Friday, December 30, 2022

‘Dinner’ + The 'Long' Route to Charlevoix Michigan

…continuing with our late summer road trip to Michigan and beyond.  Despite the current weather, it’s nice to remember warmer times… The ‘dinner’ portion of this post took place in Petoskey Michigan.

We’d had a substantial lunch so our goal this particular evening was something a big lighter in a casual dining venue.  How was I to know that the 2 different sides of this establishment were indeed very different?  We had to wait for a seat…

To avoid a longer wait, we accepted 2 seats at the bar.  That’s when we discovered that perhaps we’d strayed a bit from our original thoughts as regarded our evening meal.  But, now we were committed and the idea of waiting any longer for a table was quickly dismissed. 

We found ourselves in the Pour Kitchen and Bar instead of the Tap 30 Pourhouse.  The bar at Pour Kitchen is impressive with almost endless options.  

The dining area in Pour Kitchen is small but it was very busy indeed.  The most significant differences between the adjacent Tap 30 Pourhouse and the Pour Kitchen and Bar are found in their menus. 

While Tap 30 Pourhouse offers such basics as Chicken Wings, German Pretzels, Burgers, a Chicken Sandwich and an Italian Beef Sandwich, they do get a bit more exotic with Truffle Cheddar Fries, a Sweet and Sour Lettuce Wrap and a Roasted Lamb Rice Bowl.  Even with the more exotic offerings, Tap 30 Pourhouse is a conservative dining option as compared to its sister establishment next door.

Pour Kitchen and Bar’s dinner menu starts out with Sushi varieties, then migrates into Oysters, a Farm Board Charcuterie, Sweet Potato Curry, an Australian Lamb Rack ($48), Wagyu Coulotte ($48) and Day Boat Scallops. ($42.00) The menu does include a Poke offering, a pasta dish and a Wagyu burger.  Let me say, this menu wasn’t what we expected…

For an appetizer, we ordered the Shrimp Pipián. ($24) Pipian, aka green mole, is a sauce used in Mexican cuisine that is made with pureed greens and then thickened with ground pumpkin seeds.  It was very attractive and tasty but we weren’t overwhelmed by the number of shrimp.

As for beverages, I ordered water with lemon but Laurie decided to try the Moulin D’issan, a 2018 Bordeaux wine from France.  It was described as having ‘juicy flavors of black cherry, red plum and cassis, earth and cigar ash.  A 6 oz. portion was $16…but I noticed that the restaurant’s on-line menu now shows it for $14.  “Earth and cigar ash”…really?

What to order next?  We needed something else to tide us over until the next morning.  Our choice was the Salmon Sushi Roll. ($19) It featured cold smoked salmon, avocado, shishito, cucumber, scallion, tobiko and spicy mayonnaise.  FYI, shishito are small sweet and slightly smokey peppers from Japan.  Tobiko is the roe from a flying fish species.

There is no doubt that Pour Kitchen and Bar is upscale and it has an imaginative menu.  Given the pricing however, for us this level of dining is reserved for special occasions.  To learn more about Pour Kitchen and Bar in Petoskey Michigan, go to  To learn about the adjacent Tap 30 Pourhouse, go to

After checking out of our hotel the next morning, we stopped at a local bakery for our morning repast.  I had determined that I wanted to explore the area a little more and, as a consequence, we took the ‘long route’ to Charlevoix Michigan.  Normally, it’s only a 17 mile drive from Petoskey but I’d chosen a 30 mile variation…

Along the way, just a tad off of US Hwy. 131, we came to Walloon Lake Michigan.  The lake is narrowly separated from Lake Michigan but it is connected to Little Traverse Bay by the Bear River. Europeans first settled the Walloon Lake area in 1872 when it was known as Bear Lake.  The original post office was named Bear Lake but that name was already in use elsewhere in Michigan.  The name Walloon Lake was suggested by a local butcher after he saw the name on an old railroad map.  It is speculated that the name came from a group of Walloons from Belgium who had settled in the area many years earlier.  The ‘town’ has a population of only about 270 residents…

Ernest Hemmingway’s parents built a cottage on Walloon Lake in 1899, the year that Ernest was born.  His mother, the children and a nurse or nanny would pack up the necessities for the summer and then take a ship north to Harbor Springs.  From there they would take 2 different trains to a depot at Walloon Lake.  Then the family would take a boat across the lake to their summer home.  Not a simple trip!  Ernest’s father, a practicing doctor would make the trip to the cottage several times each summer but the rest of the family spent all summer here.  As a teenager and as a young man growing up, Ernest Hemmingway spent many summers in the area.  Ernest and his first wife actually honeymooned at the family cottage.  Today, the cottage is a National Historic Landmark.

