September 21, 2020

Eric Cox | Author


Mike’s Favorite Grilled Cheese

Sept. 5, 2020

Each bite is a cheesy revelation of creamy, savory, crunchy goodness. Heavenly harmonies resound as cheddar and American cheeses mass with salty bacon and ham. When the perfectly grilled bread is parted, a divine creation is revealed: Cheese & Co’s supreme being, Mike’s Fa... Read More >>

Walloon Lake Winery’s Windemere

Sept. 5, 2020

If there was ever a wine custom-made for a breezy, sunny, late-summer day, Walloon Lake Winery’s Windemere ($20 bottle), a white, three-grape field blend culled from Petoskey’s La Di Dah Vineyard, must be the one. With only a hint of sweetness in its pale-yellow depths, Windem... Read More >>

The Mountain Bike Gang that Could

Aug. 29, 2020

Standing around talking after a 2012 ride, Boyne City cyclist Steve Schnell and some of his friends lamented Northern Michigan’s lack of mountain bike trails. While mountain biking amenities were growing steadily downstate, there seemed to be little advocacy for trail development in... Read More >>

Mammoth’s Vodka Collins

Aug. 29, 2020

Mammoth Distilling’s new Bay Harbor Tasting Room, 4181 Main St., is a great place to sit up straight. And that’s exactly what you’ll do when you down a refreshing Vodka Collins ($9) on a hot summer day. Triple distilled, smooth and toothy, Mammoth Vodka (80 proof) gives ... Read More >>

Crow's Nest

Aug. 22, 2020

State Road stabs northward from Harbor Springs, winding and rolling through thick forests, eventually terminating at Cross Village, near the tip of the Mitt. But, a few miles south, before that well-known stop, is an out-of-the-way little restaurant that serves pan-fried yellow lake perch... Read More >>

Up in Smoke’s Tequila Sunrise

Aug. 22, 2020

It’s basic, but bold. A classic cocktail and a mainstay on drink menus across the land, the time-tested, always colorful, and ever-popular Tequila Sunrise ($6) is a sight for sore eyes on any sweltering summer day, and at Up In Smoke Barbecue & Catering in Petoskey, this co... Read More >>

Dutch Oven Bakery’s Cinnamon Bread

Aug. 15, 2020

Put it in the toaster. Smear it with butter. Use it for French toast. It matters not how you eat this decades-old bakery’s famous cinnamon bread — so long as you eat it, as locals have been gratefully doing since the 1930s. Dutch Oven Bakery (and café and deli), located... Read More >>

Bayside Restaurant's Bicuits & Gravy

Nov. 2, 2019

Petoskey’s Bayside Restaurant clearly has a knack for concocting delicious morsels that warm the innards and quell the cold weather demons. Understated on their menu, this near-perfect embodiment of comfort food — savory with a creamy-crunchy consistency that massages all... Read More >>

Boyne City’s Water Street Café

Sept. 28, 2019

Transitioning restaurant ownership can be a tricky endeavor. While the new proprietors inherit what is hopefully a solid place with a loyal, appreciative clientele, a precarious balance must be struck in order to move on with their own food service goals while adhering to enough of the ol... Read More >>

PBC’s Super Trooper English Brown Ale

Sept. 21, 2019

Petoskey Brewing Company’s Super Trooper English Brown Ale (7.3% ABV, 12 IBU) not only serves a beer-hungry gullet but also protects a discerning palette, sheltering it from other, perhaps more felonious brews. In keeping with honorable police traditions, Petoskey Brewing Co. brewer... Read More >>

Crooked Tree Bakery's Pepper Parmesan Bread

Sept. 14, 2019

Petoskey artisan bread purveyors Crooked Tree Breadworks is onto something special in its Pepper Parmesan Sourdough boule ($9.25). This rich and savory loaf is great for sandwiches, toasted with butter, alongside saucy Italian fare or just about any other way you can dream up. The store r... Read More >>

Grain Train Cafe Breakfast Burrito

Aug. 17, 2019

To some, the words “breakfast” and “burrito” don’t play well together. Right or wrong, they have their own ideas of what breakfast should be, and it doesn’t often involve tortillas. That’s fine, but strict adherence to tradition has its perils. In... Read More >>

Resurrecting the Family Spirits

July 20, 2019

Steve Beam was in elementary school when he became aware of his family’s good name. But it would take several more years before he understood its value in the spirits world — not the ether, mind you, but the fiery-smooth realm of high-quality bourbon.

“Growing... Read More >>

Cormack’s Deli’s Spinach Quiche

July 13, 2019

A hearty wedge of the made-from-scratch spinach quiche offers a lighter and totally to-die-for alternative to Cormack’s Deli’s cornucopia of diverse and tantalizing sandwich offerings. For those who don’t know, quiche is like a tasty, eggy pie with cheese and a feat... Read More >>

Float Back in Time on Little Traverse Bay’s Pointer Boat

July 6, 2019

Each summer, tens of thousands of people flock to northern Michigan in search of lakeside refreshment. But not all visitors have a way of actually getting out on the azure waters, where the views are often more satisfying than the cool lake breezes themselves. 

A solution ... Read More >>

The Turkarita

July 6, 2019

If you’re out blowin’ around Little Traverse Bay some sunny afternoon, drop anchor at Harbor Springs and wobble your sea legs over to Turkey’s Cafe & Pizzeria, which is ensconced in a charming historic building at 250 E. Main St. There, ... Read More >>

Johan’s Sour Cream Old Fashioned

May 11, 2019

Johan’s Pastry Shop in Petoskey should be mildly ashamed of itself for its obnoxiously fresh offering of mouth-wateringly delicious donuts, cakes, breads, and other delights. But of particular offense to the vigilant waist-watcher is Johan’s incredible sour cream old fashioned... Read More >>

LEAN ... on the Farm?

May 11, 2019

Atop the high, breezy hills east of Wolverine sprawls a fairly nondescript 40-acre farm owned by Dan and Wendy Babcock, northern Michigan farmers who place a high value on the integrity of the food they produce, consume, and sell.

Obviously missing in the greening landscape of ... Read More >>

Creatures Great and Small

April 20, 2019

“I cuddle skunks,” Julie Hall said, reaching into a straw-filled bin and pulling out a black and white-striped critter that would make anyone else run for cover. “I know that’s kinda weird.”
She snuggled the young skunk and kissed its small, surprisingl... Read More >>

Beards' Tomato-Basil-Quinoa Soup

March 30, 2019

Spring is yet an infant in these northern reaches, and sometimes, when that stubborn frost bites in the early morning commute, even the most sturdy among us pin their hopes on a sprawling, tasty luncheon. We invite you to exorcise that gastric demon with a cup-full of Beards Brewery&... Read More >>