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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Traverse City Chocolate Festival/Martha?s Leelanau Cafe Belgian Beer Class & Tasting 4/4/11

Rick Coates - April 4th, 2011
Traverse City Chocolate Festival
Three years ago self-described chocoholic Barbara Disborough wrote “The Guide to Chocolate in the Grand Traverse Region.” Northern Michigan continues to grow in the number of artisan chocolate makers as well as the number of shops that offer high quality chocolate products.
A former respiratory therapist, Disborough is an aficionado of all things chocolate and has spent the past several years searching out the best the region has to offer. The book has become a popular compendium for visitors and locals alike and Disborough has been offering a variety of customized and personalized tasting events around the area.
In 2009 a group of chocolatiers asked Disborough if she would help them organize and promote a “chocolate festival” in Traverse City. “I was retired and had time on my hands so I agreed to help,” said Disborough. “At first I was just doing some basic promotion but before I knew it they had me organizing most of the event.”
The event didn’t happen last year, so Disborough decided to bring it back herself.
She started Chocolate Lady Productions and has already tripled the number of vendors from two years ago, expanding the April 10 Traverse City Chocolate Festival at the City Opera House to include all things chocolate. In addition to local chocolate makers, she has invited other chocolatiers from around the country. There will be a few local wineries (wine and chocolate pair nicely), artists and musicians as well. Plus, some area restaurants will be a part of the mix.
Tickets are selling quickly and are limited; available at $15 in advance and $17 at the door. Ticket holders will receive a sampling coupon for each of the vendors.
The Chocolate Festival runs from 1-4 p.m. Participants are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items for the St. Francis Food Pantry and the first 100 who bring two items will receive an extra Sampling Coupon.
If chocolate is your “guilty pleasure” The Traverse City Chocolate Festival is for you and the perfect opportunity to get to meet the the chocolatiers of the region while sampling their products (all vendors will have items for sale to take home). For details check out www.GTChocolateLady.com or to purchase advance tickets go to www.cityoperahouse.org or call the box office at 231-941-8082. --Rick Coates

Martha’s Leelanau Cafe Belgian Beer Class & Tasting

The people of Belgium know their beer; the country is about the size of Maryland (the eighth smallest U.S. state) and has over 120 breweries producing close to 7,500 different beers annually. While they export about 70% of their beer production annually, the average adult consumes about two kegs of beer a year in Belgium. There is good reason for this as Belgian beer is among some of the best and most flavorful beers made anywhere in the world.
Comedian and Belgian brew enthusiast Stu Stuart has been studying the brews of Belgium for 20 years. In fact using his comedic sense Stuart says, “I learned to drink beer at Boy Scout summer camp. Of course, they don’t offer that merit badge--anymore.” Now Stuart spends time summering on Mackinac Island and in Grand Marais and the rest of the year in Seattle, Portland and Philadelphia doing stand up comedy and teaching Belgian beer classes and workshops. He also leads brewery and tasting tours in Belgium. During the warm months he has a regular stand-up comedy gig on Mackinac Island and in between it all he offers his Belgian Beer Appreciation classes.
The first tasting class of the season will take place at Martha’s Leelanau Table European Style Cafe in Suttons Bay on Monday April 11. The fee is $55 and includes several beer samples and an array of Belgian beer friendly appetizers from Martha and her team. Guests will enjoy a two-hour presentation and tasting, learning about many of the different Belgian beer styles, along with their history, ingredients and mythology.
Tasting beers from Belgium is more than just drinking beer -- it is an experience -- from proper food pairing to the glass chosen. For example, in Belgium every beer has its own style of glass, so if you visit a brewery that is making 300 beers they would have 300 different glasses.
For additional details check out www.marthasleelanautable.com or for Stuart’s Belgian Beer Me programs check out www.belgianbeerme.com . For reservations for the April 11 class and tasting call 231-215-0173, seating is limited. --Rick Coates
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