Category Archives: Dining

Can’t Miss It: Eat at Delona Restaurant Between Gladstone and Escanaba

The Escanaba area has a lot of storied culinary traditions. Some are still going strong, while others have come and gone over the years. Beloved Delona Restaurant, located right between Escanaba and Gladstone, occupies a middle ground between these two extremes. After financial troubles forced it to shut its doors in 2013, it reopened about a year later under new ownership. New owners Dan and Holly DeGrave look poised to restore the place to its former glory — and possibly start a new tradition right in the heart of Delta County.

Let’s take a look under Delona’s hood, shall we?

Breakfast Specialties

Even before the recent ownership change, Delona has always made room for breakfast specialties on its expansive menu. Here are just a few of the too-good-to-be-true dishes made fresh and to order in the kitchen here:

  • Corned beef hash (with eggs)
  • Sirloin and egg breakfast
  • Country fried steak
  • Buttermilk cakes with your choice of breakfast meat
  • Thick cut Texas French toast
  • Cheesy eggs Benedict
  • Delona breakfast platter (a country-style “full breakfast” with eggs, meat, toast and more)
  • Made to order omelets

Lunch and Dinner

Delona doesn’t survive on breakfast alone, of course. Whether you’re passing through the area during the middle of the day or want to make a night out of it with a wholesome country-style dinner, you’re sure to find something to love here. Take a look at these lunch and dinner specialties, cooked just the way you like them:

  • “Fishwich” sandwich
  • Meatloaf sandwich with gravy
  • Tuscan-style turkey wrap
  • Chicken bacon wrap
  • Hot beef plate with mashed potatoes
  • Chicken fingers plate (perfect for the little ones, but generous enough for adults too!)
  • Sizzlin’ sirloin with shrimp, pasta and more
  • Classic fish and chips (more on this one in a moment)
  • “Supreme” burgers with your choice of toppings and fixin’s
  • Beer battered shrimp plate

Don’t Forget the Fish Fry

Did we mention that Delona also has a Friday night fish fry? Well, they do. Traditionally the busiest night of the restaurant’s week, Friday night is a great time to chow down on an endless plate of fish with your choice of potatoes. If the fish and chips here doesn’t quite satisfy your appetite, this is your ticket to glorious fullness.

Location and Hours

Delona is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., 7 days a week. It’s located right on U.S. Highway 2 between Gladstone and Escanaba — look for the cozy log cabin-style building between 18.3 Road and P Road. If you want to call ahead or inquire about large group arrangements, Delona can be reached at (906) 553-7258.

It Doesn’t Get Much Fresher Than DeBacker Family Dairy in Escanaba

The U.P. is blessed with a strong network of family-owned businesses that employ local residents and give back to the community with enthusiasm. When those businesses make tasty products using locally sourced ingredients, well, that’s just an added bonus.

DeBacker Family Dairy is one such business. They’ve got a working farm in Daggett, Michigan, in central Menominee County. Though they sell many of their products straight off the farm, they’ve also had a retail location in the city of Menominee for some time. But Menominee is nearly 70 miles from Escanaba, tucked into the southernmost section of the Upper Peninsula. It’s more convenient to folks in northeastern Wisconsin than residents of the Bays de Noc region.

Needless to say, it’s great news – both for the company, which is clearly doing well, and the good people of Escanaba – that DeBacker recently opened a second location in our own backyard! It’s located on the main drag north of Escanaba, so there’s no excuse for not dropping by.

About DeBacker

According to the company’s website, DeBacker started back in the late 90s on a rented farm in Marquette County. A few years later, it moved south to Menominee County, where the slightly milder climate made farming a bit easier. These days, DeBacker has a herd of over 200 Holstein cattle and takes pride in churning out gallons of antibiotic-free milk every day.

According to Terry DeBacker, the founder, the company isn’t just driven by profit. It’s also committed to educating the next generation of consumers: “We want to educate the public about milk and all the nutritional benefits that it has to offer,” says Terry on the website. ” We want to educate kids about where milk comes from and all that goes in to producing the milk they drink.”

Sounds like a noble mission.

