Sunday, July 9, 2017

Dune Billies Beach Cafe: Open and already transforming the Canada Park Area of Michigan City!

In 2008 I moved into this neighborhood and have loved living here since. One of the fascinations was the building at the corner of Fogarty St., and Center St., in Michigan City Indiana. It is the perfect location and the point at which the lakeside community and the rest of Michigan City meets. I have adored this building and believed that some day it would be the perfect spot for whatever enterprise would snag the "great find!" Well, that moment has happened and after a few months of primping, perfecting and developing, Lisa Murray and crew has brought to this sweet, up and coming neighborhood, the quintessential corner deli. It is the Dunes meets Greenwich Village. Maybe in place of Dune Billies it should have been called Dunewhich. No,Dune Billies suits it just fine, as it is at the base of Bismark Hill, really a collection of three dunes that protects the neighborhood from the fervor and frenzy of Lake Michigan located just on the other side of "them, thar" dunes.
Guests can enjoy tasty sandwiches and wraps inside the quaint cafe, on the umbrella adorned deck, or they can carry out to their homestead or better yet, the beach which is less than 2,000 feet away. Ultimately patrons will be able to get basic staple items,as the menu and offerings expands. Until then the mix of breakfast and lunch sandwiches and wraps are more than to feed the locals and hungry beach-lovers. Current hours are 7a to 3p, 7 days a week. Dune Billies Beach Cafe 201 Center Street Michigan City, Indiana (219) 809-6592

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Shady Creek Winery Becomes The Cabernet with Lahm,Champagne and Rapier



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Shady Creek Winery welcomes back trio David Lahm, Steve Champagne and Mary E. Rapier for a night of wine and music. Guests will be treated to a wide variety of songs ranging from Beatles to Bacharach along with jazz standards and unique medleys. Guests are guaranteed a night of showstopping tunes and superb Shady Creek Wine. The trio is well known for their eclectic blend of keyboards, bass, acoustic and rich vocals. Come to the Cabernet! Tickets are $22 in advanced $26 at the door. Included in the price of a ticket is a glass of wine, small bites and music performed by David Lahm and Steve & Mary E.
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"This trio of professional musicians is an act you do not want to miss!! Their outstanding musical interpretations of a variety of songs are outstanding and a lot of fun, too! I am looking forward to seeing them again at this upcoming event." Jerry 




David Lahm is a jazz pianist, songwriter and accompanist who divides his time between NYC and his second home in Harbor Country. He and his late wife Judy Kreston had a very successful cabaret act in New York, collaborated on three albums and concertized at the Acorn Theater in Three Oaks several times, over their many years together. He has conceived and produced a couple of unique recordings: "Medleyfying: a Centennial tribute to Richard Rodgers" and two CDs featuring "Jazz Takes On Joni Mitchell." 


Over the last six years he has been, in his own words "very happy to have been able to work with some excellent performers in the Michiana area." This chapter of his career takes another step forward in his collaboration with Steve and Mary.


Mary E. has been singing for over three decades. She and her partner Steve Champagne were named Best Acoustic Duo in 2015 by the Kankakee Area Music Awards. For over 20 years, Mary E. has been a guest vocalist with Kankakee Municipal Band. Mary began her career singing standards, light opera, and Broadway. Since forming an acoustic duo with Steve in 2007, they have focused on a wide range of songs made popular between the 60s and 70s, and love bringing their music to the Michiana region.
Steve has dedicated his life to perfecting his knowledge of the Beatles and other favs. Some call him a walking jukebox the way he can recall lyrics, melodies, and overall style. He has been singing and playing guitar since his earliest memory. Together, Steve and Mary E. have hours of pop-rock play list along with standards.


Lahm, Champagne and Rapier -  is the newest endeavor of these three music lovers, and guests will be entertained with a whole new repertoire of jazz standards, new spins on old favorites, and songs that they love to perform. 


Tickets can be obtained through eventbrite or direct through snail mail (maryerapier@gmail.com) for address.


