My mother is an original country bumpkin. She grew up bouncing around Up North, mostly a combination of Harrison, Clare, and Alma. Harrison was the mainstay, and she now owns a house there where all of us spend a lot of time in the summer. The scenery in Harrison is incredible. Our lake, Arnold Lake, is gorgeous. We have a (thousand-foot-long pontoon) boat that we dink around on, we go to the county fair, we go to Walraven's and Steve's in town to get ice cream and good Amish meat.
The town of Harrison, however, leaves a lot to be desired. Since Mom's childhood the residency has changed and the economic scene boasts a lot of fast food restaurants (not a LOT of them I guess, but more than a town that size warrants), some shifty bars, and quite a few stores of the Family Dollar/Save-A-Lot/Dollar Tree variety. My brother and I frequently bellyache about the lack of a good restaurant. I think I better get rich and open one.
Last week Mom asked me and brother to go up to Harrison with her to check on the house. We did so. We ate at Babe's in Harrison, where I had a patty melt. It was a patty melt. That's all I can offer.
On our way back downstate, we stopped, as we frequently do, at Cops and Doughnuts in Clare. Little brother is a cop. When little brother and SIL got married in August of last year, they made a donation to Thin Blue Line in lieu of offering favors to their wedding guests. It is his favorite cause and he was happy to see a TBL contribution box in Cops and Doughnuts. I, for my part, was happy to see massive sticky buns.
If Harrison leaves something to be desired, Cops and Doughnuts makes up for it in spades. It's only 15ish miles away and is right off the highway. You could also hop across the street for lunch at the Doherty Hotel, which has a kick-ass patty melt and blew me away the last time I was there.
While Mom was paying for our sticky bun, molasses cookie, and brother's Rice Krispie treat (what?!), I chatted with the woman standing next to me. She bought cookies and told me that she would have to get them all the way back to Toledo without eating them in the car. She was coming from her cottage Up North (Bay Harbor? somewhere up there) and always brought cookies back for her family. Sweet.
This sticky bun was incredible. You know how sometimes the sugar will get kind of grainy in a good way and the bread will become crumbly and crystallized? That's the best. That was in full effect here. I gave Mom a few bits of this in exchange for a few bites of her molasses cookie, and I ate the rest of it. I couldn't stop. It was so good. If you're ever in that area, stop by Cops and Doughnuts, get yourself a treat, and check out their kitschy tshirts. It's a great local business and the baked goods are fantastic.