Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

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Monday, December 10, 2012

They're SugarKissed

Ross Boissoneau     If you find yourself hungering for a sweet treat, Christine Burke has you covered.    Actually, you can get your yogurt covered there, with any of a multitude of topp
Monday, November 26, 2012

Raise a glass to Old Town's new Brewery Ferment

Dining Ross Boissoneau But if it’s all about the beer at a neighborhood bar, then maybe Brewery Ferment is on to something. The owners of Traverse City’s newest nightspot are hoping that the beers, plus the tavern’s location on Union Street south of Eighth, will make it both a neighborhood success and a draw for those navigating the downtown scene.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Dining Ross Boissoneau “A stuffed meatball isn’t a meatball anymore. I wanted to go back to what I remember: fresh herbs, pesto, basil, garlic – what’s better?” The answer, as far as he was concerned, was nothing. That’s why the menu at Nonna’s isn’t overrun with ingredients.
Monday, November 5, 2012


Dining Ross Boissoneau She got a job in the coffee shop at Grand Traverse Resort, and within two years worked her way up to sous chef at Aeyrie, the resort’s restaurant at the top of the tower. That’s where she was working when Waldrup offered her a job as second-in-command at his new operation.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Dining Ross Boissoneau But in the years since, their patrons have helped the restaurant evolve. While it still boasts some surprises, the Cedar Rustic Inn now specializes in what some might think of traditional food, such as pot roast and fried chicken, but all expertly prepared.
Monday, April 16, 2012

On an Old Mission from God

Features Ross Boissoneau “There’s so much to the food industry,” said Brown. “The next weekend (after that fateful family meeting), we went to the farm market at Building 50. The weekend after that the Department of Agriculture showed up. We had no idea you needed to be (licensed).
Monday, March 26, 2012

Great Guitars

Features Ross Boissoneau

Fiery fretwork will be all the rage in Benzie County this week, with two concerts featuring seven guitarists.

First up is the California Guitar Trio, the acclaimed virtuoso group that encompasses surf rock, classical, new age, folk and progressive rock elements. The CGT will be performing at Crystal Mountain’s Conference Center, Tuesday.

Opening the show will be the Younce Guitar Duo, the father and son duo profiled in the Express Jan. 30.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Reversing the Damage

Features Ross Boissoneau “New Year’s Eve we went to Funistrada. We called in advance and I said, ‘I have a challenge for you.’ The chef prepared a stir-fry. It was really good. He came out and talked to me while we were having dinner and said if you like it we may keep it on the menu.
Monday, September 5, 2011

A chance meeting led to ownership of Western Avenue Grill.

Dining Ross Boissoneau Mark and Matt Mattson took a circuitous path to restaurateuring – in particular the ownership of the Western Avenue Grill in Glen Arbor.
The two brothers grew up working in the restaurant industry, starting as busboys, eventually moving up the ladder to the point they were managing restaurants while in college.
They both switched gears after graduating, spending years in the auto industry. But the restaurant industry was in their blood, and they eventually found themselves back in the game with the Peninsula Grill on Old Mission Peninsula.
It was a chance meeting that then led to the pair purchasing the Western Avenue Grill in Glen Arbor. The duo was at a pub watching a football game and rooting for Ohio State (Matt’s alma mater) when they started good-naturedly bantering with another table. Among those patrons was Bill Milks, owner of the Western Avenue Grill.
“He asked us if we’d be interested in owning another restaurant, and we said, ‘No,’” said Mark.
Monday, August 22, 2011

The Metro

Dining Ross Boissoneau The Metro blends Greek & Coney Traditions
By Ross Boisonneau
To paraphrase Dorothy, “We’re not in Arby’s anymore, Toto.”
That’s for sure. The former Arby’s at Chum’s Corners in Traverse City has
been transformed into The Metro, and about the only thing it shares with
its former resident is the building. But even that has been transformed,
to a more funky, urban vibe.
Monday, August 15, 2011


Dining Ross Boissoneau It’s not often that death immediately confronts you when you enter a
But there it is, in the dessert case just inside the door at Xylo
Bistro/Cafe: Brownies to Die For.
Not that they’re really lethal or anything. But the huge, rich, flourless
brownie (“It’s more like fudge!” excitedly says waitress Jackie Kohl) is
ample evidence of Xylo’s commitment to creating interesting foodstuffs
that are a little off the beaten path.
Monday, August 8, 2011

Spaghetti Jim‘s

Dining Ross Boissoneau The name may be a bit misleading, as Jim Abfalter makes more than just pasta at his market and café. There’s gazpacho, caprese salad, grilled cheese, even Thai sesame peanut noodles.
But you can bet that at Spaghetti Jim’s, the pasta will be fresh and tasty.
Abfalter, his wife Ann, and their partner Laurie Fletcher are determined to take their creations to the next level at 1133B South Airport Rd., Traverse City, the former site of the Pizza Hut restaurant across the street from the Cherryland Centre.
“We make everything from hand here that we can,” said Ann. They also take pride in using as many local ingredients as possible.
And though they’ve only been open two months, they say business is good and getting better, as more and more people find out about the restaurant. “It gets better every week,” said Jim.
While they want to become as successful as they can, Fletcher and the Abfalters say they want to make sure the growth is controlled and they don’t get too big too soon.
“We’re kind of tucked away. We want to let people get really nice things at a nice price,” Jim said.
Monday, August 1, 2011

The Manitou

Dining Ross Boissoneau You never know when you’re going to run into a surprise.
Like in the middle of the woods between Empire and Frankfort on M-22.
Travel that stretch on a summer evening and you’ll come upon the Manitou
While the outside of the restaurant may look small, it’s spread out more
than you might think, with the result that the restaurant feels intimate,
not tiny. In fact, with the four cozy dining rooms and the patio, they can
seat around 100 diners at a time.
Monday, August 1, 2011

The Manitou

Dining Ross Boissoneau You never know when you’re going to run into a surprise.
Like in the middle of the woods between Empire and Frankfort on M-22.
Travel that stretch on a summer evening and you’ll come upon the Manitou
While the outside of the restaurant may look small, it’s spread out more
than you might think, with the result that the restaurant feels intimate,
not tiny. In fact, with the four cozy dining rooms and the patio, they can
seat around 100 diners at a time.
Monday, July 25, 2011

Making a Flap A dining tradition gets a makeover in TC

Dining Ross Boissoneau The Shack is back.
Shuttered last year, the Flap Jack Shack on US 31 in Traverse City across from Meijer reopened just over a month ago. And according to co-owner Scott Parkhurst, the reception from customers has been a very warm one.
“Every week has been bigger than the last,” said Parkhurst following a day’s busy lunchtime. “We’re really pleased.”
Not that anyone should be surprised at its success. Parkhurst and his partner Jeff Lobdell have established a solid track record, with several successful restaurants in both the Grand Rapids area and the Traverse City area. That includes the Omelette Shoppe restaurants in TC and Boone’s Prime Time Pub in Suttons Bay.
It was when the pair purchased the Omelette Shoppes six years ago that Parkhurst moved north. They had such success with the popular breakfast eateries they exported the concept to Grand Rapids, where they’ve since opened two more.
“It’s been very successful for us. We’re proud to grow the brand,” said Parkhurst.