Places That Inspired Northern Michigan’s Greatest Authors: Hemingway, Harrison + Voelker

By Jeff Smith and Lissa Edwards on September 13, 2017

We’re following the footsteps of three of the greatest Northern Michigan authors of all time—Jim Harrison, John Voelker and Ernest Hemingway—to see the places that inspired them most. From breathtaking beaches to unpretentious taverns, come along on our literary adventure.

This article is featured in the September 2017 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine.
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French Road home: The homestead—house, writing cabin, barn and paddocks—where Harrison lived during his years in Leelanau and where he welcomed longtime friends, writer Guy de la Valdene and singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffet, chef Mario Batali and others. (Privately owned, but you can drive by.)
Dick’s Pour House, Village of Lake Leelanau: Just a few miles from Harrison’s house on French Road, the unpretentious tavern was a Harrison go-to for relaxation and conversation.

1978 Leelanau Enterprise Article

In 1978 Richard (Dick) Plamondon purchased the bar from Ralph (Dick) Plamondon. An article appeared in the Leelanau Enterprise that gave a background on the history of the bar. One thing that the article did not cover is the story about how and why the bar was renamed from "Dick's Tavern" to "Dick's Pour House". The story goes that when Dick (Ralph) told his father (NJ) that he was going to open a tavern in Lake Leelanau, NJ told him that if he did, he would surely end up in the "Poor House". Well, guess what... To prove his father right he changed the name to "Dick's Pour House" and it has been that ever since. The rest of the article is very interesting indeed and is worth sharing here. 
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A Taste for Travel

Culinary tourists and locals are finding a wealth of fine dining around Traverse City.

August 2014 Article

"Although not much seems to change in and around Traverse City, a closer look tells a different story. Stores selling workers denim and steel-toed boots now share the streetfront with bookstores, fancy clothing shops, the Grand Traverse Pie Company, and an espresso coffee shop with deep armchairs and stray copies of The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

And there is serious growth in the number of high-end restaurants in town and elsewhere up and down the Leelanau Peninsula.

For years, there was only one fine dining restaurant in the area, La Bécasse in Burdickville, which opened in the 1980s. Then came Trattoria Stella in downtown Traverse City, but that was just recently. Other than that, there were the traditional Up North steak and grill restaurants, such as Dick’s Pour House in Lake Leelanau, which still serves ever-delicious burgers and fried fresh lake perch."

If you are looking for a throwback to the simple basic traditional fish fry and hamburger place where the locals hang out, it doesn’t get better than this wood-paneled,
drop-ceilinged, ever-busy watering hole where the pickup truck and beer on tap still reign. And harried servers deliver plates under the dead-eyed gaze of mounted deer heads and antler plaques for a genuine Up North atmosphere.
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Top 10 Northern Michigan Restaurants
You Can Boat To
By Evan Perry on June 26, 2014
Tagged Beaches & Boating, Boating, Boyne City, Food & Drink, Food Finds, Lake Leelanau, Leland, Mackinac Island, Omena, Outdoors, Restaurants, Torch Lake, Traverse City, Walloon Lake

Here are the top 10 Northern Michigan restaurants you can boat to according to the over 10,000 folks who voted in MyNorth’s 2014 Red Hot Best annual contest. And truly, pulling up to a Northern Michigan restaurant by boat is the way to go.  Get all 300 ‘Red Hot Best’ winners in 101 categories in the 2014 June issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine.
First Place: Dockside, Torch Lake — This Chain of Lakes staple fuels hungry boaters with burgers and beer.
Second Place: Apache Trout Grill, Traverse City — View of West Bay, great food, great pick.
Tied for Third:
The Bluebird, Leland — Right on the Leland River, their ethnic nights are the real deal.
Knot Just a Bar, Omena — Fan favorite of Leelanau’s lakeside hamlet, known for its cone of fish and chips.

And the rest in alphabetical order:

Barrel Back, Walloon Lake Village — Craft brews and a highly stylized proteins.
Cafe Sante, Boyne City — European-informed cuisine with a stellar view.
Dicks’ Pour House, Lake Leelanau — Lake Leelanau’s perennial pit stop.
Riverside Inn, Leland — Exquisite wine list and locally sourced foodstuff along Leland River.
The Boathouse, Traverse City — Classy eatery along Bower’s Harbor.
The Pink Pony, Mackinac Island — The Chippewa Hotel’s in-house eatery. Try the Lilac Lemon Drop.
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