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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Dining

 
Monday, March 28, 2011

Tastemakers: Cafe Sante New Holland Brewing Spirit & Beer Dinner/ Avery Brewing The Reverend Belgian Quadruple Ale 3.28/11

Dining Rick Coates Café Santé New Holland Brewing Spirit and Beer Dinner
At some point Michigan is going to have to address several of its archaic alcohol laws if it wants to be competitive with other states. One example is the inability to sample products at retail outlets, especially high end spirits and wines. Several states allow retailers to have sampling events or a tasting bar aiding in the decision making process which makes investing in $50 bottles of wine or $80 bottles of spirits easier.
In Michigan, consumers either have to take the word of the retailer or go to a tasting dinner at a restaurant like the one Café Santé in Boyne City is hosting on Tuesday April 5. The New Holland Brewing Spirit and Beer Dinner will feature a seven course tasting that will include a combination of their beers and spirits line.
 
Monday, March 28, 2011

The Roadhouse 3/28/11

Dining Danielle Horvath The Roadhouse:Benzie County’s South of the Border Connection
By Danielle Horvath
Voted number one for Mexican fare and Best Happy Hours in Benzie County, the Roadhouse Mexican Bar & Grill is heading into its 10th year of offering great consistently fresh-made food served up by a friendly staff in a fun atmosphere.
From their homemade salsa and sauces – now sold in area stores – to their entrées and appetizers using authentic recipes by Chef Miguel, to the house signature Don Juan Margarita, to a variety of Mexican beers from Dos Equis to Negra Modelo, the Roadhouse has what it takes to draw dinner crowds year-round.
 
Monday, March 21, 2011

Mana 3/21/11

Dining Ross Boissoneau The Magic of Mana
By Ross Boissoneau
With two n’s, the word manna is the bread from heaven. With one n, mana is the substance of the soul, or by another definition, what magic is made of.
Put it all together, and you get Mana, the new restaurant at the Mercado shops of the Grand Traverse Commons.
Ralph Humes, formerly one of the principals at the Soul Hole, opened his new eatery at Building 50 just a month ago. He’s already settling into a routine, open from 11 to 6 Monday through Saturday.
But don’t think that means the food is routine. His menu, posted on the giant board behind his counter, is in a state of constant refinement, but it includes such fare as pulled pork sandwiches and Drunken Peach Cobbler, along with vegetarian choices.
 
Monday, March 21, 2011

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

Dining Rick Coates 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.
 
Monday, March 14, 2011

Tastemakers: North Peak Brewing Irish Stout Stew/ Arbor Brewing Company Michael Faricy‘s Stout

Dining Rick Coates North Peak Brewing Irish Stout Stew
North Peak Brewing Company is celebrating their 15th Annual Irish Fest in
grand style. Fresh off hosting the 32nd Annual St. Patrick’s Parade and
the Lucky Leprechaun Ball this past weekend and with a full day of
celebrating planned on Thursday in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, North Peak
plans to keep honoring Irish traditions through the weekend with a special
menu and beer offerings. 
 
Monday, March 7, 2011

Tastemakers: Alpine Tavern & Eatery Corned Beef Hash Skillet/Bell‘s Two Hearted Ale

Dining Rick Coates Alpine Tavern & Eatery Corned Beef Hash Skillet
This is the season when corned beef enjoys much popularity on Irish themed menus here in America. Despite the fact that corned beef has no connection to the roots of St. Patrick’s Day and has never been considered a national dish in Ireland, its popularity with Irish Americans dates back to the 1800s when Irish immigrants in the northeast substituted corned beef for the traditional bacon (thick cut ham similar to Canadian bacon) in their boiled dinner.
There is no historical evidence that corned beef was even “invented” in Ireland; the practice of brining meats has been found throughout many European cultures. Even in America early settlers brined meats in the fall and so corned beef found its way on several kitchen tables regardless of one’s cultural heritage. In fact in 1861 President Abraham Lincoln served corned beef at his inaugural dinner, which at that time was always in early March. Corned beef was also popular at many springtime formal dinners during that era including the Easter table.
 
