These potatoes would be good for breakfast!

ice1Grandpa Garth said that as he walked in our door one evening back in the 90s. I don’t even think he said hello first. He was in transit from his cabin at Houghton Lake to his home in Florida and he was spending the night at the Landfill. And. He had stopped for dinner at the legendary Freeway Fritz! Exit 144 (Bridgeport) on the Michigan stretch of the I75 SUV Speedway.

Grandpa Garth was always on the lookout for restaurant deals and he was not shy about doggie-bagging anything he couldn’t finish. Once when we were in Florida, he managed to pay $41 to take something like 11 people out for dinner. And there was a bonus! The Beach Urchins and The Beautiful Renee ordered the only thing on the menu that they thought they could eat, macaroni and cheese. Guess what. It was *not* the old familiar fluorescent orange Kraft stuff. They refused to eat it. Grandpa Garth took it home and ate it for lunch the next day and had a pretty darn good time gloating about it, if I remember accurately. It’s okay. That’s all part of what we loved about Grandpa Garth.

I never ate at Freeway Fritz. It was an offshoot of the famous Zehnder’s in Frankenmuth. It isn’t my favorite kind of food to eat. I mean, I think the food is probably wonderful. It’s comfort food and, actually, I am cooking some comfort food tonight. But I bet Fritz’s fare would be much, much more than I could eat, especially while traveling. I do better eating a minimum amount for long car rides and I don’t usually like to break up a rocket trip to the Great White North by dawdling over a menu waiting for food and checks to come. Sorry. I know I am a b*tch that way. But I have been to Fritz about a gazillion times for gasoline and restrooms and coffee and snacks for kiddos, etc., etc. A convenient, clean, friendly stop.

ice2So, I got up this morning to weather forecasts of all manner of ice-related gloom and doom. I was out walking before dawn and ice started coming out of the sky and by the time I got back to the cabin, I was an icy mess. With a scratchy throat.

We hung around the ice-covered cabin until early afternoon. I was a little nervous about how the freeway would be but only our little backwater road was icy. The main roads were fine and so was the freeway. And then. We were looking for gasoline and a place to switch drivers. Let’s stop at Freeway Fritz. Yeah, okay. Until we pulled up. Um, this place does not look like it’s open!??!! And it wasn’t. It closed in October, a victim of several converging situations that, along with the faltering economy in this beautiful Great Lake State, pushed it over the edge. Goodbye Fritz, we will miss you!


3 Responses to “These potatoes would be good for breakfast!”

  1. Kathy Farnell Says:

    Sally and Bernie (who happen to live in Bridgeport) discovered that Freeway Fritz had closed the same way that you did-by pulling into the parking lot and discovering that it was closed. Bernie actually worked there for a while when he was in High School. I wonder if he ever served Garth on his way through town. Anyhow, you can always visit Zhenders if you feel like having chicken cooked the Frankenmuth way.

  2. l4827 Says:

    The Exit restaurant at exit 136 in Birch Run (convenient name, eh) is fast and has good hot turkey sandwiches. However, we usually don’t top at a sit down place either, on the way up.

  3. Margaret Says:

    That’s a shame when places that are part of our history go out of bueiness. It’s happening a lot these days. That ice looks beautiful but SCARY!