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Traverse City, MI recs?

Traverse City, MI recs?
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  • Traverse City, MI recs?

    Post #1 - June 28th, 2004, 10:25 am
    Post #1 - June 28th, 2004, 10:25 am Post #1 - June 28th, 2004, 10:25 am
    Anyone know anything good in the Traverse City/Interlochen part of Michigan, or on the drive up and back?
  • Post #2 - June 28th, 2004, 10:56 am
    Post #2 - June 28th, 2004, 10:56 am Post #2 - June 28th, 2004, 10:56 am
    My wife and I ate at a restaurant named Mabel's in Traverse City or Charlevoix about 11 years ago on our honeymoon. Outstanding breakfast. I doubt if the place has deteriorated.

    The Rowe Inn is http://www.roweinn.com/ an outstanding restaurant. Expensive but well worth it.
    Bruce
    Plenipotentiary
    bruce@bdbbq.com

    Raw meat should NOT have an ingredients list!!
  • Post #3 - June 28th, 2004, 11:22 am
    Post #3 - June 28th, 2004, 11:22 am Post #3 - June 28th, 2004, 11:22 am
    Jesperson's in Traverse City for cherry-berry pie or breakfast. Unfortunatly, the pies don't come out of the oven until after breakfast, so you can't do both at the same time. Given a choice, go for the pie!
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #4 - June 28th, 2004, 12:36 pm
    Post #4 - June 28th, 2004, 12:36 pm Post #4 - June 28th, 2004, 12:36 pm
    If you're into beef jerky (and who isn't), you may want to check out Deering's Market in Traverse City. Their "jerkey" is different from the standard flat pieces of dehydrated meat. Rather it's closer in consistancy to a beef stick. Higher moisture content accoring to their web site (www.deerings.com). Personally, I prefer a more traditional jerky, but, if you're in Traverse City, I would recommend giving Deering's "jerkey" a try.
  • Post #5 - June 28th, 2004, 1:37 pm
    Post #5 - June 28th, 2004, 1:37 pm Post #5 - June 28th, 2004, 1:37 pm
    hi mike -

    i go up to traverse once every couple of months - LOVE it up there. Last weekend we were driving around the interlochen area and stopped in the Karlin Inn (7465 karlin rd) which is about a mile past the interlochen arts camp entrance. we only stopped in for beer, but as the place filled with interlochen camp staff, huge plates of fried fish we flying out of the kitchen. my fella didn't realize that their fish fry is on both friday and sat nights (we were there on sat). otherwise we wouldn't have grilled up our buffalo burgers (from olsens market) and would have had the fish fry, as he says its fantastic (and looked soo good).

    but i did stop in the karlin grocery & deli next door for cigs (cough). and calling my name from the counter were these fresh strips of jerky. i bought the turkey, regular beef and peppered beef. but they also had elk and buffalo. i also noticed a nice selection of fried chicken (pieces and strips). the gal at the counter told me they use a special brine for the jerkey and smoke it in the back of the deli. they use the same brine for the fried chicken (not sure if they soak it before frying). this jerkey was great - my favorite being the turkey - meaty, flavorful - the flavor not lost to the smoke.

    anyhow, other favorite places of mine when i'm there are Cousin Jenny's Pasties on Union Street downtown TC - i usually get some frozen to bring bach to chicago. The Freshwater Lodge is a good casual lodge-y place with great campfire shrimp, and good meat, seafood. Modes on State Street for great steaks & martinis! J&S Hamburg (Front Street) for my greasy spoon coffee shop fix. And for breakfast the Omlette Shop (Front Street), but this gets packed on weekends. Also there's a new place called the House at 826 Front Street where the chef utilizes product from the local farmers, and it's in a cute old , well, house.

    I haven't been, but bubbas burritos is reputed to be a good little burrito/breakfast spot, and Bistro Amical for good French fare.

    As for non-food, if you get the chance - visit Gwen Frostic's block print studio in Benzonia- it's this great place that feels like it's built into a hill, with logs and stone. she was a big environment artist, and her studio/home is surrounded by a wildlife sanctuary. her family stills runs the original presses, and you can get great prints for really low$$$.

    have a great time and please post your finds!

