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Going to the UP

Going to the UP
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  • Post #31 - August 19th, 2011, 6:31 am
    Post #31 - August 19th, 2011, 6:31 am Post #31 - August 19th, 2011, 6:31 am
    The good and the not-so-good from this week in Marquette

    First, the good, actually the excellent. Last night we had a picnic on Presque Isle with sandwiches from the N.Y. Deli. I had the whitefish sandwich, which is lightly breaded and grilled before being served on a Marquette Baking Company roll with a lime mayo on the side. Best whitefish I've had in Marquette and it makes for a terrific sandwich. I was sharing mine, and regretted it. I haven't gone back to the beginning of this thread, but I'm sure it includes a longer discussion of the N.Y. Deli, which gets its corned beef and pastrami from Sy Ginsberg in Detroit. Served on a Marquette Baking Company rye, the pastrami was also excellent. They have a pick-up window, which makes it handy for picnics. There's also a daily selection of house-made pies. I didn't try a slice, but they looked very good.

    New York Deli
    510 W Washington
    Marquette (note that it's closed Sundays)

    Next, the better-than-you'd-expect-for-the-U.P. Temaki and Tea, which is now somehow Temaki and Tea and Smoothie King. The maki are about what's you'd expect--too big, too much rice--but not inedible and if that's what you've got a taste for, you'd probably be satisfied. The teriyaki chicken, however, was a very pleasant surprise. They cook it after you order it, with the result that it stays moist and tender. I'd definitely go back for it. It's also a very pleasant room, with lounge chairs and a fireplace. Free wi-fi. Lots of people sitting around checking their email with a cup of tea or a smoothie. Image
    Temaki and Tea
    1422 Presque Isle Avenue (the corner of Fair)
    Marquette

    Finally, the bad. Proving that it's often all about what you order, my experience at The Rubaiyat couldn't have been more unlike seebee's. The Greek salad was fine--the beets were a nice touch. There was also praise around the table for the feta spread, the Greek burger, and the Greek-style pasta. But I tried both the chicken and lamb shawarma and both were over-cooked. Dry, tough, and tasteless. I'm sure I'll eat there again (Marquette doesn't have so many choices that you can afford to be too choosy) and this time I'll try the curries.
  • Post #32 - August 19th, 2011, 3:10 pm
    Post #32 - August 19th, 2011, 3:10 pm Post #32 - August 19th, 2011, 3:10 pm
    Some very limited updates on UP State fair food (still going on):

    * Deep fried milky way on a stick: why do people eat this?
    * Elephant Ears: "family pack" 3 for $12. What family needs 340 square inches of fried dough?
    * Funnel cakes: Always the superior choice over Elephant Ears, anyway
    * The barbecue vendor (Steve's Smokin BBQ): Pulled pork wasn't that great. A little mushy, not very smoky, not much bark. The smoker they're using looks great -- no gas or electric, all wood, chugging out smoke... but the meat is held in steam trays for just toooo long. Probably doesn't help that I ate it at 8:30pm after the demolition derby.
    * The super white-bread american-mall stand named "Oriental Food Specialty": tempura vegetables = french fries with a small # of onions/peppers mixed in. Grilled chicken skewers ("teriyaki") were great, though. Hard to screw that up.
    * The Croatian Chicken vendor was doing great business, with at least four rotisseries full of chicken going over live charcoal. We didn't have any, but my mom had some at the Marquette County Fair and was underwhelmed.
    * A little sad we didn't try any of the deep fried whitefish, which probably would have been decent.
    * Also a little sad we didn't hit up the place serving up navajo fry bread.. but it was all topped with 'taco meat'. Couldn't risk it.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #33 - August 19th, 2011, 3:45 pm
    Post #33 - August 19th, 2011, 3:45 pm Post #33 - August 19th, 2011, 3:45 pm
    gleam wrote:Some very limited updates on UP State fair food (still going on):

    * The Croatian Chicken vendor was doing great business, with at least four rotisseries full of chicken going over live charcoal. We didn't have any, but my mom had some at the Marquette County Fair and was underwhelmed.


    Where is this state fair? Never heard of it, so it must be far away from where we normally stay.

    I've also heard of this "Croation Chicken" up there. Heard from several Yoopers that it is the best thing ever.

    We're going back up in a few weeks, maybe we can sample some more of Marquette's finest if we get back in the big city.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #34 - August 19th, 2011, 4:35 pm
    Post #34 - August 19th, 2011, 4:35 pm Post #34 - August 19th, 2011, 4:35 pm
    seebee wrote:Where is this state fair?


    It's in Escanaba.

    http://upstatefair.org/
  • Post #35 - August 19th, 2011, 4:46 pm
    Post #35 - August 19th, 2011, 4:46 pm Post #35 - August 19th, 2011, 4:46 pm
    Yep, in Escanaba. If you go through Escanaba on 41 then you'll go right past the fairgrounds.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #36 - August 20th, 2011, 10:13 am
    Post #36 - August 20th, 2011, 10:13 am Post #36 - August 20th, 2011, 10:13 am
    Another Marquette recommendation.

