2 Menu Items Worth Trying at the Red Ginger

Red Ginger in Traverse City

After hearing so much about the Red Ginger restaurant in downtown Traverse City, it was about time to check it out. I was meeting a few friends and looking forward to a fun time. The atmosphere was fun with a nice design and flow to the space. It was a weeknight and the restaurant was mostly  filled with professionals having drinks and dinner after work.

Table Top at Red Ginger in Traverse City

SERVICE

The server was polite and not hovering. He was there when we needed him and we felt comfortable taking our time and catching up.

FOOD

The reason for the Red Ginger’s excellent reputation. The food was presented beautifully and it tasted  as delicious as it looked.

PRICE

There are items on the menu that seem a little high, but there are plenty of choices to order on a budget as well. It’s just one of those places that you could spend more than you hoped to if you’re not paying attention.

 

Sesame Chicken at Red Ginger in Traverse City

From the Red Ginger Menu

Kung Pao

wok tossed white shrimp, chicken, sugar snap peas, carrot, peanuts also available with shrimp, chicken, local organic tofu

Lettuce Wraps at Red Ginger in Traverse City

Minced Chicken in Lettuce Wraps

minced chicken breast, shiitake mushrooms, Chinese vegetables, hoisin sesame sauce, crisp lettuce jammers may be prepared with locally made organic tofu for vegetarian option

I had the Kung Pao and my friend had the lettuce wraps. Both were excellent.

Ambiance at Red Ginger in Traverse City

 

Red Ginger

237 EAST FRONT STREET

TRAVERSE CITY, MICHIGAN 49684

231-944-1733

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Man cave, meets garage, meets warehouse-Workshop Brewing Company in T.C.

Grand Traverse View Reviews the Workshop Brewing Company Traverse City MichiganThere’s a lot of testosterone in this place. And creativity. Filled with authentic industrial pieces, this warehouse space is home to the Workshop Brewing Company’s tap room.

It’s like the man cave, meets garage, meets warehouse. Some of the tables are actually constructed of table saws with glass tops. The sign on the wall looks hand-made with a simple logo that I suspect some of the guys behind the bar had a hand in. Even the lighting is a reflection of the ingenuity that creates this masculine and inviting decor.

Grand Traverse View Worksho Brewing beer bottle light fixtures

The menu board offers a nice selection with a range from light to dark plus several bourbon barrel brews. The bartender was helpful in our decision making. I find it’s often challenging to narrow down to just a few in a place like this.

Grand Traverse View Workshop Brewing menu

The Beer

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Michigan Breweries- From the Farm to the Growler- Brewery Terra Firma Does it All

A late afternoon stop to experience Brewery Terra Firma was just what the doctor ordered. My brother was up visiting for spring break and I almost never get to spend time with just him. I am lucky to see him quite often despite living in different parts of the state, but I can’t remember the last time it was just he and I. So it was really nice to be able to stop in and have a beer with him for some one-on-one time. We went to Terra Firma because I had been there before, I knew right where it was and that the beer would be great.

The Terra Firma tasting room sits along side a country road just outside the Traverse City shopping district surrounding the mall area. It’s only a couple of miles out-of-town, but it feels like you are way out in the country when you’re there. Terra Firma (Latin for “solid earth”) is actually a farm, brewery and a tasting room. They grow everything they need to make beer right there on their own property.

The tasting room is in the big yellow barn with a big wall of windows overlooking the hops field which currently lies dormant as it is still early spring in Michigan. We were greeted by these two lovely ladies who gave us all the details.

GrandTraverseView.com's list of Michigan Breweries- Terra Firma Tasting Room

Terri and Kristina at Brewery Terra Firma Tasting Room

Although we didn’t meet him today, John Niedermaier, who is a Traverse City native is the Brew Master. He has years of experience (some at Traverse Brewing Company and some at Right Brain Brewery) and supposedly to date, over 1,000 personal recipes for beer. It would take some time and dedication just to taste that many beers, let alone to actually be the one brewing them. While John has that many brews under his belt, you will find no more than forty to taste at the tap-room at any given time. Still, that’s quite a lot.  Today there were twelve. I tasted three.

GrandTraverseView.com's list of Michigan Breweries- Brewery Terra Firma Tasting Room

The Beer

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Spires in the Outfield- A trip to Grand Traverse Commons

It’s a Saturday morning in April, and while it’s a beautiful sunny day here in northern Michigan. It is still early spring so it’s still not quite beach weather yet. If it were, I might grab a coffee and a book and head down to the bay for a little while. Instead, there’s an indoor farmer’s market at the commons that I have decided to check out.

If you’re not familiar with the commons, it is the area of town that was historically the grounds of the Traverse City State Hospital. You may hear it referred to as The Mercado, The Old State Hospital, Building 50, or more formally as The Village at Grand Traverse Commons. I’ve heard it referred to most (by locals) as The Commons.

When you’re driving north into Traverse City on US Route 31, (when you are near Meijers grocery store) if you look up you’ll see the red spires peeking out over the fields and above the treeline. Today,the tall pointed peaks stand out against the bright blue sky pointing the way. To get there, continue past the intersection at Fourteenth Street and turn left onto W. Eleventh street.

