Back in the late 1970's, a bunch of friends and I were camping out in what then was the boonies of Southeast lower Michigan and stopped in to the local restaurant in the town of Perry ... Er, the only restaurant in the town of Perry. Well, ok, it was the only restaurant and the only gas station ... uh ... and the only boot shop in the town of Perry. (you get the picture).
About 8 of us walked in out of the dirt parking lot into the sprawling wood-framed building, admired the western boots for a moment, and then stood in the doorway of the dining room for 3 or 4 minutes.
Eventually, the waitress stopped the conversation she was having with a couple enormous farmer-looking gentlemen, probably in their late 80's, and noticing us, pointed to a large table that had no chairs at it and hollered "well, don't just stand there ... grab some of them chairs over there and pull'em up to that table". We promptly obeyed.
After looking at the menus for a few minutes, she came over to take our order.
The friend to my right ordered eggs. "Don't get the eggs" the waitress said.
Ookay then ... he ordered a sandwich instead.
It was my turn and I ordered (tentatively) pancakes.
"Don't order the pancakes" she said ... "Alright" I said; then in a flash of brilliance I asked "What do you recommend?".
She replied "get the cinnamon bun".
"Okay" I said, "I'll have the cinnamon bun".
As well, most of the rest of the table ordered the cinnamon bun.
The cinnamon buns that came to the table were absolutely incredible.
First, they were enormous; probably 4 inches tall and 9 inches in either direction ... and absolutely dripping with icing which looked to be applied in two layers: first right from the oven, and then more applied to the top and browned slightly under the flame in a second layer. The bun was tender and yeasty and fragrant and pulled apart in thick, buttery cinnamon streusel-like layers ... it was the most incredible cinnamon bun any of us had ever had ... and the best I have ever had to this day.
Perry, Michigan now has a Mcdonalds and a Burger King (that stands on the site of that old backroads truck-stop); other restaurants and gas stations, and lots of other "stuff" ... It's a shame. I'm sure nowheres in that town can you get anything as good as that cinnamon bun.
It saddens me, I'll never taste those cinnamon buns again ... but there is one thing I did manage to take with me ... that's the lesson to always ask the waitress what she recommends.