The Products

Milk might be the cornerstone of the growing DeBacker empire, but there’s plenty more to find at the new store in Escanaba – and in grocery stores around the U.P., if you can’t make it all the way to Esky:

  • Cheese: DeBacker Family Dairy makes several different varieties of cheese, mostly non-aged. Cheese curds, always a U.P. favorite, are among the most popular.
  • Ice Cream: Ice cream is a great way to use farm-fresh milk. You’ll need to check with the store for an up-to-date list of flavors, though.
  • Meat: DeBacker proudly offers farm-raised, antibiotic-free cuts of beef, pork and lamb. On the beef side, you can find nearly two dozen varieties, including everything from soup bones to filet mignon. In the pork department, look for country style ribs, sausage, spareribs and more. If you’re a lamb fan, you can get ribs, legs, loins and ground lamb straight from the source.

DeBacker Family Dairy also stocks miscellaneous items that use its dairy products, including take-and-bake pizzas that can be made to order with a variety of toppings. Call ahead at (906) 789-5766 to place your order.

Stop on By!

DeBacker Family Dairy is open every day of the week. Sunday through Thursday, its hours are 11 am to 7 pm. On Fridays and Saturdays, it’s open till 9 pm – yay weekends! And for you weekend early birds, the store opens its doors an hour earlier on Saturday, at 10 am. Drop by their location at 1024 N. Lincoln in Escanaba and tell them we sent you!

The Stonehouse of Escanaba: Fine Dining Without the Frills

Escanaba may be the U.P.’s second-largest city by population, but it’s not exactly a bustling metropolis. So big-city visitors from Wisconsin and downstate Michigan may get quite a shock when they walk through the doors of the Stonehouse, arguably the finest restaurant in the city — and one of the finest in the whole Upper Peninsula. But despite its unwavering commitment to classically prepared, extremely high quality food, the Stonehouse dispenses with the formalities and stuffiness of similarly endowed establishments. It’s the best of both worlds: “fine dining in a casual atmosphere,” as its website proudly proclaims.


The Setup

The Stonehouse is located at the corner of Ludington Street and Lincoln Road (US-2/M-35), on the outskirts of downtown Escanaba. It’s hard to think of a more visible location for a fine restaurant, and the sign above the parking lot ensures no one drives by without thinking of the ribs, steaks and salads on the menu here.

Inside, the restaurant features a simple but elegant dining room. A curving bar, complete with plush seats, invites you to pull up a chair and stay awhile. The lighting is low, but not gloomy, and the reasonable volume level — even on crowded nights — makes it easy to have a conversation with your table mates.

If you’re in need of a more private space, though, the Stonehouse has you covered with a private room that seats nearly three dozen. It’s perfect for business meetings, birthday parties, anniversary celebrations, and just about any other moderate-sized event you can think of. You can reserve it during weekday lunch and dinner hours, though on account of high volume from regular patrons, it’s not available for special events on weekend evenings.


What’s on the Menu?

The Stonehouse serves lunch and dinner most days — there’s no lunch service on the weekends, and the entire restaurant is closed on Sunday. Both lunch and dinner menus are ample, so even picky eaters are bound to find something they like here.

The lunch menu is heavy on the salads and sandwiches, as you’d expect. Highlights include:

  • Appetizers like a fresh fruit plate, potato skins, and bacon-wrapped shrimp
  • Salads like steak Caesar salad, Cobb salad, and the Mediterranean salad
  • Lighter fare like “Angry Tacos” (shrimp/chicken, slaw, and cilantro with lime)
  • Two varieties of pan-seared Lake Michigan fish (perch and whitefish)
  • Steaks, pork chops, ribs, tenderloin medallions and other hearty fare
  • Kobe beef burgers, prepared several ways
  • An assortment of sandwiches, including prime rib with au jus, Cuban-style sandwiches, and a Philly cheesesteak

In addition, a daily lunch special caters to budget-conscious eaters who want to dine quickly and get on with their days.

