The Cherry Capital?
We hit a couple brew pubs around Traverse City (we have a list of Michigan micrbreweries and check off the ones we've been to and northwest Michigan is one area we hadn't tried yet). Also stopped by to see my nephew's home he just bought near Grand Traverse Bay. He and his wife live up there year-round. Lucky them.
Traverse City bills itself as the cherry capital of the world. And they're also popular around this time of year as a morel mushroom hunting destination. Wendy and I didn't have time to hunt morels in the wild. But I was hoping to sample some cherries and/or morels at the restaurants we visited while we were there.
So at the first restaurant we tried, we asked about dessert. Mmmmmm, cherry pie we were expecting but the waiter said they only had fruit cobbler. Mmmmmmm, cherry cobbler. Even better. But no. The waiter said it was mango berry cobbler. No cherries. Okayyyyyy. This is Traverse City, right? The cherry capital of the world, right?
The next day Wendy and I stopped for breakfast at the Greenhouse cafe downtown, a place we overheard is locally renowned for its fresh fruit. Wendy ordered that for breakfast. It was fresh and delicious. There were pineapple, melons, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries . . . but again no cherries. Again, this is in downtown Traverse City . . . the cherry capital of the world.
No morels either again. I was hoping for a mushroom and cheese omelet, but the special that morning here was an asparagus and cheese omelet. Asparagus! Who wants asparagus with their omelet? Or with anything else for that matter?
OK, we know where to get some cherry pie. The Grand Traverse Pie company headquartered here also has a an outlet in Ann Arbor where we've visited often. We find a local GT Pie company cafe later but it's CLOSED! It's not even nine o'clock in the evening. In Ann Arbor, they're open till at least nine. We do find a restaurant that serves fruit cobbler later but they only have raspberry fruit cobbler.
Again, this is in Traverse City . . . the cherry capital of the world.
My nephew earlier recommended the Stella Trattoria in Grand Traverse Commons, which formerly housed the state mental hospital but now is being converted to shops and housing. Very trendy and a place that prides itself on using products from local farms. They even list the local farms that supply their produce, meats, cheeses, etc. on their menu
So I check out their specials, hoping for maybe a cherry tart or a morel mushroom soup. But the soup of the day? It's cream of asparagus!! I think Traverse City is really the asparagus capital of the world. They just don't advertise it because it wouldn't draw the tourists as much.
OK, so I had the cream of asparagus soup. Not bad. And the ambience was interesting, being that this was the former Northern Michigan asylum. In fact, I commented to Wendy that the paintings on the wall reminded me of Van Gogh's work done during one of his more psychotic episodes.
As, we wandered around the cavernous building later I wondered whatever happened to all the residents who once resided there. You can't just close the doors of an asylum, can you? My guess is they're working for the local tourist industry.