    Portside Inn. Best pizza in town. I especially recommend the Palacia, with tomatoes, kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, and feta cheese. Famous for their breadsticks and cheese spread, which I did not try. They also make a Lake Superior whitefish cake, "better than a crab cake," which was excellent.
    The Portside Inn of Marquette
    239 W. Washington Street,
  • Post #37 - September 8th, 2011, 11:01 am
    Post #37 - September 8th, 2011, 11:01 am Post #37 - September 8th, 2011, 11:01 am
    I was taking a drive from Iron River to Watersmeet in search of rummage sales last weekend. I already had a belly full of Riverside Pizza and Alice's delicious noodles (I talked about this earlier in the thread), that plus the weather made it a great trip - but my oh my! A BBQ find! And in my beloved Northwoods!

    Little Pigs Bar-B-Q is located in a small trailer in front of a ranch style home on US45 just a few miles from the casino. The menu consists of ribs, tips, ham, chicken, and pulled pork, all smoked slowly onsite. I ordered a pulled pork sandwich ($5) and was pleasantly surprised that it was served sauceless - thick and tender slices of pork with a perfect pink smoke ring with sauce on the side, your standard hamburger bun and a pickle chip. Not the kind of pulled pork I am used to, it was delish! Can't wait to head back up, I need to explore the menu further and I'm thinking of ordering a smoked turkey for my Thanksgiving trip, Bob, the owner, is already taking orders. Bob told me that he serves Kansas City style BBQ - just like his grandma used to make.

    Little Pigs BBQ
    N5053 US Hwy 45
    Watersmeet, MI 49969
    906-358-0441

    11am-7pm daily, closed on Sundays
    Free room delivery to Dancing Eagle's Resort
    ~Ruth Reichl wannabe
  • Post #38 - September 9th, 2011, 5:46 pm
    Post #38 - September 9th, 2011, 5:46 pm Post #38 - September 9th, 2011, 5:46 pm
    http://www.iron.org/biz/riverside/index.htm Forgot to post about Riverside Pizza! Thin, crackery crust, a sweeter sauce, and excellent sausage. Party cut into small pieces, I call it pizza crack. Locals like to order it "cheese, out of the oven". It's exactly how it sounds, mozzarella slices thrown on top right after it exits the oven. Not my favorite but I must endure when supping with certain relatives.

    Riverside Bar and Pizzeria
    98 East Genesee Street
    Iron River, Michigan 49935
    (906)265-9944
    ~Ruth Reichl wannabe
  • Post #39 - August 14th, 2012, 9:10 am
    Post #39 - August 14th, 2012, 9:10 am Post #39 - August 14th, 2012, 9:10 am
    I am headed to the UP in a couple weeks so I thought I'd revive this thread to see if anyone has any other suggestions. I am going up from Michigan, so we will drive north over the Mackinac Bridge through St. Ignace. We are doing a few nights between Tahquamenon Falls and Pictured Rocks. The towns we will pass through are St. Ignace, Paradise, Grand Marais and Munising.

    Here are a few stops I've read about and am curious to hear if anyone has any other recommendations, I'd say we tend to prefer the casual hole-in-the-wall, unique type of places vs upscale restaurants.

    Brown Fisheries - Paradise
    Tahqaumenon Falls Brewery - Tahquamenon
    West Bay Diner - Grand Marais
    Muldoon's Pasties - Munising
    Brownstone Inn - Au Train
    Clyde's Drive-In - St. Ignace

    I'm also on the lookout for Cudighi, which sounds like an upper peninsula specialty that I've never had.

    A Cudighi is a spicy Italian sausage that can be bought in links or can be served as a sandwich on a long, hard roll, often with mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce. Cudighi came from Italy to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cudighi
  • Post #40 - August 14th, 2012, 12:21 pm
    Post #40 - August 14th, 2012, 12:21 pm Post #40 - August 14th, 2012, 12:21 pm
    I was in the Munising area in the beginning of July and took the ATV to a the Jack Pine Smokehouse, I had never been there before and apparently it is under new ownership. I had the burger and my dh had the smoked chicken sandwich. Very good. They do their own smoked meat, brisket/pulled pork. It is listed as being in Manistique but I think it is actually just as close to Munising. It is an old resort and the bar is more of a bar/restaurant. Apparently it gets very busy for Friday Fish Fry. They also bought the Big Spring Inn which I have not tried yet. Oh ask to see the thing downstairs!

    http://www.jackpinelodgeup.com/

    http://www.facebook.com/JackPineLodge

    We are camping in Houghton area at the end of August and I am looking forward to trying some of the eats that way, looks a little more promising than the Munising area (other than the aforementioned Jack Pine).
  • Post #41 - August 17th, 2012, 3:31 pm
    Post #41 - August 17th, 2012, 3:31 pm Post #41 - August 17th, 2012, 3:31 pm
    I suspect that somewhere up-thread, or in another UP thread, I've recommended The New York Deli in Marquette. Honest to goodness corned beef and pastrami, excellent house-made soups and pies, and, in the evening, a small selection of excellent pastas.

