Category Archives: Food Travel

Michigan Beer Documentary: Beer People

Michigan Beer Documentary Kickstarter.com

I am a big fan of promoting local Michigan Food related kickstarter.com projects.

Allen Torres is a Senior at U of M who is making a documentary about Michigan Beer called Beer People.

His needs and funding request is minimal at $750 and he is already half way to his goal with 10 days left.

If interested, please check out this Kickstarter.com Fundraiser Page

Traverse City Food: Black Star Farms Hearth and Vine Wine Bar and Cafe

Hearth & Vine is located on the scenic grounds of Black Star Farms in Suttons Bay, MI.

It is a food must for visitors in the area, especially for Michigan wine tasting tourist.

Their specialty is wood fired pizza (menu).

Wood Fired Goat Cheese Pizza

It was raining the day I went there, but you can see in the picture that there is outdoor seating.

Along with pizza, they offer sandwiches, salads and a potato dish that features Leelanau Cheese Company’s famous Raclette.

Italian sandwich:Prosciutto, coppa, salami, fresh mozzarella, pickled onion, arugula & balsamic reduction on ciabatta

Black Star Vinery’s tasting room is just up the hill and they also have farm animals for the kids to check out.

Can Hold Four Large Pizzas

Goat

Summer Hours:
Sunday, Monday & Tuesday: 11 – 6
Wednesday,Thursday, Friday & Saturday: 11 – 9
231.944.1297

Traverse City Fudgies

When I come to a new area to enjoy the food the question I ask is:

“What is the thing here?”

The answer for Traverse City Michigan is Fudge.

The tourist are called Fudgies by the locals. There are two popular fudge shops down town

Fudge shops always have samples

Doug Murdick’s and Kilwins have locations downtown Traverse City on Front street.

Andrea’s Farm Market Traverse City

I passed this place every morning on the way to drop off Emily for her art classes. The sign aways said sold out, so I figured that the farm had harvested all of thier fruit and were done for the season.

But today the sign was open again, so I stopped.

Rick Coors mans the fruit/berry stand next to his 1800′s craftman style cobble stone house. The fruit stand was the brain child of his daughter Andrea during a sleep over when she was 12.

Rick says that she had the idea to start a farm stand because the location of their house would work. At 12 years old, Andrea was started the business, which is around today.

Rick tells me that she is now a teacher of economics.

Andrea’s offers cherries, blueberries, apricots, and a variety of raspberry.

Get there early, because he usually sells out. They do not grow the fruit themselves. He’s got the location and the farmers have the fruit. The relationship works out great.

Rick says Andrea’s idea of the business was to sell out early so she could get to the beach by 1:00PM.

Andrea’s Farm Market
4872 Long Lake Rd
Traverse City Michigan

Old Mission Peninsula Traverse City

Traverse City Michigan is home to two bays that I split between a narrow Finger like Peninsula called Old Mission.

There was a light house at the top of the peninsula, so I figured that I would take a coastal drive and check it out.

I had no idea that the peninsula was a center of agriculture for the area boosting miles of a scenic cherry, apple and grape orchards including several vineyards with tasting rooms (look for my post on Black Star Winery).

Jim Sullivan’s Cherry Capital Farm Market road side cherry stand shown above offers three varieties of cherries including sour pie cherries, sweet red cherries and gold cherries, which I tried for the first time.

Jim also offers ice cream cookie sandwiches.

One of the fun features of Jim’s farm stand his cherry pit spitting challenge.

You have to stand behind the pole of his tent and successfully spit your pit across the double yellow lines on the road a distance of 30-35 feet.

Winners get a free ice pop. Loser, who cannot manage to get their pit over the white line have to pay double Jim jokes.

My first try landed my pit square in the center of the white line. Jim gave me a second cherry and I was able to at least get my pit past the white line. Rolling counts. Jim says many kids win the contest.

Traverse City Farmers Market

The weather is a great up here in Traverse City Michigan.

I will be here for the week as a tourist. The Traverse City Film Festival ends tomorrow and I will be trying to get to a few films. The plan is to go to the whole thing next year.

I also checked of the Farmers Market up here.

There was a guy selling shittake mushrooms and he displayed fruiting logs.
 I am jealous because I have been trying to get logs all summer to grow shittake.

