Weekend Update

21 09 2008

If you haven’t been following along all weekend, there have been a lot of posts over the last three days.  So you don’t miss anything, I’ve broken down the reviews into the three cities we’ve been to.  You can either click on these links or just scroll down.

Traverse City

The Cooks’ House (awesome, awesome, awesome lunch in TC)
The Cherry Stop
Kilwin’s Chocolate Shopped

Gallagher’s Farm Market
Boone’s Long Lake Inn
Moomer’s Homemade Ice Cream

Grand Rapids

The Fresh Market

The Black Rose Irish Pub
Fulton Street Farmer’s Market

East Lansing

Spartan Hall of Fame Cafe


Moomer’s Homemade Ice Cream

20 09 2008
  • 7263 N. Long Lake Rd.
  • Traverse City, MI 49648
  • (231) 941-4122
  • Website
  • Menu
Moomers Homemade Ice Cream near Traverse City

Moomer's Homemade Ice Cream near Traverse City

Earlier this summer, I was watching an ABC program when I saw a promo for Good Morning America Weekend.  I usually tune out because who wants to get up early enough on a Saturday to watch GMA?  This time I paid attention.  Not because there was some important news item they were teasing.  What happened is that they were teasing the results for the voting for the Best Ice Cream Shop in the country.  The winner of that contest?  Moomer’s in Traverse City, Michigan.  Since we were planning a trip to Traverse City, we made sure that Moomer’s was on our list of places to go.

We knew while eating dinner at Boone’s Long Lake Inn (review HERE) that we needed to save room for ice cream.  Our plan was to eat dinner, grab some ice cream then head back to Grand Rapids where we were spending the night.  We both ate quite a bit at dinner, but we were not going to leave the area without a stop at the best ice cream shop in America.

Moomer’s sits on Long Lake Rd outside of Traverse City.  It’s a stand alone shop with a log cabin feel.  Even late in September at 7:00 at night, quite a few people were crowded into the shop enjoying some ice cream.  Since we were pretty full, we both went with a small serving which is one scoop in a cup. Read the rest of this entry »

Boone’s Long Lake Inn

20 09 2008
  • 7208 Secor Rd.
  • Traverse City, MI 49648
  • (231) 946-3991
  • Website
  • Menu
Boones Long Lake Inn outside Traverse City

Boone's Long Lake Inn outside Traverse City

Whenever we go on a trip, I like to find the place where the locals go for a meal.  You can always find good spots in the tourists hubs as well, but it’s those out of the way places that a tourist might have a hard time finding where the real gems are.  Boone’s Long Lake Inn came from a recommendation from Ang who said she and her fiance will find a reason to drive to Traverse City just so they can go to Boone’s.  That was a good enough recommendation for me, so we headed out of town to find Boone’s.

Boone’s is located a few miles outside of town on Secor Rd.  I damn near missed the turn for the driveway.  The sign came up on me pretty fast, but since there was no one behind me, I slowed down in a hurry to make the turn.  The restaurant sits at the end of a short drive.  When we got up the hill, we came into a huge parking lot that was pretty empty.  We were pretty early for dinner, so it was questionable whether we would even be able to get a meal here.  There’s a sign posted on the outside of the restaurant with the hours and they just opened for dinner about ten minutes prior to our arrival.

When we got inside, we were met by a host and shown to a table.  The dinning room is massive.  It’s divided into three separate, gigantic spaces.  In addition to the dining rooms, there’s a bar and banquet rooms.  Boone’s is huge.  Our waitress came over for drinks and told us about the specials.  Steaks had been recommended, but I don’t normally eat steak at restaurants.  Too expensiveand I’m a little picky with how it’s cooked.  I like it medium rare and that seems to be open to interpretation for some reason.  There was plenty on the menu that looked good.  I ended up ordering the single bacon wrapped pork loin.  The pork chop came with choice of potato and a salad.  I chose french fries for the potato and got a side salad with Italian dressing.  The most interesting thing about the salad were the croutons.  They were obviously homemade.  They were crispy on the outside, but soft and chewy on the inside.  Before the meal, the server brought out a loaf of warm, homemade bread.  I would assume the croutons are made from that left over bread.  Side salads are usually uninteresting and bland, but the croutons made this salad just the opposite. Read the rest of this entry »

Kilwin’s Chocolate Shoppe

20 09 2008
  • 129 E. Front St
  • Traverse City, MI 49684
  • (231) 946-2403
  • Website
Kilwins Chocolate Shoppe in downtown Traverse City

Kilwin's Chocolate Shoppe in downtown Traverse City

Fudge is a weakness of mine.  I have a hard time walking by a candy shop where I can see them making it in the window.  After we left The Cherry Shop (review HERE), we continued walking down Front Street.  It wasn’t long before we walked by two guys in the window making candy.  They weren’t making fudge, but they were making caramel apples.  I grabbed J and pushed her towards the door.  When we got inside, my suspicions were confirmed.  They had the most delicious looking fudge in a glass case near the door.

