Fellow Traveler and I celebrated our first real post-holiday weekend by heading up to Cadillac today, just for kicks...and boy, did we ever have a great meal. We went to Hermann's European Cafe , a jewel of a restaurant halfway between Outer Podunk and the Grand Traverse area. We walked in without much of an idea of what we wanted to eat -- were talking about ordering a couple of appetizers, as is our custom when we're checking out promising restaurants -- but wound up enjoying a hearty late lunch -- let's call it linner -- starting with buttery, garlicky escargot baked in mushroom caps as an appetizer, then sauerbraten and spaetzle with sweet-sour red cabbage. For dessert -- we got a little crazy -- FT ordered baklava while I ordered the house special bread pudding, which is a delightful and ever-changing mosaic of assorted cubed baked goods from the attached bakery, soaked in custard and served with caramel sauce. (My square of pudding included bits of lemon-poppyseed muffin, cinnamon roll and some unknown pastry swirled with raspberry jam.)
After lunch, we waddled next door to the deli/specialty food store, then to the attached specialty butcher shop/wine store, which offered everything from roast duck to rack of lamb to sashimi grade tuna. Fortunately for our wallets, we were too full and too far away from home to take shopping there too seriously, although we did have an enjoyable chat with the butcher.
If you're ever headed to northern Michigan via US-131 and, as many travelers do, choose to take a pit stop in Cadillac en route to the "Gold Coast" -- check out the downtown Cadillac area, especially Hermann's.