Michigan’s Best Day exploring the home of Central Michigan University

Mount Pleasant is of course,
home to Central Michigan University! – Fire up chips! – But
there’s lots everyone can enjoy on campus, right John? – That’s
right Amy. CMU is such an integral part of the Mount
Pleasant community with more than 16,000 students who arrive
each fall and these students get to experience plays, concerts,
community events and even CMU football that everyone can
enjoy. – Mount Pleasant is a lot more than Central Michigan
University. There’s a charming downtown you can stroll through,
nature to take in and of course, great places to eat at. John I
think it’s time for us to fuel up for Michigan’s Best Day in Mount Pleasant. So Elmo here at Max & Emily’s
you have a little history. A lot of people know about Max
& Emily’s not only for your sandwiches which we’ll talk about a
second, but this music series you have and you guys
started this right? So Tim and I started the music series back in
2008 with the young lady named Monique Berry, who she fell in
love with the restaurant and said, “Hey, I want to come play a
show.” And we’ve had 11 years of series since then. – You’ve brought in
some pretty big names, Brian Vander Ark been in here. – Brian Vander Ark’s been here, the Verve Pipe. Toad the Wet Sprocket, our good friend Jeff Daniels, quite the gamut of artists to showcase the community. Well, I love the
connection you have to music here in the community, but you
also have these sandwiches. Tell me a little bit more about Mount
Pleasant. What do you think about it as a town and how it relates
to the University. – Well Mt. Pleasant is a college town. We try to cultivate ideas and sandwiches that the students will
think are unique and if we have the ability to work with the
student on creating that unique sandwich, a sandwich that
special to them a sandwich that they get every time they come in on Tuesday for homework. And
then suddenly we’re like, “Alright let’s put that up on the menu and see
what happens and see if all the people enjoy that as well.”
JOHN: That’s happened before? ELMO: Absolutely, there was a guy
named Jesse, who came down here and he created the Fiery
Turkinator – JOHN: Your number one seller – ELMO: The number one sandwich that we have here and it was selling every day, all the time and so it’s
“Alright well, this is the number 63 now. And on graduation day he’s standing there next to his sandwich, cap and gown, he’s holding
number 63. You know that’s wonderful for us. The fact that we can
have our guests, not just be part of the business with a part
of our family. Alright, John so you have to create a
sandwich. What is the dream sandwich for you? JOHN: It’d have to be a
wrap. It would have to have chorizo and would have to have, oh, maybe some refried beans in there, too. – You just made a
burrito. – I did – You did not make a sandwich you made a burrito. – Okay!
The Gonzo – is that we’re going to call it, “The Gonzo?” That’s the
next part of the equation is “What do we call the sandwich?”
’cause? It’s got it’s got to have a good name. So here at Max & Emily’s they have more than 80 sandwiches on the menu and I
think we can probably find something we’d like, right Amy? That’s right and they’re available all day
long from breakfast all the way through lunch. You can get
something delicious to eat. I think we should fuel up for our
big day in Mount Pleasant. – Let’s do it. Well, it looks like we liked
our sandwiches – We did, yes, too well – Yeah, I’m stuffed. I think
we should go walk it off maybe and enjoy some of the
nature here in Mount Pleasant. There are over 1000 acres of
park land near Mount Pleasant that you can explore including
some beautiful spots along the Chippewa River. Known as
Michigan’s laziest river because of its gentle current
it’s the perfect spot to kayak, canoe, fish or just stroll along. The GKB Riverwalk Trail is
located right downtown and offers almost 2 miles of
unspoiled nature from Chipp-A-Waters Park to Pickens Fields. How often do you get to go to a
drive in burger joint? Not very often but you can totally do it
here in Mount Pleasant. Jons Country Burger has been open for
a long time, right John? Yeah they opened in 1957 and it does look like a burger joint you might have seen back from the
50s – It’s within walking distance of both CMU and Mount Pleasant High
School and you know what you can get here? Burgers and shakes. Thank you. Whoo-hoo! Alright! Look at this Amy – This looks awesome. Awesome! Oh yeah, this is a good lookin’ burger. Two patties, right? Cheese, lettuce, – spicy sauce – pickles, tomato, pickles and Mayo. And yeah, it looks great. – I’m going to get right into my shake. I don’t often allow myself,
shakes – wow – They’re not on my current Michigan Best diet.