    ciao
    sharon
  • Post #6 - June 28th, 2004, 1:39 pm
    Post #6 - June 28th, 2004, 1:39 pm Post #6 - June 28th, 2004, 1:39 pm
    and if you get out near long lake - don't miss Moomers Ice cream - freshly made on premise, great flavors. Last Weekend I had the Turtle Cheesecake. mmmmm

    sharon
  • Post #7 - June 28th, 2004, 5:13 pm
    Post #7 - June 28th, 2004, 5:13 pm Post #7 - June 28th, 2004, 5:13 pm
    near Benton Harbor/St. Joe on the Red Arrow Hwy is a place called Cafe Gulistan (i believe it's actually in Harbert, MI). When I have the good fortune of getting a ride to Michigan, i always try to persuade the driver to stop there. I've been going there for the better part of 10 years, and the food is only getting better. my current favorite dish ever is a house creation called Ispanek. It's a vegetarian dish, with chickpeas, veggies and a garlic mango cream sauce that is, in the words of homer j simpson. "gaaaaaaaa" (transcendental)! served with jasmine rice - i get goose bumps just thinking about it.

    ciao
    sharon
  • Post #8 - July 1st, 2004, 9:56 am
    Post #8 - July 1st, 2004, 9:56 am Post #8 - July 1st, 2004, 9:56 am
    Depending on the route you take, stopping by Sherman's Ice Cream in South Haven is worthwhile. If you take 196 up, get off at Phoenix Street exit and if you're heading north you'd take a right (west). It's on the north (left) side of the street, past the Walmart complex and the chain hotels. Hope this isn't too late....
  • Post #9 - July 7th, 2004, 7:38 am
    Post #9 - July 7th, 2004, 7:38 am Post #9 - July 7th, 2004, 7:38 am
    stevez wrote:Jesperson's in Traverse City for cherry-berry pie or breakfast. Unfortunatly, the pies don't come out of the oven until after breakfast, so you can't do both at the same time. Given a choice, go for the pie!


    Correction

    I have just been reminded that Jesperson's is in Petoski, not Traverse City. My recommendation still stands, but you have to go to Petoski for the cherry-berry pie.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #10 - July 12th, 2004, 7:45 pm
    Post #10 - July 12th, 2004, 7:45 pm Post #10 - July 12th, 2004, 7:45 pm
    I started a new thread for my report. Thanks to everyone for the tips!

    http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=647
  • Post #11 - October 19th, 2005, 12:17 am
    Post #11 - October 19th, 2005, 12:17 am Post #11 - October 19th, 2005, 12:17 am
    Having just returned from Interlochen/Traverse City, I can report on several places I liked, as well as a couple of mild disappointments. I enjoyed Taqueria Margarita--(apparently Mario Batali's favorite spot while on vacation) TM is a Mexican restaurant near the airport with a menu that features tacos --barbacoa, al pastor, lengue, carne asada and chicken, as well as menudo on the weekend. I found the welcome warm, and the chicken enchiladas a bit bland, though fresh, prepared with quality ingredients. My daughter's Mexican roommate was treated royally by the staff. She also raved about the "very hot" chilaquiles. I was happy that she also liked the tacos so much that we ordered eight to go. New to me was the soft drink based on Sangria that she ordered--surprisingly like sangria and somehow, inexplicably, like coca-cola.

    We also made a second visit to Amical on Front Street, where we had some flavorful steaks, well-prepared sides with seasonal local root vegetables, and very competent desserts: apple crumble, hazelnut torte, and chocolate-raspberry tart. On a previous visit, we had a tasty seared tuna appetizer with wasabi and sesame. Crisp roast chicken with garlic mashed potatoes served my needs for comfort food prior to becoming an empty-nester for the first time.

    I'm not a huge fan of Grand Traverse Pie Company. Though the fruit fillings are flavorful, IMHO the crust does not rise to the level of the local fruit. Another disappointment was Luigi's/Mancini's Pizza, which seemed to me a PapaJohn's clone with too-sweet sauce, spongy crust and insufficient cheese. The next time I drive all the way from Interlochen for pizza, I'll visit Paesano's. They claim to be the local favorite; next visit I will try their hand-tossed white pizza.

    In the past, I have enjoyed the burgers and very very cherry shakes at Don's Drive-In ( a Roadfood choice). I really wanted the the Thunderbird (?) replica box-dinner I saw the 8 year-old at the next table enjoying, but alas, I had already been served. . .

    For huge, well-made Italian cold-cut sandwiches and all the handmade loaves, European cheese, imported necessities and wine you might need for a picnic along the shore, I like to visit Fogarelli's Deli on the west end of Front Street. My homesick daughter reported "feeling much, much better" after our visit there. Folgarelli's is the perfect Traverse City antidote to institutional tater-tot hot dish. With her new supply of Thai staples and pannetone she should be able to make it through midterms.

