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 · Spud burger/ Railside Bar &...
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Spud burger/ Railside Bar & Grill

Al Parker - November 2nd, 2009
Spud Burger!
Railside Bar & Grill serves it up in Elmira

By Al Parker 11/2/09

“You’re about to enjoy a rite of passage,” says smiling day shift bartender Chris King as he deftly slides a full platter and an ice cold Labatt’s across the table toward a guest.
Like a gaudy oversized jewel nestled in a crown, Michigan’s original potato burger dominates the dish at the Railside Bar & Grill. There’s a side order of hand-cut home fries, but the potato burger is the star of the menu at the Railside, formerly the Elmira Inn.
“It’s a blend of black Angus beef, cheddar cheese, some special spices and grated Kitchen Farms potatoes,” explains chef Randy Troy, an affable culinary veteran who’s well known in the Northern Michigan restaurant scene.
About four years ago, Bob Huppert and Larry Beurkens bought the slightly ramshackle Elmira Inn and sank a lot of cash and sweat equity into it, expanding the kitchen, redoing the rest rooms and updating the furniture.
Huddled right along the railroad tracks, the place had seen its better days, but the new owners worked hard to change its image from a smoky, aging bar into a clean family-friendly eatery. It’s no longer a bar that serves food, but a restaurant that offers drinks.
That plan has paid off.
“We used to do a lot more liquor than food, but now we’re doing more food than alcohol,” says Huppert. “We’re ahead of last year’s sales. It’s been a good year for us.”
And they’re looking forward to the coming winter and the return of snowmobilers. “We’re packed during snowmobiling,” says Huppert. “Our business was up 40 percent last winter.”

The potato burger was the invention of Elmira’s Ellen “Ma” Czykoski, who took the concoction of shredded spuds, ground beef and seasonings and fried the patty so it didn’t fall apart. Then she’d dip it in a homemade beer batter and submerge it in a bubbling deep fryer before it’s plopped on a grilled bun.
A deep fried burger may not be the healthiest meal, but it ranks among the heartiest. And Troy has developed his own version that is not battered and deep fried, but still provides the tangy spices and shredded potatoes. Both versions are accompanied by a tasty and mild horseradish sauce.
“We’ve perfected it,” says Troy, who has opened some 10 restaurants during his career. “We make each potato burger fresh to order, rather than ahead of time. What a difference that’s made.”
A potato burger with fries and dill pickle goes for $6.99. If you’re famished, tackle it alone otherwise, you might want to share one with a friend.
The Railside’s menu offers some other seldom-seen entrees, including a Bleu Granny burger with carmelized onions, Granny Smith apple and melted bleu cheese crumbles ($6.99), roasted duck ($14.99) and a parmesan potato encrusted whitefish ($13.99)
“Our Saturday night prime rib special is popular,” says Troy. “It’s dry rubbed, marinated and roasted all day.”

The lunch bunch can choose from a number of value-oriented $5 selections, including a Polish Plate of one golumki, two pierogies and kielbasa and kraut; a smoked pork chop with braised cabbage and Granny Smith apple and a grilled kielbasa and turkey sandwich topped with swiss cheese and sided with homemade fries.
“While there are a lot of Polish families in the area, there are not a lot of Polish restaurants,” explains Troy. “We offer some authentic Polish cuisine to please our customers. Our pierogis, for example, come from Hamtramck.”
Adding to the Polish flavor above the bar area are a couple of flashy red and white signs reading “Na Zdrowie” (Cheers!) and “Zimny Pivo” (Cold Beer). Pool leagues gather at the Railside three nights a week for a relaxing time.
“Our mission is to provide a friendly, inviting atmosphere filled with fun, food and friends,” says Huppert. “It’s where the trains keep rollin’, the dining car is open and the spirits are flowin’.”

The Railside Bar and Grille is on M-32, two miles east of US. 131 on the south side of the road. For information or takeout orders call (231) 546-3248.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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