A Squared: Food, Wine, & Shopping in Petoskey, MI

Monday, August 19, 2013

Food, Wine, & Shopping in Petoskey, MI

As you know from last week's post, I recently spent a long weekend up north in Michigan with my family at my mom and dad's cabin. We spent most of our time there and the only time we left the cabin for any significant amount of time was for a day trip to Petoskey on Saturday. I had so much fun reliving childhood vacations on our day trip to Mackinac Island last summer that I asked if we could do the same again this year. Petoskey is a super cute little town in northern Michigan on Little Traverse Bay. It is full of adorable shops, restaurants, historical buildings, and lovely water views. It actually reminds me a lot of Traverse City. As an aside, I'm currently reading Middlesex (have you read it? OMG!) and a major plot point happens right here in Petoskey, so it was interesting timing for our visit for sure!

My sister Libby a.k.a. Anna Kendrick. No pictures, please.

There are some really great stores in Petoskey-- especially ones that specialize in food. As you can see in the photo below I returned to Chicago with a ton of foodie swag. I'll be sharing recipes and updates on some of these products with you as we start using them.

One of the places I knew I wanted to check out while visiting Petoskey is American Spoon. It's one of my favorite Michigan food stores and I love it so much that I will be sharing more details about the store and their products with you in a later post.

We also stopped into Fustini's, a shop specializing in gourmet olive oils and vinegars. It's a very similar concept to Oh Olive! here in Chicago, which I have told you a little bit about before. I love tasting all of the different products and am always so fascinated by the flavors they're able to pack into them. I especially loved the Herbes de Provence olive oil (which is one that Oh Olive! does not carry), so I picked up a bottle and I can't wait to start cooking with it! Alex also grabbed a bag of lemon chive fettuccine and a package of gourmet grilling season.

I was killing some time waiting for my sisters as they were trying on dresses and I wandered into Symon's General Store. I don't know what I was expecting when I walked in here-- maybe an old school dime store with vintage toys and penny candy? It was not that. Symon's is a boutique grocery store whose tiny shelves are stocked with some truly amazing products. They have a little deli counter in the back of the store and they carry a wide variety of exotic spices and baking products, gourmet chocolates, and craft products like pastas, marinades, dips... I could go on. And could have bought a lot more stuff here if I weren't flying home. They also call out which products are made locally in Michigan, which is awesome for tourists like us.

As far as what we ate during our visit, I had some surprisingly tasty coconut-crusted grouper tacos at a little pub called the Noggin Room, located on the lower level of the historic Stafford's hotel. It's a no frills bar and restaurant with a great selection of craft beers, local wine, and some pretty good pub food.

And apparently I was really craving coconut that day because when we stopped at Kilwin's candy store on our way out of town I opted for a cup of toasted coconut ice cream.

Finally, those of us that are of age (and that enjoy wine) stopped into the Mackinaw Trail Winery tasting room. I love wine tasting and it is one of my favorite Michigan activities. Mackinaw Trail isn't new to me-- in fact, Alex and I tasted a few wines at their Mackinaw City location last summer. It was fun to sit down and do some tasting with my mom and sisters this time. As you can see, Alex was excited about being the only guy in attendance-- and excited about my photo opp too.

Mackinaw Trail offers a pretty wide variety of wines including some fruit wines that we sampled. I tried some cranberry wine, that was surprisingly tart and less sweet than I was expecting. Michigan is known for its Rieslings, so it was no surprise that Mackinaw Trail had a few really solid ones to sample. My favorite of the five that I tried though was their Cabernet Franc. It's pretty bold for a Michigan red wine and I would have picked up a bottle, but they were selling them for $50 at the tasting room. Here's a little fun fact for you: it's $30 at their online store.  Check it out!


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