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Wednesday, July 30,2014

‘Dark Horse’ rising

Mid-Michigan brewery gets national attention with History Channel reality show

by Allan I. Ross
Spirits were high last Sunday at Dark Horse Brewing Co. in Marshall. Beneath a ceiling full of dangling beer mugs, families ate lunch at the high-top tables and couples sat at the bar quaffing craft beer. Owner/brewer Aaron Morse was nowhere to be seen — he had just wrapped up an appearance at the 17th annual Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Festival in Ypsilanti the day before. Otherwise, though, it was business as usual, with one little proviso: In about 48 hours the little brewpub 45 minutes southwest of Lansing would have its national television debut — and with it, lots of curiosity seekers.
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Wednesday, July 16,2014

The gluten challenge

How the rise in gluten-free dining options helps more than just celiac sufferers

by Danielle Welke
You may have noticed the term “gluten-free” sneaking into restaurant menus and choices for the items at the grocery store in the past few years. Given the small percentage of Americans (about 1 percent) who suffer from celiac disease, the condition that causes gluten allergies by preventing the body from absorbing parts of food that are important for staying healthy, you wouldn’t think that gluten-free fare would have such a demand. However, as non-celiac people find that gluten-free diets give them a healthier gut and a sense of better overall well being, gluten-free pastas, breads and other items are on the rise. If you don’t have a gluten allergy, though, what does it mean for you?
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Wednesday, July 9,2014

She ate: Full of color, bursting with flavor

by Gabrielle Johnson
There are few things I like better than a slightly crisped, lightly greasy corn tortilla wrapped around a fragrant, flavorful protein (al pastor, or marinated pork, is my favorite), a pinch of queso fresco (soft, white, crumbly Mexican cheese) and packing a little heat — preferably from a chunky, fresh salsa.
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Wednesday, July 2,2014

Delight of life

The Leelanau wine loop has grown into a world-class attraction

by Michael Brenton
Winery hopping through Leelanau Peninsula is beginning to feel a bit like traveling through Sonoma a couple of decades ago. Lots of scenic beauty, winding roads, friendly tasting room staff, wines achieving international recognition and a rapidly expanding roster of wineries. The Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association (lpwines.com) boasts 25 winery members, with more set to come next year. One can no longer plan to visit all the wineries in just a weekend — rather, plan for several extremely enjoyable weekends on the peninsula.
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Wednesday, June 25,2014

Keeping cool

Bath custard shop offers frozen treats, boating and slices of local history

by Gabrielle Johnson
Ice cream fans have it too easy — if you’re patient enough, a truck will drive right down your street and bring some to you. No, the real white lion of summer confections is frozen custard, the cold (but not too cold), rich (but not too rich) dessert, seemingly custom-made for mid-Michigan summer nights.
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Wednesday, June 18,2014


Farm bill gives mid-Michigan’s agricultural community a boost

by Michelle Bryan
Along a twisty dirt road in Westphalia, about a half hour northwest of Lansing, is K & K Dairy Farm. It’s right out of a Pure Michigan commercial: The rolling grass is a perfect shade of green up against ORGANIC a brightly painted apple red barn, adjacent to a farmhouse where visitors are welcomed by a sandy Labrador and an orderly herd of friendly of cows. Yes, friendly — they follow the farm’s owner Gregg Trierweiler around like giant puppy dogs.
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Wednesday, June 11,2014

He Ate, She Ate: Waterfront Bar & Grill

Waterfront Bar leads a thriving riverfront entertainment scene

by Mark Nixon and Gabrielle Johnson
Downtown Lansing’s Waterfront Bar & Grill is a work in progress. For those who have longed for a vibrant riverfront, including restaurants, the fact that Lansing now boasts a restaurant gracing the Grand River is indeed progress.
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Wednesday, June 4,2014

Festivals for the rest of us

Get in the spirit with festivals dedicated to Michigan wine and craft beer

by Michael Brenton
Summer is nigh, and that means celebrations of fermented juice will soon be in full swing across all regions of Michigan. In fact, some have already started. The Michigan Beer & Brat Festival over Memorial Day weekend showcased the growing vitality of the Great Lake State’s beverage producers. New Michigan wineries, cideries, meaderies and breweries continue to sprout up, boasting some awesome and creative beverages at the festivals.
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Wednesday, May 14,2014

She ate: Naan stop

by Gabrielle Johnson
The first time I went to Persis, my dining companion and I stopped in to try the $9.99 weekday lunch buffet. It was a bit later than the standard noon hour and the restaurant was virtually empty. We were seated and immediately grabbed plates and made our way down the line as I loaded my plate with tastes of almost everything.
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Wednesday, May 14,2014

He ate: Spice world

by Mark Nixon
It was as if I had stumbled into the culinary equivalent of a “Seinfeld” episode. You know, the famous break-up episode, where the breaker-upper tells George, “It’s not you, it’s me.”
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