LTH Home

Traverse City, MI recs?

Traverse City, MI recs?
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
    Page 3 of 3 
  • Post #61 - June 23rd, 2014, 8:18 am
    Post #61 - June 23rd, 2014, 8:18 am Post #61 - June 23rd, 2014, 8:18 am
    Now I really want to get to the Traverse City area. Thanks to Jen and others for these great posts.
    -Mary
  • Post #62 - November 14th, 2021, 6:20 pm
    Post #62 - November 14th, 2021, 6:20 pm Post #62 - November 14th, 2021, 6:20 pm
    Flash forward 7 years.

    Spent a quick wknd in Traverse, some quick notes that might help anyone:

    "Rounds" restaurant.
    Saturday breakfast. The Omelette Shoppe was a 45 minute wait, so we audibled and hit Rounds. Standard diner fare with an emphasis on breakfast. Food was quite good, our table of 7 didn't venture far from standard omelettes. Their omelettes were made up of a thin, three egg, outer, with stuffing inside - not the "everything mixed together and then rolled, or the , "super fluffy" format. Several flavors of pancakes are offered as sides, along with several different homemade breads for toast. This day's pancake choices were fresh blueberry, pumpkin, buckwheat, or buttermilk. Order any pancakes here with confidence.

    "Oakwood Proper Burgers"
    This place is fun, and the burgers are pretty damn good, and the fries are outstanding.
    I meant to ask the counterpeople what in the HELL those buns were, but I half forgot, and half they got a little busy. The place is TINY, generally takeout only, but they have a few covered pods next to their bldg, and they are set up with tables and chairs. 9 of us fit in one pod. A tiny bit cramped, but not too bad at all. These were like octagonal shaped canopies that were zippable like tents. AAAAAAND, inside, there were record players with albums that you could grab and play for your dining music. Wife 1.0 found something called "Hank Williams." I gather white folk like that kinda thing. My ears / brain must have blocked it out. BUT ANYWAY, (also, that line was for humor, stop being weird) the burgers were great. This is an indie burger shop with shakes, fries, and chips, and each of their burgers had all kinds of namedrops for the sourcing of each ingredient - THAT kind of place. 1/3rd pound patty, and after that a paragraph of toppings. BUT, these were damn good. I'd go back in a heartbeat. Lookit the menu if you want, and just know that there is no indoor dining, but you can grab a spot at an outdoor table if there's room. I'd suggest that ANY burger here will be fire, and you won't have to worry about any of the fries or shakes not being fire as well. The counterpeople all knew exactly what each burger was about, and were helpful for any doe-eyed first timers. They actually gathered all 9 of our party, and walked us thru the menu, and what they'd suggest for us. Craft sodas, great shakes, plain fries and fries with stuff on top, and a good handful of themed burgers. I'd go back here in a heartbeat. The buns??? I'd say they were a cross between brioche, ciabatta, and a good quality New York bagel. When I mentioned that to a few people in our party, they said, "Yup - that's it." Nobody could explain why the buns were so damn good. I'd honestly ask them for a half dozen buns to take home if I ever wound up there again. This is a quality place, run by quality people. I guess I should add that they advertise that they are proudly LGBQT "friendly." I think that might matter to some of the population in a possibly positive way. Anyway, we all loved this place, even if a few of us were getting a few drips through the canopy. It was raining/sleeting pretty hard. They also had heaters in the pods, so we were chilly, but not COLD or anything. I went halfsies on the burger with ancho chiles, and the burger with fresh grilled jalapeno. They were all stacked tall with toppings, but the two I tried were those and both were damn fine. Frankly, the buns are what took them "over the top" for me. The burgers and toppings were great, but the buns made everything shine. If anyone is considering this place, you're gonna get quality food, but just remember, it's pretty much takeout only. It's not full service with a lot of seating. And if you ask nicely, they might let you play space invaders on their sit down video arcade table while you wait.

    "Reflect Bistro" inside the Cambria Hotel. I only had breakfast here, but the inlaws had a decent amt of their seafood offerings for dinner one night. They said it was quite good, and worth the "hotel" upcharge which wasn't really that much. The breakfast we had was only 2 dollars more per plate than the brekkie we had at Roundy's, and I thought it was well worth it. I'm normally against hotel dining (because I like to find the places locals go to in their hood) but this place is a winner. We all had omelettes and pancakes - nothing out of the ordinary, but there were nice touches, like little sides of fresh fruit topped with fresh whipped cream on each plate. Choice of hash browns or a side salad with a light creamy avocado dressing which was REALLY good. The "jelly" offerings for toast were those tiny individual serving jars. I'd assume any meal of the day would be done competently here.

