|A Flaming Betsie River Rock|
While seated for dinner in The Thistle Pub at Crystal Mountain Resort in Northern Michigan, a waitress appeared carrying a tray of large rocks. Not those pretty ebony rocks like massage therapists use, just ordinary grayish rocks the size of a pot roast.
The lights were dimmed and the rocks were ignited with fanfare- as if a table-side preparation of Cherries Jubilee. I began to smell the pungent and wonderful aroma of rosemary.
When the embers subsided, the waiter placed a dish with a rock near me on the table. He also served a platter of thinly sliced beef medallions and yellowfin tuna. He explained that we were to cook our appetizer on the hot rocks though cautioned, "Be careful. The rocks are pre-heated to 500 degrees."
I used a fork to set my portions upon the stone. The beef sizzled; the tuna momentarily got stuck, but both seared quickly. I poured ponzu sauce on top, a citrus teriyaki blend. The steak was kissed with oriental flavors and the fish embraced tangy highlights. Yum. A healthy first course full of protein yet little fat.
Many menu items in The Thistle follow the Peak Performance plan. Northern Michigan abounds in bountiful agricultural tradition and restaurants are insisting on local fare-- even down to local river rocks. The starred Peak Performance dishes focus on natural ingredients, seasonal flavors and leaner portion sizes. Diners can read the calories and number of protein, fat and carbohydrate grams per serving.
|Cooking steak on a Betsie River Rock|
An appetizer of Betsie River Rocks Steak makes an unusual dining option, one I'd call a hunk of burning love. And, I bet Elvis would agree.
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