The Delicious Food from a Town Called Standish

Posted: July 11, 2012 in Burgers, Randomness
Tags: , , , ,

Original Bacon Double Cheeseburger from A&W Restaurant – Standish, Mich.

June 10, 2012

Smothered Chicken from Wheeler’s Restaurant – Standish, Mich.

June 15, 2012

Just when you think you are driving to the middle of nowhere, a small town pops up and serves up some exquisite food. This always occurs when I head up through the rustic countryside of Northern Michigan, and especially the uneventful town of Standish situated by the Saginaw Bay. I am not quite sure if there is anything that makes Standish famous, with the exception that it was one of the final towns considered to house inmates from Guantanamo Bay. It really does have a unique flair.

During my annual trip this summer, a must on the small list of things to do was frequent the A&W Restaurant. I have been coming to this unique establishment since the 1980s, and each year I discover it never changes. The drive-thru resembles that of a Sonic, while inside, each table has a phone connected to the kitchen and you place your order through that fascinating device.

A first-time visitor needs to acquire the Original Bacon Double Cheeseburger with a tall A&W root beer. It honestly does not differ from any standard bacon cheeseburger, but being in a car for a few hours easily makes the mouth water for virtually anything. And this burger will go down easy with help from simple French fries and a tasty root beer.

After camping for a week, I returned to Standish a few days later and this time tried a new adventure, also known as Wheeler’s Restaurant. An enjoyable staple in the local community for years, Wheeler’s provides a hometown feel and a home-cooked meal. Parking in the back and the entrance in the front, it contains a small bar on the left and a few tables arranged randomly with a salad and soup bar in the middle. The distinctive items were old photos of Wheeler’s and Standish spread out on the walls, along with a weird fireplace-looking thing in the back. And most of the menu items were pretty cheap.

Hungry as hell, I surprisingly took advantage of the free soup and gobbled up some chicken noodle and potato soup. The first indulgence tasted as though the chicken was chopped up that morning – very warm and cuddly. For the main dish, I requested a plate of smothered chicken and a side of fries. When it arrived, I found myself sitting with two chicken breasts covered with bacon and melted cheese. Although the chicken was not the juiciest in the world, my stomach ached with joy when it experienced the unhealthy mix of flavors. For the price, ambiance and service, I loved it.

Wheeler’s proved a point during that trip. And that point is how the best food experiences almost always take place where you least expect them.

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