Contact us 

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Monday, June 19, 2017

Fire & Water: A Diamond On the Dune

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Welcome to Michigan City Indiana! Only a select few seem to know of the wonders that this magical place holds for travelers looking for a place to unwind, "create, play and repeat." Let me paint a picture for you...


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After a long work week you want nothing more than to escape the intense "City" heat and get out of the intense traffic that is often the case with Chicago and its surrounding burbs. Where do you go where you can still treat your family to a day in the sun without paying a fortune for fees, parking and food? You head east on the 80/94 corridor and come on into Michigan City Indiana by way of 12, 20 or 421. Michigan City is on the move and no matter which way you careen into the "City by the Lake" you will find at your journey's end the North End of this quaint home away from home Washington Park and sitting on the crown of this natural  resource is North Pointe Pavilion, the home of Fire & Water. 


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Fire & Water is the brain child of entrepreneur and Michigan City's social guru, Mohamed Mroueh. Moe as he is lovingly called has brought a taste of his homeland Lebanon and has enriched us all as a result. From the first time you meet him, you just know that this guy knows customer service. It is not unusual to see Moe walking around meeting and talking with his customers. 


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Fire & Water is located at 6 on the Lake and offers an upscale sandwiches, Moe's traditional hummus (the best you will ever taste), grape leaves, Baba ghanoush along with hamburgers, gyro's, fish tacos, pulled pork, jerk chicken and more. For those looking for an specialty cocktail or craft beer, you will find a full bar with professional bartenders ready to serve you up in style. 


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Beautiful views of Lake Michigan and breathtaking sunsets.  
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Perfect views from the rooftop invokes the photographer in you. Look for a perfect view of the Chicago skyline and see a sunset like you have never seen it before. Many who come here from tropical places say they never saw a prettier sunset. 

Keep your eyes on Fire & Water's facebook page for weekly events and specials. It is not unusual to have something extraordinary on Thursday nights so as to usher in the weekend in grand style. Additionally, every Sunday night there is *live music "Up on the Roof" ready to put to sleep a long weekend and kick off yet another amazing week here at the "City By the Lake." 


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*Sunset Sundays features local musicians Steve Champagne and Mary E. Rapier, known as Steve and Mary E., every Sunday night from 6:30 to sunset singing songs from the 60's, 70's and assorted light rock, guaranteed to make you smile. 

A few things to keep in mind: Food is ordered on the lower level which also offers comfortable seating. Food runners are on hand to bring food up to your table after ordering. There are also rooftop servers who can take your food order, you will pay upon ordering and availability varies. 

A couple things to keep in mind: Local residents have access to free parking by obtaining a parking pass. LaPorte residents who are outside the Michigan City city limits can obtain an annual parking pass for $25. (More information here)  There is a $7 fee to enter the park and utilize the secure parking and all amenities that Washington Park provides the recreational enthusiast. This charge is not imposed by Fire & Water. The North Pointe Pavilion is a part of the Michigan City Parks Department and as a result the fee is necessary to maintain the overall upkeep of one of the finest parks in Northwest Indiana and surrounding areas. For those coming from the Chicago-land area the $7 parking fee is a very affordable one when compared to the cost of parking in the city.  The Fire & Water staff has done a phenomenal job at keeping the cost of food and drink way below the normal fees found found at outdoor venues which truly does help offset the inconvenient parking fee that some tourists are charged to park. 

For more information go to Fire & Water and keep up-to-date about all the amazing things this venue and the North Pointe Pavilion at Washington Park provides you and your family.  
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Fire & Water : A Diamond on the Dune! 
6 On the Lake 
Washington Park, Michigan City Indiana 
$-$$ 
#MyMichiganCity can be #YourMichiganCity.



Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Zorn Brew Works; Don't Expect the Typical



Sometimes all it takes is for someone to look beyond the crumbling bricks, overgrown weeds and outdated properties to see opportunity and then put their ideas into action. So is the case for John Van Prooyen proprietor of Zorn Brew Works, Co.

