Lansing's a fair sized city, in fact, larger than Ann Arbor. According to the 2010 Census Lansing has 114,297 residents, 464,036 when you consider the entire metropolitan. Similarly, Ann Arbor has 113,934 residents, 334,791 including the surrounding community. Wouldn't population alone warrant some at least some greatness?
And East Lansing is a University town. Not only is MSU enrollment nearly 2X U of M, but it's a land grant college founded on agriculture. Ag is food. Shouldn't they be leading the gastronomic revolution? And Lansing is the State's Capital, arguably the most powerful zip code within the great State of Michigan. Wouldn't that attract lots of elite dining events?
After ranting a bit more, GastroBoy goes on to list several Lansing-area restaurants that are decent, but not great.