    Earlier this month I tried their whitefish sandwich for the first time.
    Image
    Very good. Excellent very local and very fresh whitefish, nicely cooked, and served with a lime mayo (not pictured) that adds just a bit of zest. Right across the street from a nice park if you want to picnic, though they have indoor seating and a couple of outdoor tables as well.
  • Post #42 - August 17th, 2012, 9:07 pm
    Post #42 - August 17th, 2012, 9:07 pm Post #42 - August 17th, 2012, 9:07 pm
    I usually drive my son to a scout camp every summer for a weekend upstate WI. I then drive across to Iron Mountain to visit with friends and fish/hunt.
    However, in the event that I am stuck on a hotel room, Blackstone Pizza is OK, and get a side of the orange wings.
  • Post #43 - August 24th, 2012, 10:58 am
    Post #43 - August 24th, 2012, 10:58 am Post #43 - August 24th, 2012, 10:58 am
    gleam wrote:yeah. we did carryout from lagniappe this last trip and it wasn't particularly great, with only two or three decent dishes. the muffaletta was well received, the hushpuppies weren't bad, and the catfish courtbouillon has been solid both times we've had it, but jambalaya, etoufee, gumbo, red beans and rice were all bland bland bland.

    and they really don't salt their food at all. I'm not sure if there's even salt in the kitchen. but really, that's more of a UP-wide problem...


    Were there last Saturday, and most dishes were just edible.

    Highlights were hushpuppies, garlic cheddar grits cakes, and Lagniappe salad.

    The 'edible' were jambalaya, Creole grilled mirliton ratatoille, crawfish etoufee, and cajun crawfish cavatappi.
  • Post #44 - August 24th, 2012, 3:42 pm
    Post #44 - August 24th, 2012, 3:42 pm Post #44 - August 24th, 2012, 3:42 pm
    I'm actually heading back up tomorrow for aboot a week and a half. Back in July, we tried Union Grill BBQ. I took some pics, but they didn't come out really well (they keep the place pretty dark.) Anyway, It's reall bbq, y'all. The sauce was like candy sweet. We are definitely going back, and I'll see what they say to my sauce on the side only request. Don't be thinking you're getting anything exceptional, but, for the area, it's pretty decent. Pulled poke. ribs, and brisket. Light on the smoke flavor, but it's there. Big wine selection too. Very casual. The whole fam was very pleasantly surprised. I doubt I'll have to twist any arms for a return. Not seeing a website, but:

    1651 S Front St
    Marquette, MI 49855

    Also tried a tiny little hole in the wall Chinese joint in MQT. Forgot the name, but it was TINY - screen door, and like five tables kinda place with pictures of the food on the walls - that type of place. I kinda dug it. In looking on google maps, I think it was K's Oriental. Definitely a joint - the health inspector was there when I was there. I kept wondering if she was gonna close the place down. Definitely not outstanding in anyway, but the stuff was decent, fairly priced, and IMO probably better than the other options for Chinese in the area (which ain't saying much.)
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #45 - October 23rd, 2012, 5:29 pm
    Post #45 - October 23rd, 2012, 5:29 pm Post #45 - October 23rd, 2012, 5:29 pm
    I was pleasantly surprised to eat very well in the Marquette region on a recent weekend jaunt. Admittedly, I had a really good tour guide (which wasn't LTH this time around).

    This was my third trip up 'dere and my second following the 43 via Green Bay route. Mickey-Lu Bar-B-Q had come highly recommended by a friend many years back and the last time I took this route, our timing was unfortunately off (I seem to remember racing against the sun to arrive at and set up a campsite or something like that). We had planned well this time with an earlier departure to arrive at Mickey-Lu for a late lunch.
    Image

    The old school, barebones lunch counter vibe is worth the stop alone as is a prime view of the char grill.
    Image

    Following conventional wisdom I ordered two cheeseburgers. I love that they skip the fries and, in fact, any sides. It made the ordering easy. And dig the no frills packaging/ serving ware:
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    These cheeseburgers were definitely unique. The chargrilled flavor was more pronounced than the meat itself. The patties were tiny- a 1/6th or even 1/8th of a pound, so its little wonder why the flavor of the meat does not withstand the condiments and the somewhat unproportionately large sized roll. I did quite like the toothsome roll though, which also retained a bit of smokiness from being toasted on the grill. Minimalist toppings were to my liking, though the pat of butter on my burgers did not quite melt amongst the other cold other toppings. Perhaps that goes with the style. All in all, I liked these burgers well enough, if not quite living up to my anticipation. I might try a double next time for a beefier experience.

    For breakfast we headed to Coachlight, a cute small town diner with cheery service. The menu was cheap and conventional but there was one thing that stood out- the cudighi breakfast. Like I said, I had not read this thread too recently, so I had no background with this regional specialty. The waitress explained that it was a local specialty, "an Italian sausage with a little spice". It seemed like a must order.
    Image
    A pretty standard breakfast plate of well griddled industrial hashbrowns, perfect over easy eggs (one yolk pierced at the table to clear up confusion over which of two plates had eggs cooked over-easy vs. over-medium (they were both over-easy)), and pretty nice thick cut house baked rye bread. The cudighi came in a fat hand-formed patty with a little dipper of BBQ sauce (the waitress called it cudighi sauce). The patty was pretty dang good- garlicky, well seasoned, verging- on- too- salty, with an upfront fresh porkiness. Not a bad $6.99 diner breakfast.

