Crane’s Pie Pantry Restaurant
Billboards. Caught us again. Well, actually caught my mom this time. Back in May, my whole family met J and I in Grand Rapids for a trip to the John Ball Zoo. On the way, they saw a billboard for a pie place. They didn’t remember the name or what town it was in, but they knew there was a billboard.
After a little digging, I figured out it was Crane’s Pie Pantry Restaurant just outside of Fennville. My parents came to visit for a couple days and our afternoon entertainment was a drive to Allegan County for a slice of pie.
Crane’s Pie Pantry is just west of Fennville on M-89 (also called 124th Avenue) near 62nd Street. It’s not really what you would expect from a restaurant. From the street, you’d never know what you were getting in to. The building looks like it’s part of a farm..and it is. The parking lot is actually down a lane and around the building. Even for a Monday afternoon, there were quite a few cars in the parking lot…and a lot of out-of-state plates.
There’s an outside area that is probably open on weekends in the fall with some picnic tables, but it was closed today. Instead, you pull on this old wood door that doesn’t look like it should still be functioning as a door and enter a long hallway filled with antiques including an actual street light from Fennville that dates to the early 1900′s. During peak hours, this hallway is used as a waiting room.
When you get in to the actual restaurant, the first thing you notice is the decor. The whole place has an antique feeling to it. The walls are covered with old photos and artifacts from a long forgotten era. The tables are all antique dining room sets. The support beams are weathered wood. On each table is a stack of antique photos dating back to the late 1800′s and early 1900′s.
A hostess took us to a table in the main dining room and set down some paper place mats filled with information about the place. I don’t think anyone in my group knew we were actually walking in to a full service restaurant. Really, they just wanted pie, but there is a full menu.
We looked over that menu and debated eating lunch, but my dad wasn’t hungry so we all decided to just go with desserts. First thing we did was put in drink orders. There is no pop at Crane’s, so you’re drink options are pretty limited. J got a Sweet Apple Cider while the rest of us just got water. The drinks are served in mason jars which is always a cool thing.
When our waitress came back with the drinks, we were ready to order. My mom and J both got a slice of Red Raspberry pie. My mom got hers with ice cream. J opted not to. Both said the pies were delicious. My mom remarked that even the crust was delicious. She’s used to eating pie crust that you buy out of the freezer at the supermarket and not homemade. She ate everything on her plate including the end crust which is odd for her.
My dad and I both got the hot fudge sundae. I got mine with whipped cream and nuts. He did not. The hot fudge is made in house and the whipped cream is real whipped cream…not whipped topping. It was a delicious little treat and even my dad said it was good. That’s an unusual thing for him to say.
My aunt got what was probably the most unique thing on the menu….the Cider Float. It’s like a root beer float, but minus the root beer and add cider. It was served in a mason jar with a big scoop of ice cream and whipped cream. She said it was delicious.
Our bill was a little over $20 and we were on way within about 20 minutes. The waitress left the check on the table then you have to go into the bakery area to pay. In this area, they have frozen pies for you to take home as well as a number of other goodies.
Crane’s Pie Pantry is one of the treasures of West Michigan. It such a cool building and the food is all scratch made. We made a special trip to Fennville just for pie and my mom said she’d do it again next time they come for a visit.