about everything is homemade," Phillip says. "We try
    to make everything from scratch or at least buy it from a local

    The Wild Rose Cafe
    1224 Turner St., Lansing
    10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday; 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday