Northern Michigan’s Best Eats 2009

43. Leprechaun Balls

Bar food at its best: fried, unassuming and conversation starting. Feel a twinge of irreverent heat biting into these deep fried jalapeño peppers stuffed with spicy chicken and creamy cheese. Kilkenny’s Irish Public House, 400K W. Front St., Traverse City, 231-941-7527

44. Smoking Greens

A melty smoked cheddar sandwich with avocado, sunflower seeds, spinach, paper-thin red onion and matcha green tea–infused mayonnaise. Simple, healthy and delightful. Serenity Tea Bar and Café, 232 E. Front St., Traverse City, 231-421-1564

45. Sour Cherry Patches

Not often does a candy make this list, but we’re smitten with this chewy-soft gelee with tangy tart real cherry flavor. Cherry Republic, 6026 Lake St., Glen Arbor, 800-206-6949

46. Beef Tenderloin

Two robust, rich medallions of beef tenderloin with a petit gorgonzola cheese-stuffed pastry and mushroom bordelaise sauce, are amazingly only $12 on the small plate menu, and 1/3 off on Thursdays. Consider yourself in the know. Firefly, 310 S. Cass St., Traverse City, 231-932-1310

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