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, June 29, 2009

Tastemakers: Cousin Jenny‘s Cornish Pasties/Leinenkugel‘s summer shandy

Dining Rick Coates Tastemakers
Rick Coates 6/29/09
Cousin Jenny’s Cornish Pasties
Cornish pasties were developed in Cornwall, England as a hearty meal for tin miners. They were easy to carry and easy to eat. When the tin mines stopped producing, the Cornish people migrated to Canada and the Upper Peninsula to mine copper and iron ore and they brought their Cornish pasties recipes with them.
Jerliyn DeBoer brought the tradition with her to Traverse City when she moved from the Upper Peninsula and opened Cousin Jenny’s on May 26, 1984 on Front Street (where Good Harbor Coffee is today). After 25 years, she has sold 1.8 million of the popular homemade pasties and has employed 150 mostly college and high school students.
Her secret to success: “Making everything fresh. I arrive every morning at 3 a.m. to make the pastry dough from scratch,” said DeBoer. “I also have listened to my customers over the years and given them what they wanted.”
 
Monday, June 15, 2009

Tastemakers: Organic wines/Trattoria Stella Father‘s Day Stellar Picnic

Dining Rick Coates Organic Wines 6/15/09
During a recent visit to By the Light of Day Organics on the Leelanau Peninsula I struck up a conversation with proprietor Angela Macke about consumer confusion over “organic” labeling. She said it is equally “frustrating for the organic farmer who goes to great lengths to become certified organic.”
Macke, who has built a reputation across the country for her collection of certified organic teas made with ingredients she grows on her Leelanau Peninsula organic farm, says the key for the consumer is to “look beyond the certified claim and look on the label and see who actually certified it.”
 
Monday, June 8, 2009

Tastemakers: 24th Annual Leland Wine & Food Festival

Dining Rick Coates Tastemakers: 24th Annual Leland Wine & Food Festival
Rick Coates 6/8/09

After much speculation and a lot of last-minute negotiations, the 24th Annual Leland Wine & Food Festival will be held this Saturday in its traditional location at the Leland Harbor next to historic Fishtown. All the fun starts at noon (the lines start forming around 10 a.m.) and continues till 6 p.m.
The Leland Harbor is undergoing a much needed multi-million dollar renovation and government red tape has delayed the project. But the great thing about the community of Leland is they have always found a way to work together to make things happen and so festival organizers and constructions crews got together and figured out how to make this year’s festival happen, as planned.
The Festival got its start 24 years ago with two goals in mind: promote the emerging wine industry in Northern Michigan and to kick off the summer season in Leland. Proceeds from the festival have been used to beautify the community.
 
Monday, June 8, 2009

Sparky‘s Diner

Dining Al Parker Blast from the Past Sparky’s Diner
By Al Parker 6/8/09

If you like ‘50s music rumbling from an original 1962 juke box, big-finned cars covered with chrome and authentic diner food, there’s a TC eatery that would make Bill Haley shake, rattle and roll.
Sparky’s Diner, owned by food service veterans Paul Sparks (hence the name) and Brent Bartz, opened in May of 2008. Tucked into a South Airport Road strip mall, just east of Barlow, Sparky’s is a clean, non-smoking eatery.
“We offer basic diner food – burgers, fries and shakes,” says Bartz, an affable guy who takes a break from wiping down tables and greeting customers to talk about the place. “Since we opened last year we’ve built a good base (of customers.) We serve a lot of local customers and have doubled our business over the year.”
Born and raised in Traverse City, Bartz spent 35 years at Don’s Drive-In in East Bay before leaving to open his own place with co-worker Sparks, also a TC native, who has 15 years of eatery experience.
 
Monday, June 1, 2009

Goodbye to Bob

Dining Anne Stanton Good-Bye to Bob
Anne Stanton 6/1/09

Ten years ago, a wonderful thing happened to Oryana Natural Food Co-op, a spacious natural foods store tucked in the heart of Traverse City. Bob Struthers took over, and the struggling co-op began to flourish and eventually achieve double digit sales growth year after year.
But now Bob and his wife, Kim, have decided to move to northeastern New Mexico. Bob will start a new career in this remote corner of New Mexico as an independent consultant for food co-ops. Kim, who worked as a biologist at the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore will start a new job as Natural Resource Manager at the Capulin Volcano National Monument.
We couldn’t let Bob go without an exit interview, although it was by phone from his new home, where he’s moving in the furniture.
 
