TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Let's face it: In today's hurry-up culture, there always will be a need for fast food. Even when you're enjoying a leisurely vacation in a place like Traverse City, a Lake Michigan resort community with a nationwide reputation for restaurants serving high-quality, farm-to-table fare.
You could head for the outskirts and one of the chain eateries your kids so cherish. But if you're sunbathing on the Grand Traverse Bay waterfront, shopping in downtown's many boutiques or taking in a film at the glamorous State Theatre, chances are you'll have no appetite to navigate the traffic for another assembly-line lunch.
Mom-and-pop diners and brew pubs within walking distance can satisfy cravings for burgers and fries. But how about a quick, inexpensive meal consisting of Korean beef tacos with sambal slaw and Sriracha mayo? Or udon noodles with carrot, onion, green beans, bok choy, crushed peanuts and fresh herbs? Could fresh hummus with pickled carrot and feta tempt your palate?
You'll find such treats at Harvest, a recently opened restaurant tucked into an alley off Front Street, the main drag a block from the bayshore. It's the brainchild of Simon Joseph, an entrepreneurial chef who cruised into town three years ago aboard Roaming Harvest, the city's first food truck.
"Traverse City was becoming known as a food-centric place," says Joseph, "but we were missing a vibrant street food scene."
No longer. His truck is among up to eight at a time crammed onto the parking lot of a popular Front Street bar called The Little Fleet. Wanting to expand, Joseph decided to open a brick-and-mortar version of Roaming Harvest with more items on the menu. He renovated the building in the alley, giving it what Joseph describes as an "open industrial" look with high ceilings, exposed joists, birch table tops, and stools with galvanized steel legs and teak seats.
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