Happy Hour

A weekly snapshot of Happy Hours around the region…

Everyday, open-7 p.m., $1.75 highballs, $2.50 house chardonnay, $2.00 drafts, $1.00 off everything else.
310 Cass St., Traverse City

Sunday-Thursday, 3-6 p.m., $1 off all drinks.
422 North 5th St., Roscommon

Lulu's Bistro
Thursdays, 5-9 p.m., $3 wells, $2 off drafts, select $5 wines.
213 N. Bridge St., Bellaire

Boyne River Inn
Everyday, 3-6 p.m., 1/4 off drinks.
229 Water St., Boyne City
Rendezvous Lounge, Odawa Casino
Thursday & Friday, $2.25 domestic drafts, $3.25 well drinks, $3.25 house wine.
1760 Lears Rd., Petoskey

Choice Bits!

Round-the-region snapshots of the dining scene. 

RUTHIE'S CHICKEN & DAIRY TWIST: Roasted chicken and ice cream, malts and shakes.
201 N. Bridge Ln., Bellaire. 213­-533­-8538.

Practically an Up North institution, the place to find out the latest fishing or snowmobile news from the locals and visitors who gather for their hearty breakfasts, steaks, burgers, soup & salad bar, & homemade desserts.
10921 Main St., Honor. 231­ 352­6585.

When you've worked up an appetite from all the bowling and karaoke that Boyne City Lanes has to offer, you'll find a selection of hearty fare to choose from, including homemade soups & desserts. Cocktails are served at the Lanes,with live entertainment and glow ­bowling nights.
1199 West Boyne Road, 231-­582­-6353.

Open 7 days a week for lunch & dinner. Full Chinese menu, as well as Hunan & Szechuan entrees.  Daily specials, special combination plates,  a lunch & dinner All You Can Eat Buffet. 
616 S. Mitchell St., Cadillac, 231­-876­-8888.

Take a trip back to the '50s where chili dogs & frosted mugs of root beer are still served up by carhops at this All ­American institution. Elvis has been known to make an appearance during their annual summer “A&W Cruise Night” in August, as do cars from the 50’s and 60’s that we remember well.
At the bottom of the hill, 21 Lake St., Frankfort,  231-­352-­9021.

From Antler Ale to Wolverine Wheat, Big Buck specializes in microbrewed beers. Offering the usual beef and buffalo burgers, steaks, and ribs, plus more unusual fare, like their portabella sandwich with red onion marmalade and provolone cheese.
550 S. Wisconsin Avenue, Gaylord, 989­-732-­5781.

A refined atmosphere, subdued lighting, and an appetizing selection of epicurean treats awaits the diner at this Harbor Springs corner landmark. Menu selections range from their smoked whitefish ravioli appetizer to their Atlantic salmon, baked polenta and eggplant, tomato basil fettuccine, or filet mignon ­ and their brunches include one of the best versions of Eggs Benedict around.
101 State Street, downtown across from Bar Harbor, 231­-526-­1904.

Pool tables, a full bar, friendly service and a varied menu make the Village Inn popular with families and locals.  Dinners include Lamb Skewers, Blue Corn Enchiladas, Charbroiled Whitefish, Lasagna and Ribeye.  Also burgers, sandwiches, salads, appetizers and pizza.  Lunch and Dinner.
Just north of the blinking light 116601 Lacorre Ave. on M­22,  Empire. 231-326­-5101.

One of Petoskey's first restaurants, Jesperson's is famous for homemade pies and fresh turkey. Breakfast and lunch.
312 Howard, Petoskey, 231­-347­-3601.
Located in Building 50, grilled panini's, soups, wraps, baked goods, specialty coffees and teas.
1200 W. 11th St., Traverse City, 231-­947­-7740.

