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: Morels are here/ The...
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Tastemakers: Morels are here/ The Spirits of Michigan

Rick Coates - April 20th, 2009
Morels Are Here
A few weeks back I appeared on the Omelette & Finster Morning Show on KLT as the guest news anchor. As part of an April Fool’s prank I made up a story along with the hosts that the weather conditions had eliminated this year’s morel crop. Both Omelette & Finster played the story up and we even had a person pose as a Professor of Botany from MSU call in confirming the story. We eventually told everyone that it was simply an April Fool’s joke. Well not everyone heard that we were just joking and organizers of various morel events in the region have been getting calls asking if there were going to be morels this year.
The answer is yes. In fact, experts predict this might be one of the best years in recent memory. Mesick is gearing up for their 5th Annual Mesick Mushroom Festival May 8 – 10. The following weekend Boyne City will hold the 49th Annual National Morel Mushroom Festival.
My sources have told me that morels are popping up all over now that warmer weather has moved in. So yes there will be morels this year and these tasty treasures from the woods of the region are worth searching for and that’s no foolin’. --Rick Coates

The “Spirits” of Michigan
Michigan is quickly becoming the micro-distillery capital of the country. In a trend that follows the lead of the craftbrew industry, boutique distilleries are opening up all over. As with craftbrews, this is a return to the way spirits were once made, at small distilleries. But the Industrial Revolution created a mass-production mentality during the 20th century as small breweries and distilleries gave way to macro-production.
Now, boutique distilleries are back and several have opened in Michigan recently. In Northern Michigan Black Star Farms began production of a series of fruit brandies (eau de vie) at their winery in Suttons Bay 10 years ago. All the brandies at Black Star Farms are made from fruit grown in the region. Their Pear and its Spirit (Pear in the Bottle) is credited with saving a pear farm on the Leelanau Peninsula.
A few years ago Kent Rabish opened Grand Traverse Distillery producing vodka using rye in Northern Michigan. Down in the Paw Paw region of the state, Round Barn Winery released DiVine Vodka five years ago, made from grapes grown in Michigan. Other wineries, and even breweries, are getting into the boutique distillery business.
While wineries were allowed to taste and sell their “fruit-based” distilled products at their tasting rooms (Round Barn had to label their vodka as a brandy to sell at their tasting room), distilleries were not allowed to operate tasting rooms or have retail sales at their production facilities. Last year, under the direction of MSU professor Kris Berglund (director of the Artisian Distilling Program), legislation was passed to allow micro-distilleries to sell samples by the glass and retail bottles from their production facility.
Now the industry is back asking for the legislation to be expanded and for good reason. Current law prohibits sales and tasting of these products at satellite tasting rooms. A few years back Black Star Farms opened Tastes in the Mercato of Building 50 (the former state hospital in TC) for the purpose of marketing their distilled products by offering them by the glass, to be enjoyed with desserts, small plates and cheese plates. While they were allowed to serve their brandies for a couple of years, last year they were told they no longer could (they remain open sampling and selling their award-winning wines).
Earlier this month State Senate Bill 427 was introduced to amend the law, allowing the offsite retailing of distilled spirits at satellite tasting rooms. Round Barn’s master distiller Matthew Moersch states: “In a state with one of the country’s worst economies, we’re trying to grow small businesses, but we are in desperate need of some help from our state leaders. We want to be able to sell more of our products in our existing tasting rooms, which will immediately help our state’s budget and increase awareness of award winning Michigan products.”
The “Spirits” of Michigan celebrate the state’s rich agricultural heritage and this legislation is merited. If you have not enjoyed any of these products do so today; ask for them at your beverage store. --Rick Coates

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