The dinner menu takes fine dining to another level, with dishes like:

  • Lobster bisque, Panko goat cheese, shrimp tacos and other delectable appetizers
  • Dinner salads, including a hearty steak salad
  • Several dinner plates that feature freshwater fish, including walleye, perch, and whitefish
  • King crab legs and lobster
  • Surf and turf, ribeye, rack of lamb, duck breast, and other classically prepared meat dishes
  • Lighter fare, including pecan scallops and a smaller portion of prime rib


Logistics and Hours

Getting to the Stonehouse is easy. From the north, take Lincoln Road/US-2/M-35 to the corner of Ludington Street. From the east or west, simply drive down Ludington Street. From the south, follow M-35/Lincoln Road to the intersection. You can’t miss it!

Lunch hours are 11 am – 2 pm Monday through Friday. Dinner hours are 5 pm – 9:30 pm Monday through Thursday and 5 pm – 10 pm on Friday and Saturday. To ensure that a table is ready for your party, you may want to make reservations on weekend evenings, especially when lots of visitors are in town.

5 Things to Do in Escanaba in the Rain

Locals occasionally refer to parts of Delta County as the U.P.’s “Banana Belt,” due to a slightly longer growing season and somewhat milder climate. It’s true that the highlands of Marquette County are a bit colder, on average, than this part of the Upper Peninsula. But that doesn’t mean Escanaba is a tropical paradise. The weather here is just as changeable and unpredictable as in other parts of the region.

In the summer, that means that rainy days can strike at any time. Instead of hiding under the covers in your hotel room or cabin, use these dreary periods to discover slices of Escanaba and Delta County that you might otherwise have missed. We’ve collected five suggestions here.

1. Relive History at the Sand Point Lighthouse

The Sand Point Lighthouse is one of the oldest and most historically significant structures in all of Delta County, and it’s right in Escanaba’s own backyard. First opened in 1868, it provided a much-needed beacon for sailors in the Bays de Noc region until 1939, when it was decommissioned and replaced by a more modern system. The station was converted into a U.S. Coast Guard outpost, complete with a residence for the commanding officer on site. Though no one has lived there since 1985, the residence remains in pristine condition. Visitors are welcome to look through the grounds, the entirety of which have been lovingly restored to their former glory. You can even arrange tours, including for bus groups, by calling (906) 789-6790.

2. Enjoy a Leisurely Meal at a Fine Restaurant

Escanaba is one of the Upper Peninsula’s premier dining destinations. Many of its finest restaurants are clusted along Ludington Street in the central business district. If you’re in the mood for a burger and a beer, Hereford & Hops should be high on your list. For innovative Italian fare in a spacious location that can easily accommodate groups, try Pacino’s. And if you’re in the market for an incomparable fine dining experience, perhaps to celebrate a birthday, career milestone, or engagement, Stonehouse will charm and amaze your entire party.

3. Spend Some Time at the Delta County Historical Museum

Like Sand Point Lighthouse, the Delta County Historical Museum is operated by the Delta County Historical Society and contains some of the region’s most significant artifacts. Housed in a former radio station, it has been educating locals and tourists alike since 1956. Admission costs just $3 for adults, $1 for kids, or $5 for the whole family. Although there’s an extensive permanent collection, including a separate Delta County Archives with thousands of documents and artifacts from the past 150 years, you might be lucky enough to come when there’s a special exhibit on display.

4. Visit the William Bonifas Fine Art Center

Speaking of special exhibits, the William Bonifas Fine Art Center houses some of the most innovative arts and history displays in the region. The place does a good job of blending the two disciplines, showcasing historical art, folk art, and craft artifacts firmly rooted in the culture of the Upper Peninsula. After all, one of the best ways to learn about the past is to study what its people wore, wrote and believed. It’s open Tuesdays through Saturdays, year-round.

5. Catch a Flick at Willow Creek

What better way to pass a rainy afternoon than to cuddle up with your significant other and catch up on recent releases at Willow Creek Cinemas 8. Run by the Thomas Theater Group, a homegrown exhibition company, this theater has everything you’d expect from a modern movie house. Grab a box of popcorn and take advantage of matinee discounts to see your favorite stars of the big screen in action! Showtimes vary, so check the theater’s website before showing up.

