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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Monday, February 7, 2011

The Roost offers a view of the Bay and a quiet place to chat

Dining Anne Stanton Afternoon Delight! The Roost offers a view of the Bay and a quiet place to chat
By Anne Stanton
If you’re looking to spend some alone time with your Valentine or a
favorite friend, check out the newly opened Roost—a cheerful nook
above Bay Bread Company in Traverse City.
The Roost is the newest addition to Bay Bread, a corner neighborhood
bakery known for its 40 different homemade breads, sandwiches, soups
and salads. Until now, customers had to order their sandwich or salad
as a take-out or wait for limited seating in the bakery, which can be
busy and noisy.
Monday, January 31, 2011

Tastemakers: Squire Morgan‘s Original Volcao Sauce/ Ole Smoky Moonshine

Dining Rick Coates Squire Morgan’s Original Volcano SaucE
Jeff and Jean Ackerman of Kingsley spend their winters in the Florida Keys. Several years ago they discovered Squire Morgan’s Original Volcano Sauce at one of their favorite eateries while wintering in Florida. Developed by restauranteur Tom Tiberii during his many trips to the Far East experimenting with various peppers and seasonings, his Volcano Sauce became the rage of the Key West dining scene. A few years back he decided to sell his restaurant and travel the world. The Ackerman’s didn’t want to see the Squire Morgan’s Original Volcano Sauce to disappear so they asked Tiberii if he would sell it to them. He agreed and Tiberii also shared his secret recipe.
Monday, January 24, 2011

9 Bean Rows

Dining Ross Boissoneau Gourmet baking on the rise at 9 Bean Rows 1/24/11
By Ross Boissoneau
Man cannot live by bread alone.
But if you throw in a couple different kinds of croissants, some
napoleons, a chocolate mouse or two, you may be on to something.
That’s kind of the premise of 9 Bean Rows, the bakery now inhabiting
the former location of the Cook’s House at 439 E. Front Street. With
some 16 varieties of bread, croissants and the like, there are plenty
of choices for the sourdough-inclined.
Monday, January 24, 2011

Tastemakers: Cabbage Shed Ritz Crusted Walleye/ Lagavulin

Dining Rick Coates Ritz Crusted Walleye 1/24/11
The old adage “don’t judge a book by the cover” definitely is the case when you arrive to The Cabbage Shed in Elberta for the first time. Built in 1867, this building is a popular eating and entertainment destination in the harbor area between Elberta and Frankfort and definitely has character. At first glance, one might not expect to find exceptional food accented by a great wine list, a line-up of top shelf single malt scotch and a solid collection of craftbrewed beers.
Originally the general merchandise store and post office in town, it eventually became the farmer’s cooperative and the Benzie County Fruit Exchange before becoming a big cabbage shed in the 1930s. Current owner Jim Clapp acquired the building in 1972, and in 1985 he opened The Cabbage Shed, or simply The Shed as the regulars call it.
Monday, January 17, 2011

Tastemakers; Culinary Tourism/ Boyne Appetit/ Service Standard

Dining Rick Coates CULINARY TOURISM 1/17/11
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.
Monday, January 10, 2011

Tastemakers: Soul Hole Shrimp & Crawfish Etouffee/ Knob Creek Kentucky Bourbon

Dining Rick Coates Soul Hole Shrimp & Crawfish Étouffée
Since opening last spring, The Soul Hole located on Union Street in the Old Town District of Traverse City has been a welcome addition to the region’s ever-growing culinary scene. If there has been one criticism to Northern Michigan’s dining community, it has been the lack of ethnic and regional cuisine offerings; basically little diversity and too much of the same thing. But in recent years that has been changing for the better.
The Soul Hole has also been helping to shine a light on what at times has been an overlooked part of downtown TC. With the State Theater and City Opera House renovations along with several new eateries, Front Street has been the focus of downtown Traverse City. Toss in the InsideOut Gallery and Right Brain Brewery in the Warehouse District and it seems that Old Town has taken somewhat of a backseat.
Monday, January 10, 2011

Simply Cupcakes

Dining Ross Boissoneau Sweet Treats at Simply Cupcakes
By Ross Boissonneau
Life is sweet for Len Mayhew. With a little frosting on top.
And as the owner of Simply Cupcakes, Mayhew tries to make it that way for
With 15 different varieties of individual cakes with fanciful names and
visual appeal, Mayhew believes he’s hit on a winning recipe. From Red
Velvet to Key Lime, Funky Monkey to Black Tie, the varieties offer eye
candy as well as tasty treats ranging from sweet to sour.
Monday, January 3, 2011


Dining Rick Coates 2011 Food & Drink Trends
In 2011 the economy and healthy eating are the two primary factors
expected to impact food and drink trends. Positive economic
projections for 2011 are already having an impact as consumers are
flocking to higher end liquors and restaurants. Better real estate
values are allowing more people to enter the restaurant business, in
particular the small “mom & pop” operations.
Monday, December 27, 2010

Palette Bistro

Dining Glen Young Take a Tasty Trip Around the World at Palette Bistro
By Glen Young
Ten weeks might not seem long between design and debut, but that is
exactly how long it took the proprietors of Petoskey’s newest dinner
destination to get their restaurant off the ground.
Palette Bistro, the latest venture by Wine Guys restaurant group,
opened in December with a Mediterranean themed menu, an emphasis on
small plates and a view that rivals any in Northern Michigan.
Monday, December 27, 2010

