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: Great Lakes Whitefish Cookbook/ Bell‘s Oberon Ale 3/21/11

Rick Coates - March 21st, 2011
Great Lakes Whitefish Cookbook
The Michigan Sea Grant program has released a new cookbook, Wild Caught
and Close to Home: Selecting and Preparing Great Lakes Whitefish. The book
celebrates the Great Lakes whitefish with recipes, cooking techniques and
chef insights. It was edited by Chef Chris Kibit, a professor at the
Northern Michigan University hospitality and culinary management program,
along with his colleague Chef Deborah Pearce.
Kibit has been a professor at NMU for the past 10 years and, prior to
that, spent 20 years as a chef and kitchen manager overseeing a wide
variety of operations. Kibit grew up and worked in Michigan kitchens and
quickly learned that whitefish is a staple ingredient on menus throughout
the state. Chef Kibit recommends through his experience that “knowing your
supplier, their reputation and how they handle fish is important and while
fresh is best, it is not always possible, and properly frozen whitefish
can be a suitable substitute.”
Wild Caught and Close to Home “trolled the Great Lakes and met with
restaurant chefs, fishermen and culinary educators from Wisconsin,
Michigan and Minnesota to gather a wide spectrum of recipes.” in addition
to a wide array of recipes this book also covers the history of whitefish
along with tips and techniques for purchasing and handling. Besides the
basics of frying and grilling whitefish, this book also has recipes for
cooking over campfires, pickling and smoking whitefish.
Eighteen chefs from around the Great Lakes contributed to the book
including Jill Bentgen, proprietor of Mackinac Straits Fish Company in St.
Ignace; Hans Burtscher, executive chef of the Grand Hotel on Mackinac
Island; and Paul Carlson, chef at The Hearth and Vine in Black Star Farms
in Suttons Bay.
While the book is great for restaurants, at-home chefs will equally enjoy
it.  The book may be purchased for $16.95 at
http://www.greatlakeswhitefish.com/ where additional recipes, sample page
views and pictures are also available.
---Rick Coates

Bell’s Oberon Ale

Musicians have CD release parties all the time, so why not breweries?
Certainly beer enthusiasts of Kalamazoo based Bell’s Brewery thinks it’s a
great idea. Every year more and more Oberon “pre-release” parties are
popping up all over the place. City Park Grill in Petoskey will play host
to one as will Union Street Station in TC. Both events are this Sunday,
March 27, with the  tapping of the first Oberon keg of the year taking
place at midnight. 
The release of Oberon marks the unofficial start of summer for some, even
though we are only officially just a week into spring. Oberon is a summer
seasonal that is released every year at this time and starts to disappear
as fall sets in. This wheat ale is fermented with Bell’s signature house
ale yeast and is mildly hopped with hints of spice. Some wheat beers can
be overly citrusy hitting a 10 on the pucker scale. Not Oberon; this beer
goes done smooth with slight hints of citrus and spice with a mild wheat
While the beer pours cloudy, true connoisseurs know that Oberon is liquid
sun in the glass. There is great debate on whether a slice of orange
should be served with Oberon. This really is simply a personal preference
and some places serve it with lemon slices.
Oberon pairs well with a wide range of foods with the exception of heavier
dishes, such as meat and potatoes. This is an exceptional cocktail beer to
be enjoyed with cheese and fresh fruits. For lunch, pair with summer soups
such as gazpacho as well as summer salads. At dinner, try blackened
whitefish or grilled salmon with citrus seasonings. Oberon is also tasty
with grilled vegetables. 
Oberon is great on hot days, or at the beach while watching the sunset. It
is available in bottles, on tap and in mini-kegs. ---Rick Coates 

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