    My journey home yielded a great little find in Cadillac: Mr. Foisie's Pasties. This pristine little room with 50's formica tables and red vinyl chairs was sadly empty while the nearby McDonald's had a drive-thru backed up out the driveway. The cook reflected that "young people don't always like pasties" since they think it's something their grandparents would eat (I've noticed similar comments in other posts about some dishes representing "old people's food" to the younger generation -- a topic for further exploration, I think). The perfume of a real kitchen was intoxicating as the cook pulled freshly made beef and vegetable pasties from the oven. LTH lard-crust enthusiasts would be satisfied with the tender pasty crust, though rutabaga opponents should be wary--the tang of rutabaga was ascendent. Also available were pies billed as homemade in dutch apple, pumpkin, strawberry-rhubarb, and cherry. The warm, crisp apple dumpling was perfection: tart cored apple with just the right amount of sugar, cinnamon, and a hint of nutmeg. The dumpling had a crisp lard crust which remained crisp throughout the trip and through (I am ashamed to admit) microwave reheating at home -- a minor miracle. As I sat under the trees at the clean picnic table, I felt a bit sorry for all of those hungry people queued up and waiting for "fries with that." If I were there with kids, we'd eat at the beach across the street (no fee when we were there in the past).

    Mr. Foisie's place is tucked away next to the Clark Station on Hwy. 115 across from the Cadillac Beach. Take exit 168 and go about 4 miles west on 115 until you pass the McDonald's. You will then see the Clark station, turn into Leisure road just before the station.

    Taqueria Margarita
    1315 S. Airport Road
    Traverse City, MI
    (231)935-3712

    Amical
    229 E. Front Street
    Traverse City, MI
    (231)941-8888

    Folgarelli's
    424 West Front Street
    Traverse City, MI
    (231) 941-7651

    Mr. Foisie's Pasties
    154 Leisure Road (and Hwy. 115)
    Cadillac, MI
    (231)779-9042
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #12 - July 30th, 2006, 5:55 pm
    Post #12 - July 30th, 2006, 5:55 pm Post #12 - July 30th, 2006, 5:55 pm
    For those who are headed to Traverse City for the 2nd Annual Film Festival, The Omelette Shoppe is a nice breakfast destination just off the main street in Traverse City. It has the kind of cheery-but-not-cheesy(nor cherry-y) ambiance I can swallow before the first cup of coffee. Over the past few years, I've managed to work my way through about half of the menu. I wish I could say that omelettes are great, but they are just a bit pale and spongy in texture, suggesting the use of an omelette pan rather than a proper skillet. My advice is to score one of the pecan sticky buns you will see in the window by the cash register as you order your coffee. These are clearly the signature dish -- or should be, but perhaps the conservative burghers of Traverse City wouldn't tolerate a Sunday morning destination of that name. In any case, the scrambles are far better prepared than the omelettes, to my mind. A nice selection of stir-ins is available, including Italian sausage, IIRC. I'd skip the (frozen) hash browns that tend also to be a bit pale and may even be tepid in the center, though they are served in a flash.

    Though I prefer Amical, another good dinner destination is hannah (sic), a rather stylish bistro that uses quality ingredients in preparations that seem to aspire to tweak the classics but IMHO may be a bit overwrought in the execution. That said, on my last visit, I had a lovely, fresh salad with maytag cheese and a balanced vinaigrette, and a steak grilled perfectly to order. The wine pours are generous, and the service attentive and professional. I will return to hannah, I am sure.

    Omelette Shoppe & Bakery
    124 S. Cass St, Traverse City
    (231) 946-0912

    hannah
    118 S. Cass St.
    (231) 946-8207
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #13 - October 26th, 2006, 9:28 pm
    Post #13 - October 26th, 2006, 9:28 pm Post #13 - October 26th, 2006, 9:28 pm
    Since Traverse City is my current beat, I am happy to report a few important finds from my last trip. Whether I should take credit for these is another matter entirely. The plain truth is that, without the inspiration and support of other LTH-ers, I might never have identified these gems.

    A case in point is Ham Bonz, a little breakfast and lunch spot on the east side of town.
    Image
    I credit GWiv with this find. His thread on the Thanksgiving BBQ for folks in need clued me in on the contours of a barbeque. Armed with a mental picture of a mobile BBQ set-up, I was able to do some reconnaissance on a previous TC visit.
    Image
    This time, I hit the place at just the right time, and was rewarded with a dish that I have never seen on a menu: a pit-beef omelette. This was an interesting combination. The tender, wood-smoked beef was a fine anchor for the slightly runny eggs and light cheddar cheese. It worked. While I have had bbq pizza in Memphis and PIGMON and trixie-pea's burgoo, I can't recall any other dishes that are BBQ derivatives. (Could it be that BBQ is so delicious that it never survives to morph into other dishes?) Ham Bonz also smokes pork ribs and turkey. Two big kettles of soup were simmering last Saturday: a pea soup with ham and a white Northern bean soup with ham. Corned beef sandwiches and house-made hash were also on offer, but I couldn't make room for my entire omelette, so I can't report on the corned beef. Sweets were not neglected either.
    Image
    A four-foot long loaf of local streusel-topped bread waited on the counter to be made into French toast. Those who want to try Ham Bonz should make a point to get there soon, though. The owner has run out of steam (or smoke) after 10 years, and is looking to sell.

