Happy Hour

A weekly snapshot of Happy Hours around the region…


FireFly
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

Fred's
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.

MONEY'S PLATTE RIVER INN:
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.

BC LANES FAMILY ENTERTAIMENT CENTER:
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.

CHINA ONE:
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.

A&W:
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.

BIG BUCK BREWERY & STEAKHOUSE:
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.

THE NEW YORK RESTAURANT:
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.

EMPIRE VILLAGE INN: 
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.

JESPERSON'S:
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.
 
CUPPA JOE:
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: Traverse City America‘s number one food city/Short‘s Bananas & Blow

Rick Coates - April 19th, 2010
Traverse City: America’s #1 Food City
Finally, some outside the area validation to what this column has been boasting about for the past several years; Traverse City (Northern Michigan) is one of the best food locales in the country.
Just last week the editors of Livability.com, an online resource that points to the most livable cities in America, selected Traverse City number one in the best food towns category. That recognition comes on the heels of The Huffington Post naming Traverse City “the best new foodie haven” in the country and Midwest Living Magazine recently named Traverse City the second best food town in the Midwest next to Madison, WI.
At the heart of Livability.com’s decision was the “farm-to-table” philosophy that so many restaurants in the area have adopted. They singled out Trattoria Stella as being at the forefront of the movement. Another factor is all of the farm markets in the region. Toss in all the farms, dairies, wineries, microbreweries and all the locally-owned restaurants and the editors of Livability.com have taken notice of what we have known for years.
Equally important is the growing number of food and drink festivals and events in the region. These events attract visitors who make their way to area restaurants, wineries and farms and go home and tell their families and friends of the experience.
But despite all of our accolades we can do better as service is inconsistent at times. The reason we finished second to Madison from Midwest Living’s perspective: the lack of affordability and the limited ethnic food offerings.
So we have a little work to do, but Northern Michigan is on the map as one of the great food and drink destinations in America. --Rick Coates

Short’s
Bananas & Blow

Last weekend Short’s Brewing Company made an appearance at the Repeal of Prohibition Beer Festival in St. Louis. Next week (April 26) they are partnering with Pearl’s in Elk Rapids for a beer dinner and in just a couple of weeks they will be celebrating their 6th Anniversary (May 1). To help celebrate they are having their 2nd Annual Short’s to Short’s Paddle on April 30th from Lake Bellaire and ending 27 miles later in Elk Rapids (where their production facility is located).
There is a lot to celebrate in “Shortsville” these days, Joe and his crew are brewing innovative beers and certainly putting their interpretation on the classic styles, resulting in many accolades and a growing reputation across the country in the microbrew community. His pub in Bellaire has become a tourist attraction, where guests are not only enjoying the tasty brews but a great menu and plenty of live music.
Short’s has even developed somewhat of a cult following on Flickr (the online photo album) where fans have posted hundreds of photos of Short’s brews.
Joe Short is enjoying well-deserved success; he had a vision seven years ago to come to the small town of Bellaire and start a brewery that wouldn’t just brew everyday beers, but would brew beers with personalities. Demand for his beers required him to expand, and over a year ago he opened a large production facility in Elk Rapids where he is bottling his mainstay brews for the retail and on premise market.
While Short’s is now available for the masses, the heart of it all still remains in Bellaire, where many beers are available that will not find their way to the bottle or mass distribution. Recently I tried Bananas & Blow, made with 2,000 pounds of bananas. This is a tasty brew and a definite for the lover of banana bread. Certainly not a brew you would have more than one of in one sitting but it was fun and flavorful and points to the imagination of Joe Short and his brew team. --Rick Coates

 
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