Thursday, December 29, 2016

My Favorite New-to-Me Places to Eat and Drink in 2016

As 2016 comes to a close, it's time to reflect on the most important things in life, food and drink. Although I have plenty of favorite restaurants that I visit on a regular basis, I do like to try new places, especially when traveling around Michigan. Here are a few of my favorite restaurants and bars that I experienced for the first time in 2016.


Tenacity Brewing

Tenacity Brewing
I visited Tenacity Brewing in Flint one afternoon this fall. It had just opened for the night, so I was one of only a few customers. The brewery is in an old firehouse along the Flint River, and it has a great atmosphere with a few different rooms and outdoor seating to sit back and drink. I tried a flight of beers and was impressed. The Farmer's Daughter IPA was very good, and their Oktoberfest was smooth. The highlight was their dark wheat, and I purchased a growler of it to go.

An empty flight
Bell's Eccentric Cafe

Bell's Brewery is the godfather of Michigan craft brewing. Larry Bell and his team started brewing in Kalamazoo more than thirty years ago, and Michigan's craft brewing revolution was born. Even though most of their brewing occurs in nearby Comstock, Bell's still brews on the original site in Kalamazoo, and they serve beer and food next door at the Eccentric Cafe.

Bell's Eccentric Cafe
Despite being a Bell's fan for years, I had never been to either of their breweries. The Eccentric Cafe lived up to my expectations. I had an excellent burger as well as a couple of delicious beers. After finishing my meal, I stopped at the Bell's General Store, which sells t-shirts, homebrewing equipment, beer glasses, beer (of course), and more. I picked up one six pack of the Oracle Double IPA and a mixed six pack of Bell's beers.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Things to Do with Kids in Marquette

My family visited Marquette at the end of August, and my two young daughters (age eight and four) loved everything about it. With its many parks and its location on the shores of Lake Superior, Marquette is a great vacation destination for kids.

Shiras Park and Picnic Rocks Park

When we first arrived in Marquette, we immediately headed to the beach. Even though my daughters are used to the warmer waters of the inland lakes near Detroit, they bravely swam in Lake Superior's cool water at Shiras Park's beach. We practically had to drag them out of the water because they were having so much fun. After they swam, we let them play on the playground at Picnic Rocks Park, which overlooks Lake Superior and is directly next to Shiras Park.

Presque Isle Park

A view from Presque Isle
The highlight of our trip was Presque Isle Park. Presque Isle is a 323-acre city park on the north side of town with several foot trails through its forests. My daughters managed to walk the roughly 2 miles around the perimeter of Presque Isle. They loved the views of Lake Superior and frolicking in the water by the Black Rocks as my wife and I took turns jumping from the cliffs.

Marquette also has a lot of indoor activities for bad-weather days or days when parents don't feel like dragging young children around nature trails.