Finally Finding Your Short’s!!

There’s something to be said about the changing of the plan.  Occasionally it favors one in a way most pleasing….so food and beer and the distant hope of trout streams blossomed into an oft-thought-of-never-executed opportunity for rainy road trip happiness…..ROAD TRIP TO SHORT’S BREWERY!!! Shortsfirsttime08292014 002

We have friends who live near this prolific beer magic and they have proclaimed the wonderfulness of the food here, too.  Even though I’ve completely enjoyed the Huma Lupas and the Soft Parades by the bottle at home, i didn’t think it could live up to the pre-game hype of a direct pour from the tap…at the source.  I’m happy to admit that I was WRONG!!  Huma is even more fragrant and crisp coming straight out of the fresh batch unleashed that very morning and poured into my tasting flight and ultimately into my new Short’s growler…WOO HOO!.Shortsfirsttime08292014 016Shortsfirsttime08292014 018

The Tampenade is good, nice mix of olives and generous with the garlic, which I love.  It wasn’t as salty as i was expecting, and I really enjoyed it’s subtle flavors.  The hummus is really good (I wanted to say superlative, but my wife remotely persuaded me to change the wording.)  It tastes a bit like some of the local brew was tipped in.  Simple yet deep in flavors…you’ll be happy to get some of this.  Our order came with a LOT of pita points…perfect balance of points to dips.  Four different dips with really good bread to dip in at that price point is a huge draw.  Like you needed a good draw outside of the amazing beer.Shortsfirsttime08292014 011

The Feta Cheese dip made a big hit at our table.  And I quote “I could take a bath in that….”   I guess you either get that or your don’t….passionate is an understatement, I am sure of that!  The feta garlic and other spices make this one a “dive in” favorite.

The red stuff is a cherry/berry jam with a nice jolt of cayenne/pepper so the sweet gets set back with a spicy finish.  It’s unique and goes well with a bit of the stronger cheeses like sharp cheddar or a real Bleu….Shortsfirsttime08292014 015Shortsfirsttime08292014 013

Trying the beer was fun for us because we’re still new at the “beer tasting” thing.  We know enough to order a flight of whatever they’re offering, but have trouble figuring out which beers sound/look the best when looking at the long list of options on the menu. .  Hoppy Pale Indian American Belgian Ale Ale.  Let your head out of the way and let your palate and your heart guide you.  If you know what you like in a beer, just ask your server and they’ll be happy to guide you to a great choice.

We seem to have really good luck getting the best server when we visit a place for the first time.  Short’s Brewery was no exception.  We got set up with Nate.  He was there at the appropriate times with subtle yet complimentary answers to my obviously loaded questions (how can you not have an opinion about this place and the service before you go in after reading all the reviews and judging for your self how great the beer is)…he put us right at ease and made the whole experience perfect.Shortsfirsttime08292014 009

Can’t wait to go back and try a samitch or three….

I was told they may start carrying the Growler Koozies at the Merchandise Store next door someday….stay tuned and hopefully you’ll be able to order them right here!


My recommendation?  Stay the hell away from here, so you don’t take up my parking space….. 😉

Short's Brewing Company on Urbanspoon

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Posted by on August 29, 2014 in Restaurant Reviews!


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2 Day Ferment…Homemade Pizza Dough Rocks!

Thanks again, Peter Reinhart…your dough recipe is amazing!  Just some simple organic King Arthur unbleached all purpose, home-concocted sauces, mozzarella mushroom and a wee bit of onion.  Yay Pizza!




These tasted mighty fine…there’s nothing like homemade pizza pie to sooth the soul!  A special thanks to my official taste tester for all the compliments.

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Posted by on June 20, 2014 in Home Cooking!


The Painted Lady Saloon Manistee, Michigan

The Painted Lady Saloon Manistee, Michigan

Painted Lady Saloon 011We’ve discovered a not-so-secret place to eat that’s got good food.  Food that evokes  fond memories and the good feeling of real home cooking.

The Painted Lady is an historic site according to some.  The interior is comfortingly up North – plenty of good trophy mounts throughout including some amazing fish.  It’s a refreshing change from a wall full of flat screens, and yet they still have enough of them to allow the real fans a good eye-full from pretty much everywhere in the place.  Cool!

