Fine Food: On The Grill
Even though the luxury motorcoach lifestyle calls for a certain amount of dining out and experiencing local cuisine, the call of the wild still beckons for a good ol’ meal from the grill.
Whether you’re firing up the Hibachi or the Weber with motorized hood, infrared rotisserie and Italian tile backsplash, gathering outdoors and gorging from the grill continues to be the backbone of the camping experience.
Top-quality meats, poultry, fish and seafood, along with gourmet goodies to accompany a meal served al fresco, are abundant throughout Northern Michigan.
Here are a few recommendations of top-grade delis and markets for stocking up before the next grill fest:
Toski-Sands Market in Petoskey has one of the largest meat and produce markets, deli, gourmet foods and wine selections around. Stop here for tenderloins, standing ribs, steaks, Amish chicken, pork, lamb and veal, and seafood selections including fresh lobster, tilapia, sea bass, Tasmanian salmon, ahi tuna, whitefish, mussels, oysters, jumbo shrimp — the list goes on and on.
Toski-Sands carries all sorts of dips and spreads, salads, 10 varieties of sea salts, local products such as Breadworks bread, American Spoon Foods, Traverse City cherry products and more. More than 600 varieties of wine are on-site too, plus liquor and beer. Address: 2292 Petoskey-Harbor Springs Road (M-119), Petoskey; (231) 347-1571. www.toskisandsmarket.com.
Tannery Creek Market, also in Petoskey, is known for its fresh specialty cuts and top-grade Angus beef. The market also prides itself on using local beef raised to the owner’s standards and feed specifications, without antibiotics. Among its unique offerings are Jordan Valley bison for buffalo steak or burgers, duck and rabbit. Address: 210 U.S. 31 N., Petoskey, (231) 439-3663.
For those who prefer organic foods and locally grown produce, The Grain Train Natural Foods Market in downtown Petoskey is a favorite of locals and visitors. Since 1971 the Grain Train has offered natural and organic grocery and deli items, from produce and meats to packaged and bulk items, soups, breads and treats. There are also products available for those with special dietary needs, such as gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian. Address: 220 E. Mitchell St., Petoskey, (231) 347-2381, www.graintrain.coop
Fresh fish and seafood are available at Mankin’s Fresh Catch, just a short drive from Hearthside Grove. The whitefish is the freshest around and used by a number of local restaurants as well. Address: 2489 U.S. 31 N., Petoskey, (231) 347-3834.
With more than 600 wines and 300 beers and microbrews, The Fort at Ponshewaing is making a name for itself as a destination for wine connoisseurs. The 1946-built log cabin in the tiny town of Ponshewaing (don’t blink) was originally a restaurant but now is a beer and wine stockhouse, with brands and varieties from around the world and Michigan. Check out the unique selection of salsa while you’re here too; there are taste combos like raspberry chardonnay and pineapple chipotle. Address: 8947 U.S. 31, Alanson; (231) 439-0833, www.thefortatponshewaing.com.
For the perfect grilling sauces, visit American Spoon Foods, the Petoskey company known nationally for the finest fruit preserves and condiments. When it comes to grilling, impress your friends by using apple cider grilling sauce, cherry and mango BBQ or ginger-plum stir fry glaze. Mmm, pineapple chili ribs sound good; so does pumpkin-chipotle roasted vegetables. The options are endless; look online at www.spoon.com. The Petoskey retail store is located at 411 E. Lake St. downtown; (231) 347-1739. There are stores in Harbor Springs and Charlevoix, too. ML
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