Alas, so many perch so little time. Friday last week, we packed up the bikes and headed to the Port Clinton, Ohio area for a weekend of hard work and research into the eating habits of Ohioans. Ok, Ok , there was no real intention of more than finding some motorcycle friendly restaurants and bars, eating too much, drinking a few beers, having a few laughs and some relaxation. However, we did need to reconnoiter the terrain.
The consensus was this would probably be an appropriate headquarters for our research team to conduct business. So we promptly set up our portable research center and had our planning sessions so we could properly utilize our time.
After a short discussion we decided on Phil’s Inn for dinner; an Italian restaurant that has been in business over 40 years and I have been going there on and off for 35 years myself. I looked up a few reviews before we left and had some concern that maybe this local favorite may be slipping. So off we went!
We were staying very close and walked the hundred or so yards to Phil’s so we could have a couple of drinks with dinner. Surprisingly, there was no wait that evening which I guess shouldn’t have surprised me because the hotel was not full and the traffic was light. I wanted to get some fresh lake Erie Perch and although Phil’s is an Italian eatery it has always had a reputation for great Perch. As it turned out all five of us ordered Perch, so much for “sampling the menu”. We did, however, get a few different sides. We had an antipasto salad that for $7.50 was humungous with good homemade Italian dressing fresh local tasting tomatoes, ham, provolone and peppercini peppers. Was it the best antipasto I have ever had? No, but it was good, a good value, tasty and something I would order again. One of us ordered a bowl of deep fried mushrooms which was also large, also tasty, and also a good value. Since we were not watching our weight this weekend we decided on some potatoe skins too which were different and good, these were not the typical halved potatoes layered with cheese, sour cream, bacon etc, these were thin with the same type of toppings but not as ” big and potaoey” and therefore much more suitable as an appetizer, at least in our humble opinion.
On to the main course and the subject of this blog – fresh Lake Erie Perch!
Ok, understand this, every single restaurant within a few miles of the Lake Erie claims they have the best fried lake Perch on Earth and most can find backers of their claims. Phil’s is no exception and our waitress, who was friendly and efficient, assured us that Phil’s, in fact, absolutely had the best Perch in the area. The fact is their Perch was very good; lightly breaded, fried properly, not greasy, ample portions and just plain good. Best? Hard to say as we only ate at three different places all of which have great reputations so I guess we will have to check out another 30 or so restaurants before we can legitimately answer that question.
Service was fast and friendly. Food was solid to very good. Value was in there: $50 bucks got us a humungous antipasto, couple of beers, couple of glasses of Lake Erie locale white wine and a Perch platter for two. Good enough for a return trip? You bet!
A hundred yard walk back to the hotel prompted another planning session lubricated by Pinapple Bomba.
1 – bottle Passion Fruit vodka
1 – cored pineapple sliced
soak for 7 days
serve over ice with a slice of the pineapple
Now that is good!
NOTE - Drink responsibly, Don’t drink and drive and PLEASE, PLEASE don’t drink and ride!
Tomorrow – our research team heads to Put in Bay!