By Ken De Laat
“Well, it's a marvelous night for a moondance
With the stars up above in your eyes” - Van Morrison
Besides having the namesake of what is perhaps one of the best songs, from one of the best albums, of one of my favorite performers, Moon Dance Cafe has been a personal favorite eatery for the 16 years since they opened their doors.
I recall doing a review shortly after they debuted back when I was freelancing for the Times Indicator (the print news edited by the esteemed journalist Rich Wheater) and being enamored with Ms. Drum’s approach to restaurateuring as she brought a bit of panache to the local dining scene.
Then came the pandemic and after attempting to keep pace with take out and delivery MDC closed their doors just after Christmas.
And now they are reopening...at last.
From owner Tina Drum:
“My staff and I have been busy all week ( Re-opening a scratch kitchen is no small feat) and are very excited to get back to work. We have missed our loyal customers and feel hopeful that things are starting to return back to normal. We are back and better than ever!”
“We are so excited to open tomorrow (Thursday, Feb. 18) for Dine-In, Take-out, Curbside & Delivery.”
One only hopes the bread pudding (to die for) holds out long enough for a couple of pieces to make their way back to N3 World Headquarters.
And if you’re stopping for breakfast?
The stuffed hash browns will surely make you smile.
Book Review: Long Bright River
By Alexis Mercer
My book club has been on pause for much of the pandemic. There was one outdoor, distanced meet up we had in August, but other than that we haven’t met. Most of us spent so much time on zoom during the day in our jobs all spring and then again this fall, the last thing we wanted was more screen time.
It had been long enough, however, and we were anxious for more books to read and a chance to catch up … even on Zoom! January finally worked out ot get on Zoom, discuss August’s book (The Magical Language of Others by EJ Koh), catch up on life, and choose a new book!
Oh how I missed book club books. They are never books I would choose on my own. And nearly every time I love them. Long Bright River by Liz Moore was no exception.
Mickey is a police officer who patrols the streets of Philadelphia. Her sister Kacey works those same streets - on the other side of the law.
Kasey comes up missing right after Mickey responds to a call of a young woman who walks the same streets as Kasey and it’s discovered the woman was murdered. Soon another woman is murdered - and another. Mickey desperately tries to find her sister all the while hoping the next body isn’t Kasey.
The story is more than a suspenseful thriller: it’s a captivating, realistic tale of life on the streets, the ties that hold families together, addiction, and love.
While this book is much more intense and realistically terrifying (mind you anything about drugs I find terrifying) than I normally choose to read - I really did love the book. The main character, Mickey, was believable and easy to get behind. The pages turned quickly and kept me in it until the very end.
Last week many of our local food venues opened their doors to inside dining for the first time since mid November.
And through those doors ucame the patient patrons who have been waiting to grab not just a meal but an actual seat at their favorite eatery.
To help support these businesses coming out of a bit of hibernation we asked readers to take part in a non scientific, off the wall and likely wildly inaccurate survey.
The most popular first visits?
River Stop Saloon. (“great owners, that care about the people of the community”)
Followed closely by Newaygo Brewery and Blind Squirrel.
Northern Trails fared well and Sportsman’s received several nods.
And we had others who got some honorable mentions.
“The breakfast skillet was awesome. Best breakfast in town.” were the words for Diner Between the Dams.
And speaking of breakfast… “ Breakfast wrap and a double mocha cafe. Best way to start a day.” said a Koffee Kuppe fan.
Blind Squirrel got kudos for their shrimp tacos and the RS Saloon impressed with their steak fajita salad and Philly cheesesteak.
Then there was this tribute to Northern Trails.
“The warmth we feel and how we are genuinely welcomed whenever we go there, (as well as seeing the amazing staff including our favorite and best server Tina), is why Northern Trails is almost always our first choice!! And always our favorite place to go to relax and feel comfortable hands down!!!”
The next place they were going to go? Back to Northern Trails.
What folks missed the most?
Many entries mentioned seeing familiar faces at their favorite sites.
As one reader responded while referencing Sportsman’s “The people & great food. Who doesn’t love feeling like family while enjoying an amazing meal they didn’t have to cook?”
But our favorite response came from a Lunch Pail customer.
What did you have?
“My kids had grilled cheese kids meals.”
What did you miss?
“Someone else doing the dishes and wiping the table. Being able to leave.”
Where will you go next?
“Nowhere. The kids were terrible and are out of practice being in public.”
Bon Appetit Near Northians
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