    We also did a late night pickup from Jet's Pizza. Say what you will, but imo, it's still better than Dominos, or Papa John's if the town you are in rolls up the sidewalks at 9pm.

    Rounds:
    1033 E Eighth St, Traverse City, MI 49686

    Oakwood Proper Burgers:
    1108 E Eighth St, Traverse City, MI 49686

    Reflect Bistro:
    https://www.traversecitylodging.com/reflect-bistro/
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #63 - November 16th, 2021, 3:05 pm
    Post #63 - November 16th, 2021, 3:05 pm Post #63 - November 16th, 2021, 3:05 pm
    I’ve always enjoyed the old time diner decorating/architecture of Rounds. I might have enjoyed the breakfast more from Ham Bonz (the previous restaurant in the Oakwood Proper tiny building. And I’ve never tried but heard good things about the Cambria hotel restaurant so thanks for the review.
  • Post #64 - November 16th, 2021, 3:14 pm
    Post #64 - November 16th, 2021, 3:14 pm Post #64 - November 16th, 2021, 3:14 pm
    Also if you are looking for Detroit pizza sometime before the sidewalks roll up there’s a place in the the alley behind the opera house called Charles and Reid that’s pretty good. We’ve picked up a few times now and enjoyed. https://www.charlesandreid.com/
  • Post #65 - November 17th, 2021, 9:41 am
    Post #65 - November 17th, 2021, 9:41 am Post #65 - November 17th, 2021, 9:41 am
    SWAG -
    Any intel on The Omelette Shoppe, or the Cornish Pasty place (Perhaps "Aunt Jenny's?")

    Omelette Shoppe was high on my list - Chipotle Hollandaise is something I would have to try if I saw it on any menu.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #66 - February 11th, 2022, 11:29 pm
    Post #66 - February 11th, 2022, 11:29 pm Post #66 - February 11th, 2022, 11:29 pm
    I was in TC for a few months this past summer and meant to do a detailed post on the restaurants I went to, but alas, I'm lazy. I've been re-inspired now seeing the recent action on this thread, albeit several months late. All in all, I had at least one menu item at 60+ restaurants. Overall I feel TC really has an amazing food scene for its size. I found it to be far better than what I found in St. Louis, for example. I read a lot about how its strength is in farm-to-table restaurants, and I completely concur. Even though they've kind of become buzzwords, I found a big correlation between how good a restaurant was in TC and how much reputation it had around being local, seasonal, farm-to-table, etc. Instead of writing in detail about all of them, I'll just give you my quick list of what I consider to be top tier restaurants in the area:
    brassiere amie - french - delicious, interesting french brunch options, especially the assortment of crepes

    folgarellis - italian deli - really liked the bread and condiments (pesto, sun dried tomatoes, etc)

    raduno - italianish - amazingly fresh ingredients stole the show. Great pastas and sandwiches, housemade sausages were solid.

    pleasanton bakery - bakery - amazing woodfired pizzas with seasonal ingredients

    farm club - hybrid farm market/restaurant - again, the freshness of the produce used in the dishes was spectacular

    frenchies famous - diner - best pastrami I've had, other menu items are also fantastic

    hexenbelle - palestinian coffee shop - fresh, flavorful, light renditions of middle eastern dishes. Also, I'm mostly a food guy but the mocha was also amazing

    trattoria stella - italian fine dining - Amazing ingredients, excellent flavors and balance.

    wren - new american fine dining - Awesome seasonal menu with inventive preparations
    the cooks house - new american fine dining - along with Wren, really just a 1-2 knockout punch of chef-driven, farm-to-table restaurants in the TC area

    charles and reid - detroit style pizza - crust was perfectly caramelized, excellent sauce, and fresh ingredients

    seebee - I never went to omelet shoppe (I had some interest, but also was apprehensive of the risk of it being one of those bland, non-offensive tourist spots) but I did go to Cousin Jenny's cornish pasties. That being said, while I will 100% be going on a pasty trail tour if I ever visit the UP, I am not a connoisseur and I never had one until my trip this past summer. And to be honest, I don't think I'm a pasty person. But for what its worth, comparing to the other one I had, the original Lehto's pasty in St. Ignace, both traditional beef pasties, the crust was definitely inferior, but I thought the filling was a bit better. For a better reference, I'll just defer to this guy I found when I was researching this summer: https://thepastyguy.com/pasty-rankings/

