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Wayback Burgers (Lansing)

January 4, 2023

  • 5021 W. Saginaw Highway 
  • Lansing, MI 48917
  • (517) 708-7085
  • Website
  • Menu

Nothing more fun that working a holiday, amirite?

To be fair, I volunteered for this one. The Kalamazoo County schools winter break is kind of dumb this year. They’re still off the week after New Year’s. I took the week between Christmas and New Year’s off so I was home with the kids. J was off Monday, Tuesday the next week but really needed to go in to the office at least one day before working from home the other two.

An opportunity came up to work New Year’s Day. I didn’t really want to do it in the middle of my vacation but it was a way for me to take Wednesday off without having to use a vacation day so J could go to work.

I had to be in Lansing super early. I was there by about 6:30 and finished up work around 2:00. I hadn’t eaten all day so I decided to take the long way back to I-69. Instead of using I-469, I took Saginaw Highway from downtown.

It has been quite a while since I’ve been in that part of town by the Lansing Mall. I assumed there had to be some new food spots since the last time I was there.

I was about to give up when I noticed a burger joint. I couldn’t whip across two lanes to get there to I went up to the Meijer gas station, got gas, then headed back east to grab a burger.

Wayback Burgers is a fast casual burger chain originally known as Jake’s Wayback Burger. There are over 150 locations worldwide but this location on Saginaw Highway near Elmwood Drive in an unincorporated part of Eaton County’s Delta Township known as Waverly is the only location in Michigan.

The restaurant is part of a small strip mall on the corner that is pretty close to the busy Saginaw Highway. There is a row of parking on either side of the lot but the lot feels small. It’s a little tight but there’s plenty of parking.

I knew when I pulled in this building looked familiar. It has been a while….a long while…but J and I ate at a restaurant in this location way back in 2008 when we lived in Lansing. The restaurant then was Turkeyman Deli & Catering. I don’t remember much about the layout of the restaurant then nor did I have an iPhone with a camera (remember those days) to take pictures like I do now. Back then, I just used a digital camera to take pictures of the sign and the outside of the building. Didn’t even take pictures of food then

Wayback Burgers is set up like most fast casual places. There’s an order counter in about the middle of the space with the menu boards behind it. A few Doordash drivers had walked in just before me so as the clerk was finding their deliveries, I had a few seconds to look at the menu.

I did a to-go order so I could get on the road. I assume most of their orders are carry-out or delivery orders but there are a number of tables for dine-in along the wall across from the kitchen. The decor is pretty simple with a solid red wall most of the way up until it turns into a brown color near the top and aluminum chairs giving a sharp contrast.

I put in an order for the Double Bacon burger and a full order of fries. The guy taking my order if I wanted “everything” on it which is the typical lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, ketchup, and mustard. I only did pickles. He asked me three times if I meant just pickles or everything but pickles. I meant just pickles.

It took less than ten minutes for my name to be called and the bag handed over the counter. The cost for the sandwich and fries was about $17. They asked if I wanted to do a combo to include a drink but they have Coke products and I had just bought a Pepsi at the gas station.

I opened the fries as soon as I got to the car. The fries are pretty simple and a full order does include a lot of fries but there’s nothing really special about them. They have several options for loaded fries but that wasn’t going to work too well in the car. The fries were solid and filling. No complaints..just simple.

The Double Bacon burger is a classic double cheese burger with four slices of bacon and American cheese. The burger was juicy, slightly salty and that good fall apart when you take a big beef. The sandwich is pretty simple but simple can be delicious when you use quality ingredients which Wayback Burger appears to do.

Wayback Burger is a pretty solid fast casual burger joint. It’s kind of surprising that a chain this large only has one location in Michigan and it’d kind of hidden away in a shopping center where it’s easy to miss if you’re not paying attention. I caught the sign out of the corner of my eye as I was driving by and I’m glad I did. I had no idea what I was going to do for lunch when I left my job site and this was the perfect find for me.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Frank permalink
    January 5, 2023 10:00 am

    Were those “Bugers” fresh picked?

    • SW Michigan Dining permalink*
      January 6, 2023 2:47 pm

      Yikes. I hope so.

      Corrected the headline.


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