Michigan Made Monday! Featuring: The Jampot and Fitzgerald's in the Keweenaw Peninsula!
Well, I'm dreaming of spring.
I love winter, don't get me wrong, but man, it's cold. So, today, we're going to Think Spring and take a trip to the Last Place on Earth--up to the Keweenaw Peninsula, to two of the most awesome fooderies that are only open during the warm months.
First, there's the Jampot.
This tiny little building houses a great treasure: delightful jams, confections, preserves, breads, fruitcakes...all made with organic and locally sourced and often wild-foraged ingredients from the woods surrounding--all made as a meditation and for the glory of God by monks of the Byzantine Rite.
In their own words,
"In our skete at Jacob's Falls, on the shore of Lake Superior in Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula, we devote ourselves to a common life of prayer and work for the praise, love, and service of God and for the upbuilding of His Kingdom through the Arts."
And, truly, you've never tasted anything like the offerings of the monks at the Jampot. The care and devotion is tasted in every bite, and the warmth and welcome of the monks is as sweet as their thimbleberry jam.
The skete at Jacob's Falls also hosts a guest house that is open for individuals to use as a retreat center for personal reflection, promotion of arts, and meditation in the middle of the quiet woods.
Open from the beginning of May through Mid-October, this monastic communities' summer fare is worth the trip! And I personally am looking forward to heading that way in the melt of spring.
Next, let's talk about Fitzgerald's--the restaurant with the best craft beer and whisky selection in the UP! Not to mention incredible food, and comfortable lodging, right on the shore of Lake Superior.
Some might consider Keweenaw County to be "The Last Place on Earth" with only a handful of year-round residents and essentially only summer commerce--but Fitzgerald's is looking to turn that around.
Two friends and natives of Eagle River saw one of their favorite local landmarks closing, and decided to not only save it, but to "truly study what we were doing, and I mean, REALLY nerd out" about craft beer, whisky, and barbecue, and to put Eagle River on the map as a destination for Yoopers and visitors to find world-class food and beverages.
Formerly known as the Swank Beach Resort, the Eagle River Inn was owned at one time by a former Special Forces soldier who had served in Vietnam, and who had come to Eagle harbor to seek peace, and found it. At one point, La Motte had a wolf as a regular patron of the bar.
The current owners purchased the Inn and Restaurant in 2007 and haven't changed much of it physically, but the atmosphere has become one of relaxed class. They collaborated with the Keweenaw Brewing Company to make the first brewery-restaurant collaboration beer, and have more than 100 fine whiskies on hand.
Comfortable upscale dining for the Foodies of the UP, it's a welcome sight when getting back from a long hike in the remote woods, or after an excellent day of mountain biking. This classic Michigan Made restaurant is definitely one of the first places that I am looking forward to visiting on my first trip to the Keweenaw for this springs' mountain biking season!
Sending warm, blooming-flower filled thoughts to you and yours,
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