True to millennial form, I have a severe addiction to iced coffee, hot yoga, craft beers, and any food that is served on the side of a road. For the longest time, it felt as though the capital city was seriously lagging on the newest foodie trend and I spent many lunch hours daydreaming of faraway cities and food truck meccas. Of course Lansing has The Purple Carrot and El Oasis, but those are more of destination meals for most as The Lansing Principal Shopping Districts has had a ban on food trucks in downtown since 1996. Just as I was starting to think that we would never get more mobile kitchens, the Capital City Food Court officially opened on the corner of Oakland Avenue and Cedar Street in late spring of this year!
The opening of the new foodie haven was slow and started off with very little hoopla as a single brick oven stood in the corner of the otherwise abandoned parking lot. Enter Franki Tignanelli, the owner of Frank’s Wood Fired Brick Oven and the food court’s first tenant. Frank, also known as Detroit Frankie, had an early start in the pizza realm and boasts that his father taught him all he knows about “preparing the best pies on the planet!” Frank’s resume is littered with a myriad of experience and knowledge of all things pizza. And I assure you, his expertise is being put to the test right in our own town! All Frank’s pizzas are handcrafted and made to order (in approximately 3 minutes!) right on the spot. Detroit Frankie serves up custom pizzas five days a week at the court Tuesday- Friday from 11 a.m.- 7 p.m. The oven owner is also available for private parties and catering. For more information and pricing details, go to DetroitFrankie.com
Nick Sinicropi, owner of Good Truckin’ Food and new to the scene, followed in Tignanelli’s footsteps by bringing his business to the happening food spot shortly after its opening. Sinicropi serves up fresh sliders, tacos, wings, hamburgers, sandwiches, fresh cut fries, and much more from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. daily! The truck also prides itself on its weekly specials featuring anything and everything from walking tacos to deep fried oreos! Good Truckin’ Food can also be found at a variety of farmer’s markets in the area when not at the Food Court. Be sure to check out their Facebook page for the latest news and food specials!
Michael O’s Food Truck is located at 536 East Grand River, just east of Old Town and only a few blocks from the Capital City Food Court, and also operates from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Owner Donald Opolski is hoping the food truck culture will soon be booming in Lansing with the opening of the court. Michael O’s serves barbeque, salads, and smoked meats. They also have combos and specials for those craving a step above typical American grub. Michael O’s is known for their knock out combinations such as bacon wrapped bratwursts, bleu cheese burgers, breaded eggplant, and fried green tomato BLTs. The truck can also be found occasionally on the patio at Spiral Dance Club.
With just two current full time spots filled in the Capital City Food Court, business has been steady and received with rave reviews. Approximately 50 different truck owners and cart connoisseur have inquired about opening up shop in the Court. Local area residents are enjoying the simple, al fresco type dining that food trucks allow and many are hoping for an expansion. One thing is for sure; I’m all in! I can’t wait to hear what else moves into the court for all my tasting pleasures! Who knows, maybe the food court opening was just the push I needed to finally open my own truck! ( If anyone can cook, please contact me. I need ALL the help I can get unless the city of Lansing prefers macaroni and muffin bread!)