Monday, May 19, 2008

A treasure found between here and there

Clyde's Drive-In in St. Ignace, Mich., has a hand-painted sign on its outer walls that say "Quality since 1949," and the place looks like it may have in the Fifties. Big windows on three sides, a big awning where people can park and be served in their cars (the waitresses don't roller-skate, though, sorry), and a counter where a dozen or so people can sit and watch their hamburgers sizzle on the grill.

Where I'm going can be reached in a number of ways. One way is to drive through the Chicago area; another is to go through Michigan, crossing the Mackinac Bridge along the way. The Michigan route is a little longer, but it is preferable in every other way, topped by stress level. Battle a madcap bunch of maniacs who drive their $40,000 BMWs like they're bumper cars, or cruise through the woods, only occasionally seeing another vehicle, and breathe air free of diesel fumes and steel-mill exhaust?

(Oh yes, or you can submit to a humiliating and unconstitutional search of your person and property, get on a plane, and miss hundreds and thousands of nifty experiences between here and there. Believe me, you'd rather drive.)

Clyde's is one of those treasures along the way. Its quarter-pound hamburger seems to have three times the beef of any other "quarter-pound" hamburger, it's shaped and grilled from scratch, and "the works" is the works. It's a trip back in time and a wonderfully filling meal.

That part of the world is already worth seeing for the mighty Mackinac Bridge, a five-mile-long architectural and engineering marvel. But you know, you can't eat a bridge. Clyde's hamburgers are much more delicious and nourishing. Don't go near St. Ignace without stopping at Clyde's.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous sunni said...

That's one of my favorite places in the world—the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Thank you for enabling a flood of very happy memories!

10:25 AM  

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