His vision and enterprise have brought to life a historic landmark in the heart of Elston Grove, Michigan City Indiana. Zorn Brew Works Co., It is the brain child of John and his entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well. In many ways one might say he is channeling that same spirit that was found in the original owner of the business Philip Zorn a 19th century immigrant from Bavaria.




Guests to Zorn Brew Works can expect small batch brews, small plates (with the promise of a full kitchen in the near future) wine and new to the offering is local winery, Shady Creek. Zorn Brewing is unique in that it offers more than just their own brews on tap.



This wonderful addition to the North End of Michigan City brings to life an area that has suffered economically over the past couple of decades and is an important part of the Michigan City revitalization efforts of this bustling community. Not only does Zorn provide the perfect "third place" it provides opportunities for professional networking, live musicians and more to come.


Way to Go Zorn! We are so glad you are here. 


100 Washington Earns a 100% with Chef Cheryl Bernacchi



For those of you coming into the area for a summer get-away or maybe you have your boat down at the Michigan City Marina, you are in for an amazing treat! Northwest Indiana and the entire Michiana area are quickly becoming known for their gastronomic excellence and one of the newest members of the elite club is 100 Washington located at 100 Washington Street, Michigan City. It is located along Trail Creek and the Amtrak Station with glorious views of the lake. Even more spectacular is the outdoor cedar bar and comfortable seating that enhances the sensory experience that this ultra-modern establishment provides.

Jason Gatzka has taken his time in creating a well-crafted establishment. From the upscale patio to acquiring Chef Cheryl Bernacchi to a spot on bar he earns an A+. But, more than that is the "chill-esque" vibe of the dining room and New York state of mind events that keep the locals coming back for more. Kyle has committed to staying open year round and has embraced the locals as his cake with summer tourism as the frosting on said cake.


Make sure you stop in and allow time to relax with one of their specialty cocktails, fine wine, or sip a mint julep out on a fabulous patio.

Steve and Mary E's recommendation for visitors from the West - Board the Amtrak train to the Michigan City station right at the doorstep of 100 Washington and settle in for a night of food and folly. Or come in for lunch and then enjoy all that there is by foot throughout Michigan City. Hail an Uber and get a tour of #mymichigancity and see all that this wonderful hub has to offer. The $$ spent on a train to and from Chicagoland is way less than the taxes and parking that you will spend staying in Chicago. (Southshore line is a good way to travel too.)

One Hundred Washington

100 Washington, Michigan City, IN 46360, us


Hours

Monday - Thursday: 11am - 9pm
Saturday:11am - 10pm
Sunday: 11 am - 9pm


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

New Buffalo Bills Is Smokin' Good!

603 E. Buffalo St. 
New Buffalo, MI 49117 
(269) 469-9992 
It was a long time coming and I was told by a friend that I had to try New Buffalo Bills as soon as it was in full swing this spring. So today was the day. I happened to be in the neighborhood and suddenly got a hankering for some good BBQ. Fortunately NBB's was open and ready to serve. 

I think one of the things that got me hooked early on was the friendly voice behind the drive up. Because I hadn't really planned on sitting down to eat but, rather I did the easy, breezy thing and took advantage of their convenient drive-thru. I can assure you that now that I have enjoyed their fine BBQ I will be back and enjoy the fully remodeled restaurant along with a nice glass of wine to go along with my meal. So,  back to the friendly voice behind the drive up. The voice has a name - Jason. 

My order was placed: Beef Brisket Dinner and Texas Sausage Dinner. Each dinner comes with two sides, so I chose greens, cowboy beans, corn bread and potato salad. I pulled forward and was greeted by the "friendly voice." Believe me after a long day at work there is nothing more appetizing than great customer service. Jason assured me it would only be a minute and by gum, he was right! Quick, friendly service! Before I even tasted the cuisine I was hooked. 

