Letters

Letters 10-27-2014

Paging Doctor Dan: The doctor’s promise to repeal Obamacare reminds me of the frantic restaurant owner hurrying to install an exhaust fan after the kitchen burns down. He voted 51 times to replace the ACA law; a colossal waste of money and time. It’s here to stay and he has nothing to replace it.

Evolution Is Real Science: Breathtaking inanity. That was the term used by Judge John Jones III in his elegant evisceration of creationist arguments attempting to equate it to evolutionary theory in his landmark Kitzmiller vs. Dover Board of Education decision in 2005.

U.S. No Global Police: Steven Tuttle in the October 13 issue is correct: our military, under the leadership of the President (not the Congress) is charged with protecting the country, its citizens, and its borders. It is not charged with  performing military missions in other places in the world just because they have something we want (oil), or we don’t like their form of government, or we want to force them to live by the UN or our rules.

Graffiti: Art Or Vandalism?: I walk the [Grand Traverse] Commons frequently and sometimes I include the loop up to the cistern just to go and see how the art on the cistern has evolved. Granted there is the occasional gross image or word but generally there is a flurry of color.

NMEAC Snubbed: Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) is the Grand Traverse region’s oldest grassroots environmental advocacy organization. Preserving the environment through citizen action and education is our mission.

Vote, Everyone: Election Day on November 4 is fast approaching, and now is the time to make a commitment to vote. You may be getting sick of the political ads on TV, but instead, be grateful that you live in a free country with open elections. Take the time to learn about the candidates by contacting your county parties and doing research.

Do Fluoride Research: Hydrofluorosilicic acid, H2SiF6, is a byproduct from the production of fertilizer. This liquid, not environmentally safe, is scrubbed from the chimney of the fertilizer plant, put into containers, and shipped. Now it is a ‘product’ added to the public drinking water.

Meet The Homeless: As someone who volunteers for a Traverse City organization that works with homeless people, I am appalled at what is happening at the meetings regarding the homeless shelter. The people fighting this shelter need to get to know some homeless families. They have the wrong idea about who the homeless are.

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Monday, June 30, 2008

Asian Spice/ Red Ginger

Dining Al Parker Red Ginger has been open for only eight months, but already it’s built a reputation for quality “Luxe-Asian” dining fare in the heart of downtown Traverse City
“Business has been better than I expected,” says owner/chef Dan Marsh, who studied at the Culinary Institute of America and worked as a chef in New York City and San Francisco before launching Red Ginger last November.
“We were packed from day one through January. It’s been good since then, and now that a lot of Northern Michigan residents are coming back from warmer places, we expect it to continue. We already have a number of regulars.”
Located between Traverse City’s rejuvenated State Theatre and Horizon Books, the November opening took place after almost a year of renovations of the aging building that once housed Kurtz Music.
“It had no HVAC, no electricity,” recalls Marsh. “It was pretty much a shell. We had to do a lot of work, put in a new sewer system.”

 
Monday, June 23, 2008

Al Fresco Dining at Cuppa Joe

Dining Al Parker Coffeehouse owner and restaurateur Shayne Daley says he has no plans to become another Starbucks.
“Five (locations) is enough,” he stresses with a laugh. “We’re keeping busy.”
Daley and his wife Sandi opened Cuppa Joe, a popular drive-through java joint at the corner of Front and Garfield in Traverse City in 2000. They followed up with Another Cuppa Joe, a relaxing coffeehouse at Building 50. Soon after came Cuppa Joe sites at Cherry Capital Airport and inside Horizon Books in Traverse City’s downtown.
 
Monday, June 9, 2008

Turtle Creek unveils new $80 million casino & resort hotel

Features Al Parker Complete with a 30-foot water wall, an expansive three-story interior and high-tech lighting to set the mood, Michigan’s newest hotel-casino complex will debut this month.
The new Turtle Creek Hotel and Casino, owned and operated by the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, offers visitors an impressive variety of slot machines, video poker, and table games on its 52,000-square-foot gaming floor.
 
