Inside the Newsroom

News, commentary, insight on local happenings and fun from the staff of The Saline Reporter and Milan News-Leader.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Taste of Milan A Small-Town Treat

I put the top down on the convertible today and took a 15-minute ride down Platt Road, traveling through Pittsfield and York townships and into the city of Milan for the local chamber of commerce's second annual Taste of Milan. Had I been thinking straight and not overcome by hunger after skipping breakfast and lunch while putting the finishing touches on the paper this afternoon, I wouldn't have stuffed my face when I got home and would have saved my appetite for the event. Instead, I walked in completely full, but excited to be in Milan again, where the people are welcoming and so proud of their town -- and rightly so.

The Milan Area Chamber of Commerce always does an outstanding job with local events, from its breakfast meetings with local speakers to its annual membership party and holiday float-building activity. While it would be unfair to compare the Taste of Milan to the Taste of Ann Arbor, it would be fair to say the local taste fest has charm and the down-home vibe of a family reunion. Twelve vendors set up booths around the parameter of the dining room at the Milan Senior and Activity Center, handing out samples ranging from beef brisket and grilled herb chicken with stir-fry vegetables to pepperoni pizza and sweet treats.

I met Beth Sackreiter of Dexter, who had heard about the event from a client and decided to stop by. I interviewed her for the video posted on our Web site while she enjoyed a sample from Campfire Restaurant and Catering. Beth said after tasting the grilled herb chicken, she would be sure to patronize the business in the future. I am sure that comes as good news to Campfire owner Dino Koukoumtsis and chef Julie Iott, who were at the event dishing up samples. Julie looked so professional in her chef's hat and coat.

Also on hand were Sue and Jake Lynn, owners of Our Old Shack Bar and Grill in Milan. What a cute couple, and you can tell they work hard every day at what they do. They've own the business for the last 15 years and said the friendships they have made with the people of Milan is the best part of owning the local restaurant.

Providing the entertainment and some lovely folk music for guests were Sandy Timmer on vocals and guitar, and Fred Crandall on harmonica. The South Lyon residents have performed at the Lighthouse Coffeehouse in Milan and came highly recommended, said Jean Wilson, president of the Milan Area Chamber of Commerce.

I also had an opportunity to chat with Guy Ciavattone, the franchise owner of Marco's Pizza in Milan, who said, to no surprise, the most popular pizza in Milan is the pepperoni and cheese, and Jack Wilson, Jean's husband, who was representing China One at the event because the new owners couldn't make it.

I've learned my lesson. Next year, I will be sure to come hungry and I'll definitely save room for dessert. Milan Bakery's spread of confections looked absolutely mouth-watering.

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