Lunch Stop on Highway 31
When in Michigan, you have to embrace the cherries! Don and I did last July, when we stopped for lunch at The Cherry Hut!
Welcome to The Hut
The exterior was pretty welcoming with red house, green lawn and white picket fence. But the smiling Cherry Jerry face on the sign, was even more so!
When we headed inside, we spotted lots of smiling Jerry's on the jar labels, behind the counter. There were shelves of cherry jams and sauces, cherry candy and popcorn and even cherry dog treats!
Don and I were actually meeting up with my sister and sister-in-law. They had arrived before and grabbed a cute corner table. Jennifer and Kate humored me with some playful, menu posing.
None of us had eaten at Cherry Hut, before, but we were already fans. For a number of years, gifts with smiling Jerry labels have come our way... thanks to my brother and sister-in-law. That very morning, we had come from their home on Lake Michigan. A sibling reunion... with lots of cherries!
Homey and Red
I quickly took in my surroundings and decided I was in diner heaven.
I loved my cup and saucer and coffee carafe. Even the paper placemat with cardinal, had a vintage style to it. The placemat told me that the Cherry Hut had been around nearly 100 years!
I almost expected to get crayons with my smiling menu, but then I remembered where I was. You don't have to be a kid to smile about cherries!
Cherry Hut History
There was a large booklet on the table that gave us lots of history about the Kraker Family and their sweet business. The "hut" began as a way to sell pies and other products from their orchards. They moved to the current location in 1937.
The book was packed with history, but mostly I enjoyed the photos. Everything about this one, was retro fun. The hut, with awning and window... the smiling jam selling gals in their aprons...
Our Apron-wearing Server
I was tempted to ask if our server would mind posing with some jam, in a photo. I decided that would just sound weird.
I did snap a photo, to show that the uniforms haven't changed much. These photos also share a blurry glimpse of the booths and cherry wallpaper. The dining area was packed, just a while later.
I ordered the Cherry Chicken Salad, which came with fruit and a cherry muffin. It was all so yummy, I felt like I was having dessert for lunch! My only complaint (which I kept to myself) was about my plate.
I wanted a retro china plate, like the one that held Kate's muffin. Don didn't have a Cherry Jerry face on his plate, but he did have a Maraschino cherry garnish, with his chicken tenders! I think the sauce was cherry flavored, as well.
A Cheery, Cherry-filled Restroom
I do appreciate a little restroom surprise with my dining adventures, now and then! I was pretty delighted by the cherry framed mirror and the fresh, red & white flowers. Best of all, the restroom smelled of sweet cherry lotions and soaps... displayed on a delicious little plate!
Before heading out, I made sure to look above the window, to admire the painted wall mural. What a sweet image of what I'm guessing was the Kraker's original roadside Cherry Hut stand. The image with cherry orchards, Lake Michigan, barn and farmhouse, reminded me of so many scenes we'd seen during our Michigan visit. We'd even seen a few roadside stands, selling cherries and other goodies.
Off We Go
Then and Now
As we headed to the car, I noticed a flat building, that stood behind the house-shaped restaurant. I know the 97-year-old business has moved and expanded over the years. Maybe the boxy building was from 1937, before inside dining was added. I left wondering.
The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.