Monday, May 26, 2008

Cafe Habana

Dining Al Parker Restaurateurs Greg Lobdell and Jon Carlson have added another eatery to the growing eclectic Traverse City dining arena.
Café Habana, which opened on May 14, celebrates the tasteful food, fashions and fun of pre-Castro Cuba.
“Café Habana blends the classic Cuban feel with menu items from Central and South America in an updated version on the timeless Cuban or Latin Café,” said Lobdell. “The 1930s retro-style of Habana brings up imagery of the pre-Castro Cuba with art deco décor set in a rustic environment.”
Visitors are greeted by an elegant cherry wood and burgundy interior that is accented by more than a dozen colorful Cuban posters. Lighting is provided by assorted chandeliers, most made of wrought iron and highlighted by crystals. The overall vibe is casual, but with a hint of upscale. It can seat up to 150 diners.
Since the early 1960s, the political environment between Cuba and the U.S. has given the tiny island nation a strange type of forbidden mystique. But the Cuban history and culture is extremely rich and Café Habana captures a slice of that culture in its meals, its music, and its drinks.
 
Thursday, September 27, 2007

Andante‘s

Dining Al Parker In musical parlance, “andante” means a moderately slow tempo.
In Petoskey, Andante means a contemporary, art-filled restaurant that offers elegant, intimate dining and eye-catching panoramas of Little Traverse Bay.
“We like to call our food gourmet eclectic,” explains Lori Stark, who owns and operates Andante with her husband, Bob. “We like to offer a little bit of everything. Our menu changes as the seasons change.”
Opened 19 years ago, Andante features a fusion of regional American, French, Asian and Mediterranean cuisines, a wide-ranging wine list and superior service.
 
Thursday, July 26, 2007

La Senorita

Dining Al Parker The year was 1980. A peanut farmer was in the White House, first-class stamps cost 15 cents each and Sony was riding high, thanks to its amazing new Walkman. And Traverse City was getting its first taste of real Mexican cuisine when La Senorita opened its doors on Garfield Road.
Jimmy Carter’s presidency is a distant, somewhat painful, memory. It now costs 41 cents to use snail mail and iPods are now the music machines of choice.
But La Senorita endures, thriving and expanding over the decades. “We’re six stores now – two in Traverse City, Petoskey, Mt. Pleasant, Gaylord and Lansing,” said regional manager Dave Scott.
La Senorita was the leader in bringing Mexican food to the Traverse City area. In the ensuing years, other eateries offering the cuisine have popped up, but La Senorita’s popularity has not waned.
About seven years ago, La Senorita’s founding family, the Kleinricherts, sold the company to Mexican Restaurants, Inc., based in Houston. That smooth transition has resulted in very few changes that La Senorita visitors would recognize.
 
Thursday, July 5, 2007

Opa!

Dining Al Parker Paul and Brigette Barbas are guided by a simple business philosophy.
“We want to bring good food at reasonable prices to our customers,” explained Paul, an outgoing 36-year-old whose new eatery, OPA! Coney and Grill, opened in early June at Traverse City’s Cherryland Center.
OPA! marks the first time the Barbases have owned a restaurant, but Paul, who was born in Greece and came to the U.S. as a toddler, logged plenty of time working at his parents’ restaurant – The Astoria Coney Island – near Detroit.
 
Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Dish Cafe

Dining Al Parker For many workers in the restaurant business, long, hard hours are part of the game., Patty Hickman and Randy Waclawski, who have more than three decades of restaurant experience between them, decided that if they were to work that hard, they might as well own a place., So, earlier this year they bought one of Traverse City’s most popular downtown eateries, the Dish Café., “We don’t mind hard work, ” said Hickman, smiling as she wiped down a table. “
 
Thursday, May 3, 2007

Agave Mexican Grill

Dining Al Parker Down in Mexico the agave is known as the source of Tequila.
Some 2,000 miles north in Traverse City, the Agave Mexican Grill is rapidly building a reputation for outstanding Mexican cuisine at reasonable prices.
In February, husband and wife Javier and Dusty Rodriguez opened their comfortable Garfield Road restaurant, which formerly housed Hockey Heroes, and prior to that, Gordie Howe’s Tavern & Eatery.
They weren’t prepared for the public’s first reaction.
 