    Stella's is a very good Italian trattoria that the casual visitor to TC would never find, so I am happy to be able to post the information here. After years of summer trips to TC, I know the place well. However, even with a map from the website in hand, it took two cell-phone calls to the restaurant's very tolerant hostess to guide me there. Why? Stella is located in the basement of a restored Victorian-era hospital tucked in the woods on the west side of town. My daughter assured me that the frustration was worth it, and, as usual, she was correct.

    Aside from the non-existent handicapped access, the setting is fortuitous, as the vaulted brick basement vaguely recalls a European wine cellar.
    Soft lights and music, crisp linens, and informal yet responsive and professional service extended the good vibe. The initial wine pour was ambrosial, and the bread outstanding. These set the tone for an excellent meal all-around.

    We sampled the arugula salad with pears, and the heirloom tomato salad with fresh mozzarella. Aside from being a bit too cold, these were both excellent, though I had feared it was a bit too late to order tomatoes. Next we had an ambitious course billed as pumpkin ravioli. I use the term ambitious, because, while the execution was flawless, the dish deconstructed the pumpkin aspect, using pumpkin and pumpin-pie spices as the basis for a sauce that napped ricotta-filled ravioli. The dish was saved from being cloying by a nice dose of heat, and it reminded us of the Carribean pumpkin soup that is a favorite at the Lucky Platter in Evanston. Nevertheless, as my daughter put it, "Call me old-fashioned, but I like the classic version, with the pumpkin inside, and a sage butter sauce." (Don't you just love foodie kids?)

    Entrees shone. Braised short ribs with rapini were downright exciting, with the peppery and bitter rapini a sharp counter to the rich, melting beef. Ultra-fresh sturgeon with tomatoes, fettucine and caper berries was perfectly balanced. What could have been bland and disappointing was enriched with olive oil and garlic and, most likely, a scratch fish base. Dessert could not be missed in a meal of such quality. I preferred the vanilla panna cotta with praline to the hazelnut-chocolate tart, which was too dense for my taste. The most telling thing about the evening is this: my daughter and I tried to talk about our Christmas Eve menu, but we couldn't. We were too drawn in by the meal at hand.

    I am including The Wellington Inn in this write-up because it is a type of accomodation that is in short supply in Traverse City and the sort of place that my mother likes to stay. An elegantly restored B&B that was the neighbohood drug den for many years, it is located downtown near the lakefront on one of the charming streets lined with Vicotrian cottages and a few mansions. I have not stayed there, but they have a number of rooms in the main house and a suite of rooms in a coach house that has a kitchen, which could be nice for a special occasion. (The owner of the pastie restaurant recommended the Wellington.)

    My third find of the weekend took place as I returned to Chicago on a wet grey day, gloomily anticipating an endless string of fast-food chains for the next 6 hours. I need not have been so pessimistic. I ought to have realized that by now, my divining skills honed by none other than Cathy2, I could find gold in them thar hills! Or at least breakfast.

    Actually, looking back on it, it was indeed gold that I found at Mary's Cafe in Kingston, Michigan. I had been through this little town before, but always very late at night. As a solo traveller, I had been too cautious to investigate the tavern that looked to be hopping one Saturday. I had also been curious about Bogart's Motel. This little spot was straight out of "It Happened One Night" with Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable. You know the category: a homey spot with a few free-standing cottages that serve as individual rooms. (In a concession to modesty, Claudette the heiress and Clark the newspaperman divided the room they were forced to share with an improvised rope and blanket wall - what a lot of sexual tension for a movie of that era!) But I digress. Bogart's of the present day is no doubt bereft of handsome couples but is nostaligic as hell. Neat as a pin from the outside, with white clapboard cottages nestled in pine trees just off the main road, it looks as though Grandma Bogart herself would answer the door if you knocked on it. I have not stayed there, but I will on my next trip to TC, since I picked up their card at Mary's.

    Bogart's is not the only bit of gold panned at Mary's. No sir. I was in for honest to goodness small-town America at its best. I half-expected the gubernatorial candidate to come walking in for some glad-handing and a folksy photo opp. At a central table for 14 patrons, a gathering of locals sat, smoking, drinking coffee, and doing the crosswords. Half of the men appeared to be retired and half had already put in most of a day's work by 10 AM. I learned that a bridge was out nearby and that the hay crop had not been good this year. I also learned who in town had been in church on the previous Sunday and who had quit drinkin' and taken up with a much younger woman. (I am not making this up, though I like to think that I could have.)

