Day Three: Sturgis, Mich. to Jackson, Mich.


Initially, today was going to be a one-burger day. My planned stop was Jeannie’s Diner in Coldwater, Michigan. Adding miles to my route yesterday meant that I got to make a short, 25 mile ride to the restaurant. The “Diner” part of the name isn’t a joke, this is the kind of place with a neon sign over the counter and paper menus tucked into plastic holders. (And yes, there are clip art pictures of a couple menu items.) The Mushroom Burger was great (read more about it below), and the service was good enough that I was left wondering if I was really ready to call it a day.

I didn’t start this trip to only ride 25 miles in a day.

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So, I made some calls, cancelled some reservations, made new ones, and let the Broadway Grille in Marshall, Michigan know I’d be arriving a day earlier than scheduled. Once all those plans were ironed out, another 25 miles on the bike and I was pulling up to the restaurant. This might be the first time I’m noticing a “theme” with burgers on this trip - does anyone have a good name for that kind of burger that has a ton of stuff on it and almost feels like it’s trying to be a whole meal of its own? This was definitely one of those “everything” burgers.

Finishing that giant burger meant I had some energy to burn off, so I didn’t mind the last thirty mile leg to my stop in Jackson. It was my first full day of dining and riding in Michigan and 82 miles later, I’m pretty satisfied with how it turned out! What’s in store for tomorrow? Well, if I can keep this pace up, I might be back in Fort Wayne a lot sooner than I expected.


Swiss Mushroom Burger at Jeannie's Diner in Coldwater, MI.

Overall taste: Four and a half Stars.

If there’s one secret I had when I started this journey, it’s that I’m actually a pretty picky eater. Mushroom Swiss isn’t exactly my idea of a perfect burger, but it’s what the staff at Jeannie’s recommended, so I thought I’d take a chance. Turns out… they were right! Very good burger overall.

Use of Bun: Four and a half Stars.

A mushroom swiss burger requires a bun that can handle the heavy lifting (and moisture) that comes along with all that cheese and mushrooms. This bun didn’t let me down.

Value: Five Stars.

$6.75 for the burger, chips and a pickle spear. Hard to beat that, especially for a burger this good. 

Extras: Four Stars.

Mushroom and swiss is a popular combination for a reason. You know exactly what you’re going to get.

Gram-ability: Three and a half Stars.

Much like the South Side Soda Shop, the most Gram-able thing about this burger is the restaurant. The heavy, old-school plate is a nice touch as well.

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SCOTT'S BBQ BURGER at broadway grille in MARSHALL, MI.

Overall taste: Five Stars

Great burger. Very Similar to the burger at the Gas House but instead of A1, they used BBQ sauce and a Kaiser bun instead of an Onion bun. I’m not sure what to call this kind of “everything but the kitchen sink” burger, but it’s definitely delicious.

Use of Bun: Five Stars

Just like with the mushroom and swiss, this bun has to do some work. Going with the Kaiser bun means it’s more than just utility, though; it’s adding to the taste profile.

Value: Four and a half Stars.

This burger is literally a pile of food. As long as you don’t have a hard rule against paying more than 8 dollars for a hamburger, this definitely feels like a deal.

Extras: Four and a half Stars.

You can’t go wrong with haystack onions, especially when paired with bacon and BBQ sauce. There’s a lot of flavor happening here, but everything manages to stand out on its own.

Gram-ability: Five Stars.

Yes, this burger is overflowing when it comes to add-ons. If that weren’t enough, it arrives held together by a steak knife shoved through it. Would like, would re-gram.

Gavin Saxer