But today, cause it’s a special day – It is a special day – cause it’s a best day in Mount Pleasant I’m going to enjoy it. – I’m going for the burger. Here comes my special surprise
for John I didn’t tell him but I ordered him something
really spectacular. This is the donut Sunday? Who loves donuts more than
Gonzo? No one! So therefore we got the Donuts Sunday. – Thank you
Sarah. I must find the donut. – It’s in there. Alright. Awww, but that donut? Perfect. Fudge with cream. Must have more. You can finish the rest of my burger
Amy. – See I know how to make this guy happy, just give him donuts. Here at
Johns you can eat in your car, but there’s also a spot that you
can eat inside if you’re struggling with food management
inside your automobile. Mine’s dripping everywhere. I must eat faster. In addition to Jons Country
Burger. There’s several other old school dining spots that
you just have to check out when you’re in Mount Pleasant. The Saginaw Chippewa Tribe
opened the Ziibiwing Center in 2004 and it’s a testament to the
history and culture of the Anishinaabe people Ray tell me a little bit about this special place. Ziibiwing means
gathering place and it used to be the gathering place for our
ancestors along the Chippewa River which runs through the
Isabella Reservation. Tell me a little bit about what Anishinaabe
means. – Yeah, and how you pronounce that word is, a-nish-na-bay, and it
means first man lowered from above. and placed on this earth.
So the Anishinaabe people here on this reservation the
Isabella Reservation believe they were here on this continent
North America since the beginning of time, original
people of this land. So as a gathering place. Why is
this an important part of Mount Pleasant and an important thing for
the tribe? Mount Pleasant was one of the stopping areas in the
seven stopping areas of the Anishinaabe people and in the
fall. The Anishinaabe people would come here to Mount
Pleasant to harvest the huckleberries or another word for the
huckleberries is Billy berries always looking for food
substances to help their communities to survive through
the winter time. AMY: And what is the museum offer now to Mount Pleasant and to everyone in Michigan? The Ziibiwing Center likes to look at their selfs has more than a museum. That’s why they’re a cultural
society. We have our lecture halls in our classrooms down the
hall. They get traditional teachings of the culture in the
heritage of this land. Down the hall here we have a research
center where people come in here and they’re looking for their
ancestors who their ancestors are. There’s two specialists in
there and they can help locate their ancestors wherever they
are. The museum was built in an effort to – the repatriation and reburial of the Anishinaabe people and so the cultural center was built on that
premise, bringing the culture and heritage of the Anishinaabe
people back to this community back to Michigan and now the
world. AMY: The Ziibiwing Center is an utterly fascinating, and rather
sobering walk through the experiences of the Anishinaabe
culture and people I thought it was incredible. – Yeah, it really
takes you through a little bit of a roller coaster of emotions
because you start learning about the early history, the
early days of their lifestyle what traditions were like, family
life. Then you get toward the end of the exhibition and you
kind of get that sobering facts of how they were treated. – Yeah,
it’s must visit when you’re in Mount Pleasant. JOHN: No matter the time of year is
Soaring Eagle Casino is the largest attraction in Mount Pleasant. AMY: Or you can head downtown, belly up to the counter and get an old-fashioned
phosphate from one of the last classic soda fountains around at
the Downtown Drug Soda Shop. It’s a step back in time with
homemade food to boot. There are several classic
Mount Pleasant Bars on Main Street. You can easily hit up Marty’s,
make a stop at the Brass Ring Saloon and then finish the
night off at The Bird. The Breidenstein family has
owned the bird since 1933. It’s one of the most popular spots in
all of Mount Pleasant from students and faculty to townies,
and families. Everybody comes to The Bird and here’s a little
known fact. It’s one of Gonzo’s favorite places in all of
Michigan. – Ben you know, this is one favorite bars in Mount
Pleasant. How long has this place been in your family? It’s
been our family for 86 years now. – 86 years?! 86 years. We’ve been
in this same location in the very seat, you’re sitting in
since the mid 40s. JOHN: So what is it that keeps people coming back to
The Bird you think? BEN: We want people to feel comfortable here.
I hear people come back all the time I was here 50 years ago
because we’ve always had that comfortable feel it’s just a
great place to be with nice people and great food. JOHN: Can you
give everyone a sense of what they can experience I know you
have a good craft beer list. I’m going to have this Bird Burger
because I know it’s been on the menu since I was a college student. – The infamous bird burger. It comes with ketchup, mustard , pickle, onion and slaw is the
kicker. JOHN: There, you go. BEN: You gotta have the slaw in the burger otherwise it’s not a Bird Burger. Well for that, I say, fire up Chips! Yes, Mount Pleasant is home to
Central Michigan University, but you know what I do know that
it’s much more than that. It certainly is from incredible
walks through nature that you can take to an awesome and
humbling Native American museum that you can’t miss plus great
places to eat and drink. That’s how you spend a Michigan’s Best Day in Mount Pleasant. For more information go
to MLive.com. I’m John Gonzales – and I’m
Amy Sherman and this has been our Michigan’s Best Day
in Mount Pleasant brought you by Mount Pleasant Area
Convention and Visitors Bureau. JOHN: Come meet Mt. Pleasant!

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