    One selection on Mary's menu stopped me dead in my tracks. This was the "Hungry as a Bear" Breakfast. It consists of the following: "1 to 6 eggs, a pile o'meat ( 3 each of sausage, ham and bacon), homefries, and 4-6 slices of toast." The waitress swore that people order them all the time, and that those people are mostly hunters. I was skeptical, until I heard the guy behind me order one a few minutes later. I have to say that it was an impressive sight, but I dared not stare too hard, as I needed all my energy for eavesdropping. My steak and eggs was on the well-done side, but tasty and accompanied by potatoes that someone had peeled by hand that morning, rather than pulled out of the deep-freeze. I left Mary's feeling satisfied and wishing that I could come back for their weekly Friday fish-fry. Maybe I will.

    Ham Bonz
    1108 E 8th St
    Traverse City, MI 49686
    (231) 929-9288

    Trattoria Stella
    www.stellatc.com
    1200 W 11th St
    Traverse City, MI 49684
    (231) 929-8989

    Wellington Inn
    230 Wellington St
    Traverse City, MI 49686
    (231) 922-9900

    Bogart's Shady Nook Motel
    410 Main Street, Box 204
    Kingsley, Michigan 49649
    (231) 263-5255
    (Kingsley is 12 miles south of Traverse City)
    www.bogartsmotel.com

    Mary's Cafe
    Route 113/Main Street and Garfield Road
    Kingsley, Michigan
    Monday- Saturday 6AM-9PM
    Sunday 8AM-2PM
    Friday Fish Fry 5-8PM
    Last edited by Josephine on March 14th, 2007, 8:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #14 - October 26th, 2006, 9:53 pm
    Post #14 - October 26th, 2006, 9:53 pm Post #14 - October 26th, 2006, 9:53 pm
    Josephine wrote:Since Traverse City is my current beat, I am happy to report a few important finds from my last trip. Whether I should take credit for these is another matter entirely. The plain truth is that, without the inspiration and support of other LTH-ers, I might never have identified these gems.


    I must admit reading through your post, you certainly made Traverse City sound like a very good eating destination. You want a co-driver on your next trip up?

    "Call me old-fashioned, but I like the classic version, with the pumpkin inside, and a sage butter sauce." (Don't you just love foodie kids?)


    Many LTH parents are staring at their future and admitting it looks pretty good!

    I need not have been so pessimistic. I ought to have realized that by now, my divining skills honed by none other than Cathy2, I could find gold in them thar hills! Or at least breakfast.


    Josephine, you always had it in you. All you needed was our very receptive audience to share it with!

    I had also been curious about Bogart's Motel. This little spot was straight out of "It Happened One Night" with Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable. You know the category: a homey spot with a few free-standing cottages that serve as individual rooms. (In a concession to modesty, Claudette the heiress and Clark the newspaperman divided the room they were forced to share with an improvised rope and blanket wall - what a lot of sexual tension for a movie of that era!)


    When Clark Gable took off his shirt to reveal a bare chest, the white cotton undershirt industry took a substantial market nosedive.

    At a central table for 14 patrons, a gathering of locals sat, smoking, drinking coffee, and doing the crosswords. Half of the men appeared to be retired and half had already put in most of a day's work by 10 AM. I learned that a bridge was out nearby and that the hay crop had not been good this year. I also learned who in town had been in church on the previous Sunday and who had quit drinkin' and taken up with a much younger woman. (I am not making this up, though I like to think that I could have.)


    Love it!

    Thanks for putting together such an amusing and thorough post for our armchair traveller enjoyment!

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #15 - October 27th, 2006, 6:21 am
    Post #15 - October 27th, 2006, 6:21 am Post #15 - October 27th, 2006, 6:21 am
    Josephine wrote:and who had quit drinkin' and taken up with a much younger woman.

    Josephine,

    You're not talking about Dan and June's son Rudy, are you? He was a hell of a ball player, but never seemed to adjust after he ripped out his knee.

    Great info, your post is going into my auto kit bag, right next to the road atlas.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #16 - November 3rd, 2006, 8:45 pm
    Post #16 - November 3rd, 2006, 8:45 pm Post #16 - November 3rd, 2006, 8:45 pm
    G Wiv wrote:You're not talking about Dan and June's son Rudy, are you? He was a hell of a ball player, but never seemed to adjust after he ripped out his knee.

    Gary,
    The way I heard it was that Dan and Judy broke up after all the trouble with Rudy. Dan started drinking hard after June left him, and now that he's with the new gal and sober, Judy wants him back after all. Go figure.

