Happy Hour

A weekly snapshot of Happy Hours around the region…


FireFly
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

Fred's
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.

MONEY'S PLATTE RIVER INN:
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.

BC LANES FAMILY ENTERTAIMENT CENTER:
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.

CHINA ONE:
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.

A&W:
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.

BIG BUCK BREWERY & STEAKHOUSE:
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.

THE NEW YORK RESTAURANT:
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.

EMPIRE VILLAGE INN: 
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.

JESPERSON'S:
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.
 
CUPPA JOE:
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, October 5, 2009

Martha‘s Leelanau Table

Dining Al Parker A Taste of Europe in Suttons Bay

By Al Parker 10/5/09

Martha Ryan wipes her hands on her crisp white apron, hoists plates of still-warm pastries in both hands and pauses from her busy duties to give credit to her year-old restaurant’s bustling staff.
“I have a great team here,” says Ryan, owner and operator of Martha’s Leelanau Table Café, a non-smoking restaurant housed in a remodeled 107-year-old residence on Suttons Bay’s main drag, St. Joseph Street.
Helping Ryan run the European-style café are her son Matt who does some cooking and daughter-in-law Rachell who runs the front. Especially busy these days are pastry chefs Susan McConnell, a longtime friend, and Daniela Weiner, an Austrian native and recent graduate of the Illinois Institute of Arts culinary arts program.
For 20 years Ryan was the food service director for Leland Schools. In summers she served meals at a number of Leelanau County restaurants, including Hattie’s, Thyme Out and the Homestead. In her spare time she did some catering.
 
Monday, October 5, 2009

Tastemakers: Matterhorn Grill dinner at Tastes of Black Star Farms

Dining Rick Coates Matterhorn Grill Dinner at
TASTES of Black Star Farms
Rick Coates 10/5/09

When Black Star Farms decided to open a tasting operation (TASTES of Black Star Farms) at the Mercato in Building 50 (located at the Village of the Grand Traverse Commons) a few years ago, their focus was going to be on the eau de vies and distilled spirits they were making at their winery on the Leelanau Peninsula.
 
Monday, September 28, 2009

Jesperson‘s

Dining Kristi Kates Jesperson‘s
By Kristi Kates 9/28/09

Owned and operated by the same family for a whopping 106 years, Jesperson’s Restaurant in downtown Petoskey is a Northern Michigan classic, and one that many generations of other families return to every year.
“We have four generations of some families dining with us every summer,” Jesperson’s co-owner Bill Fraser says, “our customers, in many cases, were introduced to our restaurant by their grandparents.”
 
Monday, September 28, 2009

Tastemakers: National food and drink days

Dining Rick Coates Tastemakers
Rick Coates 9/28/09
National Food
and Drink Days

I have always wondered who comes up with all of the days of celebration. for example, Sweetest Day (October 17) is on the horizon. Does some guy who is locked in a greeting card company closet dream up these holidays? Thankfully there are not greeting cards for the hundreds of national food and drink days we throughout the year.
Yes that’s right, everyday, 365 days a year there is some sort of National Eat or Drink. For example, this week on September 28, it is National Drink Beer Day. Seems like the proponents of this day picked the wrong day as October 4 is National Eat Tacos Day and also National Drink Vodka Day. Ever try eating tacos and drinking vodka? they should have switched the vodka with beer.
Okay this week is also National Don’t Eat Salt Week. Now what is the point of this? It is also National Drink Beer Week, salty foods goes best with beer don’t they? Oh yeah, it is also National Eat Chili Week. try making a good chili without some salt. Now next week is National School Lunch Week, isn’t every day the kids are in school a school lunch day?
 
Monday, September 21, 2009

Tastemakers: Dinner in The Hills/ Oktoberfest

Dining Rick Coates Tastemakers
Rick Coates 9/21/09
Dinner in
the Hills

Mt. Holiday Ski & Recreation Area was on its death bed 10 years ago, until a group of families and ski enthusiasts came together and kept the long time ski operation from heading into extinction. Now operated by a non-profit association, Mt. Holiday is a year – round recreation and entertainment facility offering skiing, disc golf, mountain biking, wedding receptions, private parties and banquets. Last year they brought in veteran ski hill operations manager Rick Van Tongeren (Cannonsburg near Grand Rapids) to serve as their new General Manager and a new banquet manager, Michelle Konstanzer. Now Mt. Holiday is enjoying a 12-month operation. Being non-profit they are dependent on fundraising and on Saturday, September 26, they will host their 4th annual dinner.
“We are calling it ’Dinner in the Hills’ as this is the first time the dinner will be here at Mt. Holiday” said Van Tongeren. “We have a lot going on all night including great food, beer, wine, music and silent auction. We expect to draw 160 people.” The evening will feature 10 area chefs preparing a variety of wild game and other speicliaty entrées and appetizers. The gourmet offerings will be paired with wines from seven wineries from the region and four are microbreweries.
 