The idea would be to bring the fruiting logs to the market and cut them off to order.

Fresh Sweet Corn is in season and I manage to get almost the last six ears.

Other things at the market: Cherries, blueberries, Fudge, chanterelles, first of the season peaches, all sorts of baked goods.

We are staying at the Camp ground on the cheap, so the plan was to cook most of our food on a small butane camp stove with dinners consisting of mostly pasta, but as fortune would have it, we have access to a full kitchen with a frig and an outdoor gas grill.

Dinner tonight was cheese burgers with excellent meat from the market and corn.
 Food events about town: Paella in the park, which is a food and wine fest with music

 

Michigan Food Blogger Camp

I have been fantasizing about going to food blogger camp ever since I found out about a few months ago.

A few dozen food bloggers get together to in some warm resort during winter to talk food blogs and eat.

The problem for me was the money, and besides, I would rather enjoy some local eats with fellow Michigan bloggers this summer during peak season all things being equal.

Ok. I would rather do both, but I still have not managed to win the lottery yet despite the three times I played this year.

So I am sending out some feelers to see if anyone out there would be game to attend/help organize the 1st Annual Michigan Food Bloggers Camp.

The idea is a weekend get together where we share our blogs, and discuss topics like photography, layout, video, promotion and branding.

And we cook and go out for good eats.

Jewish Deli World Tour: Flakowitz Deli of Boynton Beach Florida

Ann Arbor Food

I like to joke with Emily that I am waiting for someone to come up with the “Jewish Deli” diet for health and weight loss. That would be a diet I could stick too. If such a diet existed, it would be based on the offerings of several iconic NY style delis like Zabars in NY and Flakowitz in Boynton Beach Florida. These places are the real deal.

Flakowitz is located around the corner from my Father’s house in Boynton Beach. The place has lines to get in on most days and their deli counter is the stuff of legends. When my brother Andrew comes to Florida, he calls in his order when he gets off of the plane and picks it up first before going to my father’s house.

Ann Arbor Food

I grew up in NJ and like many NJ/NY Jewish exiles, we all crave good jewish deli food. So when we find it, we attack.

Yes, we do have Zingermans here and they do a good job with many items.

I was kind of at a disadvantage going to Flakowitz this time because I was just getting over a cold and I was trying to eat lighter. With that said, I did manage to get some great offerings.

The first was a cup of Matzoh Ball soup and a half corned beef on rye sandwich. Before you even start your meal, they bring out light marble cinnamon cake pieces cut into small cubes.

Why doesn’t every restaurant do that?

We were so taken by this light cake that we were thinking of making it to sell at the Farmers Market this summer.

Ann Arbor Food

Cake seemed to be a theme in Florida. We noticed that the Whole Foods in Boynton Beach featured a cake/dessert bar along with their hot prep foods.

I have never seen a dessert bar in any other Whole Foods.

We were back a few days later to get bagels and some items for a Deli take out lunch. Emily got a Knish and I got bagels, some white fish salad and a individual chocolate Babka.

Individual Chocolate Babka?

These folks are geniuses.

Other offering were smoked fish, kosher pickles, all sorts of NY style cookies, cakes and pastry, take out soups, Deli Meats and Bread and all manner of NY Jewish Deli-ness.

Tel. (561) 742-4144
info@flakowitzofboynton.com
7410 W Boynton Beach Blvd,
Boynton Beach, FL 33437-6156

My Visit to Louisville, KY: The Hot Brown Sandwich a Contender for Thanksgiving

Ann Arbor Food

The Hot Brown

LOUISVILLE – Not every town can boast its own sandwich like Kentucky’s Hot Brown, an open-faced turkey sandwich with bacon, tomato and Mornay sauce.

(What is Ann Arbor’s signature sandwich? I cannot think of one. Feel free to comment and vote for possible contenders. Also, for those looking for something different for Thanksgiving, this sandwich might do the trick.)

Many eateries in Louisville offer the Hot Brown, but arguably the best is at J. Graham’s Café, located at the Brown Hotel. It was invented in 1926 by Chef Fred Schmidt at the hotel, from which the sandwich takes its name.

“There are other items on the menu, but most come for the Hot Brown,” said Matt Wilcoxen, sous chef of J. Graham’s Cafe. “On busy days we sell about a hundred.”

