February 26, 2024

Lynda Wheatley | Author

Beards Brewery’s Deez Nutz

Nov. 14, 2020

Don’t let the squirrely name fool you. Deez Nutz is a very serious brown ale. Brewed with oats, chocolate, and caramel malts, this annual autumn offering from Beards Brewery is one we crave the minute we pull on our mittens. It’s beautifully smooth and almost chewy, with decen... Read More >>

Fig’s Chicken Nacho

Nov. 7, 2020

We were bereft when we discovered the 2020 closure of Fig’s Breakfast and Lunch in Lake Leelanau. We had just profiled this amazing-meals-come-out-of-small-cafés gem, its husband/wife owners Jaimee and Bryon Figueroa, and their innovative menu (coconut French toast! Yak ... Read More >>

Forrest’s Parm-Pumpkin Risotto with Half-Chicken and Sprouts

Oct. 31, 2020

Forrest Moline — private chef and co-owner of Forrest, A Food Studio with his wife, Nicole, a nutritionist and dietician — has officially made the lazy/tired/hungry food-lover’s dreams come true. Last week he launched a new carryout dinner program, an amalgam of ready-to... Read More >>

Iron Fish’s Maple Moon

Oct. 31, 2020

Denny’s can have Moons Over My Hammy. Equally filling but far, far more fun, however, is Iron Fish Distillery’s ode to autumn, the Maple Moon. A hot and totally indulgent cocktail that tastes even better after a chilly afternoon hike, this whipped wonder mixes coffee with Iron... Read More >>

Raduno’s Muffalatta

Oct. 24, 2020

As we settle into the seasons that require no appearances in a swimsuit, there is much to embrace. Chief among them, we believe, is Raduno’s Muffaletta sandwich. A generous stacking of foodstuff that is not only fun to say but also delicious to eat — Mortadella! Sopressata! Pr... Read More >>

Cultured Kombucha’s Apple Pie Chai

Oct. 24, 2020

It’s baaaack! For every Starbucks-toting, tall-boot and puffy-vest-wearing gal who’s giddy that Pumpkin Spice Latte season has returned, there’s at least one person in an old wool sweater who isn’t moved by this manufactured-flavor mayhem. For them, there is someth... Read More >>

Reflect Bistro’s Filet Mignon & Eggs

Oct. 10, 2020

The combination of limited-capacity seating and chillier mornings has made going out for Sunday breakfast an odyssey Up North. Our solution: Seek out the secret spots, like Reflect Bistro, hidden inside Cambria Hotel and Suites, just east of downtown Traverse City.

With well-s...

Bel Lago’s 2015 Pinot Noir Reserve

Oct. 3, 2020

In July 2019, Bel Lago’s 2016 Pinot Noir earned a 90-point nod from Wine Enthusiast — and with it, some more well-deserved attention to the deeply complex reds they’re raising from our region’s terroir. Late last week, under a cloudy, rain-soaking sky, Bel... Read More >>

Get Your Fair Share

Sept. 12, 2020

So we loathe the suddenly accelerated Census response deadline of Sept. 30, 2020. Seeing as it’s tough to accurately count people in normal times, forcing a faster count during a pandemic strikes us as silly and, well … a bit scary. Money for our schools, roads, and social pr... Read More >>

Fall Fashion 2020: The New Casual

Sept. 12, 2020

Fall 2020’s fashion essential? Clothes that are comfortable, cozy, and cut to flow easily between whatever autumn scenes you find yourself: at-home office, virtual classroom coach, well-spaced coffee date, or sipping hard cider by the bonfire. Here, our picks for flexible, high-... Read More >>

Two K Farms’ Spitzenburg Cider

Sept. 12, 2020

Two K Farms’ 2018 Rosé and 2017 Riesling might have won at the prestigious by-invitation-only Jefferson Cup wine competition last year, but we suspect the cidery and winery’s 2019 Spitzenburg Cider is the libation that would win the approval of an even more impressive J... Read More >>

Slabtown Cookie Co.’s Summer Magic & Kegger

Sept. 12, 2020

While the rest of us spent the early days of the pandemic climbing the walls, watching Netflix, and baking cookies, Katie Otterman was doing the same. Only she — a single mom of a 6-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter — turned that latter boredom buster into a booming busines... Read More >>

Secluded Beaches

Aug. 22, 2020

Sundling Beach, Manistee
Open sunrise to sunset and incredible every minute in between, Sundling Beach’s narrow 60-foot-ish strip of sand has, like all Lake Michigan beaches, lost a few feet this summer. But its off-the-beaten path location — about thre... Read More >>

Grand Traverse Salad Co.’s Build-Your-Own Salad

Aug. 22, 2020

You might think Grand Traverse Salad Co.’s location — at the hyper-trafficked corner of Cass and South Airport; across from a gas station, next to a McDonald’s, and kitty-corner to a BATA bus transfer center — is an unusual choice for a healthy eating destination. ... Read More >>

Winner, Winner Crab Boil Dinner

Aug. 8, 2020

We can’t guarantee that Lady Luck will be in attendance, but you can bet on a big win at Odawa Casino’s Sage restaurant on Friday nights right now. The fine-dining spot has launched a crab boil special that serves up two full clusters of sweet Alaskan snow crab legs, Andouille... Read More >>

Shady Lane Cellars’ Brio

Aug. 8, 2020

We’ve been appreciating Kasey Wierzba’s work at Shady Lane Cellars since she took over as head winemaker in 2016. Working entirely from 100-percent estate-grown grapes, her commitment to the quality of her vineyard’s fruits is obvious (especially, we think, in her except... Read More >>

Mammoth Distilling’s Northern Rye

Aug. 1, 2020

If you’re among the lot that likes your chardonnay “unoaked” yet find yourself thirsty for something that’ll sprout hair on your chest long before it lifts your pinky, consider the equally elegant but considerably harder (and, happily, hardly fast) Northern Rye. Read More >>

Tap30’s BBQ Brisket Quesadilla

Aug. 1, 2020

A new and excellent addition to Tap30’s already clever pub fare (see their tater tot nachos — aka Totchos — and the only kids-menu Mac n’ Cheese we’ve ever seen offering cavatappi pasta coated in a house-made white cheddar and smoked gouda cheese sauce), the ... Read More >>

9 Bean Rows’ Breakfast Sammie

July 18, 2020

If you’ve ever thought to bake a batch of croissants yourself — don’t. It’s hard. Tiring. Time-consuming. And exceedingly likely that yours won’t turn out half as light, buttery, flaky, and absolutely to die for as 9 Bean Rows’. Especially when they stu... Read More >>

The Salvatore Sub

July 11, 2020

A modest family market has opened in the Bay Harbor neighborhood: Salvatore’s, a grocery/kitchen/deli ready to dish up your needs (bread, water, toilet paper), wants (beer, wine, wings), plus some extra-special items that can turn your super summer night stupendous — if you&rs... Read More >>