Monday, September 21, 2009

The Cook‘s House

Dining Rick Coates Cooking up Something Good

The Cooks’ House finds culinary success in downtown Traverse City

By Rick Coates 9/21/09

When chefs Eric Patterson and Jennifer Blakeslee opened their restaurant The Cooks’ House in downtown Traverse City a year and half ago, they had a vision that they felt would take five years to accomplish, instead they find themselves ahead of schedule and helping to lead a culinary revolution in Northern Michigan.
“We are a lot further along than we expected to be at this point,” said Patterson.
“The area has quickly grasped our mission of using foods from local growers and producers and our vision focusing on the seasonality of what is available to create our menus. We had hoped to release a cookbook after three to five years of being open but have already accomplished that goal as well.”
 
Monday, September 21, 2009

A taste of Harbor Springs

Dining Kristi Kates A Taste of Harbor Springs
Festival brings out foodies this week

By Kristi Kates 9/21/09

Many people enjoy what’s called a “tasting menu” at fine dining restaurants; a selection of dishes that represent the restaurant’s usual menu, but just in smaller portions so that you can try a little of several different things. Well, foodies, would you like three hours’ worth of tasting menus from some of Harbor Springs’ best restaurants? Then Saturday, September 26 is your lucky day.
 
Monday, September 21, 2009

Buy local, make a difference

Dining Kristi Kates Buy Local,
Make a Difference
Annual guide helps grow local food movement


By Kristi Kates 9/21/09

The photo on the cover of the 2009 Taste the Local Difference guide says it all.
Shot by photographer Ken Scott, the photo was taken while Scott picked up his “weekly farm share” in Suttons Bay; the photo showcases two varieties of chard, eggs, Tavera green beans, cucumber, Genovese basil, sweet corn, Roma tomatoes, purple scallions, and wild apples.
It reminds us that dining on foods like this is no longer something that should be saved for gourmet dinners, or only enjoyed by the skillful farmers that grow the crops – It can, and should, be a way of life. The aforementioned guide and its wide range of locally grown foods is an example of how the buy-local-foods movement here in Northwest Lower Michigan is making a much-needed impact.
 
Monday, September 14, 2009

Tastemakers: Community supportd agriculture/ Grand Traverse Distillery Wheat Vodka

Dining Rick Coates Tastemakers
Rick Coates 9/14/09
Community Supported Agriculture
During my visits to area farmers markets this summer I have noticed more and more Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms. It seems that CSA are popping up all over, with more than 24 in Northern Michigan and others in the planning stages.
 
Monday, September 14, 2009

Sammich N‘ Suds

Dining Kristi Kates Sammich N‘ Suds
Offers Stress-Free Dining
By Kristi Kates 9/14/09

Sitting amidst the bright colors of their new restaurant, with its orange and yellow walls, dark cabinetry, and friendly atmosphere, Lora Muethel and Jay Higdon have a mission in mind. “We want to make people forget the stresses of their lives for a moment and enjoy really good food at reasonable prices,” Lora Muethel says. This is the philosophy behind their new Boyne City eclectic sandwich shop, Sammich N’ Sudz.
“Jay and I know that dining out costs a fortune in this economy,” Muethel continues, “and we understand that in a stressful environment like today, people turn to comfort foods. Our ability to understand this has encouraged us to create sandwiches out of the best of those comfort foods.”
 
