Monday, June 6, 2011

The Traverse City Restaurant Scene is Hoppin'!

So, here's the deal folks:  Recently, out of pure curiosity, I "Bing-ed" 'Traverse City Restaurant Reviews.' There was no shortage of big-name sites willing to offer me "user submitted" or "first hand account" reviews from "loyal patrons" of Traverse City restaurants.  This did not surprise me.  TC is a vacation Mecca within my beautiful Michigan.  People from all over the world flock to the white, sandy shorelines, the waters glistening with every imaginable shade of blue and the truly diverse and amazing art scene and night life that Traverse City has to offer.

So, you can understand my shock and disbelief when I opened one of these so-called expert travelogue sites and found that the first review was for the writer's delicious trip to.......Wendy's.

Yes, Wendy's.

Now, being a part-time father figure to my beautiful fiance's two lovely children, I have, on more than one occasion, been cajoled into pulling through the "drive-thru" of some unfortunate little establishment where grade F meat goes to die (under heat lamps or in our gullets). 

While I appreciate (and have partaken in) the necessity of fast-"food" during a college road trip or the convenience of a McDonald's burger while sprinting through some five mile long airport attempting to catch that connection your airline so graciously gave you 10 minutes to meet, I can not stand the fact that I opened a Traverse City restaurant review site and found a generic fast-food joint ranking high amongst the area's "best."

And so, I set forth here to remedy that!

As an ad-man (in PR and Marketing) in TC, I look with fondness upon McDonald' that is.  They have some very strange, creative fare in far-away lands. 

But, as a freelance journalist who has traversed the grand expanse of Michigan, this wonderful nation and Central America (I lived in Guatemala for two amazing years), I can certainly claim that I know a thing or two about adventure.  The very first thing that I will tell you about adventure is that you have not experienced a place until you have experienced its food.  I mean TRULY experienced its food, on a local level, in a place where you will never be able to experience such food ever again.  I'm talking about the sort of experience that not only brings you amazing cuisine, but a truly unique atmosphere and a local charm that will stick with you forever; a true Blue Heaven of Key West sort of thing.

In that vein I dedicate this blog to the truly outstanding restaurants, wineries, breweries, bars, eateries, holes-in-the-wall and "Blue Heavens" of the Grand Traverse Region and beyond. 

My opinion is strong, I know what I like.  I am laid back and easy going (a real Jimmy Buffett kind of guy!), but I will not hesitate to relay a poor experience. 

If this offends, please accept my advice to use the things that I write as a learning experience and a guide to a better restaurant and all-around experience.  Please also note that my opinion is my own, formed in my own mind (oftentimes with the help of my strong-willed, extreme foodie of a fiance) and reflects my own experience.  Your experience may vary greatly from my own.  This blog is to be viewed as a guide, a set of suggestions and experiences, not food law written in digital stone.

Most of all, though, I hope to convey the rich beauty and eclectic wonder that sometimes hides within a Traverse City foodie experience.  Granted, many wonderful foodie experiences await you without seeking them and you lovers of Traverse City are well aware of that fact.  However, TC is full of hidden gems, ones that could be easily missed.  It is my intention to write on both of these topics, as well as the experiences that you should most certainly NOT partake in, as, unfortunately, TC has a few of those as well.

Thanks for reading!  I look forward to this journey.....and to the food!  And, as always, eat, drink and experience, it's what life is all about!

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