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Foodie Mama's Odds 'n' Ends

Spring has finally arrived in the North Woods of the UP.  The daffodils and tulips are in full bloom and the hostas are starting to sprout.  The oaks and maples have mini leaves starting. Bliss!

I had some mini blogs in mind but none seemed to measure up to a full Foodie Mama - worthy blog.  So, this is a random post of unrelated foodie odds and ends from the last couple of weeks. 

Part 1:  Italian Food in the Chicago Airport

On my way to Phoenix a few weeks ago, I had a three hour layover in Chicago so I decided to have a nice (as nice as it can get in an airport) lunch.  I can't recall the name of the restaurant now, but it was a cute Italian place.  The decor was rustic with red checkered tablecloths on wood tables; there was olive oil and bread for dipping on every table.  I wasn't too hungry so I just ordered a glass of Pinot Grigio and a Caprese salad.  I love this simple starter and make it often when I entertain.  This version was almost a meal; the fresh mozzarella and Roma tomatoes were sliced thick.  It was nicely presented with the balsamic and olive oil drizzles, the fresh basil and garnish of pesto.   I'll be making this for Rachel's Graduation Open House this weekend.  For the large group, I will do thinner slices on a large platter.  I've never tried with the pesto on the side - it was a nice extra touch.

Caprese Salad

Part 2:  Historic Michigan House, Calumet, MI

On a Sunday drive a few weeks ago, Ron and I stopped at the Michigan House in Calumet.  This restaurant and Pub has been in existence since 1893 and has had a whole slew of different owners.  The current owners have had it for some time and really do a nice job.  It is also the Red Jacket Brewing Company.  See the link for the history of the establishment.  The bar retains its historic charm.  The Bosch Brewing Company owned the business in 1905 and built it's current building.  There is a beautiful hand painted mural on the ceiling.  My photo does not do it justice.  It's amazing it has remained in tact.

Bosch Brewery Mural at the Michigan House

We both had Baked French Onion Soup (a bit too salty) and I had the Roma Panini:  fresh baby spinach, mozzarella cheese and Roma tomatoes (ok, so maybe this is related to Part 1 - Caprese salad on a panini?).  And for dessert, we had an Apple Dumpling.  It was really tasty; I have never seen this on any restaurant menu. It is made with a tart granny smith apple wrapped in pastry dough and baked and covered with a sweet cinnamon glaze, served with a side of ice cream. 

Apple Dumpling

Part 3:  Another Asian Restaurant in Houghton...really??!

Ok, so Houghton has about 7000 people and now has 4 Chinese Restaurants.  The Ming Buffet, The Hunan Garden, Jay Jay's and now, for the last couple of weeks, Bambu.  The family that opened Bambu is he same family that opened the Ming Garden and Ming Buffet (since, those have changed hands more than once) and they really do know how to run a restaurant.  The decor is very contemporary and  I really liked the feel of it.   Ron and I met for lunch and I literally had 45 minutes until my next meeting.  I was worried to say the least, given I've been in plenty of new restaurants locally where the service is sub-par for the first few months.  We had an appetizer, soup and our lunch in 35 minutes.  I really enjoyed it and will be back for sure.   We had steamed dumplings with red chili sauce, won-ton and hot and sour soup for our starters.  Ron had the Hunan Beef and I had the Coconut Curry Tofu for our main.  Delicious!  Good luck, Bambu, we'll be back.  It seems to be taking off well; that is nice to see.  Here are some reviews I found.  Bambu Reviews.

Our Starters at BAMBU