Monday, June 1, 2009

Dudley‘s Deck

Dining Kristi Kates Al Fresco Elegance on Dudley’s Deck

By Kristi Kates 6/1/09

1970 was the year in which Stafford Smith, founder of Stafford’s Hospitality (a chain of hotels/restaurants in the Petoskey/Harbor Springs/Boyne area), bought a small building in downtown Harbor Springs, converting the boathouse into an upscale dining room.
Given its location, “The Pier” was the obvious name for the rambling new fine dining venue, with its indoor dining room dubbed The Pointer Room (after the three “Pointer Boat” water taxis that ran between Harbor Springs and Harbor Point). The Wheelhouse Lounge and the more casual booth-bedecked Chart Room would soon follow, expanding The Pier to three separate dining areas.
In 1992, an outdoor dining area of The Pier was named “Dudley’s Deck,” after Dudley Marvin, president of Stafford’s Hospitality since 1985 - and it’s been a top-notch summer dining destination in Harbor Springs ever since.
 
Monday, June 1, 2009

Tastemakers: Taste The local Difference Guidde 2009/Short‘s Brewing Company Nicie Spicie

Dining Rick Coates Tastemakers: Taste The local Difference Guidde 2009/Short‘s Brewing Company Nicie Spicie 6/1/09

The small-local farm is making a comeback. In the 10 counties known as the Northwest Lower Michigan corridor of the state there are now 2,229 farms. A few years back the Michigan Land Use Institute launched the Taste the Local Difference initiative to help farmers connect to consumers. Fresh off the press is the 2009 version of their Taste the Local Difference guide. This 80-page glove-box friendly resource is packed full of information for those interested in seeking out local and fresh foods as well as other non-food agricultural products produced in the area.
The guide lists farms by county and each listing contains an overview of the offerings at each farm along with hours of operation and website and phone number for additional information. Also included is the listing of the 25 farmers markets in the region as well as restaurants and delis that use local products. Another helpful page is the fruit and harvest dates, giving one a guidepost as to what is in season.
Taste the Local Difference has a supporting website that allows users to search for specific items and farms in their area that offer those products. Another great online tool is the local food exchange where both growers and buyers may post items they are looking for or selling.Taste the Local Difference 2009 Guide
The small-local farm is making a comeback. In the 10 counties known as the Northwest Lower Michigan corridor of the state there are now 2,229 farms. A few years back the Michigan Land Use Institute launched the Taste the Local Difference initiative to help farmers connect to consumers. Fresh off the press is the 2009 version of their Taste the Local Difference guide. This 80-page glove-box friendly resource is packed full of information for those interested in seeking out local and fresh foods as well as other non-food agricultural products produced in the area.
The guide lists farms by county and each listing contains an overview of the offerings at each farm along with hours of operation and website and phone number for additional information. Also included is the listing of the 25 farmers markets in the region as well as restaurants and delis that use local products. Another helpful page is the fruit and harvest dates, giving one a guidepost as to what is in season.
Taste the Local Difference has a supporting website that allows users to search for specific items and farms in their area that offer those products. Another great online tool is the local food exchange where both growers and buyers may post items they are looking for or selling.
The Michigan Land Use Institute has been a longtime supporter of preserving farmland in Northern Michigan. while much of their work is rooted in legislative policy, the Taste the Local Difference program is not about politics -- it is about practicality. Supporting the local farmer makes sense on all levels from healthy eating to preservation of our land and agricultural heritage. To learn more, visit mlui.org or call 231-941-6584 to obtain a copy of the new guide. --Rick Coates

 
Monday, May 25, 2009

To wine or not to wine

Dining Kristi Kates To Wine or not to Wine

By Kristi Kates 5/25/09

“Wine makes a man more pleased with himself; I do not say it makes him more pleasing to others.” - Samuel Johnson

It might seem quite romantic and summer-like to take a bottle of something luxurious - and usually alcoholic - with you on your picnic, lawn-concert evening, or other Northern Michigan outdoor jaunt. But what if you can’t drink alcohol for health reasons, you’re fighting the good fight against alcoholism, or you simply aren’t interested in drinking alcohol? That doesn’t mean you have to be deprived of the flavor, the ritual, the refreshment, or the sparkle of grape in your glass - you’ve simply got to do a little legwork.
 
