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 · Happy Hog Cafe
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Happy Hog Cafe

Al Parker - January 26th, 2009
Traverse City’s newest restaurant is a place where customers with hefty appetites can pig out on ham.
Restaurant veterans Jeff Mugerian and Dean Van Steenburg have a simple philosophy for their new eatery, the Happy Hog Café that opened in mid-January.
“We want everybody to walk out of here with a hearty meal,” says Mugerian, who has owned and operated several restaurants in Traverse City, including Pepper’s Grille. “Nobody’s gonna go hungry, that’s for sure.”
Open for breakfast and lunch, the Happy Hog Café is heavy on ham from Dearborn Ham, well-known for quality pork products.
“Our customers will be enjoying ham that is handcarved off the bone,” explained Van Steenburg, who has cooked and baked at many area businesses.
Before opening, Mugerian and Van Steenburg spent weeks refurbishing the location. The result is a fresh, clean look that features a black and white tile floor, orange walls, a black ceiling and Harley-Davidson memorabilia.
“It looks like a Harley dealership,” laughed Van Steenburg, a Harley lover. “That fits right in with the Happy Hog theme.”

The Happy Hog gives special attention to breakfast, served at any time of day. Several egg choices are available, along with hefty three-egg omelettes. For a real taste treat, go for the classic Ham and Cheese ($6.00), which is light and fluffy, yet packed with lots of ham that has been chopped fine. If you don’t see your favorite omelette on the menu, just ask and they’ll build it for you.
If you’ve worked up an appetite, go for the Gut Buster Omelette, with ham, onions, hashbrowns, green peppers, mushrooms, tomato and cheese($7).
French Toast fans will want to try the Happy Hog’s version, which is a satisfying order of three slices made with homemade bread that is baked fresh daily($4.75).
There are also taste-tempting cinnamon rolls, muffins and pecan rolls that go great with a hot cup of coffee.
“Anything we serve here will be on homemade bread and rolls,” explained Van Steenburg. “We bake it all right here.”
For lunch there’s an impressive array of hefty sandwiches, but none is more imposing than the Happy Hog’s BLT. To tackle this beast, you’d better have an appetite. It features a full pound of bacon stacked inches high, fresh sliced tomato, crisp lettuce and your choice of cheese ($8.25).
Ham lovers will want to try the Dearborn Stacked Ham, with thick slices of ham on your choice of breads($7).
Other lunch choices include:
• Gyro, with a seasoned lamb/beef combination, onion, tomato, and homemade tzatziki sauce on a grilled pita ($6).
• Steak sandwich, with slow-roasted beef brisket, sliced thin and piled high, served with grilled onions and green peppers, and your choice of cheese ($7).
• Stacked Corned Beef, featuring a full half pound of thin sliced meat on homemade grilled rye ($7).
• Reuben, a classic with thin sliced corned beef, piled high on grilled rye with kraut and swiss with special Happy Hog dressing ($7.50).
• Grilled Chicken Breast, topped with choice of cheese, lettuce and tomato ($6.50)
• Veggie, with lettuce, tomato, avocado, mushrooms, and your choice of cheese ($5.50).

There are daily homemade soups, including bean or pea soup ($2.50 a cup, $3.25 a bowl) that uses the ham bones from the handcarved Deaborn Hams. At least three salads are available every day.
If you’re in the mood for a burger, the Happy Hog offers several half-pound treats on a homemade bun with lettuce, tomato, chips and pickle spear ($6.50). For a taste treat, add the fresh-cut fries instead of chips.
“We’re one of the few restaurants who still do hand-cut fries,” said Van Steenburg. “But we think it’s important and gives our customers a better dining experience.”
“We’re offering our guests good food at a good value,” added Mugerian. “That’s the idea.”

A smoke-free restaurant, the Happy Hog Café is open Tuesday through Saturday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m; Sunday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and closed Monday. It is located at 810 E. Front Street in a refurbished century-old building that has housed a number of restaurants over the years. Most recently the yellow two-story structure was home to the Hard Luck Café, which relocated a short walk to the east. For more information or to place a takeout order, call (231) 947-HOGG (4644).

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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