Out for lunch with Tori: Shier’s Deli & Catering

Out for lunch with Tori: Shier’s Deli & Catering

In the last few years, I’ve heard a lot about Shier’s Deli & Catering in Midland, especially about their famous cakes. While some readers enjoyed hearing about my trip north in October – including my experience of trying a real northern dough – a couple were reluctant to travel all the way for lunch and suggested I try Shier’s cakes. That suggestion was taken to me, and this week I ventured out to see what Shier’s had to offer.

Shier’s, located at 2218 N. Saginaw Road, offers hot, freshly made cakes from 6 p.m. 11.00-18.00 Wednesdays and 11.00-15.00 Saturdays. If you can not come for lunch at these times, you are still lucky, as the delicacy offers frozen cakes to take home for lunch or dinner.

The young woman behind the counter when she heard my wish for a pastry for lunch offered the choice between beef or chicken. I was amazed, torn between the traditional filling and my personal favorite. I picked the cashier’s brain for a moment – she was very kind to give her own insight – before I decided to go with beef.

As I sat at one of the five red-clad tables in the delicacy, I took note of the subtle hints of Michigan’s proud heritage scattered around the room. In addition to the tradition of cakes, Shier’s Better Made chips – a brand based in Detroit – as well as bags of cinnamon offer Trenary Toast from a bakery in the dead center of the Upper Peninsula.

Customers signed up, some knew about the delicatessen’s cakes, and at least one who was not sure what a pasta was. The staff handled each order calmly and pleasantly and offered their expertise to all guests.

When my pie was delivered, I immediately realized that I would be a fool if I tried to finish it at once. It took me a minute to marvel at the large pile of pastry filled with tasty goodies in front of me. Steam pieces brought an aroma of spice to my nose as I made the first cut. Lumps of potatoes and rutabagas were placed between chunks of carrot, sliced ‚Äč‚Äčonion and minced beef. The crust was fluffy and scaly, a perfect container for the contents.

While the pasta was nicely seasoned and moist enough that any topping was unnecessary, the sauce was still a good addition. I can count on my hand how many times I have eaten cakes and I have not yet perfected how to apply gravy. Do you dip forks of dough in the sauce? Do you drip the sauce on top? I tried both methods and found that the latter was the best way for this particular pasta, but I am open to ideas. Just do not suggest that I go with ketchup instead as I can not stand things.

About half of the pasta and a large portion of gravy were left at the end of lunch. I left Shier’s pleasantly full and look forward to having the rest for dinner.

I have found that one of the best remedies for those cold, sad winter days is a warm, comforting meal. I certainly found that in Shier. It was my luck that I was quite unwavering in my choice of entree this time as the delicacy has a wide selection of paninis, burgers, hot and cold sandwiches, wraps and soups and more.

If cakes are not your thing, Shier’s still has you covered. I take my hat off to this local delicatessen to successfully bring a northern delicacy to Midland. Cheers!

In addition to lunch with Tori, it appears every Thursday in the Midland Daily News. Victoria (Tori) Ritter can be reached at vritter@mdn.net

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