The beef brisket was out of this world! It was flavorful, super tender and melt in your mouth goodness. The Texas sausage, while not my thing, was delicious. Steve, the sausage lover really enjoyed it. Personally I loved the greens. They were easily some of the best I have ever eaten. The cowboy beans are truly a meal all by themselves, especially when enjoyed with spoon-able corn bread. 

For those of you who are not meat eaters, no worry, there is plenty to choose from that does not come from anything that moos or oinks. One item that caught my eye was smoked tofu. I looking forward to trying it as well as their ribs and chicken. I guess there is very little need for me to fill my propane tank, acquire charcoal and set up the grill when I can travel down rt. 12 and let New Buffalo Bill's cook for me. So much goodness, such little time as the saying goes. 

The owners of the establishment have a long history in both nutrition and the culinary arts. All of the smoking comes from locally grown fruit trees and unlike some establishments that over smoke or over sauce their meat, diners can expect the perfect amount of smokiness, and seasonings. If you want sauce, sauce and more sauce, just ask NBB's has plenty to choose from. 

Large orders are available and meat is obtainable by the pound, perfect for all the summer picnics and gatherings coming around the corner. All items are available for dine in or carry out. New Buffalo Bill's also offers beer and wine. 




Friday, March 31, 2017

Bourbon Street Bistro, NOLA Comes to LaPorte

THIS RESTAURANT IS NO LONGER OPEN - John has moved to The Bistro On the Greens in LaPorte - A review of that is coming soon. In the mean time enjoy this blog as an intro into Moultrie's world. 

There is little need to fly down to New Orleans in order to catch the NOLA vibe. Simply get in your car and drive to Bourbon Street Bistro located at 701 Lincoln way, La Porte, Indiana. 


You will be welcomed by deep, rich woodwork, tin press ceilings, antique slot machines, open staircase, and an over-sized pot belly stove. Let yourself be lulled by a vintage Creole atmosphere.  Be transformed and transported to a by-gone era. Tennessee Williams couldn’t have designed the scene any better. Imagine Vivian Leigh and Brando crying out over the banister and streetcars rushing by you as you await the first course. There is a spirit of the past that has been preserved in this Vaudevillian theatre formerly known at Etropal and John Moultrie’s sense of style and flair ensures that spirit of yesteryear is pervasive throughout his establishment. 

A word of warning: Don’t come to the Bistro if you think you are going to be watching calories. Be ready to indulge and treat yourself to a homegrown Mardi Gras. Moultrie’s homegrown recipes hail from a rich tradition in Cajun cuisine, seasoned with love by his ancestors. Couple that with his vast experience in the culinary industry and voila it combines to make the experience memorable and delish!

We began our gastronomical journey with a Hurricane Rum Punch, a NOLA tradition. Next, by recommendation of the staff we enjoyed Fried Green Tomatoes, which were perfectly fried and evoked comments including “mmm, nice, mmm, yes! Shall we place another order?”

Next came my order of Gumbo Ya Ya, which was very savory and delightfully rich with all the traditional Cajun ingredients of onions, celery, sausage and chicken in a traditional broth.  My fellow diners feasted on Blackened Salmon, Kitchen Jambalaya, and my dish was Bourbon Street’s soon to be famous Bourbon Street Smothered Chicken. Each entrée came with a superb corn bread mini-loaf. All in all the food was prepared fresh and served up hot and fast.


John Moultrie’s commitment to excellent and a desire to bring high quality entertainment, food and overall experience to the people of La Porte and surrounding areas deserves a huge round of applause. The next time I go I will have to find a way to save room for the Bourbon Street Bread Pudding. I have often said, you can tell the truest culinary ability of a restaurant by how good their bread pudding and other house made desserts are, next to that is their soup. It might be time to add cornbread to that list.

Bourbon Street Bistro offers live entertainment on weekends. While they do not take reservations, one can always try by messaging the Bistro via their Facebook page. Don’t wait too long to get in there on the weekends, it fills up fast!
Bourbon Street Bistro is currently open from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday and from 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.  For more information, call (219) 575-7261 or visit facebook.com/bourbonstreetbistro.