The Awesome Mitten - The Golden Harvest

Day 318: The Golden Harvest

A skull head detached from its jaw, and, instead of crossbones, a knife and a fork.  The stickers emblazoned with this symbol come in every color you can imagine, and if you’ve been to the Lansing area recently, you’ve probably seen this icon on the back of a car or on a laptop in a coffee shop.  No, this isn’t the symbol of a new band or clothing line; instead, the people who rock this sticker have eaten at The Golden Harvest.

The Golden Harvest is easy to find at 1625 Turner Street in North Lansing, just look for the cars lining the streets, or the queue of people waiting to get in.  Or you could just follow the sounds of the awesome music. On my trip there, here are speakers on the outside of the building so that those waiting for a table can groove to pass the time — and where I was lucky to hear none other than The Mitten’s own Stevie Wonder.  This is not the type of place where you go for a quick meal.

The Awesome Mitten - The Golden Harvest
Photo courtesy of Nathan Smathers

Once you do get inside, there are eight tables and a small bar that seats maybe a dozen.  Parties of two will likely be seated together so there is no wasted space.  It’s easy to believe that this place has been here since 1951–there are pictures and artwork covering every inch of the walls and an old Planet of The Apes movie playing on the television behind the cash register rather the usual morning news or weather.  Behind the bar is a grill, barely larger than the stove you might find in the average kitchen. The man usually working over that grill, owner Zane Vicknair, moves so quickly you can barely follow the meals as they come together.  The Golden Harvest is so busy, every day, that I was never even able to get a chance to talk to him.

The menu covers the breakfast basics like bacon and eggs, but each day’s specials are the real reason to get up early.  Lansing’s own Paramount Coffee is available to accompany local ingredients (whenever possible) to make up delicious meals like the Chronic Omelette (provolone, asparagus, leeks, asiago, mushroom, spinach, onion, pesto, and chevre served with your choice of potato and toast), the Bubba Sandwich (two thick slices of french toast stuffed with bacon, sausage, and cheese), or the Breakfast Burrito (house-made “bombass” chorizo, jalapeno, pepperjack, onion, peppers, egg, sour cream, green onion, feta, house-made salsa, chevre, and choice of potato).  The menu reads like a choose-your-own-adventure story; every time you make a decision, something else catches your eye and you have to go back and regroup.  This is a laidback, friendly place that lets its food do the talking. Come prepared, though, as the restaurant only takes cash.

The Awesome Mitten - The Golden Harvest
Photo courtesy of Nathan Smather

As I left the restaurant and the cool spring air hit me, I realized how the air inside The Golden Harvest is thick with the scent of food and the sound of music– it really is more than a restaurant. It is an experience worth every moment; definitely worthy of your time and, maybe, even a spot on your bumper.

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Nathan Smathers, Feature Writer

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