    You might not want to put to much stock in my opinions anyway - I also went to Oakwood Proper Burgers but had a completely opposite impression. I got the standard burger. I appreciated the effort they put into sourcing the ingredients, but found the bun to be way, way, overly dense, the burger overcooked, and the rest of the toppings/veggies to be bland outside of the mayo ("proper sauce") that easily overpowered what little beef flavor there was in the patty. Even if they had an off day, I personally will never be a fan of the bun they use. I found solid burgers at Slabtown and Bubba's.
  • Post #67 - February 17th, 2022, 8:16 am
    Post #67 - February 17th, 2022, 8:16 am Post #67 - February 17th, 2022, 8:16 am
    FarmerL wrote: That being said, while I will 100% be going on a pasty trail tour if I ever visit the UP, I am not a connoisseur and I never had one until my trip this past summer. And to be honest, I don't think I'm a pasty person.

    I've recently begun to spend summers in the U.P. I've been going there for extended visits with inlaws for 20 + years. I've given quite a few pasties a try, and for the most part, I'd say I'm not a pasty person either. The pasties I can get have suet in the crust (which is VERY rare,) so the crust is far crispier than the norm. The guts are still standard potato, beef, and rutabaga. I'm not a big fan, but plenty in the fam love them, so we have a good handful of them in the freezer at all times. Knowing what I know, I'd go on a pasty tour, but I'd probably only try the odd (non traditional) pasty varieties that were available. The crusts are normally what turns me off from them. They are usually like those cheap Banquet Pot Pie crusts - bland and soft.

    FarmerL wrote:You might not want to put to much stock in my opinions anyway - I also went to Oakwood Proper Burgers but had a completely opposite impression. I got the standard burger. I appreciated the effort they put into sourcing the ingredients, but found the bun to be way, way, overly dense, the burger overcooked, and the rest of the toppings/veggies to be bland outside of the mayo ("proper sauce") that easily overpowered what little beef flavor there was in the patty. Even if they had an off day, I personally will never be a fan of the bun they use. I found solid burgers at Slabtown and Bubba's.


    Totally fair, and understandable. All of the burgers we had were the ones that had bunches of flavor add ons (possibly even by design to mask their flavorless patties?) So, lots of jalapeno, chipotle sauce, garlic sauce, bacon, - that kind of stuff. That bun tho - I'll respect your assessment and opinion, but I absolutely LOVED those buns.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #68 - March 2nd, 2022, 4:33 pm
    Post #68 - March 2nd, 2022, 4:33 pm Post #68 - March 2nd, 2022, 4:33 pm
    Sorry Seabee, apparently I haven’t looked at this thread since the middle of November. Cousin Jenny has been there for a long time but I tend to get a pasty every 10 years or so whether I need one or not. The last several times I’ve tried to eat at the Omelette shop we’ve had to try elsewhere after being informed of hour plus waits. I would agree with FarmerLs assessment of the places but I’ve never tried Farm club or Wren. Still looking forward to the proper burger place if we are in the neighborhood and the timing is right but now I’m reminded how long since I’ve had Slabtown so I’d probably head there first. But compared to what the TC restaurant scene was 30 years ago the town is amazing now.
  • Post #69 - March 3rd, 2022, 1:26 pm
    Post #69 - March 3rd, 2022, 1:26 pm Post #69 - March 3rd, 2022, 1:26 pm
    We were in TC last Memorial Day and hit up quite a few spots over a three day span. It definitely punches well above it's weight as I just checked the population and it's pretty small all things considered. It's kind of like a Great Lakes version of Asheville imo (lots of newish type spots focusing in on what's local). Highlights as far as meals were vegetarian dishes with a Palestinian accent at Hexenbelle, local bounty brunch at Salt2Sugar, Beard worthy dinner at Wren in Suttons Bay (reservations needed), and made on site ice cream at Moomer's.

    Also of note in Suttons Bay is a taco trailer called Las Lagunas that makes some great fried whitefish tacos. Even the (food) trailer park up there is better than it needs to be. Not in my roundup (link below) but I also enjoyed a double cheeseburger and cherry milkshake at Don's Drive-In, a 50's era carhop located on the circle tour route (on the water).

    http://chibbqking.blogspot.com/2021/06/ ... -city.html

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more