Home · Articles · News · Dining · Cooking up family time at Main...
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Cooking up family time at Main Dish Kitchen

Mary Bevans Gillett - December 22nd, 2005
“Living Simple… Cooking Smart” is the slogan at Main Dish Kitchen which just opened its doors in early December at the Cherryland Center in Traverse City. The new enterprise brings one of the state’s fastest growing franchises to Northern Michigan. Co-owners Gene and Joyce VanKoevering are joining forces with son- and daughter-in-law Greg and Lori VanKoevering to spearhead the operation.
Acknowledging that they were ‘happy empty nesters’ living in southwest Michigan, Gene and Joyce were initially customers of the original Main Dish Kitchen in Holland, then fell in love with the food and the concept, and jumped at the chance to bring a franchise to Traverse City where Greg and Lori lived.
“The principles are family, friends and community,” Gene said, “the bonus is that the food is unbelievable!”

Main Dish Kitchen offers the kitchen stations, menus, ingredients and food prep and clean-up for patrons to cook 12 different, freezer-ready, homemade meals each month.
In an era when family meal time is often rushed or forgotten between soccer games, ballet lessons and evening meetings, the franchise has found a niche in helping customers prepare fresh, home cooked meals in a fraction of the time and with little fuss and mess.
Here’s how it works. Each month, Main Dish Kitchens posts its menu selections – at least 12 different meals – on its website and at stores. Customers choose which entrees they would like to prepare, place their order, and schedule a session. The store stocks the ingredients, does the initial food prep and has everything waiting at a food station during your scheduled time. Customers move from station to station preparing their various dinners. Two hours later, you leave with six to 12 meals ready for the freezer along with instructions for reheating when needed and recommended accompaniments.
Customers also leave in great spirits, having spent two hours in the camaraderie of sharing the cooking experience with at least another dozen chefs. Participants can range from a preplanned large group, two friends planning to split meals or individuals seeking to meet new people or simply stock their freezer. Skill levels range from the newest beginner to seasoned home chefs.

“We love the social aspect… bringing together family and friends to cook together, and bringing families together to share a meal,” Gene said, also noting the added benefit of time saved that can be used for family time. “We know that, at least 12 times each month, we can help families sit around a table together.”
“We say that if you give us two hours of your time, we’ll save you 31,” he added.
The menus and recipes are created and tested by corporate chef Pete Webster in Holland, then instituted throughout the franchises. Three months worth of menus are posted on the website. In December, the Traverse City menu included such entrees as Cherry Pine Nut Pork, Salsa Salmon, Bacon Feta Chicken and Garden Penne. The January menu includes Aloha Pork Shops and Sausage Cappelini while February promises Brook’s Trout and Garlic Dijon Chicken. According to Gene VanKoevering, many of the selections can be adapted for vegetarians.
Originating in Holland, MI, the company was founded in September 2004 by six couples who came together with three goals in mind: to create a make-and-take business with an attractive, modern facility, a high level of customer service and a commitment to the community. The concept was so successful that franchise opportunities became available in March 2005, with 15 new franchises slated to open in Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania slated to open by year end. The Traverse City location is the ninth franchise to open.

Giving back to community is an essential element of the local store as well as the entire organization. Meals with a Mission is its signature contribution to all communities where Main Dish Kitchen franchises are located. Each cooking session includes the ingredients for one more meal for each of its recipes. Participants are asked to assemble an extra meal after their own are completed, which is then donated to the day’s featured non-profit or a family in need that’s been recommended by a session participant. This practice has been followed since the first Main Dish Kitchen opened, with close to 9,000 meals donated so far to local communities. In Traverse City, the Meals with a Mission non-profit partners include the Women’s Resource Center, Michael’s Place, Goodwill Inn, House of Hope and Community Meals.
“The founders feel strongly about giving back… as do we,” Joyce said.”

Main Dish Kitchen is located at Cherryland Center in Traverse City, 1780 S. Garfield. Office hours are 9 am – 5 pm, Monday through Friday and Saturday 9 am – noon. Cooking sessions are held afternoons and evenings. Check the monthly schedule for specific dates and times. For more information, call (231) 935-4635 or visit www.maindishkitchen.com

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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