Fork in the Road is a new Lansing favorite, its name creatively originated from its location just west of downtown at the split of eastbound Saginaw and westbound Oakland. The artisan diner is passionately focused on insanely fresh, seasonal and locally-sourced ingredient dishes that at times appear as much art as sustenance. The owners can be found most times in the kitchen, innovating unique dishes that offer some original and pleasing flavors and textures. I visited the diner with a guest reviewer, a Michigan senator and close friend, and we were both pleased with the original dishes.
Our first dish was the Butternut Squash soup. The base of local squash and cream tasted fresh and slightly sweet and had a smooth, velvety texture. Garnished with locally-sourced chèvre goat chese (Greenbush Farms, St. Johns), Sage (Michigan Fine Herbs, Shelbyville) and almonds, the blend of flavors and presentation was excellent.
Next, we were served a house-fashioned remix of the classic tator tot. Local potatoes (Visser Farms, Zeeland) are shredded and formed into tots with taragon and just enough cayenne to warm the palate. Served with hollandaise sause and garnished with white cheddar curds and chives, we appreciated every bit. In fact, I nearly forgot to take the picture as we dove right in (indeed, there are a few tots missing from the shot!).
After the tots, we sampled the Ravioli. Not your typical ravioli, the house-made pasta pouches are served with braised beef cheek, clamshell mushrooms, arugula greens, sage derby cheese and black walnuts and drizzled with a bechamel white sauce (all locally-sourced). We were surprised when we were told of the egg yolk hidden within the middle ravioli, designed to add a burst of flavor and texture. It was my first egg-yolk/ravioli experience but I found that my reservations were unfounded and that it added a lot to the dish. My friend encouraged me to make sure I got a bite with the black walnut as its unique flavor combination added a lot. I agreed!
Lastly, we were served the house specialty Banana Cake. Shamefully, I have to admit I forgot to take the picture as it didn’t take but a few seconds for my fork to hit the tall, fluffy dessert. Filled with morsels of chocolate and walnuts and served with complements of banana fudge praline gelato, house-made peanut butter fluff and bananas on the side, it was delightful. Despite being stuffed and satisfied, we finished every last bite.
Below is a list of many of the local farms and producers that Fork in the Road sources ingredients from.
The atmosphere is casual, relaxed and comfortable. The place is small and usually packed at lunch and dinner times so come early or be prepared for a little patience, which will certainly be worth it. Come with an open mind and stomach and be ready to experience some excellent, unique, flavorful works of food art!
2010 West Saginaw Street Lansing, MI 48915