    In any case, I wanted to add a little gem I picked up at Interlochen that weekend. There is a very nice B&B less than a mile from the Interlochen campus run by a well-travelled couple who retired from the foreign service to Interlochen. Apparently, for parents in the know, this is the lodging of choice while attending the summer music festival or picking up kids at Interlochen. I am none too pleased to report that, in spite of my considerable eavesdropping skills, I am again THE LAST TO KNOW. In the spirit of revenge, I am posting this secret destination on the Internet.':wink:'

    Between the Lakes B&B
    4570 Case Blvd.
    Interlochen, MI 49643
    (231) 276 - 7751
    www.betweenlakes.com
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #17 - November 8th, 2006, 3:05 pm
    Post #17 - November 8th, 2006, 3:05 pm Post #17 - November 8th, 2006, 3:05 pm
    Good fish fry

    http://hofbrau-interlochen.com/Menu.nxg
  • Post #18 - March 4th, 2007, 3:36 pm
    Post #18 - March 4th, 2007, 3:36 pm Post #18 - March 4th, 2007, 3:36 pm
    Perhaps this is an odd thing to post as I sit here on a cold, snowy Chicago Sunday, but I can't help thinking ahead to all the things I want to do up around Traverse City in May. One thing I must not fail to do is to take my daughter and her pals to see a movie at The Cherry Bowl Drive-In Theater in Honor (18 miles south of TC). When was the last time you went to a real drive-in movie? This one shows "vintage cartoons." I promise to report back on the broasted chicken and popcorn from a vintage popper.

    Visit their website for a look:http://www.cherrybowldrivein.com/
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #19 - March 4th, 2007, 5:37 pm
    Post #19 - March 4th, 2007, 5:37 pm Post #19 - March 4th, 2007, 5:37 pm
    5-Mile Drive-In in Dowagiac, MI, shows first-run films and is next door to Lutz Drive-In, a cap-hop place with excellent burgers...

    http://www.waterwinterwonderland.com/im ... rch=5-mile

    I agree, it's a nice thing to experience in this day and age.
  • Post #20 - May 23rd, 2007, 11:47 am
    Post #20 - May 23rd, 2007, 11:47 am Post #20 - May 23rd, 2007, 11:47 am
    May 24th is Pasty Day in Michigan.
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #21 - March 13th, 2009, 10:18 am
    Post #21 - March 13th, 2009, 10:18 am Post #21 - March 13th, 2009, 10:18 am
    Just googled our hotel this weekend and found this:

    We have several restaurants nearby Applebees, Olive Garden, Garfield Restaurant, La Senorita, Cracker Barrel, McDonalds, Culvers and the list goes on.


    Don't know what Garfield is, but otherwise, Yyyyyikes.

    Glad this thread exists - anyone have anything recent they'd be able to add? I'll be printing out this thread, as well as Mike G's thread above.
    Writing about craft beer at GuysDrinkingBeer.com
    "You don't realize it, but we're at dinner right now." ~Ebert
  • Post #22 - March 13th, 2009, 1:09 pm
    Post #22 - March 13th, 2009, 1:09 pm Post #22 - March 13th, 2009, 1:09 pm
    Not a restaurant, but I highly recommend a visit to:

    Music House Museum
    7377 US Highway 31 North
    Acme, MI 49610
    (231) 938-9300
    http://www.musichouse.org

    The museum has some very unusual musical instruments and musical "machines," including a sort of very superior player piano that plays George Gershwin's own playing of "Rhapsody in Blue." Amazing--like he was there touching the keys. The tour is long but really worth it.
  • Post #23 - March 13th, 2009, 10:10 pm
    Post #23 - March 13th, 2009, 10:10 pm Post #23 - March 13th, 2009, 10:10 pm
    Whiskeybent-I think I know the area where your hotel is located. You may have an excellent view of some bison roaming on a hillside as you approach Traverse City from the south. In that area out Interlochen way is a place called Boone's-all the hoteliers will send you there. Boone's serves very large, very average steaks in a large hall that has none of the charm of your local VFW, and service to match. Avoid Boone's.

    Also avoid the Bum Steer in TC. The name says it all. In fact, though it is somewhat counter-intuitive, (considering that everyday local fare should stand out in a place like Traverse City) I really like the two high-end places in town the best: Stella and The Boathouse.

    If you find yourself in Interlochen, there is not much that is good to eat except fried pickles at the Hofbrau and the odd bit of Koegel's pickled sausage at the local supermarket, washed down with some Bell's beer.

    The last trip I made to TC, Mr. Foisie's Pasties in Cadillac had closed. [Edit: downthread, another poster states Mr. Foisie's is still open as of 9/07/09. Yay!]
    There is another all-pasty spot in TC - Cousin Jenny's which is OK for lunch.