    Having not done my research, I figured cudighi was a specific offering to the Coachlight until we found ourselves in Negaunee at a divey saloon and I noticed a sign up sheet for deliveries from a local cudighi producer.

    Our tour guide had been at work that morning while we ate breakfast. She met up with us that afternoon at said saloon and as soon as she arrived, I had to know the scoop about cudighi- a locally produced Italian sausage with roots in old country cotechino recipes, spiced with sweet spices common specifically to the towns Negaunee and Ishpeming. She suggested that we check out other preparations of the sausage and recommended Congress Pizza in Ishpeming for dinner.

    I just found the following post from Kenny from Rogers Park from 2005 with words that capture the essence of Congress better than my own:
    Kenny from Rogers Park wrote:Congress Pizza, Ishpeming--Located in the heart of a business district that is architecturally frozen in 1966, the year Ishpeming's last mine shut down, Congress Pizza offers a good pie and a great atmosphere. The pizza crust is crackery thin and the bland but palatable sauce is spread atop a layer of cheese to maintain the crust's crispness. Though this is an odd pizza, we enjoyed it enough to make two trips during our stay. Part of our enjoyment, though, arose from the feeling of the place. Its paneled walls adorned with countless photos highlighting Ishpeming's athletic, labor and social history and its bright red vinyl-upholstered booths filled with local townspeople happily dining atop formica tables, Congress Pizza draws outsiders into another era, another world, and another way of looking at the world. A more distinct distillation of small town America would be difficult to find, and the place itself seems constructed to make a definite imprint upon visitors. I will gladly return to Congress Pizza--which, incidentally, has a very friendly, gregarious owner and staff--as much for the ambience as for the food. By the way, I did try Congress' rendition of Cudighi here and thought the flavor somewhat odd, like the sausage had been seasoned with nutmeg and cinnamon. Strange.

    Image
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    I love the total lack of pretense of menus in this part of the country- burger place does burgers, pizza place does pizza, no salad, no apps. Well maybe one app.- pizza fries, which we unanimously agreed we should order.
    Image
    Pizza fries, as it turns out, are really a sauce-less cheese pizza cut into strips with sauce served to dip on the side. It was pretty enjoyable, particularly since we we warned of a 35 minute wait for our pizza (the place was packed at 5:30 on a Friday) and we were more than a few Keweenaw Brewery beers in. The crust was quite distinctive- a bit greasy and pastry like and in place of sauce on the "fries" there was a garlicky oil base.

    We ordered three pies: cudighi, anchovy/ jalapeño, and onion, green pepper, mushroom. I would have ordered all three with cudighi, but I was in mixed vegetarian company.
    The cudighi pie:
    Image
    The pastry-ish crust was not the only similarity between these pies and Chicago pan pizza. As KfRP reports above, the sauce is applied on top of the cheese and is likewise fairly chunky. We (unlike the above post) found it refreshingly simple and very bright tasting. Don't get me wrong though- this is decidedly thin crust pizza. In fact, on a trip to the men's room I had a peek into the very spartan kitchen and spied an archaic pizza crust rolling machine. And the cudighi- this version was more assertively spiced than our breakfast version and I thought it was pretty great. My only regret is not sampling the stuff in its platonic form- as a patty on a sub. For sampling two applications of cudighi in eight hours, I guess I did pretty well. And the other two pies- the toppings were not so good, canned jalapeños (which have their charm) and mushrooms. Even the green pepper and onion tasted out of a bag. Stick with the cudighi.

    Needing a break from mass quantities of sausage I grabbed a light lunch at Lagniappe nearby the hotel. I ordered a bowl of gumbo (which did have sausage) and shrimp remoulade. I liked the vibe of the place- New Orleans kitchy, a basement rec. room feel probably not remodeled since the 70s or 80s, old Cajun tunes playing, plenty of bar seating, and what was that, did my server have a Louisiana accent? I had no idea what to expect from the food. After re-reading the lukewarm posts on this thread about the place, I'm pretty glad I did not brush up on my research, because I probably would have skipped this stop. The food was remarkably excellent. The gumbo, in particular, won me over- which I tend to judge as a benchmark of how a kitchen manages this cuisine. It had a deep, rich, developed flavor from a properly toasted dark roux. A sprinkling of filé was pronounced in its bitter herbaceousness. It was a bit scant on chunks, or rather large chunks of meat- the chicken and andouille were cooked down and melded into the whole of the dish. Fantastic, in fact the best bowl I've had outside New Orleans or my own kitchen. The remoulade was also pretty good. Nice sized shrimp that were just cooked through and actually still a bit warm (a good sign they were cooked to order) the remoulade itself skewed a bit too acidic for my tastes with a mustardy punch. Served atop a good quality chiffonade of lettuces, its freshness was what the doctor ordered.