Red Spires at Grand Traverse Commons

Just past the State of Michigan Offices, go straight through the four way stop and up toward The Commons. You can go straight up to Building 50 and park around the circle drive, or you can turn left and go around back. I parked in the front and entered through this door to the center of the Mercado.

Front entrance to The Mercado at Grand Traverse Commons

Center Entrance off the Front Entrance

Back entrance to The Mercado

Back Entrance to the Left End of The Mercado Hallway

Around the back, you’ll find more parking as well as some other businesses that have established themselves in what appear to be the restored out-buildings from when the original hospital flourished. There are two entrances to the Mercado from here, one at each end, and these are more difficult to see especially if you don’t know where you’re going. The key is to look for the red signs. They are painted the same red color as the spires.

The Mercado is an indoor marketplace that now inhabits the restored lower level of the main building. Partly underground, with it’s pale yellow brick walls, it feels a little bit like a secret underground tunnel. But the sun shines in brightly through the windows and creates an ambiance that is warm and refreshing at the same time.

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Inside view of The Mercado at the Commons

As soon as my eyes adjusted to the lighting (after coming in from the bright sunshine), I was drawn to some fresh greens and couldn’t help but to stop for a photo.  Believe it or not, Continue reading

Bud’s – Memories of Summer Camp at Interlochen, Michigan

I grew up camping in Interlochen. One of the places that we use to stop at every year was Bud’s Resort Service. It was the place to go for souvenirs, fishing tackle, the daily newspaper and donuts. Bud’s is a different place today. You can still get the souvenirs and the donuts. And they still have newspapers, but most people enjoy the WIFI and connect to the outside world with their own device these days. You cannot get tackle or live bait at Bud’s today, but go there one time, and you’ll be hooked.

Buds Interlochen

Reminiscent of the past

If you’re fishing for a healthy snack or something for your sweet tooth, you’ll find something to satisfy at Bud’s.

Chocolate chip and cherry chunk cookies at Buds in Interlochen

Bakery items

Fresh squeezed orange juice and yogurt parfaits at Buds Interlochen

Fresh squeezed orange juice and yogurt parfaits

Eat in, or you can take it back to camp with you. They ask that you please call ahead for special orders or more than two dozen donuts if you’re feeding a crowd.

Special order baked goods at Bud's Interlochen

Special order baked goods

Looking for a specialty coffee drink? The Mocha Chiller is my husband’s favorite. I mean his absolute favorite. To be clear, his favorite frozen mocha drink EVER comes from Buds. Continue reading

Simple Sandwich Satisfies

We were busy running around town and wanted a quick and easy lunch. I just wanted to feed the kids but wasn’t up for the whole event of a sit down restaurant and didn’t want to feed them fast food either. Leone’s would be perfect.​

Leones Ice Cream in Traverse City

Located on 14th street just behind the football stadium, Leone’s​ has been a Traverse City landmark for many years.  It’s a simple soft serve ice cream shop.  Plus they have simple deli style sandwiches and hot dogs. When I say simple deli style, they are more like lunch box style.  Deli’s aren’t usually that simple anymore with artisan this and artisan that.  You know what I mean. Continue reading

Long Lake-Taylor Township Park

Spend a day at Taylor Park with friends and family for good old fashioned fun in the sun.

Taylor Park Long Lake

Taylor Park on Long Lake

The park is located on North Long Lake Road in Traverse City, Michigan just across the road from Long Lake Grocery. Long Lake Grocery, an up north classic, is a nostalgic sort of place with creaky wood floors and lots of charm. They have cold refreshments and make sandwiches and pizza. Many people who live on the lake enjoy the convenience of the public dock and pick up their pizza from their boat.

Pizza pick up from Long Lake Grocery

Pizza pick up from Long Lake Grocery

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I’ve been Chasing Rainbows-You’re in for a Rare Treat!

There are many great things about Traverse City.  One of them is that you can be downtown, and in just ten short minutes you can be out in beautiful rural farmlands.

There are small hobby farms and micro farms that supply local foods, as well as larger production farms. The main crops grown in the area are apples, grapes and cherries (Traverse City is known as the Cherry Capital of the World).

You’ll find locally sourced foods on the menu in restaurants all around the area.  This local emphasis is a contributing factor in the growing reputation of Traverse City being a Foodie Town.

I visited a farm today that offers a commodity you probably won’t want to eat.  This Iris Farm is open to the public when the flowers are in bloom.  They also grow Day Lilly’s.

To get there from downtown Traverse City, you head west on M-72 about ten minutes. The Iris Farm is on the right. And when it’s in bloom, you can’t miss it.

Out in the Iris field Traverse City Michigan

Out in the Iris field

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Springtime on Spider Lake

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Spring brings such wonder if you look close enough.

Pussy Willow Blossoms

A few days ago, this was a pussy willow bud just opening up.  Today it is bright yellow and upon closer look it is quite beautiful.    Don’t you think?

I posted it to my facebook page and a friend pointed out that it is actually called a catkin.