Sept. 21 2011 12:00 AM

Broasted birds are served up at Augie’s

Despite appearances to the contrary, giant chickens are not invading Lansing.  

The massive rotating hen atop a free-standing restaurant
marquee at the corner of Cedar Street and Oakland Avenue is not a sign
of the poultry apocalypse. Rather, it heralds a new venue for broasted
chicken in a big way.

Augie’s Broasted Chicken opened Aug. 18,
and owner Anne Ganakas, who operated the Arby’s fast food franchise
formerly housed where Augie’s now sits, says the patented
pressure-cooked broasted style results in a juicer bird that isn’t as
oily as traditional fried chicken.

It is truly hard to tell the difference between broasted
and fried chicken. Just like fried chicken, broasting results in a
crispy batter and steaming hot meat.

Ganakas, who named the new restaurant after Michigan
State University sports radio broadcaster and relative Gus Ganakas,
says her new venture is dedicated to affordable homemade food.  

Instead of relying solely on the broasted concept, as
some restaurants that buy into the trademark do, Ganakas has built
Augie’s with a focus on its own brand, beginning with the giant chicken
marquee out front and continuing through T-shirts and custom-made
posters inside. You’ll also notice the lighting over tables is unique:
It’s styled after chicken coop lights.

A chicken dinner #1 ($5.49) comes with a leg and thigh, two sides and a house baked roll.  The batter Augie’s uses is homemade, lightly seasoned and results in a flaky crust.

The baked beans have a gentle tang, swimming in a sauce
that’s perfect for dipping the flour-dusted roll, and the mashed
potatoes are covered with a buttery gravy.

Family meals range from eight pieces to 24 pieces with large sides and rolls.  Sandwiches,
wraps and salads offer lighter fare. Chicken tenders, chicken wraps,
chicken noodle soup, wings, fried chicken sandwiches — Augie’s is not
the place to go if you want beef. 

A shrimp basket will save those who eschew poultry, and a
salad is sans chicken as well, but outside of the desserts and sides,
it’s all chicken, all the time at Augie’s.

Swagath Indian Cuisine

Trowbridge Road is a little bit tastier these days.  

Swagath Indian Cuisine opened last month in a location directly behind the new Woody’s Oasis restaurant.  The
name might ring a bell — for 10 years, Swagath Foods, next door to the
new restaurant, has been providing area cooks with an array of
ingredients destined for Indian-inspired meals.

Now you can have your curry served hot without the fuss.

Owner Sid Reddy says the Hyderbadi chicken dum biriyani
($11.95) is perhaps the most popular dish at Swagath. A traditional
south Indian meal consisting of chicken, basmati rice and a bevy of
spices is served with a side of raita. Tender, on-the-bone meat
combines with a tasty curry sauce on a bed of basmati. The raita, a
refreshing, yogurt-based sauce with slivers of fresh vegetables and
seasonings, can be mixed in to temper the heat of the curry. 

Other south Indian specialties include snacks such as vada ($3.95) and idli ($3.95). 

An extensive menu includes appetizers, vegetarian and
non-vegetarian entrées, tandoori dishes, seafood, breads, desserts and
more. A daily buffet offers numerous selections every day until 3 p.m.
for those who have difficulty making decisions.

Reddy says an adjacent 80-person banquet room will be opening soon for parties and events.  

Trowbridge Pizza and Pasta

If Indian isn’t your thing, try a pizza pie nearby. In
the former Woody’s Oasis location in the Trowbridge Plaza you’ll find
Trowbridge Pizza and Pasta.

The owners of Woody’s, a longtime East Lansing
destination for Mediterranean fare, opened a Sicilian-inspired eatery
late last month. (Woody’s fans will be pleased that those green and
cream checkerboard tables have been put back to use in East Lansing’s
newest eatery.)

Daily specialty pizzas like the chicken kabob ($14.50
large) should set Trowbridge Pizza and Pasta apart. Other unique pizzas
include the chicken shawarma, the double spicy pepperoni and the kafta
with sliced ground beef, green peppers and onions. 

Specialty pastas are dished up daily, too.  Baked
rigatoni or penne have found their way to the specialty board recently,
while spaghetti ($5.49 large) and lasagna ($7.49 meat or veggie) are
always available. 

Salads and breads (garlic and cheese) round out the menu along with blueberry, peach, apple and cherry dessert pizzas.

Augie’s Broasted Chicken 

500 E. Oakland Ave., Lansing  11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Monday-Sunday. 

(517) 487-5154

TO, WiFi, OM, $$

Swagath Indian Cuisine

 1060 Trowbridge Road Suite 3,

East Lansing

11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday; closed Monday.  (517) 336-0700.  TO, WiFi, OM, $$$

Trowbridge Pizza and Pasta

970 Trowbridge Road, East Lansing

 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday.  (517) 203-5140.

TO, P, WiFi, $$