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 · Tastemakers: Bear Claw Brewery...
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Tastemakers: Bear Claw Brewery steak stackers/Sirius maple dessert wine

Rick Coates - April 6th, 2009
Bear Claw Brewery Steak Stackers
The general rule of thumb is that most places do one thing real well and everything else just okay. For example, nightclubs and bars that have live music are typically known for their music or good dance scene. Rarely are they known for their food. But there are exceptions, and during my travels through Northern Michigan I have come across many a tavern that has excellent food. For example, the Clear Lake Bar north of West Branch has some of the best walleye anywhere. The Side Door Saloon in Petoskey has great burgers. The perch on Friday night at the U&I Lounge in Traverse City is hard to beat. For years I have been heading to Happy Hour Tavern (north of Leland) for their burgers and whitefish sandwich.
Recently, I stopped into the Bear Claw Brewery & Grille on M-55 between Cadillac and Lake City. The Bear Claw has breathed new life into the live music scene in the area with a large concert facility attached to their restaurant and grill. During my visit, several hundred people were in to catch a classic rock band.
While the music and dance scene is impressive at the Bear Claw, so is their menu. The Steak Stackers were extraordinary, with three petite sirloin cuts stacked on top of three hand-dipped jumbo onion rings. All topped off with three marinated jumbo grilled mushrooms and grated cheese and fresh diced tomatoes. This entrée paired well with their Bear Claw Brew, and while a contract brew (made at another brewery specifically for the Bear Claw), they plan to add brewing equipment and a full line of their own brews. Overall, the Bear Claw Brewery & Grille has a well-rounded menu that has something for everyone (the guy at the table next to me ordered the “build your own burger” and it looked fantastic).
This summer they are working on some national music and comedy acts. The nightclub doubles as a banquet hall as well for weddings and private parties. The Bear Claw Brewery and Grille is an excellent addition not only to the Northern Michigan music scene but the culinary scene as well.--- Rick Coates

Sirius Maple Dessert Wine
Maple syrup season is just finishing up here in Northern Michigan. It is expected that about 100,000 gallons of maple syrup will be produced this year in Michigan by some 500 commercial production operations and about 2,000 “home” or “hobbyist” maple syrup fans. One of the reasons why maple syrup is on the pricy side is it takes 40 gallons of maple sap to produce one gallon of maple syrup. The season starts in February downstate and runs through April for areas in the Upper Peninsula. Only about one percent of the maple forest in Michigan is used for current maple syrup production.
While maple syrup is typically thought of as a “breakfast condiment” it actually works well in several recipes including beverages. At Black Star Farms in Suttons Bay they have been producing their Sirius Maple Dessert Wine for several years. A blend of apple cider and their Spirit of Apple brandy, along with maple syrup harvested from maple trees at their winery and cooked annually each spring right on property. While the obvious comes to mind this dessert wine is not just for after dinner. Try during the cocktail hour by giving it a little boost by mixing one part Sirius Maple with two parts Spirit of Apple brandy and add a couple of ice cubes and enjoy with soft cheeses and apple slices.
This is also a great cooking wine. Imparting maple flavors is a great enhancer in many dishes. Here is a great one: make a blueberry maple syrup glaze by reducing Sirius Maple and fresh blueberries and use on grilled breast of duck. Sirius Maple also works well with salmon and trout recipes. As for dessert, enjoy a couple of ounces with a caramel apple from Amical in Traverse City or a slice of apple pie from the Grand Traverse Pie Company. At 16percent alcohol this is a very nice after dinner drink as well, enjoy neat in a cordial glass. For additional details go to blackstarfarms.com or visit one of their three tasting rooms in the region. ---- Rick Coates

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