I love getting sent to Lansing for work. If there’s time, it means dinner on the company, so I try to make time.
This past Thursday, I had a solo trip to the capital and a couple of pretty easy tasks. I decided to leave early with the intention of seeking out a new BBQ joint I heard about a couple of weeks ago.
I arrived in Lansing about an hour and a half before I needed to be, so I headed towards downtown to find Saddleback BBQ a few miles away in Lansing’s REO Town . The small BBQ joint is on the corner of Washington Avenue and South Street right across the street from the Board of Water and Light Headquarters. I was actually familiar with this location once I pulled up and saw where it was. The BBQ joint is in what used to be the pizzeria side of Izzo’s Pub & Pizzeria. Both are the Pub and the Pizzeria are gone now. The pub has turned in to REO Town Pub and the BBQ joint took over the pizzeria. The last business to actually occupy the space was Vintage Café which closed in January of this year…..but that happened well after we left Lansing. I really don’t know what happened in between the pizzeria and the café….not that it really matters.
Saddleback BBQ is an order at the counter restaurant with closing hours that end in “-ish”
It’s one of those places, if they have food, they stay open…if not, they close.
The menu is posted above the small order counter. It consists of the BBQ favorites…brisket, pork, baby back ribs, and chicken…most of the time. The menu board changes daily based on what they have ready from the smoker. They day I was in, they didn’t have any pulled chicken which really didn’t matter to me…that would have been my last choice. On Wednesday’s, they also do chicken wings plus they have a handful of sides to choose from to go with either the meat selections or sandwiches.
I scanned the menu…almost just order the brisket like I’ve been doing recently at BBQ joints, but changed my mind and went with my old favorite….the Smoked Pork Sandwich.
Man, this is good BBQ. The sandwich is served on a Detroit made Hawaiian bun and it comes topped with a hose made slaw. I didn’t read far enough to catch the slaw before ordering, but I grabbed a fork and slid most of it off. I was still left with a moist, smoky pork sandwich that I accented with just a little bit of their sweet and spicy BBQ sauce that they have in old liquor bottles. I wasn’t really in a hurry, but I caught myself scarfing down this sandwich like I was. It was so good I didn’t want to put it down.
For my side, I opted for the Fresh Cut Fries…and it was a good choice. The fries are a little greasy, very crispy, and a delicious vehicle to soak up more of the delicious sauce I was using on the sandwich.
The cost for my meal was right around $10 and it took less than five minutes for it to be plated up and brought out to me. My only complaint about Saddleback BBQ was the soundtrack they chose to play in the store. They were playing a lot of music that wasn’t censored, so yes, there were several F-bombs heard while I was eating dinner. Truthfully, it doesn’t bother me, but I know how people get about profanity and it seemed like an odd choice of music to play in the dining room.
Other than that, I loved Saddleback BBQ. Whenever we go to downtown Lansing, dinner is always tricky. Saddleback is just a short drive from the downtown spots we visit most and I grabbed enough menus so my colleagues will know about this place when they travel that way as well. I always complained about the lack of good BBQ when J and I lived in Lansing and now this is the second fantastic place I’ve been to since we moved away five years ago.