    In fact, I enjoyed myself so much I brought the gang back for dinner. The room was packed, we waited about 20 minutes. It seemed as though the whole town was dining there on a Saturday night.
    Image

    We started with fried pickles:
    Image
    As good as could be, I appreciated the slightly thicker cut. Breading was nice and light while maintaining a good crunch.

    I ordered Catfish Pontchartrain for my main with a side of red beans and rice (not pictured).
    Image
    Damn, this was a mighty good plate of food. An expertly fried catfish filet piled with crawfish etoufee- which contained very tender and incredibly fresh tasting crawdad tails ( not freezer burnt or musky tasting, two frequent maladies of out of season crawfish in the north). The sauce was perhaps richer than the gumbo and had the same depth from a perfect roux.
    One of my favorite bites of the year thus far. Red beans and rice were also very good. I should note that I used almost no hot sauce eating this meal.

    As I was admiring this papier mache monstrosity I was approached by the woman who seated us:
    Image
    It turned out that she and her husband were the owners and she gave me the scoop on why the cooking was at such a high level (and a likely explanation to why my experience here was so much more notable than the reports from several years ago upthread). Her daughter, Nichole, a recent grad from Cordon Bleu here in town and fresh back from a recent stage at Commander's Palace, had recently taken over the kitchen. Mom was so proud that she ran back and grabbed chef to introduce to us. These folks were sweet as can be. A very talented young chef, I have no doubt that she will keep this joint packed nightly and continue to impress the pants off of city folks like myself.

    Of course, it would not be a trip to the UP without grabbing a pasty. Our host picked these up on our way to the beach for a picnic, so I am unsure of their provenance. That doesn't really matter though, because every pasty I've ever eaten in the UP tastes the same- bland- stuffed full of potatoes with indiscernible shreds of mystery meat. And now that I've got Pleasanthouse in my life a very high bar has been set for savory pastry.
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    No matter though, with enough ketchup, on the stunning shoreline of Lake Superior, putting back some cold North Peak brews with great friends, the UP is one of my very favorite destinations.

    Mickey-Lu Bar-B-Q
    1710 Marinette Avenue
    Marinette, WI 54143
    (715) 735-7721

    Coachlight
    423 West Washington Street
    Marquette, MI 49855
    (906) 225-0522

    Congress Pizza
    106 Main Street
    Ishpeming, MI 49849
    (906) 486-4233

    Lagniappe
    145 Washington Street
    Marquette, MI 49855
    (906) 226-8200
  • Post #46 - October 24th, 2012, 9:03 pm
    Post #46 - October 24th, 2012, 9:03 pm Post #46 - October 24th, 2012, 9:03 pm
    I spend most of my time in Ishpeming / Negaunee when I go up several times a year, and Congress is my pizza of choice, but I'm generally overruled by the majority vote of Paisano's (right on Teal Lake,) or Tino's (downtown Negaunee.) Tino's on a good night puts out a great pie, but inconsistency is an issue. Congress tends to always be the same, and I'm a crunchy crust guy which is what they do with consistency.

    If you make it back that way, I can vouch for Huron Mountain Baking Co on the highway right next door to the Burger King for their Cheddar Jalapeno bagels or bread loaves. And if you dig cudighi, all of the pizza joints will also sell a cudighi sammich - usually a rectangle of cudighi on the standard for the area, squishy, wonder bread "roll" with pizza sauce, mozz, and green pepper/onion. I've had cudighi from all the joints in town. I'm not a huge fan of it on it's own as a sammich, but I am ok with it on a pizza. I'd imagine that Jubilee sells their own house brand, but I know for a fact that Super One sells a house brand of raw cudighi - probably labeled "Mama Russo's."

    P.S. - if you wanna make the locals laugh, refer to their town name as "ItchMyThing."
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #47 - September 4th, 2013, 7:55 pm
    Post #47 - September 4th, 2013, 7:55 pm Post #47 - September 4th, 2013, 7:55 pm
    seebee wrote:
    gleam wrote:Some very limited updates on UP State fair food (still going on):

    * The Croatian Chicken vendor was doing great business, with at least four rotisseries full of chicken going over live charcoal. We didn't have any, but my mom had some at the Marquette County Fair and was underwhelmed.


    Where is this state fair? Never heard of it, so it must be far away from where we normally stay.

    I've also heard of this "Croation Chicken" up there. Heard from several Yoopers that it is the best thing ever.
    hat night after the
    We're going back up in a few weeks, maybe we can sample some more of Marquette's finest if we get back in the big city.


    I've had the Croatian Chicken twice since this post, and the second time I got it, it was because of a fundraising effort this past wknd, actually. It's whole chickens roasted over charcoal. The only discernible flavor is salt. The skin will make you pucker it's so salty. Luckily, later that night after the Westwood game, we settled into a cudighi and jalapeno pizza from Congress. FRESH JALAPENOS, y'all! After several frosty adult beverages that pizza was stupid good. In that immediate area, Tino's in Negaunee reigns supreme for when you can actually get one of their A grade pies, BUT, their inconsistency makes them a total crap shoot. Congress is where it's at.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #48 - September 15th, 2013, 4:56 pm
    Post #48 - September 15th, 2013, 4:56 pm Post #48 - September 15th, 2013, 4:56 pm
    We just recently returned from our annual UP sojourn last week, it was lovely as ever and surprisingly tastier than ever.

