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: Michigan Culinary Tourism Initiative/Anchor‘s 2009 Christmas Sale

Rick Coates - December 7th, 2009
Michigan Culinary Tourism Initiative
The tourism industry in our part of Northern Michigan was built on the beaches, lakes, streams, ski hills and trails. While those components remain important today, the future of tourism in the region may look -- or should we say “taste” -- different. Just last week the Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) announced the formation of the new Michigan Culinary Tourism Alliance.
“With agriculture and tourism as the state’s second and third largest industries, it makes sense to promote Michigan as a rewarding travel destination for educational, healthy and tasty food experiences,” said Don Koivisto, director of the MDA.
Changes in travel trends point to culinary and culture as strong attractors for today’s traveler. When the Epicurean Classic was held in Traverse City, it brought food and drink enthusiasts from all over the country to the area. The new Traverse City Wine Festival and the Traverse City Microbrew and Music Festival show promise of also attracting the traveler from down and out of state as they add local food components to their events. Businesses such as Cherry Republic in Glen Arbor attract busloads of visitors. Certainly, the wine industry in Northern Michigan has proven over the past 10 years (and even during the Great Recession of the past year) that they are a major draw for the traveling public.
MDA will develop the Michigan Culinary Tourism Alliance in partnership with the Michigan Restaurant Association and Travel Michigan. The project is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) with matching funds provided by MDA’s Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council.
The idea of the Culinary Tourism Alliance was developed by Linda Jones, executive director of the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council.
The focus in year one for the new Alliance will be to increase the number of Michigan food offerings on the menus of the restaurants in the state. In addition, the group will focus on promoting Michigan as a “destination for culinary travel experiences.”
Northern Michigan is perfectly situated to lead the way; hopefully local restaurateurs and agricultural leaders will jump quickly on this new initiative. Lets also hope that as organizers move forward they will add the cultural component to this initiative as well. For additional information contact Linda Jones at 517-373-9789. --Rick Coates

Anchor’s 2009 Christmas Ale
Fritz Maytag (great-grandson of Maytag Corporation founder Frederick Maytag) helped to establish the American craftbrew industry in 1965 when he bought the Anchor Brewing Company (Anchor Steam). The San Francisco-based brewery was on the verge of closing when Maytag took over. Not only did he energize his brewery, he served as a catalyst for the microbrew/brewpub industry that we have today.
Many a brewer sought out Maytag’s advice in the early days of the craftbrew industry and he gladly obliged, believing that the more breweries out there brewing great beer the better it would be for his business. He was right; today Anchor Steam remains popular in the crowded craftbrew field.
Maytag was among the first to brew an annual Christmas Ale. The 2009 version marks the 35 anniversary of their popular Christmas beer (available mid-November-January). Many have followed suit, but Anchor’s Christmas Ale remains the benchmark. Over the 35 years the label changes each year (see all 35 labels at their website) and so does the recipe. While Maytag has been willing to share brewing and business tips to his colleagues, his Christmas Ale recipe remains a closely guarded secret. If your taste buds are in working order you will pick up an array of Christmas baking flavors. Cardamon, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and a hint of mint all swirl around the palate.
This is a fun seasonal beer, it comes in 12 oz. bottles and on tap, but search around and score some magnums (equivalent to two wine bottles) and bring to the next holiday party you attend. Enjoy in a wine glass and be sure to nose this beer first before tasting. Anchor Christmas Ale pairs perfectly with a traditional New England Pot Roast dinner. It also goes great with Christmas cookies, so leave a bottle by the fireplace with the plate of cookies for Santa. Congratulations, Fritz Maytag and Anchor Brewing Company on not only the gift of this great brew but gift of the craftbrew industry. --Rick Coates

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