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 · Benzonia's Roadhouse
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Benzonia's Roadhouse

Authentic Mexican Food

Ross Boissoneau - August 4th, 2014  

When she purchased The Roadhouse restaurant in 2001, Gretchen Boekeloo inherited a menu, a chef, and loyal patrons. Today, many recipes remain unchanged, Chef Miguel Roman still oversees the kitchen staff, and the clientele continues to grow.

“Every year we beat the record of the previous year,” said Boekeloo. Perched on top of Benzonia’s hill, The Roadhouse is all about serving up authentic Mexican favorites, playful and festive décor, and friendly staff that keeps ‘em coming back.

“It’s a well-oiled machine,” she said.


The Roadhouse’s narrow entrance is almost easy to miss – that is, unless there’s a line of people waiting to get in, snaking down the sidewalk.

Indoors, the restaurant opens on the right to a bar and on the left to a comfortable seating area. In back there are more tables.

The real revelation is outdoors. An extensive multi-level deck doubles the seating area, offering a secluded retreat, insulated from the sights and sounds of the nearby traffic on US-31.

“A lot of people have no idea it’s there,” says Boekeloo. “We’ve added on to the deck three times. It’s pretty magical at night. You can’t even hear the traffic.”


Start with an appetizer. There are the usual suspects like bean dip with cheese and chorizo, queso dip with cilantro, and guacamole. If you want something a little more unique, try Miguel’s Award-Winning Wings. Not sure what the award was, but with mango BBQ sauce or house red sauce complemented by blue cheese dressing, it doesn’t matter.

Entrées include chimichanga with chicken or pork, enchiladas, and fajitas with sizzling steak, chicken, vegetables or shrimp.

Then there’s the cabo salmon with mango salsa and grilled asparagus. If it’s enchiladas you’re hungry for, you have your choice of six different fillings: chicken, pork, beef, cheese, vegetables, or crab.

Don’t forget fish tacos, burritos and tamales; there’s also quesadillas with chorizo, shrimp, chicken, or veggies. Wraps include the California, Baja shrimp, or fajita, with jerk chicken or tequila-marinated steak.

Speaking of tequila, The Roadhouse offers choices there, too. There are four varieties each from Sammy Hagar’s Cabo Wabo brand and Don Julio, with others such as Jose Cuervo, Corazon and Patron – 20 selections in all.


If you want to start with a top-notch starter, look no further than Barb’s Legendary Empanadas. These dainty Chilean pastries are filled with seasoned mashed potatoes, green peppers, onions, corn, Monterey Jack cheese and cream cheese. Each year before she heads to Texas for the winter, longtime employee Barb Sanchez makes about 5,000 of them to last until she returns. “We freeze them in big Rubbermaid containers,” says manager Michelle Stratton.

Fajitas are also a popular selection, according to Stratton. Best of the quesadillas are the vegetarian and the Tinga, with its spicy chicken sautéed with chipotle and onions, and fresh avocado.

Stratton also points to the vegetarian enchiladas as a top choice. Just spicy enough and filled with a variety of perfectly cooked veggies, the flavors meld delightfully.

Perhaps the best seller, according to Stratton, is the Roadhouse Skillet. Grilled peppers and onions are mixed with tequila marinated steak and jerk chicken and topped with Monterey Jack cheese. The dish is then baked and served in – what else – a skillet.


Stratton gives credit for the restaurant’s continued uptick in business to the staff.

“Our staff has known each other for a very long time. It’s a close-knit community,” she said. That includes Boekeloo, a local resident who bought the establishment from original owner Jim Barnes. Previously she was assistant food and beverage director at Crystal Mountain.

“Customers come in and see the same people and develop relationships,” Stratton said.

In the summer, not only is the deck an enjoyable alternative to indoor seating, but also hosts live music Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 6pm-9pm. In the winter, the music moves indoors to just one night a week.


Appetizers start at $4.95, salads at $9.49. Entrées start at $10.99, quesadillas at $10.49, wraps at $10.99, and burgers (yes, they have those too) at $7.99.

The Roadhouse is open for dinner daily from 4pm-10pm (4pm-9pm in the off-season; shoulder seasons until 10pm Fridays and Saturdays).

The Roadhouse is located at 1058 Benzie Hwy., or US-31, in Benzonia. Call (231) 882- 9631, visit roadhousesalsa.com or visit its Facebook page.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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