    We spent our first two nights at the gorgeous and historic Landmark Inn, which is one of my favorite hotels anywhere. Its quite affordable for how lavish the rooms are and has great facilities (though pretty meh food) including the cozy, dark wood-paneled Northland Pub and the North Star Lounge on the fifth floor of the hotel with grand views in three directions of Lake Superior- one of my very favorite places to have a drink.

    Down the hill from the hotel is Thill's Fish House which was just written up by the Sterns in October's Saveur. A classic Great Lakes fish monger and smoke shack housed in a quonset hut on the banks of the Gitche Gumee, I make a point of grabbing a piece of smoked lake fish whenever I'm in town. This time around I picked up some smoked trout, more on that in a sec.
    Image

    Night one we revisited Lagniappe which I wrote about glowingly upthread. I'm happy to report that my second go was nearly as great as my first. It was considerably less busy on a Wednesday night though a Cajun country band was fiddling away which provided festive ambiance. The food was fantastic, I couldn't help but order the Catfish Pontchartrain again and it didn't disappoint, expertly crisp fried filet smothered in roux-y rich crawfish etoufee, superb! Gumbo was complex as last time and the porky red beans and rice were equally satisfying. The only flawed dish for me was the jambalaya which was a little moister than I prefer with a heavy hand with the tomatoes. Its shocking to admit that Marquette, MI does New Orleans better than Chicago, but this is the real deal!

    Nestled in between the coffee shop and excellent food coop, we serendipitously stumbled into The Marquette Baking Co. which I had neglected to realize was detailed upthread in this post. I'm not a big pastry person and frankly am not even the biggest bread guy, but this is one of the most artisanal, cut-no-corners bakeries I've seen with an astonishing selection of fresh baked wares, some of which I'd never seen before (esp. in the 2nd pic).
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    We honed in on those Jalapeño, Swiss, and Ham Pinwheels in the upper right of that last shot.
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    Enjoyed al dashboardo, these things were about as ideal a breakfast (though grab the lipitor) as I can imagine. Somehow simultaneously chewy and flaky pastry studded with sesame seeds enveloping quality ham, pungent cheese, and roasty hot jalapeño slices with lacy caramelized cheese overflow, damn good. So good, we ate them every morning in Marquette. We also took to go a loaf of seeded sourdough which was also delicious with an open crumb, good tartness, and seeds (flax, sesame, sunflower, and pumpkin) not just studding the crust but incorporated throughout the dough.

    Image
    The bread made the perfect vehicle for the aforementioned smoked trout with cream cheese and ripe tomato slices while camping on the second half of the trip.

    My wife's a pizza maniac and hadn't been with me on last year's trip to Congress Pizza in Ishpeming. The place was hopping and it would be a 30 minute wait on our 'za. No worries with their good beer selection and warm, convivial vibe, it made for a great evening. We ordered the obligatory cudighi pie augmented with jalapeños.
    Image
    This pie did not quite live up to the high expectations set on my first visit. The sausage popped with garlic and clove notes and the chunky sauce was welcomely bright and acidic. The bland crust did not have the same flakiness I remembered though and the jalapeños were of the pickled, nacho slice variety. Its still a unique pizza that is worth recommending though.

    I don't have a whole lot to report from the camping side of our trip. Twelve Mile Beach at Pictured Rocks is one of the nicer campgrounds I've camped, perched right on Lake Superior you can't go wrong. Unless of course it downpours, which we had to contend with. Ever the optimist, my wife suggested we head up to Grand Marais to see "the sites", which that particular weekend included a county-wide four wheeler scavenger hunt and the quirky, but pretty cool Agate Museum. We'd been through Grand Marais on our previous trip to Pictured Rocks and there isn't a whole lot to do (or eat) there, but it still being a crappy day we decided to grab a brew at Lake Superior Brewing Company. Though we found the beer to be just okay, we'd spent a fun night drinking with the locals there on the last trip. It was packed on a Saturday afternoon and the fried food we saw ordered by the basketload seemed like a great remedy to the rainy day blahs. So we ordered some Lake Superior white fish baskets.
    Image
    The waitress sold us hard on their fried fish explaining everything was house made. She warned us that the tartar sauce had quite the zip that caught a lot of people of guard. Sounded good to us. And wow, the fish was some amazing stuff. Beer-battered, yet a lighter coating than most, it had an assertive seasoning that encased juicy, flaky white fish. About as good as it gets. And the tartar sauce was clearly home made spiked with a little horseradish and maybe some hot sauce. Classic thick-cut pub onion rings rounded out the basket nicely.

    I love it up dere, I just wish I didn't have to wait another year!

