Category Archives: michigan

Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor//Redamak’s in New Buffalo– good stops heading east to Detroit

We finally found an opportunity to stop briefly in Ann Arbor for a corned beef sandwich at the senses-overwhelming Zingerman’s deli. As good as I remembered. Also got a burger on the way home at a place we’ve meant to try — Redamak’s in New Buffalo near the Michigan/Indiana state line.

Place was packed on a Monday for lunch and we soon learned why. The food was good and service prompt. Next time we are supposed to try nearby Oinks for ice cream, my sister tells me!

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For next trip to New Buffalo, Michigan

Warren Dunes State Park, Sawyer, MI

Warren Dunes State Park, Sawyer, MI

 

Here’s a few places to try out next time in the New Buffalo/Sawyer, MI area  (that we found during our brief stay in fall 2016 :

– Red Arrow Cabins
– Smokin’ Woodies (BBQ)
– Grand Beach Motel
– Harbert B&B

  • Warren Dunes

    Warren Dunes

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Warren Dunes State Park, Infusco coffee, Sawyer produce — southwest Michigan

Nothing like a walk along the sandy shores of Lake Michigan to loosen up my aching back after a night on a img_0313too hard mattress at an Airbnb in Sawyer. And at the end of our walk on the near deserted shore, on a gorgeous unexpectedly warm fall morning, it was easy to feel optimistic about life.

Later, we had my dream picnic (smoked whitefish, raspberries and russet apples, all fresh fromMichigan) at a not quite perfect picnic spot– aa concrete picnic table at a rest stop along I-80, just over the border in Illinois.

We explored some more of the area around Sawyer, getting coffee at Infusco and produce at the local greenhouse including more raspberries and heirloom tomatoes. WE drove on a beautiful morning around Lakeside, spotting some fancy vacation homes off narrow dirt roads cut into the woods. new Buffalo didn’t make much of an impression but we liked the area around it and can see why it draws big city folk from Chicago (only an hour away).img_0144

Dinner was in Iowa City at Pullman, a newcomer that has been on our list for awhile for good reason, as it turned out. Delicious fried chicken and over-the-top “kitchen fries” with crispy fries, melts cheese, a mustard sauce and bits of what tasted like burnt ends from the best Kansas City rib joints. BAck to cottage cheese and carrots today in Des Moines.

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Deli (Jewish!) in Beulah, whitefish and beach in Frankfort, hipsters and not in Sawyer – exploring the western Lake Michigan Coast

TRaverse city loft view

TRaverse city loft view

Our Airbnb in the southwest Michigan town of Sawyer is worlds apart from our friends’ sleek streamlined loft in Traverse. It reminds me of a former kids room in my Kansas in-laws former house. Lived in, old furniture, family photos and knickknacks. But aside from a too hard bed it was fine and about 2 miles from the surprisingly hip two block business district in what is still a rural/beach community., complete with a brew pub (where we drank in a beer garden, thanks to strangely warm temps) and a good burger across the street at a cutely named Clean Plate Club and a hipster coffee shop(Infusco). Also found a fine assortment of local apples, raspberries and heirloom tomatoes at Sawyer produce/ greenhouse.

Beulah Airbnb

Sawyer  Airbnb

We took our time driving here, stopping in Beulah at L’chaim Deli which served a good bagel cream cheese and lox (the Reuben wasn’t the best…too-processed meat and too-orange Russian dressing). We walked along the beach in Frankfort, watching the waves crash into the breaker wall and very fit old white guys paddleboarding and wind surfing.

img_0325Couldn’t resist picking up more smoked whitefish at the local place. Further south, in south haven, just off the highway, we followed the honor  system setup and put $6 in the Dropbox after helping ourselves to some fresh picked raspberries in an outdoor cooler (we didn’t have time to pick our own.) Time to hit the road again. Fun trip.

