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: Homemade food on the fly/Dutchess Vodka

Rick Coates - January 18th, 2010
Homemade Food on the Fly
The Flying Bowl is located at the entrance of Centre Ice just off of Hammond Road. It is a tough location because of traffic, so getting in an’ out is somewhat of a challenge (I know, I have been doing it for years taking my son to hockey) as Hammond seems to be the Autobahn bypass for Traverse City. But battling traffic is well worth the trip to The Flying Bowl even if it is just for a bowl of their Sirloin Chili. I do not know if this chili has ever been entered in any local chili competitions but I see it challenging the best chili around.
We all have our favorite dish and mine is pot roast with mash potatoes and gravy. I learned the art of this meal from my grandmothers so when I had it for the first time at The Flying Bowl I was wondering if they too had spent time with my grandmothers in their kitchens.
I did a little research and found out that The Flying Bowl is the brainchild of Keith and Susan Bonner. After retiring from their first careers they decided to start a second one and got into the restaurant business. In this economy and with no restaurant experience (I do not consider dining out restaurant experience) any financial advisor would have advised them not to make this investment. But the Bonner’s had something experience doesn’t give you. Passion, they truly care about the food they make. They have taken their passion as “home chefs” and made it into a successful business and any restaurant that makes it past their first year is successful as more than half do not.
Check out The Flying Bowl, try their nightly homemade comfort dinners, dine in or take out. They also cater. Monday through Friday they offer breakfast and their lunch menu is diverse (be sure to try that sirloin chili) and includes soups, salads and sandwiches. For their menu and additional details: theflyingbowl.com. --Rick Coates

Dutchess Vodka
Michigan’s economy may literally be in the “bottom of the barrel.” While the automobile and manufacturing industries are re-tooling, the handcrafted-artisan wine, spirits and microbrew industries are literally brewing, fermenting and distilling the state out of its current economic recession.
One of those successful operations is New Holland Brewery and Distilled Spirits located in Holland, Michigan. This Saturday they come to Northern Michigan to the Loading Dock (see Spirited Life article) for the official release of their new Dutchess Vodka, an artisan micro-distilled vodka made with organic Michigan wheat.
New Holland has been a part of the second wave of craft brewers in the state and their popular brews are found on tap handles and in beer coolers across Michigan. In December of 2008 they launched their spirits line led by their Knickerbocker Gin. This very aromatic style gin became a favorite in several restaurants and bars and helped to launch the rebirth of the classic gin cocktails in Michigan.
Last month they released Dutchess Vodka, which is very neutral in its flavor profile but the organic wheat gives it a hint of sweetness. This vodka is perfect for making a classic martini, (shaken, not stirred) of course and served neat in a well chilled martini glass. Do not taint this vodka with dry vermouth, instead add your favorite olives for some flavor.
The packaging is equally impressive and this is an all around great vodka that will easily impress the Kettel One or Grey Goose drinker. Look for it at retailers who specialize in high-end spirits and expect to see it at bars and restaurants in the region soon. For an opportunity to taste it before you buy check out the Speakeasy Night at the Loading Dock in Traverse City this Saturday as it is the official release party for Dutchess Vodka. Additional details online at newhollandbrew.com or by finding them on Facebook.
--Rick Coates
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