Doster Country Store
- 10 106th Avenue
- Plainewell, MI 49080
- (269) 664-4468
- No Known Website
Friday night date night is back…well, for a couple weeks anyway….but J wasn’t feeling great when I suggested dinner and a movie. She opted to put it off until tomorrow night since I also have the next couple Saturday’s off.
The backup plan was a rental from Redbox and a pizza. I was kind of bored from sitting around the house all week so I started looking for a pizza place that we normally wouldn’t go to. My search, again, took me to Urbanspoon. I noticed a pizza place that was just reviewed by a Twitter friend. He didn’t give it a glowing review, but he was the only one on Urbanspoon not too…and Google…and Yelp..and any other place where people can review restaurants.
The Doster Country Store is in rural Plainwell on the corner of 106th Avenue and Doster Road just south of Pine Lake amongst other lakes in area. The store is a throwback to the rural grocery stores that don’t normally have a place in today’s society. The Doster County Store has bucked that trend offering camping staples, gas, and a pizza that many people will drive several hours for.
I had J call in an order as I was getting ready to leave. We couldn’t find a menu online so I told her to just get a large pizza with 1/2 cheese and 1/2 pepperoni. I also saw a couple reviews mention the bread sticks, so I told her to get an order of those as well.
The lady on the other end told her it would take about 25 minutes to cook the pizza and I had about a 27 minute drive to get there, so I plugged the address into my GPS and headed north.
It took me almost exactly 25 minutes to find the little store that is pretty much in the middle of nowhere. Coming from the east, the first thing you see is the gas station. I didn’t really see any parking in that area, so I went up around the corner to the other side of the building. There looked to be enough space for me to park my truck and not be sticking out in the road, but it wasn’t marked for parking. I pulled in anywhere knowing I would only be a few minutes.
The Doster Country Store takes advantage of all the space in their building. From the outside, it looks like an old house and it has the old creaky floorboards inside to add to that authenticity. When I walked in, I could smell the pizzas being made, but I couldn’t see the deli. The shelves are packed in very tightly and stacked well above my eye level, so I followed my nose to the back of the space where I found a decent size kitchen with several people cranking away at making pizzas.
I told the first clerk who acknowledged me that I had called in an order. She headed over to the warming box and pulled out two pizza boxes than handed them back. I started to hand her my credit card, but she stopped me and told me to pay up front at the cash register near the door. On my way, I passed a cooler with bottles of Pepsi, so I grabbed one of those as well and proceeded to pay.
The large pizza and breadsticks with the Pepsi came in at a little over $21. I was able to use my credit card which worried me a little bit when I walked in. I saw signs for ATM’s everywhere which usually mean the establishment is cash only.
Since we decided to order from a place so far away, it meant I would have to suffer with smelling the pizza the whole 25 minute drive home. Add in the stop at Walgreens to pick up a movie and it was gong to be a half hour of smelling a pizza without actually getting to eat it.
All of the reviews that I read before choosing the Doster Country Store for dinner made this place out to be the best pizza in the state. I have a feeling most, if not all, of those reviews are from people who don’t actually live in the area. We all have places from our childhood vacations that we remember different than they actually are. More than anything, we have fond memories of the trip and the traditions that usually include food from days gone by. We all have them. My dad and I used to take a trip to Brownstown, IN every spring for a dirt late model race. Before we got the track, we always stopped and got a bucket of KFC to eat in the parking lot before going in. No matter how many times I’ve eaten KFC, that KFC is always the best….in my mind at least. I kept that in mind before I actually took my first bite.
The pizza is the standard takout size with a crust that is made on site and rolled out using a dough rolling machine. It has a soft chewy consistency with bits of flour that are left over from the rolling process then baked on which gives it more texture. The sauce has a slight kick to it. Nothing super spicy, but it does have a depth that I wasn’t expecting. It’s slightly sweet with a heavy herb base. The cheese was cooked to a deep golden brown and best of all, didn’t leave a pile of grease on top of the pizza. The pizza was really good, but I think my assumption about the memory of the pizza may hold a little bit of water. My twitter buddy said the pizza was really no different than Pizza Hut. I wouldn’t go quite that far. I think it’s definitely better than any of the chains, but I would still put it at a pizza that’s just above average.
The bread sticks were J’s favorite. It’s basically a cheese and garlic pizza with ranch and marinara dipping sauces. I would say if you’re going to order a pizza anywhere, you have to tack these on. They have a slight but not overpowering garlic flavor on the same crust as the pizza.
The Doster Country Store is one of those great, out of the way places that you will always remember even if you can’t remember where it’s actually at. The pizza is something that will make any family vacation memorable. If you have a house out on a lake in the area, the Doster Country Store is already on your radar. If you don’t, it’s something I would say you have to check out and see at least once. The place gets rave reviews from so many different people and, like I’ve mentioned in the past, J and I have such high standards for pizza so we’re not always the best judge of what the average pizza consumer likes. Still, it was good pizza and a nice drive out to the country with the windows down and country radio blastin.