    Here is a post from another MIchigan thread that makes a few suggestions. At Don's Drive-In I highly recommend the raspberry shake over the cherry one, which is too sweet, even though cherries are the local specialty.

    On the road to Interlochen on Route 31 in Grawn is the Cherry Grower's Inc. warehouse. They have an outlet store where you can purchase big frozen buckets of sour cherries and other cherry products at good prices, though their hours are limited. Visit their website and call ahead.

    I'll reiterate my recommendation for The Boathouse, where we had an excellent meal--now 2 years ago. The Boathouse about 10 miles out from the center of TC. The Old Mission Penninsula makes a nice drive -there is actually an Old Mission and a quaint general store near the end of the spit of land. Most of the penninsula is covered with cherry orchards that look over the lake. It should be a beautiful drive out there in the spring. As I recall, they served a very well executed King Salmon in June. I should be able to dig up the pics.

    The Boathouse
    14039 Penninsula Road
    Traverse City, Michigan

    The whitefish pate at the Bowers Harbor Inn is endorsed by the Sterns. While charming, the Bowers Harbor Inn is just OK food-wise in my experience.

    American Spoon Foods has a store in downtown TC where they serve gelato and you can buy all the jams and fruity salsas they make. Several fudge shoppes are also there, if you have a sweet tooth.
    Last edited by Josephine on September 7th, 2009, 7:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #24 - March 31st, 2009, 11:13 am
    Post #24 - March 31st, 2009, 11:13 am Post #24 - March 31st, 2009, 11:13 am
    My few meals in Traverse ran the gamut from terrifying to mundane to really, really good.

    Terrifying was the hotel buffet sausage gravy I had to try, average was the Blue Tractor Cook Shop and another whose name escapes me right now. Whatever it was, I had a pretty bland whitefish sandwich that pretty much disintegrated underneath any pressure.

    But: Really Good was the J&S Hamburg diner for breakfast.

    Image

    It's a small white building that's been there forever - we assumed they'd be slammed at 10am but there was only 1 other table taken. Either it's too "townie" or not "townie" enough for the populace, or we were there at an offtime, but it's hard to imagine that Sunday morning would be off hours for a diner/grill.

    I didn't get a shot of the menu, but they do something that I'm surprised I haven't found anywhere else - pretty much every breakfast item on the menu comes with coffee already added into the price. Brilliant.

    The rest of the family was ordering pancakes and the like, which all looked good, but I was interested in the corned beef hash. I was only half getting my hopes up for house-made hash (and sometimes even when they say it's fresh or made in-house it's still obviously canned anyways) so I asked how they made it. "We make our own - and it's really good," the only waitress (and as it turns out, the only busser and the only dishwasher as well) says. Good enough for me!

    Image

    As it turns out, it was indeed very good. Slices of well cooked potato and large hunks of corned beef. Mixed with a couple perfectly over-medium eggs and some really nice sourdough toast, it was probably the best meal I've had in Traverse to date. In terms of toast, they also bake their own wheat bread and possibly more as well.

    I just looked at a couple reviews online and it mentions the place being dirty and smoky, which was totally not my experience. I didn't ask if there was new ownership or any other details like that, but since the in-laws just closed on a house up there, I foresee many more breakfasts (and hopefully lunches and dinners as well) at J&S Hamburg which will gather more info.

    I also took a shot of the tables simply because the design reminded me of the conversation on formica counters that took place in the Jeri's Grill thread.

    Image

    Image

    J & S Hamburg
    302 W Front St
    Traverse City, MI 49684
    (231) 947-6409‎
    Writing about craft beer at GuysDrinkingBeer.com
    "You don't realize it, but we're at dinner right now." ~Ebert
  • Post #25 - March 31st, 2009, 11:39 am
    Post #25 - March 31st, 2009, 11:39 am Post #25 - March 31st, 2009, 11:39 am
    Freshwater Lodge - Cool setting right on the water. Good sandwiches (we went for lunch)
    13890 S West Bay Shore Dr
    Traverse City, MI 49684

    Grand Traverse Pie Co. - Pie

    Boone's Long Lake Lodge - Steak

    The Mackinaw Brewing company downtown has a decent micro brew selection. They also have BBQ which I've never had so I can't vouch for it but smells pretty darn good.

    Note on Boathouse - Great during the "season". Terrible service (still good food) in the off season i.e. Labor day - Memorial day.
  • Post #26 - March 31st, 2009, 8:51 pm
    Post #26 - March 31st, 2009, 8:51 pm Post #26 - March 31st, 2009, 8:51 pm
    Mackinaw Brewing Company is not bad for what it is- a large, loud local spot with some undistinguished microbrews and a predictable menu of greatest hits - kind of like a decent oldies station that's easy to listen to on a long drive. A couple of years ago, it was the only place in town open on the evening of Memorial Day, and my daughter and I had some good flank steak and garlic mashed potatoes there. Any port in a storm.

