Marblehead Galley
 Marblehead, Ohio         Date of Visit  07/16/13  

We finally got back to the lake. We were supposed to be here for a week, but my Dean is such an evil taskmaster I had to go back and teach a few classes. I hope she doesn’t read this. We got back to Lakeside mid afternoon and ran into Marblehead to get some dinner not long after. We had been to the Galley a few times when they were across the street a little ways and the new digs are bigger and tidier.



Reminds Me Of Those Wooden Cutout Decorations

It inside reminds me of a larger scale version of those little wooden cutouts of different businesses and homes used for decoration, these few crammed together to look like a little town just happen to serve food. They were pretty jammed which left us and another family with several children in a holding pattern… always dangerous ground. Not surprising but it did make the empty room with the sign that said “retail space available for rent” seem a little ridiculous. Too bad there isn’t any business who could find a use for such empty space in the middle of an overcrowded restaurant. Ahhhh, the mysteries of life.

The staff seems pretty young all the way around. It showed around the edges but they were able to perform fairly well under the crush. We ordered an appetizer of a deep fried local montery jack cheese served with a smoky tomato based sauce with wasabi. The cheese was fine, the batter fried on the outside was the first volley in a succession of frying which turned out to be impressive from beginning to end.

Fried Local Cheese Arrived More Showy Than Expected

Good Cheese, Good Fry, Needed The Sauce To Cut Down Decadence Some

Sides Started Pretty Standard

Slaw Is Cabbagey Without Sweetness, Nice Actually

So That's What A Blueberry Salad Looks Like

Labels Make Me A Little Nervous

In this case the batter was seriously thin but just encased the melted cheese, just added a bit of crunch and flavor. The smoky sauce was necessary.  Between the cheese and the fry this stuff is just a stringy fatty assault and the smoke and light bite of the sauce really cut through the weight of the cheese.

Entrees consisted of a burger, the shrimp special, perch and walleye. The burger was reportedly good, came with enjoyable sweet potato fries but together they weren’t good enough to outweigh regret over not ordering seafood. The eight shrimp came butter flied and fried in a crisp crust. They were actually nearly perfectly fried, GBD and the shrimp were still tender and fresh. It was the thickest crust on anything we had and it seemed to be intended to insulate the shrimp allowing them to reach just done at the same time as the coating. Dumb luck or seasoned skill, I don’t know. They were good. Steamed veggies and seasoned plank fries rounded out the dish in an average sort of way, what was surprising was the first thing to arrive. I don’t think any of us noticed it but the daily special comes with a salad. A blueberry salad. Not a salad with blue berries, a blue berry salad. Not even knowing it was coming, our server plopped down a monkey dish with something strange sitting in it. It turned out, only to be confirmed after investigation, a jello based blueberry concoction, topped with a sweet sour cream spread. Ain’t never seen that afore. It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t great, it was a new experience.


Well Fried Shrimpies


The fish arrived looking spectacular. Instead of the thick blanket of batter you typically see at fish frys, both the perch and walleye had been dusted with just a hint of seasoned flour and cooked through. The sides were fairly standard, an opposite of sweet coleslaw which was actually really tasty, applesauce, cottage cheese and fries again. The walleye was flaky and just a bit oilier and fishier than the yellow perch which was a little drier but both were great examples of frying fish and still letting the fish shine through.

Great Local Fish

Masterfully Fried

Dessert seemed unwise but the enormous blackboard with the long list of treats made wisdom appear as folly. We decided on just  a couple, a chocolate pistachio lush and the coconut pecan cheese pie. Both ordered out of curiosity. The lush was more familiar. Crust, cream cheese mix, pudding, whipped cream, it has a few names but you have likely had some version of it before, it was good. The pie was great. It seemed sort of free form, loose crust in pan, sweetened cream cheese mix, all topped with a darkly candied mix of toasted pecans and coconut. Nearly always, I despise coconut in anything but every now and again it just works well and it did here. Both “nuts” were shellacked with a sweet and bitter dark caramel which added depth I never would have expected.

At the lake you typically find anything from tourist aimed sucker traps to mediocre but sincere food. The Galley in Marblehead seems to rise out of the miasma to offer something a little better.

Lush Was Tasty

This Stuff Was Incredible



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