Monday, August 3, 2009

Monday Munchies: American Spoon Foods

Today was Mom’s last full day in northern Michigan, and I wanted her to experience something that she wouldn’t find back in Louisiana. So, after much deliberation about places like Traverse City and Hartwick Pines State Park, Dan and I finally settled on taking her to Petoskey – a posh Michigan resort town alongside Little Traverse Bay. A favorite among tourists and Michiganders alike, Petoskey is about an hour’s drive from where we live, and Dan and I have been there many times.

So, Mom was excited about today's trip to this wonderful little town. The three of us arrived in the afternoon, and despite the overcast sky, we relished strolling amid the quaint shops of the Gaslight District, gazing at the sailboats in Bayfront Park Marina, touring the historic homes of nearby Bay View, and checking out the mushroom-shaped Odawa Casino. After shopping for jewelry fashioned from Petoskey stones (Michigan’s state stone, a lovely grayish-brown fossilized coral with a distinct honeycombed pattern), we headed up Lake Street in downtown Petoskey for a late lunch at the American Spoon Café (413 E. Lake St.).

Founded in 1982, American Spoon Foods has earned acclaim for its locally made fruit preserves, salsas, relishes, grilling sauces, and other condiments. Today, American Spoon has six stores in northern Michigan, plus the café and gelateria, which opened beside the original store in 2001. Open daily, the American Spoon Café is a delightful eatery that features some of northern Michigan’s finest local ingredients as well as American Spoon’s most popular products. Dan and I had eaten there before – and though the service had always been slow, we hoped that Mom would like the food as much as we did.

The menu had changed since our last visit, but our meal was nonetheless delicious. Mom ordered a blue cheese buffalo burger, Dan had a smoked turkey panini, and I tried something a little different. Besides some refreshing tart cherry lemonade and a cup of tomato-parmesan bisque – both of which I’d previously sampled – I ordered a grilled cheese duo, which included a sourdough sandwich with smoked mozzarella, red onion, and American Spoon Red Pepper Relish, plus an amazing bruschetta with blue cheese and American Spoon Apple & Onion Jam. Normally, I don’t like mixing sweet and salty ingredients, but I’m glad I took a chance on this dish - truly a winning combination.

Although we passed on gelato, plenty of families were crowded around the glass display case, choosing from two dozen awesome flavors – some of which Dan and I had tried before. After the scrumptious meal, we headed next door to the American Spoon store, where we taste-tested all manner of condiments, from Black & Blue-Berry Spoon Fruit to Ginger Plum Grilling Sauce. Everything we sampled – including their new apricot and cherry jammys – was fabulous.

So, if you ever find yourself in Petoskey, Michigan, I highly recommend stopping by American Spoon. You can’t go wrong with yummy treats made from locally grown produce. And, no, American Spoon is not paying me to say this! Though if they were willing, I’d settle for a lifetime supply of their products. That’s fair, right?


Stephanie Faris said...

American Spoon Foods, what an interesting name for a restaurant! It kinda looks like a place that used to be here called HRH Dumplins. I loved that little place!

Becky said...

I hope your mom has a nice trip back to LA.

Laura Martone said...

Hi, Steph! Yup, it is an interesting name - makes me want to eat, that's for sure. I'm sorry that Dumplins is no more - it's always a bummer when a favorite spot closes up.

Oh, and thanks, Becky - I just dropped Mom off at the airport a little while ago. Hope her flight goes well... flying still makes me nervous.

Jane said...

Hi Laura,
My name is Jane and I'm with Dwellable.
I was looking for blogs about Petoskey to share on our site and I came across your post...If you're open to it, shoot me an email at jane(at)dwellable(dot)com.
Hope to hear from you soon!