    As for J&S Hamburg, I've tried it only once, and was underwhelmed with the burgers. But that corned beef hash looks just fine.
    Last edited by Josephine on June 3rd, 2013, 9:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #27 - August 31st, 2009, 7:29 pm
    Post #27 - August 31st, 2009, 7:29 pm Post #27 - August 31st, 2009, 7:29 pm
    leesh wrote:and if you get out near long lake - don't miss Moomers Ice cream - freshly made on premise, great flavors. Last Weekend I had the Turtle Cheesecake. mmmmm

    sharon


    I LOVED Moomers. Really good ice cream, but what's best is the backdrop against which you get to eat it.

    Ice cream on the porch at Moomer's:
    Image
    This chocolate ice cream was courtesy of the cows in the back.



    More Traverse City area photos and post to come...
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #28 - September 7th, 2009, 7:23 pm
    Post #28 - September 7th, 2009, 7:23 pm Post #28 - September 7th, 2009, 7:23 pm
    Josephine wrote:The last trip I made to TC, Mr. Foisie's Pasties in Cadillac had closed


    Just FYI - I now live in Cadillac (for the past year) and Mr. Foisie's Pasties is very much still open.

    And if anyone passes thru this way don't miss Hermann's restaurant in downtown Cadillac. Excellent food, closest thing to 'fine dining' this area has. The Morel Cream soup is incredible, very rich and flavorful, as well is the Jaeger Schnitzel. The menu appears to be a little 'all over the place', but they do right by it. The daily specials do not disappoint - one lunch special i had included a curry chicken rice soup that was again - incredible. rich, creamy, curry. They also have a little shop attached to the restaurant with a nice selection of wines for sale.

    http://www.chefhermann.com/cafe_menus.html

    I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the interesting historic museum located in town (I volunteer for the local historical society)...it's located just a block or so behind Hermann's in an old Carnegie Library. If you're passing thru - try to stop in (http://www.wexfordcountyhistory.org)

    and although nothing can come close to the favorites in Chicago, Herradura's satisfices my craving for Mexican food, the tamales are a-ok - pork filled, but strangely enough they're covered with a red sauce with ground beef in it. i usually ask to forgo the beef topping and get their white cheese sauce on top instead.

    Another of my current favorite restaurants in Traverse City is North Peak Brewery. The Beer Steamed Mussels are addictive - it comes in a pretty large bowl with plenty of broth filled with tons of whole garlic cloves that i like to smash onto the bread they serve with the dish. and i always get it with the cajun sausage. Y.U.M.

    sharon
  • Post #29 - September 7th, 2009, 7:45 pm
    Post #29 - September 7th, 2009, 7:45 pm Post #29 - September 7th, 2009, 7:45 pm
    leesh wrote:
    Josephine wrote:The last trip I made to TC, Mr. Foisie's Pasties in Cadillac had closed


    Just FYI - I now live in Cadillac (for the past year) and Mr. Foisie's Pasties is very much still open.


    That's great news, sharon. I loved Mr. Foisie's! Thanks for posting.
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #30 - September 7th, 2009, 8:34 pm
    Post #30 - September 7th, 2009, 8:34 pm Post #30 - September 7th, 2009, 8:34 pm
    Jacques Torres has a chocolate shop in Traverse City, and that's worth visiting. (New York, Las Vegas, and Traverse City!) World-class chocolates from a master.

    Jacques Torres Chocoloates
    225 E Front St, Traverse City
    (231) 929-7100
    http://www.mrchocolate.com/

    Fun to visit for the history and chocolate is the Grocer's Daughter's Chocolates. The Grocer's Daughter herself --Chocolatier Mimi Wheeler -- is usually at the little, lime-green shop up on the Leelanau Peninsula. Her chocolate does not have the silken texture of Jacques Torres's chocolates, but her stuff is still great, with astonishingly innovative flavors. She uses fair-trade cacao from a cooperative in Ecuador and focuses on all natural ingredients. Her caramel, made with honey instead of sugar, is somewhere between ganache and liquid in texture -- I actually liked it better than her ganache. Wheeler studied her craft in France and Scandinavia, so she knows what she's doing. Her fame has spread beyond the TC area.

    Grocer's Daughter's Chocolate
    12020 S. Leelanau Highway ( M-22 1/4 of a mile south of the blinker from M-72)
    http://www.grocersdaughter.com/
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com

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