March 5, 2021

Food


Dinghy’s Smoked Barbeque Ribs

Tastemaker
By Lynda Wheatley | Feb. 27, 2021

Dinghy’s Restaurant & Bar in downtown Frankfort was hit particularly hard by the pandemic restrictions. “We don’t have a patio, and the City of Frankfort prohibits sidewalk tables. Because Dinghy’s is a very small restaurant, compliance with the social distancing restriction eliminated almost 75 percent of our seating,” owner Steve Christian told Northern Express. As a result, sales in the last year were down about 69 percent. And yet … Dinghy’s is still ... Read More >>


Oban’s 14-year Single Malt Scotch

Bottoms Up
By Lynda Wheatley | Feb. 27, 2021

Yeah, you could buy yourself a whole bottle of Oban’s 14-year-old single malt at the grocery store. But if you don’t want to set yourself back $89 (the cheapest we could find, at Meijer), we recommend a far richer but less costly experience to toast our incoming ides of March: Make your way to Bar Harbor, overlooking the windswept waves of Little Traverse Bay, in downtown Harbor Springs, this week. You can ... Read More >>


Tiny Pink Bubbles

Bottoms Up
By Lynda Wheatley | Feb. 20, 2021

Hey, ladies, do we have the pink drink for you: Aerie’s Tiny Pink Bubbles. With a taste and body as delicious as its name and presentation is darling, this fanciful concoction masterminded by manager Alex Truck is utterly worth our obsession. A foundation of botanical berry-pink gin gets the party started while a bracing squeeze of fresh lime juice and a lacing of champagne syrup — Mawby’s Sex, a sparkling brut rose, ... Read More >>


The Oakwood Proper Burger

Tastemaker
By Alex Tank | Feb. 20, 2021

The aptly named Oakwood Proper Burgers seems to do it all right. This newly opened hot spot at the corner of Traverse City’s Eighth Street and Garfield serves up smash burgers, hand-cut fries, and classic milkshakes, with a sizeable splash of midcentury style on the side. Leslie Bilbey and Josh Gray thoughtfully revitalized the former Ham Bonz space to bring area carnivores local ingredients with modern consciousness: fresh-ground Michigan Craft Beef™ burgers ... Read More >>


Rolling Oak’s GoodAle Chocolate

Bottoms Up
By Lynda Wheatley | Feb. 13, 2021

Blink and you’ll miss one of Rolling Oak Brewery’s seemingly endless array of libation creations concocted with donuts from legendary Grayling bakery and neighbor, Goodale’s bakery. The brewery recently blew our minds (and resolved our inner beer v. dessert battle) with a pint of their latest, GoodAle Chocolate, a fully satisfying creation with hints of vanilla. It goes exceptionally well with their peanut-butter porter — especially when the pair share the same ... Read More >>


Small Batch’s Mon Chou Chou

Tastemaker
By Lynda Wheatley | Feb. 13, 2021

Bet you thought this hot stack of delicious was a dessert. Think again, you lucky breakfast champion. This is Small Batch at the Cupola’s homemade cinnamon roll French toast. It’s served with a creamy cheese glaze, fresh sweetened strawberries, a snowball’s dollop of whipped cream, and a sprinkling of powdered sugar. But at its foundation, it’s French toast, so … certifiably breakfast food. Pick it up to go — or inhale it ... Read More >>


Traverse City's Hexenbelle

Global comfort food, locally roasted coffee, and magical baked goods for a better world
By Janice Binkert | Feb. 13, 2021

One of Traverse City’s newest and most innovative restaurant/cafes, Hexenbelle, launched in November 2020, is the concept of Christian Geoghegan (head chef), Hanna Lane (head baker), and Heather Webber (head of the coffee/espresso program). The members of this young trio are already recognized among those in the local food and beverage community as up-and-comers to watch. Northern Express talked with Geoghegan, whose multicultural background not only inspires many of the dishes on ... Read More >>


Third Coast Bakery’s Bounty of Valentine Treats

Tastemaker
By Lynda Wheatley | Feb. 6, 2021

We think it’s safe to say that Third Coast Bakery in Traverse City loves — like really, really loves — Valentine’s Day. And we’re loving that, because they’re not stopping at these heart-shaped pans of cinnamon rolls (shown above; pre-order two days in advance, in-store pickup only, $22). They’re also offering shippable Valentine gift boxes for $19.99. (The Be My Valentine box, for instance, gets you one gooey fudge brownie; one classic ... Read More >>


Blue Tractor’s Pork Mac & Cheese

Tastemaker
By Lynda Wheatley | Jan. 30, 2021

Though the pandemic prevented us from bellying up to the Blue Tractor bar every Sunday to watch the Lions play, when restaurants open again Feb. 1, we can look forward to recapturing at least one part of that our longstanding tradition: Sitting in one of Traverse City’s coziest football-viewing spots while soothing our crushed souls in a bowl of the most comforting comfort food we know, Blue Tractor’s Pork Mac & Cheese ... Read More >>


Firefly’s Wildflower Martini

Bottoms Up
By Lynda Wheatley | Jan. 30, 2021

January’s mild temps notwithstanding, who Up North couldn’t use just a nip of springtime now and again? On a recent gray day, we slipped into one of Firefly’s toasty little greenhouses — literally toasty; a small space heater in the back enabled us to slip off all our winter gear and sit quite comfortably — and found, to our delight, a Wildflower Martini ($12) on the menu. Even more delightful was its ... Read More >>

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