Monday, May 25, 2009

Tastemakers: Dining on the fly/Two Lads Winery

Dining Rick Coates Dining on the Fly
Rick Coates 5/25/09

Dining on the Fly is a unique collaboration of three Northern Michigan businesses. The Boathouse Restaurant, Bowers Harbor Vineyard and McCool Outdoor have put together the perfect day for the fly fishing, wine and food enthusiast.
The day begins with a guided fly fishing trip to one of the region’s blue-ribbon trout streams. Led by Certified Casting Instructor and Master Angler David McCool, participants are guided down the stream and given basic instruction of casting fundamentals and entomology (what flies to use). Upon arrival, McCool offers a sparkling wine toast and gives an overview of the sport of fly fishing.
After a few hours on the stream, it is time for Chef Eric Nittolo of the Boathouse Restaurant and Spencer Stegenga of Bowers Harbor Vineyard to take over. This extraordinary evening takes place under a tent next to the stream and is highlighted by a five-course gourmet wine dinner. The Boathouse and Bowers Harbor Vineyards are neighbors and have forged a wonderful relationship that has included several wine dinners in the past.
 
Monday, May 25, 2009

Al Fresco at Amical

Dining Nancy Krcek Allen Al Fresco at Amical
Nancy Krcek Allen 5/25/09

In 1993, when would-be restaurateur and chef Dave Denison and partners leased a former quilt store on Front Street, they knew outdoor dining would give their restaurant a special place in diners’ hearts. So with considerable expense, they pushed the building back, engineered a support system underneath it and poured 22,000 pounds of concrete.
It cost more than anticipated. “(I know) people thought, ‘what are you doing? It’s just a coffee shop,’” says Denison. “We felt it would differentiate us from every other place. I still don’t know who has a completely covered patio street side. There are people who make a special trip Up North every year. In their minds they are saying, ‘I’m going to eat outside and I’m going to eat at Amical.’ I’ve had people just run and sit down—like musical chairs. It’s like they won the lottery. You’ve got to smile, because that’s what the patio is all about.”
Amical’s patio seats 31 guests. With its roof, drop screens and gas infrared heaters, you can dine outdoors spring, summer and fall—with an occasional winter day thrown in.
“New Year’s Eve two years ago we served out there,” says Denison. “It was full of people during the day and at night. If it’s around 25 to 30 degrees—and not windy, it’s not bad—and if we put pads on the seats, fire up all the heaters and it gets full, it’s warm.”
 
Monday, May 18, 2009

Tastemakers: Crystal Mountain Michigan Beer & Brats Festival/ Keweenaw Brewing Company Lift Bridge Brown Ale

Dining Rick Coates Tastemakers: Crystal Mountain Michigan Beer & Brats Festival/ Keweenaw Brewing Company Lift Bridge Brown Ale
Rick Coates 5/18/09

Crystal Mountain Michigan Beer & Brat Festival
Now in its fourth year, the Crystal Mountain Michigan Beer & Brat Festival (this Saturday) has become the festival Northern Michigan has been longing for to celebrate the craftbrew industry in the state. Two major festivals take place downstate; in August near Ann Arbor, and in February in Grand Rapids. While the 50-plus craftbrews from microbreweries around Michigan might be the attraction, it is the collection of brats that sets Crystal Mountain’s festival apart from the others.
 