Given the sign indicating that the Walloon Lake Inn had been established in 1891, I ‘had’ to take a photo.  I have since learned that the Inn serves as a fine dining venue as well as a special event destination…such as for weddings.  The restaurant’s menu is very nice…but it rivals Pour Kitchen and Bar as regards cost…so it’s not a place for a casual meal.

…and then we spotted the old time Walloon Lake Hotel.  Wrong!  Faked out again... This old looking hotel is actually a new structure that was built to look old and to fit appropriately into the surrounding community.  The Hotel Walloon was built in 2015.  It has 32 spacious guest rooms, private balconies and elaborate front porches.  This boutique hotel is Northern Michigan’s only privately owned AAA Four Diamond Hotel.  To learn about accommodations and rates, go to:

The original Hotel Walloon was opened in the 1890s.  In 1900 the “New Walloon Hotel was built near the town’s steamer dock.  In 1905, the Village had a boat livery, 3 stores, a post office and 2 churches.  Cottages popped up as northern retreats were likened to today’s beach vacations.  Part of Walloon Lake’s attraction is its laid back atmosphere as compared to nearby Petoskey and Charlevoix.  

Our next waypoint was in Boyne City Michigan, a town of about 3,800 residents.  First settled in 1856, Boyne City is located at the eastern edge of Lake Charlevoix, 14 or 15 miles from the City of Charlevoix and Lake Michigan.  Boyne City was the home of the White Lumber Company, which owned the Boyne City, Gaylord and Alpena Railroad.  The railroad brought forest products to the lumber company.  At one point back in the 1970’s a tourist train operated from this depot.  That attraction used old English locomotives to pull the trains.

Time to eat our goodies and drink some coffee.  The view of Lake Charlevoix was interesting with a couple of fishermen working along the shore and a boat trying to avoid a rain squall.  Lake Charlevoix is not a small lake.  It has 56 miles of shoreline and it covers 17,200 acres.  There is an outlet from this ‘safe harbor’ for small boats via a small lake and the Pine River.

I just liked the ‘look’ of this large building along the shore of Lake Charlevoix in Boyne City Michigan.  I believe that it is a marina/clubhouse that is associated with a waterfront condominium community.  Note the pool at the right of the photo.  A rain squall was coming in at the time…

Note: Not only does Michigan have lakefront shoreline on 4 of the 5 Great Lakes, it also has 10,031 lakes of 5 acres or more with 10 of those, covering more than 1,000 acres.

Whenever we take road trips, I do my best to find a ferry boat crossing somewhere along the route…or sometimes just a bit off the route.  This is one of the smaller ferries we’ve been on over the years.  The little Ironton Ferry operates during the late spring, summer and early fall.  It connects Boyne City and Charlevoix…a short cut…crossing the South Arm of Lake Charlevoix.  The second photo shows the opposite shore with it's ferry terminus.  The photo was taken  just after departing from the Boyne City side.

This cable ferry takes about 5 minutes to cross from one side to the other.  Cost is $3.00 per vehicle…and the “Charlevoix” only holds 4 vehicles at a time.  Operating hours are from 6:30 AM until 11:30 PM. 

The Ironton Ferry has been serving Lake Charlevoix since 1883.  But, as you can see, the original ferry was very basic indeed!  Note that by the time this photo was taken, a life boat was required for the safety of passengers and the crew.  There wasn't any room aboard so they just kept it tied to the ferry...

The current Ferry, the “Charlevoix” has been in service since 1927.  I included this photo so you could see just how small the ferry is... It makes about 100 crossings per day.  This ferry became ‘famous’ in 1936 when 'Ripley’s Believe it or Not' listed Captain Sam Alexander for traveling 15,000 miles while never actually being more than 1,000 feet from his home.  Alexander piloted various versions of the Ironton Ferry from 1900 until his death in 1948.

Note: As of 2018, Michigan had 18 ferry routes in operation, 13 of which carry vehicles.

That’s all for now… Next we’ll look around Charlevoix and little and then head south along Michigan’s west coast.

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave 


  1. I am not sure that Kitchen and Bar would be my choice if I wanted to dine outside....Not a drinker, the bar won't impress me at all, but I could live in a steak house :-)) The lake inn looks pretty nice. What are the goodies? Monkey bread and donuts? You sure need some very strong black coffee for these two sugary treat.

  2. Happy New Year to you and Laurie, Dave, and I hope it will be a happy and healthy one for all of us. Your travel and food posts over the past year have always been so informative and delicious looking too. Regretfully, I have not commented on all, but wanted you to know they have been read.

    One of my 2023 goals is to reduce time spent online to free time for other things.