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Hot Spots Along M-22

Updated: May 5, 2023

IT IS EARLY MAY and chilly weather continues its strong grip on the region. Undaunted by this slow start to nicer weather, I’m preparing for a half-day trip along M-22 on an adventure to visit some of my favorite spots.

Come join me.

I started in the late morning with my list in hand. US 31 to the 669 highway was my selected route out of Honor where I would head north and hook up with the M-22 highway that would take me further north to lovely Leland. I focused on retrieving the sandwich lunch special from the Cheese Shanty in the renovated Fishtown.

It’s been a couple of years since I have enjoyed their creative fare stacked on their baked pretzel bread. My overriding concern centered around the issue of self-control. Could I hold off having the sandwich for a few hours, especially if it sat next to me in my car knowing it was already cut in half and secured by a couple of toothpicks?

I planned my return from Leland back down M-22 arriving in Glen Arbor for a few stops.

Next on my list was Leelanau Coffee Recently, I moved to a new single-cup coffeemaker and shifted to whole beans that I grind each morning. I’m experimenting with their various blends concluding the few I’ve tried are quite good. Maybe I’ll try the many blends all through the year.

After securing a pound of whole roasted beans I parked a block west at the popular Cherry Republic Annex where I had the entire front parking lot to myself - that was a first for me. I had read on Facebook that they were introducing their new Cherry Shortbread Cookies. I was curious to give them a try.

Twenty years ago, I helped start a company that made cherry biscuits directed to senior dogs that suffered from a touch of arthritis. My biscuits were shaped into bite-sized dog bones and used cherry concentrate, flaxseed, and cinnamon in the recipe. Dogs and owners loved Cherry Hip Bones. I always wanted to use my formula and combine them into a single recipe the same for humans and dogs. Cherry Republic might just be on the right track to do something like this with their new shortbreads.

I sampled three of the little cookies and was delighted with their wonderful flavor. I had two temptations in my passenger seat – Cherry Republic cookies and a Cheese Shanty pretzel sandwich.

What saved me from consuming these tempting treats was knowing it was Wednesday and Art’s Tavern always offers Chicken Jalapeno Soup midweek. I bellied up to the bar and ordered my usual cup of creamy soup. It is the most velvety and tasty recipe that has not ever disappointed me. Kudos to Art’s Tavern.

My final stop had me next door to Art's at the rustic and historic log cabin that houses the Cottage Book Shop. I purchased a new cookbook, Pulp - A Practical Guide to Cooking with Fruit that I’d identified through Facebook postings authored by the famed Michigan chef, Abra Berens.

My adventure was coming to an end on this chilly Wednesday, but I had few regrets because at my side were packages from my midday excursions. With 20 miles to get home, the question was, will there be any cookies or any part of my sandwich leftover?

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