Arriving in town with woefully empty stomachs after driving in from Marquette, Munising left us hanging. In my travels I’ve always found that when arriving in an unknown town you can easily locate the local mom & pop diner for a decent meal. We were out of luck this time. After circling through town a couple times we ended up at what seemed like the only place open for breakfast: the Dogpatch Restaurant.
I’ve eaten at some odd places over the years; from local dives to dinners with Mickey Mouse at Disney World. The Dogpatch left us speechless. We walked in to discover the place decorated with large character cutouts from the old Lil’ Abner cartoon, which predates even us fortysomethings. With nowhere else to go, we settled into what can be best described as a cheap cafeteria food. We ate in silence, trying to wrap our heads around the concept of this eatery, vowing to find some better options for lunch or dig into our beef jerky and Mountain Dew stash.
Luckily, after much digging around, the rest of our overnight in Munising was filled with good food. Here are the gems we discovered.
Breakfast: Bay Furnace Bagel Co.
The next morning was much more fulfilling; both in flavor and our appetites. The bagel shop across from our hotel proved to be one of the stand outs in this odd town. With a selection of over twenty bagel flavors and local brew from Keweenah Coffee Works, it was hard to go wrong. I ordered up a classic bacon, egg, and cheese bagel on a margherita bagel with a cup of coffee. It was delicious and not a bad value for around $7.
Though mostly set up for carryout, there are a few tables inside. Service was a bit slow since the two people working the counter didn’t have a system worked out, but the orders were correct. Bay Furnace Bagel Co. is open around 6am to 2pm depending on season. In addition to breakfast, they also serve bagel sandwiches, subs, and soup for the lunch crowd.
Lunch: Muldoon’s Pasties
While breakfast blues struck the first day, we knew exactly where we’d head for lunch. Muldoon’s Pasties sits right off highway M46 on the western edge of town in what looks like a pleasant house. For those unfamiliar, the traditional Cornish pasty found throughout Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is a mix typically of beef, potatoes, carrots, and rutabaga wrapped in a pastry crust similar to pie dough. Muldoon’s serves up traditional beef, chicken, veg, and even dessert pasties.
There are covered picnic tables outside and a few small tables on the porch. In addition to pasties, Muldoon’s sells fudge and local souvenirs.
The wait wasn’t long and I ordered a beef pasty combo, which came with coleslaw, gravy, and a can of pop for around $9. I can honestly say these are the best pasties I’ve had from both the UP and my local shop. The filling was perfectly seasoned and the crust was not dry at all. I considered coming abck for dinner, but we had another stop to make.
Dinner: Pictured Rocks Pizza
We scouted out a few options for dinner around town and Pictured Rocks Pizza looked the most appealing. Sitting on the corner on M46, this was out second restaurant of the day which looked like a house. Complete with garden paths surrounded by a white picket fence, you feel welcome as soon as you walk in off the street. Inside there are several tables, plus a few outside in the garden area.
The pizzas come in one size, about 10 inch, and are cooked to order in a interesting rotating wood fired oven. There are a huge variety of toppings to choose from or you can order one of their specials. The order counter reminded me of Subway; you tell them what you want and they get it prepped right there. With the wood fired oven the pizza was ready in minutes. We also had a loaf of their fresh garlic bread. Salads and a few pasta dishes are also available.
The pizza was really good. The dough was crispy on the outside, but still nice and chewy, with plenty of fresh toppings. We ate a bit more than needed and I felt like taking a nap in the cool evening air on the front lawn.
Munising is one of the stranger tourist destinations I’ve visited over the years with an equally frustrating food scene. While requiring a bit more searching than usual to find decent food, we were rewarded for our efforts with memorable meals. And, of course, that one cartoonish breakfast we’ll never forget.