Quick Review: Jennie-O Turkey Meatballs

Turkey meatballs, pre-made, in the freezer section. Ready in 2-3 minutes after zapping in the microwave.

NOT GOOD. Tasted like spiced wet sawdust. And the outsides were tough so it was hard to cut one in half with the side of a fork.

Recommended alternative: Trader Joe’s Meatless Meatballs.

I picked up the Turkey ones because they come in a bag and you can just pull out what you want. Last night, I made some pasta with marinara and added these in. It was late for dinner and Chris didn’t say anything one way or the other (he did like the smell of the veggies cooking earlier and the smell of my hands later- like onion). But I was disappointed. And slightly wierded out by the external texture.

Even more disappointing, you only get 3 meatballs per serving at 180 calories and 12 grams of fat! Yet somehow this is labeled as “45% less fat than the leading brand.”

TJ’s Meatless meatballs are vegetarian/vegan, have 140 calories for 6 (albeit smaller) meatballs and only 6 grams of fat plus 4 grams of fiber! Admittedly high in sodium though.

Main advantage was accessibility; the Jennie-O are available at Meijer. TJ’s of course, must be bought at TJ’s.

Sawyer’s Gourmet Pancake House

It took me about a week of driving past this little place to figure out the name.  And actually, I didn’t get the name from the front of the building.  Its easy to be distracted by the giant banner proclaiming “World’s Best Blueberry Pancakes.”  I happened to be flipping through City Pulse newsmag and recognized the same claim in an advertisement.

The following Saturday, Chris and I headed down there for brunch, about 12:30.  It was the first warm Saturday of the spring and the restaurant was hopping.  We waited about 40 minutes for a table, thinking this better be worth it.


And it was. Sawyer’s kitchen is stocked with organic and locally grown ingredients.  (Nearly) Everything is made from scratch. Their pancakes are made with organic, stone-ground flours from Michigan’s oldest stone-ground mill.  Eggs are from Eggland’s Best vegetarian-fed chickens.  You can get real Michigan maple syrup for your pancakes. And coffee is free-trade.  Not organic, free-trade or even that good for you but important to us: they carry Coke products.

Since that first visit, I have been back about 4 times. Chris, about 40.  Seems he’s been going there to eat lunch and study several times a week.

My favorite item thus far has been the California Turkey Burger.  You can get the turkey burger a couple of different ways but anything with avocado is going to be towards the top of my list. The restaurant serves breakfast till close and lunch starts at 11 AM. I’m not a huge breakfast eater but I did have a bite of Chris’s omelet this past week and I think I’ll get my own next time.  I’m also constantly tempted by the French Toast.  French Toast is my favorite carb-friendly breakfast but I’m rather particular about the toppings.  French Toast should be topped with powder sugar only.  I’m amazed at the rarity of powder sugared French Toast in restaurants. Maybe its something exclusive to my family or the midwest or???

Sandwiches come with your choice of hashbrowns, home fries, regular fries and sweet potato fries. I’ve had each variety and actually, the hashbrowns were my favorite.  The fries (including sweet potato variety) are good but a little on the softer side.  I like my fries crispy on the outside, soft in the middle. 

Sawyer’s has started barbequeing on the front porch every Friday from 11AM to 3PM.  Even if you don’t make it Friday, you can usually benefit from the leftovers through the weekend. 

The only negative thing I can say about the restaurant is that the kitchen can be very slow sometimes.  For Sunday brunch, I don’t mind waiting but I would be worried about a weekday lunch if my time was tight.

Deets:

Web: http://gourmetpancakehouse.com/
Address: 608 W Saginaw St, Lansing MI 48933
Hours: Monday-Friday 6AM-3PM; Sat & Sun 7AM-3PM

Accepts credit cards, totally non-smoking

Get a half-off gift certificate for Sawyer’s from WLNS here.  As of June 20th at 12pm, there were only 14 left!