Monday, September 7, 2009

Steer a course for Modes

Dining Al Parker Steer a Course for Mode’s
Extended family carries on tradition
at landmark restaurant

By Al Parker 9/7/09

Anita Mode smiles broadly at a customer’s joke, runs a cloth across the already gleaming wooden bar, then greets another visitor to the family’s venerable restaurant, Mode’s Bum Steer located in Traverse City.
“We’ve been here for 34 years now,” she says with pride. “It’s been very good to us.”
Mode’s is very much a comfortable family-run operation. For most of those 34 years Anita ran the front of the house, while husband Bob was a fun-loving fixture in the kitchen. When Bob died two years ago, their daughter Skylar became manager and shares responsibilities with her mother. Son Chris helps out as a bartender.
 
Monday, September 7, 2009

Tastemakers: Two weekends, two great feastivals

Dining Rick Coates Tastemakers
Rick Coates 9/7/09
Two Weekends
Two Great Festivals
There were skeptics that back-to-back weekends featuring a major wine festival and a beer festival with music and food both weekends would not work in Northern Michigan. After all, these weekends have always been a challenge in the tourism industry as college students are gone, families are preparing for the start of school, and several fall school sports and activities are well underway. Throw in a lagging economy and these events surely were doomed. But organizers of the Traverse City Wine and Art Festival and the Traverse City Microbrew and Music Festival proved all doubters wrong. Both weekends were “home runs” as thousands came out for both festivals.
 
Monday, August 31, 2009

Taco House

Dining Al Parker Staying Power
The Taco House has popularity that’s built to last
By Al Parker 8/31/09

Restaurants open and restaurants close, but veteran restaurateur John Coscarelli knows exactly what’s made his Taco House prosper for some 28 years.
“The reason we’re successful, and continue to have success, is the people I’m working with,” explains Coscarelli, the soft-spoken hands-on owner of the popular Mexican fast food eatery in Traverse City.
“We have good chemistry working together. My head manager has been with us 28 years, two others over 20 years, five or six people between 15 and 20 years. People come here and they see familiar faces. That’s a big part of our success – that and the quality and consistency of our food.”
Located on Garfield Road just north of bustling South Airport Road, the area was much less congested when Coscarelli opened Taco House in 1981. “Bill Marsh was just starting his auto dealerships and the Cherryland Mall was there, but the rest of the area just built up around us,” he recalls.
Coscarelli took an empty building that once housed another Mexican restaurant and converted it into a comfortable dining atmosphere. The red-tiled floor and gray-and-white walled interior are clean and inviting.
 
Monday, August 31, 2009

Tastemakers: Michigan potatoes/ New Holland Artisan Spirits Knickerbocker Gin

Dining Rick Coates Tastemakers
Rick Coates 8/31/09
Michigan Potatoes
In part due to several diet fades in recent years, the potato has received a bad rap. But that has not kept the Michigan potato industry from thriving. In fact, in volume and sales dollars potatoes are Michigan’s leading produce commodity. Michigan leads the nation in potatoes raised for potato chip production.
Despite the negative publicity, potatoes remain popular and are a staple item at all three meals a day. The Michigan Department of Agriculture reports that potatoes are a great source of nutrition too. A medium potato, weighing between 5 and 10 ounces, has 76 calories—no more than an apple. Potatoes are fat-free, rich in potassium and an excellent source of fiber. A potato contains one-half the daily requirement of vitamin C, 15 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin B6, and 10 percent of the niacin requirements.
Worldwide, potatoes are the fourth most important agricultural crop and are grown in 130 countries. The average American eats about 124 pounds of potatoes per year while Germans eat about twice as much. Thomas Jefferson gets the credit for introducing “french fries” to America when he served them at a White House dinner. Mr. Potato Head was the first toy to be advertised on American television and is now 60 years old, (he made a cameo in the Toy Story movies).
 
Monday, August 31, 2009

At Stafford‘s Pier

Dining Kristi Kates At Stafford’s Pier:
The Pointer Boat Offers a Taste of Harbor Springs History

By Kristi Kates 8/31/09

The image of the Pointer Boat is one that is iconic to Harbor Springs residents and visitors alike. Most often seen either docked next to Stafford’s Pier restaurant on Little Traverse Bay, or puttering around in the town’s natural harbor, the Pointer Boat is both a little piece of town history... and also the subject of plenty of misconceptions.
“People have a hard time understanding that the boat is not for rent or does not charge,” Stafford’s Dudley Marvin says, “I tell many folks that we operate much like a hotel shuttle that might take folks to area attractions, area transportation hubs or do a complimentary city tour.”
 
 
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