I didn’t know where to start.  I do know I love peanut butter.  I also know I love fudge.  If you put the two together, it should make an incredible confection.  They had a special going where if you bought two pieces of fudge, you got one free.  J wanted a piece of the cherry fudge and since we were going to get a free one, I got a wedge of the vanilla.  Each wedge was a half a pound.  There were no prices posted so I was a little shocked when it rang up at $17, but it was a lot of fudge.  Read the rest of this entry »

The Cherry Stop

20 09 2008
  • 211 E. Front St.
  • Traverse City, MI 49684
  • 800-286-7209
  • Website
The Cherry Stop in downtown Traverse City

The Cherry Stop in downtown Traverse City

Well, I guess would couldn’t actually go to Traverse City without stopping in one Cherry related tourist trap.  When we were waiting for our meals at The Cooks House (review HERE), I grabbed a Traverse City dining magazine that was sitting on the window ledge.  In it, they had ads and articles for a number of businesses in the area.  J noticed one called The Cherry Store which was just a few blocks from where we were.  We were going to walk around downtown anyway, so we just kept an eye out for this store.

We found the Cherry Store on Front St right in the heart of the downtown business district.  The store is exactly what you think it is.  It’s cherries from floor to ceiling.  Everything on the shelves had cherries in it somehow.  Dried cherries, chocolate covered cherries, cherry salsa, cherry BBQ sauce, cherry Dijon mustard.  If they could figure out a way to put a cherry it in, it was there.  Read the rest of this entry »

The Cooks House

19 09 2008
  • 439 E. Front St.
  • Traverse City, MI 49686
  • (231) 946-8700
  • Website
  • Menu
The Cooks House near downtown Traverse City

The Cooks House near downtown Traverse City

7:30 AM is early.  Not for most people, but for J and me, anything before about 11 AM might as well be pre-dawn.  Why were we up so  early, you ask?  Our goal was to be on the road by 9:00 AM and in Traverse City by lunch.  Guess what?  We made it!  Out the door by 8:30 and in the Cherry Capitol by noon.  Our first stop was going to be lunch.  I had been scouting this one out for a while.  I noticed a blog on Good Food Hunting called From Behind the Stove.  The writer is a chef at a tiny restaurant near downtown Traverse City.  I knew if we ever made it north, The Cooks House would definitely be a stop.

So, we pull into downtown Traverse City just after noon.  I was a little worried because I kept reading about how great this place was and how it was starting to catch on with foodies.  Reservations are strongly recommended for dinner.  I was really hoping that wouldn’t be the case with lunch.  The Cooks House is located just a few blocks from the main downtown business district on Front Street.  It’s a very inconspicuous building.  We actually drove by it without realizing it. We found a parking garage two blocks up then headed back the way we came on foot to seek out the shop. Read the rest of this entry »

Checked out for the Weekend

19 09 2008

J and I are heading to Traverse City today and Grand Rapids tomorrow just to hang out and see what we can find.  The plan is to eat lunch at Cook’s House when we get to Traverse City.  For dinner, we’re looking at Boone’s for dinner. 

Tonight, we’re heading back to Grand Rapids where we’ve got a Red Roof Inn booked.  Red Roof’s don’t offer free Wi-Fi with rooms, so there probably won’t be any blog updates until at least tomorrow night or Sunday.  Saturday’s plans are to check out Grand Rapids.  I don’t have much as far as restaruants go in GR.  I’ve heard good things about Real Food Cafe and Wealthy St. Bakery for lunch.  We’ll see what we can find.  Dinner?  Not sure.  Maybe find something in GR..maybe drive back to Portland and try Duke’s Cajun Bar & Grill.  Not sure.  We’ll see.  If you have any suggestions, leave them here.  We may be able to find Wi-Fi at a McDonald’s or something so I can at least check e-mail and the blog.

Traverse City Eats

17 09 2008

J and I are making up for not having weekends off together this summer.  After spending the afternoon in Ann Arbor last weekend, we’re going to take a mini vacation to Traverse City this weekend, so once again, I’m looking for food suggestions.  I’ve got a pretty good list going of places that look good. 

Cook’s House
North Peak Brewing (which I believe is the same as Grizzly Peak Brewing in Ann Arbor)
Don’s Drive In
Hanna’s Bistro
Trattoria Stella
Folgarelli’s Market

Any opinions on any of those or anything else that we have to try?