Don’s Windmill Restaurant & Truckstop

It really drives me crazy when people go on and on about how hungry they are but then can’t contribute an idea towards what to have for dinner. The only thing more irritating is when these same people have zero opinion about any suggestions. Nope, one more thing that breaks the levee of annoying: has no opinion, suggests nothing then complains about the final choice.

Fortunately tonight, I only had to deal with level one annoying. Chris said I had to pick, he had no ideas despite the fact that he was looking at a bunch of Lansing-area food blogs I had mentioned to him. In a game of 20 questions, I narrowed it down to “not the usual” “not expensive” “close” “not sushi.” I started mentally driving down Saginaw Highway and nothing appealed to me other than sushi and well, see above. So then I started thinking about places a little farther out- to the west: Grand Ledge, to the east: Falsettas/Casa Nova and to the south: Don’s Truckstop.

So I asked, wanna go to a truckstop? I don’t think Chris knew how to respond at first. Soon enough we were walking in the door of Don’s. I first discovered Don’s when I returned to Lansing 2 years ago for work. I used to drive by all the time as I was living out in the boonies for the first 6 months. At some point, probably during one of my then-neighbors raucous parties, I took refuge in Don’s 24 hour restaurant. At some later point, my mom and I ended up there for a night owl strawberry shortcake.

Then I moved in to town and never went out that way. So tonight was the first time I’d been in there in probably a year. There were a bunch of Amish people eating dinner and oddly, I’m pretty sure that was true the last time too.

Since they serve Pepsi products, Chris went for a chocolate milkshake and I stuck with water. I knew exactly what I wanted: the turkey club. Chris considered a BBQ sandwich but on the recommendation of the waitress went for a roast beef and cheese sandwich instead. Both were served with coleslaw and fries, mine with a side of ranch dressing. Hey, if you are going to eat in a truck stop, you may as well go all out; that’s my philosophy anyhow.

Their coleslaw is a little on the sweet side in my opinion but I still eat it. The fries came out hot and crispy and my sandwich was exactly what I wanted and what I expected: tasty turkey, real bacon and too big to eat in one sitting. Guess what I’m having for lunch tomorrow?

The best things in life are free

Chris was really enjoying his sandwich. Up until the last two or three bites, he was chowing down. When he paused, a slightly green disgusted look on his face, I thought perhaps he’d been eating too fast and started to swallow wrong or something. But in actuality, he’d flipped his sandwich over and noticed a blue-green spot on the bottom bun. MOLD! Just a little spot and no evidence elsewhere on the bread but mold can grow invisible to the human eye long before you see it.

When our waitress came back, we pointed out the offending bun and she quickly snatched back the bill, took the plate and headed to the kitchen. She returned a few minutes later to tell us that the kitchen had covered our whole bill!

I could tell Chris was worried about eating moldy bread and he had a few psychosomatic symptoms on the drive home. Or maybe those were real symptoms of stuffing himself. Honestly, the lost 1/4 of sandwich was probably a good thing for his stomach.

Don’s is a Truckstop, no doubt. Its low frills, kind of smoky and has old phones on the wall for trucker phone calls. The convenience store side has all the things you could need to trick out your semi’s cab. Plus, they have a lounge area and maybe even showers for the long-haul guys. Don’s Windmill is also one of those pieces of Americana that feel like they will be around forever. Don’s has been around for about 50 years. They have some pretty cheesy commercials with a little jingle and a cut-out of the original owner appearing alongside a live family member.

After I took my mom here one night, she had memories of possibly stopping here when were kids driving back and forth to “Grandma in Iowa’s” house.


The mold thing was surprising and disappointing but the way she handled it certainly had a huge effect on our overall impression. I wouldn’t go here on a big date but we will return- we’ll just check the buns out before we eat them next time.

Details

Don’s Windmill Restaurant & Truckstop
Adress: 7262 Lansing Rd., Dimondale, MI 48821
Phone: (517) 646-6752
Website: Couldn’t find one but here’s another blogger’s take on the ambiance and food: MidMichigan Dining.

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