April 25, 2019


The Roadhouse

With a huge tequila selection, outdoor deck, and fab food, Benzonia's Mexican bar & grill is a must.
By Janice Binkert | April 20, 2019

In spite of the catchy yellow, red, black, and green logo sign on the front of the historic building it calls home “at the top of the hill” in Benzonia, the Roadhouse sometimes fails to catch the attention of people driving by. Fortunately, enough of them find their way here to allow for this fun, friendly, fresh-food-focused Mexican restaurant to stay open year-round. Oh, and did we mention tequila? How about 70 ... Read More >>

The Cooks' House

Elevated cuisine, artfully presented in Traverse City
By Janice Binkert | April 13, 2019

It’s a paradox: For two cooks whose cuisine speaks volumes, they prefer not to. They just want to cook. Eric Patterson and Jen Blakeslee, chef-owners of The Cooks’ House in Traverse City, celebrated the 11th anniversary of the restaurant on April 1 – not with champagne corks popping and revelry, but by going to work and continuing to do what they do so well.  Patterson, the ponytailed, perennially suit-and-tie-wearing half of the ... Read More >>

Joe’s Empire Ale & Joe’s Friendly Root Beer

Bottoms Up
By Ross Boissoneau | March 30, 2019

The preponderance of brewpubs and craft brews has so impacted local bars and restaurants that many have had specialty beers made and branded specifically for their establishment. Joe’s Friendly Tavern in Empire goes that one better. Not only does it offer Joe’s Empire Ale ($5 per pint) but also serves its own proprietary root beer. The former was originally made by Old Nation Brewing of Williamston, but when that brewery found (an ... Read More >>

Beards' Tomato-Basil-Quinoa Soup

By Eric Cox | 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’s uber-hearty Tomato-Basil-Quinoa Soup (cup, $3; bowl, $5). Our feast paired this tangy, wholesome, chewable soup with its own natural cousin, the Lake Street Grilled Cheese ... Read More >>

Swamp Soup

By Eric Cox | March 23, 2019

One of the staples at Centre Street Café in Traverse City is the Swamp Soup. Its origins trace way back to when chef/owner Pete Boothroyd expanded his juice bar at the TC Gym into a full restaurant in 1999, when the gym closed. The tomato-based soup was one of his first creations. He tried a couple versions before settling on a soup loaded with spinach and topped with grated Swiss cheese. But ... Read More >>

Side Door Saloon's Awesome Coffee

Bottoms Up
By Eric Cox | March 23, 2019

Some dreary mushy-March morning, when you’re feeling weird and primed for some kind of heartening adventure, take your empty stomach over to The Side Door Saloon in Petoskey. Park your butt at the bar. Order an Awesome Coffee. Sit back and watch the show. A super sweet and smooth variation on Irish coffee, Awesome Coffee is as interesting on the palette as it is the eyes. Bartender April Backus first coats with sugar ... Read More >>

Flap Jack Shack's Mimosa

Bottoms Up
By Lynda Wheatley | March 16, 2019

Whether you’re kicking off your vacation or stuck here pretending to take one, the Flap Jack Shack will put you in full Bahama-momma mode. Every Saturday and Sunday, the retro-style diner rewards those who willing to wait in its ever-present (but fast-moving) weekend lineup with one heckuva deal: $1 off its $4.99 mimosas. We chose the strawberry-orange, in which fresh strawberry puree is squeezed down the sides of the flute, then champagne ... Read More >>

Grille 44's Tater Kegs

By Todd VanSickle | March 16, 2019

The first item on the menu at Grille 44 is Tater Kegs. There’s no beer in this potato-packing appetizer, but its oversized tots won’t leave you wondering where the name originated from. The dish includes a half-dozen huge tater tots smothered in cheddar cheese, bacon, and fresh chives. The toppings give the school lunch staple a gourmet makeover. But don’t expect to pop one in your mouth at a time; it takes ... Read More >>

Sleder's Family Tavern

TC's Slabtown Stalwart
By Janice Binkert | March 16, 2019

How can you not love a place “where people have come for over a hundred years to eat, drink beer, tell lies and kiss the moose”? Sleder’s Family Tavern — the oldest continually operating restaurant in Michigan — not only has a sense of humor but also a strong sense of community, offering up a unique piece of Traverse City history, scratch-made food, and a casual, laid-back atmosphere that has earned it ... Read More >>

StrongBrew: NITRO Cold Brew Coffee & Chai Tea

Bottoms Up
By Ross Boissoneau | March 9, 2019

Coffee in a can? Why not? Troy Daily has added two new products to his StrongBrew beverage line: StrongBrew NITRO Cold Brew Coffee and Elevated Cold Brew Chai Tea have joined the original StrongBrew Cold Brew Coffee. NITRO Cold Brew Coffee is infused with nitrogen bubbles, but doesn’t come across as carbonated so much as smooth and rich. Other than the nitrogen, the only ingredients are coffee and water — cold-brewed, of ... Read More >>

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