Don’t worry: There’s plenty more to do on Escanaba’s gloomy days. This is just the tip of the iceberg, and we’re happy to point you to other ideas once you’ve exhausted the options on this list. We’re also looking forward to seeing you in Delta County real soon – rain or shine!

Eat at Pacino’s Restaurant on Ludington Street

We’d love to report that an Oscar-winning actor has opened his own restaurant in Escanaba, but that would be a little premature. Fortunately, there’s some great news to report: Pacino’s Food & Spirits, a high-end yet low-key eatery on the fringe of Escanaba’s downtown district, is serving up Italian-inspired cuisine with abandon. They’ve been doing it for some time, but they’re only belatedly getting the attention that they so clearly deserve. Let’s take a closer look at this slice of the Old World in the heart of Delta County, Michigan.

Pacino’s: Italian-Inspired Cuisine in Downtown Escanaba

According to its website, “Pacinos Food & Spirits restaurant in Escanaba, Michigan serves Italian inspired cuisine, new American fare, and steakhouse cuts of beef prepared by our culinary staff of award winning chefs.” Got that? With such an ambitious directive, Pacino’s is unique among Escanaba-area restaurants. That doesn’t affect its ability to deliver great food and drink, however. Pacino’s staff, led by executive chef Robin Holmes, appears to relish the fact that they’re the ambassadors of both high-end Italian cooking and elevated American cooking in the Delta County area. And as one bite of the juicy sirloin will confirm, this restaurant isn’t afraid to take on the sort of fare that’s normally reserved for fancy steakhouses in bigger cities.

And Pacino’s takes its responsibility to inject a dose of class and grace into Escanaba’s social scene. Its meeting spaces can comfortably accommodate business luncheons of 10 or more, and its staff is happy to customize a food and drink menu around guests’ needs. Pacino’s is also happy to host lighter gatherings, from intimate wedding rehearsals to family reunions. You’ll need to get in touch with management about the specifics, of course.

Although they’re often not publicized until shortly before they happen, Pacino’s is also known for sponsoring fun events for regular guests. Its Mother’s Day brunch is perennially popular, and the daily specials are often reason enough to get the family together for a last-minute trip. If you know someone who can’t get enough Pacino’s, talk to the staff about buying a gift card!

What’s on the Menu?

Special events and sponsorships are great, but you can’t talk about Pacino’s without discussing its menu. The restaurant has separate lunch and dinner menus, although there’s some overlap between the two. Generally speaking, the salads and sandwiches on the lunch menu won’t cost you more than $10 a pop.

The dinner menu’s appetizers run from about $8 to about $11, with Pacino’s famous pasta bowls ranging from $13 to $21, depending on the type of pasta and the meat included. (Try the penne al forno with shrimp – might be a bit pricey, but it’s to die for!)

In the mood for something meatier? Try the steak al forno (an 8 oz. sirloin) for $18.99, the walleye for $18.99, or the savory pork Gorgonzola for $18.29. There are plenty of meaty pizza options, too, including the eminently shareable BBQ chicken and the classic chicken mozzarella “za.” Most of the lunch menu’s salads and sandwiches are available on the dinner menu as well, though they cost a dollar or two more. There’s also a pub pizza special, which includes unlimited toppings for $14.

Location and Hours

Pacino’s Food & Spirits is located at 2635 Ludington Street in Escanaba. Lunch runs from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The restaurant is open six nights a week (closed Sunday) for dinner, which runs from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. For more information or to discuss a private gathering, call (906) 789 0712.

Stone Cup Coffeehouse & Stone’s Deli

Stone’s Deli – Great Food. Cool Space.

stone cup coffee and stones deli escanaba michigan2The Stone Cup Coffeehouse and Stone  ’s Deli in Escanaba, Michigan is great deli located right in downtown Escanaba. Owned by local residents Jim and Rachel Stone, they sell a wide variety of sandwiches, soups, salads, desserts, coffee and more.

From the outside, Stone’s appears to be two separate businesses. At least that’s what I thought when I first saw the building. I never guessed what was inside.

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