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Farmers cheese, egg, onion or mashed potato-and-cheddar pierogies are sautéed in butter and onion and served with kraut cabbage, pork ribs and polish sausage. Verna Bartnik has made them from her Polish grandmother’s recipe for the Thursday special for more than 20 years.
Old Mission Tavern, 17015 Center Rd., Traverse City, 231-223-7280
They’ve been sending people out the door with butcher paper–wrapped marvels for 30 years, but number 25 on their famous sandwich board still gets our vote: sliced London broil, imported Asiago, fresh portabella mushrooms and onions are grilled and topped with lettuce and Donna Folgarelli’s mom Marge’s Italian dressing on homemade rosemary ciabatta.
Folgarelli’s Italian Import Market, 424 W. Front St., Traverse City, 231-941-7651
This cool and dreamy sour cream, black pepper and blue cheese-laced indulgence induces nostalgic oohs and ahhs when poured over a crisp iceberg wedge.
Mode’s Bum Steer, 125 E. State St., Traverse City, 231-947-9832
The bar got a little reputation revamp, the soup did not: it’s still the delicious burger-laced beet potage it always was.
The Cabbage Shed, 198 Frankfort Ave., Elberta, 231-352-9843
These golden-rich puppies are fried longer than regular doughnuts for that caramelized crunch on the outside.
Johan’s Pastry Shop, 565 W. Mitchell St. Petoskey, 231-347-3815
Tourists and locals alike come for the big portions of slow roasted rib. Go red-blooded or turf it up with shrimp, perch, snow crab or lobster.
Boone’s Long Lake Inn, 7208 Secor Rd., Traverse City, 231-946-3991
Let’s see—green chile sour cream, shredded cabbage, pico de gallo, guacamole and grilled mahimahi tucked in warm corn tortillas. What else can take a cool day in March straight to beach season?
Scott’s Harbor Grill, 12719 SW Bay Shore Dr., Traverse City, 231-922-2114