Cousin Jenny’s, Downtown Traverse City

Ordering at Cousin Jenny's in Traverse City

One of downtown Traverse City’s oldest restaurants is still one of my favorites. It’s the first restaurant I can remember visiting in Traverse City. The food is always fresh and you’ll always get friendly service.

Cousin Jenny’s specializes in Cornish Pasties which are delicious flaky pockets of pastry filled with steak, rutabaga, potato, onion, salt, and pepper. This is the food that workers who imigrated from Cornwall, United Kingdom to Iron Mountain, Michigan packed for lunch while working in the Copper and Iron mines. Today, the tradition lives on. Continue reading

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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

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

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