Throwback Thursday: Traverse City’s Sugar Sand Miracle Mile


lfc2 Don Harrison of UpNorth Memories collects and sells vintage postcards from Northern Michigan and is pretty much a Throwback Thursday every day! He called this postcard to our attention for the ratio of 7 Traverse City restaurants to half a million annual visitors. Quite a change to today’s restaurant/tourist mix!!

He writes: When my wife Karen Harrison and I went to Florida for a week last month, we visited with Phil Balyeat (photographer of this card), who is a handsome, happy 98 year-old Great Guy from TC, still taking high quality photographs, driving, enjoying life and is someone who still has a way with the gals! Here is a FUN look at a pre-Pure Michigan Travel and Tourism Card!

traverse city cherry blossoms

Blessing the Blossoms (and vineyards) in Traverse City

“After a winter like the one we just had, I think we vinters can use all the help we can get.”
~ winemaker Robert Brengman

Asking for help from a higher power is something probably as old as agriculture itself, and something that goes back generations here in Traverse City. While the blossoms are being held up by the new “Endless Winter” plan we are apparently operating under, we hope that things will return to normal soon and offer these upcoming events as a ray of hope.

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A’s Food with an Accent coming to Little Fleet

Antonio-Simao-As-Food-with-an-AccentAntonio Simão aka “A” says, “When I asked my wife Kim, ‘Will you marry me?’ she said ‘Only if you move to Traverse City.’ I asked where that was and she raised her hand to show me the map.”

Twelve years later, he’s still in Traverse City and gearing up to open A’s Food with an Accent at The Little Fleet. Antonio started his culinary career at a family restaurant in Portugal when he was 17 and then spent 16 years working on cruise ships and traveling the world.  With his daughter grown and off to college, he’s done working as a home dad and ready for a new challenge. Read more

Riesling vineyard, Mosel

Seeking the heart of Riesling on Chateau Chantal’s #DeutschlandExpedition

April is Michigan Wine Month, and many wineries are taking advantage of the national media focus on one of TC’s hottest industries to try and take their wine further. Going the furthest in one sense are Chateau Chantal Winemaker Mark Johnson and Director of Hospitality Brian Lillie. The pair have begun “#DeutschlandExpedition” – their quest for the perfect Riesling pairing in the heart of Riesling country in the Mosel and Rhine Valleys.

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Chef Jonathan Dayton of Black Star Farms

Traverse City Chef Profile: Jonathan Dayton of Black Star Farms

April is Michigan Wine Month, so for our latest chef profile we went out to Black Star Farms in Suttons Bay to talk with their executive chef Jonathan Dayton.

Chef Jonathan Dayton of Black Star Farms

Chef Jonathan Dayton of Black Star Farms

His Start in Cooking

Jonathan said that as with many of us, his mother was the first cook he worked with. “My mom was always in the kitchen, and I always right there beside her. She was a fun, crafty kind of chef who didn’t cook too much out of boxes or cans, and we were always going to the store and picking out fresh ingredients.

“My first job was at Schweitzer’s By the Bay as a dishwasher at 16 years old. As soon as I got in a kitchen, I fell in love with the atmosphere and restaurant life pretty quickly – the camaraderie and teamwork and how there was always something that kept you interested and busy.” Read more


Wild Food Wednesday: Common Blue Violet

Spring Speak - Violet by Ken Scott

Spring Speak … violet by Ken Scott

Michigan is the second most agriculturally diverse state in the U.S. and that diversity doesn’t stop at the market! Our woods are alive with tasty and nutritious food if you know where to look. In our Wild Food Wednesdays we’ll tip you off to seasonal goodies that you can find around TC and give you a recipe or two so you can enjoy the meal as much as the hike to find it!

We’ve been waiting impatiently for the appearance of actual spring here in Traverse City, and although winter’s grip is starting to loosen, it may be that a little poking and prodding is in order. On our spring break trip to North Carolina we got a taste of spring and violets and we couldn’t resist sharing this delicious and soon to come woodland edible with you! (and yes, we know it’s not actually Wednesday)

In many years, we will have seen Viola sororia (Common blue violet) in the woods and often in our lawns by now. Violets can be found in a variety of soil conditions, from moist and even swampy deciduous forests to drier forests (though not usually near pines). The flowers and young leaves are delicious!

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