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Fischer’s Happy Hour Tavern

5 January 2012 No Comment

Fischer’s Happy Hour Tavern

7100 N Manitou Trail, Northport, MI 49670 (M-22)


We had a great lunch then went back the next day for dinner. 6 of us had Chicken, Burgers, with deep fried califlower and mushrooms. Pitchers of beer all around. Service was great, food was great, price was great.

We stopped for a quick beer. For a northern bar and restaurant, it was very clean and had some character. I would stop by again, probably for lunch or casual dinner next time. It was very busy for a Sunday. It actually had a wait for awhile at dinner time.

We’ve always loved Fischer’s for a burger and soup in the winter. The place is cozy and dark, the soup is always a winner, and it’s just a great place for a warm winter meal.

We recently stopped by for lunch in the summer, and enjoyed it every bit as much as we have during the winter. I’d been missing out on the perch all this time because it’s seasonal–my perch dinner was fresh, hot, and moist like it should be. My dining partner tackled the chicken dinner (four big pieces!) and gave it a thumbs up as well.

The Happy Hour has always been a staple for my family when I’m in Leland. This casual restaurant/bar is about as easy going as it gets. This is the kind of place that seems to specialize in fried food and friendly atmosphere, but you can’t go wrong with that. This is shown by the crowd that will form out the door. Thankfully there’s an old-school tabletop Ms. Pac-Man, which I covet, on the porch.

Fried clams, mushroom, cheese, cauliflower, etc. appetizers, great “bar fried” chicken, and some of the best fried perch and whitefish in the area are highlights on the menu. Excellent soups, burgers and other casual fare are on deck as well.

Make sure that you try the secret sauce! What seems to me to be a mix of mayonnaise and honey mustard, it’s extremely tasty on pretty much anything, particularly the apps.

Also, do yourself a favor and don’t miss out on my dad’s personal dream – the hot fudge cream puff! Vanilla, or, apparently on our last trip, peppermint stick ice cream sandwiched in a large puff pastry and smothered in Sander’s hot fudge. Damn, but we do love the Sander’s!

We ate here for the first time tonight — loved it!

We’d been a bit hesitant to try Fischer’s, even though it’s hugely popular, because what I’d seen and heard of the menu had led me to think that most of the food came out of the deep fryer. But our meals were several notches above “bar food” — and the warm, comfy, European-tavern atmosphere also exceeded our expectations.

For starters, I ordered a side salad while my partner ordered deep-fried caulflower, which our bed-and-breakfast innkeeper had recommended. To my surprise and delight, instead of the usual rural restaurant watery-lettuce/sad slice-o-tomato side salad, I was served a generous bowl of fresh, crisp lettuce and other vegetables — grape tomatoes, red cabbage, cucumber, radish. The house dressing, subtly seasoned with dill and other savory flavors, was great. My partner’s cauliflower was also good.

My partner ordered a turkey Reuben, and was impressed by the quality of the bread as well as by the fact that sandwich featured real slices of turkey, not processed deli meat. “Best Rachel I’ve ever had.”

I chose the daily special, a perch dinner. The perch came very lightly floured and sauteed, not curly and overcooked as perch often tends to be; the fish was absolutely fresh and delicious. The roasted baby potaoes on the side were lightly seasoned in a pleasing way, and also delicious. Crisp-tender filet green beans rounded out the plate.

[Dieter warning: The servings here are trencherman-size; we both could have easily split our meals with another person and still left full and happy. This ain't no nouvelle cuisine with a couple artistic dibs of this and smears of that on the plate. ]

Bonus: we’d ordered virgin Bloody Marys, and were surprised to find a pickled Brussels sprout in our drinks along with the usual pickle and olive. And you know what? It was good. (The Cove, a bar down the road in Leland, serves Bloody Marys with a smoked chub for a stirrer. I’m not sure why putting weird things in Bloodys is such a local custom here — but in this case it worked; and I think I’d choose a Brussels sprout over a minnow anyway.)

Sadly, we didn’t room left for dessert, which we’ve heard is also very good here.

Bar food taken to a higher level, in a charming Old World atmosphere — we were very pleased with our meals, and will certainly be back.

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