Monday, May 11, 2009

Tastemakers: McGuire‘s Resort Famous Bar Cheese/ Guiness 250 Anniversary Stout

Dining Rick Coates McGuire’s Resort Famous Bar Cheese

Certainly McGuire’s Resort in Cadillac is known for more than just their “Famous Bar Cheese” -- after all, they are celebrating their 60th anniversary this year. But the mere fact that they are able to take something as simple as bar cheese and make it exceptional has been their trademark since Curly and Velma opened their motel and rootbeer stand in 1949.
Back in the early days they were known for their “famous pancakes,” and patrons who inquired were always told the recipe was a family secret. Well, eventually it was discovered that the chef was adding root beer to the batter.
McGuire’s has built their reputation over the years on exceptional service and “out-marketing” their competitors. During the ‘60s, Curly’s son Jim took over as general manager and eventually, with his wife Sandy, they became owners. Jim became a legend in hospitality circles and helped to set the standard for the family resort business in Michigan. Now his son Mike has taken over the reins. The third-generation McGuire continues to keep the Resort family-focused and he often jokes with patrons that he and his wife Marsha are busy “grooming the fourth generation of McGuire’s to take over someday.”
McGuire’s Resort offers a couple of dining options with Curly’s Sports Pub offering a relaxed casual dining experience and The Terrace Room with wonderful sunset views and a fine dining menu. Both locations offer the Famous Bar Cheese.
 
Monday, May 11, 2009

Siren Hall

Dining Nancy Krcek Allen The Tantalizing Call of
Siren Hall
By Nancy Krcek Allen 5/11/09

Next time you’re in Elk Rapids, listen closely and, if you’re lucky, you’ll hear the call of Siren Hall. You’d be well advised to follow this Siren’s call. Like Ulysses and his crew, you might find yourself spellbound; but unlike Ulysses, you’ll get to go home after dinner.
Siren Hall is Michael and Rebecca Peterson’s newest restaurant odyssey. The couple has converted a former downtown Elk Rapids antique shop and gas station into a chic, clean-lined contemporary restaurant featuring seafood.
“There’s a mariner tradition here like out east,” says Rebecca. “We wanted to play off that—to honor it. Cape Cod; Newport, Rhode Island; Bar Harbor, Maine; they do it really well. They have that tradition and history. As it turns out, Lake Michigan has it as well. I traveled on the cast-iron U.S.S. Badger as a kid and my great-aunt was a private nurse to one Mr. Edmund Fitzgerald.”
“We knew we wanted to do a seafood restaurant,” says Michael Peterson, the restaurant’s chef. “We spent time living on the East Coast. I love seafood; it’s what people want. We have a group that comes in for oysters. In the summer we have at least four or five different kinds. We don’t put a lot of fish on the menu—we bring it in as features. When it’s gone, it’s gone. That way we don’t hold onto it.”
 
Monday, May 4, 2009

Tastemakers: Giovanni‘s Roadhouse Prime Rib Dinner/Valentine Vodka

Dining Rick Coates Giovanni’s Roadhouse Prime Rib Dinner
Rick Coates 5/4/09

Giovanni’s Roadhouse in Interlochen is part of the TC Food family that includes Fire Fly, Bubba’s and Grandview Catering. Proprietors Jeff and Trish Wiltse are long time foodies in the region who have built their success on the foundations of quality comfort food and exceptional service. A few years ago they purchased Giovanni’s, and kept some of the original flavor that made the restaurant a popular destination for pre- or post-Interlochen concerts, while adding their magical touch and character to the operation.
The “foodie” movement today has many facets. One is the resurgence of standards. One of those standards making a comeback is prime rib and Giovanni’s Roadhouse does it up right. Thursday night is “Prime Rib” special night featuring your choice of an eight, 12 or 20 ounce portion. Prepared to perfection, this cut of beef calls out for a good bottle of wine and “The House” has an impressive and extensive wine list. The Condesa de Leganza Crianza from Spain hit the spot during a recent visit.
 
Monday, April 27, 2009

Julienne Tomatoes

Dining Kristi Kates Fresh is Best at
Julienne Tomatoes
By Kristi Kates 4/27/09

On one of Petoskey’s quaint side streets resides a hidden gem café with a quirky name and exceptional food. Julienne Tomatoes - named for its owners, Julie Adams and Tom Sheffler - spells out the secret of their success simply and directly underneath the logo that adorns their front door - they are “makers of good food.” For Adams and Sheffler, owning and running their popular cafe was a dream years in the making; but it was when they moved to the Petoskey area in 2000 that the wheels really began to turn.
 
 
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