She ate


I am not a parent to whom parenting comes naturally. I do a lot of research, read a lot of books and follow a lot of experts in their respective fields on Instagram. One common thread throughout all parenting accounts is that social media is the downfall of civilization, a point with which I tend to agree. Mr. She Ate and I firmly understand that the longer we can keep our kids off social media, the better. For me, that means no phone. And while they’re still very young, I want to help them discover sports and other activities that they like so they don’t feel that pull toward holing up in their room on TikTok quite so strongly.

This is what I, a parent for all of six years, tell myself. But I recognize how little I know. Anyway, we keep the kids busy. Each of them participates in four different activities, and they’re in school full time. The secret sauce in the Lawrence Family Circus is two-fold: a mother-in-law who is extremely helpful and lives around the corner, and meal planning. If I know that dinner is in the Crock-Pot, or leftovers are in the fridge, it does wonders for the rest of the day going as (meticulously) planned.

For almost a week, I tried to order takeout from 4 Tha Soul. I called repeatedly, checked its Facebook page, sent Facebook messages, tried to place an online order and even physically went to the building to see if the lights were on, or at the very least if a sign was posted. I never received a response. As the parent of those abovementioned young kids, I completely understand that emergencies happen. But as someone who works in a client-focused position, I also understand that if I shut down for several days with absolutely no method of communicating it to my clients, I will lose business.

While I’m frustrated that I’d planned to eat at 4 Tha Soul several times and was forced to keep changing the plan at the last minute because it created chaos for my family, I’m more frustrated that this isn’t the first time I’ve encountered similar business practices. I do my best to keep my dollars local and support Lansing businesses, but I literally cannot give you my money if you aren’t open.

On our one visit to 4 Tha Soul for takeout, Mr. She Ate was celebrating a successful half-marathon race. He did so with an order of Chicken Alfredo, which was some of the best either of us has ever had. It was absolutely decadent, creamy, well seasoned and just spicy enough, and every time he got up from the table to go water the grass outside or whatever it is he does out there, I took heaping bites from his plate, and we both pretended not to notice. I usually force him to try something different on return restaurant visits, but I wasn’t going to this time because this dish was just too good.

I chose the lamb chops, one of my all-time favorites. When you order, you’re able to choose from four sauces: teriyaki, zip sauce, garlic Parmesan or garlic butter cream. I chose garlic Parmesan and drove home as deliberately as possible because the aroma was tantalizing. After a deep dive into the restaurant’s Facebook page, I expected to see lamb chop lollipops when I opened the box, but my chops were decidedly not that eater-friendly. I believe they were sirloin chops, and they were miserably under-trimmed. The sauce was good, but it couldn’t save the gristle that I stood no chance of being able to gnaw through.

I chose a side item of macaroni and cheese and was met with a classic restaurant mac, where diners are lulled into a false sense of deliciousness because it’s creamy and cheesy, while in actuality it completely lacks flavor.

I wanted to try the Cobb Salad. I wanted to try the Bacon, Cheese and Chipotle Ranch Giant Baked Potato. I still might because I travel to South Cedar Street several times a month for Ingham County Board of Commissioners meetings. The prerequisite, of course, is that it’s open for business.



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