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Trish Dishes It Up in Leland

Ross Boissoneau - April 21st, 2014  

Residents in Leland mourned the departure of Stone House Café in December, but its replacement will satisfy early birds and the lunch bunch alike.

After floating around Leelanau County, Trish’s Dishes has settled in, serving up a full breakfast and lunch menu.

The Cordon Bleu trained owner, Trish Kropp, needed more space and moved her operation from a two-story building in Lake Leelanau.

In addition to her retail storefront, Kropp also caters and supplies more than 30 locations in Leelanau and Grand Traverse counties with specialty sandwiches and wraps.

THE SCENE

Kropp has altered the interior of the almost 20-year-old café to give it a clean, crisp look. The walls are now a vibrant green offset by a crisp white under the chair rail, with an eclectic mix of furnishings. The chalkboards announcing the day’s offerings made the jaunt from Lake Leelanau.

It’s in the back where Kropp and her staff have experienced the greatest difference. There’s now room for more than one person at a time to move around in the kitchen, as well as nearby space for packaging the sandwiches for transport.

Kropp has expanded both her hours and her offerings: She’s added smoothies and more salads and sandwiches to the menu.

The customer base has increased as well. “It’s from my old clientele and Stone House,” she said.

THE MENU

At breakfast time, Trish’s Dishes offers a mix of sweet and savory. That starts with the crepes, where those with a sweet tooth can choose banana and Nutella or apple, brown sugar and caramel. On the savory side, choices include spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and cheese; ham and cheese, or smoked salmon and dill sauce.

Specialty items include breakfast burritos, huevos rancheros, and a morning grilled cheese with bacon, lettuce and tomato, topped with a fried egg. There are numerous pastries as well.

Afternoon favorites include sandwiches and wraps like chicken salad, egg salad, turkey wasabi, and veggie. Enthusiasts of greens can choose a Cobb salad; grilled chicken with cherries, goat cheese, sunflower seeds, tomato and cucumber; and an organic kale and spinach with quinoa, feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives and cucumber, all served with a variety of dressings. (Hint: Try the citrus cranberry vinaigrette.)

Newly added since the move are paninis, such as Italian, with Genoa salami, ham, turkey, provolone and red onion; roast beef with cheddar, wasabi mayo, lettuce and tomato; pesto turkey with bacon and feta on ciabatta; even ham and brie with apple slices and honey mustard.

Trish’s Dishes also offers weekly special dinners, with entrée and sides, for takeout.

THE BEST

While the soup selections rotate, you can’t go wrong with the roasted cauliflower bisque. It’s rich, robust, and Kropp says healthy too.

The moo shu is a cross between wrap and panini. Grilled chicken, rice noodles, Asian vegetables and hoisin sauce are wrapped in a tortilla and grilled.

“It’s really hearty and satisfying. I like mine spicy,” said Kropp.

She also recommends the cherry chicken salad sandwich, served on sourdough.

“That’s what we’re known for. It’s a staple for the area,” she said. “You can grab it and run.”

On the beverage side, Kropp points to the green smoothie as a great choice, with kale, yogurt, honey, wheat germ, apples, and apple juice.

THE REST OF THE STORY

After earning a degree in sociology, Kropp opted for culinary school, and worked in a number of four- and five-star restaurants in Cincinnati. She then opened a catering business.

Her husband had long vacationed in Leelanau County, and they loved the area, so they moved north.

She started Trish’s Dishes on a wholesale basis six years ago, opening her first storefront in Northport, then moving to Lake Leelanau.

In addition to the café and wholesale side, Kropp also offers a complete catering menu, from sandwiches, salads and sides to entrées.

With this latest move, she believes she’s found the perfect spot. She says it has already paid off, as business has doubled.

“I’m really happy. It’s above and beyond my expectations,” she said.

She anticipates even greater returns as the weather warms.

“I want to tap into the Leland summer,” she said.

THE SKINNY

Breakfasts start at $4.25. Crepes are $5.95; burritos $6.25; omelets $6.50. Lunchtime items start at $5.25 for cold sandwiches, $5.95 for wraps, $6.50 for paninis and $7.20 for salads. Prepared dinners are $12.

Trish’s Dishes, on N. Main St. in Leland, is open 7am-4pm Mon-Fri. and 8am-3pm Saturday. Summer hours are 7am-8pm, seven days a week. For more, call (231) 994-2288, visit trishesdishes.com, or visit the Trish’s Dishes Facebook page.

Her specialty sandwiches are now in 30 stores; she also has a new retail outlet in Leland that houses her catering and wholesale businesses.

The moo shu chicken wrap and tomato basil soup make for a satisfying lunch.

Melanie Wheeler runs the wholesale sandwich side of the business.

 
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