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The Coyote Roadhouse, right on the lake!

No, not THE Lake, the other lake…Kangaroo Lake in Baileys Harbor! Nestled along the shore of this beautiful inland lake is the Coyote Roadhouse. I first started going here years ago when it was one of the very few places open in the winter, now it is a regular stop on my schedule. The Coyote has great food and a great atmosphere. It’s a very friendly locals place, the big feature when you walk in is the bar, packed with the fine Baileys Harbor and Egg Harbor citizenry. Local politics is not off-limits here, and this is where you go to get a plumber, a garage built, or some excavating work done. This is also the place to get really good food. It’s a simple menu, but with a couple of twists. There are burgers, and chicken sandwiches, some salads, chili, and soup. But there is also exceptional ribs, pork chops, and steak. There is also Jambalaya, probably the second best in the county (mine is the best!). And it is a pile of Jambalaya, big shrimp, corn muffin…mmmmm! And there are specials, walleye on Wednesday, grouper on Friday. In the winter there are seasonal specials, my favorite is the turkey pot pie on Tuesday. Oh, and lest I forget, the onion loaf. Order this, trust me! There are maybe 10 tables in addition to the bar, so there can be a wait sometimes. But in the summer you can also sit outside on the patio overlooking the lake. So, when you are in Door County, do yourself a favor and go inland to the Coyote Roadhouse. Leave Egg...

“Is the fish in a fish boil boiled?”

A guest actually asked me that question once, and for once in my life my brain actually regained control of my mouth. The answer (which was chosen from a variety of smart alec responses) was a very polite “Why yes, it is!” After a while, it dawned on me that the concept of a fish boil is very unclear to most people outside of Door County, so I thought I would explain it here. So, you go to this restaurant and there’s this place out back with a huge kettle of water sitting on a wood fire. It takes about 30 minutes on the fire before the water boils, then the boilmaster puts a basket of potatoes in the water and steps back. This is also a good time to get a beer, as it will be about 30 minutes before you eat. About 10 minutes or so later, he puts a basket of onions in the pot, above the potatoes. Then, at about the 48 minute mark he puts a basket of fresh, locally caught whitefish over the onions. Now everything is boiling away, but whitefish is kinda oily, so this oil is gathering on top of the water and it’s not very tasty. So, just before the end of the boil the boilmaster throws some kerosene on the fire and the flames leap into the air! Everybody takes pictures, the oils boil over into the pit, and the three baskets are taken out of the pot. While you go into the restaurant, the staff is preparing the just cooked whitefish, onions, and potatoes for your dinner. It’s...

Bayside Tavern – Fish Creek WI

OK, let me make this perfectly clear…this is a bar. There are some tables, they have good food, but it is a bar. It is also a fun bar, and is generally recognized as the social center of the Egg Harbor/Fish Creek area. It is also the most popular bar during the season, and can get very crowded in the busy months. This is also my favorite bar, you can generally find me there on Monday night. The food is quite good, they have your typical burgers, pizzas, appetizers kind of menu. The fish fry on Friday is real good and worth going to. A mainstay is Smilin’ Bob’s chili, which is a secret recipe invented years ago by one of the owners. This is Cincinnati style chili on steroids, Skyline Chili got nothin’ on this! This is a place where locals and visitors mix, so it can give you that real “I’ve been to Door County” feeling. Walk in, sit down, say “Hi!” To the bartender and strike up a conversation. If you see a tired innkeeper there it is probably me, and I’ll have a Guinness since you’re buying! If you are there in the off season even better, because we will probably give you the opportunity to lose some money in cribbage or bar dice just to help us poor locals through the winter. Enjoy the...