"" Writer's Wanderings: Mackinac to St. Ignace - The Funky Breakfast Place

Monday, November 09, 2020

Mackinac to St. Ignace - The Funky Breakfast Place

 It was time to leave Mackinac Island. We were ready. The weather was definitely turning cold but at least we were happy to find that the wind had eased up for our ferry ride back to St. Ignace on the mainland. There were not a lot of good choices for breakfast on Mackinac partly because it was the end of the season and I'm guessing COVID maybe had something to do with it as well. So, we decided to hold off on breakfast and find a place in St. Ignace after our early morning ferry ride. 

Bob had done a little googling and found a place with a menu that totally outdid any breakfast menu I've ever seen. Granted, a lot of it was variations on pancakes and omelets but it sure looked good to us and it was just up the road from Shepler's ferry dock.

We collected our luggage from the ferry and started off to find Java Joe's--even the name was promising a good cup of coffee. What we found made me laugh at first. It was a tiny shack-like operation that was painted in outrageous colors and designs and motifs. If I had to categorize it, I'd say it was out of the early sixties.

It was just as small on the inside as it appeared outside and maybe even a bit smaller since the tables all had clear plastic shower curtains separating them because of the COVID restrictions. Now that I think of it, it kind of reminds me of some of the places we've been to in the Florida Keys. The floor was painted brightly and all sorts of interesting things hung on the walls. I couldn't explore a whole lot because, well, it was small and of course there was that COVID thing that deterred you from getting close to others.

The menu was in a newspaper format about the size of a neighborhood newspaper and one whole page was nothing but the menu. There were so many choices of pancakes that I had a hard time deciding but finally settled on banana nut pancakes which turned out to be absolutely wonderful. Bob settled on eggs and corn beef hash but was a little disappointed that the hash appeared to be from a can. 

The newspaper contains a story of Java Joe, a family legend which looks a bit suspicious in the telling of it. If you click on the picture and enlarge it a bit you can read the legend.

The other very interesting article was Java Joe's Five Day Road Trip. I had already decided that if we ever came back we needed to explore the mainland area around St. Ignace. Here was an outline for that very thing!

1. In St. Ignace go to Castle Rock, Deer Ranch and Mystery Spot.

2. Take Highway 2 west to Fayette State Park, an old mining town set on a natural harbor. Also see Kitch-iti-kipi, a large spring as well as Garlyn Zoo.

3. A day at Mackinac Island.

4. Whitefish Point Lighthouse and Museum on Lake Superior followed by Tahquamenon Falls and Oswald Bear Park.

5. Cross the bridge from St. Ignace and take the first exit to Fort Michlimackinac and in Mackinaw City see the Lighthouse and Museum and historic Mill Creek. 

Don't know if I would see it all but it would be worth looking into. Not to mention, it would be a chance to try all those other pancakes!

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