Harbor Country

Road trip today!!!

Dutch Apple pancake and Chiliquiles from Luisa's

Dutch Apple Pancake and Chiliquiles from Luisa’s Cafe

In winter, in the midwest, you never know when you are going to have good weather. Today it was cold but not snowing, so we headed out to Lower/Western Michigan (Harbor Country). Even though the forecast for that area didn’t call for snow, they did have some flurries to add to a holiday feeling.Jon’s absolute best breakfast place in this area of Michigan, is Luisa’s Cafe in Harbert. The cafe and the adjoining Harbert Swedish Bakery are owned/ran by Vivian and her mother. A menu of free range eggs, specially mixed sausage links, a variety of pancakes/waffles are big favorites of ours. But, they also serve an eclectic variety of other fare that would satisfy even the most discerning of visitors. Jon’s favorite is the Dutch Apple Pancake. It takes about 20 minutes to make, but it’s worth the wait. I have tried several different things – the Chiliquiles is excellent, but so was everything else. Of course, we have to take something home for breakfast the next morning and the fruit pastry rolls from the bakery are amazing. It’s difficult to choose between all the breads, pastries, cookies and other things that I can’t even put a name to! Both the cafe and the bakery are very busy during the spring/summer months, and fall/winter are getting that way, as more people find this fantastic little slice of food heaven. Don’t give up, it’s worth waiting for!!!

Fruit butter at Sawyer Garden Center

Fruit butter at Sawyer Garden Center

After an amazing meal, I was ready for some walking and shopping.  Next up, the Sawyer Garden Center in downtown Sawyer, was having their holiday open house. I can spend an hour easily looking around this place. The first time we came here we thought it was just a little fruit market, boy were we wrong. They have everything. There is a food market and nursury but they also have wine, things for the kitchen/yard/garden, Yankee candles, and since it’s the holidays – Christmas trees, ornaments, and poinsettas. These people are so friendly and very helpful. Today we met a lady who owns the Southwestern Michigan Purveyor of Fine Fruit Butters who was giving out samples. I didn’t know there were other flavors besides apple, but oh my there are!

Lake Michigan overlook, St Joe, MI

Lake Michigan overlook, St Joseph, MI

It was still early in the day, so we drove on up to St Joseph and wandered around downtown, which is about 8 blocks of neat little shops and places to eat. There are shops selling cottage furnishings, antiques, clothing, a surf shop, an old fashion 5 & 10, Fuzzy Butts (boutique for your dog), Kilwins (fudge & salt water taffy) and shops selling local artisan works. Today, we met a couple with their 2 Golden Retrievers that were there for an annual holiday parade – The Reindog Parade. Dogs and owners dress up and parade down the brick paved main street. Sounds like fun, so we may have to come back next year and participate!

Beef pot pie from the Stray Dog, New Buffalo, MI

Beef Pot Pie from The Stray Dog, New Buffalo, MI

Given that today’s trip was a 1dayr, we headed back to the south for home, on the Red Arrow Highway. But, we had to stop in New Buffalo for a late lunch of fabulous beef pot pies at The Stray Dog and some Christmas shopping at The Stray Dog Store. We love this place, the food and it’s dog decor! During warmer weather, they open a roof top patio with a wonderful view of the harbor and Lake Michigan.

For us, a 1dayr is never enough! There are so many things to see and do, that we are already planning the next road trip.


One thought on “Harbor Country

  1. Love it!!! Can’t wait to come back soon to see where else you guys have been and what you’ve been up to…I know you will keep us in the loop on the adventures, and especially about the food!! Made me hungry just reading and seeing the great photos. 🙂

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