She ate


To give a little background on myself and my co-reviewer, we’ve known each other since approximately 1996, when he was the drum major for the Sexton High School marching band, and I was an eighth grader at Dwight Rich School of the Arts with an older sister at Sexton. We’ve been in each other’s orbit for decades, and I was thrilled to spend almost six years alongside him while we both served on the Lansing School District Board of Education, a calling that’s clearly close to both of our hearts. I now have kids at Post Oak Academy, and he has kids at Eastern High School and Cumberland Elementary School, although our mutual obsession with Sexton remains as strong as ever.

Whenever we can get together, we do. And when the opportunity arose to have a Friday lunch with two of our other favorite former school board colleagues, it was like the stars had aligned, Taylor Swift and Beyoncé both announced free concerts at Adado Riverfront Park, and all student loan debt was forgiven and would never again saddle a student in the United States. In short, a miracle.

Corey’s Lounge was the perfect spot for this lunch. Not only does Corey’s make you feel like a legitimate townie, but the dining room was sparsely populated, meaning the four of us could talk about whatever or whomever we wanted without being overheard. As our dearly departed former school board Treasurer Shirley Rodgers used to say, “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.”

What was on our table, for starters, was the Spicy Feta Dip ($13.95). I used to talk a lot of smack about feta, but I now throw it into veritably every salad I have. Make it spicy and spreadable, and I’m buying. Include mini versions of the Corey’s breadsticks, and I don’t know why you would ever not eat this. It’s creamy, tangy and fabulous.

I carried on with the French dip ($13.95), which was oversized and offered the richness I was looking for. I ate half, then turned my attention to my fries. After living with two kids who could survive on french fries for the last six years, I know what I like and what’s trash. I want them to be crispy. I want them to be seasoned. I know they aren’t going to travel well, so I want to be enticed to eat as many of them as possible in one sitting. The fries at Corey’s check all of these boxes.

My friend had the Reuben ($12.95), and all of us about fell out of our chairs when she proclaimed that there wasn’t enough caraway. Suddenly, everyone was a food critic. However, I took a whiff, and darn it if she wasn’t right. There was something inherently Reubenesque that was missing.

A week later, Mr. She Ate and I ordered pizza and breadsticks for a classic Disney movie night. That week was “Peter Pan,” which, in news that will shock no one, hasn’t aged well. Lots of cringey soft racism, and why does the fully adult Captain Hook want to kill an orphan child anyway? Luckily, I had the breadsticks to distract me. If you’ve never tried them, you must. They’re large and pillowy. They’re doughy, but with a solid mouth feel. I’ve never understood the Corey’s-specific accompaniment of sour cream, but that doesn’t matter. The breadsticks are some of the best in Lansing.

The pizza didn’t blow me away. The toppings were fine, don’t get me wrong, but pizza crust is a blank slate. I would never profess Hungry Howie’s to be anywhere near the top of my list of favorite pizza places, but it does one thing right, and that’s flavored crust. The crust at Corey’s comprises a relatively thick border on the edge of the pizza, and while the texture is fine, it’s virtually flavorless. The addition of garlic butter, oregano, Parmesan or whatever else the restaurant fancies to give it a kick would be welcome.

The food at Corey’s is solidly good. It’s reliable. There are certain standouts and certain quotidian dishes. Corey’s is a hugely important institution in that corridor of the city, not far from where I grew up. If you haven’t been there, or if it’s been a while, grab some friends and head over for a Friday lunch. But if you see me, close your ears.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here

Connect with us