Sunday, October 21, 2012

Dockside Party Store

Northern Michigan has become a veritable art project, thanks the most colorful of all seasons - Fall.

The foliage is on fire here in Northern Michigan. That's right, it is that time of year where folks from all over the state, nation and world (literally, not joking here) pile into their cars and traverse the veritable oil painting that is the Grand Traverse Region. Fall has arrived, in other words, and people are taking to the road.

This showcase holds some of the very best Fall roadtrip food in all of Traverse City!

Now, when I take to the road with family and friends, not just any old lunch break will do. Despite my childhood roadtrip nostalgia being firmly and irrevocably attached to the Golden Arches, I am simply not a fan of the fast food option being the only go-to for roadtrippin' fare. But, I'm also not a fan of pulling myself out of some amazing location, discovered whilst simply following some random road, just to locate some eatery somewhere that will do. Oh no. It is for that reason that I choose to hit the road with some supremely amazing fare stowed safely within the big red cooler resting on the third row of seats. And, when it comes to the perfect fall roadtrip in Traverse City, the Dockside Party Store is one of the best accompaniments that I have yet found. 

My go-to, everytime, the BLT wrap.

For me, there's nothing like pulling up on some remote beach or following some obscure two-track into the Fall explosion that is the woods these days, parking, snagging one of Dockside's BLT wraps and just kicking back and enjoying the sounds and sights that nature has to offer. That first bacon filled bite, combined with the crisp Fall air, the sound of crunching leaves and the feel of utter stillness envelopes one completely. It is a supremely satisfying affair!

Don't neglect the dessert section of the homemade offerings' case.

Now, if you're not much for bacon, have no fear. These guys have something for everyone. Let's cover some of the highlights right now, shall we?

Jerky. One of the many reasons folks love Dockside. These guys cater too!

To begin with, this joint is a hunter's paradise. They offer some amazing homemade jerky. This stuff is beyond delicious and an awesome source of energy for that huge hike, drive or hunt you're about to embark upon.

They also serve up some yummy pizza slices.

But, the highlight of this place has always been the wraps and sandwiches available.

As I said a few times, the BLT wrap is simply divine, dah-ling. But, it's not the only thing these guys do right.

Mainstays at Dockside include the Cherry Chicken Wrap, the regular Chicken Wrap, the Chicken Cordon Bleu Wrap, the Turkey and Swiss Wrap, the Turkey and Cheddar Wrap, the Asian Chicken Wrap, the Veggie Roll-Up, the Greek Gyro Pita and some excellent sub and sandwich choices, including an outstanding egg salad offering. 

From local Traverse City wines - pictured here - to the more familiar offerings, Dockside has a grand selection of vino.

If you're plotting a Fall trip that includes a pit stop the likes of which I described earlier, a sort of Fall picnic, or maybe an overnight excursion to that most iconic of Fall dwellings - the cabin in the woods or on the lake - have no fear! Dockside offers an ample supply wines, both local and non, fine and just-fine.

The beer room, nicely chilled, filled to brusting with a grand selection of craft brews.

Along with the wine, Dockside also brings it quite well in the beer department, devoting an entire room (cooled quite well) to single bottles of brew.

And, as this is a "party store" after all, Dockside offers every accoutrement necessary for that wrap, sandwich or slice you've picked out, including some grand local chips, the usual plethora of party store fare and some delicious homemade dessert options.

From the familiar to the not so familiar, Dockside in Traverse City has the perfect side or drink for you!

Fall is, without a doubt, my favorite time of year. And it is places like Dockside that make Fall so very epic for me. So many towns suffer from a lack of amazing prepared food. So many folks must hit the road with subpar offerings tucked into their gullets. Not here in Traverse City.

When the leaves change and the weekends are dominated by the ultimate roadtrip, for me, there's no place better to begin this ultimate celebration of the season than at a place like Dockside!

(All photos by Brooks Vanderbush)

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