Monday, February 28, 2011

Tastemakers: Mission Table Pork Belly/ Knappogue Castle twin Wood 16 year old Irish Single Malt

Dining Rick Coates Pork Belly
(This is Traverse City Restaurant Week, with 18 restaurants in the area offering special three-course menus for $25. To learn more check out www.downtowntc.com, Mission Table on the Old Mission Peninsula is one of the participating restaurants)

If you follow the financial markets closely you will hear “pork belly futures” mentioned whenever the Chicago Mercantile Exchange is discussed. Pork Bellies have been traded on the Exchange for the past 40 years and, loosely defined, they are a boneless cut of fatty meat from the belly of a hog. In America, bacon is the best known of the “pork belly” meats.
For the past few years pork belly has gained favor on menus of fine dining establishments throughout the country. At Mission Table (formerly Bowers Harbor Inn) it is one of the small plate options for Traverse City Restaurant Week promotion. Chef Paul Olson and his team have mastered this delicacy. The Kurobuta Pork Belly (considered to be the Kobe Beef of the pork world) at Mission Table offers the perfect texture with a thin, crunchy layer followed by a layer of meat, then a layer of fat and then another layer of meat and topped with a poached Halpin Farms egg and a caramelized red onion jam.
 
Monday, February 21, 2011

Buffalo Wild Wings

Dining Ross Boissoneau Fly like a Buffalo… ‘Wild’ new restaurant earns its wings
By Ross Boissoneau
It’s not the wild wild west, but the wings at the newly-opened Buffalo
Wild Wings are indeed as wild as you want them to be.
That’s because you can choose from a bevy of sauces, ranging from mild to
blazing, each with its own special flavor.
Teriyaki? Check. Honey BBQ? Check. Parmesan Garlic, Caribbean Jerk, Mango
Habanero? Check, check and check.
 
Monday, February 21, 2011

Tastemakers: North Peak Herbed Fish & Chips/ New Holland Knickerbocher Gin

Dining Rick Coates North Peak Herbed Fish & Chips
(TC Restaurant Week)
The concept of a “Restaurant Week” in Traverse City is long overdue. A few years ago a week-long celebration (The Festival of the Senses) to promote the culinary and cultural virtues of the region was attempted, but the idea fell short of the mark after only a couple of years. The reason: on the surface the idea of partnering with your competitors seems to go against traditional capitalistic principals.
But next week, 18 restaurants in and around Downtown Traverse City will come together to promote Traverse City Restaurant Week (TCRW) from February 27 - March 5. These “restaurant weeks” are popping up all over the country in communities that understand that having one or two great restaurants is just not enough. The buzzword is “culinary tourism” and restaurants play a pivotal role in one’s travel. It is great to see the local restaurant scene take a page out the wine industry playbook and and start collaborating with each other and to realize that your neighboring restaurants are not your competitors but instead your partners in promotion.
 
Monday, February 14, 2011

The Bay Leaf

Dining Ross Boissoneau Fine wines and rustic dishes flavor: The Bay Leaf
By Ross Boissoneau
Dan Kelly believes he knows what it takes to make a restaurant successful, particularly at 120 S. Park Street in Traverse City.
After all, he ran two profitable restaurants there before moving his operations east to open the M-72 dinner theater, The Williamsburg, along with his longtime catering business. The restaurants which followed at that location were not as successful, and he finally decided it was time to stop being a landlord and get back in the game.
“I had several tenants that failed, and I was tired of dealing with that situation,” Kelly said, taking a break from woodwork installation.
In addition to his own handiwork, Kelly gutted the kitchen and added booths as well as a wine bar and a new fireplace as he refurbished the interior. He also promises some more surprises to come in the deck area in back of the restaurant.
 
