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, 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.”
 
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.
 
 
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