I love the drive to Pinckney. Starting in Ann Arbor where Dexter Road branches off from Jackson, the old Indian trail rambles past Scio’s semisuburbia, goes rural by Wing Farms, becomes Main Street in the village of Dexter, turns north through the historic stone railroad viaduct, and then twists along the many lakes that dot the region. If you leave early in the morning you may catch sight of the steam rising from the water’s surface, crisscrossed above by herons, cranes, and geese.
We stopped for breakfast at Aunt Betty’s in Pinckney. With its original stainless-steel soda-fountain setup and Formica counter lined with twirling vinyl-topped bar stools, Betty’s certainly wins points on character. Sadly, the food falls far short—we were served wilted bacon, pallid fried potatoes, fake maple syrup, and wretched coffee.
We escaped and righted our senses with a decent brew at the nearby Mainly Chocolate and Coffee Cafe, which in February set up shop in the old McPherson State Bank. The coffee shop is next door to another newcomer, the Pinckney Bakery. Owners Kim and Saing Yam sold their “big city” locale—the Dexter Bakery—in April and opened the Pinckney Bakery in August. The main offerings are homemade doughnuts, coffee, and ice cream.