    Thill's Fish House
    250 E Main St.
    Marquette, MI 49855
    (906) 226-9851

    Marquette Baking Co.
    117 W Baraga Ave.
    Marquette, MI 49855
    Phone:(906) 228-3777

    Lagniappe
    145 Washington Street
    Marquette, MI 49855
    (906) 226-8200

    Congress Pizza
    106 Main Street
    Ishpeming, MI 49849
    (906) 486-4233

    Lake Superior Brewing Company
    Lake Ave. Grand Marais, MI 49839
    (906) 494-2337 (BEER)
  • Post #49 - September 7th, 2014, 10:13 am
    Post #49 - September 7th, 2014, 10:13 am Post #49 - September 7th, 2014, 10:13 am
    Another happy respite to Marquette last weekend. With its limited set of dining offerings, we haunted the same handful of establishments that we always do. And I'm happy to report that our two favorites, Marquette Baking Co. and Lagniappe are consistently turning out product that are on par with past years' experiences.

    Jefe wrote:Night one we revisited Lagniappe which I wrote about glowingly upthread. I'm happy to report that my second go was nearly as great as my first. It was considerably less busy on a Wednesday night though a Cajun country band was fiddling away which provided festive ambiance. The food was fantastic, I couldn't help but order the Catfish Pontchartrain again and it didn't disappoint, expertly crisp fried filet smothered in roux-y rich crawfish etoufee, superb! Gumbo was complex as last time and the porky red beans and rice were equally satisfying. The only flawed dish for me was the jambalaya which was a little moister than I prefer with a heavy hand with the tomatoes. Its shocking to admit that Marquette, MI does New Orleans better than Chicago, but this is the real deal!


    That Catfish Ponchartrain, thats my dish. Everything reported from previous visits sang true– crisp, rich, and deeply savory. One aspect about the Lagniappe experience that has shifted for us is that we have a new gold standard for New Orleans chow in the Midwest. The comparison here is not too useful in terms of circuses and crowd, as the two restaurants are world's apart. But chow-wise, you've got two young ambitious chefs with an eye on tradition. I tried Lagniappe's dirty rice for the first time this year to see how it stood up to Analogue's. Like my notes about their jambalaya above, the dirty rice is also a bit on the moist side and laden with vegetal aromatics. Not a bad thing necessarily, though I prefer Chef Noguiera's drier rendition. Lagniappe also piles on the offal funk and this is not a timid bowl. Analogue's cuisine may be more refined, but Lagniappe's has a down home quality that is deeply satisfying. So regardless of the new competition for my vote for Midwest's best New Orleans chow, Lagniappe still kicks butt and for my money is probably the best restaurant in Marquette.

    That said, my local friends have been buzzing for the last year or so about newish- comer Steinhaus, a brauhaus serving a very-of-the-moment, farm-to-table approach to Germanic fare. The place is right across the street from our beloved Landmark Inn, so we had to peel ourselves away from Lagniappe to check it out. I might make mention here that we waited until Sunday to check the place out, when it turned out they are only open until 3 for brunch. Your dining options in Marquette are close to zero on a Sunday night, fyi.

    Image

    Despite the rehabbed office appearance of the place (oddly common in this neck of the woods, drop-ceiling-paneled storefronts converted into food service establishments), this place has loads of charm with just enough German tschotskes, a well stocked old hardwood bar as the focal point, and a view into the semi-open kitchen for a glimpse of the back-of-the-house rapscallions jamming to vintage reggae. The mustachioed, polished service leading one to forget they are 300+ miles from the nearest metropolis. The best pic I got of the interior is this detail of a delightfully creepy Grimm-esque mural painted on their wall.

    Image

    My wife was feeling a bit naughty that morning, so bloodies were in the cards.

    Image

    A superb version, bold with minced raw garlic and presided over by a pungent and bracing house pickle spear.

    The food was excellent as well. I ordered Country Fried Schnitzel.

    Image

    Essentially a Germanic take on country fried steak, the schnitzel was textbook perfect– the almost panko-like breading maintained a crunch under the blanket of rich, creamy venison sausage gravy. I'm not much of a brunch guy, but this carb and meat heavy German spin makes for a great hangover helper.

    Her Austrian Benedict was also indulgently heavy.

    Image

    I loved the crisp fried speck. The muffins were house made and biscuit-like with a buttery flakiness.

    We left content and ready to go back to bed. Steinhaus seems like it has a ton of potential and is a welcome addition to the MQT dining scene. I can't wait to try dinner there next year!

    Lagniappe
    145 Washington Street, Marquette, MI 49855
    (906) 226-8200

    Steinhaus
    102 W Washington St #115, Marquette, MI 49855
    (906) 273-1531
  • Post #50 - July 9th, 2017, 8:58 am
    Post #50 - July 9th, 2017, 8:58 am Post #50 - July 9th, 2017, 8:58 am
    Ya hey dere!
    Quick updates:
    1. Congress Pizza. The place was essentially ruined by a windstorm sometime a little before Easter. IIRC, a tree hit it, or the wind took the roof clear off. It was closed for months. It has since re-opened - might look a little different inside - they gutted the joint. I havent been since it re-opened, so I don't have first hand acccts/pics. Pizza is still the same, no worries there. The waits for pizza during peak times still has not normalized. Last I heard was 2.5 hours on a Friday night. When they first re-opened, I heard waits were around 4 hours. They love their Congress pies up there (and for good reason.)

