2023 Michigan Road Trip
Detroit, Michigan & north toward Mackinaw City

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Mini Mackinac Bridge at Clare Welcome Center
Duly's Place Coney Island - Detroit, Michigan
Duly's Place Coney Island on Vernor Highway

Saturday - Day 3 (July 15, 2023)

Greenfield Inn offers a nice complimentary breakfast, but I hadn't been to Detroit, Michigan for 10 or more years and wanted a classic Coney for breakfast. I used to be a big fan of Lafayette Coney Island which opened in 1924 next to American Coney Island (1917), but had been told it wasn't quite the same experience as it used to be. Also, Lafayette is no longer open 24 hours and didn't open until 9AM, so I went to a place I've never tried before, Duly's Place Coney Island, which opened in 1921.

It is a long narrow restaurant with just a dine in counter most of its length and 3 small tables at the back. Looking at photos on the wall, I learned that the late Anthony Bourdain visited Duly's for Parts Unknown: Season 2, Episode 8.

When I arrived a little before 8AM, I almost had the restaurant to myself, but the counter seats quickly filled up. It looked like everyone else was getting a conventional breakfast, but I ordered a coney and chili fries. The all meat, bean less chili sauce and natural casing hot dog were right on. The coney cost only $2.65 and chili fries were $4.50. I would have liked more onion on the coney, but it was still a treat and the sauce made the otherwise plain fries just right as well. It took me back 40 years to when I lived and worked in Detroit.

Duly's Place Coney Island
Duly's Place Coney Island is open 24/7 and serves breakfast or Coney Islands at any time.

Coney and chili fries at Duly's Place Coney Island
Coney Island with everything (onion & mustard) and chili fries

Duly's Place Coney Island Menu - Detroit, Michigan
Duly's Place Menu - July 14, 2023

Anthony Bourdain dining at Duly's Place Coney Island in 2013

Back at Greenfield Inn in Allen Park, I joined Linda while she had breakfast at the hotel buffet, which was both a nicer setting and better food than most breakfasts included at hotels.

Greenfield Inn breakfast buffet in Allen Park, Michigan
Greenfield Inn breakfast buffet

It was slightly drizzly as we approached Greenfield Village in Dearborn, but not enough to make me raise my umbrella until the end of our 3 hour visit when the rain finally came down fairly hard. The staff kept telling us that it was the perfect day to be there, as there was no crowd. I hadn't been to the Village in nearly 40 years and Linda had never been there before. It is still very cool, but I learned that many of the things which I thought were original when I was there in the 70s & 80s are reconstructions.

I particularly enjoyed the Liberty Craftworks where artisans explained several types of crafts, while in some cases others demonstrated. We saw glass blowers making Christmas ornaments which looked much like ones which were being made at Franklin Park Conservatory the day before.

Loranger Gristmill and pond at Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan
  Loranger Gristmill and pond originally built around 1832 in Monroe, Michigan

Timber Frame Loom - Greenfield Village
Early 19th Century Timber Frame Loom

Model T Ford ride at Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan
Linda and I taking a ride in a vintage Model T Ford

Wright brothers' home and cycle shop - Greenfield Village in Dearborn
Wright brothers' home and cycle shop relocated from Dayton, Ohio

On our way out of the Detroit area, we stopped for a quickly lunch in Novi, Michigan. It is an area I was very familiar with when living in Farmington Hills 40 years ago, but looks totally unfamiliar today. We stopped at 11/11 Burgers & Fries. We ordered a Gyro Sandwich and a Grilled Onion Burger plus onion rings. We could hardly believe how much food it was when it came out. As we neared the end of our meal, the manager also brought out half an elephant ear with chocolate sauce.

Gyro Sandwich and Grilled Onion Burger
Gyro Sandwich and Grilled Onion Burger at 11/11 Burgers & Fries

We made a slight detour on the way north, to stop at the Clare Welcome Center where there is a replica Mackinac Bridge (photo at the top of this page) and where I had been told there was a memorial to Mackinac Bridge workers who died at work. It turns out that the Employee Memorial is a permanent tribute to highway workers all over Michigan who lost their lives along highways and bridges.

The Mini Mac was built by welding students from Mark Jewell's High School in 2008 and rescued, repaired & restored by other welding students in 2018.

Michigan Transportation Employees Memorial - Clare Welcome Center
Michigan Transportation Employees Memorial

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copyright 2023 by Keith Stokes.