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.

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Tastemakers: Community supportd agriculture/ Grand Traverse Distillery Wheat Vodka

Rick Coates - September 14th, 2009
Rick Coates 9/14/09
Community Supported Agriculture
During my visits to area farmers markets this summer I have noticed more and more Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms. It seems that CSA are popping up all over, with more than 24 in Northern Michigan and others in the planning stages.
To put it simply, the CSA concept allows the consumer to buy “shares” each year in a farm’s harvest. Consumers pay in advance and each week they receive their share of the harvest by either coming to the farm to pick it up or at a central location like a community farmers’ market. Typically a CSA offers fruits and vegetables, though some offer free range chicken and beef.
According to the Michigan CSA organization, members typically spend between $200 and $500 and sometimes more if it goes beyond just vegetables and fruit. CSA are beneficial to both the consumer and the farmer. From the farmer’s perspective, they pre-sell their crops and are able to focus on farming during the growing and harvest season instead of on marketing and selling their products.
Consumers have a connection to where their food comes from. They share with the farmer concerns over weather or other issues that may impact the crop. Members may also enjoy some of the labor aspects of the CSA by assisting the farmer with planting or harvest.
CSA is not a fad; as concerns grow with crop safety of mass produced produce, having locally grown and raised products is a trend that will continue for years to come. For additional details or to locate a CSA farm in Northern Michigan check out csafarms.org. --Rick Coates

Grand Traverse Distillery
Wheat Vodka

When Kent Rabbish opened the Grand Traverse Distillery just over three years ago with True North Vodka followed by a Cherry Vodka (“you can’t be in the beverage business in Traverse City and not have a cherry product”), he always planned to offer additional products. He recently released the Grand Traverse Distillery Wheat Vodka.
“Our goal is to offer different flavor characteristics to our customers,” said Rabbish. “We also wanted to be able to put a quality vodka on the market priced in the low 20s without compromising the standard set by our True North Vodka.”
Rabbish is proud that, like his True North Vodka that uses Northern Michigan rye, his new Wheat Vodka also only uses Michigan wheat. “We are a Michigan company and proud of it, so we want to use Michigan products.”
The Grand Traverse Distillery Wheat Vodka has a much different flavor profile than the True North Vodka, it is less sweet and has a more distinct grain taste to it. Both vodkas are excellent and certainly the Wheat Vodka may be enjoyed chilled. it is a better choice for vodka drinks, such as a vodka tonic or a sea breeze.
Rabbish is not stopping with vodka, next year he will release a barrel-aged rye whiskey. I had a sneak taste last week and it is very smooth and is as good as some of Tennessee’s best whiskeys. In 2011 he will release a barrel aged bourbon.
Grand Traverse Distillery products are available throughout Northern Michigan. -- Rick Coates

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