    2. I tried the NY Deli whitefish sammich mentioned upthread - and it's fantastic as noted. Great rec - thank you!

    3. Trenary Toast. Not sure when this happened, or if it's always been a thing, but Trenary Toast comes in several flavors. Cinnamon; Cinnamon Raison; VANILLA; CARDAMOM. All flavors spotted at Larry's Grocery in Gwinn. The fancy flavors were 5.99.

    Well now be spending a LOT of time on Pike Lake in Gwinn. Hit me up if you want to get a line wet sightfishing for really big smalleys, or seriously massive bluegills. We can trade pasties if you want - we'll probably always have some on hand in the freezer - made by a church in Negaunee - not a Jean Kay or a Lawry's or a Dobber product.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #51 - August 14th, 2017, 11:54 am
    Post #51 - August 14th, 2017, 11:54 am Post #51 - August 14th, 2017, 11:54 am
    gleam wrote:crossroads fish fry was pretty terrible, to be honest. they may win a lot of peoples' choice awards, but the people of marquette/gwinn have terrible taste. apparently up north & co in mqt has lake perch for their fish fry, so we may try that next time.


    Hit up Crossroads for a late lunch after debating the food options at the Mqt County Fair last Friday. After remembering the fair food, vs the last crossroads burger I had, Crossroads won out easily.

    Friday is fish fry day. Regular menu + the Fish Fry menu. Since it was 2pm-ish, and we had plans for dinner later, I tried to go light. The lake trout was the only menu item on the Fish Fry menu that highlighted the word, "Fresh."

    Best damn $11.99 I've spent on food in the U.P. in the 20 or so years I've been going.
    -Salad (standard dinner salad, iceburg, tomato, onion, nice greezy croutons, and edible non sugar laden ranch)
    -Potato choice (if anyone else at your table gets fries, just order a diff potato choice. I should have gotten baked*. There were mounds of fries left on the table from dc's.)
    - Lake Trout - EASILY one pound of fresh, lightly coated, deep fried, laker. Looked like a side of a fish that weighed a decent 5 or 6 lbs total. Tail end, middle, and shoulder, cut into 3rds. The shoulder was about 3/4 inch think. This was absolutely fantastic, well cooked, juicy, piping hot, batter was light. I will try to hit this place up on a Friday anytime I'm in town. It was THAT good. I wouldn't travel as far away as Marquette for it or anything, but if I was near Gwinn, seriously, any Friday, I would try to make it there. It was easily worth every penny. Almost a bargain. The tartar sauce was sugary garbage, but a little tabasco, lemon, and the leftover ranch from the salad was all I needed.

    Seriously, this was fantastic.

    * Not the first time I've said that.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #52 - September 20th, 2017, 12:34 pm
    Post #52 - September 20th, 2017, 12:34 pm Post #52 - September 20th, 2017, 12:34 pm
    We are headed to the UP for several days early next month. Likely basing ourselves in Escanaba. Open to any updated recs.
    -Mary
  • Post #53 - September 20th, 2017, 2:48 pm
    Post #53 - September 20th, 2017, 2:48 pm Post #53 - September 20th, 2017, 2:48 pm
    If you're going through Wisco (or, "The Sconce:")

    I've been coming home via the "Esky route" recently. In Escanaba proper, sorry, I got nothin. If you're heading to or from, using the Escanaba route (hugging the lake near the green bay split 141 / 41) then you'll miss my chicken wing stop just north of Green Bay on Chicken Shack Road. However, on one of my last trips back, just over the border, I stopped at the Jack's Fresh Market in Marinette, Wisconsin. The one on Cleveland Avenue. They have a hot food counter, and also a deli sandwich counter which includes hot deli sandwiches like reubens and hot pastrami. I ordered a "club," and it was turkey, ham, bacon and cheese, triple decker on texas toast. It was slathered in sugar glop mayo that I had to wipe off, but they had packets of hellmans or kraft free for the taking. I would easily stop there again if looking for roadfood on the way back home from Escanaba, or on the way there. The sandwich was massive, and their selection of prepared sandwiches was pretty decent. I was very surprised. I wouldn't hesitate to go back there and build a better sandwich, or try more of their foods.

    Of course - If you've done your due dilligence, you've probably already read about that Mickey-Lu BBQ burger joint, for char grilled burgers. It's a favorite for many ppl, I think. If you're in the area and you like burgers, it should probably be on your radar.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #54 - September 20th, 2017, 4:25 pm
    Post #54 - September 20th, 2017, 4:25 pm Post #54 - September 20th, 2017, 4:25 pm
    Thanks, seebee. I was hoping you would respond. :-) I've gone through the various threads and there isn't much on Escanaba proper. I've made notes and hope to expand the knowledge base. Mickey-Lu's is definitely on my radar. I suspect we'll be driving around a bit so welcome other intel for the general area.
    -Mary

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