Go out for lunch with Tori: Shier’s Deli & Catering

Over the past few years I’ve heard a lot about Shier’s Deli & Catering in Midland, especially their famous pastries. While some readers enjoyed hearing about my trip up north in October – including my experience tasting a real northern pate – a couple weren’t keen on going all the way for lunch and suggested I try Shier’s pasties. This suggestion was taken to heart and this week I ventured outside to see what Shier had to offer.

Shier’s, located at 2218 N. Saginaw Road, offers freshly baked hot pastries from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. If you can’t make it for lunch at those times, you’re still in luck, because the grocery store offers frozen pastries to take home for lunch or dinner.

The young woman behind the counter, hearing my desire for a pastry for lunch, offered me the choice of beef or chicken. I was puzzled, torn between the traditional filling and my favorite. I chose the cashier’s brains for a moment – ​​she was very kind to give me her opinion – before deciding to go for the beef.


Sitting at one of the deli’s five red-clad tables, I took note of the subtle hints of Michigan’s proud heritage that dot the space. In addition to the baking tradition, Shier’s offers Better Made chips — a Detroit-based brand — as well as bags of Trenary Cinnamon Toast from a downtown Upper Peninsula bakery.

Customers showed up, some familiar with pastries from the delicatessen and at least one who wasn’t sure what a pastry was. The staff handled each order calmly and kindly, offering their expertise to all guests.

As my dough was delivered, I immediately realized that I would be foolish to try to finish it in one sitting. It took me a minute to marvel at the large mound of pastries full of tasty flavors in front of me. Wisps of steam brought a spice aroma to my nose as I made the first incision. Chunks of potatoes and rutabagas were nestled among chunks of carrots, sliced ​​onions and ground beef. The crust was chewy and flaky, a perfect container for the contents.

While the dough was well seasoned and moist enough that any toppings were unnecessary, the sauce was still a nice addition. I can count on my hand the number of times I’ve eaten pastries, and I haven’t perfected how to apply the sauce yet. Do you dip dough forks in the sauce? Do you pour sauce on it? I’ve tried both methods and found the latter to be best for this particular dough, but I’m open to ideas. Please don’t suggest I use ketchup instead, because I can’t stand that kind of stuff.

About half the dough and a lot of the sauce was left over at the end of lunch. I left Shier comfortably full and can’t wait to have the rest for dinner.

I’ve found that one of the best remedies for cold, dreary winter days is a warm, comforting meal. I certainly found that at Shier. I was lucky to be pretty consistent in my entree choice this time around, as the deli has a wide selection of paninis, burgers, hot and cold sandwiches, wraps and soups and more.

If pasties aren’t your thing, Shier’s still has you covered. I take my hat off to this local grocery store for successfully bringing a northern delicacy to Midland. Cheers!

Out to Lunch with Tori will appear every Thursday in the Midland Daily News. Victoria (Tori) Ritter can be reached at [email protected]

About Erick Miles

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