Monday, February 14, 2011

The Southside Hideout

Dining Tom Carr The Southside Hideout muscles into the nightlife scene
By Tom Carr
Waitresses in fedoras carry hot wings and drinks past the three flat-screen TVs that peer down on the dinner crowd in front of a stage decorated with large faux bullet-holes.
The gangster theme dominates the Southside Hideout on M-37 in Buckley, from the menus – featuring Scarface Meat Lovers Pizza and Gotti’s Stuffed Mushrooms – to the framed pictures of Dirty Harry, Michael Corleone, Jessica Rabbit and others.
Manager Ed Van Tassel would like it to become known for its dinners and dance floor, as well as for its theme.
“The food is phenomenal,” he said. “We go from burgers and fries to lobster, crab legs and oysters.”
 
Monday, February 14, 2011

Tastemakers: SlabtownCafe & Burgers Slabby Patty/Guiness Foreign Extra Stout

Dining Rick Coates Slabtown Cafe & Burgers Slabby Patty
Trying to find the best burger in Northern Michigan is no easy task. In my travels I have come across many with Bubba’s, Mulligan’s and Don’s Drive In among my favorites in Traverse City. Certainly the Side Door Saloon and the recently opened Bay Burger in Petoskey are regular stops for me as well. My all time favorites have been the McMode Burger from Mode’s Bum Steer in Traverse City and the Tally Burger at Tally’s in Lewiston. 

Now Miller’s Bar in Dearborn is considered by many a connoisseur to be not only the best burger in Michigan but among the best in the country. Recently GQ Magazine cited Miller’s as one of the 20 best burgers in America. For the past several years it has won just about every people’s choice award in the Detroit area for best burger. The Miller burger is basic, no flair but juicy served on paper, the place is a poster child for Guy Fieri’s show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.

 
Monday, February 7, 2011

A Mediterranean Twist on Cuisine in Petoskey

Dining Glen Young A Mediterranean Twist on Cuisine in Petoskey
By Glen Young
Though the idea was already on its way to fruition, a chance meeting
at a local grocery store laid the groundwork for the success of one of
Petoskey’s newest eateries.
 
Monday, February 7, 2011

Tastemakers: Red Ginger Volcano Pork/ Michigan Craft Brewed Beer

Dining Rick Coates Red Ginger Volcano Pork

Take away the snow and add 50 degrees and this weekend in downtown Traverse City might seem more like the middle of July than the middle of February. With two high profile events--The Traverse City Comedy Arts Festival and The Traverse City Microbrew & Music Festival taking place--along with a full musical lineup at downtown nightspots, larger than normal crowds are expected this weekend. Finding a seat at a local eatery might be a challenge so plan early and when possible make a reservation.
Even with major events taking place, I have noticed recently that several downtown eateries have been packed, including mid-week. Just a couple of weeks ago I stopped at Red Ginger on Wednesday night late in the evening to find a pretty full restaurant. This comes at no surprise to regular diners at the downtown Traverse City restaurant scene.
Since opening a little over three years ago, Red Ginger has become a popular dining destination. Located right next to the State Theatre, Red Ginger along with Amical and Phil’s on Front have become popular pre and post movie gathering spots.
 
Monday, February 7, 2011

Boyne City gets chocolate covered

Dining Kristi Kates Boyne City Gets Chocolate-Covered
By Kristi Kates
Intially spearheaded - or perhaps dunked is a better word - by Boyne City’s Linn Williams, who retired to Boyne City from Ann Arbor with her husband Glen several years ago, this weeken’s Chocolate-Covered Boyne event aims its cupid’s arrow at promoting Valentine’s Day, Boyne City itself, and of course, chocolate, says the fest’s assistant organizer Jamie Baumann.
“Linn has been the primary organizer, and has worked very hard to make this event successful,” Baumann explains. “It began when the Main Street promotions committee felt that an event was needed around Valentine’s Day to promote the community in a special way and give visitors a reason to come to town.”
 
 
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