A new diner has set up shop on Grand River Avenue, serving feel good brunch burritos, smoked meats and broasted chicken.
Co-owners Mark Taylor and Devin Fidler opened Fidler’s on the Grand in Mid-August, but the cozy diner decor makes it feel like an established community mainstay.
“We really love what we do and you can taste it,” Taylor said. “We want to make it a feel good spot, and provide quality food somewhat unique and different from what you’d find in Lansing.”
The restaurant is a family business. “This isn’t so much of a focus on making a living, but making a life. Our partners are intimately involved in working in the restaurant. My wife and kids come in, wait on tables and work with customers.”
As Fidler’s becomes more established, it wants to be able to know customers on a first name basis, Taylor added. “It is not just an experience of a meal, but an ambiance and atmosphere.”
Running the food side of things and being the namesake of the restaurant, Fidler said opening up a restaurant was a dream since childhood.
The methodology behind the fare of Fidler’s on the Grand is simple.
“If it tastes good, it goes out. If it doesn't taste good, throw it out. If customers are going to spend money on something, we have to make it taste good,” Fidler said.
There are three dishes Fidler said are his signatures: the Jamestown loaded barbecue sandwich, breakfast tacos with housemade sauce and the chorizo burrito. “You can’t go wrong with those.”
Everything is made cooked to order and the customer can tweak any menu items to their preference, Taylor said.
“Many of our conversations are about offering a quality product at a reasonable price to this side of the community,” he said. “Our portions are generous and our quality of food is better than the standard diner items because we make it fresh.”
Fidler’s does their smoked meats a little differently than other barbecue joints.
The time consuming process of slow cooking pork and brisket is the same, but Fidler’s tries to ease off on a heavy smoker flavor, Taylor said. “We compliment the flavor profile, rather than hijack it — providing a smokiness that doesn’t overpower the meat.”
A diner essential, quality coffee is not ignored. There is a full coffee bar with fresh ground Biggby Coffee with customers able to choose different mugs.
Carry out orders are also marked down 10 percent as a means of encouraging grab and go customers, Taylor said. “They not only get a home cooked meal, but we are able to cultivate an untapped market on this side of town.”
Some chefs may look to recipes, and others may look to ingredients set out before them to create dishes. In Fidler’s case, he uses his intuition.
“I can taste what I’m envisioning in my head, then I set out to match it in reality.”
Fidler’s on the Grand
Tuesday to Sunday, 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. 4805 N. Grand River Ave., Lansing www.facebook.com/ fidlersonthegrand