As colder temperatures start to turn the leaves multiple colors in Michigan, many Michiganders are heading up to Traverse City to view the magnificent landscape and beautiful autumn scenery. My mom and I decided to take a trip up to Traverse City before it gets a little too cold. Many wineries are not offering indoor seating and are still relying on the great outdoors to keep their customers happy and COVID from spreading. On this trip, I was able to explore a total of five new places! Plus, a couple of the same old ones that we visited on our last trip, which can be viewed on our previous post called, Traverse City: Our List of Best Places To Drink Michigan Made Wine, Cider, and Craft Beer.
The first on our list is Boone’s Prime Time Pub, which is a staple in Suttons Bay, just 15 minutes outside of Traverse City. Boone’s is known for their HUGE portions, and their Massive Bloody Mary. This bloody mary is the cure to all hangovers. Served in a 32oz mug, this cocktail is loaded with a hamburger slider, a buffalo chicken slider, three onion rings, fried pickles, stuffed olives, and celery sticks. My mom literally gasped as this cocktail was being brought over to our table. For $19.99, this cocktail is a meal in it’s self.
Downtown Suttons Bay is filled with shops and restaurants. One of our stops was Murdick’s fudge, which is a slice of history in Mackinac Island. In 1887, father and son sail makers, Henry and Jerome “Rome” Murdick, were commissioned to create canvas awnings for the new Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. With the Murdick’s arrival to the island came Mrs. Henry Murdick (Sara) and her confectionery skills and recipes. In 1887, Mackinac Island’s first candy shop opened as Murdick’s Candy Kitchen. To learn more about the history of Murdick’s Fudge, visit their website here.
Next, was wine tasting! I have never been to Leelanau Cellars, but I am obsessed with their red and white sangria and their Witches Brew. They have two new flavors with the release of their Witches Brew mulled wine. Pumpkin Spice and Apple Spice Witches Brew. Originally, the Witches Brew wine is a layered and aromatic celebration of traditional spices. This mulled wine is best served warm for those chilly nights.
I was really excited to try Suttons Bay Ciders because I have heard nothing but good things about their ciders. Some are traditional, but they also like to create funky ciders. The view overlooking their outdoor patio was breathtaking. Trees wrap around the outdoor patio, and there are perfectly places to sit outside, overlooking the trees and water. I can only imagine how beautiful it is drinking cider outside once the trees fully change. Pictured is their Smitten, Mosiac, Highlander, and Cherry Fest. My favorite was their mosiac cider, which is a “semi-dry cider flavored with the floral notes of Mosaic hops infusion. The character is light and tangy. A multi-year award winner.” To learn more about their Fall offerings, visit here.
After drinking and eating for most of the day, my mom and I were exhausted and so full. We checked into our hotel room and contemplated what we were going to do for dinner. Instead of the traditional dinner, because we were so full, we opted to try to Poppycocks for dessert and coffee. Brittany and I have been to Poppycocks before and we LOVE their desserts. Pictured below is their chocolate and nut torte.
The next day, we woke up hungry and ready to concur the day. My mom chose Red Spire Brunch House, which is perfectly placed in the old insane asylum aka The Village at Grand Traverse Commons. I opted for their traditional Benedict, which was served with THICK slices of ham. The waitress told me that the next time we come back, that we have to try the Red Velvet Pancakes.
After breakfast, we walked around the Village and explore boutique shops, and debated on signing up for a haunted night tour. Apparently, the village is haunted. Yeah, no surprise there. We decided to go outside, so my mom could see what else the village has to offer. After seeing Left Foot Charley (my favorite place), she insisted that we go there next to try a wine and cider flight. I can’t argue with that logic. Left Foot Charley is doing things a bit different these days because of COVID. They have decked out their outdoor patio to make it very welcoming.
