Located in downtown East Lansing, the home of Michigan State University, Crunchy's proudly holds the title of "Best Burger in Town." In the 5 years I attended school there, I can honestly say that I was never served a better burger than the 1/2 pound crunchy burger. In fact, I even had a meal plan at Crunchy's. With great burgers, pizza and other bar related food items and beer available by giant mug or by bucket, it made for the perfect college dining experience.
Since the place was opened by original owner, Paul "Crunchy" Gratarolla in 1982, Crunchy's gone through several changes. New ownership, a patio, weekly karaoke and a beer menu beyond light and dark Stroh's but it has kept one thing -- the moniker "Best Burger in Town." Leave it to Burger Conquest to put it to the test.
We started with a "Bucket O’Pizza Nugs" - deep fried pepperoni and cheese in dough, covered with Parmesan and served with dipping sauces. They were very tasty shoe horn into a heart attack. As always, I went cheese burger served medium rare. They over cooked Cara's and Molly's burgers as well as my own and undercooked Lynette's bucket of "Lion Stout Buddys," Crunchy's take on a sliders that have been marinated in their exclusive Lion Stout beer, which is never a good start. But once they righted the wrong, the feasting began.
The burger choices are plentiful at Crunchy's but for me it could only be one, the Famous Crunchy Burger. A simple white bun, wrapped around a delicious and juicy 1/2 ounce piece of hamburger and cheese entered my mouth. It was just as I remembered, tasty, delicious and wonderful. The burger was bigger than the bun but just right. Oh man, if I only lived closer!
The Famous Crunchy burger proved it's the Best in town.
On a recent trip back to East Lansing, Michigan, I decided to stop in and revisit an old friend (read: burger) and catch up on old times. East Lansing is home to Michigan State University which also leads to lot of bars and cheap eats. One of my favorites while attending MSU was The Peanut Barrel. One of the only place in town that not only had a great selection of beers but also an outdoor patio, free peanuts and a well known hamburger, the Papa Joe. MSU providing my formal education and The Peanut Barrel providing part of my burger education, it seems only right that it's featured on Burger Conquest.
With more beers, than food options, it's easy to see that the Barrel is dedicated to a quest. Neither menu has changed much in the 16 years that I have been eating there. I ordered a cheese burger media rare with cheddar and a rye bun (a much tastier option than white.) The rye bun was hearty and delicious, just like I remembered it. But the bread to burger ratio was way more in favor of the former. The burger didn't seem as big as I could recall and it didn't seem as juicy and flavorful as my memory served. Perhaps it's been my worldly burger experience since or maybe the quality has dropped.
If you're in East Lansing, it's a great choice with a great atmosphere and for a low price.
I'm at the CVS on a list minute Xmas Eve run for wine. The place is packed because from 9pm today until Noon on the 26th, there's no liquor sales. With 5 minutes to spare, the teller let's me know she's too young to sell to me. I must be in Michigan!