Happie betsie

Happie betsie

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The Tribune/Northport, Christmas Cove Antique Apples, Carlson’s/Fishtown-Leand, Glen Arbor Biking, Taproot in TC


img_0306Fog was rising from the lake when we looked out the window this morning in Traverse City but by the time we reached the lovely town of Northport on the Leelenau Penninsula, the sky had cleared and was a gorgeous Autumn blue. The leaves are late to turn this fall, we’ve been told but we still saw many red, orange and yellow leaves…and we have had warm 60’s weather so no complaints.

img_0308In Northport, we had a good breakfast at The Tribune, a small cheerful dining room in an old white wooden building up from a pretty waterfront park, and then drove a little north to a remarkable antique apple farm in Christmas Cove that had no less three varieties of another hard-to-find apple I love: Russets!  There were dozens of other apple varieties I have never heard of for sale, rows and rows of them, not to mention shelves lined with hundreds of pop bottles,representing who knows how many different soda  makers.

img_0307NExt stop, a little house full of herbs and herb-infused vinegars (Woodside Herbs) and then to Fishtown in Leland, a bunch of shops in ramshackle fishing shanties along a river with a rushing dam that Fish jumped out of on occasion. PIcked up some superb smoked fish at Carlson’s that we ate after a vigorous bike ride around Glen  Haven, Glen lakes and Sleeping Bear Sand dunes around Lake Michigan near our friend’s lovely lake house. After a light dinner at Taproot downtown, we did some book shopping at Horizon Bookstore. Such a great trip. So glad are friends are happy and here and that we came to visit!

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The cooks house, alliance, Spanglish — eating well in Traverse City

Botanical garden, village at the commons, traverse city

Botanical garden, village at the commons, traverse city

To date, we have had three meals in this foodie town, each unique and excellent. The Cooks House is just that, a small cozy house with some fine cooks using a long list of locally sourced products duly listed on a chalk board. We had a fresh vvegetable  first course (mine was a creative take on sweet potatoes) and then a very Hearty entree (excellent steak, pork, fish). Today we walked all around the city which is full of people and interesting shops. We walked down Front street (the main drag where our friends are urban pioneers, living ina stunning loft fashioned from the second story of an old sandstone brick warehouse, with a back porch with a dazzling blue of Grand Traverse bay) to a former “insane asylum” that has been converted into a series of little shops, restaurants, residential lofts.

Boardman River, TC

Boardman River, TC

 

We walked around a beautiful old farm with botanical gardens in an old horse stable, ate an excellent Mexican meal at Spanglish, sampled wines and cider at Left Foot Charlie next door. Later we stopped at several wineries on the old mission peninsula, with more spectacular views of hills with red, yellow and orange trees leading to Lake Michigan ‘s blue waters.

Tonight, we ate at Alliance, the hot new restaurant in town which is no small feat considering how many good dining options this small town has. Shared plates of food in one of a kind combinations with very fresh ingredients, vibrant and complicated flavor combinations. We thoroughly enjoyed.

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Fennville, saugatuck, on the road to Traverse City

img_0290GOrgeous fall day as we drove the second leg of our trip up north from an okay comfort inn in Joliet to TC. first stop, Crane’s apple orchard empire outside the sweet town of Fennville. “From your Iowa plates, you must not be part of the field trip,” said a cheerful guy directing traffic to rudimentary parking spots near the pick your own orchards. We picked our very own mutsu apples, one of my favorite breeds not readily found in Iowa and also discovered the cameo apple. We stopped nearby at the cranes cider mill and restaurant. Full of fall tourists, good not-too-sweet cider and many pie varieties. The restaurant had a clever “pie flight” with slivers of several varieties but we went on to Saugatuck, a pretty resort town I had somehow never been to. We ate lunch outside at a cute new diner called Grow. Clever food (my fresh take on a Michigan salad had Israeli couscous as well as pulled chicken, dried cherries, goat cheese and greens. Dirck had excellent fish tacos (which I don’t usually like but these had batter fried white fish, which provided some crunch and a good cause that kept them from being dry.)

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We hope to stay on our return trip at a cool Airbnb in fennville (“modern cabin in the woods”) that was booked. Next time. There appear to be some cool retro motels that are affordable. Just saw our first birch trees. Now I know we are up north!!

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