Friday Night Fish FryFew occasions are as convivial and classic in our Northern land of lakes than the Friday fish fry at Dinghy’s in Frankfort. The line spills onto Main Street beginning at 5 p.m. with diners ready to order up Sally Donaldson’s Friday-night-only specialty. All-you-can-eat perch and cod is nothing new to Northerners, but because you have to wait for week’s end, Dinghy’s delicately breaded, ultra-fresh fillets in paper-lined baskets always seem new and exciting. 231-352-4702,

Freshwater FavesScalawags
Bring on the basket at Scalawags Whitefish & Chips – what better epitomizes land and lake than crisp, potato-y fries paired with crisp, feather-light battered perch and whitefish? Scalawags gets their fish out of Lakes Michigan and Huron, then bones and readies the fillets for frying to order. Stop in at the casual, nautical-cool Up North locations in Petoskey, Traverse City, Cheboygan or Mackinaw City.

DiscoveriesTastier Tartar
For a refreshing take on fish’s favorite condiment, look no further.
Bright and Lemony:
American Spoon’s Great Lakes Seafood Sauce (pictured) is enchantingly tangy with briny capers, dill, onion, lemon and parsley. Mellow it with sour cream to serve with pan-fried perch or sautéed trout. 411 e. Lake St., Petoskey, 231-347-1739,

Bracing and BoldThe unexpectedly harmonious heat of jalapeños and horseradish give an invigorating jolt to Bite Back Tartar Sauce from The Ojai Cook. Addictive alongside grilled salmon. Find it at Blue Door Gourmet, 323 Main St., Frankfort, 231-352-8050.

Emily Betz Tyra is associate editor at Traverse, Northern Michigan’s

Note: This article was first published in October 2007 and was updated for the web February 2008.