My first spot in the East Lansing area to try was Hopcat, located on the corner of Grove and Albert. This restaurant, known for its burgers and having over 100 beers on tap, is fairly well-known around campus, but I had not yet had the pleasure of dining there besides just getting a beer with friends. I finally went with a couple roommates to see what the hype was about.
The decor and lighting of the restaurant was dark. Metal lined the walls and the enormous wrap-around bar had LED lights wrapped around, emphasizing the diverse beer selection. The beer list was the same size as the food menu and was double-sided. I had an Evil-Czech General George Patton Pilsner, which I loved. It had a light body with a smooth, hoppy taste. I love hops, so I thought this beer would be a good beginner’s beer if somebody is trying less fruity beers. I’m confident in saying that Hopcat has a beer for everybody.
The burger was delicious. I got the olive burger, which had chopped greens olives, blue cheese, swiss cheese, and Thousand Island dressing on it. It was very decadent, and I couldn’t finish the entire thing, but in that moment, I swear I was in burger heaven. Besides the burger, however, I had to try the famous crack fries. Crack fries are fries that have a special blend of seasonings on them – nobody knows the exact combination of seasonings, of course. These fries, although they were pretty salty, were amazing. My roommate told me to get a side of beer cheese to dip them in. I’m telling you, it was a religious experience. Every time I visit Hopcat from now on, even if it’s just to get drinks, I’m going to order crack fries. They are the most aptly named item on the menu.
Ratings for Hopcat (out of 5):
1. Flavor: 4 I cannot get those crack fries out of my head, but while the burger was delicious, I didn’t find it remarkable.
2. Price: 4 For my meal, I paid under $14 for my entire meal of a pint of beer, a 1/2 pound burger, and a sizeable side of crack fries with dipping cheese. For the quality of the food and beer, I think the price is extremely reasonable.
3. Selection/Menu: 5 I’m going to give the selection a high score of 5 because of the diverse beer menu and their food options. Despite the menu containing normal bar fare food, the ingredients in the items weren’t ordinary.
4. Ambiance: 4 The ambiance of Hopcat was that of a hip, sexy bar. Especially because I went at night, the mood lighting was dark and highlighted the decor of the restaurant. The metal sheet walls and simple artwork made it seem like I was in a more urban city than East Lansing.
Overall, if you’re in the Lansing/East Lansing area, I would highly recommend visiting Hopcat – especially if you are of drinking age. It’s the perfect place to have a drink and a quality, very filling meal for a good price.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/69843317@N00/4551323846″>Sonja’s pub burger</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>