One of downtown Traverse City’s oldest restaurants is still one of my favorites. It’s the first restaurant I can remember visiting in Traverse City. The food is always fresh and you’ll always get friendly service.
Cousin Jenny’s specializes in Cornish Pasties which are delicious flaky pockets of pastry filled with steak, rutabaga, potato, onion, salt, and pepper. This is the food that workers who imigrated from Cornwall, United Kingdom to Iron Mountain, Michigan packed for lunch while working in the Copper and Iron mines. Today, the tradition lives on.
Jerilyn deBoer who founded Cousin Jenny’s Cornish Pasties, grew up in the Upper Penninsula and ate pasties almost everyday, according to their website.
Doesn’t sound like a bad deal to me. I am telling you, I could eat Cousin Jenny’s pasties almost every day. They are that good. They are made fresh every day on-site in downtown Traverse City, along with other fast and healthy meals, like salads and wraps.
You can take your meal to go, or you can eat in the bright, lively dining room. Either way, you place your order at the counter, and if you’re dining in, they’ll serve you at the table. It’s a unique style of dining that works really well. Jerilyn and her husband, Nick are often the ones serving in the dining room, getting to know their customers.
They’ve been doing it since 1979 and still everyday the dining room fills up. That’s a long time for a restaurant to stay steadily busy considering the trends in restaurants seem to change so frequently. Cousin Jenny’s is timeless. It’s historical and fresh at the same time. with a personal touch. They are always friendly and we always receive great service.
My first visit to Cousin jenny’s was with my husband in 1992. We had met and married in the Detroit area, and were looking to move to Traverse City. My husband, Scott had only been away from his hometown Traverse City for a few years. For me it was a big move. We were looking for small town life in northern Michigan, and while Traverse City was small when he was a child, it was not so small by 1992. Traverse City was familiar to him and that’s where we would move to, at first. He use to tell people he couldn’t take me straight from Detroit to Mayberry all in one step. And he didn’t. We’ve since moved out into a small village outside Traverse City that is very much like Mayberry. 🙂
I think Jerilyn must be able to relate. However, for her it was the opposite effect. She grew up in a town like Mayberry and moved to Traverse City, which must have seemed like ‘the big city’ relative to Iron Mountain.
When she opened Cousin Jenny’s in 1979, Traverse City in actuality was still a very small town. Today however, the downtown is thriving with new developments everywhere you turn. We (who call Traverse City home) hope to keep the small town atmosphere. Not to worry though, whatever happens in that regard, you know you can find it at the corner of State and Union in downtown Traverse City at Cousin Jenny’s.
Cousin Jenny’s Cornish Pasties
Traverse City, Michigan 49684
Monday through Friday 7 AM – 6 PM
Saturday 8 AM – 4 PM
FYI. Just in case you can’t make it in to the restaurant, you can order frozen pasties shipped right to you! Call or visit cousinjennyspasties.com.
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