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: Gaylord Alpenfest July 14-18, 2009/ The Shed Michigan beers

Rick Coates - July 13th, 2009
Tastemakers 7/13/09

Gaylord Alpenfest
July 14-18, 2009

Now celebrating its 45th anniversary, Alpenfest in Gaylord has grown from a small community-based celebration over a couple of days into a five-day festival that attracts visitors from all over. Despite its growth, Alpenfest has remained true to its community roots by celebrating the traditions of its German and Polish settlers. The festivities begin on Tuesday, July 14, and with more than 80 events, including several concerts, there is a lot to do - and a lot to eat.
Food has always been at the center of Polish and German culture, and Alpenfest honors that spirit throughout the festival. What is really cool is once you buy a $3 Alpenfest pin you have all sorts of opportunities for “free food.”
To kick off the free food frenzy, the Michigan State Police Post in Gaylord is offering the Wurst Wagon with the best “wurst” in town at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. On Wednesday morning Die Groeste Kaffe Pause (“The World’s Largest Coffee Break”) takes place at 9:30 a.m., with free coffee and donuts sponsored by the Gaylord Downtown Development Authority. At noon there is free Pontresina Suppen Mahlzeit (soup). If you like seafood, try the goldfish-eating contest at 1 p.m. on Wednesday. On Thursday, the Alpine Country Breakfast at 8 a.m., sponsored by Big Boy, features free biscuits and gravy. Later that night, Ashby’s Sterling Ice Cream and Alpine Chocolat Haus are offering an ice cream social with banana splits. Friday morning is the Pfannekuchen Und Wuerstchen (pancake and sausage breakfast) at 8 a.m., sponsored by Gaylord Community Schools. For dinner, Independent Bank is serving up sauerkraut and sausage.
The Gaylord Alpenfest is the best meal deal in the North - for $3, you can feed yourself for five days. To see a list of all the activities and food offerings, check out gaylordchamber.com. Proscht (Swiss German for cheers) to Gaylord and Alpenfest. --Rick Coates

“The Shed” Michigan Beers

Not all the news in Michigan is bad. Take the Michigan Craftbrew industry for example. The industry is on the rise with the number of breweries over 70 and more to open soon. The reputation of Michigan-made beers is spreading as well and the breweries have become a popular tourism destination attracting beer enthusiasts from around the world who are actually planning their vacations to visit breweries in Michigan. The state ranks second to Oregon as a beer destination state.
Much of this public awareness is a result of the efforts of the Michigan Brewers Guild, the organization that represents most of the state’s breweries and puts on two major beer festivals annually. The popularity of Michigan-made beers has led many eateries and taverns to carry a large selection on their beverage menus.
Now comes “The Shed,” the brainchild of the owners of the Blue Tractor (on Union Street in Traverse City), serving exclusively Michigan brews. “We are so proud to live in a state where there is such an impressive number of microbreweries producing amazing craft beers,” said Jon Carlson, who along with Greg Lobdell, operate 2Mission Development and Design, owners of these and other restaurants throughout the state. “Without a doubt, we believe Michigan makes the best microbrews and we’re excited to be able to offer a beer list at The Shed that features the best of the best, made right here in our home state.
They launched The Shed (sandwiched between The Blue Tractor and The Café Habana last week featuring beers from 22 breweries around Michigan including local offerings from Short’s Brewing out of Bellaire. Plans include for building a large draft tower and the addition of more beers in the future.
“Across the state, we have seen an increased demand from the consumer looking for and even seeking out high-quality, locally-made beers,” said Greg Lobdell. “We wanted to provide a comfortable environment for people to enjoy these crafted brews. We believe The Shed is that place.” --Rick Coates

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