Posted by: Kath Usitalo | November 8, 2010

Road Food Report: Diner To Love? Yes You Mae’s

Decor at Mae's trends retro

Blink and you may miss it. Mae’s is hard to find but easy to love.

Although the narrow diner with the retro feel (and no obvious signage) opened its doors in 2010, Mae’s bills itself as “Pleasant Ridge’s Oldest Restaurant” because since the 1950s the spot operated as Anna’s Coffee Shoppe.

Cool stools

Jessica and Sean McCarthy rescued the space, spruced it up (salvaging the cool turquoise-covered chairs and counter stools), named it after her grandmother, and concocted a breakfast and lunch menu with something for just about everyone. When was the last time you saw a “Please, Substitutions Encouraged!” policy?

I met my longtime friend Jano there on a recent morning for one of our infrequent gab sessions, and I do believe the breakfast, fueled by bottomless mugs of Great Lakes Coffee, stretched into the lunch hour.

Although tempted by the Aebelsklevers—Swedish pancakes in a ball, not thin like my aunt made them—I decided on Eggs Benedict Our Way, with bacon, tomato and spinach on baguette. Jano had an omelet. Both choices were delish.

Benedict and omelet: eggs-tremely good ways to start the day

Mae’s boosts local products: neighboring New York Bagel (love ’em) provides the breakfast carb, breads (including that baguette) are from Detroit’s Avalon bakery, sandwiches come with Better Made Potato Chips, and pop choices are Vernors and Faygo.

Next time I’d like to try the butter burgers, supposedly a favorite in the Upper Peninsula. I’m not sold on the deep fried Oreo cookie. Yet.

Vintage Faygo doorplate

Note: Mae’s is attached to another business (look for the Susan’s Special Needs sign) at 24060 Woodward Ave. the corner of Amherst. Free WiFi. Credit cards accepted. Closed Mondays.


When our family bought Towne Club pop for our parties it never occurred to me that decades later the wooden cases would serve as diner decor




  1. Mae’s had me at your opening photo – what a clever little squirrel! Looks like my kind of place – another one to put on my list 🙂

    • I do like that little squirrel…though I’m not happy with the ones that raid my bird feeders…

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