January 27, 2020


Fried Chicken Po’ Boy

By Jillian Manning | Jan. 25, 2020

Perfectly crisp fried chicken. Fresh warm bread. Honey jalapeno mayonnaise. (And then lettuce, onion, and tomato, because vegetables are supposed to be important.) This is the Fried Chicken Po’ Boy at Pearl’s New Orleans Kitchen in Elk Rapids. For those who haven’t been, Pearl’s has all the Cajun and Creole comfort food you’ve ever dreamed of — for lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch. The po’ boys are not to be missed, especially ... Read More >>

Cadillac’s Clam Lake Beer Co.

Primo craft beer and hearty fare for hard-working locals and day-trippers alike.
By Craig Manning | Jan. 25, 2020

It’s 3:00 on a Thursday afternoon, but Clam Lake Beer Co. is already bustling with regulars. The taphouse and brewery, which is located right on the main drag of S. Mitchell Street in downtown Cadillac, is a popular local hangout spot no matter the time or day. In the winter, it’s a go-to stop for skiers and snowmobilers. In the summer, vacationers flock in to sample brews from the establishment’s 40-tap beer ... Read More >>

Cheboygan Brewing Co.'s Imperial Cinnamon Hefeweizen

Bottoms Up
By Craig Manning | Jan. 18, 2020

Winter is prime time for imperial stouts and barrel-aged beers, but what if you’re not a fan of those big, heavy, dark brews? The Imperial Cinnamon Hefeweizen is a perfect winter beer for folks who prefer the hue of their ales to stay on the lighter side of the spectrum. On the one hand, this beer still packs plenty of punch, with an ABV of 7.4 and a boozier character than you’d ... Read More >>

Osorio’s Salsas

By Alex Tank | Jan. 18, 2020

“We don’t have a freezer.  No canned or processed ingredients. Everything is fresh and homemade,” says Miguel Osorio, co-owner with wife, Karla, of Osorio Tacos Y Salsas in Williamsburg.  Proof of the couple’s commitment to traditional cooking with fresh ingredients: every one of their seven pepper-, veggie-, and herb-packed salsas heating up their winter menu. All are delicious, but four in particular have captured our winter-weary hearts: 1. The Salsa Primitiva, which ... Read More >>

Empire Village Inn’s Ribs and Wings

By Lynda Wheatley | Jan. 11, 2020

Our first thought on the Empire Village Inn’s Thursday night rib and wings special: How good can $1 ribs and $.50  wings be? Our second thought, with full mouth: Good. Very, very good. Perhaps we shouldn’t have been surprised. The EVI, our go-to stop for beer and outstanding pizza after a summer day spent at the dunes, is no less adept in its approach to winter comfort food. Its own ribs — ... Read More >>

Iron Fish's Copper Queen

Bottoms Up
By Patrick Sullivan | Jan. 11, 2020

A Benzie County distillery is offering a taste of Michigan’s Copper Country in a whiskey that’s based on a century-old recipe.Copper Queen, originally served in the saloons of Red Jacket — now Calumet —  when the copper mining industry made the Keweenaw Peninsula an economic powerhouse, has been born again, thanks to a couple of local business owners who found an old bottle and advocated for its reintroduction. Iron Fish Distillery of ... Read More >>

Chicken Pickle Pizza

By Todd VanSickle | Jan. 4, 2020

The sign outside of the Kal-Ho Lounge in downtown Kalkaska promises patrons “Good Food and Pizza.” That sign is a gross understatement if you’ve ever tasted the bar’s Chicken Pickle pizza, which is easily some of the best pie you can get east of Traverse City. And, in case you’re wondering, the Chicken Pickle is not a gimmick; it has earned its place on the menu. “Everyone who gets it, gets it ... Read More >>

Dos Serranos India Pale Ale

Bottoms Up
By Alex Tank | Jan. 4, 2020

Traverse City’s Earthen Ales celebrated three years of craft brewing on Dec. 7.  Alongside several specialty beers tied to the party was the third annual release of the brewery’s beloved Dos Serranos, an India Pale Ale brewed with locally grown chiles and centennial hops.  The medium-bronze brew glows with a floral, verdant aroma hinting at the chiles within, both fresh and roasted, sourced from Loma Farm of Leelanau County.  But co-founder/brewer Andrew ... Read More >>

The Kitchen's Salmon Bowl

By Lynda Wheatley | Dec. 21, 2019

If the run-up to the holidays has left you feeling a little peaked, consider stepping off the Buddy the Elf diet of candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup to make way for something we like to call the day-long dish: The Kitchen’s salmon bowl. It might be made for one person for one meal, but this behemoth bowl of goodness — protein-rich salmon and hard-boiled eggs, detoxifying cucumbers and greens, lycopene-rich tomatoes, ... Read More >>

The Thistle Pub & Grill

Dining amidst snowy slopes and Scottish tartans
By Janice Binkert | Dec. 21, 2019

On an early December morning, the outdoor temperature at Crystal Mountain Resort in Thompsonville registered 22 degrees (minus wind chill). Snowmaking machines on the slopes above Kinlochen Lodge roared like jet engines, spewing curtains of white powder on the natural base that had already heralded an early ski season in November. But inside the stately stone and timber building, a peaceful, holiday-bedecked entrance hall led dining guests to the warm and welcoming ... Read More >>

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