Tastemakers: Michigan Shrimp/ Blue Peligan Bubbly

Dining Rick Coates Michigan Shrimp
When PBS Chef (Fork In The Road) Eric Villegas told me about Michigan Shrimp at the Father Fred Foundation Cigar Dinner six years ago, I was waiting for the punch line. There wasn’t one, Villegas was serious as he told me about Okemos-based Russ Allen and his shrimp farm.
Allen launched his Shrimp Farm Market (Seafood Systems, Inc.) in 1994. After a 30-plus year career consulting for shrimp farms around the world, he had the vision of creating an industry here in Michigan.
Aquaculture, or aquafarming, is on the rise around the world and those who subscribe to this believe that ultimately aquaculture will be the way the world is fed in the future. According to Corinna Borden, an Ann Arbor based author and writer who also manages the Westside Farmers Market (where Allen sells his shrimp and works at the family
Monday, December 20, 2010

Dining with Gusto

Dining Al Parker Dining with Gusto! in Suttons Bay
By Al Parker
Just for the record, the colorful Italian eatery in Suttons Bay is pronounced “Goose-tow,” not “Gus-tow.”
“I don’t care how they say it, as long as they come in,” laughs Sam Hybels, owner of Gusto! on M-22 just a couple of doors north of Suttons Bay’s south blinker light.
In a prior life, the building housed Hattie’s, operated by noted restaurateur Jim Milliman. In 2003, Milliman decided to sell Hattie’s and Hybels, who had worked at the eatery, saw an opportunity. He bought Hattie’s, changed the menu and reintroduced the restaurant as Samuel’s.
About 18 months ago he transformed Samuel’s into Gusto!
“It’s been a good direction for us to go,” says Hybels, who comes from a family of self-proclaimed foodies and has been a chef for 20 years. “I really modeled Gusto! after a couple of Italian restaurants in Kalamazoo where we went when I was growing up.”
Hybels devotion to authentic Italian cuisine goes back many years and was sparked when he spent two weeks visiting Sicily. “I had been a corporate chef for 10 years and was burned out,” he recalls. “The Italian people are food people. They emphasize freshness and quality. That’s the way I do it.”
Monday, December 20, 2010

Tastemakers: Grandma‘s Perogies/ Tyskie Gronie

Dining Rick Coates Grandma’s Perogies
Petoskey’s Marcie Newton had built quite a reputation for herself as the “Perogie Queen of Ohio.” Residing just outside of Cleveland, she began making this traditional Polish style dumpling (pastry) for coworkers and patrons at the tavern where she was a popular bartender. Her perogies became so popular that before she knew it she was getting orders for hundreds each week. With a business partner she launched Grandma’s Perogies and started producing over 100 dozen orders a day to keep up with demand.
Newton returned to Petoskey 10 years ago to care for her mother and left behind her successful perogie operation to become the manager of the Goodwill Inn retail store. As her mother needed more care, Newton quit her job, but needing an income, she re-launched Grandma’s Perogies in Petoskey. Leasing a commercial kitchen, Newton is now reclaiming her reputation as the Perogie Queen, but this time in her hometown.
Monday, December 13, 2010

Bay View Grille

Dining Danielle Horvath Bay View Grille offers harborside dining in Frankfort
By Danielle Horvath
When Dale Evans and Jill Weide were looking for a place to retire and play golf, they considered warmer climes like Virginia, North Carolina, Arizona, and even checked out Costa Rica, before settling for the small town ambience of Frankfort.
“We walked around the town in December, with the snow coming down, and it was so peaceful and beautiful. We decided this was where we wanted to be,” Dale said. They also changed their minds about playing golf and decided to purchase a restaurant with a great view of Betsie Bay. “The view was there, all we had to do was add the good food and affordable price.”
Monday, December 13, 2010

Tastemakers: Hudsonville Ice Cream Lake Affection/ Great Lakes Brewing Company Christmas Ale

Dining Rick Coates Hudsonville Ice Cream Lake Affection
Hudsonville Creamery & Ice Cream (located between Grand Rapids and Holland) started in 1895 as a farmers’ cooperative in Hudsonville, MI when a group of area farmers joined together to create a better way to sell their dairy products.
Today the Hudsonville Creamery & Ice Cream Company is synonymous with great ice cream and is one of the top producers in the Midwest of this frozen treat. In 2010 they launched three new Limited Edition flavors (Blueberry Cobbler and Country Apple Pie) to this popular series with the latest addition released last week Lake Affection, made with Lake Michigan Blue mint ice cream swirled with snow vanilla ice cream.
“As Michigan residents, we wanted to poke a little good-natured fun at how much we all tolerate the winter weather – and just how changeable living on the shores of Lake Michigan can be,” said Anne Sukup, spokesperson for Hudsonville Ice Cream. “So we created Lake Affection, our homage to an otherwise dreaded weather phenomenon of lake effect snow.”
Monday, December 6, 2010

Tastemakers: Cafe Sante Steak Diane (Holiday Menu)/ Basil Hayden 12/6/2010

Dining Rick Coates Cafe Sante Steak Diane (Holiday Menu)
If you were looking for signs of economic resurgence, look to downtown Boyne City and in particular the new One Water Street building that is home to Cafe Sante. Part of the successful portfolio of restaurants owned and operated by Magnum Hospitality (Red Mesa, Pearls), Cafe Sante opened late last spring (opening a new place during the Great Recession -- what were they thinking?) and has been the talk of the Northern Michigan culinary scene since. I stopped recently on Wednesday night during the middle of deer season at 8 pm and it was a 30 minute wait, but after the dining experience my 13-year-old son and I enjoyed, it was worth the wait.
Cafe Sante features classic European fare with an impressive 16 beers on tap (unique English, Belgium and local micros) along with a something for everyone bottle selection. Add in the top shelf spirits (see Bottoms Up) and a wine list crafted by sommelier Ed Brehm, along with the ambiance and service and Cafe Sante definitely falls into the destination dining category (sorry, Boyne City, this place is too good for you to have it all to yourself).