Pictured above from left to right is the Luthier, 2018 Island View Vineyard Pinot Blanc, Red Drive, and a new Blanc Apple cider. The difference in the Island View Pinot Blanc and the Old Mission Pinot Blanc is how the grapes are stripped. The Island View Blanc was a little more dense and aromatic in flavor, while the Old Mission Blanc was crisp and light. I almost compared it to drinking water because it was that light. Dangerous!
After Left Foot Charley, my mom wanted to dropped off at the casino to place her bets. I had no idea that there were two casinos near Traverse City (Turtle Creek and Leelanau Sands). After dropping her off, I decided to stop by a winery that Brittany and I had tried and fell in love with . Tabone Vineyards is located on Old Mission Peninsula. Tabone has been growing wine grapes on Old Mission for approximately 2 decades, before they decided to open their own winery.
Last year, Brittany and I visited Tabone Vineyards and fell in love with their wine and their featured wine cocktails. Last October, Tabone featured a spiced mulled wine. At that point, Brittany had never tasted mulled wine before. After taking a sip of mine, she ordered her own cocktail and two bottles to go. The mulled wine was created by using Tabone’s 2017 Estate Red Wine and a Mulling Spice Muslin Bag from the Spice and Tea Merchants. The difference in the 2017 and 2018 Red Wine is the tannin level in the 2017 is stronger and more noticeable than the 2018.
You can find the Mulling Spice Bag here.
After a day of wine tasting, it was time to switch things up. The last time that I had visited Workshop Brewing was on a Beer, Bike, and Kayak Tour that took place years ago. I think Traverse City is still allowing these tours to continue as long as social distancing procedures are put into place. I saw a couple groups of people carrying the same purple string bag. The tour is really fun, but if you are drinking a lot during the tour, the physical activity during it can complicate things. Workshop Brewing is a good example of how well a business can flourish during a national pandemic. The food and drinks are all ordered online by scanning a QR code on your phone. Orders are brought straight to your table. The outside patio is evenly spaced out, so I did not feel uncomfortable sitting outside at all. After checking out the brewery, I browsed a couple boutique shops that are located right next door at the Warehouse MRKT.
A trip would not be complete without a trip to Moomers Homemade Ice Cream. Featured above is their ice cream flight. Chose five ice cream flavors of your choice and enjoy. My favorite out of the flight was their Pumpkin Chip ice cream. This pumpkin flavored ice cream is packed with pumpkin chip cookies. Yum! My second favorite was the Cookie Monster, which consisted of vanilla ice cream with Oreo cookie pieces and chocolate chip cookie dough pieces. Third was the mint chocolate chip, fourth was the hot cocoa, and the fifth was the class vanilla flavor. Moomers has a TON of flavors to chose from, so make sure you check out their flavors on their website first.
The next day, we were scheduled to leave Traverse City, but there were still two places on my list that i needed to visit before we left. Mundos Roasting and Co. was on the top of my list to get a good cup of coffee. I was not disappointed. This cafe has beautiful latte flavors, and robust coffee flavors from their selected sourced coffee from around the world.
My mom even got a coffee, which I was very impressed. My mom only drinks Folders coffee, so the fact that my mom actually liked a coffee from a new coffee shop speaks volumes to me. This just shows that Mundos has coffee for everyone. Even if you like Folders, or if you consider yourself a coffee snob. It’s perfect!
Lastly, my last and final place that I wanted to visit, which was Taproot Ciders. Since our last trip, I have been trying to find some of the ciders that I had tried and fell in love with. If you know of anywhere in Michigan that I can find this cider below, please let me know in the comments!
Pictured above is Uncle Johns Sidra De Tepache, which is a Sweet and Mexican style cider fermented with pineapple, re-fermented with apples and finished with cinnamon and clove.
Picture is taproot’s loaded nachos with shredded chicken. The nachos are layered with a queso cheese, pickled jalapenos, onion, and a corn salsa.
That concludes are last trip to Traverse City, atleast until the hotel prices go down. Tip: Always check on Groupon during the winter months as some hotels have prices as low as $79 a night.
Until next time foodies!