Letters

Letters 08-25-14

Save America

I read your paper because it’s free and I enjoy the ads. But I struggle through the left wing tripe that fills every page, from political cartoons to the vitriolic pen of Mr. Tuttle. What a shame this beautiful area of the state has such an abundance of Socialist/democrats. Or perhaps the silent majority chooses to stay silent...

Doom, Yet a Cup Half Full

In the news we are told of the civil unrest at Ferguson, Mo; ISIS war radicals in Iraq and Syria; the great corporate tax heist at home. You name it. Trouble, trouble, everywhere. It seems to me the U.S. Congress is partially to blame...

Uncomfortable Questions

defending the positions of the Israelis vs Hamas are far too narrow. Even Mr. Tuttle seems to have failed in looking deeply into the divide. American media is not biased against Israel, nor or are they pro Palestine or Hamas...

The Evolution of Man Revisited

As the expectations of manhood evolve, so too do the rules of love. In Mr. Holmes’s statement [from “Our Therapist Will See Us Now” in last week’s issue] he narrows the key to a successful relationship to the basic need to have your wants and needs understood, and it is on this point I expand...

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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

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 21, 2011

Michael Franzese

Features Rick Coates Former mobster Michael Franzese comes clean
By Rick Coates
Once you join an organized crime family like the Mafia or the Mob there
are typically only two ways out: death or the witness protection program.
One of the top mob bosses of the Columbo crime family, Michael Franzese,
found a third way: God. He will tell his story this Friday at 7 p.m. at
the City Opera House in Traverse City.
 
Monday, February 21, 2011

Clearing the air: Medical marijuana workshop for employers

Features Rick Coates Clearing the Air: Medical Marijuana Workshop For Employers
By Rick Coates
While the State of Michigan continues to be in somewhat of a “cloud of
smoke” over the Medical Marijuana Act of 2008, many employers have asked
where they stand legally on the issue with their employees who might have
medical marijuana cards. The Northwest Michigan Council of Governments
hopes to shed some light for employers this Wednesday, February 23, with a
workshop, “Medical Marijuana - The Law and How it Impacts Your Business &
Employees” from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City.
The panelists include Thomas S. Gilbert, an attorney and former judge who
is with Touchstone Intervention & Prevention Specialists in TC; Dr. Darryl
Lesoski, medical director of the Occupational Health & Medicine Department
at Munson Healthcare; and Grand Rapids attorney Donald Lawless, who
specializes in employment and labor law.
 
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 14, 2011

Winter Festival

Features Rick Coates WOW! Winter festival warms up the weekend
By Rick Coates
Local organizers are hoping the whole town will say “Wow!” when they check out this weekend’s wide-ranging festival which will include a new winefest, snowboard competition, ice sculptures and much more.
Five years ago, the National Cherry Festival and the Grand Traverse Casino Resort and Spa formed a partnership to bring back a winter festival to Traverse City. Originally called The Cherry Winter Wonder Fest, it is now the Cherry Capital Winter Wow!Fest. 
Taking place at several locations around TC, the festival kicks off Friday evening with the new “Winter, Wine & Wow!” event that will feature local wines, craft brews, spirits, food and art, along with live entertainment. This opening night party will take place in a  large heated tent in the parking lot where the Traverse City Farmers Market is held at the corner of Union Street and the Parkway. The Festival will continue through Sunday with several outdoor activities for kids of all ages.
 
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

A brew of laughter

Features Rick Coates A Brew of Laughter: Traverse City hosts annual microbrew and comedy fests 2/7/11
By Rick Coates
This weekend, organizers for the two-day Traverse City Winter
Microbrew & Music Festival expect to draw 3,000 attendees. The
Traverse City Comedy Arts Festival is expected to draw another 5,000
participants over a four day period making downtown Traverse City the
place to be.  Here is an overview of what participants will experience
and there is plenty of opportunity to participate in both.
 
Monday, February 7, 2011

More than lagers & laughter

Features Rick Coates More than Lagers & Laughter:See what the weekend has to offer in Northern Michigan
By Rick Coates
While the marquee events of this weekend will definitely be the
Traverse City Winter Microbrew & Music Festival and the Traverse City
Comedy Arts Festival, there are other happenings throughout the region
and that is a good thing. If you do the math there will be about
150,000 residents and visitors within 60 miles of downtown Traverse
City this weekend and the two events are able to accommodate a little
more than five percent of those in the area. So what do the other
140,00 people in the region do this weekend? Here is a snapshot of
opportunities:
 
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 31, 2011

The women behind Mad Men

Features Rick Coates The Women Behind Mad Men: AMC TV series writers kick off The National Writers Series 1/31/11
By Rick Coates
While past guests of the National Writer’s Series (NWS) have been
authors, Janet Leahy and Lisa Albert write for television. The two
currently write for the AMC hit series “Mad Men,” one of the most
critically acclaimed shows on television today. Leahy and Albert will
kick off the NWS 2011 season when they join New York Times Best
Selling Author Doug Stanton--who, along with his wife Anne (Express
investigative reporter) and attorney Grant Parsons founded the NWS--on
stage at the City Opera House, in Traverse City, this Thursday,
February 3.
 
Monday, January 24, 2011

Cloud 9

Books Rick Coates Cloud 9: New book aims to teach kids traditional values 1/24/11
By Rick Coates
At 64, Larry Kuhnke has opened a new “chapter” in his life: that of an author. After a career in the airline and banking industries Kuhnke decided to impart his wisdom unto others. But instead of writing about his observations and knowledge from his professional world, he decided on sharing his insights on how to best pursue a life of happiness. Advice that he hopes the younger generation will grasp early in life and carry with them into adulthood.
This Saturday, January 29, the Traverse City author will sign copies of his book “Cloud 9” at Horizon Books in Traverse City from 2 to 4 pm.
Kuhnke believes that it is “easier to learn while you are young than when you grow older.” He wrote “Cloud 9” with the idea that it would serve as a conversation starter between parents or grandparents and children. The 80-page book has 43 chapters, each representing an important value to live by.
 
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

Chris Van Dahl Brings Aeromyth Alive

Music Rick Coates Chris Van Dahl Brings Aeromyth Alive
1/17/11
By Rick Coates
Aerosmith is on a touring hiatus as frontman Steven Tyler has taken on
a judgeship with American Idol. There’s no word on the rock legend’s
camp if they will tour this year, but no worries; there is always
Aeromyth. One must look and listen closely when at an Aeromyth concert
as this tribute band has the sights and sounds down.
 
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.
 
 
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