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 · Tastemakers; Culinary Tourism/...
. . . .

Tastemakers; Culinary Tourism/ Boyne Appetit/ Service Standard

Rick Coates - January 17th, 2011
Last week I attended the the first Michigan Culinary Tourism Conference at the Kellog Center in East Lansing. It was a sold-out gathering of tourism leaders, culinary aficionados and others looking at how to incorporate this new tourism buzzword into their communities. Culinary tourism is not new, it has been an important amenity for the traveling public since the inception of tourism; but now it has become a main attraction.
One of the keynote speakers at the conference was Ari Weinzweig, a co-founder of Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor. Zingerman’s is an upscale food retailer that has created the benchmark in the culinary world for not only quality of product but quality of service. Weinzweig and his partners are in demand as consultants giving two-day seminars all over the country and his presentation captivated the audience. Zingerman’s little venture 30 years ago is now grossing close to $40 million annually. While 20% of that is mail order, the rest of their revenue is generated in Ann Arbor, making Zingerman’s one of the first culinary tourism destinations in that state.
While Zingerman’s has been asked to open operations elsewhere in the country they have refused to do so, instead focusing on their Ann Arbor operations that include a deli, a restaurant, creamery, coffee roasting, bakery, catering and most recently a candy making operation. The result is Zingerman’s has made Ann Arbor a culinary destination as people travel hundreds of miles to specifically visit.
While it is hard to pinpoint the first culinary destination in Michigan, Frakenmuth would have to be near the top of that list. Their chicken dinners are famous around the country and, partnered with the Bavarian theme and Christmas village, Frankenmuth has been one Michigan’s most popular culinary destinations over the years.

BOYNE Appétit
One of the darlings of the Michigan Culinary Tourism Conference was the contingent from Boyne City. A half dozen community leaders including their Chamber Director Jim Baumann didn’t wait until after the conference to launch their culinary tourism initiative; they came with ideas and even a catchy name. “Boyne Appétit” is the name of the new marketing campaign that Boyne City will be using to market culinary tourism in their region. The Boyne group handed Boyne Appétit buttons to conference attendees and caught the attention of conference organizers, including Melody Johnson of the International Culinary Tourism Association who singled out Boyne in her presentation.
Boyne City is anchoring their culinary tourism initiative with the Chef’s Challenge, a major culinary event that features Michigan foods, wine, beers and spirits in an “iron chef” style competition. But their initiative will be year-round, encompassing the many assets of the community including several eateries, such as the recently opened Cafe Santé, along with partnering with various cultural and recreational offerings.
Baumann and the others at Boyne have taken an open-minded approach to their new initiative, putting all ideas on the table. They are looking at developing a service standard and partnering with other communities in the region. During the conference when a longtime tourism leader suggested that the Chef’s Challenge was held at the wrong time of year (last weekend of April) to attract visitors to the area, the Boyne team responded: “That’s what is great about culinary tourism -- it is not weather dependent and we need to create opportunities to bring people here at times of the year that traditionally do not attract visitors.”

One topic arising from public comment was the establishment of a community or regional “service standard.” In his presentation, Ari Weinzweig said that at the end of the day, it is the service standard at Zingerman’s that sets them apart. This means, essentially, that you can offer the best products or the greatest meal, but without exceptional service you won’t create a memorable experience. Ultimately, any “culinary tourism initiatives” created in Northern Michigan will not be successful without an accompanying service standard.
About five years ago I wrote an article that service in Northern Michigan was average, basically giving the region a “C.” Two radio stations had online surveys after the article appeared, rating the service in Northern Michigan and their listeners came back with a “C” rating in both surveys. Having a Northern Michigan service standard will go a long way in improving the experience of not only our visitors but those who live here.
The best tourism destinations in the world often have service standards. Not only do restaurants and accommodations participate, but retailers and even law enforcement take part in seminars which are often held annually. Boyne City has said that creating a customer service standard will be a part of the Boyne Appétit culinary tourism initiative. Will others join them? --Rick Coates
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5