Painted Lady Saloon 002The real reason we ventured this far off the beaten path of US31 and M55 was the positive feedback we’d read on Trip Advisor.  Apparently The Painted Lady is known for a few tasty dishes, so I had to go for the Broasted Chickens.  I am so glad I did.  True to many reviewer’s accounts, this is some seriously fine dining, old school food.  There’s nothing pretentious here.  The service is amazing.  It’s so refreshing to be treated well as a new customer.  Painted Lady Saloon 005


The Painted Lady has an amazingly eclectic feel to it…purple and laid back from the exterior, then you walk in the door and step back into the late 19th century with a modern twist.  It’s really cool once you get to sit down and look around.  The people who work there seemed to be genuinely happy to be there..TGIFridays could take a lesson or two from these walls. I was fortunate enough to get the dreaded “Squirrel Above The Head” table*.*… I liked the squirrel.  And the boar.  And that insanely huge Steelhead…take a moment to soak in the views. Up, sideways, down, over there.  It’s a fun place to just look around.

It’s worth your attention.  It’s one of those places that will take you back…back to a place you’ve either heard about or possibly remember.  Either way, it’s worth the trip.


Old Fashioned Food.  That’s what I’d call it.  What I remember my Grandma making or serving in a good way,
and I’m 54 winters this year.  She made really amazing food, so for me to make the comparison is huge.  Your Grandma made amazing food too, didn’t she?  Try the Painted Lady for some tasty chow…I hope you have an amazing experience like I did!Painted Lady Saloon 008

Mrs. Snausy got the Chicken Fried Steak…she seemed pretty pleased.  She did enjoy a bite off my plate and agreed it was some mighty fine chickens!Painted Lady Saloon 003

**This squirrel was mentioned in a negative comment on a not to be mentioned review site.

For the record….I like the squirrel on the wall.

<a href=””><img alt=”Painted Lady Saloon on Urbanspoon” src=”; style=”border:none;width:130px;height:36px” /></a>

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Posted by on April 26, 2014 in Restaurant Reviews!


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Early Bird in Leland!

It  surely seems like a long time since I wrote about food – I guess giving your Dad up to Jesus can be like that.  I haven’t forgotten all the amazing meals I’ve shared with my Pop, though…so to “get back in the saddle” you get to hear about a breakfast kitchen in Leland.The last meal I made for my Dad was breakfast, and I’m sure he’d approve of this Early Morning food.  The Early Bird has enough kudos about being next door to the other place, so let’s keep our focus on the place and the food at hand….

earlybirdsideThe parking lot is perfect in ratio to how many people might fit in the dining area.  If you can’t find a spot in the parking lot, drive around the block a few times and check out Leland.  A spot across the street will  put you in an old-fashioned grocery store, but let’s stay with the Early Bird…if you get there at the right time, youl’ll be rewarded for your effort.

Located in quaint “downtown” Leland, the Early Bird resides on the main street of this lakeside settlement..  Having hiked on North Manitou, I can say that breakfast at the Early Bird may be the last civilized meal you have for a while if taking on that challenge.  My last meal there did not include a visit to the Island, but my experience eating breakfast rivaled some of my favorite memories of this really cool restaurant.

I’ve marveled at some of the reviews of he Early Bird.  I’ve eaten here a sum total of two times.  Each time the service has been spot-on.

Nicole, our server, is one of the most efficient I’ve encountered in a long time.  She was our server the last time we were in the Early Bird way too many months ago, and I remember her passion for taking care of us then.  Normally I don’t rant about service, but when it’s this good I like to tip my hat and say thank you….Thanks,Nicole!


I asked, and it’s true – the hollandaise is not made fresh.(Thanks for telling the truth!)  That being said, I’ve eaten Eggs Benedict a lot of places and a lot of different ways, and to say that Early Birds’ rendition that day was amazing is an understatement.  The ingredients, including the perfectly toasted english muffin and thinly sliced smokey pork, went with the most perfectly poached egg I’ve seen at a restaurant in a long time.  Kudos to the cook staff at this place – they put passion into the meals we ate and the flavors proved it.


Again, apologies for my camera – this food looked WAY better than these shots convey. Good luck with the menu pics.


The Early Bird is a cool place to hang out and eat really good breakfast food.  Nothing outrageous here, just good breakfast in a fun little town.
Early Bird Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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Posted by on February 8, 2014 in Restaurant Reviews!


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Thanks to The Wok Shop again!

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Posted by on February 8, 2014 in Home Cooking!


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2013 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,400 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 40 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Posted by on January 3, 2014 in Uncategorized


Simple Things


Sometimes the simple yet mouth-watering, fresh and artfully made foods make life simply grand.  Honey crisp apple, Delice De Borgnone, Harlech and some yummy butter wheat crackers…

Bob appetite!

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Posted by on September 21, 2013 in Good Food