A quick view of the tables at J. Graham’s reveals the signature oven-safe plates featuring a bubbling Hot Brown in front of all but a few diners.

For those interested in trying this sandwich, you better bring your appetite. This is not low-calorie fare. The first ingredient in the two-serving recipe is a quart of cream. And we have not even mentioned the cheese, butter, turkey and two pieces of bacon yet.

“It is so rich that many diners split a Hot Brown and finish off the meal with a salad,” said Wilcoxen.

Many visitors to Louisville feel that trying a Hot Brown is an absolute-must experience.

“It would have been a shame not to have it,” said Jeff Beck, a guest of the hotel, who was in town to attend a wedding. “It was very unique. I recommend it.”

You can tell if people like their food by how quiet they get when they are eating. Eating a Hot Brown left one Voice staffer speechless.

The traditional Hot Brown is made with turkey, but you can substitute country ham. J. Graham’s Cafe also features an Egg Florentine version for breakfast.

The Legendary Hot Brown Sandwich Recipe

Recipe courtesy of the Brown Hotel Serves two (or four)

2 ounces whole butter
2 ounces all-purpose flour
1 quart heavy cream
1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, plus 1 tablespoon for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste
14 ounces sliced roasted turkey breast
2 slices of Texas toast, crust trimmed
4 slices of crispy bacon
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced in half
Paprika
Parsley

In a two-quart saucepan, melt butter and slowly whisk in flour until combined and forms a thick paste (roux). Continue to cook roux for two minutes over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Whisk whipping cream into the roux and cook over medium heat until the cream begins to simmer, about two to three minutes. Remove sauce from heat and slowly whisk in Pecorino Romano cheese until the Mornay sauce is smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

For each Hot Brown, place one slice of toast in an oven-safe dish and cover with seven ounces of turkey. Take the two halves of Roma tomato and set them alongside the base of turkey and toast. Next, pour one-half of the Mornay sauce to completely cover the dish.

Sprinkle with additional Pecorino Romano cheese. Place entire dish under a broiler until cheese begins to brown and bubble. Remove from broiler, cross two pieces of crispy bacon on top, sprinkle with paprika and parsley and serve immediately.

Ham variation: Substitute equal parts country ham for turkey.

Egg florentine version: Substitute four poached eggs, one bag of frozen spinach (thawed, liquid squeezed out), and six artichoke hearts pieces for the turkey.

Follow the recipe for the turkey version, but instead of turkey, place half the spinach on the Texas toast. Place two poached eggs on top of the spinach and plate three artichoke heart pieces on the plate. Add the rest of the ingredients and broil.

Chicago Zine Fest Trip

This is a quick food tour from my Chicago trip. Why was I in Chicago? I was there for there Chicago Zine Fest. Zines are self published mini books (booklets) that are usually printed via a photocopier or a home printer. Before there were blogs, twitter and facebook, there were zines. I have been creating a zine called Soup which is a four panel a day, diary comic of a seven month span of part of my life in Portland, Oregon. I spent most of my time running around Chicago at the event, but managed to get some good eats, and see a few things. I still have not had a Chicago Pizza in Chicago yet. Here are some pictures, and shout outs about some cool places to check out.

Garrets is a Chicago Institution. It is a popcorn shop, that makes fresh carmel, butter, cheese and chocolate popcorn. I have the Chicago mix which is a combo of carmel and cheese. They hand mix it for yah.

My second food stop was America’s Dog. Chicago is probably the Hotdog capital of the world. America’s dog was great. They feature hotdogs from around the USA. I had the traditional Chicago dog which came with tomatoes, sports pickled hot peppers, relish, and a pickle. It is good, but for a purest NY dog guy, of spicy mustard and kraut, it was different.

America Dog featured a map of the USA with the accompanying hotdog by state/city/region

This is a plush roast beef that I saw at Quiby’s Bookstore. Quimby’s sponsored the Zine Fest, and is a great independent comics, graphic novel, and zine outlet.

A plush Ham. There is a plush, and fabric craft movement around creating cute replicas of food. Check out a future post for pictures and stories about the plush food scene.

Here is a picture of me at the Chicago Zine Fest with some guy I just met who was wearing what I think was a bunny costume.

Other places:

Red Hen Bread: Good bread, pastry and Coffee

Renegade Handmade: Fun craft store