Thursday, March 15, 2007

Cousin Jenny‘s Cornish Pasties

Dining Al Parker Start with a 2, then add zeroes till you reach 2,000,000. That’s how many pasties Jerilyn DeBoer estimates she’s made during her 28 years of running Cousin Jenny’s Cornish Pasties in Traverse City.
“I figure about 2 million to 2.5 million, all handmade,” calculates a smiling Jerilyn, who operates the charming Union Street eatery with her husband, Nick. “And for the first 10 years I rolled all the dough by myself on a rolling pin. That was a challenge. Now we have a dough roller. But our whole business is labor intensive. Our food is all custom made. It’s not mass produced.”
Pasties – a hearty blend of steak, potatoes, onion, rutabaga and seasonings wrapped in a sturdy pastry crust – arrived in Michigan more than a century ago when Cornish miners came to work the Upper Peninsula’s copper and iron ore mines. The pasties were a filling meal that was easy to carry and easy to eat.
 
Thursday, March 15, 2007

Casino Scene: Odawa

Features Al Parker Northern Michigan casino goers
should grab a fat, red Crayola and circle Wednesday, June 20 on their calendar.
That’s the opening day of Odawa, the huge new casino project being built by the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians in Petoskey.
 
Thursday, December 7, 2006

No. Michigan‘s Biggest Restaurant

Dining Al Parker All of those snarky old jokes about hospital food just don’t apply to the largest meal provider in Northern Michigan.
Both the quantity and quality of food is impressive at Munson Medical Center’s Cafeteria, which provides some 24,000 meals to patients each month and between 6,000 to 8,000 “transactions” each day to visitors and staff.
“We use the term ‘transactions’ for the Cafeteria because some of those might involve a cup of coffee, a cookie or a salad and are not full meals,” explains Ted Maury, catering and retail manager of the facility. “On a typical day we’ll sell 150 to 200 burgers, 100 pizzas, 100 to 200 sub sandwiches and more than 200 meals from our Innovation Station where we serve special salads and other offerings.”
The Innovation Station, which features fresh, made-to-order salads and other meals, was the site earlier this year of a popular program that enabled Munson’s Cafeteria to offer diners fresh produce from Traverse City area farms.
Registered dietitian Laura McCain worked with Maury and local farmers on the concept which proved to be very popular. Cafeteria staff used the tasty, fresh produce in preparing special meals and also sold the items in bulk quantities.
 
Thursday, November 2, 2006

Home Grown Eatery

Dining Al Parker When some restaurant owners prepare to open a new store they run marketing surveys, study industry trends and carefully examine demographic samples.
Tanya and Chris Winkelman looked to their own lives.
 
Thursday, September 21, 2006

Pangea‘s Pizza

Dining Al Parker Millions of years ago, before dinosaurs, before birds, even before Joan Rivers, geological forces drove the earth’s three major land masses into a single ubercontinent – Pangea, a Greek word meaning “all lands.”
A new Traverse City eatery, Pangea’s Pizza, reunites the diverse food flavors of the world’s seven continents into a fun, mouthwatering pizza experience, according to Chris Girrbach, who co-owns the restaurant with his parents Ed and Phyllis Girrbach.
 
Thursday, September 7, 2006

Doggone Good

Dining Al Parker Nick McAllister is a busy guy.
In one quick swoop, he slips a tasty Vienna hot dog into a fresh bun and then slathers it with chili, onions and mustard. The result is a Motown – the most popular menu item at McAllister’s new eatery, the House of Doggs.
“Business has been really good,” said McAllister who opened his Coney Island-style restaurant just before the summer tourist crush began in Traverse City. “It was really heavy at first, and then leveled off. I’m curious about the fall and winter.”
But he’s pretty confident about the House of Doggs, given the number of customers who’ve become regulars at his family-friendly, music-themed restaurant that features 13 varieties of hot dogs.
McAllister, 41, moved to Traverse City from the Grand Rapids area this spring and spent two months readying the building that formerly housed The Muffin Tin at 115 Wellington, just off Front Street.
“I really like how hot dogs are a traditional American thing,” explained McAllister. “That’s what I wanted, a fun family place to gather.”
A graphic artist, McAllister was living in Rockford and driving to Battle Creek where he did work for Kellogg’s. He grew weary of the long work commute that kept him away from his family and began dreaming about moving to Traverse City and opening a hot dog place. He even designed the logo and built a sign.

 
 
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